Behind the Tech of SALT16
We had an amazing time at SALT16 a couple of weeks ago. With nearly 700 church creatives, techs, and artists coming together to discuss, learn, and grow, we left truly humbled to have been a small part of the experience. If you don’t know what SALT16 is or have never been, take a moment to check out the site here: SALT16.
Our friends at Meptik took the lead role in design, production, and execution of the main room sessions. They did not disappoint. From kinetic lighting elements, pixel mapping custom geometric shapes, and a massive 4-mil LED wall, the team had an array of technology at their finger tips.
While we can’t give away all their tips and tricks, we do want to share some of the gear used, techniques implemented, and amazing pictures and videos that captures the environments created.
To give you a brief understanding of the design concept, I asked the team at Meptik to walk us through the vision for the main sessions:
That should provide a solid framework for the concept behind the setup. So, let’s take a look at the gear and techniques used at SALT16.
- Lyrics & 16×9 Video Playback: ProPresenter 6 on a Trash Can Mac Pro
- Media Server: Resolume Arena 5 on a custom PC driving 4x 1080 HD-SDI outputs
- Output 1: Center LED Wall
- Output 2: LED “Legs” (two downstage columns of LED)
- Output 3: SR Projection Mapped Wall
- Output 4: SL Projection Mapped Wall
- 4x Barco FLM HD20 20,000 lumen Projectors
- 40x panels of 3.9mm Formetco LED
- 120x Custom 3D scenic panels for projection mapping
- 54’ of RGB NeonFlex, DMX controlled by lighting
- Hog4 Console
- Hoglet4 driving all “kinetic lighting” driving one universe of Kinetic Lighting
- 30x 6m Kinetic Lighting Winches (Brand is similar to Kinetic Lights brand, but a clone)
- 20x Martin Mac AURA’s
- 10x Martin Mac Viper Profile’s
- Misc ellipsoidal’s for stage performer lighting
Techniques Behind the Tech of SALT16
A custom PC running Resolume Arena 5 drove the main visuals across all screens the majority of the time. We ran lyrics from Pro6 and fed the output into a Panasonic HS50 video switcher which allowed us to key the lyrics on top of the center LED wall signal for the Resolume footage. Two feeds went out to Barco 20k projectors which allowed us to projection map images onto custom 3D panels on either side of the stage.
The stage design was based around the idea of clean and minimal. Keeping clean lines and less cable clutter on the deck itself was a big key.
The predominant element onstage was a 3.9mm pixel pitch LED wall. This wall gave us a great high resolution image as a backdrop for all things onstage. On either side of the stage, the imagery continued with custom designed 3D panels that we projection mapped.
The center-piece of the lighting design was 30x “Kinetic Lights”. These are DMX controlled motors that can travel up and down at a distance of 6 meters (almost 20’) and also carry an LED lighting fixture at the bottom of the cable. Each winch runs on only 9 channels of DMX allowing us to control the height, the speed at which it runs, and also the color and dimming of the LED triangles that we’re attached to them.
On the lighting side, Mac Aura’s allowed the rig to add color to the room, while also helping fill in front light due to their great warm white LEDs in them. Mac Viper’s helped add thick beams of light throughout the room. We ran 4 universe of DMX for lighting and a single universe for the kinetic lighting.
How were they able to use projection, LED, kinetic lighting, and lasers to create one cohesive environment?
Planning and preparation was key.
Using so many different forms of technology can quickly become messy, distracting, and overwhelming. This was definitely not he case here. The entire production team spent hours discussing the vision and story of SALT16 prior to load in. They new the end goal and how they wanted to walk through the 4 sessions in the main room. From original concept to execution on site, each element was designed to work with and independently of the other elements.
The key to creating amazing environments like those at SALT16 is understanding the tools at your disposal and the role each will play in your production. Be intentional from concept and design through setup and execution.
Finally, a big shout out to the team (the shadow makers) behind the scenes at SALT16. Countless hours of work that did not go unnoticed.