Lighting designer Chris Kuroda and programmer Gary Radakovich spent the early part of 2003 touring with Phish and pushing the envelope of multi-user programming with the new grandMA version 4 software. "When Mike Falconer from A.C.T Lighting gave me a sneak preview of version 4 at the end of 2002 in Seattle, I was totally hooked on what this could mean for how Chris and I work," says Radakovich. "I've been a grandMA fan for a while now--things like the definable LTP priority of the programmer and the networking stuff has always been cool--but multi-user just blows me away."
The Phish rig consists of 22 High End Systems Studio Beam™ PCs, 30 High End x.Spots™, and 200 conventionals which, along with the two grandMAs out front, were all provided by Creative Stage Lighting. Although only one grandMA is actually sending data to the lights, the other console is more than just a backup. Kuroda explains. "The grand plan was to slowly phase out the 40 Altstars we have been using for years--a great light, but it only operates properly on its own console speaking its own protocol. The plan's final goal was to have me running the 40 or so Altstar replacement lights, as well as everything conventional on my console, while Gary runs everything else. Having it all be one show, I can take over everything or vice versa at any given time, whether for pleasure or necessity. The terms main console and backup console are irrelevant to our situation, as our consoles are neither or both, however you choose to look at it." Chris and Gary are on the road with Phish this summer.
Gary Radakovich with the grandMA