DANANG, VIETNAM – Lighting, like music, is a universal language. That’s one reason why MiQ, a New York-based global market research firm, retained designers Martin Dudley and Chris Davey through UK-based event technology specialists Great Expectations, to provide professional lighting design services for a series of events the company was holding around the world for local clients and other interested parties.
But even though lighting has the power to move people everywhere, the availability of lighting fixtures cannot always be relied upon in every corner of the world. Understanding this, Dudley of Martin’s Lights Ltd. and Davey of Stagelighting Tech (both of the UK), knew they would need a powerful, yet flexible, controller that would allow them to accommodate a wide variety of rigs. They also wanted a control solution that they could they could carry on international flights.
These considerations led them to pack two ChamSys PC Wings for their globe-trotting “MiQ Ignite” tour, which concluded shortly before the COVID-19 lockdown. “We are both longtime ChamSys users,” said Davey. “This made us confident that we would manage very well running MagicQ software on Windows laptops with the PC Wings as we traveled to places that were not on the main international lighting circuit. Its programming power is fully fledged, yet it’s in a format that makes sense for travel.”
This confidence was well founded, as Dudley and Davey created engaging and aesthetically pleasing looks, often with widely different rigs in places like Cancun, Mexico and Danang, Vietnam. With Dudley handling the main conferences, while Davey took care of the entertainment lighting, the pair created looks that ranged from professional to festive, all while reflecting positively on their client.
“With all production equipment being supplied locally there was always going to be an element of surprise,” said Davey. “We knew that no matter how much we put into the pre-production, what turned up on site was always going to be uncertain, both in terms of the type of equipment and also its of service history. So, we often had to do things on the fly.”
In addition to having to deal with inconsistent rigs, Dudley and Davey had to design for a wide variety of entertainment specifications. “One day it could be a handful of lights for a roof-top reception, and the next night a vast acre of beach party, but the client expected -and got -- the same vibe for both,” said Davey. “The power of the MagicQ software, its ability to morph quickly and transform shows, was invaluable; so too was the way it allowed us to find and create head files quickly and easily for random unknown fixtures.”
The ability of their control solution to handle different venues was also appreciated by Dudley and Davey. To illustrate this point, they recall how easy it was to move from copper DMX to ArtNet and back again, from a single PC Wing.
When things didn’t go as plan, their system served as fast diagnostic tool. “The ChamSys PC Wings made it incredibly easy to troubleshoot when the unexpected happened,” said Davey. “We both found ourselves playing teacher to the local crews and they were all very impressed with what we'd brought with us. It’s nice to know that in addition to serving our client, we helped advance local lighting markets.”
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