MAC Axiom Hybrid comparisons

tymckz

Member
Hi
I'm working with a 200 seat theatre and they want to get a single moving light and eventually purchase more. It's an improv theatre that operates shows 2 nights a week minimum but not more than 4 shows a week.
We're using a Chamsys QuickQ 30 console. I like the Axiom but with probably far more bells and whistles then we need (i still want) and, yikes, it's almost $10,000. Is there a fixture that is comparable for less. We'd like to stay with a fixture that is commonly in use in case we need to bring it in for repair, we can rent the same fixture in the meantime. What do ya know? Thanks! ..)
 

RonHebbard

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Hi
I'm working with a 200 seat theatre and they want to get a single moving light and eventually purchase more. It's an improv theatre that operates shows 2 nights a week minimum but not more than 4 shows a week.
We're using a Chamsys QuickQ 30 console. I like the Axiom but with probably far more bells and whistles then we need (i still want) and, yikes, it's almost $10,000. Is there a fixture that is comparable for less. We'd like to stay with a fixture that is commonly in use in case we need to bring it in for repair, we can rent the same fixture in the meantime. What do ya know? Thanks! ..)
@tymckz Have you given any serious consideration to a Rosco I-Mirror added to an ellipsoidal?
Depending upon throw distance, you could choose a suitable ETC Source 4 as a starting point then accessorize from there:

I'm dating myself, but I'll elaborate anyway.

Back in the pre-LED era, the combination of an S4 and an I-Mirror was affordable, virtually silent, and extremely low maintenance compared to movers.
In my day; Source 4, I-Mirror, Color Scroller, and DMX Iris: 7 channels; Pan course & fine, Tilt course & fine, scroller, iris and dimmer.

In today's era, an I-Mirror added to the front of an LED ellipsoidal plus a DMX iris would give you many options; a colored LED source would require more channels than a scroller but it'd give you more color options as well.

One more option to ponder, should be more affordable, dead silent, and comparatively low maintenance.
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
 

MNicolai

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Fight Leukemia
What are you planning on using the fixtures for? Who-Wants-To-Be-A-Millionaire effects, pre-programmed spots for actors (to the extent you can in an improv environment), general scene lighting?

As you've noticed, the all-in-one fixtures cost more. These are fixtures that are designed for rental houses who need a lot of flexibility and want to try and avoid having an inventory full of fixtures that can only be profiles or washes. That can work for their business model but in your case effectively means you're buying 1 fixture for a little less than the price of 2.

I would challenge you to narrow down your list of wants to primarily what you need, and temper that with how you would be able to use them in your particular shows. If your improv has pretty standard gags from show to show, you might be able to pull off using a mover as part of the scene lighting somehow, but it will be worthless as a followspot. There are also only so many effects and looks that are worthwhile with only one fixture to play with. Even if the fixture has lots of bells and whistles, it becomes a one-trick pony. Also want to consider that a lot of effects that only work out if you use a hazer. If you're not pumping haze into the air, many of those features become lackluster set dressing.

There are some decently priced LED wash and beam moving heads that aren't too loud that would be better suited for your budget, but it's still important to know that they would be suited for your application and your theater's style of improv. If adding movers means you have to program cue stacks for a show that you normally run off of faders, you want to be cautious about what that impact on your workflow is going to be. If you run off of cue stacks but every night the scenes are in a different order or the actors never stand in the same spot twice, that will definitely impede what you can effectively use these for.
 

tymckz

Member
Wow, that's a lot of great info. I might just read them this response. Thanks!!
Would you have an opinion on a fixture that's not jet plane loud, can zoom, follow, has changeable gobos and doesn't need to scroll through a color wheel. As for how they'll use it... We'll want to set preset looks with it and they'll have those options to use during shows.
Thanks for your time
..)

What are you planning on using the fixtures for? Who-Wants-To-Be-A-Millionaire effects, pre-programmed spots for actors (to the extent you can in an improv environment), general scene lighting?

As you've noticed, the all-in-one fixtures cost more. These are fixtures that are designed for rental houses who need a lot of flexibility and want to try and avoid having an inventory full of fixtures that can only be profiles or washes. That can work for their business model but in your case effectively means you're buying 1 fixture for a little less than the price of 2.

