Summer time is here, and with that comes the open-air, one-off festival shows. Load in starts around 8am. Then you have the futile task of battling the mighty sun while trying to create focus positions. Once that's all done, you may think the hard part is over, but that's not the case. Now, you must create cues for bands you don't know; you have no idea how many songs they are doing; and there's no warning of the songs' tempos or vibes. Keep in mind that it is, all of a sudden, around 1pm, if you are lucky and the rig went up quickly, and doors open at 6pm. This only leaves you with five hours of programming time, if you are willing not to stop and eat. There is an easier way.
3D visualizers are becoming more and more useful in these situations and also more realistic. I was just involved in a large-scale outdoor show that required a lot of pre-programming. Using an ESP Vision 3D Visualizer, it was possible for me to program every song in the comfort of a hotel room. Now, with the integration of 3D visualizers and consoles, it is becoming even easier. 3D visualization also allows you to experiment with new ideas and concepts as well as just seeing if they will work. If it doesn't work, it only takes a mouse click to fix. The 3D visualizer has become a vital part of my tool kit.