Jands Stage


Vista T2 controls huge rig on Dierks Bentley’s RISER tour

Dierks Bentley 2014 1

Photo ©Joshua Timmermans

Lighting designer, Chris Reade is back on the road with his Jands Vista T2, S1 and M1 consoles, controlling an even more technically ambitious rig for the latest tour by Platinum-selling singer-songwriter, Dierks Bentley.

After recently topping the US Billboard country airplay chart with his 12th No.1 single, ‘Drunk On A Plane’, Dierks Bentley and director Wes Edwards have just added the CMA (Country Music Award) ‘Music Video of the Year’ Award, to the song’s other accolades.

The country artist’s 2014 tour is called RISER, after the recent album of the same name. It kicked off in May in Charlotte, North Carolina, with sold-out shows in amphitheatres and arenas across the United States and Canada – concluding in December.

The tour further builds upon Chris’s impressive lighting design and rig for Dierks Bentley on last year’s Locked & ReLoaded Tour with Miranda Lambert – also controlled using the Jands Vista system.

I can’t say enough positive things about Jands Vista!” says Chris, who first used the Vista platform in 2008, and subsequently invested in his own T2, S1 and M1. “I know Vista will handle whatever I throw at it. We did a massive show at one venue where we had 23 universes of instruments running, with only our tour floor package. The entire lighting rig (besides our floor package) had to be swapped over and the console handled it all.

Chris continues: “Dierks is really into the visual aspect of his performances, and the Vista platform, in my opinion, puts me in the best situation to succeed in making his shows detailed in a shorter amount of programming time.

Chris is using his S1/M1 as a tracking backup on the RISER tour, in addition to his main T2 desk. The consoles network through a Pathport VIA switch and output DMX via Pathport OCTO Artnet Nodes.

It all works wonderfully, and it’s extremely fast,” says Chris. “I also love the speed of editing very detailed timing via the timeline.

In addition to the larger venues, the tour also plays a selection of fairs, festivals and casinos, meaning that Chris has to reconfigure the lighting rig based on venue capabilities.

Without the fixture swap/cloning features of the T2, I would not be able to get through a touring cycle without having to start from scratch on the non-tour dates. The timeline is one of my favorite things about the Vista platform. When I’m programming I can bang out my cue lists and then go back and get into the details per cue, per instrument, per parameter, to adjust all of my timing, etc. It is extremely fast to edit a song once the looks are in. I do quite a few ‘follow’ cues, and making detailed timing adjustments is a breeze within the timeline.

For the RISER Tour, Chris is using a huge rig (provided by Rod ‘Red’ Gibson of Christie Lites), including the new Martin MAC Quantums, MAC Viper Wash DXs, MAC Vipers, MAC Auras, MAC 700 Profiles, Elation Platinum Beam 5R and Atomic Strobes, along with some conventionals.

Gallery – click to enlarge

The T2 is an all-in-one lighting package providing all the features that make the Vista such a great live desk: big LCDs, 15 playbacks (10 with faders), four DMX outputs and timecode input, and three encoder wheels for manipulating intensity, position, color, gobo and beam.

The Vista range includes a choice of portable, flexible control surfaces and self-contained consoles all running the same Vista v2 software. The award-winning lighting & media control system has been embraced by leading designers, companies and venues all over the world on a wide range of shows. Covering entertainment, education & drama, installations, corporate, events and worship, there’s a Vista system to suit all levels of user and almost any scale of show.

Recent shows featuring lighting or media control by Vista include international concert tours by Queen + Adam Lambert, Peter Gabriel, Fall Out Boy, Bloc Party, Deftones and Little Big Town.

Frostburg State University

Frostburg ballroom

The Lane University Center at Maryland’s Frostburg State University has invested in Jands’ feature-rich Vista T2 lighting and media console to provide intuitive and powerful control for its rapidly expanding schedule of events.

The Center – which prides itself on offering ‘state of the art event spaces to the students, staff, and the local community’ – is utilising the all-in-one Vista T2 to control an increasing inventory of LED and moving head fixtures.

