SLX Invests in Zero 88

Photo L-R Jon Hole (Zero 88 Product Manager, Entertainment Lighting Controls), Kieran Gallagher (Underbelly lighting operator), Katy Lowe (SLX Customer Services Manager) and Jasmin Davies (Underbelly lighting operator)

SLX, a UK theatrical lighting rental specialist, systems integrator and venue installer, has invested in 9 new Zero 88 FLX range consoles with the purchase of 7 Zero 88 FLX S24s and 2 Zero 88 FLX S48s.

The Zero 88 FLX range of consoles take lighting control for small to medium applications to a whole new level. SLX’s decision to purchase was particularly driven by the transition to LED-based lighting rigs in so many venues at the 2018 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where SLX is supplying lighting to the Underbelly.

”We needed a console that was straightforward and easy to use with the power to control a reasonable amount of moving and / or LED fixtures with all their parameters, and FLX was a perfect and cost-effective solution,” commented Ruari Cormack, business development manager for SLX.

He also mentioned that the two companies are near neighbours, with SLX headquartered in Bristol, with facilities in London and Exeter, and Zero 88’s manufacturing plant just across the Severn Bridge in Cwmbran, with an additional branch in Watford.

“The fact that the consoles have been designed and manufactured in the UK was another big plus point when making our decisions,” he continued, “together with the absolutely excellent technical and after sales service we receive from the Zero 88 team.”

SLX also has a long history with previous Zero 88 consoles, and Cormack fully expects these new Zero 88 FLX S consoles to become the new raft of “small venue workhorses.”

Features impressing him and the SLX team including customer services manager Katy Lowe were the touch screen interface, which gives a very contemporary style of working. The consoles allow users to quickly grab all the available parameters on an LED unit including complex ones like colour picking and mixing and record them swiftly as memories and scenes.

Cormack further commented: “The ZerOS software architecture has a great reputation for its networking capabilities, and at a recent training session Zero 88 undertook for one of SLX’s Student Bursary events … all the network gurus were impressed”.

This first batch of SLX Zero 88 FLX S consoles went directly up to Edinburgh where they were deployed around various Underbelly venues. Underbelly is one of the largest comedy promoters of the Fringe Festival and has a firm commitment to programming the best of new writing and talent. Their venues include George Square with the world-famous purple cow (Udderbelly), Circus Hub on the Meadows, their original Cowgate site and this year they are back on Bristo Square, having taken over the newly refurbished McEwan Hall.

This year, the majority of the Underbelly venue specs were upgraded to include LED fixtures, so everything fell into place time-wise with the console investment.

“After the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the consoles will be available from SLX’s rental stock for dry / cross hires and used on their own production projects. They are expected to become a “go-to” console for medium-sized shows and events,” confirmed Cormack, hinting that they may also feature in the upcoming panto season.