# Just the theory

#### kingfisher1

##### Active Member
Okay, right now moving lights for my school are at least a year away if the happen at all, but i cann't help but drool over the concept of having them. When the prospect of getting mls first arouse i ran immeadiatly to our boards manual (ETC Express 125) and read up on the movng light section. from there i concluded that wihile teh express is an awesom board its lack of encoders could be annoying.

my question is, is it inefficient to load each channel control each attribute onto a sub master and use that as a jury-rig encoder? with 10 pages of subs and only 4 possible lights (old crapy moving mirrors, but hey THEY MOVE!!!!!!)i think i have enough room for everything but am i missing an easy was to do this .

given, the express dose have a track pad for x,y but to my knowledge you could only use that for one light at a time makng running a live show more difficult. preprogramed stuff would be eaisier with cues and everything.
possible preprogrammed chases into subs? seems a bit limiting....

anyway... i feeling like i'm begining to ramble....

#### moojoe

##### Active Member
...random post above me...

anyway, yes, it is inefficiant. but if your going to have to use an express, thats really the best way of doing it. it would of course be best to buy a moving light console, even a cheap elation or american dj for $400>, but as is the case of this not always being possible, that would be the best way of doing it. hell, if i had any say in the purchase, i would drop one of the movers for a crappy console, just because it makes life so much easier. #### Footer ##### Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member Programming intels on the fly is not an easy thing to do on just about any board there is, except for the boards that are specificly made for it.... you can record looks to your subs and run off those, and using the subs as encoders works just fine.... also you can control more then one fixture at a time with the trackpad... and there are encoders made for that board, they are just nearly impossible to find.... #### JP12687 ##### Active Member Footer, You say they make encoders for the express series..where have you seen them and where can i look to find one??? i saw no documentation of it on the ETC site.... #### kingfisher1 ##### Active Member best kept secret in town i guess. yeah, i have no possobility of having money spent. the movers are being donated/borrowed so dropping one of them for$$isn't an option. I'm trying to convince teh mall down the road from my school to give them to us. i thiknk they've been turned on once. the same mall has like 700 s4s just sitting in the air, 1/2 aren't even pluged in. #### jonhirsh ##### Active Member "Programming intels on the fly is not an easy thing to do on just about any board there is, except for the boards that are specificly made for it" Hey, Just to clarify your post. controlling fixtures on the fly is hard and kind of useless. and no board is really made for it. but some boards are made to do something called busking. which is where you pre program the movement and the effects; so you are not controlling the movment on the fly but you are executing premade movement cues. then you add in colour and gobos on the fly. and by mixing and matching the pre programed movements and effects and such you creat an intresting show on the fly. On all consoles you are able to take controll of fixtures and move them manualy but its kinda hard. JH #### kingfisher1 ##### Active Member oh, think i can do thta easily on the Express? i'd need to think about it. my application would be for little school taletnt show things (bad 3rd graders dancing to music they're 15 years to young for) so yeah, i could program chases into the top 12 subs, the leave the bottom 12 to control colors effects etc. #### jonhirsh ##### Active Member Ahh.. but here is the issue with that. The express will record anything and everything into subs when they are brought up so for example. you have light one, two , three up at full. you record this as sub one. you now want to make one fader as your red fader; so you set all your fixtures to red and record that sub master two. (repeat this step with blue as sub 3) now you have lights one, two , three up at 50 % and lets decide you want to put them all into red. so you bring up your red submaster. since you recorded your sub master with them at 100% all your lights will bump up to 100% if you want your actual red to show through. This sums up the first issue. The second will be when you try to just bring up one fixture in blue lets say. since it is HTP all three lights you programed will come up to full in blue. That is why there are Moving light consoles. and express is ok and kinda to run one or two movers preprogramed off of. but anything other then that i would hate to have to do your life will be a living hell. I can say this from experiance i programed a musical on an express with two movers this was the candian premire