Tulsa-based DC Pro LVA is a full production house providing lighting, video and audio products, rentals and design services to clients across North America. The eight-year-old company specializes in the house of worship market, which has increasingly embraced the grandMA platform for lighting control. ACT Lighting, Inc. is the exclusive distributor of MA Lighting products in North America.
“We’ve been selling versions of grandMA products for the past four years,” says Daniel Connell, founder of DC Pro and a lighting designer by trade. “I first used grandMA1 in 2003. Although the MA platforms 2 were really built for high-end events, the larger churches discovered that the platform offered the stable, powerful and flexible control they needed for the level of production they do. So their use of grandMAs has grown and grown.”
“Now, the grandMA3 offers even more entry-level options, so there’s a system for every user – from churches with a full production staff to those where volunteer operators or even the worship pastor runs the show.”
He notes that working with the house of worship market is “like being on tour 52 weeks a year. You’re always a maximum of six days away from the next event. Each church is unique with different people working every week and different services throughout the weekend.”
grandMA3 acquisitions usually replace an older grandMA system or a control platform of another brand. “The system conforms to the operator, so whatever platform they’re coming from we can make it function like what they’re used to reducing learning curves,” Connell explains.
“The depth of the grandMA3’s macro programming language allows us to customize solutions for each church by creating macros that simplify complex processes and serve as guardrails across the whole platform. That means fewer pitfalls to walk into, which makes users feel more confident and ultimately more successful.”
The previs software also enables DC Pro to program services in its studio then send files for the church to load into its system anywhere. The same process also works to fix any issues a customer may be experiencing.
DC Pro handled lighting specification and design for the main Edmond, Oklahoma campus of the massive Life Church, which has more than 100,000 congregants watching multiple weekly online services.
“With that size audience you want to make sure everything runs smoothly and right every time,” notes Connell. Services feature a full worship band and four or five singers with different lighting operators working each service. “The production elements are reminiscent of an arena concert,” he says. “But their culture is one of volunteer operators” working under Lighting Designer Caleb Darago.
Life Church opted for a grandMA3 light CRV (Control Room Version) without monitor wing, which was sold and integrated by Summit Integrated Systems in Denver.
“We programmed during the week utilizing timecode and macros to set up a simple and reliable system that the volunteer operators feel confident using,” Connell reports. “All the programming, which is done with grandMA2 software, is synched to timecode so the volunteers don’t need to attend rehearsals; they just handle the transitions. A custom macro we built then handles automated control of front light changes on the singers, even if this changes minutes before service.”
Another large house of worship, Transformation Church in Tulsa, invested in a grandMA3 full size for lighting and media server control. “The church bought a 4,500-seat basketball arena for their services, and lighting is set up with trusses on chain motors – like for concert touring,” says Connell. “An LED videowall, about 90 x 10 feet, is the backdrop with content driven by media servers.”
In selecting a control platform for the arena space the church was looking for maximum flexibility. “They wanted our lighting operators to be able to pivot at a moment’s notice if they want to inject a new song or change the direction of the service,” he explains.
On a smaller scale, at the Dothan First Assembly of God in Dothan, Alabama the worship leader sets up and plans lighting each week then hands off operator duties to volunteers. A grandMA3 onPC, running grandMA2 software, is an easy and reliable solution to their needs.
“We gave them a show file with preset looks they can cycle through each weekend,” says Connell. “The worship leader picks the looks for each song, hands them off to the volunteers and they bring up the looks as needed. Over a six-month period the worship leader has learned more and more each time he uses MA3 onPC. Now he’s programming custom looks by himself, proof that a non-professional is able to learn the software and use it well.”
“Customers are never disappointed with a grandMA solution,” Connell reports. “Some may be hesitant at first thinking the system is too powerful for them. But once it is set up and they’re trained, everyone is beyond thrilled by what the console allows them to do.
“ACT Lighting has always been amazing to work with,” he adds. “They are expert at training, and when we need extra support they are just a call or email away. ACT gives us extra confidence in serving our clients.”
About ACT Lighting
A leading importer and distributor of lighting products, ACT 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, visit www.actlighting.com .