Among the things that have made The Voice such a runaway international hit is that every country seems to find its own unique way of enhancing the show, adding a local feeling to what has become a global phenomenon.
This is evident looking at A Voz de Portugal, the Portuguese version of The Voice. In 2011, it introduced a rule change that allowed viewers to vote back losers of battle rounds for live shows. This year the Lisbon-based show raised its game again, by taking pixel mapping on its set to a new level with the Nexus 4 x4 LED panel from Chauvet Professional.
Marco Silva, lighting designer and programmer for A Voz de Portugal, used 28 Nexus 4 x 4 panels to create a stunning front stage façade, which he had pixel mapped by Joao Canoso of FX – Road Lights. Working with an Mbox Studio media server, Canoso created a design that coordinated with the 6 millimetre LED upstage video wall.
“The pixel mapped Nexus panels created a bold and attractive look that fit the spirit of A Voz de Portugal. This programme celebrates the talent, effort and passion of the participants, and the lighting display helped us add to that celebration; it created an aura of stardom on the set. Sometimes we used the same video images on the LED wall and the Nexus panels, which really achieved this aura effect thanks to the LED projection on the unit’s reflectors,’ says Silva.
Silva is also impressed with the versatility of the Nexus panels: “We fit them on the rig, like we did with other fixtures, so that each had its own job and its own look.’
There are several different segments on The Voice, and the Nexus panels play a specific role in each of them, according to Silva. On the blind segments, the panels serve as bright horizontal stage borders; on the battle and the knock out segments the panels are positioned on the floor.
The most dramatic use of the panels comes on the live segment of the show. “We mount the panels vertically for the live shots,’ says Silva. “They’re mounted on two 7-meter towers on both sides of the stage. This gives us a great look for the close-ups of the contestants. Then when we go for wider shots, the Nexus creates this impressive gigantic blinder effect.’
On the live segments of the show, Silva complements the 28 Nexus 4×4 panels with 48 COLORdash Batten-Hex 8 linear wash fixtures and 48 COLORado 1-Quad Tour RGBW LED par-style fixtures, also from Chauvet Professional. The Chauvet fixtures were supplied by Garrett Audiovisuais of Carnaxide, in Portugal.
Powered by eight hex-color RGBAW+UV LEDs, the COLORdash Batten-Hex 8 produces a wide variety of whites, bold colours and brilliant ultraviolet, which make it ideally suited for this multi-faceted broadcast application.
When asked how he transitions from segment to segment on A Voz de Portugal, Silva explains that the blind audition segments want to be low keyed with the light so that it distract from the mentors and their interaction with the singers, so there is no movement from the moving lights, but at the same time it needs to create subtle cues to distinguish each performer. When the live segment comes, the lights capture the high energy enthusiasm of the program.
The lighting display designed by Silva succeeded in supporting the different segments of the program. “Portugal may not be big in terms of audience numbers, but we take pride in having a creative impact on The Voice,’ concludes Silva.