Burning LightsTo support his latest album, Burning Lights, Chris Tomlin and his band set out on a two-month, 36-date US arena tour. At the heart of the visual show is Renewed Vision’s ProPresenter 5 lyric and media presentation software.

‘For video playback on past tours, we’ve used SMPTE time code and locked everything to a click track with no getting off the map,’ says Matt Gilder. ‘Now we set up video cues in advance that I can trigger during performances.

Running Ableton Live on an Apple MacBook Pro – which also contains the show’s click and supplemental tracks – musical director and keyboard player, Matt Gilder interfaces his laptop with his Roland A-500 Pro Midi controller and one of the tour’s video computers offstage running ProPresenter via Ethernet. The video clips are then displayed on the tour’s 13-ft x 40-ft LED wall, controlled directly from Gilder keyboard.

Matt Gilder‘At the beginning of the show, I bring up the initial bank of videos I’ll be accessing by hitting a Midi note at a certain velocity,’ he explains. ‘Partway into the song, when I play a C#5, the first use of that note triggers the appropriate video to be displayed on the LED wall. Then, when I hit my second cue note – say G5 – it triggers the next video. Not only does this make life easier for our crew running the video switcher and lyrics, but it also ensures that video content is perfectly in sync with the songs, even if we stretch out a verse or chorus somewhere along the way.’

Although many of the videos that Gilder triggers in ProPresenter are strictly visual, some are paired with an audio track in Ableton Live – in particular, a spoken-word piece from Lecrae during the bridge of ‘Awake My Soul.’

‘I was really nervous about that clip, which is basically a close-up view of Lecrae’s face,’ Gilder says. ‘The timing has to be absolutely perfect because the band drops out for a moment right on his last word. But now that we’re more than halfway through the tour, I can honestly say that this new approach has been super-tight with zero latency. Before this, I always thought that if we weren’t using SMPTE or Midi time code to lock everything up that we were just asking for trouble. But here we are on the biggest Contemporary tour out there right now relying on ProPresenter every night and it’s working like a rock-solid champ. I’m extremely impressed.’

Rusty Anderson and Matt GilderRusty Anderson, video director for the Burning Lights tour, points out another unique way they’re able to use ProPresenter – to post Tweets from the audience during the intermission time between opener Kari Jobe’s performance and Tomlin’s.

‘In the 15-minute gap between Kari’s and Chris’ sets, DJ Promote comes out to spin a few songs and asks the crowd to Tweet what songs they want to hear and generally comment on the show so far,’ he says. ‘So he’ll announce Chris’ and Kari’s Twitter handles, as well as his own, and these Tweets start feeding into the same machine that handles the show lyrics. Our ProPresenter operator sorts through the incoming Tweets and clicks on the ones we want to make active, at which point I start putting them up on the screens so people can see what they’ve just Tweeted. At the same time, we’re also moving cameras around and putting audience members up on the screens, which has really helped build excitement and anticipation until Chris and his band come out.

‘One other thing that ProPresenter has allowed me to do is to customise the live video to match our pre-recorded content. I play various loops of graphic material – things like film noise, burns and color – in ProPresenter on my laptop, and I’ll often key that over the IMAG to best fit the particular mood of a song. For example, Lecrae’s video in the middle of ‘Awake My Soul’ features a lot of lens flares, so when we cut back to live video on all three screens again, I’ll overlay lens flares on the IMAG for visual continuity. And I can just as easily manipulate color, hue, saturation and a bunch of other parameters on the fly, all of which look beautiful up on the big screens. ProPresenter always keeps us looking great.’

TwitterGoogle BookmarksRedditLinkedIn Pin It
Fast-and-Wide.com An independent news site and blog for professional audio and related businesses, Fast-and-Wide.com provides a platform for discussion and information exchange in one of the world's fastest-moving technology-based industries.
Fast Touch:
Author: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Fast Thinking:Marketing:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Web: Latitude Hosting