ETC Ion 1000 goes to Queensland School

Posted on Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

Three years ago Ferney Grove State High School in Queensland started building a 350-seat auditorium. Once completed Auditorium Manager Grantley Sutch set about outfitting the venue within the usual limited budget and now, a couple of years down the track, the lighting console has been chosen and installed.

“We decided to spend money on the infrastructure first,” explained Grantley. “So we did things like patching and rigging event though we had no lights and no console.”

But all good things come to those that are patient and last year Grantley was able to purchase, through Barbizon Australia, an ETC Ion 1000 console, the smaller sibling to the Eos console. Like Eos, Ion is designed for today’s multimedia lighting rigs, delivering control over conventionals, moving lights and LEDs, whilst schools and community theatres are among the venues that benefit from Ion’s operational style. Intuitive and easy to use, the Ion comes in 1000, 1500 and 2000 channel/output configurations.

“One of the reasons why we chose the Ion 1000 is because we stage such a wide variety of events from drama to cabaret to music concerts often hiring in extra gear such as moving lights and LEDs,” said Grantley. “The console is very powerful yet the students find the basic operations are very easy to learn. It’s also designed with the future in mind as the ETC software will grow and expand in what it can do for you. It might be overkill for us at the moment but further down the track I’m sure it won’t be.

“We also got a great price so that prompted us as well!”

Grantley has a student and an ex-student who are very familiar with the ETC Ion 1000 set up which has proven valuable for him and as he finds his way around the console, he is more and more impressed.

“It’s really useful for us because we can throw a whole bunch of lights in, you can see the patch on the screen and you can come up with a bunch of sub groups,” he said. “When we do concerts the lighting is planned over a period of time so we can set up sub groups for various ensembles or events within the performance. As the concert draws nearer, we can then go in and do the cues. That works well for us.”

Grantley is also impressed that any programming queries can be quickly answered by jumping on line to ETC who has always replied within twenty-four hours.

“Any technical issues that have arisen due to us upgrading the system or the way we have configured the lighting evoke almost instantaneous replies as to solve our problem,” remarked Grantley. “That has been really handy.”