Country Heroes: grandMA2 Joins Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw

The four-night shoot for the CMA Music Festival featured 380 lights controlled by five grandMA2s

grandMA2 has gone country playing key roles on the “Brothers of the Sun” Tour, with Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw, and at the fan-favorite CMA Music Festival, which held concerts at Nashville’s LP Field.

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“I’ve been one of the beta testers for the grandMA2, and this year marks the first time that I felt I could exclusively spec the grandMA2,” reports Mark Butts who serves as programmer for the “Brothers of the Sun” Tour, with Chesney and McGraw, and programmer and lighting director for the CMA Music Festival. “I’m now specifying them for all my new projects.”

The “Brothers of the Sun” Tour, with Chesney and McGraw, is the tenth that Butts has done with Chesney. The all-stadium tour features “simple straight trusses but a lot of stuff. I decided to go with four grandMA2 full-size just to manage the complexity of the show,” says Butts.

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The consoles need to manage large amounts of data. “Kenny has 400 lights and lots of video – 24 layers of HD video and four servers with a custom Control Freak DMX bridge.  We did a whole multiuser network. The features on the grandMA2 full-size are really great when you have multiple programmers working on the same file and the same network.”

Among the lights controlled by the grandMA2s are 16 Clay Paky Sharpy, which lighting designer Mike Swinford configured in four groups of four mounted atop giant Marshall amp replicas.

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The four-night shoot for the CMA Music Festival featured 380 lights controlled by five grandMA2s on two separate control systems and one pre-vis suite. “It was more of a modern design,” Butts says. “It seemed like a really good time to upgrade. We had all these Jarags, and the grandMA2 consoles were great at managing all that stuff.”

Butts reports that the grandMA2 consoles “worked great and really made my life easy on these gigs.”  He also gives kudos to “the MA Lighting team and A.C.T Lighting for doing such a fantastic job supporting the systems.”

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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, the MA onPC command wing and reliable digital dimmer racks and packs. With its innovative MA VPU (Video Processing Unit) 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 more than 30 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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