Allen Productions

by PLSN Staff • in
  • Company 411
• Created: August 7, 2014
Along with lighting, Allen Analian can provide DJ services. Photo by Royal Gor

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Allen Analian’s zeal for electronics is, well, electric. “Everything today involves electronics, and electrical engineering is the basis for the advance of technology,” he exclaims. “For me, I see a lot of interconnectedness in the world across all industries through electronics, from simple toys to supercomputers. With an electronics background, you can just about build anything!”

As early as age 8, Analian showed a preternatural gift for creative tinkering and handling tools that was nurtured by his grandfather, who owned a large factory, and by his father, who was in the automotive electronics business. By age 11, he was working with 120-volt mains. Learning quickly through experience, research and seeking out experts, by his late teens, he was doing consulting work for large lighting and production companies.

At the Bellaire Banquet Hall in North Hollywood, the lighting complements an aquarium dance floor.Meanwhile, he began creating his own lighting designs and installations, even making his own LED strip and bar products and controllers for them. “I was always interested in lighting as a kid,” he recalls. “I started doing it when there was almost no DMX lighting products. Everything was just about PAR can- and dimmer-based, then the first scanners and moving heads emerged, then the lighting products for DJs appeared. I progressed along with the technology up to today’s complex microprocessors and programming. Before, LED lighting products didn’t have good color mixing because they used single-hue lamps, often with unattractive results. Now there are tricolor RGB LED chips in which each chip has three colors for consistent blending.”

An Eclectic Menu of Services

Final testing at the Metropol hall in Glendale, CATiring of the anonymity of the subcontracting life and feeling that he had a lot more to offer, Analian founded his own company in the early 2000s. Allen Productions, based in Pomona, CA (about 30 miles east of Los Angeles) now offers a diverse menu of electronics services and products, including custom lighting gear (moving heads, LEDs, lasers, atmospheric effects, etc.), hardware and software development, web applications, building and industrial automation, motion control and robotics programming and surveillance design and installation. Analian’s 15 to 25 large jobs per year have ranged from luxury estates, banquet halls and hotels to exotic cars and yachts. The company is also an American dealer for Elation and American DJ products.

What should the novice customer look for in a lighting design vendor? “It depends on the customer,” Analian says. “If you break down everything into its simple components, everyone’s gear is about the same. DMX is DMX, lighting is lighting. Except in LED products, there isn’t much coming out that’s totally new and out of this world. In installations, just about anyone can pull wire. That’s the easy part. It’s the creativity and service that distinguish one company from another. Some people’s first instinct is to go by price alone, while others concentrate on quality. We like to concentrate on customers looking for a high-quality installation. If you shop only by price, you may find things aren’t working properly during your special event, LEDs are burning out left and right, there are odd color variations that are ruining the photos and videos people are taking, and so forth. It looks bad for the venue, for the attendees and for the installer.”

Aiming for the High End

While he finds no job too small, Analian is hoping to expand his company gradually to take on larger and larger high-end projects requiring specialized custom work, especially for nightclubs and hotels in Las Vegas and Europe. He is also interested in the synchronization of lighting and sound for musical performances, citing Brian Hartley’s work with the Trans Siberian Orchestra as the best in show. “Everything is perfectly timed to the music, the triggers. It’s amazing!”

For now, being a small company allows Allen Productions to be very nimble and responsive, to be attentive to detail and to finely manage projects without having to go through several organizational layers. “We can personally tailor products for our clients,” Analian explains. “If a quality product doesn’t exist to do the job, we will make it. It’s one of our specialties. We’ve never said something cannot be done.” For example, Allen Productions’ LED strips are waterproof and use specially formulated silicon that resists ultraviolet rays so they won’t yellow in extreme sunlight conditions, making them ideal for both indoor and outdoor applications, even pools and fountains.

Posh Projects So Far

At Bellaire Banquet Hall, a posh event hall in North Hollywood, CA that features such accouterments as a transparent dance floor over an aquarium stocked with live fish, Analian used a dozen Elation moving heads, then designed and built the LED strips, the controllers and DMX decoders that could handle 20-amp loads per channel. Working with a company called Diamond Automation, Allen Productions made it possible to control all of the building’s functions — event lighting, house lighting, air conditioning, etc. — from a single iPad.

“True engineering goes into all of our installations,” says Analian. “We literally do the math, for example calculating the voltage drops for our LED setups so that the colors and brightness are exactly as specified at every point of the site. We do a lot of R&D to make our installations perfect.”

Allen Productions also helped update the look of the Metropol Millennium Classic Banquet Hall in Glendale, CA. “The building had been renovated completely, and we did all the LED accent lighting and moving head installation. The accent lighting was installed in the bride and groom’s room, in the entrance, and finally in the main hall of the venue,” says Analian.

The main room was transformed with about 4,000 linear feet of custom-fabricated RGB LED strips. They wrapped the whole room, running under each section of wall from column to column. Allen Productions also played a key role with the 28 custom DMX-controlled LED chandeliers that were fabricated on site.

“We installed 10 moving heads [Elation Platinum Spot 5Rs] in a linear fashion,” Analian says. “All the lighting is controlled in a centralized manner by Sunlite Suite 2 made by Nicolaudie.” Allen Productions also provided a Lutron Electronics automation system that lets the house lighting system in the renovated rooms and the building as a show be controlled via an iOS device such as an iPad or iPhone.

For more information on Allen Productions, visit www.allen.dj.

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