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Control/Dimming Cognito 2 Experiences?

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by danTt, May 12, 2018.

  1. danTt

    danTt Well-Known Member

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    Putting together a lighting package for a venue that will have a handful of LED fixtures for live events and film. An element feels fairly overkill, and a hardware interface is going to be a good thing(tm) in this instance. What are people's experience with the cognito? All of the demos/information I've seen on it have impressed me, but I've never used one for any length of time.
     
  2. DavidJones

    DavidJones Member

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    It's an okay controller, but feels pretty "fisher price." It is easy to use, but it is fairly limited on advanced programming. An MQ40n is competitive at the price and has 4 universes, but takes a bit more to learn. You might want to wait a bit and check out the Chamsys Quick Q. It looks to be a solid competitor to the Cognito and Colorsource.
     
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  3. danTt

    danTt Well-Known Member

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    Mq40N looks like an interesting device, but a) It lists about $1000 higher than the cognito lists (And yes, comparing list prices only goes so far but it's an indicator).. and a 30% price increase is pretty big for this particular usage and b) The added features look like they will add enough complexity that I hestitate to put it in this particular venue". I'll definitely put it on the list to take a closer look at though.
     
  4. JohnD

    JohnD Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    The Chamsys QUICKQ looks interesting but not sure when it will be available, one guesstimate is 4th quarter this year.

    Sort of a stranger in the US is Zero 88, probably the FLX S.

    The distributor in the US is Lehigh.
    http://www.lehighdim.com/lw2/index.php
    They make no mention of this on their website, you would have to give them a call, but they are supposed to have spare parts in stock.
    To give you a rough price, check out THOMANN
    I doubt that you would be able to get Lehigh service if you didn't buy from them.

    As far as your real question, I have no hands on experience but the Pathway folks hang out here, that is a plus.
     
  5. DavidJones

    DavidJones Member

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    The MQ40n might be a little too steep of a learning curve, and a little overkill for your application. I guess I was thinking that the MQ40 prices out about the same as the higher end spec Cognito2 that supports 4 universes and artnet, but that is all a moot point If you don't need any of that. Those reasons might drop it off of your list.

    The Quick Q sounds like a better fit, but its not shipping yet, and I have not had a chance to play with it, so if you need something now this is also a moot point,

    Really the Cognito2 is a user-friendly desk that is great for beginners. People who are used to MA, HOG, Chamsys, EOS etc, might get pretty frustrated with the limited feature set, but Cognito is not designed to compete with these, it a user-friendly desk for casual use.

    I have bought and used a few Zero88 consoles in the US over the last decade or so, and the support is terrible. Service is outsourced(or was at the time) to another company, and they have no Idea what they are doing. Maybe things have changed; the consoles look promising and are priced well.
     
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  6. Rob

    Rob Active Member

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    Thank you for the comments on Cognito 2 (and other desks). As the product manager, I feel I should chime in when I hear "it is fairly limited on advanced programming". The beauty of Cognito is its UI is not intimidating to the novice, but not frustrating to the advanced programmer. Apart from the lack of a command line, which is the major complaint from high-end programmers, Cognito has all the power of the Strand Palette series which is well adept at running Broadway and West End shows. I know, because I've done it. Not many $3000 consoles have such sexy fisher price hardware and a feature set including:
    • Unlimited number of asynchronous simultaneous playbacks
    • Programmer-style Record
    • Complete Abstract Control fixture definition (its predecessor the Marquee defined this philosophy)
    • Hands-On-Heads-Up task oriented navigation
    • Dim to warm on any colour mixing fixture
    • CCT on any colour mixing fixture
    • Choose and FADE in any colour space
    • Linear P/T movement with no XYZ setup
    • Reference Palettes
    • Smart Update with track forward, track backward and Palette updating
    • Effects
    • Attribute Family timing (delay/fade) per cue
    • Independent timing (delay/fade) on any attribute of any light including fanned timing
    • Fanning attributes on encoders
    • Highlight/Lowlight/Flip
    • IRGB control with overdrive (have blue, push red to get magenta, keep pushing to get red (blue goes away))
    • Loads of I/O (MSC, MTC, Contact Closures, DMX IN, sACN IN, RS232, Telnet)
    • Lua Interpreter for advanced Show Control
    • Bump modes including Momentary, Toggle, Radio, Radio Groups and Timed
    • Extensive macros on Memories and Cues
    • Network Slider and Buttons architectural stations
    • Move In Black (on cues and memories)
    • Busking and backwards busking
    • Remote access
    • Network file management
    • PoE
    • sACN, Art-Net, Pathport, KiNet
    • Show file compatible with 7" touch screen architainment controller Choreo
    • Off-Line Editor for Windows or MacOS
    • Butt-load of training videos
    • Superb support
    • Extensive dealer network with demo desks
    Thank you for your time and interest. Rant over.
     