I would challenge you to narrow down your list of wants to primarily what you need, and temper that with how you would be able to use them in your particular shows. If your improv has pretty standard gags from show to show, you might be able to pull off using a mover as part of the scene lighting somehow, but it will be worthless as a followspot. There are also only so many effects and looks that are worthwhile with only one fixture to play with. Even if the fixture has lots of bells and whistles, it becomes a one-trick pony. Also want to consider that a lot of effects that only work out if you use a hazer. If you're not pumping haze into the air, many of those features become lackluster set dressing.

There are some decently priced LED wash and beam moving heads that aren't too loud that would be better suited for your budget, but it's still important to know that they would be suited for your application and your theater's style of improv. If adding movers means you have to program cue stacks for a show that you normally run off of faders, you want to be cautious about what that impact on your workflow is going to be. If you run off of cue stacks but every night the scenes are in a different order or the actors never stand in the same spot twice, that will definitely impede what you can effectively use these for.
 

RonHebbard

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Interesting! I have explained to them that a mover is loud and in a 200 seat theatre, possibly too loud. I didn't know there was another option.
I'll look into this. Thanks!!
@tymckz You should be able to find extremely quiet movers but you'll still have cleaning and ongoing routine maintenance to keep up with.
You could look for a mover with an outdoor / weather and water tight rating (IP65 comes to mind but I could easily be incorrect.). Why?? Because they'll also be dust tight as well but you'll still have maintenance to tend to. An LED source should provide longer lamp life and numerous color and color temperature options: If your existing inventory includes Source 4's, and / or Altman, Strand or Chauvet equivalents, I'd still consider adding a Rosco I-Mirror or two or three. (1 or 2 out front for two performers and / or a full body shot in one color with a 1/2 body in a more skin-tone friendly color and a 3rd back stage as a back light.) Compare the costs and weigh your options.
@tymckz
Edit:
Link to Rosco I-mirror demo added: https://www.google.com/search?sourc...hUKEwjDw4OAlrTnAhWymuAKHUPCDlkQ4dUDCAg&uact=5
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
 
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cbrandt

Well-Known Member
As for very quiet fixtures, take a look at the Solaframe Theatre and the Releve. Both are silent or nearly so, and have a fair number of features to go along with them. The Solaframe will give you a brighter white, shutters, and a better zoom range. The Releve will give you more saturated colors. These are by no means the only quiet/silent fixtures out there, take a look around at what your local rental houses use and service. With a 200 seat theater, my biggest concern would be size and silence. You don't need something super powerful to be effective in a space that size.
 

macsound

Well-Known Member
Size is also a thought. Not sure how tall your ceiling is.
My favorite moving light of all time is the VL1000. They made it in Arc or Tungsten, with an Iris or Shutters.
By far the most popular was Arc Shutters so the tungsten version is very cheap used from a rental house and its quieter because it only gets hot when the lamp is on vs the Arc whose lamp is always on. I don't think anyone ever bought or rented the Iris version, which is good. You want shutter.
They now make an LED version.
It's very quiet, zooms 19-36 with in focus gobos, then super zooms to 70. 4 Blade shutters. CMY and a color wheel.
 

Jeff Lelko

Active Member
Just out of curiosity, what is it that you plan to do with a single moving light? While the Axiom is an outstanding fixture, I’m not sure it’s the right choice for your application. Sharing more details about the proposed uses will definitely help.
 

James Suit

Member
So I second everything that @MNicolai brought up. If the idea is to eventually add more movers to have a functional front-light rig, I would think long and hard about how you're going to use them, where they're going to be hung, and who's going to be in charge of them.

From a system perspective, adding 1 moving light into a show will change almost nothing about how it looks. They make very poor followspot replacements without an expensive tracking system added on (several flavors available), and a single fixture won't make the most of movement effects, color chases, or pattern breakups.

I'd advise you really determine the purpose the light will serve - new front wash? followspot? audience effects? gobo projection? and figure out if 1 moving light would be better than 2-3 lekos, some LED pars, or other fixtures that will give you more function than one automated spot.

Having said all that.. check out the Ayrton Mistral or Diablo if you are dead set on getting new movers. Small, efficient, very bright, and extremely quiet in "silent" mode. They tick all of your boxes, and are at a better pricepoint than list on the Axiom from a good dealer.

