ETC recently installed three separate Unison Paradigm control systems at the new Helsinki Music Centre in Finland.
There are six performance spaces at the center, seating up to 1,704 people. The first Paradigm system controls the main concert hall; a second controls three of the rehearsal halls (Rehearsal Hall, Organo and Camerata); and a third controls the Sonore, Black Box and restaurant stage halls. All were supplied, installed and programmed by Studiotec Oy of Finland.
Studiotec Project Manager Oskar Krogell explains: “Paradigm was chosen by the music center for its integration with lighting control desks, dimmers and DMX. They also wanted non-technical personnel – including orchestra organizers, stage managers and even music students – to be able to use the show-lighting in the halls for rehearsals and concerts. The Music Centre has seven stages but only a few lighting staff.”
Although the Paradigm touchscreens and 10-button wall-mounted stations at the Helsinki Music Centre are normally used with a simplified user interface – dimmer and relay activation is done in the background – more detailed control of houselights, individual relays and recording of presets is available to technicians when needed. In addition, for bigger or more demanding shows, a full lighting control console can still be used.
“Even for these shows,” says Krogell, “Paradigm plays a central but discreet role, since it is used to turn on relays powering moving lights and dimmer-rack power; can block houselight button panels from being accidentally used; and can change the control source between the control desk and Paradigm. These functions are controlled solely by Paradigm, so relays cannot be accidentally affected by using or patching of the lighting console – making the complete lighting system safe from user errors.”
ETC Net3™ Gateways receive DMX from the lighting desks and output it to the dimmers and fixtures, so that lighting looks can be programmed with the desk and stored in Paradigm's presets. This makes it easy for the staff to program and change the preset looks with minimum hassle.
In addition to Paradigm, there are 50 ETC Source Four PARNel® fixtures in the Concert Hall for smoothly dimmable houselights, and a number of Source Four® PAR and Source Four profile fixtures throughout the different halls.
The Helsinki Music Centre is a venue for all types of music and art, offering a range of different events. The Music Centre is the home for two eminent orchestras – the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra – and the Sibelius Academy, the only music university in Finland.
Photo credit: Musiikkitalo / Arno Chapelle