The past year was a very special one for Roland Kaiser. Not only did the pop star celebrate his 70th birthday, 2022 was also a complete success professionally. Sold-out concerts, number 1 in the album charts and countless prizes and awards defined the last year.

Control of the spotlights by zactrack SMART System

Since October 2022, Roland Kaiser has been touring Germany, Austria and Switzerland on a big birthday tour with his current album “Perspektiven” and many well-known hits. For 16 years now, gruppe20 Veranstaltungstechnik GmbH & Co. KG.

Under the direction of Boris Zernikow and his team, they equip the concerts with lighting and rigging. This time, they also have a zactrack SMART tracking system in their luggage, in addition to the already numerous Martin MAC moving lights.

With the zactrack SMART system, five artists can be tracked fully automatically on stage with eight moving lights. The artists wear small transmitters (approx. 35 x 60 x 10 mm), so-called zactrack trackers, which transmit the exact position data of the artists at all times to a total of eleven zactrack anchors (antennas) installed on the stage. The zactrack SMART Server then processes this position data to control the spotlights.

Lighting setup

For automated tracking of the lighting setup, two Martin MAC Ultra Performance fixtures were mounted on a custom-built truss above FOH. These take over the function of the front light for Roland Kaiser. In addition, two MAC Viper Wash DXs were used as alley lights for the singer, and four MAC Viper Wash DXs were mounted on the curved front truss for four musicians.

In a circular truss construction above the centre of the stage, a further twelve MAC Ultra Performance are mounted as a so-called “crown”. These form a visual focal point in the set design.

Lighting designer Andreas Kisters also uses 20 Martin MAC Aura PXL LED washlights with individual pixel control.

The assignment of the lamps patched in the zactrack system to the individual artists is done via corresponding channels and cues in the lighting console. Which functions are controlled by the console and which by the zactrack system is stored in the zactrack SMART server.

On this basis, the SMART server merges the commands and sends them back to the lighting system. The Anchor and the monitoring PC are wired via the zacNET network, the connection between the main and backup servers and the lighting desk is via sACN.

Although this was the first time the gruppe20 team had used a zactrack system, the SMART system took only one day to set up in the run-up to the tour. All components were labelled and configured after the test setup and the lamps were patched into the zactrack system. In the respective halls, the zactrack system is set up by aligning the antennas and moving lights with the help of four zactrack SMART Pucks conveniently via a tablet connected to the zactrack server via W-LAN.

Training by Lightpower

The employees of gruppe20 Veranstaltungstechnik GmbH & Co. KG from Augsburg were instructed in the zactrack SMART system in advance by the manufacturer, the company Lightpower, explains Klaus Mayer, managing director of gruppe20 Veranstaltungstechnik GmbH & Co. KG from Augsburg.

“During the tour, our system technicians Fabian Meckel and Philipp Matt took care of controlling the system without any support in addition to their other tasks.”

The Roland Kaiser tour is the first production for the gruppe20 team where you have used the zactrack system, and definitely not the last.

“zactrack is an extremely flexible system and is not only suitable for chase automation, but also for creative show effects. The  system is well thought out, offers countless possibilities as well as good software that allows you to set up, monitor and control the system wonderfully. In addition, it offers added safety, for example, to replace trussfollows”. Klaus Mayer explains enthusiastically.