The CPS Group, based on the south coast, has long had a close relationship with leisure and event venue operator BH Live. Since 1994, CPS have secured a reputation for providing high end technical services and installations of performance lighting, pro-audio, and AV technology to the entertainment and leisure industries across the south and the UK. So, it came as no surprise that BH Live’s Technical Stage Manager, Simon Bagnall contacted Simon White at CPS in the first instance when he was looking for a new console.
“Our choice for another MA Lighting dot2 console from Ambersphere Solutions through CPS was to build on standardising our stock of control surfaces across our venues,” opens Bagnall. “We purchased our first dot2 about eighteen months ago. Since then we have invested in two further consoles along with a fader and button wing. The platform has proved itself not only powerful but also a versatile and cost-effective investment. This latest purchase of a dot2 XL-F includes a Button wing which was really down to improving flexibility across the various uses required to more complicated programming to simple standalone applications. This brings our total inventory of dot2s to three XL-Fs, two F-Wings and a B-Wing.”
One of the most recent shows hosted by BH Live at Bournemouth’s Pavilion theatre was a production of Priscilla Queen of the Desert. The lighting was designed and programmed on the dot2 by resident designer, Olly White. “The lighting rig comprises a combination of moving heads, LED Pars along with approximately 140 generic fixtures including Profiles, Fresnels and Pars so there’s plenty to play with. I was given a few ideas from the director and attended a couple of rehearsals, did some research into previous versions of the show but I didn’t want to copy anything that had already been done; I used the research to form a scrapbook of ideas and went from there.’
“Due to the way the show flowed there was a fairly high cue count on a short production period: just short of 300 cues. Get-in was on the Sunday morning with the first show on the Tuesday night so timings were tight. I use the dot2 OnPC for every big show, mainly for pre-programming groups, patching and programming presets. This is so I have less to do when I jump on the console and need to get programming cues for the show. The export patch list function is also very useful for producing a sheet to work from when rigging and patching the fixtures on stage. I just find the dot2 a very quick console for getting the look that’s in my head onto the stage very efficiently. Most of the shows I work on have a very short amount of production time so the dot2’s ease of use is very important to me.”
BH Live took advantage of the customer support provided by Ambersphere as Bagnall explains, “The support from both CPS and Ambersphere has been an integral part of the dot2 journey.”
“Thor came down when we were initially thinking of investing in our first dot2 and spent the day doing the basic training with the team here,” adds White. “I regularly follow the online tips and tricks videos to see if there’s anything new to learn and often pick up something useful. The desk is so easy to use I often find if I don’t know how to do something I can work it out in a short amount of play time! Even now, I am still finding new things on it all the time.”
Ambersphere’s Thor André is in full agreement, “Since BH Live took delivery of their first dot2, we have stayed in close contact. The feedback from the users has been great and we are looking forward to getting more of the in-house technicians trained up on it after the summer. They have a great diversity of shows and events. One week it might be theatre, then concerts and throw in some corporate events to spice things up. Other consoles are more geared towards specific use whereas this is the kind of environment the dot2 is perfect for.”