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Control/Dimming ETC Smart Fade ML

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by MikeyHP, Mar 8, 2009.

  1. MikeyHP

    MikeyHP Member

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    Hi, I am trying to convince my school to purchase a new lighting controler for our black box. We currently have an NSI board that can control 32 channels, but the black box has 40 channels. Also we need a controler for moving lights. So I was wondering if a Smart Fade ML was capible of controling dimmers as well as ML's. Oh, we have two Sensor dimming racks, and a Entertainment Networks DMX system. We dont use the black box very often so its main purpose would be for moving lights. Oh does the Smart Fade ML require personalities for ML's?
     
  2. jmabray

    jmabray Active Member

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    The ML does have the capability to do 48 conventional channels (over 1024 addresses) as well as 24 moving lights.
     
  3. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    Make sure to read this thread in its entirety:
    http://www.controlbooth.com/forums/lighting/10590-smartfade-hate.html

    The lesson learned is some people hate it and some people love it. I personally find it very easy to navigate and easy to use, while others find it lacks key features that they have seen on other boards. Personally, I think it's amazing for the price point.

    What moving lights will you be using it with, and under what show circumstances?
     
  4. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    If you have two sensor racks then I would have to assume that you have more than 40 dimmers. That being the case then I would suggest getting a console that can control more than 40 channels, probably even more than 48. You might not want to step right up to an Ion, but come next month you will probably be able to pick up ETC's new smaller console. There are also plenty of other console choices out there, and plenty of threads here that discuss good consoles for schools.
     
  5. lieperjp

    lieperjp Well-Known Member

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    What MLs are you using? (Something Channel heavy?) How many?

    Ideally, you should (would/could) move up to something better and easier to use than a SmartFade. This, of course, would depend on your budget - speaking of which, how much are you looking to spend?
     
  6. MikeyHP

    MikeyHP Member

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    Yeah.... We do have more than 40 dimmers. We have 40 for the black box, 125 for the stage, 15 for the work lights, and 16 for the house lights. The MLs we would be using would be some MAC 250's and some Scanners. We have a big budget but Im not sure how much the theatre director wants to spend.
     
  7. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    If you will be using your MLs in your main space, upgrade the console there and move your old console to the blackbox. Wait till ETC comes out with their new deal at USITT next week (which will happen), and get on the order list for that. It'll have killer ML features compared to an Express, 'cause it's built on the EOS operating system.
     
  8. thirdsigma

    thirdsigma Member

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    I currently use the SmartFade ML at my church and have become extremely familiar with it over the past year. In my opinion, the SmartFade may be well suited for DJ use, or perhaps a live show, but for theater it is not ideal at all. I find its user interface to be cumbersome, and very difficult. I strongly dislike that console.

    To answer the original question, the SmartFade ML has 48 channels for conventional dimmers and can control up to 24 intelligent fixtures, so from a technical perspective it may meet your needs. However, I think its not the right tool for the job.

    Before you spend the money on a SmartFade, I suggest that you consider the SGM Pilot 3000. I've never used one, but know someone who has. He raves about it. I've read through the manual of the Pilot 3000, and it does seem like a well-thought-out, quality moving light console. Plus, its price tag is very comparable to the SmartFade.
     

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