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  7. danTt

    danTt Well-Known Member

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    Hi Rob,

    I definitely think it's a power console for it's size and plan on demoing it. I will say, however, that comparing it to a strand is not doing much to convince me it's a console I want :)
     
  8. Apmccandless

    Apmccandless Member

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    I have only played with the physical console in a store but the software version paired with a touch screen has been very capable. I am able to send it out on small shows (a hand full of rogues) and with a 10 min lesson everyone has been able to pick it up. I would say the software has a very iPad feel. (Although the iPad neato app won’t work for me.) Also, pathway has been very good about responding to questions and issues I have had with their gear in the past.
     
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  9. robmerow

    robmerow Active Member

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    I finally started specing Cognitos for small churches after years of assuming that the software must be as "Fischer Pricer" as it looks. Its actually a remarkably powerful console and you can get pretty stupid with "real" programming. It can do discrete timing, external triggers, multiple cue lists, etc. And it handles color space better than many of the "real" consoles do.

    Not for everyone, but don't right it off. It reminds me of Jands Vista in the way that if you come to it knowing what you're doing and familiar with other "real" consoles you'll hate it. But if you come at it with an open mind and learn the workflow it was designed for there is very little it cannot do.

    The other great bonus of the Cognito is the seamless integration they have with their own architectural controls line, which is definitely the most affordable one out there - and not lacking in features.
     
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  10. randiculous42

    randiculous42 Member

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    I programmed a very large permanent installation on a Cognito 2 and found myself quite surprised with how well it did! The programmed show runs on a Choreo for about 10hrs/day 6 days a week with 4 effects running at once and has been holding its own for almost 1 year now. My only true frustrations were adapting my ETC programming way of thinking and the LDs way of yelling things out geared towards a command line to this new console. I spent a lot of extra time trying to train my LD to think like the board, and I'm not sure he ever quite got it. But once we got over that, it was pretty easy. It may not have been the exact best-fit board for the project, but it was far more successful than I had expected it would be. In the end, I came to really like some of the ways in which the cognito was different. To someone relatively new to consoles, or without 20 years of command-line burned into their brain, I'm sure this would be much easier to learn.

    The one thing that really bugged me though was how tedious the patching was. It normally wouldn't have been such an issue but the show I was doing kept growing in size, so none of my DMX addresses were able to be logically laid out by the end. If you're going to use a Cognito, stick to a 1-to-1 patch if you can to save on the patching headaches.

    sidenote: Rob over at Pathway is an amazing resource for "Can Cognito do this?" He always had an answer.
     
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  11. RonHebbard

    RonHebbard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    @randiculous42 Rob ALWAYS had an answer and it was usually 'Yes, of course!' Right?
    Toodleoo!
    Ron Hebbard
     
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  12. RonHebbard

    RonHebbard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    @Rob You only get one chance to make a good first impression. Quite some years ago I was working for an A/V installation contractor who'd taken a sub-contract to upgrade the recording, playback and control systems of a dancing waters / fountain installation in the multi-story entrance lobby of a provincially owned and operated casino in Windsor, Ontario. The fountain's original installers had employed a control system better suited to an automotive assembly line which was extremely tedious and difficult to program and / or update. Westsun had taken the contract then found themselves in over their heads, sold all of the new amplifiers, speakers and lights then sub-contracted updating the control to the company I was working for. I looked at the project and figured variable speed pumps and electrically adjusted stainless steel high-pressure water valves were basically 'dimmers' for water and solenoid operated pneumatic and / or water valves were basically 'non-dims' for air and water. With this thinking I elected to use your lighting software and several of Gray Interface's rack mounted PC cards to control their fountain 24 / 7 / 365. I was told I could meet you one on one face to face for 15 minutes and asked to have all of my ducks in a row. I only had two 'ducks' in my row and you knocked them both off in short order. Suffice it to say you made a favorable and lasting first (only) impression.
    Toodleoo!
    Ron Hebbard
     
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  13. robmerow

    robmerow Active Member

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    Though the other day I did ask him if the console HDMI would support some obscure resolution from some obscure monitor and the answer was no ;)
     
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