Choosing a Lighting Console

Posted on Monday, September 19th, 2011

by Greg Persinger

While it seems as though it was just last year, 14 years ago this month I was prepping what seemed like a simple lighting plot for a prominent Christian touring artist. The assignment, although simple in scope, was much harder to pull off when it actually came time to do the shows. You see, the tour involved doing shows at every Six Flags amusement park in the United States.

What does this have to do with how to pick a lighting console, you may ask? Well, over the course of the summer of 1997 I used almost every lighting console manufactured at that time. Local production companies provided all of the equipment, and I was forced to use whatever equipment they could provide. That meant that some days we had great gear and some days we were lucky if the lights came on at all.

Although I specified my two preferred consoles of the day, a Celco Gold 90, or the Avolites Sapphire, most of the time I didn’t get them. That meant that some days I was using a console that I had never used before, and that made for some stressful afternoons of programming and some interesting shows.

From that tour I learned that console choice is personal; every console has its own syntax, and a console is nothing more than a tool.

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