Wireless DMX on world’s biggest laser show

  • 30 March 2016
  • Economic Centre of Milan, Piazza Gae Aulenti

British laser production company – ER Productions – have put together the world’s biggest laser show in Milan, Italy, for the release of Samsung’s Galaxy S7. The event took place in the beginning of March 2016 and it featured more than 220 lasers and 80 fog, haze and smoke machines, across 6 remote locations, 4 of the remote locations was controlled by W-DMX™ WhiteBox F-1 units.

Andrew Turner, Project Manager and designer of this show, chose Wireless Solution from the start: “We had other wireless equipment on other shows but the experience so far hasn’t been the greatest – often these systems crash when suddenly you get 10,000 people in a venue, minutes before the show. We talked to Wireless Solution during the planning stage for this show to understand the differences between systems. It was the first time we worked with Wireless Solution”.

David Ferraz – International Business Development Manager for W-DMX™ – liaised with ER from the beginning: “The specifications for this show were quite challenging, but nothing we hadn’t done in the past”, said David, who was also on-site, supporting build, rehearsals and show. “We worked closely with Andrew to understand the difficulties of this project, specifically distances, interference, etc. W-DMX™ was, undoubtedly, the best wireless protocol for this project.”

The event took place in the economic centre of Milan, in Piazza Gae Aulenti, right by Unicredit skyscraper. At the top of four surrounding buildings were approximately 20 lasers [per building], receiving data from a central transmitter. This central unit was hung 8 meters above people’s heads – on top of a delay tower. The receivers had connected a 12 dBi outdoor antenna pointing at a 6 dBi Omni-directional antenna, that transmitted the data almost at 1km. “We used an Uglybox MKII to find the best angle for each receiving antenna, by reading the link quality analysis generated in real-time” said Ferraz.

After a very successful show, Ryan Hagan – Director and co-founder of ER – acknowledge the system’s reliability: “It was great seeing that everything worked right from the beginning. Because of our past experiences I was reluctant about using wireless. But with David’s support and with seeing how well the system ran from day one, wireless became the least of our worries – one I crossed off the list!”.  Behind the great success of this event was a hardworking crew that Ryan couldn’t leave unmentioned: “We have to thank Andrew Turner and Tom Vallis who led setup and programming, along with riggers James Horwood and Damien Gardener, and laser technicians Seth Griffins, Oliver Jenni and James Redmond”.

W-DMX™ is no stranger to the laser industry: in fact, there are a number of OEM partners – including Laserworld and Kvant – that manufacture lasers with optional built-in W-DMX™. Niclas Arvidsson, CEO of Wireless Solution, explained why: “It is very common for laser designers to think more outside the box – sometimes they may not have space for their equipment where there is a full lighting rig and fast changeovers. Furthermore, technicians must have full DMX control, Having W-DMX™ in-built makes their lives a lot easier. Marc Webber and Ryan Hagan [directors of ER Productions] did a great job demonstrating how much a laser effect can achieve. This project was so creative and technically challenging, but it looked absolutely effortlessly thanks to their professionalism and commitment. It was a great pleasure to be involved with this show, and we do look forward to seeing our kit in future jobs.”

Photos by Samsung Italy, for illustrating purposes only