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grandMA2 and Clay Paky Alpha Wash 700s Generate “OMGsâ€? Backstage at Usher’s OMG Tour



There are a lot of exclamations of “OMG” on Usher’s current OMG Tour, his first big-budget spectacle since 2004. The platinum-selling artist has remarked that he wanted to make sure his show was state of the art and would have fans leaving with an OMG experience. Meanwhile, behind the scenes, the grandMA2 and Clay Paky Alpha Wash 700 luminaires are generating “OMGs” of their own. A.C.T Lighting distributes both products in North America.

Usher’s futuristic, high-concept show challenged Lighting Designer Peter Morse and Associate Lighting Designer Eric Wade. “We had to design around a lot of fly gags and moving set pieces,” notes Wade who heads FOHShow, a lighting- services company. “The rig is designed to look big but not be completely massive; it’s large but not over the top. It fills two trucks and features between 160-200 fixtures.”

Wade comments, “I love the grandMA2 because you can pretty much program it however you’re comfortable programming: Nothing is set in stone. It does everything the way I’m used to working but with lots more bells and whistles. And the networking is amazing; I had Benny Kirkham come out and help me program, and we worked simultaneously with him setting up his desk exactly the way he wanted while I did the same.”

Wade also gives kudos to the grandMA2′s quantity of faders and playbacks, which are “really helpful” tools and to the macros which he’s glad to see again on a console. “I haven’t had them on a desk in years, and I don’t know how I lived without them,” he says. In addition, “the whole visual aspect and layout of the grandMA2 is so well thought out. The screens are beautiful, and the touch sensitivity is dead on. It’s a very nice desk to program and run.”

For the OMG Tour the grandMA2 controls a lighting complement that includes 24 Clay Paky Alpha Wash 700s. Most are scattered over the floor with some rigged along the fly truss.

Compact, lightweight 700-watt wash lights, Alpha Wash 700s are fitted with a complete CMY color system, special colors and two adjustable beam shapers. They offer extraordinarily wide, fast and linear pan and tilt movements.

“The Alpha Wash 700s are great lights, and I wish I had more,” says Wade. “As an effects and beam light they’re absolutely amazing. I had used them on Alicia Keyes and loved them. So I told Peter (Morris) about them. The 700s deliver all those beam effects and everything you need to get that extra layer that really punches through.”

“Working with guys like Peter Morse, Eric Wade & Benny Kirkham is beyond great. They are all top-notch professionals and the show they put together is gorgeous. They have worked with a variety of consoles over the years so I really respect their opinions. This is a great lighting show but Gary Westcott is also using 2 grandMA Series 2 full-size desks to run the video portion of this same show with great results,” concludes Bob Gordon, President and CEO of A.C.T Lighting.

About A.C.T Lighting

A leading importer and distributor of lighting products, A.C.T Lighting, Inc. strives to identify future trends and cutting-edge products, and stock, sell and support their inventory. The company provides superior customer service and value for money to all of its clients.

For more information call 818-707-0884.

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December 2010
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