We required a console that was effortless to set up, offered a simple-to-master interface with easily accessible controls, and which excelled at live control,” says Austin Huot, Lane University Center’s Assistant Director. “We were sold from the moment we saw the Vista T2 console and were able to have multiple fixtures patched with effects executed in seconds.

In addition to weddings, live music, and other events, a major party at the University is the monthly ‘Late @ Lane’, when the entire Center is transformed into a nightclub-style venue. For these events, the Vista T2 controls all of the lighting technology for the public lobby and lounge spaces.

The Vista T2 is our go-to console for our rig, which currently includes Martin and Robe moving lights, as well as Chroma-Q® and Color Kinetics LED fixtures,” says Austin. “Vista is the console of choice amongst our student technical services team and has excelled in one of the core roles that initiated this investment.

At the heart of the T2 is Vista’s intuitive and visual Vista v2 software interface. Jands designed the Vista’s v2 software to cope with the ever changing demands of lighting, LED, and media server use in a way that makes it simple for all levels of lighting designer – including lighting students. The accuracy and simplicity of the information makes sense of even the most complex shows, so lighting designers can concentrate on lighting rather than on programming.

One of the most impressive apects of the Vista T2 is how intuitive it is to use,” says Austin. “Our operation relies on student employees who often embark on their career as a member of our technical services team with limited knowledge and context of lighting technology. The patch, fixture chooser, timeline, color picker, and Smart FX features of the Vista software have helped the team here pick up the skills they need fast.

The University saw the Vista T2 as an easy to learn, powerful, yet simplistic lighting and media control console able to be used by volunteer and student staff, but that would also impress an established lighting designer.

Staff at Lane University Center agree: “The Vista T2 has one of the easiest user interfaces of any console on the market, allowing even our less experienced personnel to be able to develop fantastic light shows with ease,” says Andy Krehbiel, Lighting Designer, LUC Technical Services. Stephen Kuhn, Student Tech Manager, comments: “Almost anyone can be placed at the reins of the T2 and with minimal guidance have complex looks and various cues created.

Austin concludes: “The Vista T2 has surpassed our expectations by eliminating the learning barriers that previously delayed the development of students, helping them to feel confident in their role as a lighting designer or console operator for our events.
The Vista T2 was supplied to the University by Matt Williams of BMI Supply of Queensbury, NY who worked closely with Jands North American distributor, A.C. Lighting Inc.

Gallery – click to enlarge

The Vista range includes a choice of portable, flexible control surfaces which connect to the Vista v2 software running natively on a Mac or on a PC, and which are customisable with a variety of DMX channel options. In addition, there’s a choice of consoles running the same v2 software in a convenient self contained hardware package.

Jands’ award-winning Vista lighting & media control system has been embraced by leading designers, companies and venues all over the world on a wide range of shows. Covering entertainment, education & drama, installations, corporate, events and worship, there’s a Vista system to suit all levels of user and almost any scale of show.

Recent shows featuring lighting or media control by Vista include ‘The Smiler’ Rollercoaster launch at Alton Towers (UK) Resort, and international concert tours by Peter Gabriel, Fall Out Boy, Bloc Party, Deftones, Dierks Bentley and Little Big Town.

To arrange a Jands Vista demo or discuss your requirements, call your nearest distributor or for more information and a list of international Vista users, visit www.jands.com/vista/users.

Little Big Town US Tour

Chris Shrom LD

A Jands Vista T2 console was chosen by US based Lighting Designer, Chris Shrom, to control lighting for the Grammy Award-winning vocal harmony group Little Big Town, currently touring North America until mid-December.

Chris was challenged with programming a rig which would have as much impact outside in daylight as it does when the band moves inside arenas.

Chris worked closely with the band, Tour Project Manager, Chris Diener and Show Designer, Raj Kapoor in designing something that worked well in all scenarios – choosing a dynamic rig featuring Sharpys, Atomic 3000s with color scrollers, Nocturn UV lights with Eclipse Shutters and Mac Auras.

I know the Jands Vista T2 well and I can program it very quickly. I’ve been using the Vista software now for almost five years. I love the timeline feature: Its simple, easy to look at and work in. The less thinking I have to do when building cues with complicated timing, the better. I can compact two or three steps into one by arranging various attributes to happen chronologically. Click, Drag, Done… moving on.

