American DJ’s domination of the lighting market just doesn’t appear to be showing any signs of slowing, in fact it seems to be accelerating at an amazing rate of knots! New and interesting effects continue to be released on, what seems like, an almost weekly basis and one of the latest products to hit the shelves of dealers all over the UK is the Ricochet.
The ADJ Ricochet is described as a ‘high-energy hybrid LED scanner / laser simulator’ and features a powerful 20W white LumiEngin LED light source. Inside you’ll find a pair of mad crazy mirrors that create the rapid laser-style effect. It’s very similar to its bigger brother, the Elation Sniper 2R, making interesting patterns projected on walls and awesome in-air ‘cones/tunnels’ in a hazy environment. While its effect is ‘laser-like’, there is no laser involved, which means you don’t need to worry about the safety regulations, which also means pointing it downwards and scanning the crowd will not be a problem.
Physically speaking it’s not a big product, probably around the same size as an Abstract Twister 4 sitting upright (remember those?). On the front you will find its aperture and inside you can clearly see two mirrors attached to precision stepper motors that move incredibly fast to create 29 different pre-programmed patterns with varying beam angles. These angles range from a single beam at a very tight 4-degrees up to wider laser-style 120-degree effects. There’s also a colour wheel giving you a choice of 8 colours plus white as well as split colours. When you put it all together, you get a wide range of different effects to make your lightshows more interesting.
On the top of the unit you’ll find all the usual connections: IEC main power input and output; 3-pin DMX input and output; a microphone for sound-activated control and an LCD 4-button menu system. This allows access to all of the unit’s built-in features as well DMX address settings.
At the back you’ll find the hanging bracket for attaching to your truss or lighting bar. This can be removed, spun around 180-degrees and screwed back on. You might want to do this because there is a ‘bulge’ on the back of the Ricochet, which houses the stepper motor for one of the mirrors. This could cause a problem when you hang it, depending on what configuration you have your lighting in, so it is useful that this 180-degree flip is possible.
There are plenty of options when it comes to controlling the Ricochet. As you would expect, it will run ‘plug-and-play’ sequencing through its pre-programmed patterns in either the Show Mode or Sound Active settings if you simply want it to do its own thing. If you want basic control over the effect, you can either use ADJ’s UC-IR remote (not included) or the new ADJ Airstream IR controller for Apple iOS devices which IS included inside the box. This is a tiny little plug that goes in the headphone socket of your phone or tablet. All you need to do then is download the free app and voila! Instant control of the Ricochet! This option works quite well, but you do need to be stood fairly close by.
If you want more advanced control, or to integrate the effect into a larger programmed light show, the Ricochet also features 12 and 15-channel DMX modes. Multiple Ricochets can also be linked together in a master/slave setup for a simple synchronized lightshow.
In terms of weight, the Ricochet comes in at a modest 5kg. It has a sturdy metal construction, with a distinctive curved shape and a mesh grille covering the aperture to protect the mirrors. It consumes just 41W of power which means it’s also great for the environment!
Of course, as with any laser-type effect, to get the best out of it you really need to use it with smoke or haze which could cause a problem at a lot of the venues we work in. However, when a hazy atmosphere is permitted, the effect is stunning and perfect for adding energetic effects to events, especially those with younger crowds.
Once again, ADJ have come up with a new piece of kit that offers a different type of effect for us to add to our mobile DJ lighting toolkits. The projected shapes that come out of the Ricochet truly are mind blowing given that they are made from two mirrors moving very quickly. A stunning idea!
Pro Mobile equipment reviews are sponsored by insure4music, insure your gear today and save 10% off your quote - from just £22.50 a year.
The full review can be found in Pro Mobile Issue 74, Pages 76-78 .