Lighting designer Emma Westerberg has just finished off her year-long worldwide tour with Damien Rice and her ETC Congo jr, saying she remains delighted with the lighting control console. She bought the Congo jr a year ago and says it has behaved flawlessly ever since.
Speaking at London's Wembley Arena after focusing the lights, Westerberg explained, "I got the desk in January, and within the hour, I had everything programmed and was up and running. The same was true when Damien was playing at festivals over the summer: because I had my own desk, we could get going so quickly."
In addition to nine 19º and eight 36º Source Four profile spotlights, the arena rig included battens, floodlights, snow machines, foggers and some 40 Mac moving lights.
Without a set song list, Emma had to work quickly on the fly, which is where the direct selects come into their own: "I have full access to different lighting states at the touch of a button, and the Congo allows me to pick how long I want the state to change in that moment - I don't have to pre-set each separate time on the desk. One second or 25 makes a huge difference and it allows me to follow the mood of the show more as a band member than a button pusher. I love the flexibility of the desk, and you can have whatever you want within seconds. It's incredibly fast to learn and use."
"I also love the flexibility of the masters. Since they can do anything, I'm free to work as I want, rather than being tied to a specific way of working or thinking. Other desks force you to think and work in certain ways, but that is nothing I've experienced with my Congo jr."
Congo jr is the compact version of the larger Congo system, boasting all of the processing power of its bigger brother. With its full-featured Congo functionality - identical channel and output counts as well the same potent operating software - Congo jr easily handles lighting rigs filled with conventional and moving lights as well as LEDs, media servers, and other DMX-controlled multi-parameter devices. Congo jr also features the convenient modularity of an optional Master Playback Wing, which can access all 40 multipurpose masters of the main desk for full playback functionality.