The other item I find the most helpful is the visual interface – I click on the icon, interact with it, and I’m done. There are no numbers to memorise or type in, it’s so easy to use and very, very quick.

Chris reveals that during the tour, all flown items are provided locally, requiring regular fixture swaps.

Every day I’m changing luminaires and the Vista was designed to do this seamlessly,” explains Chris. “Most days I only need to update a few palettes and I’m rolling.
Despite using the Vista for many years, Chris continues to be surprised in new ways by its flexibility and ability to make light work of creative challenges.

At one festival recently, which was held on a Saturday, it meant that Chris’s access to helpful advice from a lighting manufacturer was limited.

I had a bunch of LED lights that were brand new,” explained Chris. “They were just released and I had no profile for them. It was my most challenging show to date and I had a whole rig of lights that I couldn’t use. Vista has a fixture editor in it, but at that point I had never used it. I opened the program and within two to three attempts I had built a working profile. Every time I walk into a challenge I am thankful I have that console – it takes large catastrophes and seems to make them minor inconveniences.

Bandit Lites, based in Knoxville, TN, USA, provided all the lighting equipment for the tour.

As far as service is concerned, between Jake Tickle at Bandit, who introduced me to the Vista, and the staff I’ve worked with at US distributor, A.C. Lighting, I’ve been very happy. If I run into trouble, on the rare occasion they can’t help me, they know someone who can.

Vista v2 is a Festival Favourite

Deaf Havana

The Jands Vista range once again proved its flexibility and power when lighting designer and programmer Steve Heywood chose to put Vista consoles, running the next generation Vista v2 software, in control at two recent UK music festivals.

For Meadowlands 2012, a diverse and vibrant event staged at Glynde Place in the picturesque village of Glynde in East Sussex, Steve and Dan Williams, the lighting designer for the event‘s main stage, shared operating duties on a Vista T2.

An eclectic line-up included acclaimed LTJ Bukem, who closed the festival with an entrancing four hour DJ set, as well as Lamb, Fink, Speech Debelle, Portico Quartet and many others.

With the usual limited programming available for a festival rig, which included moving lights, conventionals and the latest LED fixtures, Steve and Dan needed to be able to work extremely fast and �busk� accurately � one of the main reasons that Steve specified the T2.

To further maximise their limited time, he pre-programmed some elements using the Vista v2 software on his laptop to make the most of their programming time on stage and help give the refined show that he was looking for.

Steve put his own Jands Vista S3, also running the Vista v2 software, in control at Meadowlands‘ Soundharvest stage. The Vista family‘s consistent software interface made it seamless to swap between consoles.

A few weeks later, Steve once again used a Vista T2 as the house console for lighting the main stage at the Redfest event held at Robins Cook Farm near Redhill, Surrey.

Headliners included Modestep, Kids in Glass Houses and Foreign Beggars.

Steve loves the visual interface of the Vista v2 software, which makes it simple, quick and logical to programme, easy to busk, and most importantly, always lets him get precisely what he wants out of the rig. “It means that I can create exactly what I want when necessary�.rather than following what the console thinks I want� he explains.”

Dan Williams comments, “Having everything right there onscreen in front of you is great and makes real sense.�it‘s an extremely intuitive operating system.”

Steve concludes �The power and simplicity of using Vista v2 enables you to build a lightshow extremely quickly, but still lets you control the details. It‘s a great desk for improvisational and ’on-the-fly‘ operation, which is always an exciting way to work.�

Lighting equipment for both events was supplied by Oxford-based Robert Nisbet Event Production Services.

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Vista v2 controls innovative Mutemath visuals show

Mutemath 1

A Jands Vista T2 console, running the next generation Vista v2 software, has been controlling lighting and visuals for progressive rockers Mutemath on their recent US tour.

The tour‘s production design was a creative collaboration between the band themselves and Jeff Lava & Darien Koop of Nashville based 44 Designs.

