Computerized Light Board

Grottfather

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May 7, 2006
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Nashville, Tn
I know this Post has been made a couple times but i have a few question i am hoping to get answered in one post..

I know about Light Jockey... I have seen it used one time and seem decent. Is it worth the money? Are there any other good ones out there?

Most of my Design stuff is done one the Echelon Hog.. so pretty intense is there a computer program that is this good? one for mac or pc? which is a better platform to use?

also can i get demo's of this stuff before i use? or like older versions from someone on here i can borrow?

THanks guys for you help!

Tony
 

Footer

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Hog PC should do anything you need it to. Is there a specific way you want to program or run your shows. What kind of shows are you doing?
 

Van

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As footer said there are a ton of good programs out there. Light Jockey, from what I've heard, is a good choice. I will always continue to champion Horizon, I have to Gordons on the board of directors :mrgreen: You don't need to worry about "Getting an old version" go to almost any pc based lightboard manufactureres website and you can download a fully functional copy for yourself. The trick is "How much does the dongle cost?" there is a wide variety of costs and features, Horizon, for example offers something like 4 different version dpending on what kind of capabilities you want out of it. It really depends on the types of shows and instruments you are going to be controlling.

EDIT- Oh and as far as PC vs. Mac. If your running a lightboard on a personal computer it will be a PC. 99.99% of the time.
 

gafftaper

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Many of the consoles out there have a computer based version of their software that is available for free download. It's typically a fully functional program that requires a hardware interface to make it work... so that's how they get their money from you.

Tell us more specifically about what you want to do. Where you want to do it. How many instruments you plan to use. How many of those are conventional, How many are movers. What your budget is. Etc...

There are options out there from a few hundred bucks to several thousand. None of them are really "bad" they just are more or less useful depending on your needs.
 

soundlight

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Oct 27, 2005
Location
NJ & NYC
If you're used to a Hog operating system, get HogPC. Nice program. We use it here, and it works well. You can also get programming and playback wings, and I think that there are some used hardware wing packages available on lightbroker.com right now.
 

len

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Many of the consoles out there have a computer based version of their software that is available for free download. It's typically a fully functional program that requires a hardware interface to make it work... so that's how they get their money from you.
That's true of most, if not all, of the computer based solutions. As far as I remember, lanbox is the only Mac based product out there. But since I'm a pc guy I don't keep up on what will run with a Mac.

Also, you need to consider the operating system. Most of the computer based solutions don't have enough manpower to test if their product is compatible with Vista, so if that's an issue with you make sure the one you choose is compatible.

I will also recommend LightJockey and here's why: It was designed to run on a pc, as opposed to a product like HogPC, which was simply moved over from the console. LJ is all icon based, and that makes it easier to program.
 

dbn

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Jan 4, 2005
Location
Derry, NH, USA
I downloaded the Light Jockey User Manual, and after a breif scan, I'm left with the question as to whether it natively supports "desk channels", i.e. dimmers for non-moving lights. Anyone familiar enough with this product to answer that question off hand? Or do I need to go back and carefully read the manual? :)
 

BenFranske

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Jan 18, 2004
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Edina, MN
I can definately say that LJ will support conventional dimmers. We've used it for several years for a large concert that moved from primarily conventional to primarily moving and back to primarily conventional. Coincidentally we're switching to HogPC this year.

Also, if you're quite comfortable with computers and know about Linux you might want to look at some software called Q Light Controller. I have links to the website for it as well as information on the interfaces it supports here.
 

Van

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.....Also, you need to consider the operating system. Most of the computer based solutions don't have enough manpower to test if their product is compatible with Vista, so if that's an issue with you make sure the one you choose is compatible........
Speaking as a hardcore PC Modding Guy. Don't, do not, under any circumstances upgrade any computer used for lighting,sound, etc etc. to Vista. Navigate to www.maxiumupc.com and read Will Smiths Editorial from this months magazine. I cannot express my disapointment in this particular product and after reading Will Smiths article in this months edition Of Maxium PC I can say I'm truly frustrated and dumbfounded by Redmonds decisions on this OS.
For once in my PC life I have to hang my head in shame, the boys up north have really let me down on this one.
:cry:
 

ziggy

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Dec 7, 2006
The only PC lighting software I know of that runs under Windows, Mac and Linux is MagicQ from Chamsys (www.chamsys.co.uk). The software is also the only one I have come across that is truly free, it will work with any make of Artnet or Pathport to DMX boxes as well as various USB to DMX devices.

I came across it when looking to control a couple of Pandora video servers and found the Strand was too difficult. The MagicQ has support for Video servers (on screen thumbnails etc), bitmap displays onto LED’s etc. I found it OK to learn, quite a few different ways of thinking to Strand. I have read that it is very close to the operation of a Hog2. It is a very complete program for a 6 universe PC console.

The software is the same (except that it is limited to 6 universes) that runs on their consoles and they provide it free and functioning to encourage hardware sales. ( We did buy a USB Maxiwing to provide hands on real faders and encoders).

Also downloaded the Jands Vista PC software which is very impressive but expensive, you need to buy a DMX dongle or Wing from Jands before you can control anything in real life. Very interesting approach with a timeline similar to video editing.
 

gafftaper

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Speaking as a hardcore PC Modding Guy. Don't, do not, under any circumstances upgrade any computer used for lighting,sound, etc etc. to Vista... I can say I'm truly frustrated and dumbfounded by Redmonds decisions on this OS.
For once in my PC life I have to hang my head in shame, the boys up north have really let me down on this one.
:cry:


Speaking as someone who lives 10 minutes from Uncle Bill's Magical Kingdom and know lots of it's happy residents, it sounds like Vista is a real stinker. There was a lot of amazement from inside the company when it was announced they were shipping it so soon. It's been widely known inside the company that the project is a disaster but they decided to ram it through anyway. As late as November people were saying it still needs at least 6 months more work.

It's also WAY over priced if you want the professional edition. I'm sticking with XP until they fix Vista and someone on the inside can get me a cheap copy from the company store.
 

Dave123

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Sep 9, 2005
Location
Asheville, NC
I've been using Bluelite X1 for a couple of months now. It's very easy to use and easy to program. I find it more intutive than Light Jockey, and much cheaper. You can get the 1 universe version for $400. You'll want to add on a dmx controller. I picked up one for $200. So my total cost was $600. It's VERY flexible and fast. I've been able to program just about everything I've seen friends do on a Hog500...faster! Tech support is also great. I highly reccomend this software. I haven't used many others (save light jockey) so I'm not sure, but I can't imagine anything beating Bluelite for the money.
You can download a demo version at www.innovateshowcontrols.com
and yes, it is Vista compatible. Although I don't dare make the switch myself.