Control/Dimming Help with Chauvet Stage Designer 50 advanced features

Hi, All-

Very glad to be part of this group. I need to preface my questions here with the fact that I am a musician, so if you can, humor me... I feel I have a decent grasp of DMX and such - at least enough to get myself into sufficient trouble - but I also feel like my lack of experience with it is causing me some headaches that I am hoping one of you can help me with. Along with my sincere gratitude, I am also happy to help out with anyone's audio/MIDI/music related issues as that is something that I have some decent knowledge about. Anyway...

The manual (Stage-Designer-50_UM_Rev9_WO.pdf (559K)) says that it is possible to assign up to 48 DMX channels to each fader on p.9 ("Here is no limit to the amount of channels that can be assigned to a single fades. One can assign up to all 48 channels of DMX output to a single Fader. ") but only gives me the instructions for how to assign one. Can one of you tell me the exact sequence of buttons to push, sliders to move, chickens to sacrifice, or whatever, to make this happen?

The manual is a best poorly worded, very incomplete and while I cannot prove it, I suspect that it was originally in Chinese, translated into possibly German by someone who does not speak Chinese, German or English but had access to a Chinese to German dictionary and a German to English dictionary. (Sorry for all the sarcasm - just trying to at least formulate why the manual is so "odd.")

I am also trying to understand how to assign DMX channels 25-48 to fader 1-25 (or vise versa) as when in the Fader Assignment mode I cannot toggle between Page A and Page B of the console to follow the minimal directions the manual gives for this process.

Finally, I'm wondering if there is a way to set a range on a specific fader's output. With MIDI this is fairly easy and I am hoping that there is a similar DMX possibility. Is this what the "Park" button can be used for? Again, the manual is not specific, and I would really like the specific sequence of buttons and/or faders to make use of this feature if it is possible.

So, just to recap (sorry - I tend to ramble) I need the specific sequence of buttons/faders to:
1) assign multiple DMX channels to a single fader
2) assign DMX channels on the alternate page (B if I am on A, A if I am on B) to a fader
3) set a specific range for a fader's output.

Thanks much in advance! Best,

-Max

PS. I've done a good bit of web searching prior to posting here, and found several variations on this console by other companies, but none of the others' manuals, youtube videos, etc. cover my questions...
 
So after much additional trial-and-error I managed to decipher solutions for 1) and 2). My copy of the manual had the explanation of the terms used for DMX channel assignments reversed, so once I got that part I can now assign multiple channels to each fader. For 2) it requires you back out of the channel assignment mode (staying in record mode) then change the page, then reenter channel assignment mode, then assign the fader. Still working on 3)....
 

wolfman005

Active Member
In regards to 3) you could just leave the faders at whatever level you want. The board is HTP meaning highest takes precedence so if you run a chase the light might become brighter in intensity but it won't go off.

Out of curiosity why do you wanna do that? I would just plug whatever light I need into no dimmed power. Although I suppose you may want a dimmed light not a switched light...
 
Thanks for the replay. Yeah, the dimming is the issue for us. The trouble is that I can control the dimming via the last 3 of the 6-channel mode channels (it's a ColorPalette) for RGB but the 1st channel is the mode control (6, 17, 27, etc. if memory serves - regardless, we need 6 channel mode, so channel 1 has to be set between 60 and 79 ) and so when I try to create a scene on the board it will go through all the modes as it "climbs" up to the 6 channel mode setting on fader 1. It does dim, but it also simultaneously gores through modes. We can make it all work now, but only with limited options due to this one issue. (Not sure I am explaining myself well here - I plead "musician" in that regard. haha) I may experiment with leaving the 1st channel out of the scene programming and set that on a separate fader to see if that might be a work around.
 

wolfman005

Active Member
Ahh so you just want to disable fade on that given channel. After skimming through the manual I don't believe that is possible. This board isn't really designed for running anything besides dimmers/conventionals. It will run intels but not very well.

I would just take the fader that controls channel one of the ColorPalettes and leave it raised for your whole show.

The other option is to make a step with no fade time right before you want RGB control of the ColorPalette. That way it will snap to the 6 channel mode without cycling through all of the other programs.

If you want to upgrade your control interface, (which I personally would) look at Freestyler or Chamsys. Freestyler is the easier, but more limited of the two. Once you figure it out it's very easy to use. Search it on CB, some people have made threads about it. You will also need a USB->DMX interface because these are programs that run on a laptop/desktop and you need a way to get the DMX signal to the lights from the laptop. You don't necessarily the one I linked, but it will work with FS and Chamsys.
 

Pada

Member
As for 3)
We're simply programming scenes and then setting the fader to whatever the maximum value should be for that range, and then in the chase<>scene mode, you simply max out the scene fader to get the desired value. Unfortunately I don't have a solution to set a minimum value for the range, except perhaps programming another scene where the fader is set to the minimum value. This kind of setup may work due to HTP (highest takes precedence).

I have another, kind of related question:
I'm also using the Chauvet Stage Designer 50 at our church and I'm now in the situation where I want to assign 6ch Par Cans to DMX channels above the 48 range, and I'm not sure if this mixer would allow me to do that?
As far as I can tell the patching of DMX channels to faders is only within the 48 id range, because you need to press a flash button to select the DMX ID, which would then limit it to 48.

I'm really not a fan of the SD50, because its terrible to program & edit, and like tonight I'm pretty sure its memory got corrupted, because I lost all my programmed scenes.

At this stage the SD50's 48 channels is "sufficient", because we grouped our 6ch RGBW LED Par Cans in groups of 4. I want to move away from that grouping and set them up individually so that I can get a night-rider kind of moving effect which is impossible when they're grouped.

We don't have anything fancy such as moving heads yet, so we most likely won't get a new an expensive light mixer. It would be great if someone can suggest a cheap & good mixer that can handle more channels or at least work in conjunction with a laptop/desktop via a USX->DMX interface.

Thank you in advance!
 

wolfman005

Active Member
Just for clarity sake, mixers are for the noise boys. Lighting "mixers" are called boards or desk. Picky but it might save you trouble later on down the road.

I'd replace the SD50.

Look at post [HASHTAG]#5[/HASHTAG]. Those are probably the cheapest ways of doing it. I can almost guarantee you won't find a board that does what you want it to do (easily) for less than the $160 the Enttec USB DMX Pro would set you back. Both of the software types offered are free and compatible with Enttec. If you want fancy effect type of things, Chamsys has a very powerful effect generator built in. Only downside of Chamsys is you can't use external input software with it other than their hardware which is probably over budget for you. If you have a touchscreen the Chamsys is quite useable.

Upon furthing thinking, you might be able to get a DJ type of lighting board that is designed specifically for LED fixtures. I know Blizzard makes a few. @BillESC is a dealer. Send him a PM. He knows their stuff better than I.
 

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