44 Designs are a full service visual design practice, specialising in creating lighting, video and staging concepts for all types of performance and live shows. The company now owns five Jands Vista consoles after purchasing their first when 44 Designs was formed in 2008. They continue to be firm advocates of the brand, citing that with Vista v2 software it really is the ultimate designer‘s tool.

The touring system features a lighting floor package including a selection of moving lights and generics, as well as a 24 foot wide aluminium screen-like structure which is supported from a rear truss. The structure is fed with mapped video stored on a Pandora‘s Box media server.

In addition to their own touring equipment, Mutemath plugged in to the house lighting rig at each venue. The Vista‘s ability to quickly and accurately swap and clone programming between different fixture types, even using different colour systems, offered quick and easy integration of the available venue lighting into their show each day.

Darien, who programmed the T2 and ran visuals on the tour, remains hugely impressed with the performance of the Vista v2 software.

He thinks the Timeline editing on Vista v2 is “fantastic”, allowing the operator to drill down to far greater depths and much faster than before. “They have really nailed the timeline now, it‘s very simple and offers possibilities that I‘ve not found on other consoles” he says.

One function that has helped him out is the ability to customise and build new fixture profiles. on the console. This feature was used to write a personality for the brand new Pandora‘s Box v5 before it was generally available, creating exactly the profile they wanted, and even tailored to the way the media server is specifically being used on their tour.

Darien feels that Jands really listen to user feedback in their quest for continual improvement of all their products.

He concludes “If you are a designer and haven‘t taken a proper look at Vista v2 yet, you really need to…

On top of that, he notes the superlative service, support and backup through Jands‘ US distributors, AC Lighting Incc.

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Vista for Les Misérables

Les Miserables 1

Danish lighting designer Benjamin la Cour has been using his own Jands Vista T2 lighting console, running the next generation Vista v2 software, on a busy schedule which includes the Musical Silkeborg‘s production of the Victor Hugo classic, “Les Misérables”.

Benjamin decided to invest in his own console as he feels that programming shows himself allows him to get the most out of his creative designs. To achieve this he needed to have a desk that he could easily get to know ’inside out‘.

To ensure he was making the right choice, Benjamin trialled three major brands of console for one month each. At the end of the period his decision was very clear – Jands Vista!

“I learnt the Vista T2 with incredible ease” he states, “I really love the interface, it makes programming exceptionally fast and enjoyable!
Benjamin has been running Jands‘ next generation Vista v2 software since its launch early last year. One of his favourite features is the powerful Effects functionality. Being a theatre designer, timing is very important to Benjamin, and along with simple in and out fades he likes the detailed control he can achieve with the Timeline.
The Jands Vista T2 and v2 software has definitely been designed with theatre shows in mind” he says. “While features like Matrixing are very useful for rock shows, I also find it extremely effective for theatre.

In producing Les Misérables, Benjamin employed the Matrix feature to dramatic effect, using forty 50cm household light bulbs hanging from the ceiling to create a major ’ambience feature‘ for the musical‘s famous ’barricades‘ scene.

Other lights in the Les Misérables rig were Martin Professional MAC 401s, MAC IIIs, Robe ColorWash 750 AT Tungstens, along with a quantity of generics.

The show was a huge success. Benjamin comments that the service and technical support from Jands Europe has been “excellent”. He is looking forward to another busy year with his Vista T2 in 2012.

Hot Ice at Pleasure Beach Blackpool

The award winning Hot Ice Show at top UK amusement park, Pleasure Beach Blackpool is one of the many shows around the world taking advantage of the powerful, simple, and visual Jands Vista lighting and media control system to run their lighting during their ice skating spectacular.

Hot Ice has been running for over 70 years, with the 2011 show, ‘Aura’, performed twice daily, six days a week, to entertain and enthral nearly 20,000 visitors a week. This makes it one of the UK’s most popular attractions.

Hot Ice is created, produced and directed by Amanda Thompson and presented by Stageworks Worldwide Productions at the Pleasure Beach’s ice skating theatre, The Arena. Stageworks Head of Production, Management & Events, Scott Hope, specified the Jands Vista T2 in consultation with his team, when the time came to upgrade and replace the show’s lighting control desk.

