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grandMA3 for Singapore National Day Parade

“It’s a great product!”

Singapore-based lighting designer Javier Tan lit the island state’s annual National Day Parade (NDP) for the seventh time, this time choosing to work with a full grandMA3 solution for the event’s lighting control.

As usual, the venue was The Float at Marina Bay, and due to Covid restrictions, the live audience was limited to 600 people, but this didn’t stop the 56th NDP being an impressive show and display of vibrance and strength celebrating the country’s many unique elements under the theme "Together, Our Singapore Spirit”. The show was broadcast live on multiple TV channels, and the lighting requirement was to ensure it looked fabulous, epic, and memorable as hundreds of thousands watched from the comfort of their homes.

Javier and his co-lighting designer Gabriel Chan – they split the programming work between them – were proud to be part of a talented creative team that helped make this happen, achieved in great style using over 850 lighting fixtures, mostly moving lights, and the full grandMA3 system for control.

Two grandMA3 full-size consoles plus one grandMA3 onPC command wing were joined by two grandMA3 processing unit L, five grandMA3 processing unit M and 16 x grandMA3 8Port Nodes. Javier and Gabriel seized their enforced down time during the pandemic as an opportunity to explore and drill down into the grandMA3 software.

“We thought that there was the potential in the grandMA3 software to handle what we needed to achieve for NDP, so we drew up our lighting plot in Vectorworks and exported the rig using MVR which saves a lot of time compared to exporting it to XML files for the grandMA2!”They think that grandMA3’s powerful networking capabilities are a major advantage for lighting a show like this.

“It allows multiple people to work on different consoles in the same network via different user profiles, so we could work on different tasks simultaneously which speeds up the process.” Time for focusing & programming is always a major challenge on the NDP show and being an outdoor show, most of the lighting work is completed at night.

Javier, a grandMA user since 2007, liked “certain button layouts” on the grandMA3 and thinks “the displays are definitely better, and it’s great to have more screens!” The functions he likes best after this initial experience were the 2-finger scrolling on the screen and the long press dropdown menu, which is “awesome”.

“It’s a great product!” he declares, adding that the company listens to what people want and need and try their best to implement and make improvements on the console. The biggest challenges of delivering this NDP show included the weather, with one of the wettest July & Augusts on record in Singapore, and the production team contending with rain 4 to 5 days a week, but the results looked great on TV and have been widely acclaimed.

Showtec International Pte Ltd provided all the lighting equipment.Programmer Enqi Chee worked alongside Javier and Gabriel, and Glen Wong from Total Solution Marketing Singapore assisted with all technical support on the grandMA3 consoles, together with Luke Chikkala and Franco Zaghini from MA’s Singapore office. Hakeem Adam from Total Solution Marketing Singapore also stayed up with the team on site for many overnight sessions.

Total Solution Pte Ltd is the exclusive distributor of MA Lighting in Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia.

Photos: © Gabriel Chan

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grandMA3 processing unit M

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