For Pearl Jam’s 2006 tour, lighting designer Kille Knobel needed a lighting desk could handle the unique demands of the group’s ever-changing show. She found it all in PRG’s Virtuoso® control console with recently upgraded 5.5 software that provides unprecedented capabilities, speed and flexibility.

Although she was new to the Virtuoso system, Knobel recognized that it easily supports playback needs that few consoles can handle. “Pearl Jam concerts are not like other touring shows with the same song set every night or a core set with just a few changes. My show is drastically different every time; in the course of 10 days on the tour we might do 80 different songs.” With the Virtuoso system though, it’s not a problem. “The Virtuoso desk has the ease of use, the quantity of faders and the very flexible playback I need.”

With its dedicated palette, the Virtuoso console makes it easy to make a change when playing cue to cue, Knobel observes. “I can play back from the same color palette or gobo palette instead of repeating the cue. And there are plenty of buttons, so I don’t have to layer functions on top of each other—that’s one less thing I have to think about.”

New features in the 5.5 software include new add/solo and go on fader playback modes, submaster priorities, redesigned cue data and live status displays, patch improvements, data conversion between fixture types, and trackball control for pan/tilt.

Knobel has cheers for the technical support team, who customized the Virtuoso 5.5 software’s enhanced features to meet her specialized needs. “They were right there, every second, every hour of the day, making it happen.”