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Expression 3 as Two-Scene Board

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by scolby, Apr 6, 2008.

  1. scolby

    scolby Member

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    This Wednesday, my school is putting on a talent show and I am running lights for it. I am familiar with the operation of the ETC light boards when using one-scene "cues" however, I do not want to write cues for this show and would like to use two-scene mode. Unfortunately, I cannot find an option to set the Expression 3 board we have to two-scene preset (we have the 24 sub version).

    Is it possible to use two scene mode on the board we have? It worked on the Express 72/144 we used to have, but that setting is not in the same place on the new board
     
  2. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    :shock: No cues?

    Okay, just use subs. Record the looks you want into your subs (I'm sure you have pages). If you find you need to alter something on the fly just use the keypad.
     
  3. Grog12

    Grog12 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Yes under setup and system settings there should be a place to change those options.
     
  4. SerraAva

    SerraAva Active Member

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    An Expression 3 doesn't have a Two Scene Preset mode, as it is only 10 pages of 24 subs per. You might be confusing it with the Express 24/28 which is single scene 48 channels, single scene with 24 channels and 10 pages of 24 subs per, or two scene 24 channels per scene.

    I would just record a bunch of subs like Charc said if you don't want to program cues for it. I would think 240 subs with groups would be fine.
     
  5. Grog12

    Grog12 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Bah...this is what I get for not opening my OE before posting...
     
  6. zac850

    zac850 Well-Known Member

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    As was said, no two-scene preset mode, you could write subs and have a single-scene console though. I've got a Express 24/48 that I'm willing to trade for an E3 though if your interested......
     
  7. Jezza

    Jezza Active Member

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    If he's smart he won't take the trade :)
     
  8. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    For some environments, it makes sense, and the technical financial loss is overshadowed by the gain in "usability", food for thought.
     
  9. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Just for the record, this is the first time I have ever heard of someone actually wanting an express for 2 scene preset beyond as a demonstration of "how it used to be done". Kind of like cutting holes in the bottom of a car and flinstoning it because its fun to do...
     
  10. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    Speak for yourself.

    I recently sent a letter to Ann Valentino at ETC as a request to not abandon certain functions available in the Emphasis system - namely Supermasters, which allows a sub to control other subs, and to maybe allow this function on the Ion for submaster management of the 200 plus playbacks/subs available.

    One of the useful things this allows is to create a 3rd "scene" in a 2 scene console, like my Express 48, as well as allowing 2 scene operation out of an Insight (Subs 1-36 as Ch's 1-36, Subs 37-72 as Ch's 1-36, Sub 73 as master for subs 1-36, sub
    74 as master to subs 37-72). Hopefully this capability will be added to future Ions.

    Believe it or not, I still use 2 scene and single scene on a regular basis. I do a ton of one-off children shows doing a 8AM load-in for a 10:15AM performance, with 30 channels in 2 scene where the operator is the show SM who's conversant in Express.. Or a dozen dance recitals with zero rehearsal time - all one-off's. Or about any kind of Reggae concert with no set list - not that I'd know the songs anyway. I have 24 subs and build looks, but need the 2 scene to get out of a look and into another quickly. Manual control works for me - nothing like a labeled layout to find a channel in a hurry. This works equally well in 96 channel single scene to build up cues on an event that has a basic "looks" plot, but no defined channel hook-up, thus no cues.

    I'm guessing there are a lot of folks operating much the same way, folks who would rather not go to the Strand line to keep this capability. I know of one local Vegas style hall - the Westbury Music Fair - North Fork Theater, who purchased an Avo Diamond, 2 years ago for this kind of control, so there is certainly still and will continue be a market for manual control .

    Steve Bailey
    Brooklyn College
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2008
  11. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    I'd like to echo many of the comments made by SteveB. Two scene preset and single channel fader control is not and should not be dead. There are plenty of scenarios where they can be useful, which often involve little/no setup time, no defined cues, or what not.

    However, the Dept Head at my theatre likes 48x2... I disagree, and the board is in 96x1. Previously, nothing was ever patched higher than 48..., for about 180 dimmers...
     
  12. SerraAva

    SerraAva Active Member

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    I am in agreement as well. There are plenty of times in which I run shows on the fly and the more handles, the merrier. It is also a time saver with channel handles when programing. Instead of typing in channel numbers and worrying about releasing or clearing the values out by accident, the handles won't release till you physically run them down. It is also a nice way to quickly glance at the console and know what's up and what is not instead of having to page through channel lists.
     
  13. rosebudld

    rosebudld Member

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    I do alot of manual control because we're basically a roadhouse and I'm lucky sometimes to get a set list if I know the songs anyway.. but usually I program say 10 cues with different looks so that I can load them up quickly for a change without having to move 24 submasters..

    Back to the original question though.. on the Expression 3 just build two cues and link cue 2 back to cue 1 so that in effect you can transition from 2 scenes..
     
  14. TimMiller

    TimMiller Well-Known Member

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    sorry to say but handles are really starting to go away. Its now more and more page based. Which does help by keeping consoles small, and gives manufactuers wings to sell :D.
     
  15. zac850

    zac850 Well-Known Member

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    Eh, we're moving away from having hundreds of faders, but I don't think we're really moving to a place with no faders. The Ion dosen't sell with faders, but everyone is going to buy a fader wing for those one-offs to to give the operator a handle for house lights for an emergency situation, for instance. The Eos has handles, the GrandMA has handles and execuators.....

