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Case professionally solved: “Die Drei ???” (The Three Investigators) are touring with a full grandMA2 system

The Tree Investigators and the strange alarm clock

The production “Die Drei ??? und der seltsame Wecker” (The Tree Investigators and the strange alarm clock) the successful audio drama series has toured Germany for the second time. In addition to Oliver Rohrbeck as Jupiter Jones, Jens Wawrczeck as Pete Crenshaw and Andreas Fröhlich as Bob Andrews, all of whom have already become icons to fans of the series, Peter Klinkenberg was the foley artist and Helmut Kraus the narrator.

Relying heavily on lighting and video

Kai Schwind adapted the original story and directed. The Three Investigators were created at the beginning of the 1960s by the US journalist and author, Robert Arthur.

The sold out tour relied heavily on lighting and video as well as digital sound effects. mb-media Engineering and Design GmbH used a control system consisting of 1 x grandMA2 full-size console, 2 x MA NPUs (Network Processing Unit), 1 x grandMA2 replay unit with 1 x grandMA2 faderwing, 2 x MA VPUs (Video Processing Units) as well as MA Digital Dimmer Touring. With this highly sophisticated system Operator Martin Rupprecht controlled 28 x Vari*Lite VL1000 TSDs, 8 x Clay Paky Alpha Spot 1200s, 6 x Rainbow 8-Lite PRO Scrollers, 1 x Barco MiTRIX LED-Screen as well as Martin moving lights.

The show ran with the new grandMA2 software

“It was our intention to work with lighting moods like in a theatre”, explained Rupprecht, “Therefore we have used only halide lamps, with the exception of the blinders, which meant short focussing times for us. The grandMA2 system was extremely helpful in controlling the 4,500 parametres. The new MA NPU is very easy to configure. We just had to set up the IP address and we could start working immediately. Furthermore the monitoring possibilities were a big help thanks to the integrated touch screen.”

“The show ran with the new grandMA2 software”, reported Rupprecht. “It worked perfectly and I could program even faster than before. Operating the grandMA2 was really a breeze after a short familiarisation. I especially like the new effects engine, the possibility of setting up times in the presets, the part cues and the new macro function.”


The whole network was set-up with full redundancy

During pre-programming, the crew relied on the new grandMA 3D. “With this software we have also had many positive experiences too”, Rupprecht reports. “Both, the graphic performance as well as the ease of use, have impressed us. Moreover we programmed the show in Multi-User-Mode. One console was used for the moving lights and one for video – which saved us a lot of time. The video pre-programming was done by Sebastian Jakob in the run-up to the tour.

The whole network was set-up with full redundancy. This would have made it possible to control the show from the video operator's position behind the stage. A grandMA2 replay unit as well as a grandMA2 faderwing were placed there as back-up, along with the two MA VPUs. Additionally the system had MIDI-access to synchronise with the sound.

The plain plug-and-play configuration

“Working with the MA VPU was very comfortable. This was based on its easy control via the consoles as well as the plain plug-and-play configuration. Furthermore the back-up solution of the MA VPU is second to none. It is possible to back up all my MA VPUs with just one additional MA VPU. In the case of a failure you just have to configure the MA VPU to be backed up. Also, multiple functions like Colour-Keying are a huge step ahead.

Stefan Junker and Robert Sommer were the lighting technicians. Peter Stephan was the tour rigger. Marcus Bergmann was responsible for video direction. Michael Prange, Tom Rath and Jürgen Lochbrunner worked as cameraman. POOLgroup GmbH delivered the lighting equipment.


The Three Investigators