 

Jeff Lelko

Active Member
I agree with James, and to elaborate on my prior post while waiting for details from the OP, a single moving light is not going to be impressive. Yes, there’s always the artistic angle to lighting design, but a single moving light just won’t be very useful regardless of how versatile it is.

I know the OP says that the group wants to buy a single fixture and maybe add more in the future, but speaking from experience, this sort of thing has bitten me in the past. While pro-grade fixtures tend to be more consistent than the DJ stuff, differences in production runs can lead to inconsistent performance between units. Sometimes it’s minor and user-correctable, other times it isn’t. I would implore the OP to buy at least a pair of lights from the start, and ideally as many as can be realistically justified. Regardless, a pair of moving lights is tremendously more useful than a single fixture.

Along the same lines, the Axiom is a professional unit with a professional price to match. While suitable and necessary for lighting arenas and stadiums, this is massive overkill for a 200 seat theater. Back in the day I’d see many applications of the Mac 250 and Trackspot in venues of that size with reasonable success. Depending on the desired uses, for the same money as a single Axiom the OP can get probably 6-8 Chauvet Rogue fixtures that will be tremendously more useful. The bang to buck is much greater while still getting a quality fixture. Just my two cents, but I think the end result will be much better in this regard. Hope this helps!
 

tymckz

Member
Thanks Jeff, this is really valuable info. Thanks everyone for your input.

I think if we go for a less expensive fixture than the Axiom, we can get at least 2 of something. They're really set on getting movers. It's improv so the plot won't change, we'll have a bunch of looks they can choose from. They want to be able to use the mover as a follow spot, a spot, gobo's (ability to put in new gobos), color wash or spot, chases, and possibly shutter. We'd be creating looks with them so there would be no adjusting on the fly. Our ceiling is about 18' to the grid, 22' to the ceiling (arched ceiling). It's a beautiful theatre.

Thanks everyone
I love this community

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I agree with James, and to elaborate on my prior post while waiting for details from the OP, a single moving light is not going to be impressive. Yes, there’s always the artistic angle to lighting design, but a single moving light just won’t be very useful regardless of how versatile it is.

I know the OP says that the group wants to buy a single fixture and maybe add more in the future, but speaking from experience, this sort of thing has bitten me in the past. While pro-grade fixtures tend to be more consistent than the DJ stuff, differences in production runs can lead to inconsistent performance between units. Sometimes it’s minor and user-correctable, other times it isn’t. I would implore the OP to buy at least a pair of lights from the start, and ideally as many as can be realistically justified. Regardless, a pair of moving lights is tremendously more useful than a single fixture.

Along the same lines, the Axiom is a professional unit with a professional price to match. While suitable and necessary for lighting arenas and stadiums, this is massive overkill for a 200 seat theater. Back in the day I’d see many applications of the Mac 250 and Trackspot in venues of that size with reasonable success. Depending on the desired uses, for the same money as a single Axiom the OP can get probably 6-8 Chauvet Rogue fixtures that will be tremendously more useful. The bang to buck is much greater while still getting a quality fixture. Just my two cents, but I think the end result will be much better in this regard. Hope this helps!
 

soundlight

Well-Known Member
As a few others have mentioned, the Fuze Profile from Elation would be a great choice. Just saw this at a demo again the other day. Killer fixture. It's already stupid quiet but in firmware they'll soon have a studio mode for near silent operation.
 

almorton

Well-Known Member
Using a mover as a follow spot, without (seriously) expensive add ons isn't really on. We've used ours as follow spots sort of by having the cast follow where the spot will be, and being there every night, on the mark. This means rehearsing and rehearsing and rehearsing and ... you get the idea. For improv, it's going to be "problematic" at best.
 
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cbrandt

Well-Known Member
Since you're doing mostly preset scenes, could you get the performers to accommodate to several preset spot locations, instead of a full tracking spot? You might be able to get a lot of similar functions, without the headaches and rehearsal of moving lights as follow spots.

Regardless, I think that your other needs should drive your choices, rather than trying to make it a spot. Once you have it (them) you'll figure out a best workflow.
 

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