grandMA2: Hillsong United
Hillsong United, the pre-eminent Christian band drawn from the Hillsong Church in Sydney, Australia, has grown from a worship team supporting youth meetings at the church to a defined touring band that travels worldwide. Hillsong United’s latest US tour spanned venues from LA’s Staples Center to Boston’s Orpheum Theatre. Among the equipment complement was a grandMA2 full-size front of house for lighting control and a grandMA2 light as backup.
Ian Hendrick, who designed the tour’s lighting and programmed and operated the grandMA2, has been using MA Lighting consoles for more than a decade. “I don’t see any reason to stop,” he says. “The original grandMA was a solid platform that was powerful enough for anything you could throw at it, scalable from the smallest gig to the biggest extravaganza, and surprisingly user friendly once you got to know it - with everything you might need at your fingertips.”
grandMA2 has been “a great upgrade,” he adds, with “extra features, even more flexibility and a surface that capitalises on the strengths of the old system. Best of all, they did it without taking away any of the charm or usability of the old console.”
Mid-America Sound Corporation of Greenfield, Indiana outfitted the tour; Hendrick programmed the grandMA2 at Mid-America where the initial set up was done, says lighting division manager Bob Williams. Hillsong United’s lighting “tends toward concert rigs that can be easily adapted to fit into the wide range of venues we perform in,” says Hendrick.
Hendrick liked the new layout view of the grandMA2. “It’s a good way to fill the third touchscreen on the grandMA2 full-size console,” he reports.
“It’s handy for giving you a quick visual snapshot of what the rig is doing, as well as being able to pull up quick, unique groupings of fixtures without having to think very hard about it.” The new effects engine has become “second nature”, Hendrick reports. “I’m very happy with it.”
At Hillsong United, Steve Pippett was the production manager and Ricki Cook was in charge of media servers. At Mid-America Sound, Al Story was the crew chief. Andy Woody and Robert Dilk were lighting techs. A.C.T Lighting is the exclusive distributor of the grandMA in North America.