‘Raiding the Rock Vault’ Returns to Las Vegas with an Avolites-Controlled Rig

by Frank Hammel
in News
Photo by Erik Nielsen / Raiding the Rock Vault
Photo by Erik Nielsen / Raiding the Rock Vault

LAS VEGAS — LD Robert Pick is using Avolites’ Tiger Touch II console for a new version of Raiding the Rock Vault, which opened March 11 for a six-month run at Vinyl, located inside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Production designer/programmer LD Paul Dexter specified the console, supplied by Toucan Productions of Oklahoma City.

More details from Avolites (www.avolites.com):

Produced by Sir Harry Cowell, the popular production tells the story of classic rock with all-star rockers who play the hits from legendary rock bands such as The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Queen, U2, Aerosmith, Van Halen and many others.

Production designer/programmer LD Paul Dexter specified the Tiger Touch II console, supplied by Toucan Productions of Oklahoma City. Dexter, a self-professed “Avolites guy,” says the console’s features were beneficial in programming the multiple levels of lighting, lasers and video that the production requires—using just one console.

“Vinyl had multiple events scheduled, so we didn’t have any time for programming,” Dexter explains. “We barely had enough time to put our production in. So I patched the house system and the extra production lighting and programmed it on the Capture Visualizer software that is in the desk.”

Lighting Designer Robert Pick, who ran last year’s Raiding the Rock Vault at the Tropicana, is running the show on the Avolites console for the production’s duration. When Dexter showed him this year’s Tiger Touch II, Pick admits, “I’ve never touched an Avolites console before this. I told Paul to give me a few minutes and I would figure it out. And I was right—it’s so easy to learn! It was all laid out, of course, and Paul had it programmed, all set up, so it’s all right there. It was so easy.”

Pick says it’s typical in Las Vegas for producers to keep operating costs as low as possible—and this meant that he had to run lights, video and lasers all from one desk. He did it as well at the Tropicana last year, assimilating the duties of two other crewmembers that would otherwise be hired to run video and lasers.

“It’s an hour and a half show, and it keeps you busy running. There are separate laptops for the video and for the lasers and they are linked together. Everything’s connected, and everything’s happening at the same time, so you have to be attentive,” Pick notes.

Pick quickly became friends with the Tiger Touch II, he explains. “You don’t have to type a lot of syntax into the command line. Everything is good to go. It’s a rock and roll on-the-fly board—everything’s sliders and bumps. I started out doing concerts and that’s how Paul wanted to do this show, to run it like a concert.”

Raiding the Rock Vault is dark on Thursday and Friday nights, so the set is struck to accommodate other events in the intimate Vinyl venue. “Because the console is small, compact and lightweight, I can carry it out easily when we’re not running a show,” Pick adds.

Avolites’ updated Tiger Touch II offers enhanced features over its previous version—its screen brightness is boosted by 100 percent, its processing power is pumped up, and its graphics engine offers faster service.

At Toucan Productions, Robin Alvis says they’ve been using a range of Avolites consoles since the early 1990s: “The Tiger Touch II is easy to program. As a business owner, Avo is the best thing for your buck. Its reliability is fantastic, and it’s a great console all around.”

Raiding the Rock Vault is currently scheduled to run through the end of July, with a possible extension. For more details on the show, visit www.raidingtherockvault.com. Toucan Productions can likewise be found online at www.toucanproductions.net.