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Light board training

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by Techiegirly, Jan 28, 2008.

  1. Techiegirly

    Techiegirly Member

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    I received the "just the basics" training 10 years ago in college but didn't touch a light board for years when I accepted a job as a LBO back in April. I have since eeaked my way through my job but the show is a constant running show where I come in do a light check and then run the show. I have no real opportunity to try anything out on the board and get to know it better.

    I'm wondering if anyone knows of any seminars or quick classes that don't require going back to college to learn all the new consoles and lights. I've looked into a 2 day class in my area through a lighting rental place and it sounds wonderful but costs $250.00 per 2 day class. I'm thinking I might definatly take at least 1 class but does anyone know of any other classes similar to this in the Los Angeles area or anyone who'd just be wiling to sit down with me and show me a few things on a more popular brand of board?
     
  2. digitaltec

    digitaltec Active Member

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    Occupation:
    President of CRU design, LLC
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    Most classes or seminars are bases around a particular console. There are classes in LA all the time on Hog's, etc.

    What consoles are you trying to learn?
     
  3. Techiegirly

    Techiegirly Member

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    Since I work for many different theatre companies all the time I'm not lookng to learn one just 1 particular kind. I just want a good strong basic knowledge put back into my head. I used to run shows in college as a LBO but I found running a LB is not like riding a bike. You stop using a LB for a few years and you completely forget what you learned.:lol:
     
  4. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    If you want the basics, go learn a strand console, especially the 300 or 500 series. That console is the defacto basis for most consoles that are out there. Newer consoles, hogIII and MA, use nearly the same structure but just clean everything up and make things go faster. Do a search on here for bobby harrell, and read his guides I have posted. With that basic knowledge of cue structure etc, you will be able to add the other consoles to it. With knowledge of strand syntax, you should be able to run about 70% of the boards out there (we are talking number of consoles actually sold, not how many types of consoles have been designed).

    And now that I re-read that you are in theatre, you should be able to operate most theatre consoles you will run into.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2008
  5. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    While I have nothing against the Strand 300 and 500 series, (other than I haven't liked what I've seen at LDI) I would suggest that you learn, intimately, the one console with which you work the most. If that's a Strand, fine, but if that's an Expression or Express, which I suspect is more likely, learn that one. Better to be fully proficient at one console, than a little familiar with many, provided it's from ETC/Strand/Leviton. Learning one will also make it easier to pick up others, as Footer said. I just suspect the 300/500 is not as popular as he thinks it is. I could be wrong. Time for another poll, I think.

    Almost all current consoles these days have an off-line editor (OLE) available for free download from the manufacturer's website. Download and install the software, download and print out the User's Manual, and get started.

    Once you think you've mastered the basics, call your local lighting rental shop and ask if you can come in and work with a console, not connected to any lights. If you're real lucky, or they're real nice, they will have a "pre-vizualization" room or suite set up with the console, intended for programming tours, and if available, would let you use that. One of the best of these is located in SF & NYC, PreLite Studios, but their rooms are almost always booked. Here's another example DigitalStageChicago... Sorry, you're in Long Beach, CA, thought you were in the Bay area. Still, ELS, PRG, Ed&Ted's, and every other rental shop in LA would let you do this, maybe not the pre-vis part, but certainly let you look at and "play" with a console in their shop. It's in their best interest. You HAVE established a relationship with a local lighting vendor, right?

    Start slow, with just the basics, and probably no moving lights, even if your intent is to try to get proficient on the Eos/Ion, Maxxyz, Hog3, GrandMA, or Vista. Some of the best money I ever spent was $500 for training on the WholeHogII, at High End's facility in Austin, TX. This was 20 years after I had mastered the "conventional" consoles though. Also look into joining your local USITT chapter, as they too sponsor classes and such. And great for contacts!

    And of course, if you have questions, just start a new thread here. I suspect we, collectively, could answer almost any question about any lightboard ever made.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 26, 2011
  6. superdoo

    superdoo Member

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    I'll be keeping an eye on this thread as I am in much the same situation, except I am looking to learn more of the "moving light" boards.

    I sort of agree with programming is not like riding a bike, but in the world of theatre programming knowing the basics (in my experience) of ETC consoles is enough to get you by. Even if at times it is just barely or slow going.
     
  7. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    The Lightpallet software (pre horizon days) has been around for an extremely long time, and it the basis that ETC used when creating their line of consoles. The obession software is nearly a bit for bit port of the syntax. Its a pretty easy switch from ETC to strand, the other way can be a bit harder. The reason I saw the 300/500 series is they do a whole lot more then their ETC brethren. ETC's are great to know, but you can easily take your knowledge from a strand and sit at and ETC console.
     
  8. jonhirsh

    jonhirsh Active Member

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    If your interested in getting some time on a grandMA ultra light shoot me an email at [email protected]

    Im sure we can work something out. I am based out of santa clarita.
    JH
     
  9. peacefulone61

    peacefulone61 Active Member

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    I find myself in a similar place. Is there anyone that knows of anyone who trains on the Expression 48/96 In the Boston Area
     
  10. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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  11. coldnorth57

    coldnorth57 Active Member

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  12. xander

    xander Well-Known Member

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    Occupation:
    Production Electrician, Programmer
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    Well, no one does, because there's no such thing. There's an Express 48/96 :twisted:

    On a serious note, I kind of doubt there is much in the way of formal training for the Express(ion) family anymore because it is so outdated. On the other hand, there are a lot of programmers out there that would probably be willing to give you a little one on one help. You just need to find them. Personally, I think that ETC did a really fantastic job writing the manual and you can learn everything you need to know just by reading it and trying things out. If you have access to the board and a rig, great, but if not you can just use the OLE.

    If you don't learn well that way and feel you need an instructor, I'd be happy to do it if you gave me a small fee to cover my travel. :lol:

    -Tim
     
  13. BLynch

    BLynch Member

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    There are a number of youtube video tutorials ETC put together for the current line of consoles, Eos Family, Congo and Smart Fade. Available at this Link:
    Lighting solutions for Theatre, Film & Television Studios and Architectural spaces : ETC

    These are great to watch for beginner and intermediate users; the desks have so many features that it's hard to keep up to speed on everything if you're not using it regularly.

    You can also check out the ETC you tube page, if you prefer that interface: YouTube - ETCVideoLibrary's Channel

    If you're working on older ETC consoles Express/Expression Family, Obsession family, Emphasis, Insight, Microvisiton, the list goes on, the manuals and cheat sheets are still available for download from the website at this link:
    Lighting solutions for Theatre, Film & Television Studios and Architectural spaces : ETC

    There are also Ion and Express training DVDs available for purchase. The first few minutes of the Express DVD is free to watch online at this link:
    Lighting solutions for Theatre, Film & Television Studios and Architectural spaces : ETC

    At national tradeshows and other events ETC professionals also offer hands on training sessions. There is more information available here:
    Lighting solutions for Theatre, Film & Television Studios and Architectural spaces : ETC

    I hope this was helpful.
     
  14. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    Where are you in Boston? Not to volunteer people without asking them, but you might contact [USER]Sony[/USER] who works in Newton as I know that they used to have an Express (and may still do), but he might be willing to walk you thought some things if he has time.
     

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