|ETC Element is being discussed in the ControlBooth Lighting and Electrics forum; Does anyone know how many moving lights/leds it is realistic to run with the element ? We run 6 Martin ...|
How mant channels is your Element???
Looking at the specs, and assuming you aren't planning on assigning the same address to multiple MLs, and assuming you can add DMX splitters to get beyond the limit of 32(?) devices per cable run, then I think your limiting factor is going to be one of:
I think the unique address limitation would kick in before the number of channels limit.
- number of channels (250, 500)
- number of devices that can be uniquely addressed on 2 DMX universes
It would appear this question is not really about channel/output limitations. This is a hard question to answer, as its dependent on your programming style and venue demands. Best suggestion is to contact your local ETC dealer and try to get a demo. You might ask them to let you take a look at Ion as well. Element is marketed as a desk with moving light support, not a moving light desk.
Hope that helps!
I'd say that if you're doing concert style stuff, you're going to become hindered by the lack of hardware moving light controls. While the onscreen software controls for MLs are good, the hardware controls on the ION (or any other ML desk for that matter) make things a lot easier. Go for an ION if possible, and put a fader wing on it.
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Having worked a lot on both the Eos and the Ion and demoed an Element, I have a slightly different opinion about the consoles. In my opinion, no one should be "striving" to get an Element. While it is a great console, it has some of the same limitations that plagued the Express line of consoles - small channel and output limitations and the lack of physical ML controls (such as encoders). While it would work quite nicely in my venue right now, I would think that in a year or two, we would become frustrated with the lack of flexibility it offers for the use of high-level moving lights or lots of accessories. I'm not saying that the Element doesn't have a place in the world - it's absolutely a great console which is perfectly designed for many smaller theatres. However, my opinion is that these theatres should always strive for an Ion, and then downgrade to the Element only if the cost of the Ion is outside the range of their budget.
"Why be gentle, it's rental!"
[I]Utinam logica falsa tuam philosophiam totam suffodiant![/I]
Well Mr. Eos/Ion, I agree and disagree with you.
preset console or an Express with no moving lights in the forseeable future, and for whom $4000 is a major expense, would be served by the Element.
me, particularly in light of the fact that one moving light only counts as one channel. 1024 outputs also seems like a very high number to those with 48 or even 96 dimmers.
FortMacTech, my guess is that I would not want to run more than a dozen MLs on an Element, but as avalentino said, it depends on the types of shows you do. Sounds like it's an R&R-type venue, so perhaps Element is not the right choice, but I don't know of a (new) $4000 console solution, except perhaps possibly one of the ChamSys MagicQ consoles. I don't think anything in the Hog, MA, Maxxyz, or Vista families start that low, unless a PC with wings solution (not necessarily anything wrong with that). On the used market, a HogII/1000 or Pearl (there I said it!) would likely be great for you. What are you using now?
I'm curious about your acquisition of MAC2000s (wash, profile, or performance?) as they seem to be so out of the league of the rest of your gear. I would think something with a 575w discharge lamp would be more appropriate. Tons of MAC 500, 550, Entours, Kryptons, etc. always available on the used market.
console and wish to upgrade. My point was not that the Element is useless, but that if given the choice between the Ion and the Element, the advantages of the Ion would outweigh the relatively small extra cost over the Element. (I haven't seen any figures lately, but if I recally correctly, the Ion costed only about $1000-1500 more than the Element.) And while the channel/output count is much lower than that of the Ion, you're right, most organizations wouldn't need to exceed that amount anyways. My main issue with the Element is the lack of encoder wheels, which, while not crucial to programming moving lights, do make things a lot easier (at least for my own programming style).
"Why be gentle, it's rental!"
[I]Utinam logica falsa tuam philosophiam totam suffodiant![/I]
The prices are, I suspect, no longer valid, but should serve for comparison. These were one vendor's prices prior to 7/1/09, MSRP somewhat higher.
Element 40, 250 Channels $ 4,087.50
ETC ION 1000 $ 5,062.50
ETC Universal Fader Wing 2x20 $ 1,725.00
Same number of subs as Element $ 6,787.50
Now I'm not denying that the $2700 difference doesn't get buy many great features (774 more channels, 2 more universes, multiple cuelists, etc, and yes, perhaps most importantly, encoders) but 33% more? If one can afford it, certainly; but most would rather have an Element than an Express or worse. I'd rather have a full-size grandMA on every show I do, but occasionally producers neglect to consider my personal wishes.
I have to agree. Working with moving lights on an Express is a pain, and I would love to get (and hopefully will very shortly ) an Element.
I think it would be neat if ETC made a small wing for Element that included moving light controls (i.e. encoders, maybe a trackball or something to that effect). Yeah, Element isn't for moving light intensive lighting, but it would be nice to have those features as has been previously stated. If it was a wing, you wouldn't have to pay for it if you wouldn't use the features, but the option is out there if needed.
Just my two cents...
Commack High School, NY
As I have said before, an anonymous friend tells us that Ion was initially priced a little lower than ETC wanted, in order to make up for the lack of Element. So, Ion is going to have it's published list price go away and become a price on request product between ETC and the dealer (this may have already happened). This will allow the price from the factory to slowly drift upward leaving Element to more clearly cover the low end. So that $2700 price difference may grow making the difference in what you get for your money a little more clear.
Last edited by gafftaper; September 25th, 2009 at 04:15 PM.
We are presently running a Leprecaun 2 scene for the dimmers and a Chauvet for the moving lights but that is getting unmanageable as we grow. We are a church that runs concerts, youth services and also does theatre style production as well as wanting LED's for mood lighting. We want to move to a single desk and were actually looking at a used Pearl 2004 online but I can't find anyone here in town who has used one to talk to. We are 4hrs away from our nearest supplier of lighting gear.
The Pearl will certainly do what you want to do. I haven't used movers on it but it does have capabilty to do that. I will see a guy tomorrow that uses one all the time and I will ask him about the moving lights friendliness.
Michael S. Taylor
point out that there are alternatives to getting a new console to control your moving lights that are substantially cheaper and ( IMHO ) easier to use than a new console.
If you need to do concerts and busking - look at the Light Jockey. If you are doing theatre work look at mLight OSF Solutions - inGenius
Speaking for mLight ( I helped develop the software ) it is designed to be easy and powerful to use - can be controlled by your express during a show - and will save you hours of programming time for every show you do. It was developed in house at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and is an excellent choice for fixed cue list, theatrical style productions. Light Jockey is targeted more towards concerts where you want to see the lights move a lot - and you need some control of busking.
Both of these products can be downloaded to see how they work. Take a look at them and see if they make more sense than saving up for a new console.
Last edited by JChenault; September 28th, 2009 at 11:33 AM.
Wing is about $1800, the PC Wing is around $4K, the Maxi Wing is closer to $8K and none of these are even consoles. My MQ100Pro was a hair under $20K. That said, I'm not totally sure why to OP would have enough money to buy multiple MAC2Ks but not enough to buy more than an Element. If I were him I would sooner buy Mac700s or some other selection of more affordable lights and then get a nicer board (Ion with wings or even nicer than than) which he won't instantly outgrow.
LMNT-40-250 Element 40, 250 Channels $5,200.00
LMNT-40-500 Element 40, 500 Channels $5,650.00
LMNT-60-250 Element 60, 250 Channels $6,400.00
LMNT-60-500 Element 60, 500 Channels $6,850.00
And that doesn't include tax.
Sometimes I just want to cry like a baby . . .
"If all the world's a stage, I want better lighting."