From The Show Floor:
Living in Manhattan I don't own a car. I rent when I need wheels, so I get to sample a variety of models I wouldn't normally. Once I accidentally got a Magnum because of some computer error. I slid into the driver's seat and was immediately impressed by the jet-like cockpit. The smooth, well designed controls felt great in my hands, and before I knew it the car was going 90 MPH down the West Side HIghway. I'm not really a car guy and I don't know what a “Hemi” engine is, but that was an experience I won't soon forget.
I bring it up because almost the exact same thing happened to me when I stood in front of the MA 2 yesterday on the show floor. I love the new look and feel of the console. The faders and buttons feel more responsive, as do the touch screens. As a visual person, I like the new way you can select fixtures. Also, editing effects is really nifty and also visual. I love the Star Trek-y soft faders which adjust attributes of the effects engine. This makes punting an event a real breeze when you need a CMY chase on the fly.
Going beyond some fairly slick layout and interface upgrades, I'm a big fan of MA's philosophy. They want us to use their consoles, that's obvious, but the free tools surrounding it really cinch the deal. I love the visualizer. In this new economic landscape, that pre-planning is invaluable. Plus the idea of designing in the quiet of someplace else has real appeal to those of us easily distracted. (The people next to me are talking about their indiscretions last night. Not pretty. And the security guards on Segways look ridiculous. Just saying.) MAonPC allows us to program a show in a MA environment that is easily networked to the actual consoles when on site. Give us the tools and aggregate their cost through the purchase of the console. Genius.
Or, I could get dinged for every little thing: the offline editor, the visualizer, every universe, etc, etc. Um, no thanks.