Middleton, WI (24 July 2014) - It's no secret that the Eos Titanium (Ti™) lighting desk has been making a big impression on some of the biggest shows, from Broadway to London's West End, and its popularity is growing with each production. The UK tour of Wicked and the West End revival of Miss Saigon both currently use an Eos Ti system to control their complex lighting rigs. Whether a touring show or resident production, Ti has proven to be a go-to workhorse within the theater community worldwide.
The hit musical Wicked continues its tour of the UK and -- with the help of its Eos-family system -- maintains the same production value as its sister production in the West End's Apollo Victoria Theatre. To make it all happen, ETC dealer PRG provided Wicked with a huge Eos-family control system comprised of Ti, Ion® and Gio® consoles, Remote Processor Units (RPU3), and a Remote Video Interface (RVI), not to mention the numerous conventional lights, moving lights and cyc lights. PRG Project Manager Peter Marshall says:"The on-site touring crew is really getting the best out of the equipment. The desks and networking equipment have all performed perfectly every night." Such a large network could have easily created unnecessary complications, but that was not at all the case. Projections Programmer Marc Polimini explains that "with the Eos network, every device shares the same show file, so it's easy to make sure every part of the system runs in sync."
According to Wicked Programmer Nick Simmons, the Ti's newer hardware made things significantly quicker: "Having the new, larger multi-touch screens on the Ti has been a huge benefit. The extra real estate has meant there was a lot less paging around to find the palettes and presets on this very busy moving-light show. The 20 map-able keys between the screens also helped speed up programming. The processing power and SSD hard drives are very noticeable." The design and production team are also big fans of Magic Sheets, which Associate Programmer Sarah Brown found to be a big time-saver when programming on the show's Gio desk. Polimini also agrees that his overall programming experience far more efficient than he expected: "There are always challenges when connecting a media server and console together, but the way the Eos handled the various attributes made things simple and quick to work with."
Similarly, the West End revival of Miss Saigon had a great deal of ETC hardware operating over their Eos network, which includes multiple clients, RVIs, remotes, Net3™ Gateways and Eos consoles, including two Ti desks and an Ion console. The show's complex lighting rig contains an enormous number of fixtures, including Source Four, Source Four Mini and Source Four Revolution® units. Lights and video were both programmed directly on the show's primary Ti console. "Miss Saigon is the most complicated show I've ever done," says the show's lighting designer, Bruno Poet. "We had very little time in the actual theatrical space prior to opening night; the entire show had to be lit during rehearsals. We had to work extremely fast."
The most recent Eos-family software update was indispensable when it came to keeping up with the expedited production process. Lighting Programmer Warren Letton explains: "It made a lot of the complex effects so much more accurate to control. Being able to fine-tune each channel's scale and size individually was a feature I just couldn't have done this show without." The new ability to access multiple workspaces on the touchscreens of the Ti also proved to be instrumental. "I could lay out my screens quickly depending on what element of the rig I was working with," continues Letton. "I was dealing with a large effects section. Quickly bumping into my Effects workspace meant that I had all the information and controls instantly available. Then I'd jump back to my normal workspace for programming that contained all my direct selects and macros."
Another major plus in the eyes of the Miss Saigon technical crew was the ability to work with Magic Sheets. "The immense amount of scenic elements that had lights built in was effortlessly managed using Magic Sheets," elaborates Letton. "I had one large practicals layout that Associate Lighting Designer Matt Daw had created, which I overlaid with groups and channels. Coupled with the larger multi-touch screens of the Ti, I could quickly zoom and navigate around this Magic Sheet and grab the elements we needed nice and quick - no more flicking through paperwork!"
The entire line of powerful Eos-family consoles, including Ti, was developed specifically to speak the language of lighting designers and programmers, making it a natural choice for big, complex productions such as Wicked and Miss Saigon. "Eos has become such a well-known family of consoles that designers and venue staff are happy to see them come in," explains Letton. "They immediately know the basics and how to navigate around them, and if they don't, it's a quick lesson since Eos is so intuitive." Polimini adds: "I'm definitely an Eos convert, and am now used to the way Eos thinks - I can do some things on an Eos-family console with a few keystrokes, whereas on a different console it would take a lot longer."
Photo Credit: Matt Crockett