Ayrton Mistral S
by Dave Jackson.
Dave Jackson is the CEO of Creative Productions, one of Australia’s leading concert production providers. With offices in Brisbane and Sydney, Creative Productions have worked with the most recognised names in the business, from worldwide touring artists such as Metallica , Bullet for my Valentine, Paramore, Alice in Chains, The Wombats, and Marilyn Manson, to major corporate clients that include Michael Hill, MTV, McLaren, Rolls Royce, Aston Martin, and Volvo.
Creative Productions were looking to replace some aging discharge fixtures that we had. We have a lot of Robe BMFL Spots and GLP GT-1s in stock, so we wanted something that was smaller and lightweight; something we could use for day-to-day gigs in some of the smaller venues we work in, where we’re weight-limited in terms of rigging.
A small, bright, and light LED spot was what we were looking for.
We were fairly intense with our testing and product shoot-outs when we did our research. We evaluated multiple fixtures over five days, looking at most of the contenders in the brands that we already own and use, plus other market leaders.
When we first took delivery of the Ayrton Mistrals, I took them straight out on tour with The Wombats. We had a few festival shows where The Wombats rig became the festival rig. We had a lot of different LDs come through on the festivals and ask “What are these fixtures?” because they punched straight through the huge LED screen upstage.
We encouraged a few of our clients to give them a try. Colourblind is now one of the biggest users. The Ayrton Mistrals are half the size and weight of the spot fixtures they were typically using, with only around 15% less output. Once we started giving them Aytron Mistrals they fell in love with them.
Now they incorporate Mistrals into their designs and riders. The LDs that typically hire our gear weren’t asking for Ayrton Mistrals specifically, but they are now.
We haven’t had a negative response from any of our clients; everybody that’s used the Ayrton Mistrals has been impressed. We originally bought the Ayrton Mistrals for Rock’n’Roll and EDM touring, but we’re using them a lot on corporate events now too.
There are a number of venues our equipment regularly goes into that can be difficult in terms of weight limits in their rigging; the Hordern, the Enmore, the Tivoli, Max Watts, and the Triffid all spring to mind. It’s hard to take in bigger spots.
In hotel ballrooms, we’ve always got low ceilings to deal with. The rigging in those spaces is limited, so the Ayrton Mistrals are perfect for sitting up nice and high in the roof. You can generally hang them off of house bars and other rigging where you’re limited to around 30 kilos, so you can get a couple of them up there before there’s a problem.
In terms of choosing between the Mistral TC and S models, the higher CRI of the TC was not important to us, nor was its framing system. We just wanted a good high output spot. In terms of the trade-off between CRI and brightness in the ‘S’ versus the ‘TC’ model, we haven’t suffered at all. I’ve got good friends in the USA who use the S model for television with no issues.
The colour mix is pretty good – the colours are very saturated as well. About the only thing I don’t like is that because the LED source produces such a flat field, if you’re focusing in at short distances you can sometimes pick up the gradients of the colour flags coming in and out. Thankfully, it’s a very rare occurrence when that is actually visible.
Movement and Optics
The Mistrals are extremely smooth in their movement, and the accuracy is fantastic. They are fairly quick, which is a great for EDM shows, as they always need a fixture that’s quick and bright. Even zoomed right out to the full 53 degrees, the optics are good and the intensity is still there.
The animation wheel is great, and the prism’s fantastic. The ‘sparkle effect’ is created by the ability to adjust the intensity of each of the three or four LEDs that make up each engine individually; you can get them to do traces. It’s a cool little feature, which is now available on a few fixtures.
At 18 kilograms, we pack four Ayrton Mistral S in a roadcase, and we’re saving space in the trucks. If you want to, you can actually pick up two of them at a time. Larger fixtures like Martin MAC Vipers and Robe BMFLs are two person lifts, so with work safety policies it’s a better option for us that one person can deal with lifting these lights.
We’ve done some corporate events with custom gobos fitted. The quality of the optics ensures that gobo projection is crisp, so the clients are always happy. Normally with discharge lamps you have a hot spot that you can see in custom gobos, which is not great for a client. With the Ayrton Mistrals, the gobos are always flat and crisp.
The standard gobo set they ship with is fantastic; Ayrton have put together a clever selection. You get a lot of aerial effects, and they have a cone gobo that is incredible.
If you point it directly into the audience and get someone in the centre of it, they’re in darkness but you can see the cone of light all the way around, so it’s just like they’re standing inside a tube. It’s so flat that you think they’re actually standing inside a laser.
That’s very hard to achieve with discharge fixtures. Back in the day, the cone was a common gobo, before the manufacturers moved on to fancy foliage gobos and such. But Ayrton have gone back to basics, which I think is fantastic, especially for some of us older LDs!
It’s very hard to fault the Ayrton Mistral S. We’ve had them for six months now, working solidly without many days off, and we haven’t had a single issue. The service and support from Show Technology is fantastic, even though we’ve never had an issue with the Ayrton Mistrals. We run a strict maintenance regime, so that reduces the likelihood we’ll have any problems, touch wood!
Ayrton Mistral-S – The Specs
> Beam aperture: 6.7° to 53°
> Light source: 26,000 lumens 8000 K white light engine
> Total luminaire output: up to 18,000 lumens
> Colour temperature output: 6500 K
> CRI: greater than 70
> Rated life (L70): up to 40,000 hours
> Moving head range: 540° (pan), 270° (tilt)
> CMY colour mixing, variable CTO colour temperature correction, fixed colour wheel with seven saturated colour filters
> Indexable rotating gobo wheel with 7 high precision glass gobos plus open position, fixed gobo wheel with 9 high precision glass gobos plus open position
> Fast iris diaphragme with adjustable dynamic effects.
> Iris range : 15 to 100% open
> Light frost filter (Heavy frost filter in option)
> Focusable graphic animation effect-wheel with continuous rotation in both directions
5-facet circular indexable rotating prism
> Sparkle effect: dynamic animation effect with speed and fade adjustment
> Integrated wireless CRMX TiMo RDM receiver from LumenRadio
> XLR 5 pin male and female connectors for DMX connection
> powerCON TRUE1 male and female connectors for power connection
> Dimensions: 365 x 591 x 212 mm (l x h x d). Weight – 18.9 kg
CX Magazine – May 2019 – Australia and New Zealand’s only publication dedicated to entertainment technology news and issues – available in print and online. Read all editions for free or search our archive www.cxnetwork.com.au
© CX Media
CX also Road Tested the Ayrton Ghibli in the Dec-Jan 2019 edition: https://www.cxnetwork.com.au/road-test-ayrton-ghibli-profile-fixture
Published monthly since 1991, our famous AV industry magazine is free for download or pay for print. Subscribers also receive CX News, our free weekly email with the latest industry news and jobs.