PERRY HALL, MD – Hunter Hughes and his crew at Scout Productions hadn’t worked on an event in well over six months, when they signed on recently to provide lighting and sound for a small outdoor country music show near Landsdale, PA.
“Although 10 years of experience certainly hasn’t been forgotten, it was good to be able to go back to a gig with familiar gear like ShowXpress, and the ease of use that’s associated with it,” said Hughes. “We are really comfortable working with ShowXpress, so it was nice have it on our ‘return gig.’ We use many different fixture profiles with ShowXpress software. Having it at this event enabled us to program our show quickly.”
Hughes worked his Xpress-Rack 1024 with a split power line that enables the unit to run without the need for a laptop by using preprogrammed cues with either the onboard buttons or via IR remote. (His company custom-made a rack panel to hold the sensor for that purpose.)
“The rack features True1 power in and out, 3-pin DMX out with 5-pin adapters that stay in our rack drawer, plus USB B 3.0 inputs for programming computers with the ability to run two 1024 units at the same time in one rack,” said Hughes. “The unit also features 15A Edison power outputs which run through our M8X power conditioner for protection. There are two available universes that the Xpress 1024 rack provides onboard as well as additional ArtNet universes available.”
Programming his show with this setup, Hughes created a variety of colorful looks on the open bandstand stage for the country quintet. A collection of six RGB washes that were hung upstage provided the bulk of the light with help from four additional units positioned on each side of the stage, as well as some battens used for foot lighting.
“This was a small socially distant show,” said Hughes. “The biggest challenge at that event — and on every other one since coming back — is that on a local and regional level the budget has been cut due to social-distancing capacity limitations.”
Following this first country show, Hughes has done other projects, including weddings. Like that show, all subsequent projects have had very limited crowds. “We look forward to larger scale live events coming back soon,” he said, “and remain firmly planted that a positive attitude, along with CDC guideline coherence, will expedite that process”
Still, Hughes makes it clear that he and his crew are glad to be back, even if on a limited basis. “The most exciting thing I think for our guys was just to be on an event again,” he said. “This industry is as much a passion as it is a job. Just to run cables or push cues was something we really missed – and have a familiar tool like our Xpress-Rack 1024 made it all the more rewarding.”