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etc express

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by rgsw, Jun 5, 2004.

  1. rgsw

    rgsw Member

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    just how easy is it to control movers with the express range of lighting boards as the trackpad looks in-accurate and the two smaller rectangler trackpads to the left of it looks, frankly crap!
     
  2. soundman

    soundman Well-Known Member

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    We just set up subs for each channel, so pan was sub 1 pan fine 2 tilt sub 3 and so on. Our track pad got broken over the summer so I have no idea how it would work.
     
  3. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    It's not the ideal console, but it can be done if it's the ONLY console:

    1) The 2 little trackpads to the left of the square one are the fine and course settings for the trackpad. The fact that you didn't know that means you need to read the manual and/or get more conversant with the console, else your experiences with ML's on this console will be a disappointment.

    2) The trackpad actually is pretty good at positioning a miror - if that's what you're using, but not good at moving heads, as the trackpad orientaion flips once the head rotates past 180 degrees. That's when the subs are often a better choice.

    3) The biggest headache with the Express, is after you've figured out how to import and load personalities, the attribute settings are all set via the trackpad - assuming you use the Fixture window. Subs and Groups might well work betteer, but take a ton of time to get organized and loaded.

    SB
     
  4. OnWithTheShow

    OnWithTheShow Member

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  5. rgsw

    rgsw Member

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    thanks for all your helps guys. The etc express does not look at all suited to ml's after reading through the manual, it must have been an afterthough.

    i think i am going to head down the frog route because the bullfrog looks nice but not too expensive.
    however it may be a bit over-rated for my use as we will many be sticking with convential lanterns and only purchasing two ml's to pratice on (two s4 revolutions) largely due to cost of ml's both hiring and buying.

    anyother boards recommondations? i am looking mainly for high flexibilty and boards that have individual faders for spontaneity as I do a lot of last minute gigs etc...
     
  6. rgsw

    rgsw Member

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    thanks for all your helps guys. The etc express does not look at all suited to ml's after reading through the manual, it must have been an afterthough.

    i think i am going to head down the frog route because the bullfrog looks nice but not too expensive.
    however it may be a bit over-rated for my use as we will many be sticking with convential lanterns and only purchasing two ml's to pratice on (two s4 revolutions) largely due to cost of ml's both hiring and buying.

    anyother boards recommondations? i am looking mainly for high flexibilty and boards that have individual faders for spontaneity as I do a lot of last minute gigs etc...
     
  7. BillySerious

    BillySerious Member

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    I am currently running a conventional rig with 8 intelligent lights on a Zero 88 console, and I would recommend you to something else.

    It is a decent enough board for conventionals, (but then again what isnt....) but it SEVERLY LACKS in Intelligent Lighting Control. Its pallates are set up to where you cannot stack individual Beamshape attributes, making it impossible for almost any impromtu cues, and its durability is VERY suspect. We keep our board in pristine conditions, no dust, no wear, no moving, and three of the faders are already glitching, causing a strobe/blink on slow fades, which basically ruins mood lighting.

    It is not a hard board to figure out, but once you do, you will find yourself wanting alot more control, and for the price, there are more suitable alternitives out there.
     
  8. bdesmond

    bdesmond Active Member

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    I would take a serious look at the Strand 300 series board. IF you have the budget for an ETC Express, the Strand 300 is the saem range, maybe a little cheaper. It uses a trackball mouse and/or a wheel for controlling values. It has some pretty cool moving light features, although I've never tried it with an intel fixture.
     
  9. digitaltec

    digitaltec Active Member

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    Do not use a Express to control moving lights. It takes at least 13 channels to control one fixture. It's not fun, let me tell you. :)
     
  10. OnWithTheShow

    OnWithTheShow Member

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    I'm not expert on Moving Light consoles but wouldn't the fixture use the same number of channels no matter the console. If you are really only going to have 2 then the Express will still do the trick.
     
  11. Mayhem

    Mayhem Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    One would imagine that using the board is going to cause wear and faders are items that will need replacing over time.

