In less than three months, Messe Frankfurt will once again open its doors to the event industry. Companies and professionals from the event industry will meet at Prolight + Sound to network, catch up with old contacts and make new ones, as well as to present the latest innovations and highlights. Syncronorm, manufacturer of high-end multimedia show design software, are regular exhibitors at the trade fair. At Prolight + Sound 2024, Syncronorm’s team of experts will be presenting the company’s latest developments. In an interview with our editorial team, Andre Portmann, Marketing Manager at Syncronorm, gives an overview of the Depence software, which is causing a stir in the industry. We look at the challenges Syncronorm has faced and the technological advances they are bringing to the future of event organisation. A must-read for anyone interested in the latest trends in event technology.
Can you give us a brief overview of Syncronorm? What are the core competences and main objectives of your company?
We, Syncronorm, are a young, highly innovative and future-orientated software company based in Arnsberg. Our core competence lies primarily in the development and distribution of our multimedia show design and visualisation software Depence, which was also successfully used in the world’s largest productions in 2023.
Above all, the Syncronorm team strives for the most realistic representation possible of all show elements such as stage lighting, lasers, water fountains, fireworks and special effects, so that the visualisation is as close to reality as possible. This is also reflected in our core competences of providing our customers with a unique software product that enables them to bring their visions to life easily and effectively.
How has the multimedia control and visualisation industry evolved in recent years, and how has Syncronorm responded to this?
In recent years, our entire industry has been confronted with a wide variety of challenges. This relates not only to the Covid pandemic, which has made it almost impossible to realise live shows as we know them, but also to various cuts in the energy and equipment sector. As a result, visualisation systems have become even more important for the show industry, as a system like Depence has made it possible to implement stage designs and virtual shows even during a ‘crisis’.
The realisation of virtual productions as well as the pre-planning and design of stage shows for a time after the crisis was a core aspect of our business developments. The Syncronorm team has therefore invested a lot of time and effort in perfecting the visualisation, has always been in contact with the community and has oriented the development process on the basis of our customers’ projects and has developed and implemented the necessary features accordingly. Now that we can all enjoy the opportunity to celebrate life at festivals, concerts and other cultural events again, it is particularly pleasing for us that our Depence community continues to grow and that some of the most spectacular live productions have been created with the help of our software, especially in the last two years. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have continued to believe in our industry and have never given up.
What significance does the Prolight + Sound trade fair have for Syncronorm?
As in previous years, Prolight + Sound will continue to be an important meeting place and hub for the event industry in 2024. As a German company, it is not only a unique event in the centre of Europe, but above all an absolute must-attend event due to the internationality of the audience and exhibitors. We are therefore looking forward to seeing many new and familiar faces again and to making Prolight + Sound 2024 a complete success.
What are the most important updates in the latest version of Depence? In particular, how do features such as AmbientLight and Decals improve the user experience?
The current Depence version is the free R3.1 update for all Depence R3 users, which comes with numerous new features and improvements. The update was specially developed for the realisation of extremely large show projects and makes it possible to use 1024 DMX universes. At the same time, the real-time performance has been significantly improved and the internal loading times have also been shortened considerably with the update. In addition, some new features have found their way into the software, such as the AmbientLight, the decal function, the option to update MVRs and OSC support.
The AmbientLight provides an even more realistic representation of scenes. Designers are now able to play even more with indirect lighting and show dark scenes in a completely new light. The AmbientLight function is calculated in real time and is basically an approximation of the real behaviour of dynamic indirect light sources.
Scenes can also be designed in even greater detail using the Decal feature. The new tool allows PBR (physical based rendering) textures to be placed in the existing scene, making it easy to place signs, labelling or wear and tear effects on objects or surfaces. In principle, the Decal Tool can be used with all imported 3D models.
How have you improved performance for large projects with more than 2000 fixtures, and what does this mean for users working with large scenes?
With the Depence Update R3.1, Syncronorm offer a unique show software that allows projects with more than 2000 fixtures to be realised. This means nothing less than making breathtaking productions such as this year’s Eurovision Song Contest 2023 possible, for which Syncronorm has provided exclusive hands-on support, in which the performance of the software was further developed in parallel so that such a project could be implemented in the pre-visualisation in the first place. Users can therefore benefit directly from this development. Depence supports the use of 1024 DMX universes via ArtNET, sACN or the GrandMA3 Vizkey, which allows an enormous variety in the approach to creating such large projects.
How does the new MVR update work? How does it facilitate the updating of show designs and models?
Using the MVR update function, files of type MVR, such as those used in Vectorworks software, can be reloaded into the existing Depence Project. For example, the patching can be updated or the position of lamps can be subsequently adjusted. Fixtures can also be added or removed using this function; the same applies to the geometry of the scene, which can also be added, removed or updated again.
What new indoor firework effects have been added and how can they be used in theatres and indoor events?
Some of the new indoor firework effects that can be visualised with the help of Depence are indoor comets, bouquets, jets, normal comets, gerbs and mines, which can be used in a wide variety of stage scenarios. They can be used to add these effects to visualisation projects for indoor events and theatre.
How can users use OSC commands to trigger events or control objects in 3D? What new possibilities does this open up?
The use of OSC commands (Open Sound Control) makes it possible, for example, to connect to external programmes such as CuePilot to trigger camera movements. These OSC commands can be created in the Depence logic module and can be used for a wide variety of trigger events.
How does the direct reporting of library problems within the software work and how does this improve the support process?
The new reporting function for the Syncronorm Fixture Library makes it possible to quickly and easily report any problems directly to our support team. This not only makes the support process much easier, as important information can be sent directly, but also shortens the communication channels so that our team can react even faster to errors and problems
What are the advantages of the new CSV export for show timelines, and how can this data be used in other applications?
The CSV export enables the output of start and end times of various events from the Depence Show Timeline. The CSV export can be used to output a file that can also be used for Explo fireworks systems, for example.
What can visitors to your stand at Prolight + Sound 2024 look forward to in particular?
Following the extremely successful release of the Depence R3.1 software version, we will be announcing some other particularly exciting news at the upcoming Prolight + Sound 2024. We look forward to welcoming old friends as well as new faces at our new stand E61 in hall 12.0!