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ETC unveils new Element™ lighting control consoles, USITT 2009

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by MNicolai, Mar 19, 2009.

  1. MNicolai

    MNicolai Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    As usual, you asked, and thanks to the folks at ETC, your concerns have been addressed in their addition to the Eos line of consoles, with respect to the market formerly taken care of by the Express series consoles.




     
  2. dvsDave

    dvsDave Benevolent Dictator Administrator Senior Team CB Mods Fight Leukemia

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    I'll be at USITT tomorrow, I'll have my video camera (a little Flip Minio HD) and I will see if I can get some time to interview Sarah Clausen and have her show off the Element. What would you like to see and are there any questions that you want answered about the new Element?
     
  3. MNicolai

    MNicolai Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    Q for Sarah (or other ETC folk)

    What percentages of other consoles would you say the Element is based off of or similar to? (For example, 20% Express, 50% Eos, and 30% something new and different)



    I'll probably add more questions later today or tomorrow, but I don't have much more time right now.
     
  4. lieperjp

    lieperjp Well-Known Member

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    Not necessarily for Sarah, but what is the street price for one of these?

    Does it do touch screens like the ION and the EOS?
    Edit: Found the answer... It's optional.
     
  5. photoatdv

    photoatdv Active Member

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    Again not necessarily for Sarah...
    It says LTP channel faders... is there a way to set them as HTP like the express? It would really be a bear to always have to use LTP for inexperienced techs with all conventionals.

    The one other thing that would be an issue for me is only one fader pair, I almost always use AB and CD on the express (even though it is really just a single cuelist that can be played on both)

    I would LOVE to have the ML on Demand thing though for the LEDs-- it would require so much less programminf effort.
     
  6. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    I would assume, since it is based on the Eos/Ion software that you don't really need multiple fader pairs. Express could not run simultaneous cues on one fader, but Eos, Ion, Obsession could. So you can run your super long sunrise cyc fade and then run other cues on top of it on the same fader.
     
  7. LightStud

    LightStud Active Member

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    This console is indeed the perfect Express replacement, and will inevitably outsell both Ion and Eos.

    [user]lieperjp[/user]: Pricing and delivery have yet to be determined. Contact your favorite ETC dealer for more information. The actual touch screen monitor is optional, but all four Element versions support them.

    A couple of first-impression niggles:
    Because of the way the 40 or 60 handles are used (channel faders 1-40, 41-80, 81-120; or submasters) they are not labeled on the desk itself.
    Depending on how the operator works, that four position rotary switch at the top center could get A LOT of use. I would have preferred four lighted buttons (perhaps blinking at me to remind me what mode I'm in).
    The use of Board Tape can easily get very confusing with this desk.
    Am I the only one who isn't particularly enamored of "tombstone view"?
     
  8. MNicolai

    MNicolai Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    Are there actually four different desks, or two different desks with different channel numbers? I'd hope that you could buy up more channels later on without having to purchase a new desk...
     
  9. sk8rsdad

    sk8rsdad Well-Known Member Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    Tombstones, or something like them, are a necessary evil if you are using touchscreens. It would be nice if they could reduce the spacing between tombstones to free up more space for useful data but I think they are sized for the plastic button inserts that are available on the EOS.

    I'm speculating that most of the code comes from EOS/Ion with ML support coming from the virtual encoders already in the EOS software, and maybe a command line interface tweak to be more familiar to Express users.
     
  10. thirdoctive

    thirdoctive Member

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    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 19, 2009
  11. Sony

    Sony Active Member

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    Re: ETC Element

    It looks like a great console, depending on the price it may be the perfect replacement for the Express.

    The only thing I am slightly disappointed with is the lack of even just two or even just ONE encoder wheel. I know it has an intensity wheel which is great! Much better than the Express with it's junky touchpad, but I would like to know how they expect me to Encode my Apollo Right Arm's? Is there going to be an XY Pad on the Touchscreen or am I going to have to punch buttons? I don't expect the 4 Wheels of the Ion, or even the Ion's nice little LCD panel with Encoder info. Unfortunately, I could see programming moving lights like the Right Arm to be even more cumbersome than programming them on the Express. I will however admit that all depends on the execution, if they have already found a suitable solution to this problem then this would be the perfect board for my school's theatre.

    I however loved the Ion, it was a great console but the 6k to 10k price range was a bit much, and we don't need all the features it has. However if the Element has a suitable XY Control surface then it would be a perfect fit for our small theatre. If not, we might just have to drop the 6 to 10 grand on the Ion.

    It would be cool if ETC Introduces an Element ML in a couple months, that would be perfect.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2009
  12. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    4 different desks. 40 or 60 handles, 250 or 500 channels per handle selection.

