Article Overview

grandMA2 ultra-light chosen for The Future

Paul Nicholls, PDN Design

Up-and-coming Leicester, UK based lighting designer/programmer Paul Nicholls graduated from Rose Bruford College last year where he studied the Lighting Design degree course, and then launched his freelance career. He lost no time in making the first major investment for his nascent business - PDN Design - in the form of a grandMA2 ultra-light console.

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On one hand it was a large outlay to make at that stage of the game, but it also showed his commitment to the industry and his endorsement of the MA Lighting control platform as being a great option for the future.

Nicholls had started working with grandMA consoles whilst studying, primarily via extra- curricular freelancing work for UK rental companies including Hawthorn Theatrical, which give him the chance to use the grandMA ‘series 1’ full-size, light and ultra-light. He liked the concept and philosophy of how the desk works, and realised just how extremely flexible and stable it is.

There are numerous reasons that Nicholls chose the console, "It has the same software and DMX outputs as the grandMA full-size, and is built on the really quick and easy to use architecture of the ‘series 1’ which has been made even more versatile and flexible. The way you can completely customise the layout and make it your own personal console is brilliant".

Nicholls thinks the effects engine is a powerful and useful tool and likes the general ease of use and the simplicity and speed of programming. When "Annie" was being plotted during production rehearsals at Bradford Alhambra, they had only one day during technical rehearsals to programme about 200 extremely precise and complex cues into the desk, a task achieved with some headroom using the grandMA2 ultra-light. The next day it was straight in to the dress rehearsal and opening night. "It absolutely really delivered," he says of the console.

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"80’s Mania" has over 400 lighting cues and they had no rehearsals! Instead, he and Watts plotted the basic building blocks of the show using grandMA 3D visualiser which he thinks is "An invaluable tool" which works with grandMA2 and has "Fantastic" graphics. This enabled them to really get ahead, arrive at the first venue with most of it in the desk and just needing to update the palettes and a few other parameters before going straight into the first show.

"The networking is also completely seamless" he adds, which along with the grandMA2 software release 2.0. makes it a completely bullet proof operating system. Nicholls also has plenty of praise for the "Fantastic support and great service" from the MA UK office.Obviously the grandMA2 ultra-light's attractive price tag also encouraged him, and as the business grows, he is intending to add more consoles to the inventory.

About MA Lighting International

MA Lighting International, based in Paderborn, Germany, is the dedicated sales, support and service entity for the renowned grandMA control systems, digital dimming systems, networking tools and media servers of MA Lighting Technology, based near Wuerzburg, Germany. The product range offers cutting-edge solutions for control and dimming, including the award-winning grandMA/grandMA2 consoles, the popular Lightcommander and reliable digital dimmer racks and packs. With its innovative MA Video Processing Unit (VPU) MA bridges the lighting and video worlds. Today, MA Lighting is respected for its technical knowledge and has achieved a unique international reputation for its operational philosophy. The company offers 25 years experience and strictly follows a professional user-centric approach, getting as close as possible to the market via its own international offices and support centres in the UK, North America, Latin America, the Middle East/India, Asia Pacific and Scandinavia/Eastern Europe/Russia – supported by a world-wide distribution and service network.

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MA Lighting International

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