Rivers Church in Durban has invested in a new MA Lighting dot2 core console which was specified by Rivers’ Head of Lighting, Ed Helliwell. Helliwell is based at the Rivers campus in Sandton Johannesburg, but also oversees the lighting and visuals departments of the busy Durban venue. He’s a big advocate of the flexibility of the MA control platform and has had a great experience with the grandMA2 in Johannesburg, which has just opened a brand new 3000 capacity auditorium which is in addition to their older 1200 capacity space.
Durban has also been recently refurbished to increase the capacity to 950 with a new balcony, and that seemed an appropriate time to upgrade elements of the lighting. The previous console was old and having issues, so when Helliwell attended a course run by MA’s South African distributor DWR to introduce and highlight the power and simplicity of the dot2, he started thinking that it would be a perfect solution for Durban.
As with many house of worship organisations, lighting is often run by volunteers of mixed abilities, so an essential requirement is for any console to be straightforward. Volunteers can then develop their operating and programming skills at their own pace according to their available time and interest.
“The dot2 is highly interactive. It tells you what to do next, has a range of easy-to-use inbuilt effects and macros that mean, essentially, anyone with an aptitude can start to run it” said Helliwell, adding that all this functionality works well for their set up and encouraging volunteers’ confidence. Looking after the lighting day-to-day in Durban is creative specialist Earle Large and technical director Kevin Naidu. They host several worship services on Sundays and other activities in the venue include shows like the Hot Winter Nights sessions, featuring various Christian artists and performers, which have been very successful.
The venue upgrade also saw the stage re-designed and with this presented a good time to up the production values on the lighting control side explained Earle. Based on all the good reports from Johannesburg with the grandMA2, he was very happy to go with dot2. It also made sense to have brand continuity between the two and naturally, both campuses can now benefit from the renowned service and support from DWR.
Rivers Church Durban has 24 channels of dimmed lighting – currently mostly ETC Source Four PARs - and 10 moving lights at the moment – a mix of profiles, washes and LED washes. The dot2 also runs a hazer.
“We all like the dot2 and it’s extremely user-friendly” confirms Earle, “We can programme a cue stack so volunteers can press ‘go’ and run a good looking show. It’s ideal for the job here in Durban, it is a really expedient size and at just 7 Kgs in weight, very easy to handle!” Apart from that, “MA is known for being a super-solid industry standard platform,” he concludes with a smile.
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