Live@Work - 23_KW28 - Working in groups

For two days the sound collective of the HTW performed a show called "Rocket Rhapsody" in the Audimax of the Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft at the Treskowallee campus in Berlin. Numerous pieces by Queen were reinterpreted. And the effort for this was immense. On stage was a choir with over 40 participants, who were accompanied by an orchestra of about 20 members. In the background, too, there were numerous items on the to-do list that had to be prepared for this show.

The lighting equipment had been set up so far, the show programmed in terms of the finished cuelist and executors ready. But then it became apparent that the four LED bars installed were much too weak to fully illuminate a screen on stage from behind as desired. There were two fortunate circumstances, however:

  • Powerful alternative units of a different type and manufacturer could be procured in higher quantities.
  • For the original LED bars, three device groups had been set up in DMXControl 3, with which the corresponding screen scenes were programmed.

So, the new fixtures could easily be inserted into the existing groups. Someone had even in good faith self-wildly dismantled the old fixtures, which could then also be quickly removed from the project and the groups. Thanks to the group and HAL concept, the originally programmed show immediately ran as desired. So, like in daily life: Group work is just great...

After that, the show was reprogrammed a bit together with the student Jannik, who had only worked with bigger consoles before, but not with DMX software. It took only a few minutes until he was sufficiently at home in DMXControl 3. He will now continue to use the tool, as he was immediately convinced of its capabilities.

A special feature of this show was that a large wide-angle beamer was used in parallel. From this, partly animated images were projected for the stage frame and the sides of the stage. Unfortunately, these were two independent projects at this show, so that there was no connection between beamer and DMXControl 3. We helped ourselves by giving the cues in both systems the same number and switching them on (halfway) synchronously when called.

For me personally, there was also another first. We had 46 lights in the show controlled by a single Nodle U1. The 512 channels of the universe were sufficient for the lamps, but in the absolute extreme case you are only supposed to have a maximum of 32 lamps in the string because of signal attenuation. We therefore routed the signal from the FoH in the tier to a splitter (available for the first time) on the stage. From there, six strings with an average of eight lamps each were fed out. This all worked out wonderfully.

The show went great with DMXControl 3. There was only one scare moment before the last performance on Saturday. The lighting designer wanted a small change in the cuelist. After pressing the update button, DMXControl 3 unfortunately froze and could only be restarted with the penultimate project version.

Afterwards, when reporting about this show, it turned out that this problem with the freezing of the GUI after using the update button is not completely unknown.

However, this is a very rare and sporadic bug that the team is already working on. Which basic conditions must be given, so that this bug occurs, could not be limited up to now however not completely. So, if you are using DMXControl 3.2.3, you should rather save a changed lighting mood via the merge function into the corresponding cue, which you can find in the menu bar of the cuelist editor.

Yours Frank