#### soundlight

##### Well-Known Member
I'm looking for basically the cheapest light board that has Autofollow/Wait cues, at least 24 submasters (if not faders for every channel), and can control between 32 and 48 dimmers. The other criterion is that it not crash when i'm running a show, so it can't be just cheap junk.

It also, obviously, has to be able to speak DMX.

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#### koncept

##### Active Member
what kind of price range are you looking for? is used/remanufactured equipment acceptable?

#### jbeutt

##### Active Member
if you're going cheap, leprecon is almost all you can consider. Basically all those dj products (behringer, chauvet, american dj) aren't solid. Too many gizmos and low quality. Look at the 600 series.
Of course there are other, cheaper, but they're mostly 2-scene boards. You can look at lightronics, they may also have something suitable.

##### Well-Known Member
ETC Express series has a good OS that has never crashed as far as I've heard. It comes in several sizes, varying by physical faders. They all have 2 universes of output. There are also some newer cheaper boards by ETC called the SmartFade, though I cannot speak for thier reliability or even if they can autofollow.

There are others here who can tell you about the various other brands of boards available.

It would be nice to know the price range as well.

#### jbeutt

##### Active Member
He certainly doesn't need to go ETC to get what he described. A second DMX universe would go quite unused on 48 dimmers.
ETC is high quality but also high price. The features you described would obviously be covered by any ETC board, but you'd be paying for a ton of features you'd never use.

##### Well-Known Member
soundlight said:
...Autofollow/Wait cues, at least 24 submasters (if not faders for every channel),... between 32 and 48 dimmers.... that it not crash...it can't be just cheap junk.... has to be able to speak DMX.
Pittsboro, NC

Those were the key points I noticed. Specifically "at least 24 submasters", "that it not crash", and "can't be just cheap junk". From that I assumed he wanted something above a DMX Operator and below a Hog. Of course, I could still be wrong.

#### soundlight

##### Well-Known Member
I would be upgrading from a lightronics 3256, which has some cue capacity, but not the cue stacking and autofollow that I need for the dance productions. Other option: what does the old nsi ncm 7232 pro have going for it, if anybody knows about it?

#### jbeutt

##### Active Member
The land between Operator and Hog is kinda broad. Ridiculously so.

Leprecon definitly is what you want. They're solid boards and good functionality. At least for what you're talking about.

#### drumbum

##### Member
I'll tell you from experience in high school . . . way way back (i jsut feel better about dating myself) if you want new equipment, but the school won't back you up, one of the best things you can do is either rent the board you would like . . . or even demo it. If an ETC is waht you're after, give them a call. See if they can send you a demo board (its fully functional . . . ) for a little while . . . probably not much longer than two weeks if that. But the same goes with any board. The NSI is also a decent board . . .its the same as a colortran inovator, just a differnt face plate . . .but honest its the same programming.

#### ewards71

##### Member
OK . . . I am going to ask one of those "dumb" questions . . . what is an Autofollow/wait Cue ? And has anyone got there hands on an ETC SmartFade unit ? They look fantastic . . . Lower priced Leprecon's look great too !

#### Inaki2

##### Active Member
Basically you can tell the board howm uch time to wait before executing the next cue automatically. A use for this (besides chases, etc) would be a blackout cue and then and autofollow cue to preset movers/scrolers for the next scene. They're a great aid.

#### Inaki2

##### Active Member
I've demoed the SmartFade some months ago, they look like a nice unit for schools and small venues. I think ETC has hit the nail in the head creating a truly good product for small budgets.
I'm not a big LP fan, but I've used their little 6 channel dimmers occasionally.

#### soundlight

##### Well-Known Member
an autofollow cue is one where you can hit the GO button once, and after that cue goes, the next crossfade is timed so that you can hit the "GO" button at the beginning of a song, and all of the cues go automatically after set times throughout the whole song, so that you don't have to worry about standing like a vulture over the light board during the dance concert.

#### soundlight

##### Well-Known Member
well, you beat me to the description.

autofollow cues were basically the only way to do the lighting that i ran for a series of peices from "Chicago" that the dance class did when I went to the Phillips Exeter Summer Session this past summer. They had an ETC Express 48/96, and it was awesome.

#### ewards71

##### Member
Awesome . . . Thanx . . . I understand more and more each day I read through these forums . . . I am looking for that "small venue" sized console . . . That ETC SmartFade unit looks great . . . The Express models are awesome but costly . . . a few Leprecons look good too . . . but with a lot of these companies, the price goes up quickly . . . Thanx again for the info and Thanx again to everyone one these posts helping this newbie out . . .

#### soundlight

##### Well-Known Member
For a good competitor to the Smartfade units, check out the Leprecon 1500 series, that have many features of larger boards in an economical, small-venue controller. This board also allows autofollow cues, and if you read up on the manual, you can do amazing things with the 1500 series. Whatever you do, don't touch Lightronics. Even with a twenty foot stick. They leave out the features that you really need when you actually want to design a show, such as a continuous cue stack with "back" and "hold" buttons.