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grandMA2 accompanies Will Young’s “Greatest Hits” Tour

Will Young’s “Greatest Hits” Tour

Glen Johnson of i-Lite Ltd, Set and Lighting Designer for the current Will Young's “Greatest Hits” UK and Irish tour, is using 2 x grandMA2 light consoles to run the show's lighting. The two are networked together, with the first used as the main console, and the second running in full tracking backup.

The screens and faders are a "joy"

Johnson has used the grandMA2 light on a number of other tours and events this year, including Maximo Park and Tracy Chapman, and didn't think twice about what to choose! He cites the reliability and 'feel' of the console as two principal reasons, plus the "small, compact" working area that it provides, and knowing that it will be the same every day and "not fail on me!"

He likes many features of the grandMA2 light. The screens and faders are a "joy" to use and he reckons they are the best of all the current lighting consoles. He's also impressed by the hardware the build quality and the sheer speed at which it saves.

Enjoying the power of the new effects engine

He's now experienced a few tours and software upgrades with the grandMA2 light, and with the latest one, is very happy enjoying the power of the new effects engine within his sequence stacks, and watching them slow-fade in and out as required. "The speed in which I can create custom effects using palettes as reference points is perfect,” he states, adding that now being able to use WYSIWYG direct via Ethernet in grandMA2 mode was really helpful in the set up process.

Command line triggering is also something very useful, with snap black outs at the end of songs and a simple 'go' command that can trigger all his individual key light faders to 0%. "No more half leaning across the desk to swipe all the faders down".


The grandMA2 light is controlling a rig of Martin moving lights

The grandMA2 light is controlling a rig of Martin moving lights as well as 35 x i-Pix Satellite and 10 x 48-way CK ColorBlaze LED border lights.

Johnson’s creative starting point for the design was a meeting with Will Young, where the star - the UK's original Pop Idol who's gone on to enjoy a hugely successful career - indicated that he wanted a clean TV studio look with an all-white floor and everything in the air above black and concealed until towards the end of the show. He wanted some solid white columns around the stage, which Johnson changed to the 7 x white Perspex curved sections measuring 8 ft high and 6 ft wide.

Working with Sam Booker at drapes specialist Hangman, they designed the white smoked Pespex sections with no internal frames, so the i-Pix Satellites could be installed to give blocks of light with no ridges. The reflective surface of these also offers the chance to throw the footlights back at the audience. To meet the request to light behind and through black silks and voiles, he is using 10 motorised gauze drops - 5 for black silks and 5 for black voiles.

The consoles, lighting equipment and soft goods have all been supplied to the tour by Lite Alternative, project managed for them by Jon Greaves.