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A charming debut: grandMA2 attends Miss America for the first time

A.C.T Lighting is the exclusive distributor of the grandMA2 in North America

It was the 90th anniversary of the Miss America Pageant and a pair of grandMA2 light’s made their debut at the show, which was telecast live on ABC from the Planet Hollywood casino-resort in Las Vegas. The pageant reunited lighting designer Allen Branton, who returned for the fourth time, and fellow lighting directors Kevin Lawson and Felix Peralta, who marked their third year and fourth year on the show respectively. This also marked the first time that Lawson and Peralta had used the grandMA 2 on a live televised broadcast beautiful.

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“Because of the way the pageant is structured, we had a little extra time with several days of the preliminary pageant,” says Lawson. “Felix and I worked on the show for eight days splitting the lighting rig as programmers and using the grandMA2 light in multi-user-mode: Felix lit the set and I lit the people on stage and the audience.”

Atomic Lighting provided the grandMA2 light and the lighting rig, which included Vari*Lite VL3500 spots and VL500 as well as Martin moving lights. “It was primarily about lighting the contestants and the set,” Lawson explains. “There were standard front and back light positions, and Allen lit the set from the floor quite a bit.”

According to Peralta, grandMA2’s “latest software version made it the perfect time to dive in. The pageant had three days of preliminaries and load in to get used to the console. It was great, and Kevin and I are very excited about the future of the grandMA2. Compared to the grandMA, processing is so much faster and the multiuser environment is so much more efficient – a must for Kevin and I who probably do more multi-user-mode shows than most programmers. And loading the show from one console to another is almost instantaneous.”

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Lawson agrees: “The grandMA2 was like getting a much better laptop or a much faster car: It felt faster and more powerful. The feature set is great, and the hardware is snappier. It did everything we needed it to do, and it felt faster at everything. The grandMA was always great, and the grandMA2 was all that and more responsive.”Peralta likes the ability to “customize the look of the desk so it can cater to your personal style. With the effects engine you can reference presets as opposed to forms and tables. It’s good for colour chases and position movements; it’s easy to go from point A to point B. You’re able to score timing parameters in preset pools now, too, so it’s great for running media servers such as the Catalyst & Hippo’s – you can have a preset that has everything snapping in with the right time and right delay.”

Lawson also praised the “cool” effects engine, which he used to build the show, and the “great special dialogue boxes.” In addition, the grandMA2 light was “extremely stable,” he reports. “We experienced no problems. The show went really well, the producer was happy and the ratings were great even against the NFL playoffs!”

A.C.T Lighting is the exclusive distributor of the grandMA2 in North America.

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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.

MA Lighting

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