Introduction to Jands Vista – Learn Stage Lighting .com

Introduction to Jands Vista

By David / a couple of years ago

Copy of Copy of What Angles of Stage Light Do I Need-I remember the first time that I sat down behind a Jands Vista when they first brought the console out into the world.

I was immediately struck with 2 thoughts:

  1. This is a game-changer in the world of lighting.
  2. This is so very, very different!

Jands Vista is popular console platform in the church world, and continues to be a favorite for beginners and more advanced people alike.

However, unlike other consoles, the Vista throws out all standard pro-lighting console procedure and starts anew.  Because of this, there are a lot of professional lighting people who don’t like the Vista.

But for those who do learn it, it can be a great console for building some really great shows.  Like any other console, it has it’s positives and negatives, but overall is a good console.

Below, I’ve included the Jands Vista training videos straight from Jands themselves.  These videos are how I re-taught myself the software, and you can learn it too.  After the videos, I cover what I like and don’t like about the Vista platform.

If you’re considering buying a Vista-based system, I recommend that you download the software and follow the tutorials below to see if it’s the right fit for you.  Make sure you also check out my guide to choosing your first lighting console!

How to Begin With the Jands Vista

The Interface

Patching The Vista

Fixture Choose and Layouts

Controlling Fixtures

Groups and Presets

Storing Cues and Cuelists

The Timeline

Advanced Cue Editing

SmartFX

The Console Surface

Using the Fixture Editor

The Vista Platform: My Thoughts

Warning: You’re about to get my true, real thoughts.  Nobody paid me to say any of this!

As I said at the top of this page, there were 2 things that really struck me when I first sat down in front of a Vista:

  1. This is a game-changer in the world of lighting.
  2. This is so very, very different!

Over the years since, Jands has gotten a bit of market share with their console and they’ve created a nice product.  With that said, it’s simply not my cup of tea because I am used to programming traditional moving light consoles, and my brain is wired to work in that mode.

With that said, it’s simply not my cup of tea because I am used to programming traditional moving light consoles, and my brain is wired to work in that mode.

The Positives:

  • Jands Vista is a good, solid, reliable console.  I like that the PC version runs on both Mac’s and PC’s, and moving from the computer to a console surface is seamless.
  • The Vista effects engine is one of the easiest yet most complex I have ever encountered.  You can jump in and have some really dynamic effects up and running very quickly.
  • If you’ve never worked with lighting before, it is probably the quickest console you can learn.

The Negatives:

  • I really liked the Vista’s early emphasis on the Wacom pen screens, and touch interface.  Unfortunately, their lower-cost hardware doesn’t have this functionality and it makes programming really slow since the hardware has so few buttons.
  • I also don’t love the way that the Vista handles global rate and speed settings.  I would love the ability to have a global rate fader.
  • Thinking of faders – I love faders, and none of the Vista hardware gives me a plethora of them!
  • If you’ve worked with other moving light consoles, everything is effectively backwards and upside-down!
  • Vista hardware is considerably more expensive than other well-qualified consoles on the market.
  • At the time of this update in 2017, the Vista platform has gone a few years without any changes to the hardware or software…which is a scary sign, and I don’t know if I can trust it for the future.

Does the Vista get my recommendation?

Unfortunately, at the end of the day, it doesn’t for most people.  This doesn’t mean I’m a Vista hater.

I quite like the console, and I think it works well.  And if you’re completely new to lighting and have the budget, it can be a good choice.

But when I think about myself and others who visit this website, I know that we’ve all got budgets…and the Vista consoles are pretty expensive compared to others on the market.

When the Vista platform first came out, it absolutely was a revolution!  But now, a few years later the other console makers have stepped up and made their consoles much more visual, and easier for creative folks to get started quickly.

So, if the Vista has done anything for the lighting industry, it potentially has pushed other console makers into creating a more visual workflow, which is something I am very happy with!

Like the visual approach, but want a console that is both lower cost and has a better integration with inexpensive hardware options.  Check out my pick, Enttec D-Pro here!


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  • […] of light in the 2D space.  Martin M-PC and M-Series consoles, as well as Enttec D-Pro, Jands Vista and Grand MA2 all offer this functionality in their 2D […]


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