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Build Your Own Music Entertainment Show

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  • astrofreak57
    Greetings fellow fulldomers, As many of you know, we ve been producing music entertainment shows for our digital dome system since we opened the Clark
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 3, 2010
      Greetings fellow fulldomers,

      As many of you know, we've been producing music entertainment shows for our digital dome system since we opened the Clark Planetarium back in 2003. I thought some of you might be interested in how far our music shows have evolved since then.

      Our first show was "Cosmic Rock Hall of Fame" and had a classic rock oriented playlist. We produced it using mostly video playback. Only a few sections used Digistar's real time capabilities (both scripted and live using two joysticks). At the time, we noticed that these real time sections added both variety and freshness to the show and made each performance a unique experience.

      Within a year, we added three laser heads at the *front* of the theater for beam effects (not just graphics, as was done in the past). The audiences loved it, especially the way it complemented the video. It was such a success that we soon added DMX-programmable intelli-lights, behind-the-dome effects and programmable LED cove lights. Our patrons responded by coming back more often just to see what had changed.

      We then furthered this "change and variety" concept by adding more songs for them to choose from for each show. The audience could now select its own play list and take a more active role in customizing their entertainment experience. To reflect this change, we renamed the show "Rock on Demand." It now has over 70 minutes worth of content for each audience to choose from. Songs are selected for each performance through either audience polling (via buttons on the armrests) or through interaction with the Show Presenter. Every song or two, the Presenter encourages them to pick a selection "on the fly" — a "VJ" approach if you will. These modifications extended the useful lifetime of the show from nine months to two years!

      Building on this approach, we opened our latest show last summer. "Alternative X" features a combination of progressive, alternative and modern rock bands. Like "Rock on Demand," it also combines both linear playback and real time effects. This time, however, we made a conscious effort to concentrate a little more on the real-time content than on the pre-rendered playback. This was made possible by training a number of our Show Presenters (now called "Show Techs") in both show scripting and live-performance skills. What we achieved was even more variety and contrast for each performance, and audiences have been overwhelmingly enthusiastic! The crowds are livelier and repeat business is up.

      Our library of video playback clips for "Alt-X" will be available soon, but I want to announce that we will also be making a much LARGER library of video content available for customized light show use. With this content, you can edit together your own music light shows. Since more and more people in the digital dome industry are comfortable with editing external content, it's now easy for anyone to create their own music light show and feature any band or theme they want. We've found that with careful editing, we can match our content to almost any piece of music we choose.

      The shows we've done so far ("Rock on Demand," "Entranced," "Sounds of the Underground," "U2" and "Alt-X") contain over four hours of playback video. To showcase this content, we're producing a sampler DVD that we will soon be able to ship out to anyone who is interested. But until it's done, you can check out descriptions, sample images and a short demo at:


      Go to the "Shows" pulldown, find "Fulldome Shows," and select "Build Your Own Light Show." And please feel free to contact us with any questions.

      More to come later!

      Mike Murray
      Programs Manager
      Clark Planetarium
      110 South 400 West
      Salt Lake City, UT 84101
      (801) 456-4949
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