On Tour with Katy Perry

Witness​ ​RC4Magic​ ​on​ ​Tour​ ​with​ ​Katy​ ​Perry

2017   Katy​ ​Perry’s​ ​“Witness:​ ​The​ ​Tour”​ ​is​ ​more​ ​than​ ​just​ ​a​ ​concert​ ​production;​ ​it’s​ ​a​ ​kooky​ ​and creative​ ​journey​ ​that​ ​includes​ ​dancing​ ​eyeballs,​ ​giant​ ​insects,​ ​a​ ​massive​ ​inflatable​ ​hand​ ​and even​ ​a​ ​flight​ ​through​ ​space,​ ​courtesy​ ​of​ ​Saturn.​ ​It​ ​all​ ​reflects​ ​Perry’s​ ​personality,​ ​and​ ​it​ ​should, since​ ​Perry​ ​is​ ​directly​ ​involved​ ​in​ ​the​ ​design.​ ​“Katy’s​ ​productions​ ​are​ ​always​ ​amazing,​ ​and​ ​she invariably​ ​has​ ​something​ ​new​ ​and​ ​challenging​ ​to​ ​achieve.​ ​​ ​

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‘Witness:​ ​The​ ​Tour’​ ​is​ ​using​ ​our​ ​new RC4Magic​ ​Series​ ​3​ ​SX​ ​software,​ ​which​ ​makes​ ​LEDs​ ​in​ ​props​ ​and​ ​costumes​ ​even​ ​more pleasing​ ​to​ ​the​ ​eye,​ ​thanks​ ​to​ ​our​ ​exclusive​ ​19-bit​ ​per​ ​color​ ​wireless​ ​dimming,”​ ​says​ ​James David​ ​Smith,​ ​President​ ​and​ ​Chief​ ​Developer​ ​at​ ​RC4​ ​Wireless,​ ​headquartered​ ​in​ ​Raleigh,​ ​NC. RC4​ ​has​ ​been​ ​working​ ​with​ ​Perry​ ​since​ ​her​ ​California​ ​Dreams​ ​Tour​ ​in​ ​2011.   RC4​ ​Wireless​ ​technology​ ​is​ ​there​ ​along​ ​for​ ​the​ ​ride​ ​with​ ​Perry​ ​as​ ​she​ ​works​ ​her​ ​way​ ​through​ ​her somewhat​ ​surreal,​ ​planet-hopping​ ​adventure.​

When​ ​Katy​ ​struts​ ​out​ ​on​ ​stage​ ​during​ ​“Déjà​ ​Vu”​ ​– surrounded​ ​by​ ​a​ ​massive​ ​stylized​ ​Venus​ ​flytrap--​ ​she’s​ ​wearing​ ​an​ ​LED-infused​ ​beret, illuminated​ ​by​ ​Tom​ ​Talmon​ ​of​ ​Tom​ ​Talmon​ ​Studio,​ ​based​ ​in​ ​Los​ ​Angeles.​ ​“I’m​ ​fairly​ ​new​ ​to​ ​RC4 gear;​ ​back​ ​in​ ​the​ ​day,​ ​I​ ​used​ ​to​ ​tinker​ ​and​ ​try​ ​to​ ​find​ ​ways​ ​to​ ​do​ ​things​ ​with​ ​my​ ​electronics experience.​ ​I’ve​ ​always​ ​been​ ​resourceful​ ​and​ ​somehow​ ​figured​ ​it​ ​out,”​ ​states​ ​Talmon.

But​ ​as technology​ ​advanced,​ ​Talmon​ ​saw​ ​the​ ​need​ ​to​ ​advance​ ​as​ ​well.​ ​“I​ ​was​ ​using​ ​equipment​ ​that was​ ​not​ ​necessarily​ ​cutting​ ​edge,​ ​but​ ​it​ ​was​ ​still​ ​better​ ​than​ ​what​ ​the​ ​consumer​ ​could​ ​buy. However,​ ​I​ ​wanted​ ​to​ ​be​ ​even​ ​better,​ ​and​ ​now,​ ​I​ ​can​ ​do​ ​much​ ​more​ ​with​ ​the​ ​RC4​ ​Wireless units,​ ​especially​ ​in​ ​terms​ ​of​ ​pixel​ ​control,”​ ​he​ ​says.   For​ ​Perry’s​ ​beret,​ ​Talmon​ ​is​ ​using​ ​an​ ​RC4Magic​ ​S3​ ​2.4SX​ ​DMX4dim,​ ​a​ ​4-channel​ ​dimmer, paired​ ​with​ ​an​ ​RC4Magic​ ​S3​ ​2.4SX​ ​DMXio​ ​transceiver,​ ​which​ ​can​ ​operate​ ​as​ ​either​ ​a transmitter​ ​or​ ​receiver.

