ADJ lights up The Voice Nigeria

A selection of ADJ lighting fixtures have been utilised to produce the fourth season of The Voice Nigeria. A mixture of recently released luminaires, including the feature-packed Focus Profile and ultra-compact Focus Flex L7, were combined with older models, including the best-selling Vizi Beam RXONE and versatile Vizi CMY300. Over 100 fixtures of six different types, covered a variety of duties, including key light, back light, aerial effects and background ‘eye candy’. Beating out other premium brands, ADJ fixtures were selected for the production due to their performance, reliability, and affordability.

As with other versions of the international reality TV franchise, The Voice Nigeria features aspiring singers performing ‘blind’ auditions to a panel of industry experts. If they hear a voice they like, the panel can press a button to spin their chair and signal their interest in coaching the singer through the rest of the series. If more than one button is pressed, the contestant is able to choose their preferred coach. Following the auditions, the successful contestants progress through battle, knock out and finally live performance rounds over the coming episodes, mentored by their chosen coach. The series ends with public voting during the live stage, leading to the crowning of a single winner who leaves with a recording contract.

Lighting plays an important role in the overall aesthetic of the series. Each musical performance has its own look, designed to accentuate the atmosphere and emotion of the chosen song, while good key light is obviously essential to ensure that contestants and coaches alike look their best on camera. The ADJ Lighting fixtures used for production of this series were supplied by Nigerian ADJ dealer Showgear Limited. This was the company’s first involvement with The Voice Nigeria, a relationship that began months previously when Showgear’s MD and Lead Engineer, Christian Akinyemi, worked with show’s Music Director, Wilson Okafor, on a live concert production.

“That meeting opened up a conversation with Mr Okafor,” explains Showgear’s COO, Adeola Akinyemi, “about The Voice Nigeria and Christian recommended ADJ Lighting for the upcoming series. He explained that ADJ could cover all the wide range of lighting fixtures that would be needed for the production at a price that would fit within the budget. From there we had various discussions back and forth with the set and lighting designers. They requested fixture types and we advised on which ADJ models would do exactly what they wanted. This process went well, but it took a long time to get everything finalized, which meant when the order was confirmed we didn’t have long to deliver the equipment to the studio. Fortunately, Jos [Reulen, ADJ Europe’s Export Manager] was able to help us make sure everything we needed arrived on time.”

Once the equipment was on site, the Lighting Engineer, Mr Godwin Emefe, who is a very experienced designer and engineer, coordinated the setup, together with Showgear’s technical team, utilizing the various ADJ products all around the studio. A key fixture on the rig was the new Focus Profile, the flagship model of ADJ’s Focus Series of compact LED-powered automated luminaires. Featuring a potent 400W LED engine capable of delivering an output of 20,000 lumens, it boasts an extensive collection of beam shaping tools, including CMY + CTO color mixing, a 4-blade framing system, two GOBO wheels, an animation wheel and two rotating prisms. On the set of The Voice Nigeria, 10 of these fixtures were rigged to the studio grid at various positions above the stage.

“The Focus Profile is my new favorite fixture,” enthused Godwin, “it is a very cool light. I was able to use it as a very versatile key light, that could point wherever the performers were. The framing shutter blades are very good and allowed me to shape the light exactly how I wanted it to be. It is a beautiful, bright fixture that did exactly what I wanted it to do. It is just as good as other profiles from big name brands that cost much more. I have been looking for a smaller alternative to the Robe MBFL and the Focus Profile is perfect, it has similar functionality, but is not too big.”

Another new fixture that was used as part of the studio lighting setup was the Focus Flex L7. This builds on the success of the original Focus Flex – ADJ’s compact, quick, and punchy LED wash-zoom moving head luminaire. The L7 version features the same casing design and feature set as the original, however this new model incorporates 4-in-1 red, green, blue, and lime LEDs to deliver both increased output and a higher CRI. It features seven potent 40-watt RGBL color mixing LEDs, which can each be controlled individually to allow for pixel mapping effects. The fixture is capable of generating both wide washes and narrow beam effects thanks to its motorized zoom function, which allows the beam to be altered remotely between a wide 55-degree and narrow 6-degree field angle.

“A cool light,” is how Godwin describes the Focus Flex L7. “The LEDs are very bright, and it is great for creating pixel effects. I also used it on the show in its beam mode, which is very punchy. It’s a small fixture, which meant that it could blend into the background when not in use but really make its presence felt when activated. I had them arranged at various heights along the rear trusses, which was a good place both for the pixel and beam effects.”

To create visual effects in the background of both the performance stage and the coach’s chair area, 16 of ADJ’s vibrant Dotz Matrix wash panels were deployed. Each of these potent fixtures feature a 4 by 4 grid of pixel mappable 30W colour-mixing RGB COB LEDs. They are ideal both for generating ‘eye candy’ effects, which is how they were utilized by Godwin, as well as to serve as audience blinders. Also providing background color effects, deployed on the same angled trusses as the Focus Flex L7s, were numerous ADJ Ultra LB18 linear LED fixtures. Featuring 18 x 10W 5-in-1 colour mixing LEDs (red, green, blue, amber & lime) and a beam angle of 17 x 40-degrees, these are powerful and versatile linear washes.

“I was impressed by the Ultra LB18 LED bars,” commented Godwin, “the colour mixing is especially nice, and they are very very bright. I think I was only running them at 20% brightness for most of the show! I used them for background chase effects but also as backlights to add nice vibrant colours to the set, which worked very well.”

To create GOBO projections and mid-air beam effects behind the performers, Godwin utilized ADJ’s versatile Vizi CMY300 hybrid luminaires. Offering interchangeable beam, spot or wash functionality, this flexible fixture combines a 300W LED engine with an expansive collection of beam-shaping features, including CMY colour mixing, two GOBO wheels and two rotating prisms. In addition, ADJ’s extremely compact, yet impressively powerful, Vizi Beam RXONE dedicated beam fixtures were positioned behind the line of rotating coach’s chairs to general aerial effects in the haze behind.

Finally, multiple ADJ D4 Branch RM rack-mountable DMX booster/splitter devices were used to facilitate the distribution of control signals throughout the studio. Each of these compact units feature DMX input and thru connections in addition to four independent DMX outputs that are electronically isolated from each other to ensure uninterrupted data. Both 3-pin and 5-pin sockets are included for each of these, allowing integration into any DMX-512 system. Signal amplifiers inside the unit boost each of the four outputs, while a Link Out / Terminate button and signal LEDs for each of the four outputs aid with setup and trouble shooting.

Together, the various fixtures combined to provide a versatile rig that allowed Godwin lots of creative potential to generate a wide variety of different looks for the series’ numerous musical performances, while also ensuring contestants and coaches alike were well illuminated for the cameras. This was the Lighting Designer’s first experience of using ADJ equipment, however it was an extremely positive on, and he hopes that it won’t be his last.

“This was my first time using ADJ fixtures,” Godwin confirmed, “and I have been very impressed. They were bright, had all the necessary features and did the jobs I needed them to do. I am used to working with fixtures from brands like Robe and Clay Paky and I have to say that these ADJ fixtures were on a similar level as far as I’m concerned. I look forward to working with ADJ fixtures again on future projects!”