ADJ LED-luminaires chosen at Detroit’s Diamondback Music Hall

A variety of ADJ fixtures, including Focus Spot 6Z moving heads and 12PX HEX pars, have been installed as part of a complete renovation of the Diamondback Music Hall in Detroit, MI.

The lighting rig, designed by Ryan Richards and supplied by Audio Rescue Team, provides a versatile solution for the venue, which hosts a mixture of live music performances and dance parties.

The Diamondback Music Hall is a large purpose-built entertainment venue, located in Van Buren Township, a southwest suburb of Detroit, Michigan.

Formally known as the Diamondback Saloon and specializing in country music, the venue has recently undergone extensive refurbishment and rebranding, which included the installation of a completely new lighting, audio, and video system.

The venue now hosts a wide variety of live music, including rock, hip-hop, retro, and country artists, as well as club nights with DJs providing the music.

Well established in the Detroit area, Audio Rescue Team has over 30 years of entertainment industry experience.

The company is operated by founder, Michael Fotias, his business partner, Alan Bogl, and a small but highly experienced team. Until recently, the company specialized in audio – both rental and installation projects – but now offers a full AVL service, following the acquisition of Ryan Richards Visuals.

A well-known and much-respected lighting professional in Detroit, the company’s eponymous owner has joined Audio Rescue Team Ryan as Lighting & Visuals Manager.

The installation at Diamondback Music Hall represented the newly amalgamated company’s first major project combining lighting, video and audio elements.

“Now that we have Ryan on board, we’re able to offer our clients expert service across all disciplines,” states Alan, “and Diamondback Music Hall is a perfect showcase of what we can do. In terms of the lighting, the clients had a lot of trust in Ryan because of his work around town over the last 10 years, so were happy to allow him to lead the design process.

“However, they did have a specific budget to work with and that’s where ADJ really excelled. Ryan has used ADJ fixtures for years, so could vouch for the quality and reliability, and the good value pricing allowed us to not only stay within budget but deliver a system that met all the clients’ requirements, is extremely versatile, and looks fantastic!”

During an initial conversation, the clients explained the venue would have a dual focus on live music and dance parties, and therefore required a lighting system that could be used interchangeably to highlight the stage or dance floor.

Other than that, Ryan was allowed full creative freedom. He came up with an initial design using the Capture visualisation software and created renderings to help the clients understand how the proposed system would look.

They were extremely pleased, and very few changes were made between the original design proposal and the finished installation.

At the heart of the rig is ADJ’s powerful and feature-packed Focus Spot 6Z LED-powered automated luminaire. A total of 12 fixtures have been installed in the venue, spread equally across three trusses.

One truss is positioned upstage, with the fixtures used to create aerial effects behind performers. A second hangs downstage, allowing the fixtures either to be used for illuminating performers or to shoot beams out over the crowd. Finally, the third truss hangs in the center of the room, with its fixtures used predominantly to create aerial effects over the dancefloor.

“The build quality of the Focus Spot 6Z is really up to par – it’s a premium quality product but at a great price point,” comments Ryan. “The 300-Watt LED engine was a perfect fit for the brightness we needed for that size of room, and it offers a very rich feature set. The fixtures on the downstage truss can be used to highlight artists on stage, but predominantly we are using them for aerial effects, both when bands are performing and when the focus is on the dance floor.

“The beams are very sharp and – as you can see from the photos – look great in the space. Another thing I really like about the entire Focus Series is that the fixtures are really straightforward to maintain, which is an important consideration, as we’ll be providing ongoing technical support to the venue.”


For stage wash, Ryan selected ADJ’s 12PX HEX LED par fixtures. Each unit combines 12 x 12-Watt 6-in-1 color mixing LEDs, which together produce punchy output with a beam angle of 25-degrees.

Through independent dimming control of the red, green, blue, amber, white and UV primary LED elements, these fixtures can be used to generate a huge palette of colors, ranging from vibrant saturates to subtle pastels.

At Diamondback Music Hall six fixtures hang from the upstage truss for back wash and eight units line the downstage truss to provide an even front wash that covers the whole stage.

Completing the venue’s stage lighting package are a pair of Jolt Panel FX units, which are rigged to the front of the downstage truss facing out towards the crowd.

Combining intensely bright white strobe LEDs and vibrant color mixing LEDs, these striking fixtures deliver a huge amount of creative potential.

Each unit incorporates 48 x 5-Watt cool white SMD LEDs, surrounded on both sides by a total of 800 x 0.3W RGB SMD LEDs. Both types of LED are grouped into independently controllable zones (6 white and 40 color), allowing for the creation of eye-catching animated chase patterns.

“We really love the Jolt Panel FX, it’s just so versatile, in fact I think it’s the best fixture to come out from any company in the last few years,” enthuses Ryan. “The bang for your buck that you get really is unmatched; the output is unbelievable, and the build quality is excellent. We have six in our rental inventory and use them for all kinds of events.

“They weren’t part of the original quote for Diamondback, but when the client came to us with a little extra budget to add blinders to the rig, they were the obvious choice. At the club they serve two purposes. Firstly, they work as blinders when a band is on the stage and, secondly, they generate color wash for the dancefloor to provide a backdrop for the beam effects during DJ sets.”

In addition to the lighting on the stage and over the dancefloor, Audio Rescue Team also supplied 36 of ADJ’s UB 12H linear LED fixtures to illuminate the venue’s roof. With a barnlike design, the building has a vaulted ceiling which is clad with wooden paneling.

This provides a canvas for the UB 12H fixtures, which are attached to the two central supporting beams that run down the middle of the room. The fixtures are angled upwards, allowing the entire roof space to be filled with vibrant colored light.

“When you walk in that room, your eyes are naturally drawn to the cavernous ceiling”, explains Ryan. “So, I wanted to use lighting to accentuate that and really make it a part of the lightshow. The UB 12Hs allowed us to do that very well. When you switch them between – for example – red and white, it really changes the whole look of the room. They are great value fixtures, which was important as we needed such a large quantity, but also very effective.

“We have them in their full DMX channel mode, which allows zone control over groups of LEDs. This means I am able to create some really nice chase effects for when a DJ is playing as well as use them to create background color washes for times when the stage needs to be the focus.”

The whole rig is controlled by an NX1 console from ADJ’s sister company Obsidian Control Systems, running with an NX P fader wing.

This is connected via ethernet to a Netron EN12, which distributes DMX feeds to the lighting fixtures installed throughout the venue.

Used to operate the versatile lighting rig of ADJ fixtures, this control system allows Ryan to successfully deliver great stage lighting that enhances live music performances as well as dancefloor-focused lighting to create the right mood when the venue hosts dance parties.

Since the Diamondback Music Hall officially opened on November 11th last year, it has hosted a wide variety of concerts and events. So far, the lighting system has performed flawlessly and, as Audio Rescue Team is providing ongoing support to the venue – which will include regular cleaning of the fixtures – it is sure to prove a good investment for many years to come.