Recently I was called in by Aisle 6 to work at the opening ceremony of the new sports and arts centre, SunPAC, The Sunnybank Performing Arts Centre. This event was a new experience for me, particularly as a sound engineer, as I was assigned the role of working the Lighting and Visuals. I’ve discovered quite quickly in my short time with Aisle 6, that you will more than likely be in a position where you’re required to branch out in areas such as Visuals, lighting, film, photography, tech repairs and other things that are not related to your field. This event really threw me in the deep end, it was a stressful time having to learn the fundamentals and basics of this new role on the go. And in front of the mayor of Brisbane too…

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The ceremony involved different musical performances, speeches, presentations and videos. My main work throughout the night included lighting changes in transitions, and bringing videos and presentations for speakers, musicians and MC’s. The equipment I was operating included a lighting console, The Roadhog 4, and 2 MacBook Pro’s which we controlling the display on the projector screen.

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The lighting was my main stress of mine, as whilst I’ve operated a MacBook many times, a lighting console was something 100% foreign to me. Luckily my boss Richard was there and set up the console in a very easy to use way. However, I still felt that I was learning on the go, and established beforehand that there was programming issues with lights switching off when they were meant to be dimming. Out of a fear of the lights suddenly turning off at some point throughout the event, I avoided touching those lights. Otherwise I operated the wash lights at the back of the stage, the centre stage spots for the singers in the band, and the lectern light for the speakers, as well as other stage LED’s and movers (which were programmed to move). As I was generally hesitant with the lighting, I tried to focus on keeping the changes as smooth as possible and leave it very basic.

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There were a number of slideshows and videos which I had cued up on one MacBook, on the other I had a holding slide set which did not change for the entire show, I set it up that way at the beginning of the night so that if something went wrong with a video or presentation I could cut back to the holding slide with ease, sort out my problem and then continue. The holding slide was the new SunPAC venue logo. I ran into trouble with the the visuals only once, I was meant to disable the main video player I was using to access a PowerPoint slideshow, I momentarily forgot to disable it, there was an awkward silence but I fixed it quickly and we moved on.

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I think it was a good opportunity, again to throw myself into the deep end with something new, I doubt it will be my last lighting and visuals gig. I really shouldn’t take any industry work I get for granted, I’m very lucky to have these opportunities with Aisle 6.

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