Hog4 – Two days of full immersion
In November 2013 there was the first course about Hog4 in Italy, at the Molinari Technology housed in the MOLINARI ART CENTER in Rome, where I participated with huge expectations and curiosity.
First of all I would like to say few words about the structure. A nice space that is used for dancers training and for training the professionals show worker. Availing of partners such as AMG International Ltd, one of the leading service of Rome, and Tre Ti Spa, official distributor of High End Systems/Barco systems, this structure try to increase the technical level of lighting operators and to introduce new advanced materials.
The course was hosted in the studio 5. An area of 220sqm, 5m high which can easily be converted into television studio, theater room, location for film productions and classroom teaching.
In addition to the entire collection of Hog4 consoles, we had a big quantity of fixtures like Alpha Profile HPE 700, Alpha Wash 700, rgb Ledbar, Coemar ParLite RGB, Arri Fresnel and ETC Profiles. A perfect playroom 😉
Two intense days of full immersion in which, accompanied by the well-known lighting designer Alessandro Molinari and by Roberto Novelli (Tre Ti Spa, engenieer), we started with a lesson about the potential of the new console and the explanation of the concepts of programming adopted, then we continued with a real workshop: all in front of the console to “play” with the presence of two “living wikipedia” ready to answer any question . What better way to learn! 😉
Ok, let’s go…
Hog4 is available in 5 versions plus onPC version, all with the same software and compatible with each other.
- Hog4 Console (the biggest)
- Full Boar 4 Console (similar to the previous but more compact)
- Road Hog 4 (with a 22” touch screen)
- Hedge Hog 4 (the new entry compact, suitable for the medium production)
- Nano Hog 4 (economic wing that need to be connected to a notebook that works with the onPC version installed)
HighEnd System has also developed some devices and expansions already implemented in the top versions, and in part designed to expand the compact versions:
- Playback wing 4 (with 10 motorized faders and one additional touch screen)
- Master Wing 4 (similar to the previous one, but with, instead of faders, 30 buttons Play, Choose, Flash)
- DMX Processor 8000 (for the management of 16 DMX artnet sACN universes and 8 XLR outputs, MIDI and SMPTE management)
- Super Duper Widget (8 DMX outputs XLR 5-pin)
- Super Widget (4 DMX outputs XLR 5-pin)
- DMX Widget (1 DMX outputs XLR 5-pin)
- MIDI/LTC Widget (for the timecode management)
Hog4 is a very versatile console. Usefull for small show, untill the “important” with a perfect Mirroring/backup management in 3 different ways:
- Client/Server (it is not a backup, but useful for network use of more console with different rule, but referred to a single server)
- File Over (two console configured as a server which, in the case of logoff of the master, the second console assumes the control of the show)
- Console Tracking (two console working in mirroring. If the the first logoff, the second console start from the state before the crash, including fader position, windows state etc. … The two machines are interchangeable at any time).
Let’s move now to the console layout. There are 2 main touch screens:
- View windows with the possibility of manage the various windows and with the presence of the playback toolbar.
- A second touch screen with the possibility of modify the windows size and position and with some button which recall basic windows like “programming” and “output”, a command line that allows us to input commands from the keyboard , a status bar that displays the current programming status, a toolbar where you can select the various features (intensity, color etc …) and through the encoder set their values, and keys which allow to access to various functions such as “setup”, “patch”, “park”, etc. …
Important and useful are kinds and command management. Both are shown in the 12 mini display (for n pages) equipped with a dedicated key.
- Kinds: allow the management of various features. -Is possible to set them in parallel to the encoders to allow, with a simple button, to activate, on a specific group, the encoders related to the selected feature;
- Command: allow the storage of dedicated buttons usefull to call palettes, groups, views, lists, sets and macro.
I will not write about patch, creating cue, media management etc… The philosophy is the same of others console and responds perfectly to the requirement of final users. High End Systems has been able to build a console intuitive and easy to manage. Through the view management it is possible to configure the console like Ld prefer. Hog4 have been introduced important function like “move on dark” or the ability to copy the settings of a fixture on a entire group.
However, knowledge requires practice. And thanks to the onPc version we can lean a lot about this console, without waiting to use it in a real situation.
Another aspect is the manual, extremely easy to read for those who know the ABC of programming lights. Manual can be easily downloaded here
Here a little guide about how to connect Hog4 onPc and Cast Wysiwyg
In HighEnd web site there’s also a large collection of training videos, very easy to understand on this page. Below the video playlist.
Another aspect is the presence of various shortcuts described on this table.
So, Hog4 is a very versatile console. During the workshop, I have noticed few minor bugs. One is about the management of the faders during live show, when they are configured for the activation of a movement (storing only the pan and tilt parameters). It can be done, but there’s not the possibility to decide if the fader, when activated, operate on the size of the movement or on the time parameter.
This is normal in the new consoles. The bugs are noticed when the console is used. Thanks, in my case, to the presence of Tre Ti staff during the course, and thanks to the easy way of communication (forums, websites contacts etc…) with High End System and Tre Ti, the changes can easily be reported or suggested.