I finally bit the bullet and decided it was time to visit Avolites towers to meet the training team behind my favourite and only lighting desk of choice.
The training was hosted by Chris West, an Avolites training manager with a 15 year history in theatre & events. Chris was warm and approachable, with a clear passion for teaching. He made the group feel both comfortable and engaged throughout the two days ahead.
Day 1 session started at 10:00 and began with an introduction to the Avolites history and where they began back in 1976 whilst building a rack mounted dimmer solution, the Avolites FD dimmer. Throughout the 1980s the brand reputation and product ranges grew into lighting consoles, as the company began to pave the way of innovation in the lighting design and stage lighting control space.
We began the day working the basics of patching, the process of adding DMX fixtures to a blank showfile. We began by patching dimmers, and then moved on to fixtures, and learnt to correctly delete and park fixtures from the patch list.
Next up, we took a look into basic fixture controls and the fixture window, how to use the highlight function to cycle through and pinpoint individual fixtures within a group, and a look at how to use the undo feature, a particularly helpful tool, along with the classic “Avolites twitch” required to exit the menu and return to the top level when finished with the programmer menu.
After a brief coffee break, we got straight into groups; creating groups of odd and even fixtures types, moving and deleting groups, renaming groups & setting halo colours for easy navigation and grouping.
Next up we dived into palettes; the process of applying colours across various groups, fixtures and playbacks. We started with global palettes (palettes work on any type of fixture) and shared palettes (palettes apply the same value to all fixtures of the same type).