“Easy transition from grandMA2 to grandMA3”: Walnut Hill Community Church trusts MA
United States – Walnut Hill Community Church in Connecticut, USA provided a combination of in-person and online weekend services to their five on-campus congregations. The central campus in Bethel, CT, has invested in high-level production values and technology, which includes the purchase of a compact grandMA3 XT lighting console that operates with grandMA3 software.
Jonathan Martin, Senior Creative Lighting Intern, who designs, programs and operates the lighting for most of Bethel’s worship events, helped guide the team’s decision to purchase a grandMA3, supported by the Production Manager of Walnut Hill, Christopher Ellington.
Jonathan explained how lighting was on the agenda when the decision was made to raise the production stakes. “We kept coming back to grandMA3, which offered the perfect combination of price and hardware features,” he explained, while Christopher also underscored the importance of investing in lighting for the present and future. future, and coordinated much of the logistics. work involved in the transition to MA.
The console runs approximately 40 conventional fixtures, 16 moving lights and 42 custom RGB pixel tubes, as well as PAR LEDs and MR-16 blinders, with the pixel tubes widely used for creative lighting and to provide illuminated stage elements, or suspended from roof trusses. or floor mounted where it also helps create visual textures and depth of field for streaming events.
In addition to illuminating the stage, some of the moving lights highlight the 750-seat Bethel Auditorium and are used for key or special lighting, while the heat and glow from the blinders provide classic fade effects. and contrast with the cold precision of the LEDs. There are 25 DMX universes and around 4,000 parameters run from the grandMA3, which the whole production team loves!
Jonathan uses a combination of Phasers and MAtricks extensively in his programming, which is a preferred method for creating extremely fast, very complex lights that are particularly effective when using Pixel Tubes.
He finds Phasers generally very easy and simple to use. “It’s a whole new way of thinking about effects, especially when working with large amounts of devices or pixels.” This console is also Jonathan’s first major grandMA experience.
“I was always aware that grandMA consoles were an industry standard for high-level live productions,” he says, but that was when Walnut Hill borrowed an MA onPC command wing from Adam Biscow. , production designer at Strictly FX, for their 2019 Christmas Eve services, that their own MA journey has really begun!
“Personally, I found it really easy to switch from grandMA2 to grandMA3 and felt like a lot of the workflow was improved,” commented Jonathan, who enjoys working on a console that can be “molded to the different programming needs of myself and our team of volunteers which has been exceptionally valuable!”
Everyone on Walnut Hill’s technical team understood the meaning of investing in quality equipment that would meet their needs for many years to come, including Andrew Baggett, Assistant Production Coordinator who played a key role in transition, handling much of the installation work required. . Jonathan also takes advantage of the grandMA3 software to program offline and test future design ideas when he is not in the building.
He has yet to use the grandMA3’s powerful GDTF/MVR facilities for Walnut Hill, but he has on some of his other personal programming projects. This year he plans to draft their scene and edits in 3D for which he will use both GDTF and MVR, so those will come into play more in the future.
Jonathan started working at the church as a 13-year-old volunteer lighting technician. The biggest challenges of lighting different departments include the lack of haze, which forces everyone to think laterally and use their imagination when creating sets. Being able to add depth to an image is essential for both the in-person experience and the broadcast/online campus experience, which has a big influence on the production team’s creative process.
“I really think grandMA3 is a perfect choice of console for houses of worship large and small because it’s so flexible and can easily meet the needs of those venues and operators,” Jonathan concludes.
photos: Walnut Hill Community Church