They researched extensively before making any commitment to a new console or brand, and after considering all the available options Scott decided that he and his team should take a look at the Vista for themselves. When it came down to it, he reveals, “It was actually a very easy choice to make.

Key to his decision, says Scott, was that Vista “Is as easy or as sophisticated as you want to make it, which is really helpful to get the most out of short programming windows.” He especially likes the way it is quick and easy to manipulate any fixture and any cue, “This is hugely powerful and saves masses of programming time” he qualifies, adding that the whole Vista concept is excellent.

Once they had decided that Vista was the way to go, they looked at the hardware range to find the console that best fitted their needs and budget, finally settling on a Vista T2.

Paul Lee’s spectacular lighting design for ’Hot Ice‘ combines spectacle, drama and contrasts, as well as integrating multiple lighting effects for the show.
The Vista T2 controls a wide mix of lighting fixtures including 40 Martin Professional MAC 2K profiles and 12 x GLP Impression moving lights, along with 60 x Chroma-Q™ colour changers and over 200 generics, plus 20 banks of ACL’s, 23 x Showtec Sunstrips, two Starcloths, MDG Atmosphere and Compack smoke machines, as well as numerous strobe and in-house effects.
It also controls a special bespoke ‘Prometheus’ flame jet fire effect that was developed in house, comprising of four effects heads.
Stageworks were so impressed with their T2 that they decided to invest in a further two Vista I3’s and three Vista PC ’dongles‘ for various other shows and events onsite. They find the ’dongles‘ to be a handy ‘quick fix’ solution for corporate events, presentations and press launches.

Scott finds that the Vista substantially accelerates the time taken to complete the process, “being Head of Production, for me this equates to saving money”, he explains.

The next generation Vista v2 software was designed from the ground up to allow all levels of user get the most from whatever mix of technology they have available, whether dimmers, moving lights, LED, or media. Available in a wide range of hardware Vista v2 offers both the simplicity to work fast, with the power to control the finest details, so everyone can focus on creating a great looking show rather than on programming a desk.

Jands Europe‘s Neil Vann said “Scott and his team have to be able to create precise structured shows like Hot Ice, but also have to be able to deliver a variety of events to a high specification in very short time frames. The Vista family offers the right balance between powerful functionality, and ease of use, that allows them to get the most from all of their shows. If you haven‘t taken a look at Vista v2 yet, you really should before you choose to use anything else…

The Hellbillies

Norwegian Lighting designer Roy Arne Wold is using a Jands Vista T2 console, with the next generation Vista v2 software, to control lighting and video on the current “Hellbillies” tour.

The Hellbillies are a country rock band – with slightly more emphasis on the rock than the country – and among Norway’s most popular recording artists, with 12 albums under their belts and a large and loyal live following.

Just before embarking on the tour, Roy decided to upgrade to the new Vista v2 software, which he says “takes the entire Vista control system into a whole new league”.

On this year’s tour, they are carrying a ‘specials’ package of lighting and video, which is supplemented with each days locally provided house rig.

The touring rig consists of eight Robe ColorSpot 700E ATs, twelve Robe ColorWash 575AT Zooms, four Martin Atomic strobes, eight Active Sunstrips and eight panels of 30mm pitch LED screen, together with 48 dimmer channels.

At each venue, they connect the house rig into the T2 and use Vista v2‘s second generation generic fixture model to automatically swap the show programming to fit that days fixture types, saving time and ensuring that they are able to consistently deliver the same high quality show.

The T2 is also triggering the touring Hippo Critter media server which stores and plays back all the content for the video panels.

One of the many features that Roy particularly likes about Vista v2 is the way the console interfaces seamlessly with media servers, with all the media clips displayed as easily viewable thumbnails on the desk. “It’s great to be able to see and do everything on the desk, and not have to refer to the server at all” he says.

Other v2 highlights for Roy are the ease at which you can add split timings to a cue, and the powerful search functions, whereby you just type in the first digits of what you are looking for and it will be found instantly.

I love the layout” he says, referring generally to the v2 interface. “I can see so much information simultaneously and can create my show so fast”.

