Connectivity and Operability
In terms of connectivity, it’s all there. There’s four Ethernet ports, which is plenty, four DMX, USB, audio I/O, LTC and MIDI ins and outs. On the latest version of the MagicQ Stadium software, you can do virtual management of each port. At the top of the playback faders, there are 15 encoder knobs that are configurable. That means you can have another 15 playbacks, speed masters, or side masters. On your layout, the RGB illumination means every fader can be backlit with a different colour. The Execute Page gives you virtual buttons. You can customise images on the buttons, with the ability to set different images for the ‘active’ and ‘inactive’ states. I’ve mapped images of railway signals onto them for our Christmas train show to let the operator know where we are. Fun!
The Fixture Libraries are all there. If you’re touring in China or come up against some unique fixtures, you can make a phone call to ChamSys, whose support is second to none, or you can find something similar enough and edit it easily. There’s a very helpful search utility in the console that can search the library for fixtures that are similar.
Scene and Cue Management
The scene and cue management on ChamSys consoles makes busking a show very easy. If you’ve got a certain set of fixtures that you’ve used on another show, you can go into that show file, select those fixtures, and export
the settings into the current show file. You can grab any of the bits you want from other shows; colour palettes, for example. I’ve not started a show from scratch for a decade! Show file management is also easy. Just plug in a laptop, and you have instant access to the console’s hard drive. You can grab show files, of course, and even individual audio files. Being able to use a computer for show file management is great. For example, my current show file is 400MB, excluding media content, so that’s much easier to deal with on a laptop than a USB stick.