of tick tick boom so they thought they had to do somethign special. lol so programing time jumped from an easy 5 hours to atleast 12 or 13 not to mention the time trying to build the profile for the express and make it work. i think everyone over looks renting a console they like to rent the lights but dont think ahead. rent a console get a fat frog if you need to but for gods sake rent one if you dont you will surely regret it even if its a bunch of kids dancing its still a gig in which you need to have light on stage if its dark there the kiddies wont be to happy JH #### Footer ##### Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member jonhirsh said: Ahh.. but here is the issue with that. The express will record anything and everything into subs when they are brought up so for example. you have light one, two , three up at full. you record this as sub one. you now want to make one fader as your red fader; so you set all your fixtures to red and record that sub master two. (repeat this step with blue as sub 3) now you have lights one, two , three up at 50 % and lets decide you want to put them all into red. so you bring up your red submaster. since you recorded your sub master with them at 100% all your lights will bump up to 100% if you want your actual red to show through. This sums up the first issue. JH This is why you capture all the the color wheels at full with nothing else up (including intesity) and record that to the sub, and as long as you subs are set to pile-on this wont be an issue, and do the same for your iris, shutter, and about anything else... record your subs cleanly... and also you would not use a sub to bring back a different color, that is what groups are for #### jonhirsh ##### Active Member But this shouldnt work on an express because when it is last takes precedence. there fore when you record your colour wheels with your fixtures at 0% it puts your fixtures in black when you bring up your colour sub master. becuase it it the last sub to be brought up. JH #### Radman ##### Well-Known Member How about record all the color wheels full, HTP on some sub, then have inhibitors to control the colors from? You can do an inhibitor for each wheel, then do groups of wheels if you like. This would probably be more feasible on say an expression where there are tons of physical subs. :-/ #### kingfisher1 ##### Active Member Footer4321 said: This is why you capture all the the color wheels at full with nothing else up (including intesity) and record that to the sub, and as long as you subs are set to pile-on this wont be an issue, and do the same for your iris, shutter, and about anything else... record your subs cleanly... and also you would not use a sub to bring back a different color, that is what groups are for yeah that was my original intetion (not sure if i made that clear) I'd be on sub for each attribut of each light #### kingfisher1 ##### Active Member jonhirsh said: But this shouldnt work on an express because when it is last takes precedence. there fore when you record your colour wheels with your fixtures at 0% it puts your fixtures in black when you bring up your colour sub master. becuase it it the last sub to be brought up. JH so what your saying is that ml channels aren't independant of eachother? #### jonhirsh ##### Active Member not on the express atleast to my knowlege. it records everything that you have on or not it doesnt just records the active attributes; it records them all. JH #### BillESC ##### Well-Known Member Ian, Since we're talking 3rd grade talent shows, perhaps moving heads are overkill and scanners would do the trick. 250w halogen scanners start under$ 200.00 with combined gobo/color wheels and can be had with separate gobo and color wheels for only $20.00 more. Plenty of output to put some bling in a show. The Chauvet DMX 50a will control up to 12 DMX address with up to 16 attributes and offers 240 scenes of memory for under$ 200.00.

This is certainly not 'top of the line' gear but very workable equipment with a down to earth price tag.

#### kingfisher1

##### Active Member
Hold up! Hold up! i'm guess i forgot to actually express (haha bad pun) myself clearly,

I am negotiating with a local mall who currently has about 4 unused moving mirror lights of an unknown brand name.
since we are talking 3rd grade talent, i do not plan on expending any of our budget to try and get these lights, (well i need dmx, might need to buy that but the scanners look ligke the might run on 3 pin dmx which i have lots of.)
to be honest trying to obtain tehm is just as much for my own learning expereiene as it is to add so "bling" to the shows.

with that said, the last few post confused me. the way i understand it now i can
patch in my mls.
select fixture 2, tehn when the gray bar thing pops up, move and play with the light.

first question, will the syntax allow me to go "-s8(fixture)-2-and-s8-4-enter" so i can control both lights simultaniously? (i could play on the offlikne editor but dialog is more human...)

