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Light shed on Heaton’s universes

Production News
21 April 2018

DRAWING ON over 70 songs from singer Paul Heaton’s back catalogue, the lighting console on his live show needed to access a wide range of visual looks at short notice, according to lighting designer Patrick Sollitt.

Each song needed a unique look, he says, so he designed the show on a MagicQ MQ500 Stadium by Southampton-based manufacturer ChamSys, creating six flexible “universes” featuring 34 wash, 24 spot and six beam fixtures.

“I would describe the lightshow as ‘big,’” explains Sollitt. “We put a lot of brightness out there and change things up quite a bit as the music goes from full-on pop to delicate ballads. Paul conveys a range of emotions and mixes styles from various points in his career. We vary our lighting to reflect these moods.

“There’s a lot to like about the MQ500. Having two screens is convenient, as are the greater number of faders. The desk is well equipped for busking, with generous screen space.”

However, Sollitt says he did not busk on the Paul Heaton tour. Instead “delicately programming” each song using WYSIWYG for plots and the onboard ChamSys 3D Visualiser for off-line programming.

“I really liked the way I was able to get beam and gobo rendering done on the visualiser,” he says.

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