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Control/Dimming Best way to learn other consoles?

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by pgus, Jun 15, 2019.

  1. pgus

    pgus Member

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    So I'm a recent college grad and I'm just getting started in the field of lighting design. I feel pretty comfortable with most ETC consoles, but want to get some basic groundwork established with both MA and Hog consoles. I've watched tons training videos, but there's only so much you can learn by watching. Would you recommend downloading Hog 4pc or Dot2 on pc as a way of starting to play around with the software (especially a way that doesn't mean shelling out for a console)? Are there any other ways of learning these consoles that I haven't thought of? I just don't want to be asked to design and realized that I have to start from 0 on a board. Thanks.
     
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  2. Crisp image

    Crisp image Well-Known Member

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    Only way to learn new stuff is to do it!
    Offline software is a great way to get your head around the differences. Coupled with a visualizer and you are good to go. If you have to buy anything like the viz or hardware to do this think of it as an investment in your career and not the end of the earth.
    Play long and often so each console becomes easy to remember and cross over.
    The biggest thing I have found for me is my nomad setup has a custom keyboard and when I get to a console some of those keys are no there so have to go hunting for them.
    Have fun.
    Geoff
     
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  3. coldnorth57

    coldnorth57 Active Member

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    I use Hog 4PC all the time I reccomend downloading and getting used to the patch and the programer.
     
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  4. Colin

    Colin Well-Known Member

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    How are you making a living while "getting started in the field of lighting design"? If it's a fit for you to work for a production/rental company, do that and eventually ask if you can spend some time with their toys in the shop and tag along for events. A good boss gives you those opportunities, and then perhaps you get to light some shows for them with your new skills. Nothing better than having a real world task to perform with a console, or at least sit next to the person doing so.
     
  5. pgus

    pgus Member

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    I actually am working at a rental house which is super educational in it of itself, but we mostly rent lights for commercials and video- not concerts or theatre, so we don't have much in the way of consoles. My theatre background means I get to work with some really cool fixtures, wireless dimmers, and some app controlled devices, but nothing that would really require a full board setup.
     
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  6. pgus

    pgus Member

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    Thanks for the advice!
    If it's not too much of an imposition, is there a specific visualization program you recommend?
    I have vectorworks student for another year but haven't really messed around on it.
    Also, I figured I'd have to spend some money on software- I've just got kind of a limited budget with student loans and all that fun stuff.
     
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  7. Amiers

    Amiers Renting to Corporate One Fixture at a Time.

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    Occupation:
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    Practice on all the offline software you can til you can patch and program on the 3 major brands hog, MA, and etc. You don’t need fixtures to visualize how a 12 or 24 fixture wash with some uplights are going to look like.

    The only time you would want visualization is if you are doing a balley. Which after a while learning how to program efficiently you will know what the fixtures are doing without looking at them.

    TLDR: hands on and tons of software usage
     
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  8. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Put Brad Schiller's The Automated Lighting Programmer's Handbook on your wishlist. It's console-agnostic, but understanding the concepts is often more important than console-specific procedures.

    As for a visualizer, Capture or Light Converse receive high mark s. I think both offer free or low-cost demos.
    .
     
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  9. James Suit

    James Suit Member

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    Off-line software is a great way to start. Both dot2 and MA2 onPC offer visualizers (all for free!) and with dot2 onPC and any ArtNet node you've got a universe of output from the onPC software. There's also a huge online community of programmers to reference, as well as ACT Academy - $150 for the same dot2 course you'd get in one of our offices, but available online, anywhere, anytime. We also offer online courses for MA2 and are working on the MA3 courses now!

    https://academy.actlighting.com/
    https://www.malighting.com/downloads/
     
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  10. Ben Stiegler

    Ben Stiegler Active Member

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    Consultant, A1, System Designer, Prod Mgr, TD
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    Congrats, recent alum! Where did you graduate from? Your alumni network is a huge, likely untapped well of resources of people who will go out of their way to help you, let you play in their venues, connect you to others who can help, etc. msg me privately or via [email protected] and I’ll see what I can contribute. I have a lot of TC tech connections.
     
  11. Did Jesus Fall

    Did Jesus Fall New Member

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    First i would also recommend looking at GrandMA as another console to learn. Second many manufacturers offer training sessions. they are usually held at local rental houses. Some larger rental houses will offer demos that include the ability for people to come try out consoles and do a little programming with a few lights. the added benefit is the networking with other programmers and designers
     
  12. Jay Ashworth

    Jay Ashworth Well-Known Member

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    Based on the HC pricing, I assume that's a college textbook somewhere?
     
  13. lwinters630

    lwinters630 Well-Known Member

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    @pgus Other places are local colleges, High Schools, community theater, churches. You may be surprised on how well equipped these venues are. Offer to run a free clinic on their brand, come in an early date to prepare (play). They may have equipment but no idea how to use it. Win win for both of you.
     
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