Lighting Designer Jeff Lava has specified a Jands Vista T2 console for the Paulina Rubio 2007 world tour.
The 2007 Love, Light and Sound tour to promote the top-selling Mexican pop artist’s latest album, Anarda, commenced in February with dates in Europe, followed by a March tour of Latin America. The show is currently playing 29 dates in North America and then returns to each region for more Summer and Fall dates.
Tour LD Jeff Lava was hired to take over programming and directing duties after the rig was designed by Barry Halpin in January. When it came to choosing a control console, Jeff decided to check out the Jands Vista after hearing good things about it from a colleague who’d recently used it on a tour.
One of the features that really stood out to Jeff during a demo was the Vista’s generic fixture model. On most other consoles, changing a fixture type involves substantial re-programming – a job that can take hours. In contrast, the Vista records the actual target look on stage so when the user changes a light, the console compares the abilities of the lights and works out how to achieve the same look on stage – even if the new light doesn’t have identical features.
Jeff knew that this feature would really help him out on the European and Latin American tour dates, where due to the logistics of transporting equipment, the only thing he was taking with him was a console, so he hired a Vista T2 for these dates from Steve Nance at US-based Integrity Productions.
He commented: “One of the main reasons that I got the Vista was because we were going to Central America with only a desk. In countries like El Salvador, Columbia and Spain we gave them my plot and I rarely got the specific light I was asking for at most of the venues – I knew that I would get what they had, which was difficult. Language was also a barrier and though sometimes we would fly the rig the day prior to the show, often we had to wait until the last hour to set up the show, due to transportation issues.
The cloning feature of the Vista was superb – I walked into a venue, got their patch list and within twenty minutes I’d have my show converted with their lights. It was a big relief to know I could always rely on the Vista’s generic fixture model and didn’t need to re-program the show’s 380-odd cues from the start everyday. The only thing I would do is touchups. It was an extra 30 mins a day, but after the fixture swap the show was 90% there.”
Jeff also found this process of making show changes ‘on the fly’ each day was made even faster and easier by the Vista’s timeline editor, as he was able to review every aspect of the show’s programming visually on a timeline and then go straight to any point in the show where he wanted to make edits.
The main rig for the European and Latin American tour dates included 40 Martin MAC 2000K washes arranged upstage, downstage and on the floor, 30 MAC 2000 Performance fixtures arranged on 6 curved trusses hanging over the band, and 100 LED fixtures hanging on the upstage truss in blocks of 10.
The current North American leg of the tour uses a permanent rig and Vista console provided by Richard Willis from Bandit Lites Inc., and was programmed by Jeff in the visualisation suite at Bandit’s headquarters in Nashville, TN.
Other lighting equipment used for the North American rig includes XSpots, MAC 600s, Atomic Strobes, 4Light Moles and a Catalyst media server also controlled by the Vista console to run the 100 LED fixtures.
Having now experienced using the Vista under the very different production conditions of Latin and North America, Jeff realized how much easier the console was making the process of adapting his show around the daily challenges of touring.
He commented: “We are playing several Casinos on the US tour. There are going to be times when we can’t load in because a lot of the venues have house-lighting rigs hung. Also, sometimes there are more fixtures in the grid so I can clone them into my show. The Vista is a great way to expand your show without re-programming the show every day when you come into a situation like this.”
Another aspect of the Vista that Jeff was really impressed with was the level of support he received from Jands and A.C. Lighting.
He commented: “Tech support was amazing. When we were in Medellin, Colombia, the lights at the venue were replicas of moving lights that didn’t have profiles. After emailing A.C.’s Fred Mikeska and the Vista support crew, I had the profiles re-written and emailed to me, and the show was quickly up and running.”
Summarising his experience using the Vista, Jeff commented: “I’ve used most lighting desks and Jands have come up with a console that is very different to the others – they were thinking out of the box when they conceived it. The Vista is an easy and fast desk that helps out the lighting programmers and directors. The slogan when you start the desk up – think visually, work visually – is true. We are visual people and we think that way. It’s about time a company made a console that helps us lighting designers out. I will definitely be using the Vista in future.”