high end systems hog 4 lighting console

What’s Trending: Lighting Console Of Choice, High End Systems Hog 4

Marc Lorenz is a freelance operator, programmer, lighting director and designer, as well as a recognized trainer for lighting consoles and media servers. He has more than 25 years’ experience with festivals, arena shows, tours, TV, and corporate events, especially in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Selected recent projects with Cue Design include Skoda Karoq world premiere, Audi MMK, Volkswagen Crafter world premiere, Die Fantastischen Vier Tour, and the David Garrett Tour. He will also be speaking at LDI2017 on The Art Of Programming sessions. His console of choice is High End Systems Hog 4, and here’s why…

So why the Hog 4? Was it because I started with the Wholehog 2, and went on with the Wholehog 3? Maybe yes, maybe no. For sure, the yes means that I could take all my old show files from the 3 and directly load them into the 4 or take all the USB devices I already owned and connect them to the new hardware. Also, my syntax and muscle-memory could remain the same, but there are many more things that I like about the Hog 4. As I work in many different kinds of events, from large corporate shows, to TV and rock ‘n’ roll, the Hog 4 offers me the right tools for all these events. The Hog 4 has big advantages and features: the real-world programming values make traveling with your console and working with a house rig very easy; just select a fixture, change its type, re-patch, and you are 99% done with editing. There’s no need to edit all positions: 45° pan is always 45° pan, no matter what fixture. Also for gobo-rotation and other parameters that can rotate in both clockwise and counterclockwise directions, you can press just one button to invert the value and rotate in the opposite direction. The same applies for positions. That’s a huge timesaver during programming.

With all the multi-cell LED fixtures we have around, the dotted (multi-part) user numbers and the way consoles treat each of the parts of those fixtures, has become even more important, especially when applying effects. I don’t need to think in groups of cells; I can just select all of them, apply an effect, fan it, and I’m done, again because of the real-world values. It’s a fast and intuitive way of doing things and pretty straightforward, no matter how complex the fixture is. This way of doing things continuously is also present in new features like the built-in pixel-mapper, which works more like a built-in media server.

Also, when it comes to busking live shows, the Hog 4 gives me all I need. With the use of command keys, scenes, and batches, I don’t need to flip around pages, but I could if I wanted to. Some other consoles offer many more faders, but most of the time, I can go with the 10, or if I need more, I attach a playback wing, or in small setups just my iPad via OSC, which works as if I have attached the real USB-device.

In festival situations, or fixed installs with a Hog 4 as the house console, I have always liked that, no matter what the house guy has made up for crazy views, I just close all windows, double-click some kind keys, and I feel right at home.

This leads me to another time saver: User-Kinds. I guess everybody knows the pain when stepping through pages of parameters of a fixture, just to find the rotation for the blades for example. The option to combine features of a fixture into my own defined wheel sets/kinds is such a great tool for editing, programming, and playback, and I can also use these kinds for masking my playback. For example, let’s say I have programmed an indoor show that’s now playing outdoors, and there is no need for the gobos outdoors. I can easily just mask the gobos out by applying a kind mask, and in the corporate world, all the features above make sense as well; from the multi-users options to the backup-functionality, the Hog 4 can also cover all the needs of these events.

Nowadays all major brands offer a large feature set, so there is no good or bad console. There are just good or bad programmers. The Hog 4 offers me all the stuff I need in the most intuitive way. This means I can be fast and reach my idea, or the designer’s idea, in the most efficient way.

For more, read the digital edition of August-September issue of Live Design.

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