Durban, South Africa-based event production and rental specialist, AV Company, run by the dynamic father and son combo of Craig and Keagan Browning, has invested in its first grandMA3 console with the purchase of a grandMA3 compact XT.
The company provides full turnkey solutions – lighting, audio, LED screens & video, staging, trussing, rigging and power – for a diversity of events, including fashion shows, awards presentations, brand activations, product launches, etc., all over KwaZulu-Natal and across South Africa generally.
The console, delivered by South African distributors DWR, is the second MA console in AV Company’s inventory, following a dot2 acquired in 2016.
As the company has grown and expanded, especially as events re-started so enthusiastically after the pandemic, “We simply needed a bigger console to handle larger and more complex shows that we do,” explained Keagan.
They looked at the options and decided that as a worldwide very popular industry benchmark for lighting and visual control, it made sense from that perspective to continue with MA, in addition to the dot2 having been a great workhorse over the last six years and still used extensively on the smaller gigs.
“MA Lighting is consistently on international riders, the brand has an excellent name, and in South Africa, DWR is not only the leading professional sales company, it’s also known for its outstanding service and support,” he further elucidated, concluding that all things considered, it was an obvious choice.
AV Company’s primary lighting designer / director Mbulelo Msuthwana was also involved in choosing the grandMA3. He is one of the best – and best-known – LDs in the Durban area, has also worked internationally and is a great asset to the team.
Keagan initially started working for AV Company as a lighting tech. As a company director, he now doesn’t get much time to run light shows, but still takes a keen interest, and every few months will get hands-on. “I still love being a lighting tech and a programmer – it’s where my heart is!” he declares.
They have been running the console in grandMA3 mode from the off.
Hardware wise, the 6 DMX outputs and 8192 parameters are great for the scope of their work, and they are enjoying the “sheer usability,” he commented, adding that if you understand the principals of show lighting, you will quickly pick up the architecture, philosophy and simplicity of the console.
“You can patch a show and have it up-and-running in 30 minutes, it is THAT user-friendly once you understand the basics,” he noted, saying that all the workspaces and navigation are intuitive and logical.
He’s also impressed with the way that MA Lighting keeps their fixture library up-to-date and always relevant.
The desk arrived in mid-February having been ordered at the end of 2022. It was in the AV Company office for 3 hours after being unloaded from the delivery truck … then went directly out on its first show – a major sales conference for German multinational Beiersdorf AG staged at the Zimbali Estate Lodge Hotel.
Keagan and AV Company’s lighting team accessed and made the most of the various MA educational spaces before the console arrived which helped with some accelerated learning sessions once the console arrived and was in front of them!
“We are all delighted,” he declares, “the build quality is incredible, and it’s been out constantly on our larger shows,” which have included a concert for South Africa’s favourite rockers, Prime Circle, several product launches at Durban Convention Centre, plus shows for the local government
Photos: © Courtesy AV Company
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grandMA3 compact XT