LD Marty Postma of NY-based Retinal ResonanceA High End Systems Hog 4 console is touring the world with rock group Evanescence. LD Marty Postma of NY-based Retinal Resonance has been using the Hog 4 console to control Evanescence’s Synthesis Live tour in North America. Postma designed and operated this tour until the end of 2017. For the 2018 leg, he turned the reins over to LD Dan Hardiman to direct the tour in Australia in February, followed by dates in Europe and the UK.
Considering crazy weather patterns, unpredictable festival rigs in fields, to the bumpy cobblestones of European truck touring, Postma finds the Hog 4 console to meet and beat all challenges.
“It’s been through extreme cold and extreme heat. I’ve run the console at minus 20 and minus 30 degrees Fahrenheit, and the console booted up, no problem. Through three tours of South America, bouncing off air freight every day, there’s never been so much as a hiccup. The reliability and durability far exceed anything else out there,” Postma says.
“The Change Fixture Feature is the strongest feature,” he notes. “I can do in six minutes on this console what would take six hours because of abstract fixture functionality.” Using it to integrate into a new floor package every day on festival tours, the Change Fixture Feature allows the user to adapt to any rig, no matter what the fixtures. “It far surpasses anything else for ease of use,” he emphasises. “It’s solid.”
A Hog user since 1992, Postma currently uses the Hog 4 with Alice in Chains, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and NY Fashion Week, among other projects. “Those new to the Hog 4 console will notice the speed. The workflow has sped up, and it’s more streamlined and elegant. It can do everything faster and simpler.”
Dan Hardiman of UK-based THC Design is another longtime Hog user. He and Postma have shared design and directing duties on other tours besides Evanescence, as they find a simpatico in their design and programming approach.
Hardiman rented the Hog 4 locally in Australia, and supplied a Road Hog 4 from his inventory for the European/UK dates.
“The pixel mapping/plots system that has been implemented in the last couple of years has had a radical impact on how I approach programming,” Hardiman notes. (HES was first in combining pixel mapping and plots into a single function to make programming more efficient.)
“The Reports feature is probably one of my favourite ‘toys’ as it’s great to analyse a show, once the tour is up and running, and clean out unnecessary data. The beauty of Reports is that you set up a set of rules – a bit like a complex search engine – to find information in a show,” he explains. “So you can quickly find unused palettes and delete them, or rarely used palettes and update them. You can find what lights are referenced where, or what cue lists are actually used.”
Hardiman and his THC Design partner Dave Farmer own four Road Hog 4s and a couple of Laptop plus Wing fly systems. “It has been my only console for the past few years, and all my current acts are run on it,” he says, citing Goo Goo Dolls, Tori Amos, Ride and others. “I love the console.”