    We're moving away from a console like the Insight with their 108 submasters, and we're moved far from the analog systems where each dimmer is a handle on a 2 or 4 or 8 scene preset console.

    In the present day an age, it seems that shows of any mild complexity are going to be run from a cue stack, and small one-offs can just be done with systems arranged on faders as needed. If you break it down, how many systems do you have, one facelight, a backlight or two, a sidelight or two.... and a handful of specials. Even a large broadway show could be broken down to fit into 24 subs or so. Any show that really needs complexity is cued now a days, even large corporate one-offs are cued usually.
     
  16. SerraAva

    SerraAva Active Member

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    Things are moving away from handles, yet everyone continues to sell expansion wings. It is just easier control, and in the case of conventional lighting, faster. I try to cue everything, this way the clients or patrons get the same show each time and no one is getting more or less.

    There are still times however where I don't have time to program, namely dance concerts. I run a lot of those on the fly just because the time in the space is very limited, and I only get to see each number once, if that. It is then that I am very happy to have handles all over, namely like an Express 48/96 or 72/144. Channel handles plus subs allows things to get very interesting even if on the fly, solo subs, effect subs, scene subs, and then groups. The Insight I love as well. With 1080 subs, I can just record looks/scenes quickly to subs and then cues after rehearsal which is great, especially since a lot of dance shows rehearse out of order to get little ones out sooner.
     
  17. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    To quote the Ion spec's:

    - Up to 240 submasters
    - Up to 30 playbacks - That's a new definition in the spec's and is a clue as to where ETC is going with the fader wings and what the Ion processor can handle
    - Up to 6 fader wings.

    The fader wings come as a 1x20 that can sit on the top of the console, a 2x10 or 2x20.

    ETC obviously believes that people still need a lot of manual handles. Strand does as well witnessing the current Sub Palette, Preset Palette, etc... I'm guessing that there's a lot of TV studios that use a lot of handles, as example.

    One of the issues ETC is still dealing with (according to what I've read on the ETC Users Forum) in the early software versions is how to deal with configuring the playbacks. The wings (at least the 2x10 and 2x20) can plug via the USB ports and have an external power supply. This lets the wing operate remotely from the console via a gateway. Another method is to remove the side panels of the console and fader wing and attach using the electrical connections hidden under the side panels. The stand-alone USB connection method is currently problematic as they are still writing the software to figure our how to assign the playbacks and how the console recognizes the panels when plugged directly to the console via USB. Future release.

    In any event, that's a LOT of playbacks and submasters - more then an Insight. Managing those submasters is one of the issues I'm currently trying to get the ETC folks to think about (as if they don't already have their hands full), as it's my belief that a lot of folks will want Express 48 replacements, even if the days of 2 scene are really over - and that may well be the case.

    I am currently doing a lot of soul searching as to how I'm going to do what I do without 2 scene and in truth I may well be building a lot of looks, which having all those submasters allows. But I still am of the belief that a manual channel control with a label, either an LCD panel, or a white tape with a name on it, is a faster method of programming then even a touch screen that allows me to select an individual or groups of channels, With the touch screen I still need a magic sheet as reference. With the tape and label "Fnt Wrm DR" next to the handle I simply grab and slide.

    So I'm one of those folks that needs manual control.

    Steve Bailey
    Brooklyn College
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2008
  18. Grog12

    Grog12 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Steve...here's what you miss with touch screen groups...you name the group. No need for the magic sheet.

    In fact when I program a show on an MA with conventionals as well as movers I usually set up a full sized group window that resembles how I make my magic sheet down to having a group for DS MS US of particular washes.

    Just a different way of doing things....by no means do I think handles have gone by the way side.
     
  19. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    The Eos has 2 dedicated 15" LCD touch screens, configurable as Direct Selects, where as the Ion can handle 2 stand-alone LCD touch screens. Big difference, but no choice for a lot of users who cannot afford a $35,000 Eos, nor need the size and capabilities.

    I'm not yet certain if you can dock and leave open the Ion Direct Select screens - there were some issues I recall reading about how the DS screens went away if you went to blind or some such, but I'm sure that's an issue that will be dealt with in future software releases.

    The Direct Selects certainly have the capability that you describe - namely labeling channels (or making them anything you want), and I believe there are 2 - sections of 5x10 Direct Select assignable buttons on the Ion. Not sure if there are Pages od DS's.

    Still, that seems like an huge waste of a very powerful tool, simply to gain some simple channel access, that the manual faders can do more readily. In my mind, a Direct Select, while it has great functionality to select an ML, or color, or position, is less useful a tool at getting an MC special to a level. Sometimes there's nothing like a manual fader.

    SB
     
  20. TimMiller

    TimMiller Well-Known Member

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    I like how on the hog III you can plug in a hog PC wing directly to the usb port and presto you have more faders. You can hook as many as you will ever need into the console. Each wing, if i remember correctly has its own USB hub. A guy wrote a remote focus PDA program for the HOG III and people have had lots of luck with it. Now when you get into the bigger wings you will need to plug them it, but as far the the smaller wings go, i like how its just one cable. I hate having a bunch of cables around the console, it gets messy quickly and it does not look pretty when you are in the middle of the house, yet it is never as bad as what the sound guys have to deal with. I would really like to check out the ION, hopefully i can get some schools to buy some, or just go with a Hog 1000. I know ETC will get any glitches worked out.
     

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