Normally, when you’ve decided that you want to learn a new console, you might take a leisurely path to becoming comfortable. In other words, it’s pretty typical to start by researching what the console does, how it does it, and how your friends like it. After that, you’d probably start playing with the offline editor (which should be free) and hopefully take a training class. Remember, I didn’t say you HAD to read the manual. I have a love/hate relationship with manuals. I love using the index to find what I need to know quickly. I don’t read the manual cover-to-cover because, no big surprise here, they’re boring. Regardless, you normally find your own path to becoming comfortable with a new desk in a somewhat controlled environment before launching it on to something large scale.
That’s not always the case, though. This year, Allison Brummer decided that she wanted to upgrade from the console she had been using on the Regina Spektor “Far” tour to a grandMA Full Size. This meant re-programming basically from scratch. Allison took the grandMA class from Joe at ACT Lighting, and then worked with a programmer in NY to put her show together on the MA. After using it on a few shows, she wanted to come back and get a little more in-depth with the console and really set it to fit her style. That’s when I got to come on board.
I had the pleasure of working with Allison for two programming sessions and then for a performance at the Greek Theatre. We updated some of the existing programming (which was already very clean and well organized) and tweaked some existing timing and effects before we wrote any new programming. As a designer, Allison looks at the show very theatrically and it’s fun to see a designer be able to mix the two genres. Anyone who’s worked in theatre and concerts will tell you that the two styles very rarely meet.
Having only used the console on the last few tour dates, she already looks like a pro – even busking some new looks at the end of the set. The tour still has quite a few North American dates left, followed by a European leg at the end of November. It’s a beautiful show if you get a chance to see it. I wasn’t very familiar with the music beforehand, but I’m thinking I need to hit up iTunes now because I really enjoyed it.
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