Secondly, is there any thing keeping me from doing this;
seeing that the channels for fixture 2 are channels 50-62,
recording channel 50 as sub one
channel 51 as sub 2
channel 52 as sub 3, etc...

then running teh lights of the subs. (and yes i realized id have to get very familiar with teh Page key

Lastly, if i use the above mentioned system, what is the best way to utilize the track pad?

#### Peter

##### Well-Known Member
Is there not a setting on the Express to get arround this issue? So the maximum value of each channel takes precidence when there are multiple submasters or groups on?

##### Well-Known Member
How about record all the color wheels full, HTP on some sub, then have inhibitors to control the colors from? You can do an inhibitor for each wheel, then do groups of wheels if you like. This would probably be more feasible on say an expression where there are tons of physical subs. :-/
I don't know what I was thinking, you're absolutely right, you can just record the subs normal like that, they don't affect other values. Sorry.

#### jonhirsh

##### Active Member
"then have inhibitors to control the colors from"

That does not work on an express, because it records all data. there fore when you use your inhibitor if you had another fixture up when you made it it will change that fixture as well. not just the one you are activly controlling.

JH

ps. my point im making is rent a console that is ment to do movers if your going to do them. why pull your hair out (if you have any i dont know we have never meet. ). saving money can only be justified when you factor in time as well. If your going to spend 60% more time programing your show is it realy worth saving 150 dollars a week for a rental? Now here is the thing most people when budgeting skip, is the question do i really need this. If you cant afford to do it right is it worth doing; the answer is sometimes. esspecialy if its a learning enviroment this doesnt apply but in the real world you have to say screw it sometimes. and this may be one of those times.

a good designer knows how to make a show look great.
a great designer knows when to say thats enough and walk away and still have a show look great.

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##### Well-Known Member
jonhirsh said:
"then have inhibitors to control the colors from"

That does not work on an express, because it records all data. there fore when you use your inhibitor if you had another fixture up when you made it it will change that fixture as well. not just the one you are activly controlling.

JH

ps. my point im making is rent a console that is ment to do movers if your going to do them. why pull your hair out (if you have any i dont know we have never meet. ). saving money can only be justified when you factor in time as well. If your going to spend 60% more time programing your show is it realy worth saving 150 dollars a week for a rental? Now here is the thing most people when budgeting skip, is the question do i really need this. If you cant afford to do it right is it worth doing; the answer is sometimes. esspecialy if its a learning enviroment this doesnt apply but in the real world you have to say screw it sometimes. and this may be one of those times.

a good designer knows how to make a show look great.
a great designer knows when to say thats enough and walk away and still have a show look great.
On the Express, if you do not use the tracking feature, cues record all values. Subs affect only the channels that are recorded in them, HTP by default. So if you record a sub in blind with the channel of the color wheel for a certain fixture at full, that sub will affect only that color wheel. If I understand how pile-on works, you can record a sub with the color wheel at the correct value for say red, and another sub with it at say green. When you bring up green full it goes green. Then when you bring up the pile-on red sub, it goes red, no metter if the value is lower or higher that the value for yellow, then as you take it out it goes back to the previous value, yellow.

I'm not trying to say that using the Express instead of a ML console is necessarily the best idea, I'm just trying to explain the functions of the board. Maybe he wants to learn how to program movers on the Express specifically. It seems to me he is using this as a learning experience rather than an important element in his design.

kingfisher1, I would take a quick look at the Express manual either online or in print to find out exactly how to link the trackpad to the pan/tilt of a fixture. I think that provided you have the profile correctly set up, once you select the fixture the channels are automatically linked to it, however I have never used this function of the Express and therefore I would not be surprised if that was just BS. While you have it out, look at all the sections covering ML programming. It may have some good ideas and useful information that you can use.