Roy and his company Raw Light‘s investment in the T2 has proved to be an excellent commercial move for an independent LD, and guarantees that he can have his desk of choice on all his shows!

Roy comments that he has always experienced excellent, knowledgeable and helpful service from both Jands and their Norwegian distributors Norsk Sceneteknikk As.

Vista v2 was designed from the ground up to allow all levels of user to get the most from whatever mix of technology they have available, whether lighting, LED, or media. Available in a wide range of hardware Vista v2 offers both the simplicity to work quickly, with the power to control the finest details, so everyone can focus on creating a great looking show rather than on programming a desk.

Jands Europe‘s Neil Vann said “Shows of all sizes and styles really benefit from using Vista v2. It has the right balance of power and simplicity to ensure that it is fast to use, while allowing the user to create exactly what is demanded on stage. Take a look for yourself and see what this exciting next generation of control can offer you.

Alford Media increases Vista stock

After using the recently released Vista v2 software on their existing stock of Vista T2 consoles, Dallas, Texas based Alford Media have just committed to increasing their inventory after the next generation of software delivered the leap forward it promised.

Alford Media is an AV and lighting company, with full production facilities, known for its high end video capabilities as well as imaginative integrated visual designs and solutions. They work on a wide variety of live events for a diverse range of premium clients with exacting standards.

One of two full time lighting designer/directors, Kurt Wunsch has been with the company for 10 years. He was an early adopter of the Jands Vista control platform, and has been an enthusiastic user since. Their first T2 console was bought soon after Vista was launched, and along with the others they have bought since, is still going strong even after constant use. Last year one of his highlights was lighting the Boy Scouts of America’s 100th Anniversary National Scout Jamboree show – 16 universes of DMX controlled from a single Vista T2.

Kurt and his colleagues took the decision that now was the right time to update their consoles to the next generation Vista v2 software, and get access to all the additional functionality that it offers. Vista v2 was designed from the ground up to allow all levels of user to get the most from whatever mix of technology they have available, whether dimmers, moving lights, LED, or media. Available in a wide range of hardware Vista v2 offers both the simplicity to work fast, with the power to control the finest details, so everyone can focus on creating a great looking show rather than on programming a desk.

Kurt is very impressed with Vista v2, particularly the way it interfaces seamlessly with media servers. As Alford Media is a video orientated company, this is proving extremely useful to get the most from their recent investment in several Green Hippo Hippotizer products.

Kurt likes many features of the Vista v2 operating system, specifically the user-friendly programming environment, and they way it allows you to “work in a logical, straightforward and creative manner” to build your show. He says “you can really focus on the design, and think in terms of colours and effects rather than number-crunching and percentages. It’s fast, interactive and simple to use” he comments, adding that it also suits the theatrical / rock ‘n’ roll style of his programming which was shaped during his early career.

Kurt believes Vista v2 is now “faster than any other console – the interface makes it so easy to grab fixtures and apply parameters”. This allows him and his team to deliver the high standards that his clients demand within the tight timeframes they set.

On a recent Quake Con event in Dallas, Kurt was using Chroma-QTM Color BlockTM LED fixtures to highlight the trusses, which he was easily able to map using the matrix facility in Vista v2. He says that it worked “Brilliantly”, saving literally hours of programming time, and quickly giving the client exactly what they were looking for.

Upcoming shows on which Kurt himself is using one of the company‘s T2‘s include an event for a large pharmaceutical company in Maryland, for which he has designed a large rock ‘n roll style rig for the live stage that will feature sets by Motown greats The Four Tops and The Temptations, as well as major expo‘s for a natural drink company in Salt Lake City, and an energy company.

With Vista v2 now installed and proved completely reliable on all their desks, he’s starting to train some of Alford Media’s other operators. Apart from really appreciating it, they “are all picking it up incredibly fast”. He recalls a recent trade show in Dallas. He unexpectedly had to go and deal with something elsewhere in the building, so to ensure no valuable programming time was lost, gave freelance LX Teresa Porterfield – who had never seen a Vista T2 before – an express basic training course! “It was amazing! She ‘got it’ so quickly, so well and enjoyed the process so much that she ended up programming and running the whole show!

