SLX, one of the best known UK theatrical lighting rental specialists, has invested in nine new Zero 88 FLX series consoles, including seven FLX S24s and two FLX S48s.

The award winning, next generation Zero 88 FLX range of consoles take lighting control for small to medium applications to a whole new level. The decision to purchase by SLX was particularly driven by the transition to LED based lighting rigs in so many venues at this year’s 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.

“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 Ruari fully expects these new 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 as memories and scenes.

He also 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 and impressed their network gurus.”

This first batch of SLX 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. This includes the Udderbelly Purple Pasture at St George’s Square, their circus Hub on the Meadows, the Underbelly Med Quad and their original Cowgate site.

This year, the majority of the Underbelly venue specs have been 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 and cross hires, and used on their own production projects. They are expected to become a “go-to” console for small to medium shows and events,” confirms Ruari, hinting that they may also feature during the upcoming panto season.

Continuing the theme of being impressed with the Zero 88 support he says, “They are great people and we are absolutely confident that we will continue enjoying this strong and positive working relationship and technical partnership in the future.”

He adds: “It has been great to see Zero 88 maintain its ‘distinctive brand identity’ over the years having gone through several recent structural changes. It feels that the company has retained all of its accessibility and sense of innovation.”