Control/Dimming Everything is great except the Board

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by SeanR, Oct 17, 2011.

  1. SeanR

    SeanR Member

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    Our company has a small budget.

    Without a DRAMATIC change from the powers that be at the rental place, I doubt we'll be using this space again anyway.
     
  2. SeanR

    SeanR Member

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    I agree! Unfortunately in this case, they had the sound board on hand and it was free. It is actually rather commical to look at our booth. on one side of the table is a board that could do studio quality recordings and on the other side is, well, lets face it, a rather large on/off switch for the lights.
     
  3. shiben

    shiben Well-Known Member

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    Occupation:
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    Oh im sure they are spending money on something or other... Hum heads always are. If its important is another question all together, and the answer is usually no. Condoms for the wireless mics? Naaa. New mic elements? Dont need em. Non JBL PA? No need. Tons of batteries? Do they really use one set per show? Heres 4 AAs for spares. Done and done! :twisted:
     
  4. avery

    avery Member

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    Ok, I'm pretty sure I'm the only person that is going to suggest this, but....

    You said you're in a 60 seat theater? No offense, but you don't really need anything more than the small board you have.

    If you're running a lot of movers/DMX channels then I'd say go the software route. If not, then I'd just stick with what you're using. I know its kind of lame, but honestly part of your job is to be able to do the best you can with what you have.

    It sounds like you have a true "no budget" there. That's not like the normal no budget that a lot of people here seem used to, where it means you just can't get what you want, but you can still get something good. If you really have no budget, then your choice should be pretty simple. Use what's on hand and make the best of it.

    Having the latest and greatest console is like having the latest bicycle. It will give you the edge and make things less painless, but in the end you're the one pushing it forward.
     
  5. waynehoskins

    waynehoskins Active Member

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    Excellent point. I don't remember what the board is, it's probably mentioned earlier in the thread, but I did plenty of shows in an 800-seat space on a 24-channel board. I bet most of us could do this one on 16. After all, how many lights will fit in a 60-seater?

    16 channels means you can do 16 things. If it has softpatch, even better, you can patch as many dimmers as you have onto those 16 channels. If not, clever dimmer addressing might make it easier, depending on what dimmers there are.

    Patch things together that run together. The director I usually light for generally blocks shows so that LC and L can go together, as can R and RC. Even though it takes two sets of fixtures for each of those L and R areas, I often twofer them together to save dimmers; you can do similar things on your channel hookup to save channels.

    If there's no money to rent a board, there's no money to buy an Enttec dongle to use with free software, since they cost about the same.
     
  6. shiben

    shiben Well-Known Member

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    Challenge accepted?
     
  7. SeanR

    SeanR Member

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    Don't get me wrong, I'm not looking for the latest and greatest board. I don't have the knowledge or talent to design a show that uses that kind of tech. There are two reasons that I have been looking for a different option.

    The first is because I can't find anyone who knows how to program this board, and the manual that is online does not provide much information. So right now I have 8 sliders and 8 buttons. The buttons don't come up on a fade, and sometimes you have to hit the button two or three times to get it to turn on or off. Then, if you bump the board, the power cord falls out and the board turns off.

    Secondly, I hate working on a show and knowing that the lighting is not what it could be to truly help make that show great. More often than not, this does not mean I want fancy instruments. In fact even with fancy instruments, I would still feel this way. I don't ever expect this feeling to go away, but I figure if I can find a realistic way to make the show better, why not try?
     
  8. waynehoskins

    waynehoskins Active Member

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    I just found a manual online for that board, and it's sure something. It's a DJ board at best, a one-preset chase controller kind of job. I think I threw away one of those a few years ago.

    You won't be able to do much with that board. Depending on the dimmers you have -- specifically, if they're a multitude of individually-addressable shoebox dimmers rather than installed 96-racks -- you might be able to pull it off, but only with 8 channels of control.

    Since buying and renting are out, there being no money for either, is there anybody locally you could borrow something from? I'm thinking a basic 24-ch two-preset with patch would do the trick. Certainly there's somebody in your area with an old one of those.
     
    SeanR and (deleted member) like this.
  9. SeanR

    SeanR Member

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    Someone was nice enough to loan me an enttec pro dongle. Now it's just a matter of getting the software to talk to the dimmers. I have been reading everything I can about magic Q to see if I can get that to connect. I've tried lights up and it hasn't wanted to cooperate. I imagine it's just an addressing problem.

    Generally speaking I would not make the change since the show is now open, but as I mentioned above, if you bump this board it powers off. I'm not really comfortable with that.

    But I did learn this past weekend that while this board may only be able to set one scene at a time, I can throw a rockin dance party at the push of a button.
     

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