Feature Story Of The Month

Vari-Lite VL4000 Spots Live Up to the Hype! 

VL4000 featured in the Adelaide Opera  

Adelaide’s Andy J Sound has become the first Australian production company to add the VL4000 Spot luminaire to its rental inventory.

The highly anticipated fixture boasts 33,000 lumens in standard mode and 25,000 in studio mode. The VL4000 features 9-47 degree zoom, dual rotating gobo wheels optimized for aerial and projected images, variable frost for adjustable softness, and dual animation wheels that provide dynamic motion effects. The fixture has multiple rigging points making it possible to hang in any configuration.

“What really sold me was the feature set,” commented Andrew Gayler, managing director of Andy J Sound. “In order to gain more theatre work, we specifically wanted a fixture with a framing shutter but didn’t want that ability to take away from the other feature sets of the fixture. With other brands we would have had to buy different versions of a fixture to get everything that we wanted.”

With low ambient noise, high lumen output, amazing optics and a full feature set anything is possible on stage. The VL4000 Spot ensures that your lighting system has the features you need to create dynamic and functional lighting for any performance style.

Andy J Sound’s eight VL4000 Spots went straight out to Adelaide’s Her Majesty's Theatre for a very special, world first project – three operas by Philip Glass – Akhnaten, Einstein on the Beach and Satyagraha – performed in three complete cycles over three weeks by The State Opera of South Australia, the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and Adelaide Art Orchestra.

The lighting design for the trilogy was by Geoff Cobham and Mark Pennington, and essentially it was a re-light of the three operas, which had been performed previously but over a period of years. With the three performances scheduled into the one venue playing in rep, it was necessary to design a lighting rig to easily cater to all three productions.

“Both Geoff and I were very keen to use the new VL4000 Spot and we weren’t disappointed,” remarked Mark. “I’ve always liked Vari-lite fixtures as their colour mixing is always far superior to other brands, and I like their smoothness and quietness.”

Mark reports that he was shocked at how quiet the VL4000 Spot became when operated in studio mode.

“They are almost silent, quite extraordinary,” he said. “I was also surprised by the zoom; the width and the narrowness of the beam achievable out of a single fixture was astonishing. We could literally wash the stage with a single VL4000 Spot and then zoom the beam right down to a narrow shaft. That level of versatility offered by one fixture is quite amazing.”

High resolution optics ensure remarkable centre-to-edge focusing, an extremely flat and even field, as well as an unprecedented contrast ratio. A 5:1 zoom ratio covers an amazing 9 to 47 degrees without sacrificing output or clarity.

 “The VL4000 Spot does what Vari-lite claims it can do and it does it very, very well,” commented Mark. “We were very impressed by the smoothness of the fixture on all levels - from its shutter motors through to its pan and tilt. It was beautifully smooth or lightning fast if you needed it to be. The output is extraordinary and I really like the colour mixing.

“However, their greatest feature is their versatility. You can put one in a rig and use it for so many different applications, they’ve nailed a fitting that can basically do everything. When you work in theatre where budgets are not great, that’s a great find!”

Consequently Mark has already booked the VL4000 Spots for an Adelaide Festival project and he hopes to be using them as much as possible in the near future.

Priced lower than previous Vari-Lite luminaires, Series 4000 luminaires offer more features, greater output and newer technology without compromising on any level.  Rest assured that you will always have the features and power you need with the VL4000 Spot on your stage.

Photos: Darren Williams Photography

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