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​“Especially​ ​when​ ​illuminating​ ​costumes,​ ​the​ ​compact​ ​size​ ​of​ ​RC4​ ​units​ ​is important,​ ​as​ ​is​ ​the​ ​fact​ ​that​ ​it​ ​seems​ ​to​ ​be​ ​bulletproof;​ ​it’s​ ​not​ ​cheap​ ​Chinese​ ​radio​ ​controlled garage​ ​door​ ​openers,​ ​which​ ​I’ve​ ​altered​ ​and​ ​used​ ​in​ ​the​ ​past.​ ​The​ ​units​ ​have​ ​good​ ​circuit protection,​ ​and​ ​it’s​ ​hard​ ​to​ ​mess​ ​things​ ​up,”​ ​he​ ​admits.​ ​All​ ​of​ ​the​ ​RC4​ ​Wireless​ ​2.4SX​ ​products operate​ ​in​ ​the​ ​2.4GHz​ ​bandwidth,​ ​which​ ​is​ ​the​ ​recommended​ ​bandwidth​ ​for​ ​international​ ​tours.   The​ ​legendary​ ​RC4​ ​Wireless​ ​reliability​ ​was​ ​also​ ​important​ ​to​ ​Talmon.​ ​“When​ ​you’re​ ​doing something​ ​live,​ ​you​ ​want​ ​it​ ​to​ ​work​ ​the​ ​way​ ​it’s​ ​supposed​ ​to​ ​work.​ ​The​ ​RC4​ ​equipment​ ​has​ ​been extremely​ ​easy​ ​to​ ​work​ ​with;​ ​it​ ​finds​ ​the​ ​signal​ ​and​ ​works​ ​flawlessly.​ ​In​ ​the​ ​end,​ ​it’s​ ​nice​ ​to​ ​have a​ ​stable,​ ​reliable​ ​system​ ​out​ ​there,”​ ​Talmon​ ​notes.

During​ ​“Hey,​ ​Hey,​ ​Hey,”​ ​the​ ​LED​ ​walls​ ​upstage​ ​slide​ ​open​ ​to​ ​reveal​ ​Perry​ ​astride​ ​a motion-controlled​ ​motorcycle.​ ​It​ ​has​ ​illuminated​ ​head​ ​and​ ​tail​ ​lights​ ​that​ ​are​ ​controlled​ ​via​ ​two RC4Magic​ ​S3​ ​2.4SX​ ​DMXio​ ​transceivers.​ ​The​ ​motorcycle​ ​was​ ​fabricated​ ​by​ ​Santa​ ​Fe Springs-based​ ​DAS​ ​Design​ ​Works,​ ​who​ ​has​ ​a​ ​longstanding​ ​relationship​ ​with​ ​the​ ​RC4​ ​Wireless team.​ ​“They​ ​are​ ​absolutely​ ​the​ ​only​ ​wireless​ ​DMX​ ​that​ ​we’ll​ ​work​ ​with,​ ​and​ ​it’s​ ​not​ ​just​ ​due​ ​to their​ ​products.​ ​Their​ ​service​ ​is​ ​amazing;​ ​between​ ​the​ ​product​ ​and​ ​their​ ​customer​ ​service,​ ​we have​ ​no​ ​reason​ ​to​ ​call​ ​anyone​ ​else,”​ ​states​ ​Aaron​ ​Ford,​ ​a​ ​partner​ ​at​ ​DAS​ ​Design​ ​Works.  

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During​ ​one​ ​of​ ​her​ ​flights,​ ​Perry​ ​is​ ​in​ ​a​ ​stylized​ ​star​ ​wirelessly​ ​controlled​ ​by​ ​a​ ​dozen​ ​RC4 Wireless​ ​RC4Magic​ ​S3​ ​2.4SX​ ​DMXio​ ​transceivers;​ ​the​ ​star​ ​was​ ​fabricated​ ​by​ ​Santa​ ​Fe​ ​Springs, CA-based​ ​ShowFX.​ ​​ ​An​ ​RC4Magic​ ​S3​ ​2.4SX​ ​DMXio-HG​ ​transceiver​ ​and​ ​an​ ​RC4​ ​S3​ ​2.4SX DMX4dim​ ​can​ ​be​ ​found​ ​on​ ​the​ ​massive​ ​inflatable​ ​lion​ ​head​ ​created​ ​by​ ​Burnsville,​ ​MN-based Landmark​ ​Creations​ ​that​ ​dominates​ ​the​ ​epic​ ​song​ ​“Roar.”​ ​“The​ ​RC4​ ​equipment​ ​has​ ​been working​ ​flawlessly;​ ​technically,​ ​there​ ​have​ ​been​ ​no​ ​issues​ ​at​ ​all,”​ ​notes​ ​Thomas​ ​Walls,​ ​the lighting​ ​crew​ ​chief​ ​for​ ​The​ ​Witness​ ​Tour. 

