Autofollow Board

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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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.
 

Radman

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.
 

Radman

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.
 

soundman1024

Active Member
Yeah, I'm with Radman, the Express line would be good. It looks like a 24/48 could probably be had for under $5k.
I have no idea what you budget is being that I heard "I'm looking for basically the cheapest light board" and "it can't be just cheap junk." If you could throw out a maximium price that may help to find a good board.
 

Foxinabox10

Active Member
A 24/48 ETC Express can be had for about $3300-$3500.
 

soundlight

Well-Known Member
Used is fine. I like the keypad deal on the colortran and etc desks, and there is an etc express 24/48 on ebay right now, 2000 starting. If i could conn that kind of money out of the administration, it might happen, bit i am afraid that i am going to have to go with a leprecon 1500 or 1600 series (those are the lowest-priced leprecons that have the autofollow/wait cue condition). I would ask the people on this site to donate money, but I can guess that most are not in the finacial situation to do that at this point. I just need some way to get enough for a leprecon or colortran or etc. Another idea...what about the NSI MC 24/48? It was what I saw first online as an option. Or the EDI Bijou? I like the "above a DMX operator and below a hog" assessment. It doesn't need moving light capability at all, even though almost all desks these days have it.
 

Radman

Well-Known Member
I'd try a fundraiser. We did one to raise money for a new sound board that was over $2k in a week or two. I think we raise over $5k in the end. You can always sell old stuff too to help raise money.
 

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.
 

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