XL Video supplies Soft-LED for Basement Jaxx

Sept. 20, 2005
Flexible LED drapes offer a practical alternative to heavy video screens for concert touring.
Basement Jaxx XL Video has supplied a 120 square metre Soft-LED backdrop for the summer tour of one of the UK’s most superlative live dance acts, Basement Jaxx. This was specified by the band’s lighting designer Jonathan Armstrong (aka Leggy). Basement Jaxx have always had a strong and innovative video element to their shows, he explains, and this time they wanted to try something new.

The Soft-LED was used as a giant canvas to produce anything from massive coloured lightsource looks to oscillating patterns, text messages and an exciting, very bright, kaleidoscopic collage of images.

XL Video was the first UK company to invest in this revolutionary product from Mainlight Industries in the US. XL has also supplied it to LD Vince Foster for Kylie’s “Showgirl” tour and for numerous live business events.

Soft-LED close-up

Soft-LED is a flexible drape covered with a mesh of LED emitters. It enables the creation of dynamic artwork and effects and brings stages and presentation environments alive with real-time colour and movement. The technology uses a combination of custom-designed LED grids, cutting edge fibre optics, and specialised processing technology to display designs and graphics on plush, high-quality black drapery.

The drape offers considerable practical advantages, especially compared with touring with a heavy video screen system, the weight of which invariably means bringing in extra rigging or using ground support. However, Leggy said that it takes about 15 minutes to de-rig and pack away at the end of the show and approximately an hour to rig and hook up in the afternoon.

The Soft-LED can be run via any DMX lighting desk, and Leggy used a Hippotiser digital media server as the source of his effects, triggered via his WholeHog II lighting console.

In addition to the Soft-LED, Leggy used PixelLine LED battens, Studio Beam PC moving lights, strobes and 8 vertical truss towers onstage, covered in ‘socks’ made from back projection material.