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Automated Fixtures Choosing the right light

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by bcronenwett, Jul 5, 2009.

  1. bcronenwett

    bcronenwett Member

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    Occupation:
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    Hello, I'm fresh out of high school and will be a design student at a local university. I'm positive that the college at this time doesn't have automated fixtures, so I waned to purchase a couple to get some expierence.

    Here's What I'm Looking For:
    A) Cheap
    B) Quality
    C) Possible CMY mixing
    D) Cheap w/ quality

    If any one could give some direction or suggestions that would be great!
    THANKS
     
  2. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    The usual answer is: pick one of the two here.

    And how cheap do you mean when you say cheap?
     
  3. photoatdv

    photoatdv Active Member

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    Kinda like the saying your show can be:
    Good
    Fast
    Cheap

    Pick two.

    Probably hear that on here...
     
  4. mstaylor

    mstaylor Well-Known Member Departed Member

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    If you just want experience, why not rent instead of buying?
     
  5. erico3456

    erico3456 Member

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    I would highly recommend not buying a moving light fixture because it is "cheap", our theater bought a couple moving fixtures that were "cheap" and not only do they not react anything like quality fixtures we've rented in the past and now most of them are constantly in and out of the shop being fixed. We have since bought better fixtures that really put on a better show. If you want experience you are certainly not going to get it from a cheap fixture that is nothing like the industry standard. Renting fixtures is a great option because you can get great quality with a low cost and not have to worry about it breaking. If you are determained to buy something you might look at buying a good quality used fixture from a good manufacturer, like maybe a mac 250 from Martin or a studio spot from High End. Hope this helps.
     
  6. bcronenwett

    bcronenwett Member

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    Occupation:
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    THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR RESPONSES!

    By cheap i did not mean American DJ or Chauvet even though Chauvet is beginning to make "some" decent equipment. I'm currently looking at a Studio Spot 250 on gearsource.com and there going for about 900 bucks. If you guys know someone or another site who could beat the price please let me know! Also, my budget is about 1700 bucks MAX for two lights.

    Thanks again,
    bcronenwett
     
  7. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    Stage Equipment, Lighting, Audio, and Video
    Stage Lighting - Used Lighting, Used Audio, Used Video - Solaris
    UsedLighting.com - Stage & Theatrical Lighting Equipment, LED, Trussing
    www.lightbroker.com

    Don't we have a wiki on used lighting websites somewhere?
     
  8. bcronenwett

    bcronenwett Member

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    Sorry I'm new to this, but thanks for your help!
     
  9. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    The Collaborative Article Sources for Used Equipment.


    [user]bcronenwett[/user], I strongly suggest also reading the Collaborative Article The Gafftaper Method. BTW, with what console are you planning to console these moving lights?
     
  10. MrsFooter

    MrsFooter CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    My question is if you have any previous experience with ANY moving/automated lights? I'm talking real simple stuff, scrollers and Elipscans and the like.
    If you haven't, I highly recommend you start there, with smaller accessories, than jumping right to the big guns. It makes grasping a lot of the concepts involved in patching and programming much easier to understand when you're working with a fixture with 2-5 attributes instead of 15+.
    (Not to mention that you could get 3 or 4 Elipscans for the price of one mover.)
     
  11. bcronenwett

    bcronenwett Member

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    Hmm... I didnt really think of that Mrs.Footer...

    I have had some expierence with the programing and such on a PAL 1200 and a HOG.

    To answer Derek's question:

    For now I personally wont be purchasing a board however they will be used on a HOG, ETC Express, and a possible Strand board.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 6, 2009
  12. photoatdv

    photoatdv Active Member

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    Hog :)
    Express :-(-- though I suspect you really will learn what the channels do
    Strand -- depends what version
     
  13. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    If you really want to learn and don't want to rent... get one of these... Products MiN? Spot | | CHAUVET Lighting

    For 300 bucks you can have a fun little light to play with in your dorm room. Hell, buy 8 and go light some parties around campus.

    I have seen a few lighting shops buy these to drag around for console demos. They work great for training purposes. They are useless onstage, but then again so is a Mac250.
     
  14. NickJones

    NickJones Active Member

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    [user]MrsFooter[/user]'s advice on grasping the basics is true, if you have only ever used dimers, all of the new DMX gear might get a bit confusing, you said that you had done a bit on a Hog but was that just with an all conventional rig? If so maybe look at hireing some scrollers, gobo rotators and little toys for your next show to get you started on your way to moving light proness! (Is that a word?)

    [user]Footer[/user]'s advice is great, the MinSpot gives you RGB color mixing, strobing, LED moving head, for $300US. (But that was second hand I think)
    check out this thread in regards to the MinSpot as it tells you everything you need to know, but don't exepect to use this in your theatre for much as it's not the brightest, but if you want to learn how to use a Moving head, then this is the fixture for you.

    Don't just learn how to use movers on one console, as not everywhere has the same console, so every console you have that has moving light support (and even preset desks can do movers if you have enough patience) in your uni you should try and get your MinSpot to work with.

    After you graduate from a MinSpot check out some of the mid range movers, the Mac 250s are a great start. But not to buy unless you have a lot of cash. Hire 2 or so and just muck around with them, maybe tie the hire in with a musical, concert, rock show, anything that movers could be used in, without falling into the trap of "They move so I must make them move" that so many people do when they get moving lights for the first time, good practice is to sit down, make all of your lights do prettyfull colours and strobes, fly em in, all the effects in the effects engine and save it to a show file, then start designing your actual show, if the cravings for awesome lights come in again, pull up your show file with the cool movers in it, play with that untill you feel the urge to make them move is over. Then continue normal programming. A thread came up recently where [user]Westlaketech[/user] discussed his old school's theatre's use of movers, they had been given heaps of them & a hog, and they were impressive, but they were used for everything, and detracted from the show itself in some cases, movers should be used wiseley & sparingly.

    Higer end moving lights such as the Martin Mac 700 & the VL 3500, not to for get the ShowGuns, these are the lights that tour with mega-shows and are incredibly exepensive, so hire is a good option... A day with some of these will really show you the maximum that can be done.

    Wow this is long. (By my standards)
    Nick
     
  15. bcronenwett

    bcronenwett Member

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    When working on the HOG 2 we used convectional lighting along with 4 PAL 1200's. I like the idea of buying the cheaper lights to get practice however once "I have learned" then I have these cheap lights collecting dust. So..... I think I'm going to purchase Studio Spot 250's. These are bright enough to work on a smaller scale stage and r still relatively cheap to buy used. High End is based out of Texas which would make parts some what easy to come by!

    RIGHT?:lol:
     
  16. bcronenwett

    bcronenwett Member

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    Well after a long search I found a killer deal on Studio Spot 575's and now am a proud owner of 2.
     
  17. NickJones

    NickJones Active Member

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    Excellent, the only bit of advice I forgot was this: In theatre, loud movers are useless, great for rock and roll, but not theatre. I'm sure you will learn heaps from having these.
    Hope they all go well,
    Nick
     
  18. bcronenwett

    bcronenwett Member

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    Thanks Nick, So far these light have been great quite and smooth! Thanks for the advice everyone!
     
  19. Kelite

    Kelite Apollo Staff Premium Member

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    Congratulations, I'm sure you'll be very happy with your purchase. The SS250s have a proven track record and are easily serviced. If/when you need parts or service help, don't forget to contact LightParts.com - The Parts and Repair Source for Entertainment Lighting for a quote. Robert and the gang will treat you right.
     

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