Jands Vista: Something So Strong

Posted on Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Prior to a much anticipated world tour, Crowded House played the West Coast and the East Coast Blues & Roots Festivals, plus a sell-out show at the Enmore Theatre in Sydney. The band’s longtime lighting director Dave Harding was there at the helm of a Jands Vista control system comprising of a Vista S1, S3 and a couple of M1’s driven off a MAC Midi with a laptop for backup.

Dave has played an integral part in the development of the Vista from the launch of the system at Plasa in 2004 until present day.

”I had been working on it for a couple of years prior as a consultant to Jands,” said Dave. “I designed the control palettes and had quite a lot of input into the fixture selector.”

Dave finds the modularity of the Vista 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.

“I have a Vista S1 that I carry around in my backpack,” he explained. “Once in my hotel room I can just plug into my laptop and it’s got encoders, playbacks and such like. In fact I did most of the programming for the West Coast Blues Festival appearance in my hotel room. It was just too cold outside at 1am in the morning! It worked out really well and looked good. The modularity is also good on tour when we do festivals where I may just bring in the Vista S3.”

For Crowded House Dave also utilized a couple of the M1 playback-only Vista control surface. The M1 is ideal for situations where you can do your programming in advance in your hotel room on your PC, but you still want hardware to control the playback of your show.

“I’m a very hands-on operator and do a lot of things flying by the seat of my pants!” said Dave. “With Crowded House I have one cue per song and then I just fiddle with it for the whole song. I guess the way I operate the show determined the Vista set up as I wanted the M1’s for their faders.”

According to Dave, if you’re doing a tour where you’re bouncing between different rigs all the time, you can’t beat the Vista.

”You just pull a light out of the patch, turn it into something else, put it back in and it’s done,” he remarked. “Without that you’d have to reprogram every day. I really like the timeline too; it makes it really quick if you’re programming a sequence of cues which I don’t usually do with this band but have done with Split Enz. Their show was very structured, each song would have 20 – 30 cues and a whole bunch of chases, and I used the timeline heavily.”

Dave is about to embark on the world tour with Crowded House, with lighting designed by Paul Normandale, and the Jands Vista system will accompany him all the way.