Riverview Church slowly sees the light

Posted on Wednesday, April 11th, 2012


The existing auditorium of Riverview Church, a contemporary multisite church based in Perth, has received a technical upgrade with the addition of eight Martin MAC350 LED Profile fixtures, forty Pro Shop PAR64 Tri-Colours, Pro Shop LED Strips and a Martin M1 console.

“We wanted to get some moving lights that obviously featured things such as gobos and the like, but they also had to have a good balance between cost and flexibility,” commented Nat Brown, Technical Supervisor at the church. “We have been careful to introduce moving lights to our congregation as they are not used to them and we don’t want them to be a distraction. The MAC350’s, with some careful programming by me, have been really good.”

Nat particularly likes the gobo set offered by the MAC350 as well as the colours which he describes as easy to integrate.

“I’ve found that the MAC350’s have a large degree of movement which makes them very flexible in terms of placement,” he noted. “For the last couple of months we’ve had four in the roof and four on the ground and that’s working well. However at any given moment I can hang them where I want! Of course, with the M1 console I can have a configuration for any situation and then just move them around.”

Replacing the old PAR can rig are forty Pro Shop PAR64 Tri-Colours and Nat is impressed by their digital blending capabilities.

“They blend really nicely, you can go from red to blue and it’ll go through the spectrum but in a nice, smooth movement,” he said. “I’m really happy with them.”

The Martin M1 console chosen for control, has been a significant learning curve for Nat and his crew as previously they had an ancient analogue console.

“Having said that, it’s been really good,” Nat remarked. “We installed the lights and the M1 three weeks before Christmas as we wanted to use everything for our big Christmas production so we had to learn fast! I attended a five-hour training course in October and then it was basically a case of getting in there and doing it! However the nice thing about the M1 is that you can program around the inexperience of the operator and we use volunteers, not professionally lighting operators, so I program shows that are intuitive and user friendly. The M1 allows for the different levels of operators as well as their different creative styles.”

Initially Nat programmed a fairly basic show into the M1, slowly introducing the moving lights, but now he has more of an intermediate show that allows more potential with the lights.

“The guys are coming along really well with the M1,” he said. “Even our older gentleman, who is a great operator when it comes to sense of colour and movement, is at home using the M1 despite being initially cautious. By programming around the things that may confuse some operators I’ve created a show that rolls out the potential of the console slowly. Things like cues and cue stacks we’ve introduced slowly and as they get familiar with a cue list I introduce how to embed a chase in the cue list and so on.”