    At some point, being able to buy up channels gets you into Ion range, without any of the advantages of Ion, I.E., encoder wheels, etc... so I wonder if that's the intention and would suspect not, especially if they put the list price between Smartfade and Ion.

    I wonder about LTP channel handles, but can understand the logic of wanting to move a handle and take control of whatever the channel is doing elsewhere, where HTP will not do that. I wonder though if the minute you bump the handle up to 01% (so don't accidentally bump the handle) does it instantly have control - at 01%, or does it wait until a matching level is found, at which point it's HTP, THEN LTP. Not sure how this works.

    Tombstones can be zoomed in and out, BTW to truncate the view. They work very well on an LCD and I'm glad they kept them.

    I'm OK with single fader pair and single GO, as having A/B and C/D on Express/ion was never as useful as one would think - 'Ya really have to understand the logic of Expression Speak to make dual faders work.

    I too am curious as to how they replicate encoders on a pointing device. Or maybe it's on the wheel, one attribute at a time, or maybe position on a mouse, everything else on an LCD or thru Channels values. But the whole point is the console is oriented to someone who rarely does a lot of ML programming. They still get the core of the Eos OS, just greatly simplified I assume.

    Steve B.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2009
  13. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Setting Non-Intensity Parameters is handled in two ways:
    Pressing the "ML On Demand" button brings up onscreen virtual wheels, which one can drag with an external pointing device (i.e. mouse--but I'd use a trackball, because I prefer trackballs).
    Alternatively (again using a mouse), the Op can drag a dot on an XY grid for positioning, or through a colorspace for color mixing. Much more elegant than the Express/ion.

    With this statement:
    ETC seems to be downplaying the fact that the Element can control the same fixtures as Eos--I was told it's the exact same fixture library in both.
     
  14. Sony

    Sony Active Member

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    The XY Grid sounds pretty good, however the dragging encoder wheels onscreen with a mouse sounds cumbersome. Hopefully I'll get to play with one sometime soon to see what it's like.
     
  15. highschooltech

    highschooltech Active Member

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    I'm interested in using one having used both the ion and eos systems. However i find the appearance very intersting it looks like ETC took and ion and express and crossed them and came out with an element.
     
  16. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    The Strand solution for virtual encoders is holding down a button on the console and rolling the wheel on the mouse. Or to position a mover you can actually drive the mouse around the table top and control both x and y axis... which I really like. The Element data sheet mentions mouse control. So they probably have a very similar solution. Remember that the people using this console are likely to have a couple of I-cues/Right Arms or a few scrollers. They aren't going to be programing a rig of Mac 2k's. So a little cumbersome is no big deal.
     
  17. lieperjp

    lieperjp Well-Known Member

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    I don't think it would be too much of a problem not having the encoder wheels. If their target customers are the Express crowd, the expectations are a bit lower. Especially since this board is designed for use by volunteers/single operators. Some of those people probably won't even know what an encoder is...
     
  18. awhaley

    awhaley Member

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    The things that make me most excited about this console are:

    1. The HOPE that part cues will be easier to access and perhaps better understood by more designers. I'm hoping we won't have to go into Blind to manipulate the parts of an already programmed cue.

    2. The fact that this console DEFINITELY includes a tracking mode really excites me. I usually use my laptop running MagicQ in houses that have an express because I really hate doing a heavily cued show without tracking. Also, since the express finds so much use in academia, if the Element catches on in the same area, it means that a lot of young designers will get access to a tracking console a lot earlier in their careers which would be amazing! Fighting the fear many have for tracking consoles is one of my personal missions. ;) (Scared of tracking consoles? Feel free to get me on the subject any time! :) )

    And finally, I really love that it's being designed to simply use a windows laptop as a remote video display. Another thing young designers don't get to do (or get FORCED to do by their instructors) often enough is get away from the console and let the operator program and edit cues for them while they learn to focus on the artistic task of design, not the technical task of operating a light board. The fact that you can now throw your laptop on the tech table with no extra hardware and see what the operator is doing will free up a lot of designers who might have let the board op program the show (their job) if they could just have seen the display from the tech table....

    Art Whaley
    Art Whaley Design
     
  19. lieperjp

    lieperjp Well-Known Member

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    Run a search for "tracking console" and add your thoughts... for posterity.

    For remote connection, how exactly does that work? Just through a network?
     
  20. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    I don't know for sure how it's working with Element but with Ion/Eos you load the software and then plug in a dongle. The dongle was free with registration... I had the feeling they might start charging for them. Then you just connect to the data network and you can watch everything.
     

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