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Emphasis

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by uncmempm, Jul 29, 2008.

  1. uncmempm

    uncmempm Member

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    Anyone know what ETC is doing with Emphasis these days? Do they still make it? Do any of you have one? I have heard of alot of issue with it. Any truth to this?
     
  2. MNicolai

    MNicolai Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    It was dropped with the Expression(ion) lines about two weeks ago. There are some guys around here though that have Emphasis systems setup though that could tell you more about.
     
    uncmempm likes this.
  3. TimMiller

    TimMiller Well-Known Member

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    its nothing too special. When i was working at a theater that had it, it was a major pain. I would have just taken WYSIWYG and a data splitter and pretty well have gotten the same results. The theater was on their 3rd or 4th computer from ETC. The computer would crash and then shut down the console which is not a good thing during the middle of a show. There were several times we went running to push the record button on the unison touch panel to run the set look until the com-uter and console rebooted. Also another problem was that there was absolutly no DMX ran in the theater, it was all eithernet and there were DMX nodes all over the place. There was not even a run of DMX from the console to the dimmers. We ran one so that people could simply plug into the dimmers without messing with going through a node or through the console. To me the congo and congo jr has replaced the empasis system. They both are very close, just the congo is much more stable.
     
  4. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    We've used Emphasis for 4 years, with decent results and zero crashes, other then the need to re-boot on occasion - as you would with any console. We actually leave ours up and running 24/7 with no problems, and except for the first week of use, no calls to tech. support. Our system is part of a Net2 system.

    It's an add-on server/computer that takes control of any Express/Expression II-III/Insight II-III console, connecting to the console via Cat5 and turning the console into a Facepanel "slave" of the main Emphasis processor.

    The heart of the Emphasis system is/was a link to embeded WYSIWYG on the server, that changes the control interface, in that it allows direct control of fixtures via the WYSIWYG display, which can either be a single monitor in 2d, or dual monitor in 3d, as well as whatever monitors the facepanel uses. Emphasis added channel capacity up to 4,000, as well as functions such as Move Before Bright, Subroutines on Submasters, and tons more.

    In practice, it's a theatrical cuing console that works well when the time is spent creating a plot in WYG then using WYG as the control interface. It is a poor live playback interface. IMO, there was poor execution of the interface where the console leaves off, and Emphasis /WYG takes over, thus (as on the Express) some functions are not available in Emphasis/WYG (gobo spin direction and rate of a Studio Spot, as example) but need to be controlled in the ML section of Express, via the Trackpad, which was just plain dumb, as were a whole lot of other annoying things you discover over time.

    A novel idea at the time, that wasn't followed thru by ETC. The license agreement with Cast - makers of WYSIWYG expired a few years back, thus WYSIWYG moved on to version 22, while Emphasis remained at 17. One way that becomes an issue is when you need to add a new fixture whose photometric are updated in newer WYG versions and you have to do all sorts of songs and dances to get stuff backwards to V17 and into Emphasis - if it's doable at all - such as adding a Martin 700 wash, as example. Emphasis does not allow you to create new fixtures, as example, and the ETC Personality Editor cannot be used with Emphasis. All sorts of little odd things like that became annoying.

    That said, it was a very cost effective purchase for us, that added capabilities we did not have and bridged us to an Ion, which is on the agenda.

    As to Tim's comments about Net2 and nodes, sounds like a poor design on the system he was working. In practice, the Net2 system is terrific and easy to use. We DID, however, keep 2 DMX dry lines from console to backstage for folks who don't want to run thru Net2. In practice the only time I use them is for a simple one-off that needs a single DMX from point A to B. Anything else I run thru nodes. I have never had issues with the Net2 system and Sensor+ dimmers, and have never had DMX runs as backups to the racks.
     
  5. TimMiller

    TimMiller Well-Known Member

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    I believe it was texas scenic who did the install, for those who have had texas scenic do their installs need i say more. They have a rep for over designing things, that do not need to be over designed. They also have a major problem of not labeling things such as cable runs or giving you a layout of how the cables are run and connected. There was one new school i had to pull apart their data splitter rack to figure out which dmx line they decided to split to run to each of the flys. I found several cables that were not even connected.
     
  6. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    I wouldn't buy one today, but at the time it was the only way to get more modern features out of an expression. Automove while dark or mark cues are by far the biggest additions. It was ETC's way of expanding the consoles without going through a complete re-design.
     
  7. sclausenETC

    sclausenETC Active Member

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    I would like to point out for SteveB that you can, in fact, create custom fixtures on Emphasis, you have to close the show file to do so. There is a detailed section on this procedure starting on page 138 in the Emphasis Visualization v2.0.1 User Manual.

    For a new install, I highly recommend looking at either the Congo/Congo jr or the Eos/Ion lines of control. ;-)

    Thanks -

    Sarah

    Sarah Clausen
    Controls Product Manager
    ETC, Inc.
     
  8. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    So which, in your opinion, is the better choice for the new 500-seat auditorium of Anytowne Community College, Congo jr or Ion?
     
  9. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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  10. jmabray

    jmabray Active Member

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    It's very easy to come in after the fact and blame a company that you think installed the system. It's harder to know all of the different factors that went in to the process. Was there a consultant involved? Was there a TD involved at the time that wanted things a certain way? Was there a GC that, halfway through the project, wanted to cut some costs and had the contractors on site at the time do what they could to do so?

    There are any number of things that could go into a project that you might not be privy to that affect the final outcome of the project. It's one of the reasons why I generally don't name dealers or contractors in public forums. If someone wants to know something privately, I would be (usually) happy to discuss with them - just not in public.
     
  11. sclausenETC

    sclausenETC Active Member

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    Hi Derek -

    I don't recommend either without first asking some key questions...

    1) What are the folks already used to using? Express? Strand? Other?
    2) How is the venue going to be used? Multipurpose with all kinds of events? Road house? Theatre only?
    3) What other venues are in the community? What are they using? Will the crew be shared or does this venue have its own staff? Are the staff volunteers or employed by the house?

    Then I pick one to lead with and arrange a demo. I always make sure to have the other console available so that a comparison can be made if necessary. In some cases it becomes really clear really fast which console will be more suitable, but in some cases it can be a real 50/50 situation. It's always best to try them out to see how they feel.

    My $0.02...

    Sarah

    Sarah Clausen
    Controls Product Manager
    ETC, Inc.
     
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