This Sunday I will say goodbye to the first lighting console that I ever programmed on. We have not had too much trouble with the Avolites Pearl console other then floppy drives going out. So why make the change? We have just made a switch in the way that we program. When I started working with the lights it was very manual and not much programming. Over the time that we have gone to the other extreme. Today we program cue to cue for all three services. Avo has a theater stack mode, but it is not the most user friendly to work with and I started looking for something different. I spent much time reviewing products and got as many recommendations as I could. All roads seemed to lead to one place, Jands Vista products.
There is lots to love about the Vista product line. You can start with a PC or Mac based solution with just 128 DMX channels or have a large console with 8 or more DMX universes. We decided that it was a full range solution that we could standardize on campus wide. It also gives us the ability to make changes from our workstations. We had a way to program the Avo on the computer, but it is very slow process. Vista is almost as fast to program on your computer as it is on the console.
So we bit the bullet and purchased a Vista T2 for the worship center and a Vista S1 for both the new gym and the LYF center. Now our lighting operators should be comfortable in all the rooms with lighting on campus. All should be in on Monday and ready to go for next Sunday. Just remember, is it Jands Vista and not Microsoft Windows Vista. Friends don’t let friends use Windows let alone Windows Vista.
We had a great weekend with the new loaned and rented lights. Hereis what I learned:
1. Color fading light can have a great impact on worship.
2. I liked the operation and use of the Nexera lights, but wonder if they are bright enough for my uses. I think the next step I’d like to try out a SeaChanger.
3. Really liked using the color split LEDs. Again they were limited for what I was using them for. LEDs have lots of potential, but need a little more lumens for my liking. If we had netural colored walls they would be more effective.
We had lots of comments on the lighting and that means we need about 8 to 10 more color fading lights.
Last Sunday was again a great day of worship. The choir was again sounding better than before the EQ change we made last week. Today we moved some of the worship to the end of the service and the songs were an extension of the message. It was an awesome change. I had spent most of my week in the lift working on refocusing some of the lighting. We also hung some new source four pars for color wash. My goal was to get even video lighting for Pastor Mark and really improve on the praise team lighting. The praise team wash was a big improvement. I don’t know if I will ever get it “perfect,” but it was much improved. Our pastor wash was not awful, but over all was a little dim and had a few dark spots on the edges of the lighting. When I was up in the air, I found that we had a mix of 19 degree and 26 degree ellipsoidal fixtures in the lighting for the pastor. This was leading to some hot spots. I was able to replace all of the tubes to 19 degree but two. This left me 2 spots on the stage that were only covered by 26 degree fixtures and gave us big dark spots. You can guess where Pastor wanted to stand… Yup in the dark spots. My video directors, Tim and Jason had their hands full shading the cameras. 19 degree tubes replacing the 26 degrees are on my list for this week to fix.On Wednesday, Tim and I decided to move one of our cameras to a new position. This camera’s previous position was only really useful for shooting up stage and was very limited during the message. We moved the camera back about 15 feet and over toward the center about 25 feet. We can now take down stage shots until about the center of the stage. Still not great, but a much better position.I would love to know how many church technical production teams are using light meters to set wash lighting for video….
Last Wednesday, I moved the lift to the front of house and started working on refocusing the lights on the FOH trusses. While I had it out, I was planning on replacing the burned out lamp in our 12oo watt mover. After replacing the lamp, the fixture would still not strike. Not good! Well, that means that it is time to take it down and see what it wrong with it. Taking it down is not that fun being that the fixture is about 35 feet in the air on a truss that we can’t lower. Yes I would love to have chain motors. Got to give thanks to one of our lighting volunteers, Greg, for taking it down. Let me tell you that is a very heavy light. When Greg got the instrument on the ground he started taking it apart for cleaning. After removing a panel on the side of the head, Greg found some burned leads and what we think is a temperature sensor that was also burned out. Could it be a symptom of a bad part, or is this just a sign of a bigger issue with the instrument? More to come later.
This weekend we hosted Planet Wisdom. Anytime we have a outside event it means work. In some cases we have to totally clear the stage. So you have to ask is it worth the work that is involved? In the case of Planet Wisdom, I would say yes.
This event was lots of work and as usual was scheduled on my two days off. We had to clear the center of the stage as well as move some of the pews to fix their equipment. Load in and out is taxing and then being that this event ended on a Saturday evening we had to reset the stage for Sunday morning. I think that I ended up in leaving at about 10 pm.
So was is the value? Just the fact that 900 students were given the opportunity to hear the word and grow in their faith is value enough. But events like this can also be a learning experiences as well as spark some creative ideas. This event had some good lighting as well as some creative video shots that I might have to try in some future services.
Over the past week or so I have been checking out the site visualworshiper.com. Dave had sent me the site and I was very impressed with Camron’s use of projectors for architectural projection. Come to find out Camron has worked with Planet Wisdom for a while and I had the opportunity to meet him and get a better idea of how he created such cool stage looks. I still am planning on getting up to Dallas and attend Irving Bible Church and see the projectors in action.