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Over on our sister site, TheatreFace.com, I am running a month long review of the new ETC Gio Lighting Desk.  Why should TheatreFace get all of the fun? ;)  I am re-posting and sharing it here on PLS.  Let's put the Gio through it's paces and really get inside of the desk! From TheatreFace:

In Mid 2011, ETC introduced a new console to the Eos family of control desk, the Gio. The Gio falls inline between the Eos, their Flagship console and their mid-range desk, the Ion.  Taking a closer look at the Gio, you’ll notice that it more closely resembles the Eos with one major difference.  The monitor display on the Gio folds flat! There are of course significant other differences and similarities between the Gio and it’s siblings.

I recently received a demo of the Gio and wrote a review of it for Stage Directions sister magazine, PLSN, which I just happen to be the Editor of! You can read the entire review here

In addition to the review, it’s time for the TheatreFace community to put it to the test.  During the month of March, I will be posting additional mini reviews and taking your questions about the Gio.  If you have any questions or want to see the Gio perform, ask away and I’ll put it to the test. 

To start off, earlier this week I ran the Gio on a corporate gig with 12, movers, 25 LED fixtures and 75 conventionals. It was a quick load-in with little time to pre program. Most of the looks and effects were created a few hours before they went live on stage in front of a 700+ crowd. 

Typically in concert and corporate gigs, we don’t program out a show with cue’s and timing.  The show happens on the fly with submasters and direct selects. This particular gig was a bit challenging because we used various methods to bring lights up, execute effects and make changes on the fly.  Having the two built in multi-touch screens made direct selects available with a finger rather than a key combination or mouse click.  So my hands were always on the board rather then hunting for a mouse. 

I added one additional external monitor that held my channel display so I could always have my levels visible and the two touch screens available for direct selects and the color wheel for mixing mixtures. The Gio offers three external monitors. I would have added additional monitors, but the FOH position limited how much space I had, just an 8’ table.  While the Gio only took up half of the table, I also had to leave room for a camera display, the designer and his work space and an Ion with a monitor for full tracking backup to the Gio.  Since we were limited on space, the Ion fit nicely under the table on a monitor road box at my feet and the monitor connected to if offered me my playback display.

You may be asking what is with the Ion if the Gio was more then plenty to run the show.  In high profile, six figure events, having a console fail is not an option. The Ion ran in the background tracking my every change and movement. Since I ran a simple network between the consoles with the ETC 4 port gateway, I was assured that if something failed on one desk, the other would take over and the client would never know there was an issue.

The Gio worked perfectly with no issue or problems.  Each portion of the gig had it’s own page of submasters. With 30 pages of 10 submasters, switch between the pages was simple and quick.  The motorized faders made changing pages convenient. I always had the house lights and work lights on each page. When ever I changed pages, the sub assigned to a fader on each page moved to where I left it in previous pages. 

All and all, the Gio was a great fit for this particular gig. Quick load-in, setup and responsive. It also helps that the software is the same as all of the other Eos family consoles.  The slight hold up was finding were features were in the Gio as some portions of the control are different between all of the Eos family desk.

Now it is your turn. Let’s put the Gio to the test and make those faders fly!

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