There​ ​are​ ​a​ ​handful​ ​of​ ​people​ ​on​ ​the​ ​tour​ ​who​ ​operate​ ​various​ ​aspects​ ​of​ ​the​ ​wireless​ ​system including​ ​carpenters​ ​and​ ​wardrobe;​ ​not​ ​all​ ​of​ ​them​ ​have​ ​experience​ ​with​ ​wireless​ ​dimming. “The​ ​learning​ ​curve​ ​with​ ​the​ ​RC4​ ​equipment​ ​was​ ​pretty​ ​seamless​ ​and​ ​it​ ​all​ ​made​ ​sense​ ​to​ ​us,” says​ ​Walls.​ ​Ease​ ​of​ ​use​ ​is​ ​one​ ​of​ ​the​ ​hallmarks​ ​of​ ​the​ ​RC4​ ​Wireless​ ​system,​ ​where​ ​all​ ​of​ ​the products​ ​work​ ​in​ ​a​ ​similar​ ​manner;​ ​the​ ​firm​ ​calls​ ​it​ ​“Harmonized​ ​Design”.​ ​“The​ ​beauty​ ​of​ ​the​ ​RC4 Harmonized​ ​Design​ ​is​ ​that​ ​new​ ​concepts,​ ​techniques,​ ​and​ ​methods​ ​introduced​ ​for​ ​one​ ​product or​ ​project​ ​can​ ​seamlessly​ ​transfer​ ​to​ ​all​ ​our​ ​other​ ​products.​ ​​ ​Thus,​ ​overcoming​ ​the​ ​16-bit​ ​barrier and​ ​delivering​ ​19-bit​ ​per​ ​color​ ​LED​ ​dimming​ ​in​ ​our​ ​DMX4dim​ ​results​ ​in​ ​higher​ ​resolution dimming​ ​in​ ​our​ ​LumenDim​ ​and​ ​W-DIM​ ​lines​ ​as​ ​well.​

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The​ ​same​ ​is​ ​true​ ​when​ ​new​ ​dimmer​ ​curves and​ ​other​ ​features​ ​are​ ​added.​ ​​ ​Everything​ ​advances​ ​together,​ ​is​ ​debugged​ ​and​ ​tested​ ​together, and​ ​is​ ​released​ ​together,”​ ​states​ ​Smith.   One​ ​of​ ​the​ ​unique​ ​features​ ​of​ ​RC4​ ​Wireless​ ​products​ ​is​ ​the​ ​System​ ​ID;​ ​this​ ​gives​ ​each​ ​user​ ​a super​ ​secure,​ ​private​ ​ID​ ​that​ ​is​ ​used​ ​only​ ​for​ ​their​ ​particular​ ​wireless​ ​DMX​ ​universe​ ​and​ ​the​ ​RC4 devices​ ​associated​ ​with​ ​it.​ ​​ ​“The​ ​crew​ ​really​ ​likes​ ​the​ ​unique​ ​System​ ​IDs​ ​and​ ​were​ ​able​ ​to understand​ ​how​ ​to​ ​set​ ​the​ ​system​ ​up​ ​without​ ​any​ ​problems,”​ ​Walls​ ​adds.​ ​While​ ​other​ ​firms​ ​have user​ ​IDs,​ ​RC4​ ​Wireless​ ​is​ ​the​ ​only​ ​firm​ ​that​ ​provides​ ​each​ ​user​ ​a​ ​private,​ ​secure​ ​ID​ ​that​ ​is​ ​used exclusively​ ​for​ ​that​ ​individual.   Katy​ ​Perry,​ ​her​ ​props,​ ​her​ ​beret,​ ​and​ ​RC4​ ​are​ ​touring​ ​the​ ​world​ ​through​ ​August​ ​of​ ​2018.     ABOUT​ ​RC4​ ​WIRELESS   From​ ​the​ ​gondola​ ​in​ ​The​ ​Phantom​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Opera,​ ​to​ ​wireless​ ​props​ ​and​ ​costumes​ ​in​ ​Cirque​ ​du Soleil​ ​productions​ ​around​ ​the​ ​world;​ ​from​ ​the​ ​heart​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Upside​ ​Down​ ​in​ ​Stranger​ ​Things​ ​to

illuminated​ ​props​ ​for​ ​Katy​ ​Perry,​ ​RC4​ ​Wireless​ ​has​ ​been​ ​inside​ ​awe-inspiring​ ​entertainment since​ ​1991.   Using​ ​batteries​ ​for​ ​power​ ​and​ ​wireless​ ​DMX​ ​for​ ​control,​ ​RC4​ ​puts​ ​lighting​ ​in​ ​mobile​ ​untethered costumes,​ ​props,​ ​and​ ​set​ ​pieces.​ ​Controlled​ ​from​ ​your​ ​DMX​ ​console,​ ​seamlessly​ ​integrated​ ​into your​ ​scenes​ ​and​ ​cues,​ ​RC4​ ​devices​ ​are​ ​as​ ​responsive​ ​and​ ​robust​ ​as​ ​any​ ​other​ ​fixture​ ​in​ ​your show,​ ​and​ ​transparent​ ​to​ ​the​ ​lighting​ ​designer.   RC4​ ​Wireless​ ​won​ ​the​ ​PLASA​ ​London​ ​2014​ ​and​ ​2015​ ​Awards​ ​for​ ​Innovation,​ ​LDI​ ​2014​ ​and 2015​ ​New​ ​Product​ ​Honorable​ ​Mentions​ ​and​ ​a​ ​​2017​ ​PLSN​ ​Gold​ ​Star​ ​Product​ ​Award​.​ ​

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