The new Avolites Pearl Tiger lighting control was launched in the UK at PLASA 2007. The price tag brought the idea of owning an Avolites lighting control within reach of a new budget market. On Stage Lighting looks at the features of the Avo Pearl Tiger Moving Light Controller and “the Avolites way” for anyone who doesn’t really know much about the Pearl.
If you asked a load of “lampies” to tell you all about the Avolites Pearl Tiger you would get this answer:
“It’s a baby Pearl, mate, with less faders on it!”
Great, but not very helpful if you don’t know much about Avolites desks. So let’s stop talking about the Pearl and look at the features of the Tiger…
Conventional Lighting Control
The Pearl Tiger gives you control of up to 4 DMX universes of soft patched channel control that can be used for conventional dimmers. Using the Tiger to control dimmers is a simple as pushing up an fader and playback is very flexible using multiple pages (the roller) of 10 submaster faders. Channels also have the usual Flash and Solo buttons and lighting chases are easily recorded and played back on the Tiger’s submaster faders.
A theatre stack control and Go can be used to run your show, but most Avolites fans avoid using the desk in this way. Theatre Stack control misses the point of the Pearl Tiger, but is there for those that want it.
Moving Light Control
The Pearl Tiger can control up to 240 intelligent fixtures such as moving lights, LED colour mixing lights and even complex media servers for video projection. The best thing about an Avolites control is the “hands on” approach with faders and buttons that you can grab during your show and make changes as necessary. This is also pretty useful for plotting/programming during rehearsals.
Using groups and manipulating pallettes (the building block of intelligent lighting programming) is a easy using the many buttons on the Tiger, with contextual soft buttons whose functions change labeled on the micro screen. Keeping control of the many attributes of your moving lights is pretty simple and the desk has capabilities way beyond most of the shows it will ever need to do.
The ability to “busk” a whole show, having programmed a series of building blocks such as colours, gobos, moves and chases, is where the Pearl Tiger beats any desk of it’s size hands down.
The Shape Generator enables you to quickly build lighting effects using a great “quick and dirty” interface. Programming sweeps , circles and colour rainbows is pretty tiresome using “old fashioned” techniques and the generator makes it quick and easy. You can even playback these shapes, live, at different sizes and speeds depending on your submaster fader position.
At the centre of the “Avolites Way” is the Roller. Nothing more than a moving surface that controls the playback pages, Avolites operators everywhere like nothing better than being able to draw descriptive icons on a piece of tape with a Sharpie marker to remind them what each fader does. Simplicity itself. And if you think the “tape and marker” technique is old fashioned in the age of the microchip, next time you are squinting at a dirty keyboard trying to work out what name to give that gobo look – think again.
Control Your Shows
The latest generation of Avolites desk’s have the ability to save and recall more than one show, either using the internal drive or a USB stick. If you have recurring rigs and shows this is much better than carrying a bag full of Floppy Disks, some of which got broken during the last get-out. All the available moving light personalities are stored on the desk – another bonus if you change shows more times than your underwear.
The Pearl Tiger show files are also compatible with the Pearl 2004/2008 and the Pearl Expert, making it easy to transfer to another hired in/borrowed Avo desk.
If you need to leave your show in the hands of script files, Midi or timecode playback, these are all supported if you feel the need to get the console to live your “Avolife” for you.
The Avolites Pearl Tiger is a professional moving light controller, disguised in a small box. It has the features, build quality and interface. It also has an army of ready-made fans, in the form of serial Pearl users, and even a decent instruction manual.
A large proportion of the stage lighting world would agree that you can’t get a more flexible lighting desk than an Avo and the “buskability” of the original Pearl is second to none. The Tiger is not a cheapy cheap lighting control but as a baby of “grown up” lighting control family, this cub is pretty hard to ignore.
You might also be interested in the our Stage Lighting Control section.