ChamSys on track for Dubioza Kolektiv
Monday, 2 August 2021
dubioza-kolektiv‘Designing for Dubioza Kolektiv is a wonderfully rewarding challenge’
Serbia - Crt Birsa of Blackout Lighting Design designed a compelling lightshow for Bosnian stars Dubioza Kolektiv at Arsenal Fest 2021.
Birsa began lighting the genre-smashing band in late 2010 and soon after that he had bought his first ChamSys PC Wing. In all the years since, he has built on this experience with every single Dubioza Kolektiv show. Using ever-more advanced ChamSys consoles, he has continuously taken earlier looks and bent them in original ways to create designs that build on a rich legacy, while reflecting his client’s music in refreshingly original ways.
“My show contains 10 years of history,” said Birsa. “This is a history that is constantly updated with new ideas for old songs, and also new songs being reflected in new and traditional ways.
“Designing for Dubioza Kolektiv is a wonderfully rewarding challenge, because the band combines some songs in blocks, so each tune has to stand out on its own, but at the same time all of them have to fit together in different combinations,” he continued. “Being able to save, edit, clone and morph my looks from generation to generation on a stable ChamSys platform is extremely important.”
For the Arsenal Festival, Birsa called on his MagicQ MQ80 (he’s also used MQ500 consoles) to unleash a flurry of looks in support of the seven-piece band as they wove their way through a raw, powerful set that moved seamlessly from dub, ska, and hip hop, to rock, and punk sounds.
Coordinating his 150-fixture, nine-universe show with the video designs of Bob Raccoon, he directed brilliant beams of light down from the 10m high stage roof to create an architecture of light that opened clean performance spaces for each band member.
Birsa also engaged the crowd with bright colourful audience lighting. “The band-audience communication is very essential,” he said. “The audience is almost part of the show. Because of this, audience lighting is featured in my design. I also use some effects on the crowd.”
Given the complexities of his Dubioza Kolektiv show, Birsa said time coding was essential to his plans. “I could not have done things quite this way without timecoding,” he said. “The show would have to be built with much less to it if I had to run everything 100-percent manually. Happily for me, the MQ80 does a great job receiving timecode.”
Birsa tried to complete as much of his show as possible before he got to the festival site. However, intense sunlight, forced him to make some late adjustments, working while the temperature outside reached 39ﹾ Celsius (over 102 Fahrenheit). He notes that being able to connect the MagicQ MQ80 over a network was essential.
“What helped me on the day of the show was morphing the heads on my laptop,” he said. “I was able to import all the colour and beam palettes from other shows with the same lights and then transfer this show to MQ80 and check the cues with the help of MagicVis on another computer.”

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