# Control/DimmingHelp me pick a console!

#### Vega

##### Member
I don't think that staying in the EOS line is necessarily better than going to Congo/Cobalt. Personally, I would stay with EOS - smaller learning curve - rather than go to Cobalt. Although there might be some educational value in having both an EOS and a Congo board if your students are going to be programming on both, if I were in your position, I would go with an Ion.

#### icewolf08

##### CBMod
CB Mods
Les - that was my first instinct, but I guess I just need to read and watch more about it. Do you think that staying in the EOS line is better than going Congo?
Staying in the Eos line is probably better in this case. First off, it is the same software as the Element you already own. that means you don't have to learn a new programming syntax. Secondly, Congo is discontinued, replaced by Cobalt. Cobalt is not really designed for theatre (neither was Congo, but some theatre people thought they wanted a Cue-Only desk for some strange reason).

Which is besides the fact that that you have to stand on your head and look in a mirror to program Congo....

#### Judge

##### Active Member
I am really unsure what Cobalt is designed for - if its not theatre. Do they really feel like going up against MA/Hog/Avolites/Chamsys in the big show market? I mean it looks like a lovely desk and all, but who is it for?

#### sully151

##### Member
We are a small storefront that is just opening. We have a current total of 13 LED's and will expand as soon as we can. We had hoped to get by with our old Leviton N 7024 24/48 Channel board, but after having our lighting designer explain it to me, it seems rather impossible.

#### Taylor Blais

##### Member
Hello all! I am in need of some help in picking out a lighting console for my church and what we will be needing! I do not know a lot about lighting fixtures and consoles, but I do know how to program and run shows on the week to week.

Our church runs not just sunday services and the occasional middle of the week events and I am currently running an Element 40 (Funny that most of these conversations have been about the ETC line). Though we are running mostly source 4's, leds, and design spots, we are looking at the next 5 years where we can have more moving fixtures and beams. We do monthly events with 1000+ people and its a full concert setting. I have been running pretty much everything I do off cues, with the exception of our last event due to time constraints, had to busk the night. We also run a yearly conference where we have 5000/6000+ in attendance with large sets and guest artists where we are easily running 4 or 5 universes of fixtures. I ran a GrandMA dot.2 console this past year after only having 2 weeks of hands on time with it. I enjoyed the console one I had it all figured out and understood the tools I had to work with. Not to mention having the 3D software to plot out my space and fixtures so leading up to our Conference was a life saver in prep.

Ultimately, I need help picking a console that will work for our weekly services that will allow me to play off cues, easily busk at anytime, great with running effects, contains a lot of room for multiple universes for future events and installs, 3D software to work off site with, and easy to teach. I am in the process of training people to be on my team, and in the case I am absent, having an easy to teach console so people can know how to do what I do.

I like the Grand MA dot.2 since it walks you through the steps to set up a show quickly, gives you multiple layouts with its screens, the busking, the load it can handle. Using the master settings for effects is iffy to me, especially if I want to have effects stay at an unaffected rate through busking and cues (some things I may still have to learn). Either way, this console seems like this could very well adapt to our 5 year look out. What other consoles would you recommend to me with all this in mind?

#### Judge

##### Active Member
I think that you have answered your own question really. You are familiar with dot.2 and it does (mostly) what you want. No console has it all. dot 2 is a good console with good support at a decent price.
If busking and effects are a concern then te other console to look at would be the Avolites Tiger Touch II. Great for all kinds of shows. Has plenty of playbacks, both faders and executers. A really nice feature is the main paged masters, plus the fixed playbacks at the top, so you always have access to presets that you always use, such as walk in, keylight, etc.
It comes with Capture vis built in as well.

What else? MA2 is too big expensive and complicated for your needs. Hog line not nearly as easy to use as Avo or .2
ChamSys make good gear and their new MQ500 is a brilliant control surface with great software and their own visualiser. Thing is, it will not be available until early next year probably. But go ahead and have a look. I played with one at PLASA and it really is ace. Unf their other desks not much good for you. The MQ80 does not have enough playbacks, and the old MQ 200 is retired.

#### NolanNolan

##### Member
Small 200 seat venue, non-profit, mostly volunteer operated, wide range of bookings, wide range of requirements from 100+ programmed cues to managed with half a dozen subs to live on the fly to one light on a podium.
All conventional incandescent fixtures - about 45 in use.
Console is ETC Express 24/48 (we use 6 areas, so the x12 slider sections on the Express are awesome)
48 dimmers in Four ETC Smartpacks
50ish circuits

The medium term goal is to begin switching to some LED fixtures (cyc/top lights/colour washes) for ease of colour changing and reduced ladder time, down the road maybe two or three moving lights as FOH specials (also to reduce ladder time). There probably won't ever be a budget to do an all at once conversion, so it will be piecemeal.

A renovation project is finishing under budget and there are surplus funds to put towards lighting. Estimated \$10-15k CAD.

My thoughts are to upgrade the console as a logical first step, so looking for recommendations for a console that:
1. Is not overly complicated to learn and use the basics. Sufficient physical sliders are important.
2. Can easily control LED fixtures
3. Can readily control several moving lights
4. Isn't overkill. Something that fits the need rather than fits the maximum budget.