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Favorite Gobo Rotator?

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by gafftaper, Jul 31, 2007.

  1. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    What's your favorite Rotator? Apollo, Rosco, and Gam are obviously the big players in this market but there are some other manufacturers as well. What's your favorite? Is your answer different for indexing vs. non-indexing? What annoys you about a particular model? Rental guys... is there one that is always breaking on you?

    As usual I'm working on that new theater inventory. I definitely want double rotators, and probably something like two that are indexing and two that aren't. I believe the rotator I had at my old school was an Apollo and I never had a problem with it.

    Any thoughts are appreciated.
     
  2. cue1go

    cue1go Member

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    I'm a big fan of GAM. Any of their gear works well, and I know guys who have worked in the GAM labs testing the gear. It's very reliable. They also have the film efx, which are cool.
     
  3. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    I think that ya need at least 6 rotators if you are gonna be doing anything dance concert-related. This way, you can have a whole system of 50 degree units with rotators that can cover the whole stage.

    In terms of brands and models - Gam TwinSpin Indexable DMX Two-Motor for your super-awesome units, and some regular ol' reliable Twinspins (not dmx, not indexable) for other units. The original Twinspin is a very, very solid unit, but you just have to master getting the retaining rings in :)

    And as was mentioned in the other thread, I'd drop the X-effects from your budget and go with a Gam SX4 and/or some film/FX units with some different loops.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2007
  4. Sean

    Sean Active Member

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    Perhaps you're responding to an earlier comment that gaff made that I missed.....but who mentioned dance concert? And has anyone mentioned the size of the venue?

    I've seen and/or worked on a good amount of dance projects--Don't often see rotators used.

    My $.02.

    --Sean
     
  5. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    I was purely posing a hypothetical, if the space (which is a brand new blackbox) did end up being used for dance, it's sometimes desireable to have a whole system of rotators. We usually use a nice side/back system of rotators for a piece or two.
     
  6. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Yeah it's a black box. Maximum "stage" size is if we go with proscenium seating which leaves a floor space about 33X56.

    I've already taken that advice and dumped the X-effects. It was a product I put in the list long ago because it looked cool but I wasn't 100% committed to. With rotators, 2 Mac 700's, and 2 Rosco Infinity animation systems, the x-effects really aren't needed. Those other units can be used together to produce a killer water or fire effect.

    As for the dance question. The purpose of the building is to be the acting classroom and small performance space. The college is a "partner" in a 700 seat proscenium roadhouse 5 minutes away that we will use once a year for big shows. It's my understanding that the music department will be using the big theater for all their performances. We will be offering some dance classes for the first time in the black box. So my guess is that yes there will be at least some recitals if not full performances. We do have a sprung floor. How much dance is a question that won't be fully answered for years as that program grows or dies. Likewise the outside rental question is still up in the air. It's possible, but it will be limited as this building is the Theater program's home first.

    I'm thinking of just getting four rotators for now. That should cover the majority of our needs and they are really reasonable to rent for a week. If I need one. I don't really like the idea of spending a bunch on several extra rotators that only get used every other year. I'd rather rent those extras as needed.

    Thanks again guys.
     
  7. SAWYeR

    SAWYeR Active Member

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    The Rosco Vortex is a nice piece of equipment. I used them for a dance show a few months ago and was quite happy with them. Also, I never learned what indexing is. As in indexing and non-indexing rotators. Could someone please explain this to me so I understand this thread more?
     
  8. jmabray

    jmabray Active Member

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    Indexing allows you to go to a specifc place and stop. Non-indexing just rotates.
     
  9. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Yeah indexing is the magic trick you need to be able to do something like a gobo clock. It gives you precision stopping ability.
     
  10. SAWYeR

    SAWYeR Active Member

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    Ooooooooh. Thanks!
     
  11. Kelite

    Kelite Apollo Staff Premium Member

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    Bear in mind the Apollo Smart Move rotator allows the user to choose among 19 separate effects without the need of a DMX console. This can come in handy for specials positioned waaay out of the DMX loop, or for easy foyer effects with nothing but a leko.

    http://tinyurl.com/2uht4k

    If you would like a demo, a local dealer can send one over to try for a few weeks...
     
