New York Club Rising

Posted on March 24, 2014

Sooner or later every successful club in Manhattan has to reinvent itself; it’s in the very nature of the ever-changing world of New York nightlife. In most cases, these clubs give themselves a whole new look, and perhaps even a new name – but the owners of Slate wanted to update their club without changing its familiar appearance or famous moniker. So they turned to lighting designer Jason Ayala of Jason Blends who met their request in stunning fashion with some help from the Legend 412 moving head from CHAUVET Professional.

“The owners wanted to rely on a new lighting design to update the club without getting away from its core identity as a legendary night spot,” said Ayala. “We were able to reenergize Slate while still retaining its identity by giving it a complete lighting makeover.”

Before Ayala began his work, Slate had all fixed position lighting, using LEDs and conventional fixtures. “There was no movement, no animation, just stationary lighting, even on the dance floor,” said the New York-based LD. “We had to move past this and create a more dynamic and vibrant lightshow.”

Ayala accomplished this feat by “lining the entire club” with 18 Legend 412 moving heads. “Now when the music goes on, the fixtures start dancing, creating vivid beams of different colors all over the floor.  So it’s become a real dance scene,” he said. “The crowd loves it. People call the club and ask, ‘Are you having your lightshow tonight?’ Everyone involved in Slate couldn’t be happier with the results.”

Using a GrandMA to program the lights at Slate, Ayala controls different zones of Legend 412s to create rolling displays of color throughout the club. “To me, gobos and spots are not as important as the movement of bright colors in a dance floor environment,” he said. “The odds are that people are not going to see these patterns on a crowded dance floor, but they are going to see and feel the rich bold colors of the Legend 412.”

A compact, but high-output moving head fixture with 12 x 10-watt RGBW CREE LEDs, the Legend 412 utilizes white emitters to produce intense richly saturated colors.  The fixture’s smooth rapid movements and dynamic chases, combined with those vivid colors, have made it ideal for Slate’s high-energy environment.  “The Legends are so bright and the colors so smooth and rich that we will use them for color saturation throughout the club at times,” said Ayala.

In addition to the Legend 412, Slate’s new lighting design features two other products from CHAUVET Professional: the Q-Spot 460 LED moving head and the Amhaze II water-based haze machine. “We use the Q-Spot to add texture to the Legend’s light,” said Ayala.   “So we have this nice tight beam with the Legend, then we’ll break it up with dots and lines from the Q-Spot.”

As for the Amhaze II, Ayala declared, “I am in love with it!  We use two Amhaze II units at Slate and operate them at only 30 percent, because their output is so efficient. I get enough haze at 30 percent to highlight the beams without overwhelming the venue. We want haze, but not too much of it. The light from the Legend 412s speaks volumes for itself.”

Based on the enthusiasm for the lightshow on the part of Slate guests, and the feedback Ayala’s received from the club’s owners, when the Legend 412 “speaks for itself,” everyone seems to get swept up in what it says.