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Choose My Console

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by Footer, Feb 17, 2009.

  1. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    I have an upcoming musical, Joseph... and his Coat.. woo hoo

    Its in a new venue in town, well a re-done 1920's movie house. 25' Wide stage, 30' stage edge to back wall, full balcony... all that fun stuff.

    Lighting system consists of 48 dimmers, 60 lekos, 24 S4 Pars, and an Smartfade 24/96. Obviously I will be pulling my personal shoebox dimmers in to add a bit more dimming as well as pulling some units from my theatres inventory. I will also be taking over my 4 Mac250's and 4 Technobeams.

    So heres the question, my skill level at any of these consoles aside....
    I have 3 options for consoles,
    -ETC Expression 3 w/ Emphasis
    -Hog II PC (No Wings)
    -Chamsys Magic Q (No Wings)

    This will be a Monday load in Sunday strike show, open Friday. I will need to pre-program the show. I have WYG perform, all consoles will talk to perform. So the question is, better console on a PC or a control surface?
     
  2. Pie4Weebl

    Pie4Weebl Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    If it were me I would split up the conventionals and the movers with an ETC for half and the Hog for the other half, this has always served me well in the past. I suppose with the hog there is no real reason you couldn't do the conventionals on that. Also if you use the hog IMO its worth the $20 to go get an old school track ball, makes programing so much quicker.
     
  3. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    Actually I think that you really just want to go with the console that you are most familiar and most comfortable with.
     
  4. DaveySimps

    DaveySimps CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Assuming you are equally comfortable with each board, I would say go with PC. Even though you have no wings to use, I still think it would be easier to deal with your moving lights, which I am sure you are going to get a lot of mileage out of with the inventory you have listed.

    ~Dave
     
  5. BUSSME2009

    BUSSME2009 Member

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    My vote is for the ETC Expression 3. It can easily handle the conventional, Mac's and Technobeams. The board is simple to use and it sounds like for your application it would fit well. I currently have an expression running 96 dimmers and 4 MAC 700 profiles.
     
  6. Pie4Weebl

    Pie4Weebl Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    Oh really? You are one of the few and brave to support the notion of moving lights on a pre-EOS etc board...

    I still curse the vendor who sent a Expression II and called it a moving light board....
     
  7. Sony

    Sony Active Member

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    I'd also suggest the Expression 3, as long as you're not going mega crazy with the moving lights...then it should suit you well, and personally I've always liked having a proper control surface to use rather than a keyboard, mouse and screen. I also really belease that you should use the console that you are most familiar with, for me that would be the Expression.
     
  8. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Stick with the smartfade!



    ok... sorry couldn't resist. I'm with Victor. Split them up and do the conventionals on the Expression and the movers on the Hog or the Chamsys
     
  9. erosing

    erosing The Royal Renaissance Man

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    I'd use the hog/magic q for atleast the movers.

    I've helped program movers on pre EOS boards and let me tell you not only is it not very fun, it takes significantly longer to get it just the way you want.


    Oh, and, "For The Hog!"

    I wonder how many people will get that.
     
  10. jonliles

    jonliles Active Member Fight Leukemia

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    Footer-
    Though I can't pick your board, I can certainly help with hang, etc.. Who is doing "Joseph" in town (I am assuming Atlanta Lyric)? It's one of my favorites. I have more shoebox's if you need to borrow some (personal stock). One day we really should do coffee.

    Jon
     
  11. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Its actually being done by CCCEPA, and its going to be at the Strand Theatre on the square. I'll give ya a yell, the Strand is an interesting space. Small, but pretty cool looking, with a killer sound system.

    .....Also I would like it to be noted that the Strand Theatre has a complete ETC install. If I had a 520i or a 300 available I would be using it just to say I did.....
     
  12. ScottH

    ScottH Member

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    Uh...hello...its "JOSEPH"...if you recall he has a dreamy coat of many colors...you kind of have to go "mega crazy". Besides he only has a few dimmers to work with.

    My suggestion: put it all on the Hog PC. Then print the list of keyboard shortcuts (PAGE 22 HERE). You could even make little labels to stick on your keys to help you out (i think someone sells label sets but i forget where i saw it). This will allow you to build whatever effects you may need and not have to spend 10 years in the desert programming Expression focus points and such. Theres no reason not to put the conventionals on the Hog. Its easier to look at and program one console rather that turn back and forth to to seperate dislpay surfaces. There arent that many desk channels anyway.

    Good luck.
     
  13. Sony

    Sony Active Member

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    Um...HELLO...no need to be so ****ing rude, and if I recall...because I did the show a couple years ago...it's the COAT which has all the crazy colors, which is part of COSTUMES...not LIGHTING! Just because the coat has crazy colors...doesn't mean the show needs to be a freaking Rave...OKAY! It wasn't when I did it, it's nice, but not necessary.

    Depending on what he plans to do, he may not need that much movement, or he may be able to program what he wants to do much faster on an Expression because he is already used to it, there are a multitude of factors. I know with me it would be much faster for me if I went with the Expression because I have close to NO experience with the other two and trying to learn them would take way too much time, especially on a PC and not a proper console. Not to mention the ease of having an actual control surface to program on and also having the WYSIWYG and that stuff already built into the Emphasis system. As well as the ease of programming his 48 Conventional Dimmers plus his shoebox dimmers and what I counted was 84 Conventional fixtures compared to 8 automated lights. The fact is the Hog and the Chamysis aren't really considered Theatre boards like the expression is and while you can run them like one...they aren't really meant for that and therefore can sometimes be frustrating to program in that fashion.

