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tobyMac Winter Wonder Slam tour

tobyMac ©Jeff Culmer

tobyMac ©Jeff Culmer

Lighting and video designer Nick West specified a Jands Vista T2 console to provide lighting, IMAG and video control for the recent tobyMac annual Winter Wonder Slam tour. The American Grammy award-winning gospel rapper’s explosive show featured Diverse City, his 8-member touring band, and played a series of US Arena dates throughout November and December. The touring schedule re-commences in March to promote the launch of tobyMac’s latest studio album, Tonight.

Tour lighting was provided by Axxis Inc., with lighting design, direction and programming by Nick West. Video was provided by Big Picture.

When it came to specifying lighting control for the tour, the Jands Vista was Nick’s desk of choice. Nick is an experienced user of the Vista range, switching between a rented full size T2 console for tours and his own S1 control surface for fly dates or using as a wing, which he takes on every show.

He commented: “When I saw the Vista, the timeline and ability to swap fixtures were major selling points. Often I fly to a show that morning and I may only have 30 minutes with the rig before we play, which gives me just enough time to focus. With the Jands Vista’s Mac or PC based offline editor, one quick advance call to get the fixture types and addresses from the local company and I can have the console ready to go before I even show up on site.”

The tour rig centered around a Barco Slite LED video wall upstage for IMAG and a low resolution Barco MiStrips LED wall in front of a 40 foot wide by 5 foot high riser.

120 Par Cans arranged in a 30 by four configuration were also flown in and out during the show, providing a major set piece used to spell out words. Nick was originally going to pixel map the Par Cans, but after starting to pre-program them on the Vista he found the console’s graphical based approach to programming made it very easy.

He commented: “The show starts off with ‘TOBY MAC’ spelled out in the Par Cans. After a couple of shows, Toby asked if I could do something specific with them, such as having them come on as if someone was writing it. I was able to instantly grab the fixtures, work with them in the timeline and have the effect within 30 seconds of him asking for it.

The rig also included 22 Martin Mac 700 profiles, ten 26 degree Source Four Lekos, three ETC Sensor racks and two Motion Labs 220V Distros. Video came from a Catalyst HD media server. The lighting, video and live camera feeds were all triggered from the Vista T2 console.

Summarizing his experience of the Vista, Nick commented: “I use the Vista for anything and everything I do. It’s great having on-board visualization of your fixtures and the flexibility to layout the console to your specific needs. The Vista is great for controlling lights, IMAG and video. Technical support for anything is very quick. Jands listen to their users and continually make requests and ideas happen.”

Other production staff on the tour included Tour Manager Ryan Lampa, Stage Manager Sam Shifley, Lighting Crew Chief / FOH Cam Anthony Morgan, Lighting 2nd John “2Tone” Sumitra, LED Tech / Robotic Cams Jeff Culmer, and Shoulder Cam / Video Tech Nick Bush.

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