Nick Ho counts on MagicQ MQ500 and MQ80 at Celebration of Hope
Nick Ho has always appreciated the user-friendly features of the ChamSys MagicQ MQ500 Stadium, but never more so than he did for three days in May. Sleep was a scarce commodity for the designer and programmer during that period, as he handled the lighting for the massive and multi-faceted Celebration of Hope worship festival at the 50,000-capacity Singapore Sports Hub stadium Up all night to program for an array of activities that ranged from worship services and praise music performances, to dances, speakers and skits, Ho would leave for a short rest in the morning, before returning to the stadium to run the show from his MagicQ MQ500 Stadium and backup MagicQ MQ80. “Time management was very challenging,” said Ho. “The time was tight for doing lighting programming for the morning sessions and the evening sessions. Due to the time pressure, my assistant lighting programmer Foon and I worked almost around the clock. I stayed overnight to do programming for the next day’s evening sessions and left in the morning. Foon would then come in to handle the early sessions. We ran through all the sessions together and created quite a number of different looks for each activity.” Working under these circumstances, Ho counted on his console to make his life easier when running his 333-fixture lighting rig, which used 24 universes. “When you are working under pressure with little rest, you value things like the large dual screens of the MQ500,” he said. “They allowed me to lay out the windows more efficiently. The ChamSys consoles and Gary Low, our supplier from E&E, were tremendous helps in making this a success.” Ho busked most of the worship songs sessions during the festival. On these occasions, he found the fader and executor playbacks especially helpful. “I really liked the new executor 3 x 4 layout buttons,” he said. “They were good to use as flashes, and at the same time I could use them as executor buttons for beams.” Another invaluable time and labor saver for Ho was the MagicQ MQ500’s built-in 3D MagicVis visualizer, which he used for pre-programing as well as building cues and palettes. The cloning and morphing features of the ChamSys console also helped him set up pages quickly. “There were many features about the console that made me more efficient,” said Ho. “For example, I found it helpful to be able to assign any color to the LEDs on the playback. The interface was very smooth.” A fun part of the Celebration of Hope were shows intended for children. When running the lighting for these segments, Ho counted on the speed of his console’s cue stack playback feature. “The MQ500 is very fast for flashing because of the good position of controls above the fader,” he explained.