Photo: Virginia Paralee and Ray Ziegler at one of RZI’s two new Avolites Arena lighting control consoles

The Crescent City has long been known for its spectacular live shows, which will now be even more stunning thanks to RZI Lighting’s recent purchase of not one, but two, brand new Avolites Arena lighting control consoles. The desks are so new, in fact, that RZI has distinguished itself as the first US production company to take delivery of the product, which made its official debut at LDI in October.

RZI Lighting Principal Ray Ziegler said the impetus behind the purchase was due to his company’s rental clients clamoring for the Arena by name. “As a rental house, we rely on our customers to choose the products that we supply; our new Arenas are state-of-the-art control desks and are really designer-requested,” he says.

The company took delivery of the consoles in late November and immediately sent them into action on a large-format show. A number of RZI’s clients also used the desks for their Christmas spectaculars, among other things, Ziegler notes. “Of course, Mardi Gras is also right around the corner and we will be providing gear for the largest balls and events in the city that month, including the Orpheus and Zulu Balls,” he added.

Ziegler praised Avolites for incorporating ideas from working designers and programmers into its hardware and software. “The new Titan 9 software offers many great new features, like key frame shaping, which allows the programmer to quickly make different scenes using the same palettes. I also really like the align feature, which allows the programming on one fixture to be copied to another quickly and effortlessly.”

The Arena’s onboard Ethernet Gig switch made the board an instant favorite for RZI’s clients. “They can plug in the desk, just as any computer, and are immediately networked and running the main console with a backup in place,” Ziegler notes.

In addition to the two new Arena consoles, RZI has numerous other Avolites products in its well-loved rental inventory, including Quartz, Tiger Touch II, Pearl Expert Pro, Expert and Titan Mobile Wing models.

“Having everything on Titan 9 software makes it easy to find a desk that runs the same software that the programmer is used to,” he says. “In a pinch, he or she can slide into a smaller or larger console as needed. If the programmer wants a larger control surface, we can put him in the Arena with 40 faders and 20 Macro buttons. If he wants a smaller control desk, the Quartz is perfect with 10 faders and a compact footprint.’

“Our clients are asking for the all of the fancy bells and whistles, and this desk definitely fits the bill,” Ziegler says, citing the fiber port as another useful upgrade.

Speaking like a brand evangelist, Ziegler adds: “Avolites is provisioning its consoles with some of the best software and hardware upgrades available. Our programmers love the new improvements.”

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