Vale Jands Hog
On Friday the 4th of December, 2009, the last Jands Hog 1000 was sold and the product line discontinued, closing the book on one of the lighting industry’s most popular, loved and iconic consoles. Fifteen years after the first Jandshog was released in 1994, the Hog remains a staple of many a rental company’s stock. It can be found anywhere from Russia to Mexico and everywhere between. The AV department at the President Hotel in Moscow even advertises the Hog 1000 for 3,500 roubles a day!
Bruce Ramus, known best for his work as U2’s concert director and designer since their “Zoo TV” tour, remembers his time with the Hog: “I do recall a glorious couple of nights at the Domain in Sydney with myself and Sean Hackett crunching buttons alone while the city slept. It was an easy, wonderfully creative time, and the desk didn’t get in the way of my enjoyment, but helped me achieve the vision and motion the show wanted.”
In the early 90’s, after strong performance in conventional lighting consoles, including the Jands ESP II, it was felt Jands needed to look towards a moving light console. By the mid 90’s, discussions were underway between Flying Pig Systems, Jands Pty Ltd and AC Lighting. Flying Pig Systems were working on what would become the Wholehog 2, codenamed TNT (The Next Thing). It was agreed that the Wholehog 2 and Jandshog consoles should share the same code base, and work on the Jandshog began, codenamed JNT (Jands Next Thing).
In 1996 the Jandshog 250 and 600 were released. While reasonably successful, the limited CPU power of the console left little room for the product to evolve. Development began on a new version that would increase the processing power of the console. In the meantime, a Jandshog 500 was released which expanded on the Jandshog 250 with support for more channels.
In 1998, the next version of the console was released. Called the Echelon, it included support for up to 1000 channels, 16 faders and the new v2.30 JNT software. It was hugely successful from day one, selling 350 units in its short two-year shelf life. Work began on a smaller version that would support 500 channels and 8 faders, called the Elation.
In 2000, with the merging of Flying Pig Systems and High End Systems, the Jands Echelon was revamped and renamed the Hog 1000. The soon to-be-released Jands Elation was renamed the Hog 500. It was during this name change and revamping that the Hog acquired its iconic wooden ends.
After fifteen years and six major models, there have been a total of over 3,300 units sold all across the world: 2,500 of which were Hog 500 or Hog 1000s. It has been highly influential in the industry. Used in acts from the house rig of the Saloon Bar at the Hotel Tasmania in Launceston all the way through to the Savage Garden tour in 2000. When working on the Savage Garden tour, Ramus recalls: “I found it to be a great little console, really intuitive, and fun to operate. There were about 100 rope-light panels on that show, and they just fit on the desk.”
The Jands Event 4 and Vista ranges continue the Jands tradition of high quality, easy-to-use and powerful moving light consoles at affordable price points. While discontinued, this isn’t the end of the Hog story. With enough Hog spare parts to last many years in the future, we’re still likely to see existing Hogs used and maintained for many more years in numerous environments.