This article describes the ‘Venue Override’ application with Visual Productions’ CueCore2 (or QuadCore) and B-Station. Maybe you have seen the Venue Override panel that has been shown on various trade shows.
Visual Productions has a neat solution for this. By combining a CueCore2 solid state lighting controller with a B-Station 6-button networked remote control, basic presets can be programmed to control the house- and stage lights of any space in a venue. These presets could include settings for a meeting, a presentation, a classroom layout, a video screening etc. Presets are stored in CueCore2’s solid state memory and may be recalled with a push on a B-Station button.
With this system, ‘non-lighting staff’ like receptionists or AV assistants can operate the lights without any in-depth knowledge of lighting. There is no need for a technician or lighting engineer (or complex traditional lighting console!) during daytime or when meetings or presentations take place. B-Station buttons labeled ‘MEETING’, VIDEO’ or “PRESENTATION’ simply do the job.
Now if there is a big event, a live performance or TV show in the venue, a lighting operator will bring in his lighting console to control all rental and stage lights. Yet these kind of events also require control over house lights, for instance in a black-out or to change audience mood lighting. And nowadays, house lights are not only white lights but also RGB or even RGBW/RGBA.
The nice thing about connecting a lighting console to the DMX* input of a CueCore2 is that it is immediately connected to the house lights, and these can be controlled with the console now, together with the rental/stage lights.
Now how does this work?
Upon connecting the console, the CueCore2 will notice DMX is coming in (the ‘Receiving’ trigger), will switch off the B-Station’s LEDs and buttons (disable OSC Action List) and forward the DMX signal through the CueCore2 to its output. This way the lighting operator has control over both house lights and rental/stage lights. Once the live event is over, disconnecting the console’s output from the CueCore2 will bring the B-Station back to life again. When properly programmed, it will even recall the last preset that was active before connecting the console!
Typical examples of this application
– An event venue that is being used for a product introduction during the day turns into a TV studio where a TV show is being broadcast or recorded during the evening;
– A small university theatre where during the day videos are being screened, meetings are held and where during the evening artists perform classical music in front of a live audience.
Clever additional features
- The application also allows a building management system or fire alarm to access all connected house and stage lights in case of an emergency;
- When using multiple B-Stations in this venue override system, feedback may be programmed: if one button is pushed all B-Stations will indicate that button by switching on the LED inside that specific button;
- The system can be programmed to switch on utility lights by pressing a ‘secret’ combination of buttons on B-Station. Secret combination is only known by cleaning staff;
- Upon receiving an external DMX signal, the CueCore2 can send a network message to connected nodes in order to rearrange control and zones;
- In this application, all functions and features mentioned apply to QuadCore as well.
* Where DMX input is mentioned, Art-net or sACN protocol signals may be connected instead.