  12. bslproductions

    bslproductions Member

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    I prefer the Apollo gobo rotators to the GAM units. Apollo makes a good, quality unit. Parts are readily available and inexpensive. They also have a vertical "rotator" in their series that allows you to do gobo shake and/or use 2 patterns in one unit. I have several SmartMoves and SmartMove Jr's on permanent installs and they are working fine after a full year (8hrs a day, 5 days a week). Rosco's vortex units are also very good. I don't dislike the GAM's, but there are better alternatives available (in my opinion).
     
  13. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    How much did this endorsement cost you Kelite? ;)

    You better send him some of that Apollo gum... and while your at it send me some to.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2007
  14. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    The sole reason that I recommended the GAM unit over the Apollo unit for the indexing DMX controllable unit is that it has TWO MOTORS. This is a very cool feature, and it allows you to spin the gobos at different speeds. I just about to endorse the Smartmove DMX units as your indexing units - but then I saw the GAM dual motor units. And I know that GAM gear is really tough, we have their standard twinspins (indestructible), and their film/FX units (haven't had 'em as long, but they're also proving to be very sturdy units). They're also nice and quiet. We've actually had more problems with our Rosco Vortex 360 units than with our TwinSpin units.
     
  15. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    Sorry I've skipped through this thread, but what's the point of a rotator? I've never had to use one. I don't mean to be asking a stupid question, but, I guess from a design standpoint, when is there a use in theatre? It just seems (At least in all my shows so far, that you'd have to hunt on a safari for an excuse to use a rotator.) How often does the need arise?
     
  16. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    Animating water or fire or cloud gobos (dual breakups, rotating counter to eachother in front of a static gobo of fire, water, or clouds).

    There are also many special effects that you don't realize you can use a rotator for until you get to them, and Apollo also has an effect cookbook that has some good ideas.
     
  17. Kelite

    Kelite Apollo Staff Premium Member

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    Not a bad question Charcoaldabs, after all- not everyone has had access to the same 'toy box' of lighting effects as the next guy. This link will show a few basic effects that can come in handy for either a theatrical environment or a corporate/retail application.

    http://www.internetapollo.com/Products/ProductLine.aspx?pl_id=36
     
  18. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Well Charc in High School you typically use gobos for leaves, a window, or a jail cell... and that's about it. But out in the big world, people use gobos all the time for a variety of textures to the designs. Rotators can add another layer to that in making those textures move. Rotators can also be used for fire, water, and rain effects.

    Not to compete with Kelite, but Rosco and Gam also give you some "recipes" for specific effects on their websites to check out.

    However, my favorite tool is this web page below that someone posted on C.B. about a year ago. It allows you to put two virtual gobos into a rotator, as well as a 3rd static gobo into the regular gobo slot, plus you can choose a variety of gel colors. Play with the focus, directions, speeds. It's a great tool to let you see what a gobo rotator can do. Try playing around with a "breakup" gobo combined with something that's a strong specific pattern. For real fun combine two breakups in the rotoator and a specific pattern in the static slot. Finally, once you have it going with a couple of patterns and a color, don't forget to mess with the focus. It's amazing what happens as you change the focus.
     
  19. Kelite

    Kelite Apollo Staff Premium Member

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    <Not to compete with Kelite, but Rosco and Gam also give you some "recipes" for specific effects on their websites to check out. >

    http://www.internetapollo.com/TechTalk/CreativeFx/ has a wide selection of Apollo standard patterns used within the Smart Move rotator family.

    Check it out when you get a chance-
     
  20. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Hey Keith did you check out that link to that page I suggested. http://design.cablepick.com/gobo You guys would be smart to talk with that guy about customizing his software for your site. Wouldn't it be cool if when you went to the Apollo site there was a similar interactive program showing ALL the Apollo products and how the work together. None of your competition has anything as interactive as this guy's site. Just a thought.
     

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