grandMA2 consoles and switches played a key role in networked lighting and video control for SAP’s Sapphire NOW/ASUG Annual Conference at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando. Lighting designer Paul Palazzo and programmer Paul J. Sonnleitner have worked on the event since 1999 and have been using MA consoles for the last 12 years.
The conference has grown to encompass three days of keynotes, workshops and an exhibition floor. America’s SAP Users’ Group (ASUG) helps customers connect with each other, understand SAP products and services better and learn how to get the most from their investment.
“The conference has become exceedingly large attracting some 20,000 participants”, says Sonnleitner,“ and spans the entire convention center. We need solid network technology to handle it, and it’s nice that we can stay within the MA family to do so. We don’t need an IT department to provide solutions.”
The entire event featured 82 universes of DMX for 2,970 focusable conventional fixtures and 927 automated fixtures. A six-foot tall 3,800 x 480 pixel videowall, fed from 2 x MA VPU plus MK2 (Video Processing Unit), served as a cyc displaying SAP’s signature colors and graphics upstage of five projection screens dedicated to IMAG and graphics. Over 1,500 points suspended five and one half miles of truss that supported the rig.
“The show was massive,” Sonnleitner says. “We had 2 x grandMA2 full-size in the Keynote Theater, another in the Live Business Theater and a fourth as a roving focus console if we needed it on the floor. 1 x grandMA2 light was positioned in the catwalk to patch fixtures as necessary. All the consoles were networked together.” 6 x MA NPU (Network Processing Unit) were also deployed.
A fiber backbone distributed data and kept several VLANs with MA-Net2, sACN, and media server CITP separated. 2 x MA Network Switch “easily divided these protocols for the VLANs and saved us a lot of time,” says Sonnleitner. “We could have spent more money on other brand switches, but the MA Network Switch solved all our problems, and I could configure them from the console.”
He explains that the show required a huge network “because events in the Keynote Theater affected the exhibition floor.” Lights were dimmed in the exhibit area so attendees could watch keynotes, then the lights faded back up and workshops began. When the last keynote was given in the theater, drapes opened to reveal the adjacent exhibition floor as a chase by more than 300 truss toners welcomed conference-goers to the space.
Sonnleitner finds Layout View “hugely helpful for pre-building large trade shows because there are a lot of lights we can’t see from where we’re sitting. As the farthest light from the keynote console approaches half a mile away, I can’t see it with my eyes. With Layout View we can look at what we’ve built and discern the state of the lights regardless of location.”
He also liked the way the console handled the 120-foot diameter, concentric circle truss with hundreds of truss toners mounted over the exhibition floor. “MA Tricks is very helpful for breaking large groups of fixtures into smaller, manageable sections with just a touch of a button,” Sonnleitner explains.
“The support we get from A.C.T Lighting is fabulous,” he adds. Christie Lites supplied the grandMA2 consoles. Joel E. Silver was the associate lighting designer for the event.
A.C.T Lighting is the exclusive distributor of MA Lighting products in the USA and Canada.