It's new, but how good it?Hera's what we found out.
SPARK UP YOUR SLIDE SHOWS
If there’s one way to instantly improve the way you present your slides, it’s to use two projectors connected to a dissolve control. Now, instead of having a momentary pause as the slides change, you can fade one image out as the other fades in, creating a pleasing flow of images called a dissolve. And you can really make a grand show of your slides by using a programmer—a device that allows you to add flashy special effects and to change the slides automatically according to cues you've placed on audiotape.
Such a device is the KP-25 from Klad Products (460 Linden St., Fond du Lac, WI 54935), whose $325 price makes it an affordable accessory that offers a good deal of versatility. Some of the effects are easy to get even if you’ve never pushed buttons on a programmer; others take a bit of practice.
The basic commands are “cut” (an instantaneous change from one projector to the other, without fade) and “dissolve,” at rates of one, two, four, and eight seconds. Actually, my one wish is that the unit could do quarterand half-second dissolves, for fast-paced sequences.
Pressing a Cut or Dissolve button ordinarily turns off the lamp of one projec-
tor, turns on the lamp of the other projector, and advances the slide tray of the dark projector. For some effects, you want to hold the image from one projector (for example, a background) and advance them on another (e.g., titles). Hold? Yes, so you push the button marked either Hold A or Hold B, depending on which projector you want the image to stay put. An indicator light on the programmer’s front panel lets you know you’ve done this. If you press the Hold button while a fade is taking place, you can keep the projector lamp at any brightness level. Press Hold a second time to cancel it.
One technique I particularly like is flipping back and forth several times between two slides. With the right slides, it creates a lively animation effect. To do it, push the button marked Inhibit; this prevents the slides in both projectors from advancing. Then you can turn the lamps on and off in alternate projectors by repeatedly pressing the Cut button.
Another use of the Inhibit button is to flash a single image on and off. The instruction manual describes how to do it while another image remains on the screen (by pressing Inhibit, then putting the active projector on Hold, then pressing Cut as often and as fast as you like); depending on the relative brightness of the im-
ages, the effect seems to pulsate rather than flash. Although the instructions don’t tell you how, you can make the image i lash on and oit a dark screen bv putting the inactive (dark) projector rather than the active one on hold.
You can keep both images on the semen, superimposed for as long as you like. Do it at full power or at any intensity by hitting the Freeze button whenever it looks right.
1'he commands I found tricky are those in which you have to integrate the Swap button into the button-pushing sequence. Swap changes the active and hold status of both projectors—whichever one is active becomes inactive; whichever one is on hold will now advance the slide tray. This can create what Klad calls a pulsing flip (two images are alternately displayed with an instant of darkness between each exchange) or a sustained flip (the two images are alternately displayed, with a briet moment when both images are simultaneously displayed).
Understanding how to do this would be complicated were it not for the very clear instruction material. Before telling you how to execute an effect, it first describes what the effect looks like and tells what buttons you’ll be pushing and why. Then it gives you the command sequence in outline form. In some instances, the manual acknowledges that the best way to understand what an effect looks like is to actually observe the sequence it describes.
The Klad KP-25 can do other things, such as turning off the projector lamps and returning all the slides to their starting positions when you push Home. With an AV tape recorder or a stereo recorder, you can store all these commands on one track of the tape, then let the whole show play back automatically just as you programmed it. Even if you don't program your commands on tape, you can make a show that runs unattended, with your choice of dissolve rates and intervals between the slide changes. You put it in auto mode, turning the unit on and pressing Home; then you can use the Dissolve-Rate keys—the first one you push sets the rate, the second one sets the interval. All the dissolves and intervals will be the same, with no special effects.
The 9'/2 x 6V4 x 3'/2-inch unit has outlets for powering the two projectors and a tape recorder. Not only is this convenient, but it insures that everything is powered from the same outlet. If you've ever put together a programmed slide show, you know that it may not run properly if equipment is plugged into different outlets. Elinor H. Stecker