With the iPad came endless apps, many somewhat useful, some just for fun, and then others that have created a possible paradigm shift. Synthe FX Luminair for iPad has been around a while, but our judges saw fit to award its latest incarnation for making strides in control. In fact, we don’t even know what to call it: app, software, control, console? One judge likes it “partly because it runs on an iPad but partly because it’s been brave enough to approach creating cues in a different way from other lighting consoles. For the kind of show it’s aimed at—small shows, TV shows—it’s an interesting approach.” Another says it’s “easy to dismiss as being ‘not like the lighting controls we use’ and/or ‘not powerful enough to do a big show on.’ People who approach it with a fresh eye really seem to like it, like people doing TV shows, where it’s not a huge rig and where the ability to set up the structure of a look—for example, ‘light thru window’—in advance and then fill in details of how that look is made—‘light thru window = channels 1, 6, 9, 52’—is useful. It also means you’re self contained, rather than having the iPhone/iPad as well as the actual console stashed somewhere else in the building.”

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