Crowded House recently played to a sell out crowd at Sydney's Enmore theatre prior to a much anitcipated world tour, and the band’s longtime lighting director Dave Harding was at the helm of a Jands Vista lighting control system to make a spectacular event.
Comprising of a Vista S1, S3 and a couple of M1’s driven off a MAC Midi with a laptop for backup, Dave had been working on the development of the Jands Vista lighting control system since its launch at Plasa in 2004. Dave had been working on the system for a couple of years prior as a consultant to Jands, and he designed the control palettes and had quite a lot of input into the fixture selector.
Dave finds the modularity of the Vista lighting control system very handy, especially on cold Perth nights when the Vista S1 allows him to program a show in the warmth of his hotel room. He has a Vista S1 that he carries around in his backpack. Once he is in his hotel room he can just plug it into his laptop and has encoders, playbacks and such like. The modularity is also good on tour when they do festivals where he may just bring in the Vista S3.
For Crowded House, Dave also utilised a couple of the M1 playback-only Vista lighting control surfaces. The M1 is ideal for applications where the programmer wants to program in advance, such as in a hotel room on a PC, but still wants hardware to control the playback of the show.
With Crowded House, Dave has one cue per song and then he just "fiddles" with it for the whole song. The way he operated the show determined the Vista set up as he wanted the M1’s for their faders.
According to Dave, if theres a tour where the lighting director is bouncing between different rigs all the time, the Vista cannot be beat. The programmer simply pulls a light out of the patch, turns it into something else, puts it back in and it is done. Without that he would have to reprogram every day. Dave really likes the timeline too; it makes it quick to program a sequence of cues.