A pair of grandMA consoles is accompanying Beyonce on her world tour, which kicked off in Tokyo and excited Australia before commencing its European leg. A.C.T Lighting is the exclusive distributor of the grandMA in North America.
With the tour described as a cross between a theatrical play and a rock ‘n roll show, the grandMAs control an extensive array of media servers and lighting instruments. Show numbers run the gamut from theatrical-style, classic Baroque scenes to old-school R ‘n R acid guitar solos to gold-plated hip-hop extravaganzas. The set is dominated by a tracking staircase unit where the band and back-up vocals live, entirely fitted with Barco‘s OLite modules. Complementing the staircase unit are drapes, which fly or track in and out to create not only additional scenery but also projection surfaces.
“Beyonce wanted something simple yet sophisticated. The aesthetic is very clean and simple, and the technology is neat,” notes JUSTIn Collie who created the performance environment design for Artfag LLC. “Video is an integral part of the show and the visual effects created with the layers of video are particularly deep. There are regular LEDs, projections and soft LED.”
“The grandMA is always our favorite in terms of multitasking,” Collie continues. “No other console would have come close. Its programming and design was a success, especially considering the short turnaround time coming out of rehearsal into new show formats.”
“The video routing of all media servers, the Encore system and 14 DL2s is done entirely from the grandMA via Control Freak’s Encore DMX bridge,” notes programmer Demfis Fyssicopulos. “This proved to be an intuitive task due to the console‘s customizable layouts and easy access to fixture attributes.”
“A key feature of the console that makes controlling all the video components of the show is the ‘Smart‘ window,” he points out. “The ‘Smart‘ window is an active display of possible fixture features that automatically changes according to fixture selection.”
In addition, the grandMA‘s ability to control the 20 universes of DMX (four of them delivered via Artnet) in perfect sync and without any delays was a huge advantage. Fyssicopulos and Pat Brannon, lighting director for the tour, programmed the show on two grandMAs networked on multi-user mode, then the consoles were switched to Full Tracking for playback during the tour.
The gear controlled by the grandMAs includes 60 VARI*LITE VL3000 spots, 58 Mac 2000 washes, six Robe 1200 spots, two Hippo systems, 10 FagPods, three Quazars, Martin 14 QFX 150’s and 23 mirror balls.
“Working on this production was a very gratifying and fantastic experience,” says Fyssicopulos. “As a programmer, it is outstanding to work with people like JUSTIn and Stuart White from Control Freak Systems. JUSTIn’s artistic eye is simply jaw dropping, and Stuart’s capabilities with his video software make you wonder if he is an Einstein descendant. Only great things can come about when you‘re surrounded by great people like them – and they did…”
“JUSTIn and Demfis are two of my favorite people. I know that they will really use the grandMA to the edge of its capabilities and the result will be breathtaking. I cannot wait to see the show,” comments A.C.T Lighting’s President and CEO Bob Gordon.
Ed ‘n Ted‘s Excellent Lighting is the lighting vendor and XL Video the video vendor.
About A.C.T Lighting
A leading importer and distributor of lighting products, A.C.T Lighting, Inc. strives to identify future trends and cutting-edge products, and stock, sell and support their inventory. The company provides superior customer service and value for money to all of its clients. For more information call 818-707-0884 or visit