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Thread: Audience Scanning in the US

  1. #11
    clandestiny's Avatar
    clandestiny is offline Eleventy-Billion Watt Ar/Kr >:)
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    somewhere between orlando and san antonio


    as for music rights to laser shows, yes you do need to have them. If you are in a night club or you have a radio station supporting the event you can get around that. But for example- the traveling floyd show should be paying royalties. Whether or not they are i dont know. I pay sony/bmg a annual stypend to cover mine. It isn't as bad as you would think-
    go big or go home

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Charleston, SC


    Quote Originally Posted by allthatwhichis View Post
    I don't believe it. I've just been bitch-slapped by a smiley. That's got to be a first!

    Ok - I get it. It's a Roger Waters CONCERT that happens to also have a laser show as part of the lighting effects.

    You gotta admit though, that's a far cry from what most people mean when they say "Pink Floyd Laser Show."

    Thanks to Paul for clearing up the legal twists and turns of the Pink Floyd breakup. I knew it was messy, but I didn't realize it was that bad. Still, it's cool that the band is still out there trying to support the fans.


  3. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Orlando, FL - USA


    Hi all,

    Just a few brief corrections...

    Quote Originally Posted by Buffo View Post

    Then, about 2 years ago, Bill Benner pushed the issue with the CDRH. He had the calculations to prove the show was eye-safe, and he had also developed and installed special scanner safety boards in the projector.
    Well, I want to point out a few things, just so it doesn't seem like I am running the industry... Personally, those who know me, know that I prefer a collaborative effort.

    It wasn't only me who "pushed the issue with CDRH". The audience scanning variance of which I have been speaking is held by Greg Makhov of Lighting Systems Design. It was the result of a joint effort by Greg and myself.

    And there is more than just "a special scanner safety board" which makes it safe. It is a combination of hardware and software. But even this in and of itself is not enough. These must be combined with proper projector setup and operational techniques (i.e. setting proper maximum laser power and divergence) which keeps it safe.

    So it is not just hardware but also the know-how (i.e. how to do calculations, etc.) and some persistance which led to the variance...

    Quote Originally Posted by Buffo View Post

    The CDRH stalled, and stalled, and stalled some more, until Bill finally got a lawyer and filed a notice that they were impeding commerce. At that, the CDRH finally caved in and approved their variance.
    Well, it is true that CDRH did take a very long time before approving the variance application. But it is not true that we "got a lawyer". Everything was handled directly with CDRH staff, most of whom were very helpful . I did mention to Buffo that if CDRH had continued to be unresponsive, we were prepared to involve the help of lawyers and congressmen... It's not that they denied the application, it's just that they took a long time before giving us any kind of answer one way or another...

    Quote Originally Posted by Buffo View Post

    However, I was under the impression that that was the only approved variance for general audience scanning that the CDRH had approved. (The Pink Floyd show we saw in Lakeland, FL used a grating, which is not the same as direct audience scanning.)
    One thing to keep in mind, and this is something that John O'Hagan is really big on. "Audience Participation" is not the same as "Audience Scanning". If you read the articles pointed to by Buffo, you might find the term "Audience Participation". What this means is, there are beams in the audience, but they are not there as a result of "scanning".

    Scanning is potentially harmful because of something that most people overlook. If you take a 1 watt laser and spread it out (by scanning) so that it covers 1000 times the area of the original beam, you will have an average power of 1 milliwatt all long the scan. BUT, you will have a PEAK power of 1 watt!! Don't forget, it's still a 1 watt laser and, at any given instant in time, that 1 watt is ready to act upon anything that happens to be in its way...

    Now, if you take that same 1 watt laser, and put it through a lens, or a diffraction grating, which spreads the beam so that it covers 1000 times the area of the original beam, then you will have an average power of 1 milliwatt (as above), but you also have a PEAK power of 1 milliwatt, because the beam is "everywhere all the time". The beam is not scanning, it is spread out and the total 1 watt of the beam is never available at any instant.

    This is "Audience Participation", and if the end-result is beams that are 1 milliwatt, then (at least arguably) you don't need a variance, because you are not exposing the public to greater than Class I radiation.

    Best regards,

    William Benner
    Last edited by Pangolin; 07-03-2007 at 21:47.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2005


    I also saw the Roger Waters concert at London's Hyde Park last summer. Although there were no lasers present, the sound system had to be one of the most amazing I have ever heard (and I've come across a few in my time). They managed to create full surround sound, outdoors at a concert for 150,000 people. The helicopter track from The Wall was incredible. You could actually point to where the chopper "Should" have been, even if it should have been behind you. You could also follow its movements around the site. Now at all shabby for something that didnt actually exist.

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