TUSCON, AZ – (For Immediate Release) – Among the unique qualities that make Tanzanite a much-sought after gem is its remarkable coloration, which changes from blue to violet to burgundy, depending on its crystal orientation. It is altogether fitting, then, that this stone lent its name to the “Tanzanite Stage” at the recent Gem and Jam Festival, which was held at the Pima County Fairgrounds. Aside from the procession of jam band stars that appeared there from January 25-28, the stage served up an array of beams and washes in ever-changing colors, thanks to a multi-faceted lighting rig that Matt “Jonezy” Jones drove with a new ChamSys MagicQ MQ500 Stadium console.
“Some of the artists brought their own LDs, but we handled the majority of acts with the MQ500,” said Jones. “We had a diverse range of bands like Endoplasmic, Railroad Earth, Truth Cartel, Masego, and Breaking Biscuits (a side project by Break The Silence and Disco Biscuits), to name a few. There were 77 fixtures on our rig, and we ran them a lot of different ways, using seven different universes via Art-Net. Our goal was to give every band its own look and avoid repeating ourselves over the course of the festival. I busked the entire time – and yes, the MQ500 was great for busking.”
Jones programmed the show on his MagicQ MQ80 with LightCoverse, then transferred his work to the MagicQ MQ500 Stadium. “I have been a longtime ChamSys user, and this was my first time working on the MQ500,” he said. “I absolutely loved having the second screen on the MQ500. It gave me more real estate to put things on. So, I could have my groups/layout on one screen and my palettes on the other. This made accessing individual fixtures much easier, which is great for busking.
Given the importance of busking at a festival like Gem and Jam, Jones placed a priority on the convenient layout of his console. “When you are in the middle of it, you want everything within easy reach,” he said. “There were just a lot of thoughtful features in this desk. The addition of more faders, as well as the new set of execute buttons above the playbacks, were tremendous. Having the new execute button grid in the middle of the desk was a great idea. It was a great place to drop all my positions.”
“The onboard Visualiser was also cool,” continued Jones. “But what was the most powerful aspect of it was by having the fixtures' real-world XYZ coordinates in the desk, it enabled me to utilize the PLOT VIEW for easily making groups and focusing on lines and to points. Having this on the desk is awesome, and really speeds up programming (or busking).”
For Jones, the user-friendliness of the new console was driven home to him by how quickly it was picked up by his L2, Lighting Crew Chief Kendra Richards of Brown Note Productions. “I can’t say enough about the quality of gear, and professionalism of the Brown Note crew,” Jones said. “Kendra had never worked on a ChamSys before, but the console was so user-friendly, she picked it up quickly, and I felt comfortable enough to let her share in some of the festival operating.”
The convenient features of his console left Jones with more time to spend on creating a show that reflected the many moods of the music on stage. “With all these jam bands performing, the music took off in many different directions,” he said. “I’m happy to report that our light followed every step of the way.”
Based in the UK, ChamSys Ltd. was founded in 2003 by a group of designers and product developers seeking to create a lighting console that offered greater flexibility. The company's MagicQ range has set an industry standard used in some of the most prominent concert, theatre, broadcast and club applications around the world. ChamSys was acquired in 2017 by Chauvet & Sons LLC, a leading global provider of professional luminaires, trusses, controllers and related equipment headquartered in the USA. For more information, visit www.chamsysusa.com