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Control/Dimming ETC Syntax

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by Charc, Aug 29, 2008.

  1. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    Much though I adore my school's Strand 300, the shortcomings have finally cut up with me.

    [email protected]&# Strand Speak.

    There really is something to be said for training people on what they'll be using in the real world. As such, I feel confident that I could walk into most every US theater and run, say, a focus... on a Strand 300 console. Probably most related Strand boards, with a couple hiccups (500, LBX[if I got the name right], etc.).

    However, when people expect you to know ETC Express(ion) syntax, then things get a little troublesome.

    Having clunked and clanked my way through part of focus, I felt sore at having so little Express time, and so much Strand thinking. Rel, Rel. The concept of "Save that light", the Patch Screen, how to navigate the soft menus, and even physical location of buttons are not the easiest concepts to grasp OTJ.

    Schools should be buying used Expresses coming off the market.
     
  2. MNicolai

    MNicolai Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    I'll meet you halfway. We offer training on the Express 24/48 as both a two-scene preset, and as a one-scene w/ subs. More often the latter. Students get chances to work both cue-style shows and busking.

    ...and then there's the Congo Jr. we'll have installed in November. From what I've heard, that might be a reason I can only meet you halfway on what people will be using in the real-world. We'll see.

    Every once in a while we'll also have a rental Leprecon in though for temp gigs at our outdoor stage.
     
    wolfman005 likes this.
  3. waynehoskins

    waynehoskins Active Member

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    I've recently had to learn the other side to that coin. I learned .. well, first I learned manual and a Teatronics Producer memory-assisted manual, but I learned Expression syntax first. It's my native tongue, so to speak.

    I've started recently learning Light Palette syntax on the old Lightboard M. It takes some adjusting, because it is different. But at least on my LBM it's not too terrible. It makes sense too (sometimes a little more, probably).

    As to which students should learn, I'd say they should be familiar with all of them. Sure, there's a huge installed base of Expression-syntax boards. But there are some klunkers out there too and some Strands, and if Congo et al are as much like LP syntax as I hear, that's the wave of the future. But manual boards and everything in-between are what the community theatres have. Manual, Strand, Colortran, ETC, Lep, ETA, EDI, all of those are the majority among nonprofessional, noneducational theatre because they can't buy the latest toys. I'd argue that even among non-rich educational theatre they're still holding strong (like high schools where Football is king and the venue doesn't double as a fancy PAC).

    Much like once you know one computer programming language (C, for example), you know them all. Or I suppose, once you know two, you know them all; it's just a matter of syntax. The fundamentals are the same, the basic algorithms are pretty much the same.
     
  4. Clifford

    Clifford Active Member

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    I've always used the Express 48/96 from my high school. That and a few manual two-scene presets at other venues. I've been looking around for other boards to learn.

    If you don't already have the Off-Line Editor, I recommend it. That's how I learned the Express(ion).
     
  5. MNicolai

    MNicolai Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    Just don't plan to learn much off of the Congo Off-Line Editor. Without the facepanel, it's a PITA to navigate because there aren't keyboard shortcuts to make up for the missing keypads.
     
  6. LekoBoy

    LekoBoy Active Member

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    "Channel # at %," "record Q #," "Q # GO" seem to work the same on every board I've used.

    Only difference is how you end the command: Enter on most boards/no need for enter on Express.

    The concept of "save that light" means to take the channel to zero, on any board. Do you know what "channel # @ Full, REM DIM" is?
     
  7. Serendipity

    Serendipity Active Member Premium Member

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    This is something I've worried about recently, as most (95% of my training has been ETC Syntax. I've sat on a road case behind two different Hogs, but that's about it. :neutral:

    Perhaps we could compile a glossary entry on differences in board syntaxes? Or just use this thread...

    The term I particularly like, that I stole from the lighting director at a local university is to "glow ch#". It sounds nicer than to make said channel hot or to turn on ch#.

    I am familiar with "save," though not with "REM DIM". Is it along the lines of saving the remaining channels?
     
  8. Serendipity

    Serendipity Active Member Premium Member

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    Yup, I like "glow," particularly for seeing where a unit fits into a system during focus.

    I would like to learn "Strand Speak"*. What are the main differences in syntax between board companies?

    *Do we have Pig Proclamations? ETC Esperanto or Jands Jargon? Lep Lingo/Lep Lexicon?
     
  9. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Thus far, the discussions have been more about Lighting Designers' idiosyncratic language than console syntax. Also, there's really no such thing as ETC-speak, as the Obsession and Expression families used different syntax, sort of akin to saying "It drives just like a GM car." (The fact that the Hog calls it a "CueList Directory" and the grandMA calls it a "Sequence Pool" is fairly esoteric. (For more comparisons between the HogII and grandMA, see this document.)) The Eos/Ion have added a third possibility.

    Let's agree to limit this discussion to "Strand 300/5xx" vs. "Expression3/Express" syntaxes. Or to the bizarre phrases LDs invent.

    See http://www.controlbooth.com/forums/glossary/8800-rem-dim.html.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2008
  10. sclausenETC

    sclausenETC Active Member

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    Just a side note - there is now a full keypad mimic dock available in Congo (since v5.0.0) that can be accessed both on the console and offline. Use SETUP & BROWSER to open docked views on the consoles (or you can find the Dock Settings in the Browser at Browser>General Settings>Dock Settings).

    For two-key shortcuts, use CTRL & Click to press and hold one key so that you can then click on the second keypress.

    On Congo jr consoles, this dock provides you with a virtual "ML Display" area from the big Congo so that you can use the Display List area and other functions that require the larger ML display (like Focusing Mode, for example).

    Thanks -

    Sarah

    Sarah Clausen
    Controls Product Manager
    ETC, Inc.
     
  11. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    REM DIM is also on Obsession. It's quite useful. On obsession, [ENTER] [OUT] or [ENTER] [AT] [ENTER] will drop all channels. I do have to say, we have an Obsession in one space and an Express 250 in the other space, and going back and forth between the two is always an interesting experience. We had an old LP90 last year and the year before as the backup board for both spaces, and I found that it has basically the exact same syntax as the LP90. In fact, parts of the manuals could apply to either board.
     
  12. waynehoskins

    waynehoskins Active Member

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    I was about to say, that's old LP syntax! My Lightboard M drives that way. Release = [@] [*]
     
  13. MNicolai

    MNicolai Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    Thank You! Knowing how to access that gives me a new interest in using the offline editor!
     
  14. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    Try chan#[@][*] or to take out everything [*][@][*]
     

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