VP of marketing and sales at exclusive NA distributor, AC Lighting Inc, Fred Mikeska said “As more people around the world try Vista v2 they see the power and simplicity that it offers to all disciplinces – including concert, corporate, worship, and education. Kurt and Alford Media have embraced Vista v2, and discovered how much extra it gives them to deliver even more to their clients. Vista v2 is a true next generation software that lets all users get the most value from whatever mix of technologies they have available.

Pepper Live 2011

Lighting designer Andy Mahaffey specified a Jands Vista T2 console, running the next generation Vista v2 software, to control nearly 100 moving lights plus a large generic rig for the 2011 Pepper Live event, a glittering week of show-stopping performances staged at the Centenary Theatre, Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, UK.

This high profile annual event, which is always sold out, raises money for the Pepper Foundation, a charity that funds the Pepper Children’s Nurses managed by the Iain Rennie Hospice at Home Service. They provide professional home care round-the-clock on a call-out basis for seriously ill children throughout the counties of Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire.

This year the theme was a ‘rock ‘n’ roll tribute’ show. The cast – which included two bands, dance troupes, singers and an assortment of backing and guest vocalists – stormed their way through a two hour extravaganza, embracing hits from classic Queen to Take That … and everything in between.

In his day job, Andy is a technical product manager for High Wycombe based A.C Entertainment Technologies (AC-ET LTD), the exclusive UK distributor for Jands, and so is very familiar with both the Jands range and particularly with the power and simplicity the new Vista v2 software offers.

However, with one of the leading UK film and TV lighting rental companies Panalux, providing the lighting equipment for the event, he could have used any console he wanted!

I didn’t even think twice about the console choice” explains Andy, who ran the T2 with a Vista S3 console running as a full tracking backup, “I needed something that was powerful, simple and fast to program, and completely reliable to run. Talking to people using Vista v2 every day, I had complete confidence that this was the right tool for the job and am only too happy to show that I practice what I preach.”

He had to program a detailed show in a short timescale of three overnight sessions. There were 32 different songs pulled from a diversity of rock and pop genres and eras, each of which needed its own individual lighting treatment and style.

He also had to use a console that he knew the show’s two operators – Martin Spence and Laura Whitley – would be able to learn quickly and feel comfortable about being left to use. Once again Vista v2 software was an ideal solution. “It’s easily possible to learn, and operate competently, in a day” he qualifies “meaning I could confidently leave the show in their hands for the run.”

With over 1000 cues in the T2 by the time the show programming was complete – including an impressive 200 alone for the finale of Meat Loaf’s classic Bat Out of Hell – it was essential to be able to programme fast and accurately!

This is one of the beauties of Vista v2, I had the power to control the detail that I – or the rest of the creative team – wanted, with the ease to record it quickly and accurately.” enthuses Andy.

Overall, he finds the v2 programming process “So logical and obvious&rduo; that while the desk deals with the maths, his mind is free to concentrate on the actual creative aspects of building a dramatic and entertaining lightshow.

The moving head count included 22 Martin Professional MAC 2K Washes, 26 MAC 600 Spots, 16 MAC 250 Kryptons, 16 VARI*LITE 3000 Spots and eight High End Cyberlights – the latter a favourite for some vintage rock ‘n’ roll effects! MAC 600s were positioned on the back wall creating for a massive, retina-challenging ‘Queenesque’ effect.

In addition to these fixtures, there were about 70 channels of dimming, some scrollers , 20 Active Sunstrips and 10 Atomic 3000 strobes.

Pepper Live 2011 was directed by Jackie Chambers, the set was designed by Dan Andrews and the show choreographed by Danielle Machin.

It was another massive success as a fundraiser and in entertainment value for the audiences, as well as another real world example of Vista helping a user to deliver a great looking show in a short timeframe.

Jands Europe‘s Neil Vann said “Vista v2‘s combination of power and simplicity really does give users of all levels the ability to get the most from whatever technology they have on stage, and let everyone concentrate on creating a great looking show rather than on programming a desk. Before choosing to use anything else, take a look at just how far Vista has come, and how much you could be missing out on.”