    Now don't get me wrong. I am in no way putting down the Hog and Chamysis software. They may well be the thing he needs in this case, it just really irks me when people like you come in spouting your bull about how I'm absolutely wrong and you're absolutely right, when the fact is the OP did not give us enough information to definitively give an answer for him. We are just here to give suggestions and help him make a descision for himself, not make a descision for him.

    P.S. Next time, proof read before you post, preferably in something with a spellchecker. Like Firefox! Also, I'm sorry if I offended anyone...I'm not in a mood to deal well with bullcrap tonight.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2009
  14. soundman

    soundman Well-Known Member

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    Sony, if he has 48 dimmers (plus the shoe boxes) it dose not matter how many fixtures he has. He will only be controlling the dimmers. The show I am working on now uses 48 dimmers and around a 110 lights. Still only requires 48 DMX channels.

    What bugs me is that you admit you have no experience with the Hog platform but then go on to say "The fact is the Hog and the Chamysis aren't really considered Theatre boards like the expression is and while you can run them like one...they aren't really meant for that and therefore can sometimes be frustrating to program in that fashion." What is your definition of a theater board? The only thing I miss on the hog when programing are submasters but I find it offers some things that I am not able to get on the expression that more than make up for it. The biggest selling point for me is how easy it is to get complicated timings. For example the last show I did I wanted the look to bloom from stage left to stage right. To do this on an expression would require a multipart cue or several different cues linked together each with a different fade time. On the Hog I recorded the look I wanted at the end and then used FAN on the time to make the fixtures stage right have a longer fade time than the fixtures stage left. Because of my channeling style this was done in a few seconds. A great time saver for sure.

    Another plus for me was having group pallets. With groups on the expression I would keep a pad of paper next to me with what each group was and its number so I knew what I was selecting or where I could record. As pads of paper happen to do it often disappears, on the Hog it tells me what I have and lets me name it, makingit much harder to disappear.

    To echo what has been said in the end Footer needs to choose something that he knows and will be able to get the show done in a short time span. It seems most people hear would do it their way but that only works for them.
     
  15. Sony

    Sony Active Member

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    I'm sorry...it was really the "Uh...hello..." thing that got me so riled up, making it sound like I'm an idiot for suggesting such a simple thing. I really should stop posting at 3am in the morning when I'm grumpy as hell from a long day of work.

    I have no allusions to the fact that the Hog is GREAT for programming movers, that is what it was meant for. However, for me personally, submasters are a huge deal and especially because he is going to be using the PC version of the Hog Software...it's just going to be that much more annoying.

    Really, it all depends on how much he is planning on using the movers. For all we know he is just using them as refocusable specials.
     
  16. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    #1. The right person can be just as fast programming on any of the above. If the question were reversed: Expression Offline PC (which doesn't exist, but hypothesize with me) vs. WholehogII/MagicQ console; would there be any doubt?

    As [user]Footer[/user] is going to be pre-programming the show with a visualizer, perhaps speed is not the most important factor. If he has a few weeks or more, seems like an opportune time to try a console he's not as familiar with. Once the show moves into the venue, focus positions and intensities will need to be tweaked, but the cue structure should remain intact. The question then becomes: Which console is the easiest/fastest to edit cues, not create them?

    #2. Both of the above posts have mentioned Submasters. How important are these when programming, and later running, a legit theatre show?
     
  17. thommyboy

    thommyboy Active Member

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    The single biggest drawback to using one of the PC based systems without the programing wing is the shear number of functions that require 2 button presses simultaneously. i.e. all of the pig+ commands...there is simply no way to achieve this that I am aware of on a PC.
     
  18. soundman

    soundman Well-Known Member

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    In hog PC (all versions) it maps some of the keyboards keys to be the consoles buttons so you don't have to click all the little buttons on the screen.

    The 'Ctrl' key will act as the pig button, 'Insert' works as set, 'R' becomes record and so on. I would make sure to have a full number pad though.
     
  19. ScottH

    ScottH Member

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    Did anyone read past the second word of my post?
    1. I wasnt being rude with the "hello" i was being sarcastic and humorous. I apologize if my sense of humor is lost in the text.
    2. Footer said that he has wyg perform. Therefore the emphasis element of the expression is redundant and therefore moot.
    3. I will reiterate that all keyboard shortcuts for Hog PC are listed on the last two pages of the manual. I even linked to it.
    4. I would never tell anyone to flash and trash a show (thats a choice that should never be discussed). However, i really feel that since its a musical, its safe to say there will be some movement. I would put money on the fact that he will decide to built at least one effect over the course of the show.
    5. Footer already expressed that his skill level is not of any concern for him. Maybe hes a quick learner and can pick it up in a day.
    6. The only reason the Hog is not considered a "theatre board" is because it just isnt commonly used because more people are comfortable with ETC consoles. The truth is that a Hog can do anything an expression can do. In fact, many theatre shows still run exclusively on Hogs (yes, on broadway too) conventionals and all.
    7. He asked for opinions and hes getting them. Dont go off on one persons thoughts just because they disagree

    Sony,
    Apostrophes and a capital i are not a requirement on this forum (i didnt read all the rules tho). If you cant read it, you shouldnt respond to it.
    B.T.W. your usage of the word allusions was incorrect. Thats a bit more important than spelling in my book...that and not being sleep deprived while posting on forums.

    Thanks.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 19, 2009
  20. Pie4Weebl

    Pie4Weebl Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    submasters should not count towards a plus for the board, I don't know the last time I have used a sub in a theatre situation aside from an "oh crap" work light sub. Hog hands down is the way to go. The interface is great and regardless of if is is flashy or just specials, it will be faster on the hog.
     

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