JP Ridgard at the Lowveld Gin Fest in Mbombela
South Africa - JP Ridgard is an avid user of Obsidian Control Systems’ Onyx lighting control platform and in 2023 turned to the growing brand’s NX4 lighting console for the Lowveld Gin Fest in Mbombela.
“The NX4 proved to be a game changer for me during this event,” reflected JP, who procured the console from Obsidian’s local distributor in South Africa, Electrosonic. “Its built-in touch screen and ample work surface made it the perfect tool for both programming and playback.”
The 2023 Lowveld Gin Fest took place 9-10 September at the Lowveld Botanical Gardens and featured a strong line-up of artists. JP, a freelance lighting engineer, orchestrated an array of dynamic lighting looks that complemented performances throughout the two-day festival.
The NX4 is a full-featured console in Obsidian’s ONYX lighting control platform. It offers 44 playbacks (10 motorised, 12 sub, 22 playback executors) and other advantages like external monitor capability and EtherCON connectively. One of the standard features of the NX4 that JP finds especially useful is its 10 motorised main playbacks. “These were particularly useful for executing precise movements and controlling aspects such as speed masters, size masters, colour bumps, and override cuelists.”
JP also made use of the NX4’s 12 sub-playback faders. “These were perfect for controlling main intensities, stop FX, haze and any other elements that I needed immediate access to. The convenience of having these controls readily available on the sub-playbacks was a real time-saver during the event.”
To enhance his experience even further, JP added Obsidian’s NX Touch control surface to his setup. “The touch rubber buttons on the NX Touch were particularly handy when it came to executing colour bumps and strobes,” he said. “These buttons allowed for quick and easy control, especially when I got caught up in the excitement of the moment and smashed those buttons!”
The entire rig was run off a Netron EP4, an easy-to-configure 4-Universe Ethernet to DMX gateway. JP highlighted its ease of configuration and the ability to be controlled directly from the NX4 without requiring additional computers, making it a hassle-free addition to the setup.
Summing up his experience, JP emphasised that the NX4, NX Touch, and EP4 proved to be invaluable assets during the Lowveld Gin Fest, contributing to the overall success of the event.

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