Howden Park Increases FLXibility

Howden Park Increases FLXibility

Eaton’s New Zero 88™ FLX Lighting Console is proving a great solution for Howden Park Centre in Livingston, Scotland, a busy multi-functional venue featuring a 300 seater theatre, three fully configurable studio spaces, two galleries and meeting rooms, complete with a vibrant and varied programme of music, arts and performance.

The FLX console is a recent addition to the equipment inventory. The console was specified by Howden Park’s technical co-ordinator Ian Gibson and theatre technician Stephen Oakes, who undertakes most of the show operation … and they are delighted.

Ian and Stephen first became aware of the FLX – launched at the 2015 Prolight+Sound, expo in Frankfurt - via a Zero 88 mailshot, which was followed up by a demo from Eaton’s Paul McEwan.

They were immediately impressed with its power, great flexibility, fader wing, overall ease-of-use, tidy footprint … and excellent price!

The new console was delivered via Edinburgh based Zero 88 distributor Black Light, and is installed in the theatre at Howden Park, where it is controlling up to 125 channels of dimmed lightsources, six LED spot lights and six LED wash moving heads, four LED battens and two LED flood fixtures.

Here, as anywhere in the world of performance, tech time for incoming shows is always short and at a premium, so time saving functionality was high on the agenda when they were looking for a new console. Also, they needed a control desk that could cover a wide range of operating styles, from tightly cued theatre shows to more ‘busked’ and improvised music and concert events, together with multiple levels of user experience.

Having now used the FLX console on several shows, they are even more impressed with the options and advantages it brings to lighting any show.

“The multi-touch screens and features like tap-tempo for each chase and the colour picker with filter selection are really intuitive, great time-savers and a vast improvement over anything else available in the price range” enthused Ian.

He, Stephen, the other full time technicians plus their regular freelancers are all finding that basic everyday console functionality like editing new fixtures in to a show is much quicker and more efficient. They and experienced users also appreciate the opportunity of being able to drill deeper into the FLX’s more powerful and sophisticated features.

The theatre, which stages approximately 200 shows a year also has Zero 88 dimming – a mix of Chillis and Betapacks. Ian rates the dimmers highly, and now with the FLX console, believes the brand has moved up several notches on the lighting control front.

He adds that the backup and support from both Black Light and Zero 88 themselves is excellent and another major reason for the decision to invest in FLX. “They seem to be there 24/7 and respond immediately to any queries – usually with a comprehensive answer” he concluded.

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