Cobalt 10 and ColorSource PAR play key roles in German comedy shows

Date Posted: 2/16/2017


Last year, popular entertainers Frieda Braun and Robert Friess performed stand-up comedy routines in front of sold-out audiences in Cologne and Brilon, Germany. These special live performances were recorded for TV broadcast, and featured lighting control and fixtures from ETC.

On behalf of public television channel WDR, production company Aerovision Broadcast captured the comedians on camera as they entertained audiences in their respective hometowns. Griess performed at Cologne’s COMEDIA, while Braun took to the stage at Brilon’s Kolpinghaus. Lighting designer Markus Friele opted for an ETC control desk, and added some ColorSource PAR fixtures, to light both of these high-profile events.

Comedians Frieda Braun and Robert Griess

Friele chose the Cobalt 10 console for its intuitive and fast access, as well as the minimal programming effort required for setting up various fixture types. For each of the performances, he prepared a unique showfile and loaded it onto the console via a USB flash drive. Thanks to the desk’s fast and simple master-fader assignment, Friele was able to quickly react to spontaneous changes during the TV recording. For fixture set-up, Friele relied on RDM. Using the Cobalt 10, he could configure and patch the fixtures quickly and easily – resulting in significantly shorter set-up times than usual.

To supplement classic Fresnel and spotlights, and some moving lights deployed for effects, Friele added several ETC ColorSource PARs for background lighting. These fixtures, which operate with a unique RGB+Lime colour system, were installed on floor stands, and illuminated the backdrop in various colours, from pastel tints to rich, bold hues. “For TV and film work, flicker-free operation is important, and if a fixture frequency is too low it may cause problems on camera,” says Friele. “To prevent this, we made a conscious effort to ensure the rate of the fixtures’ pulse-width modulation was set to 25kHz - higher than the cameras’.”


The shows were produced according to the principle of Smart Production, in which both the camera equipment and the control room are designed to be particularly small yet powerful. Even for the small cameras, good quality, high brightness lighting with low power consumption was required. The efficient ColorSource PAR, which offers high output illumination with a maximum consumption of only 112 Watts, fulfilled the necessary criteria. This, combined with features such as RDM support and droop compensation, makes the fixture a viable choice for broadcast. 

Photos: © Frieda Braun, Robert Griess, Markus Friele