    In order to comment on the durability it is useful to say how long you had the board, and whether or not you can be sure that no one has dropped crumbs or crap into the desk. You have mentioned that there is no dust, so I am assuming that you keep the desk covered when not in use (a very good idea) but remember that other ‘crap’ can get onto and into the board (food, skin flakes, ash, fluid etc).

    The description of the fault that you provide above is commonly caused by ‘crap’ getting into the fader. When the slide contact passes over the resistive strip, the ‘crap’ causes the contact between the two to be momentarily broken, thus the lamp will flicker. When this happens in the audio world, we hear it as crackling or scratching when the fader is moved.

    In most instances, regularly cleaning your board and spraying a little contact cleaner/lubricant into the faders and pots will keep it running optimally. Certainly a product to keep in your tool kit.

    Hope this helps.
     
  12. BillySerious

    BillySerious Member

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    Yes, Im sorry I forgot to mention how long we've had the Fat Frog.

    We got it new out of the box three months ago.
     
  13. Mayhem

    Mayhem Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Thanks for the info - given that it is virtually new and unless you guys have hammered it, I would suspect that those faders have adopted some crap.

    One thing that I forgot to ask was if the affected faders were adjacent to one another. If so, then this would support my thoughts. What tends to happen is that something gets dropped or spilled onto the board and then (hopefully) quickly wiped off. In many instances, this spreads the crap around a bit. Besides, it is very hard to drop crumbs into just one fader!

    If they were spread out over the board you may suspect bad faders, especially if the board was a little older or they were faders that are being used very frequently, like masters, x-fades etc. However, this is not to say that there could not be faulty faders straight out of the box. I am sure that this would not be the first time that this has happened.

    As the board is probably under warranty it may not hurt for you to get it looked at by an approved service tech. If it isn’t going to cost you anything (other than down time) that may be a good idea, as you will find out exactly what the problem is. Check your warranty card (and even contact the service department) to see if you would be voiding your warranty by cleaning the faders/pots yourself. In many cases it is possible to do this without cracking the board open.

    Out of interest, is the fault covered at all in the troubleshooting section of the manual? You know, that very helpful section which always starts with “make sure the unit is plugged in and turned on”.

    Let me know what you do/find.
     
  14. bdesmond

    bdesmond Active Member

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    Different consoles work differently. The Strand 300/500 series desks for example have intensity channels (stadnard channels lik eyou'd patch to a leko or a par can or something), and then attribute channels. The attribute channels go to pan, tilt, shutters, etc.
     
  15. Mayhem

    Mayhem Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    I think the question that OnWithTheShow was trying to ask was why would a ML require more channels on one boards?

    You are correct that the number of channels is governed by the number of functions (pan/tilt/colour/gobo/iris etc, etc).

    In fact I too am curious as to whether or not some boards can/do split some into gross/fine adjustments or whether or not we are both misunderstanding the post by digitaltech :?
     
  16. digitaltec

    digitaltec Active Member

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    Well, each control channel whould be controlled by a different channel on the console. It does not matter what console you are using if the console is a hybrid. so If you are using a MAC 250 which has 15 attributes in Mode 4 then it whould take up 15 channels on your console. If you are running a MAC 2000, it whould take up 22 channels.


    I think that is what is being asked. If anyone out there is looking for a good inexpensive moving light console that will only control a few fixtures, I whould look at the Martin Exciter. I beleive they just did a revision on it that alows it to run 36 moving lights. Dont hold me to that...right now the only Martin console on my mind is the Maxxyz, which I get to spend my lovely Sunday beating up... I mean learning :twisted:
     
  17. Mayhem

    Mayhem Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Thanks Chris - that was what I thought. I guess for a minute there it did read as if the desk you were referring to used at least 13 channels for all ML’s. Pretty concerning if you have some nice and simple 4 attribute lights! Or perhaps I am just tired and cranky as I did a show last night and am now trying to write a 3000 word paper due on Tuesday :!:
     
  18. bdesmond

    bdesmond Active Member

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    I don't think that's a board-specific thing, but rather does the fixture support fine and coarse adjustments.
     
  19. rgsw

    rgsw Member

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    i can't find any info on martins website about the exciter board!
     
  20. Mayhem

    Mayhem Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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