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Insane for Robe
South Africa – Insane Sound & Lighting is a busy technical production and design company based in Cornubia, Durban, run by the charismatic Vimal Rawjee (pictured), who took the name from his DJ days when he earned a reputation for cramming “insane” amounts of audio kit into all types of imaginable – and unimaginable – spaces and making lots of noise! It was something ‘that stuck’ as they say!
Starting as a sound company, Insane added a lighting division in 2010, and later LED/video to ensure they can supply top quality full technical service and design packages to their clients. As someone who has always had a keen eye for visuals and aesthetics, Vimal soon became very enthusiastic about lighting.
The company now has over 100 Robe fixtures in stock, including around 40 moving heads and over 60 LEDForce 18 pars.
Vimal and his team, comprising 11 full-time staff and three regular casuals, deliver a wide variety of corporate shows, pumping dance and EDM events and weddings. Weddings – and particularly Indian weddings – are a massive business in the area, where there is a healthy trend towards larger, more lavish and theatrical grand presentations for the big day.
The first Robe products for Insane were ColorWash 700E ATs which are still working hard and these were followed quickly by LEDWash 600s. At that point they were the first premium quality moving head LEDs in the area. Vimal then added MMX Spots with In Air Kits to his inventory.
The MMX Spot is still currently his favourite Robe product. “They have a great output, the dual rotating graphic wheels are fantastic for all sorts of effects and the colour mixing is rich and smooth, plus they are lightweight and very manageable, so we can rig them quickly and efficiently.”
He adds that consequently they cost less to transport, smaller crews are needed, etc, along with the other benefits of having sensibly designed lights. He also highlights the reliability of the fixtures, which in Durban have to deal with numerous outdoor shows and high humidity, heat and dust for much of the year. Vimal prides himself on the pristine condition of all his Robe kit. “My crew treat the lights with the respect they deserve,” he confirms.
Insane’s lights are constantly used on a string of indoor and outdoor projects. During the busiest weekends of the season, they will provide production for an average of five or six weddings plus other events, and the most weddings they have catered for to date in one weekend is nine! These events will typically range from between 350 and 2000 guests.
In the area, Vimal and Insane have established a whole new level of production values for the wedding sector. “All the techniques earned from lighting corporate- and music-based events we have applied to weddings. It’s a different environment completely, but the principals of creating drama, spectacle and excitement are all the same and some of the set designs are really elaborate,” he explains.
As a brand, he thinks Robe has put “Serious thought” into the current product ranges, and another factor reinforcing his choice of brand is the support from distributor DWR. He is in the process of moving to new larger premises in central Durban and is also intending to purchase more MMXs in the autumn.
6th November 2015
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