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Looking into getting a new lighing board

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by Kruton, Jan 7, 2005.

  1. Kruton

    Kruton Member

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    Well fortunatly my school needs a new lighting board, my prestige 2000 died 2 weeks ago (total system crash) and our servace comapny (litetrol) said it was gone too.

    Just a little background info on system. The lighting systehm is a colortran dimention 192 3 phase system. currently i have 98 wired and active dimmers and the rest are empty. Sytem is upgraded dmx-512 system and works perfactly fine.

    In terms of the lighing borad I was looking at 2 main options:

    Colortran innovator 600
    and the etc express series like the 250 or somthing. I have looked at both boards and have come to some conclusions.

    I am leaing towards the innovartor 600 right now, Why?
    IT HAS A TRACK BALL (that touchpad on the express, not a big turn on)
    the 7 encoder wheels look cool too.

    But i have heard some problems with the board in terms of stabitly.

    Has anyone here used the Innovator 600 and any thoughts on it?

    thanks for your imput
     
  2. Danny

    Danny Member

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    Colortran used to make wonderful boards, their latest models have been somewhat sub par. A local school received one a few months ago but returned it after only a few weeks.

    I use the ETC Express 48/96 and could not give enough praise about it. The only downfall is its intellegent lighting capabilities which are limited. It is not impossible, but rock concert style lighting is best left to a High End Systems board.

    Good luck with your new board!
     
  3. JP12687

    JP12687 Active Member

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    i have an inovator 48/96. It crashes all the time.

    I was recording a cue during my last tech...and the board had a memory error..and deleated my last 30 cues(from the last time i had time to save it since the board takes about 3-4min to save date).

    The board has a tendancy to spit out random bits of info at times.


    Also isnt consistant, i have seen submasters change overnight without anyone touching the board.
     
  4. Inaki2

    Inaki2 Active Member

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    ETC is a standard because of a reason. I take great pride in our industry being smart enought to like things because they work, not because they look cool.
    The trackball in the Express is not used for a mouse, but to set rates, speeds, etc. The 2 buttons have textures, one is coarse and one is fine...guess wht they choose? :p
    I'd go with the ETC, I think anyone will back up that choice. And take it from me I just recently started using them and think they are amazing.
     
  5. SuperCow

    SuperCow Active Member

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    We have an Express 125, and there are 5 TrakSpots in our grid. I love it.

    The great thing about ETC is that their syntax is completely verbose for most of the functions, making it easier to learn and faster to program.
     
  6. SuperCow

    SuperCow Active Member

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    We have an Express 125, and there are 5 TrakSpots in our grid. I love it.

    The great thing about ETC is that their syntax is completely verbose for most of the functions, making it easier to learn and faster to program.
     
  7. zac850

    zac850 Well-Known Member

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    I've only used my ETC Express 125, and I can not sing it enough praises. Especially if your at a school, an ETC board would be good, since most theaters have one.

    I know how to program on my ETC Express 125, and when I started working on a regional theaters Obsession, and it took me about 5 minutes to notice the differences and feel perfectly competent with it.

    They also are extremely stable boards. To date, mine has NEVER crashed.

    I have never used it with ML's, but Supercow seems to imply that it works perfectly well for them.

    Just my 2 cents.
     
  8. SuperCow

    SuperCow Active Member

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    Well, we have WYSIWYG, so I believe that makes using movers easier with the board.
     
  9. SuperCow

    SuperCow Active Member

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    Well, we have WYSIWYG, so I believe that makes using movers easier with the board.
     
  10. Smatticus

    Smatticus Active Member

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    The Express is really straightforward and really easy to use, if I have ever had any problems with the Express it was because it was me that did something wrong. Like pushed the wrong fader button or forgot about channels that were parked. I don't know if I personally would even consider the trackpad when purchasing an Express, I never use it, it's just easier and much faster to type in an intensity on the keypad. The only possible use I could think of where you might want the trackpad is if you were changing a channel level very slowly during a show so that no one would notice. But it also has a Sneak feature which allows you to do exactly the same thing.
     
  11. Kruton

    Kruton Member

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    Thank you all for your messages, I guess the Innovator 600 is not a good opiton because it has major stabiiltiy issues.

    But in terms of the express, how do you mainly controll movement, i really like the 600's 7 wheels but if there is a stabilty issue, then screw that.

    So the main way to controll movement is to use subs for settings, and trackpad for XYZ?

    and i am not worried about, syntax or progeaming, all is pretty basic.

    Lasty before i completly abandon my orgional choice, has anyone actually used the board?
     
  12. Inaki2

    Inaki2 Active Member

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    Express? I guess most of us in the forum have used it at some point.
    Yeah movers in the Express isn't the easiest ever, I have never done it personally but read how to do it. Still it does have nice things such as position pallettes, which can also be used for intensities ;)
    Check out the Offline at www.etcconnect.com and skim the Quick Start manual.
     
  13. SuperCow

    SuperCow Active Member

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    Yes, the track pad can also be used to control moving lights. I'm told that tracing a "8" onto the pad will make a light move in that pattern. Or, it can be used to adjust pan and tilt.
     
  14. Danny

    Danny Member

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    Our theatre owns a Express 48/96, I have had no trouble with it. We also have a new Strand, but I do like the Express better. I forgot to mention that you can try out the Express before you purchase it by using the Offline Editor from ETC at their website. This lets you play with all the functions of the board before you buy!
     
  15. bdesmond

    bdesmond Active Member

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    Have you looked at a Strand 300? It has the ability to expand by way of adding channels via a software key and fader panels that you can purchase. There's also a trackball setup for working with movers. I hear a lot of the ETC folsk saying the Express consoles don't work with intels - the Strand 300 does, same price range if not a bit cheaper anyway.
     
  16. Smatticus

    Smatticus Active Member

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    You can also add channels to the Express without having to have faders to them. There's a certain limit to it but you can do it if you want to.
     
  17. mbenonis

    mbenonis Wireless Guy Administrator

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    We too have an ETC Express 48/96 and I absolutely love it. I have not used any Colortran boards, but I have used a Horizon-based system and absolutely hated it. Then again, it was PC-based and I'm more of a button guy, but it was bad.

    I highly suggest you download (a) the Express User's Manual and glance through that, and (b) the Express Off-Line package and play around with it. It completely emulates the board on a Windows computer, and you can play with all features and get a solid feel for the board.

    As far as moving lights (I'm pretty sure that's what you're trying to determine if the board supports them), I know the board supports them, but to what degree I don't know. The manual is thorough, though, so any questions you have will be answered in there.

    http://www.etcconnect.com/

    Of course, you could just buy a grandMA. ;-)
     
  18. Radman

    Radman Well-Known Member

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    With the most recent software updates, ETC has made the Express work with movers fairly well. The blank button by the keypad is now "focus points," and groups can be assigned to faders. There are personalitys too. Should be fine.
     
  19. Inaki2

    Inaki2 Active Member

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    Really? That is awesome..thats probably the weakest part on behalf of ETC, and its great to see they have invested time and money in solving it!
     
  20. zac850

    zac850 Well-Known Member

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    One thing about the Express 125 and 250 is that it only has 24 subs (10 pages worth, but still only 24 subs per page). I'm not sure how many subs the larger Express boards have, but that may be something to think about. Personally, I am starting to run out of room in my subs.

    Break down how often you will be running on the fly using subs, and then figure out how many you will need on average.

    I have used the ETC Express 125, the ETC Obsession (briefly, no real programing, just turning some things on and off and loading up a cue) and a few small, manual boards.
     

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