Hello ControlBooth!

Joined
Jan 31, 2019
Location
Merced, CA
I'm the newly-hired manager for my high school district's theaters. I manage three spaces now, each with its own quirks that come with every space.

Ten years ago I began my foray into the unknown world of technical theatre (and really Theatre in general) after being thrown onto a spotlight for Bye Bye Birdie. I was bitten by the tech bug instantly and did a year of volunteer work, 3 1/2 years as ATD, and finally another 5 1/2 as TD at this same theater. I had the great fortune to be taught basic light and set design concepts from a few different co-workers in that timespan. I learned sound systems as well, but was mostly just shown how to mute/unmute and adjust EQ then left to my own devices to learn everything else.

I became one of the local technical "experts" before long, though I often find myself using the phrase "I don't have much experience with this, but I'm willing to give it a shot!" when asked to do something. Internet searches and a lot of technical forums (including CB!) have helped me magically figure out new equipment and make recommendations for our community theaters. Much as I'd love to contribute to the CB community, my reasons for joining are primarily for the ability to ask more specific questions pertaining to my facilities. If my questions end up helping someone else learn something they didn't know before, then woohoo!

Anyway, my current goal is to get my three spaces modernized so the students can get relevant technical theatre experience. I'm still unsure about how funding is handled with the district, but supposedly asking in the right way carries more weight than the actual cost of propositions, so that'll be a fun adventure. Each space was built in a different decade and has very different infrastructure as a result. All three use a mix of conventional fixtures, but I'm hoping to incorporate some DMX fixtures in the very near future.

Space 1 was built about 25 years ago. It is currently running a Strand Palette VL with two CD80 dimmer racks, uses what appears to be DMX I/O ports in the walls, a Behringer X32 audio mixer (with only one central speaker in the auditorium...oy!), has four electric flies (no DMX outputs, sadly) and one cove above the audience. I'd love to get an Element 2 in that booth soon, A) because I'm very comfortable with the EOS Family system and B) because every other non-school theater space in town is using an Element (or similar). My concern with an ETC board in this space is whether or not it will communicate nicely with the dimmers (but seeing as the Palette is outputting DMX, this shouldn't be a problem, right?)

Space 2 was built 18 years ago. It is running a Strand 520i with two CD80 Supervisor dimmer racks networked with SN104 nodes (no DMX "in" up in the booth unfortunately, just ethernet). It has a Soundcraft k3 mixer, which honestly works for the space and it might be good for the students to have some experience with an analog board anyway, and a rudimentary speaker setup (CLR). It has three electric flies (with DMX out!) I'd, again, love to get at least an Element 2 in that space, but I doubt I have enough clout yet to get them to agree on the cost of a new show network system to support sACN (or any other protocol). Perhaps a protocol converter would be a cheaper solution than replacing 3-5 network nodes?

Space 3 was built only 7 years ago. It is running an Element 60 (my baby!) with an unknown number of unknown dimmer racks (probably Sensor). It has a Yamaha digital mixer (can't remember the model, but it has kind of a clunky interface), two main speakers (LR that are amped up too high but I can't find where to turn them down!), and four tiny stage monitors in the grid. It has, by far, the most advanced infrastructure, but does not have a fly space (d'oh!) I'm the least concerned with this space in terms of upgrades currently, but that may be due to me still figuring out what the heck is networked to what!

A bit long for an intro post, but I really wanted to introduce myself and my theaters to you all!
Thanks for reading!
 

Van

CBMod
CB Mods
Premium Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2006
Location
Portland, Or.
Welcome Aboard!
 

RonHebbard

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2004
Location
Waterdown, ON, CA
I'm the newly-hired manager for my high school district's theaters. I manage three spaces now, each with its own quirks that come with every space.

