LSC brings power and protection to NIDA
Thursday, 25 June 2020
nidadusksmNIDA is Australia's leading centre for education and training in the performing arts
Australia - Power and protection are the keywords with dimming and distro and Sydney’s National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) now has both thanks to LSC Lighting Systems.
NIDA is Australia's leading centre for education and training in the performing arts and features six professional performance venues, studios and rehearsal rooms. As the largest of the performance venues at NIDA, the Parade Theatre offers seating for audiences of up to 707 people in its three-tiered, horseshoe-shaped auditorium. The Playhouse is a 155-seat amphitheatre, designed for more intimate productions. NIDA has three smaller black box theatres - the Space, the Studio Theatre and the Reg Grundy Studio - that are frequently adapted to suit different production needs.
NIDA recently decided to upgrade its dimming and power distribution systems with LSC Lighting Systems GEN VI dimmers and APS power distribution. A total of 42 GEN VI dimmer /distros and an additional four Advanced Power Systems power distribution units have found a new home at this celebrated institution. The Parade Theatre, Reg Grundy Studio and Space Theatre have all benefited from the recent LSC Lighting fit-out.
NIDA’s previous dimmers were installed in 2003 and had exceeded their expected 15-year longevity mark, thus becoming electrically unreliable and so NIDA began investigating replacement options.
“Once we found the money we went hunting for dimmers,” says Chris Dickey, NIDA’s technical manager. “We wanted something that offered a bit extra in the venues and that was the LSC GEN VI range. I’ve had a fair bit of experience of LSC equipment and it’s always rock solid.”
The dimmers were installed in January and were successfully used on a handful of productions before the COVID-19 lockdown was enforced. Fortunately, NIDA’s lighting crew managed to familiarise themselves with the dimmers in that short time and found the changeover very straightforward.
A GEN VI dimmer uses TruPower allowing configuration of any of its outputs to be an 8-bit or 16-bit dimmer or a direct power relay channel. This enables the GEN VI to dim traditional lamps or power moving lights, LED fixtures, video screens or audio power amplifiers - in fact, any situation where controlled power distribution or dimming is required.
“The way the relay channels in the GEN VI can be set to come to life and go to sleep when they do and don’t get DMX has to be my favourite feature,” said Chris. “The start-up and warm-down practice at NIDA has now changed dramatically as we don’t have to traipse around the entire building to wake the system up as it all happens automatically. Zero-point crossovers for power switching is amazing and has been faultless so far.”
Chris comments that since the installation of LSC GEN VI dimmers and APS power distribution, tech life at NIDA has been made so much easier.
“For example, during our festival season we always have a mirror ball in our standard rig and now we don’t have to have a special switch as it can go straight into a dimmer (set to non-dim mode) and is triggered straight from the desk.”
(Jim Evans)

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