Before starting the current leg of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band’s “The River Tour 2016,” The Boss’s lighting team took advantage of A.C.T Lighting training classes to get them acquainted with their new grandMA2 full-size consoles.
A.C.T Lighting, Inc. is the distributor of MA Lighting products in North America.
The grandMA2 training session at A.C.T. Lighting's offices in Burbank, California. Lighting designer Jeff Ravitz and tour lighting director Todd Ricci, along with crew chief and second MA operator Brad Brown, trained with Kat Covell, software trainer at A.C.T Lighting’s offices in Burbank, California. Ravitz has spent more than three decades touring with Springsteen. Both Ricci and Brown are from long term lighting contractor, Morpheus Lights.
“In the training classes we have a set curriculum of master topics, which we call MA’s Golden Rules, then we add topics applicable to the users and their particular situation,” said Covell.
“Our classes are very task-driven; everyone gets hands on the console. We start from the ground up making topics more complex as we go along. They’re really fun classes – it’s always interesting to see where users take them. [The grandMA2] is an evolution of the grandMA so there’s a lot more for users to learn, like presets and a new Editor.”
For the current leg of the North American “The River Tour 2016” two grandMA2 full-size consoles and one back up unit were deployed. The tour had long used grandMA consoles for lighting control; when it migrated to the grandMA2 platform recently the team decided that training sessions would help familiarize them with the new capabilities and functionalities of the desk.
“Even though I haven’t done my own programming in quite awhile, it’s important that I understand more of the process. Over time I’ve gotten further away from modern programming techniques, but with the addition of a new console it made sense for me to learn what it can do. The grandMA2 is so user-friendly and powerful – there are a few things even I can do on it,” said Ravitz.
“We’re used to Bruce changing up the show on a second’s notice, so we need to be able to grab anything anytime. We live cue by cue with Todd at the board. For this leg of the tour we have quite a bit of new material that’s never been played live before, so we’ve had to do some fresh programming on grandMA2.”