Rainer Becker, long-serving LD for legendary German rock band, the Scorpions, has frequently turned to GLP’s evolving impression family of LED heads when designing his touring sets; but he has now gone a step further by becoming the first adopter of the company’s new impression X4 XL moving head for the latest MTV Unplugged series.
Producing an amazing amount of light output, the impression X4 XL uses 55 RGBW LEDs and offers a zoom of 7° to 50°. Providing Becker with ultimate flexibility the fixture works equally well as a narrow beam light — with hard edge capability — or as a smooth wash light with even coverage at wider angles.
It was GLP’s Oliver Schwendke who proposed the impression X4 XL during a production meeting with the LD, along with the band’s video creatives, Günther Jäckle and Hans Otto Richter. “We were discussing content and immediately agreed to use the impression X4 XL for the Unplugged tour,” confirms Becker. “I had been waiting for an LED spotlight with high output — and the impression X4 XL delivers that along with an unbelievable zoom; this fixture is a must on outdoor stages.”
Consequently, six of the impression X4 XL fixtures were positioned along the front edge of the subwoofers, with Becker declaring, “I prefer big effects. They have so much power that if you set the zoom to zero they will hurt people’s eyes so you have to fire them over the heads of the audience.” Literally an ‘over the top’ effect then.
In addition to the aforementioned zoom which Rainer Becker describes as “incredible”, he says, “The built in effects library — the same as the impression X4 — is also very nice, and the patterns are very easy to program.”
The enormous output is based on a fully homogenized RGBW color system with additional variable color temperature control. Also featured are a variable speed electronic strobe, smooth full range dimming, 16-bit pan and tilt and GLP’s trademark stylish baseless design.
MTV Unplugged was originally recorded in August last year in the Greek capital of Athens. “I did the set and lighting design for this show — and based on this, the band asked me to make an adapted arena version,” said the LD. “For the rock shows I always request 30 GLP impression XL in the technical rider wherever possible.” With 240 K2 LEDs, he says this is his ‘go to’ solution when it comes to LED wash lights.
These rock shows also continue to use the G-LEC Phantom video system, part of the GLP portfolio, originally suggested by the Hanover band themselves, and first used by Rainer Becker as far back as 2010.
“For the rock shows the rough appearance of the 30mm display works really well but for the Unplugged show we use 8mm screens, because we have a lot of camera pictures.”
But the stars of MTV Unplugged have unquestionably been the impression X4 XL. While low power draw and lumen efficiency remain the two mainstays of GLP’s impression series the features keep improving in order to remain competitive, he believes. “It seems like whenever GLP launches a new model everyone is trying to design a copy.”
Summing up, Rainer Becker says he has been extremely happy with the debut performances of the impression X4 XL. “The lights looked great the way we used them — as ‘skytrackers’ above the audience — and even the band noticed that we had a new toy.
“I’m looking forward to seeing how they will perform when we use them outdoors, as they can easily replace molefays!”