Ten years ago I began my foray into the unknown world of technical theatre (and really Theatre in general) after being thrown onto a spotlight for Bye Bye Birdie. I was bitten by the tech bug instantly and did a year of volunteer work, 3 1/2 years as ATD, and finally another 5 1/2 as TD at this same theater. I had the great fortune to be taught basic light and set design concepts from a few different co-workers in that timespan. I learned sound systems as well, but was mostly just shown how to mute/unmute and adjust EQ then left to my own devices to learn everything else.

I became one of the local technical "experts" before long, though I often find myself using the phrase "I don't have much experience with this, but I'm willing to give it a shot!" when asked to do something. Internet searches and a lot of technical forums (including CB!) have helped me magically figure out new equipment and make recommendations for our community theaters. Much as I'd love to contribute to the CB community, my reasons for joining are primarily for the ability to ask more specific questions pertaining to my facilities. If my questions end up helping someone else learn something they didn't know before, then woohoo!

Anyway, my current goal is to get my three spaces modernized so the students can get relevant technical theatre experience. I'm still unsure about how funding is handled with the district, but supposedly asking in the right way carries more weight than the actual cost of propositions, so that'll be a fun adventure. Each space was built in a different decade and has very different infrastructure as a result. All three use a mix of conventional fixtures, but I'm hoping to incorporate some DMX fixtures in the very near future.

Space 1 was built about 25 years ago. It is currently running a Strand Palette VL with two CD80 dimmer racks, uses what appears to be DMX I/O ports in the walls, a Behringer X32 audio mixer (with only one central speaker in the auditorium...oy!), has four electric flies (no DMX outputs, sadly) and one cove above the audience. I'd love to get an Element 2 in that booth soon, A) because I'm very comfortable with the EOS Family system and B) because every other non-school theater space in town is using an Element (or similar). My concern with an ETC board in this space is whether or not it will communicate nicely with the dimmers (but seeing as the Palette is outputting DMX, this shouldn't be a problem, right?)

Space 2 was built 18 years ago. It is running a Strand 520i with two CD80 Supervisor dimmer racks networked with SN104 nodes (no DMX "in" up in the booth unfortunately, just ethernet). It has a Soundcraft k3 mixer, which honestly works for the space and it might be good for the students to have some experience with an analog board anyway, and a rudimentary speaker setup (CLR). It has three electric flies (with DMX out!) I'd, again, love to get at least an Element 2 in that space, but I doubt I have enough clout yet to get them to agree on the cost of a new show network system to support sACN (or any other protocol). Perhaps a protocol converter would be a cheaper solution than replacing 3-5 network nodes?

Space 3 was built only 7 years ago. It is running an Element 60 (my baby!) with an unknown number of unknown dimmer racks (probably Sensor). It has a Yamaha digital mixer (can't remember the model, but it has kind of a clunky interface), two main speakers (LR that are amped up too high but I can't find where to turn them down!), and four tiny stage monitors in the grid. It has, by far, the most advanced infrastructure, but does not have a fly space (d'oh!) I'm the least concerned with this space in terms of upgrades currently, but that may be due to me still figuring out what the heck is networked to what!

A bit long for an intro post, but I really wanted to introduce myself and my theaters to you all!
Thanks for reading!
@Wizard of Flaws. Welcome to the Control Booth forum; you write politely in cohesive sentences and even use upper case appropriately; enjoy your time here, there are worse places to be.
Posting from north of Donald's walls.
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
 
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Ancient Engineer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2017
Location
Sandusky, Ohio
Welcome!

"I don't have much experience with this, but I'm willing to give it a shot!"
This attitude will take you far in this industry (with appropriate caution). I'd give up my secret stash of rare gels to have a few peeps with this attitude in the spaces I frequent...


but it has kind of a clunky interface
...better known as every Yamaha digital mixer ever.


I am inclined to agree with your conclusions about DMX in your spaces. There are all manner of converters out there for the non-DMX space. I work regularly in a space that has a DMX-AMX converter and it has been reliable.


It is nice to "meet" you and the best of luck to you.