The UK’s Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre (TMAC) recently took deliver of a brand new Zero 88 FLX lighting control console, as specified by technical manager Kevin Stratton.
The multi-purpose performance venue located in Taunton, Somerset is dedicated to staging an array of shows, events and activities for the local community, embracing music, dance, drama, comedy, spoken word and other genres.
Just before the country was placed under lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, TMAC took stock of a brand new Zero 88 FLX lighting control console, complete with two wings, replacing its previous generation Zero 88 consoles, which have been there since the venue opened in 2000.
“A new console isn’t an item purchased every year, so we wanted to ensure that it was right for us and fit for purpose and trialled/demo’d a number of options before choosing the FLX,” said Stratton.
Familiarity was a major factor, he explained, together with the price to features ratio – as a non-funded venue, best value was a major consideration: “FLX is a complex, competitively priced desk that will grow with our venue,” he added.
The FLX is controlling over 200 generic and LED lighting fixtures in the house over 96 channels of dimming including the house lights, and there are additional moving light and other intelligent luminaire rentals for the three or four larger shows they produce each year.
The venue is also part of a 1,200-pupil secondary school and college campus. During a standard year, they will produce between 120 and 150 of their own shows and host some 60 professional touring shows that have included Bristol Old Vic, La Navet Bete, Jasmin Vardomen Dance, Bill Bailey, BBC Question Time and more, together with numerous bands and live music acts plus an annual professional pantomime during festive season.
Stratton house team all received training from Zero 88 on the FLX before the console arrived on site and have subsequently had follow up training both there in-person and online. They have taken positive steps during the UK’s current Covid-19 lockdown to test the console using Capture visualiser software, and also utilised Zero 88’s comprehensive Zoom training webinars that have been available online.
The first show lit with the new console was comedian Bill Bailey in the middle of a preview tour at the time.