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Control/Dimming Expression with Emphasis Faceplate Snapshot

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by brethughes, Nov 9, 2008.

  1. brethughes

    brethughes Member

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    Hi. I am the new stage tech teacher at a high school. Our theater tech director and I work hand in hand to operate a beautiful theater equipped with Expression with Emphasis at the helm. Our theater teacher hires a light designer to come in and program lights for the musical every year. He is used to working with a straight expression 3, no emphasis. Therefore, after programming the cues for the entire production, he lost power, and had not saved to emphasis yet.

    I have heard rumor that etc expression consoles, even when just being used as faceplates for emphasis, still have a RAM snapshot in them, and that there is a small possibility the cues for the show are still saved in the faceplate somewhere, even though they were not saved in the emphasis server. Any help would be great.

    Thanks
     
  2. Grog12

    Grog12 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    1st off welcome to the booth feel free to hit up the new members board.

    2nd Expression with Emphasis...really?.....boooo. (old hatreds die hard and Empasis really needs to die)

    3rd if he saved at all on the board like it was a regular expression its somewhere on your emphasis server as all the expression is to you at this point is a glorified keyboard. There's a file somewhere that it default saves too...I just can't remember what it is.

    4th If he never saved at all...stop hiring him...LD's who don't save after every 5th cue or so are trouble IMHO.
     
  3. brethughes

    brethughes Member

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    I know I know... I worked for a touring company when I was in college, so I personally learned how to program on a Hog 2 and Hog 3PC. But you take what is installed at the new theater when you get there until you can find a way to upgrade.

    I have never worked with Emphasis until now, and frankly, am not too impressed. Thanks for the reply
     
  4. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    Off hand I cannot remember if the facepanel saves locally and quite frankly, if it didn't and the LD didn't attempt to save to floppy, then he is a totally idiot. EDIT: I have Express with Emphasis and while I'm not at the console, my memory tells me that Emphasis auto-saves on shutdown. I suspect this as Emphasis will auto-load the last file worked on, on boot up. If you were building on a previous show and not saving and using a keyboard to give the show a new file name, then I suspect it auto-saved. By now you probably know the answer.

    Had he attempted to save to the floppy drive on the Expression console, he would have discovered that the console 3.5 drive is disabled when used as a facepanel. Which means he relied on the console to keep the show in memory. I'd make him come back and do it all again, for the same pay (just don't tell him that).

    You can save either via the HD on the Emphasis server, or via a USB thumb drive, or via the 3.5" drive on the front of Emphasis. I ran a USB extension cable out of a USB port on the back of Emphasis and taped the cable end to the top of the console to make access for a thumb drive easier.

    Steve B.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2008
  5. brethughes

    brethughes Member

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    I have a feeling Emphasis auto-saves on shut-down, but Emphasis didn't shutdown, it lost power. And I am not sure if it autosaves through power loss. I will work with it some more tomorrow and see what happens. Thanks for all the ideas.
     
  6. genericcomment

    genericcomment Member

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    ETC doesn't even make Expression boards anymore, well at least that's what my TD told me. We have a year old theater and they bought two Expression 3's one with emphasis for our proscenium theatre and one without emphasis for our black box theatre. I know the boards save all settings you last put in but unless your are talking about emphasis I've never used it. During power outages I don't know if the board resets or not.

    Sweeny Todd just came through that I helped load-in, run and load-out and they had 2 Wholehog boards one for FOH and one for programing back stage. I ran the house lights during the shows and sat by their ME who was running lights and I liked the layout and interface of the Hog better than the Expression. That's just my PO though.
     
  7. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    Maybe you should look into a battery backup.
     
  8. highschooltech

    highschooltech Active Member

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    I vote to de-emphasize the system. We did that too ours and we are much happier with it. The only problem with this is you have to have a node that will take DMX data off the board.

    By the way fire the LD for not saving often.
     
  9. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    I don't think you should go that far.

    I am running an expression 3 emphasized in one of my theatres and personally like it. It does add some large functionality advantages, especially with moving lights of any kind. It is a bit cumbersome of a system, and does have a the learning curve of having to use WYG to do any type of moving light stuff. No, its not a HogIII or GrandMA, but it did help put a bandaid the the aging expression line.

    With emphasis, EVERYTHING exist in the server. As said before, your console becomes a giant keyboard (or faceplate in emphasis world). Your cues are gone, unless you can find them on the server. This is why you should always have that console on a UPS, it really is more computer then console. I have also had issues with WYG not auto loading the right show, where I had to manually load up the show.
     
  10. Grog12

    Grog12 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Because it wouldn't be a day on the booth if I didn't disagree with someone....If you have no moving lights give Emphasis the boot. Its a HS...no real need IMHO.
     
  11. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    There are a couple of advantages that Emphasis offers over plain Express/ion, such as Subroutines on Submasters, Remote Virtual FacePanel (on a networked laptop or PC), USB file saving, a lot of useful file merge capabilities, plus WYSIWYG, which students can learn and use (depending on which version was purchased).

    And there's no real technical reason to take Emphasis off line, as it's a stable and reliable system.

    Steve B.
     
  12. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Agreed. Also, its a great learning tool. To allow the kids to just click on the lights, and they turn on, helps them visualize how things work a bit different. Also, I can let them play with stuff we don't own, or don't currently have hung.
     
  13. brethughes

    brethughes Member

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    Well we got the whole thing solved. The LD re-wrote the cues. We keep emphasis for a few reasons. First, we do have 20 movers in the plot. So, it's helpful for that. It's also helpful, because the students can work in blind mode, but still have the WYSIWYG screen for visual reference. That way they don't burn through filament and gels while "just messin around" Thanks for all the help everyone.

    If anyone ever makes it to Park City, UT. Come see us. Park City High School Eccles Center for the Performing arts. It's truly a beautiful facility.

    Best Wishes
    Bret
     

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