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Moving Mirror vs Moving Head

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by Grog12, Apr 24, 2008.

  1. Grog12

    Grog12 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    A comment in another thread brings up this question...

    Which do you prefer in theatres and why?

    The market would make it seem like moving head is the way to go.

    Personally I've always loved a good moving mirror as its less obtrusive and doens't make pipes sway as much during quick moves.
     
  2. JD

    JD Well-Known Member

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    My own feeling is that it is application specific. I am not familiar with every product out there but as far as I know, Moving heads give you a wider range of motion. In the "rock" world they just plain look cooler. If movement momentum is a problem, or there are size limits, then moving mirrors win out.
     
  3. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    I like moving mirrors when I have a defined range of positions that I have to hit, and I can position the fixture so that it covers tehw hole range with its pan and tilt abilities. However, when the fixture is midstage but I want it to be able to hit everywhere on the stage, the audience, and the backdrop, moving heads win out. However, with creative positioning of a scanner, you can hit many positions.

    There are a few other factors to consider: cost, weight, and repeatability. Cost and weight definitely put scanners in the lead. But repeatability is very important. If you're doing a touring show with 30 moving lights, you want to be able to hang them and do minimal focus correction without "focusing" them. Unless you leave the yokes of your moving mirrors all but welded in to a single position and they are hung at the exact same angle every night, you could have to re-record most of your focus positions. This is one reason why I think moving heads win out in touring productions.

    Personally, I love the quick and precise movement of a good 16 bit scanner, if it has good gobo and color capabilities. I like the companies that make a scanner and a moving head with the same set of gobos and color wheel and prism capabilities. This was the case with the MAC500/Roboscan 918 Pro. Exact same innards, but one was a scanner and one was a moving head.
     
  4. DarSax

    DarSax Active Member

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    I just wish someone would make a decent, well-made, CMY (no technobeams, I wish) moving mirror fixture that would be cheap enough to add some flash and trash to a situation without needing to add the expense of moving heads to a situation. Maybe Chauvet will fill that need in a bit of time, but I'm still wary of their stuff.
     
  5. TimMiller

    TimMiller Well-Known Member

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    I really like the martin PAL. Its my theatrical moving mirror of choice for special cyc effects. It only has 4 rotating gobos (yet they are B sized gobos). Also the colors in the color wheel can be changed out for gobos also. It has framing capabilites along with color mixing. The light apature is rediculously big, it is almost 1 foot long and almost 8in wide. Talk about one big fat beam.
     
  6. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    IF a moving-mirror fixture existed that had "theatrical sensibilities": correct color temperature, CMY, shutters, etc., I would go for that, without a doubt. Seldom in theatre does one need 540° of pan and 270° of tilt, particularly on a properly masked proscenium stage. Hence [user]gafftaper[/user]'s home-brewed SeaChanger with I-Cue. (Minus changeable gobos and automated shutters.)

    [user]TimMiller[/user]'s Martin PALs probably come closest to the ideal theatre scanner, but they are insanely big and heavy, discontinued, and maintenance-intensive.

    The theatre market is ripe for a scanner, but I don't see the economics working for a manufacturer. Thus the VL1000TS and the Revolution continue to be the leaders for the theatre market. Although more and more Broadway shows seem to be using MAC2000s and VL3000s, they rarely move much, if at all. How much movement can one want in an FOH Cove, after all?
     
  7. porkchop

    porkchop Well-Known Member

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    I like moving mirror fixtures they are quick, have fewer stuff the moves (less momentum) and in my experiance make less noise in the process of moving. That being said they do have limitations on there movement. 180 degrees of pan and 95 of tilt (thats a technobeam I imagine other fixtures are close) aren't enough for some locations. Derek I would say that I rarely need a full 540 degrees of pan, but if I only had 360 there would be stop points that would drive me nuts and cause excessive movement/noise/time delay. With all that being said I would say mirror units in the FOH and moving head overhead. This gives you maximum coverage from each position. In HS we put technos in the box and studio spots over head and it worked great.
     
  8. TimMiller

    TimMiller Well-Known Member

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    I just had an idea, why doesnt a company make a "kit" that allows you to pull the guts out of a techno or studio spot and retro it over to a incandescent lamp. I'd personally retro a fixture if a theater asked me to. Pulling the ballast and ignitor out of a fixutre drops the weight a lot. Then just wire the lamp up to another plug that can be connected to a dimmer. I'd leave the mechanical dimmer connected for strobe options and dimming when you want less of the orange and more white light. Yet you dont have the cost. I know highend did it with the studio beam for a very short time, i'm not even sure if it was actually released or if it was just a concept they had on their website for a while.
     
  9. len

    len Well-Known Member

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    The big issue is that there are very few NEW moving mirror products. Edit: Actually, I can't remember a new moving mirror since the MX-10.

    The Technobeam is newly made, but the design is old. The Martin MX-10 is ok, but I think the gobos work more in the club business. And the colors are really more for that as well. Personally, I don't see spending $200+ per unit to get them where they'd be really useful. As much as I like them.

    It seems that a lot of people want a new moving mirror. At least that's the chatter I see other places.

    For me, it'd need a zoom, CMY, and a 575 watt lamp, minimum. Two rotating gobo wheels and/or an animation type wheel would be up there as well.

    If you see old Martin 918 or Elation 575 watt mirrors, they'd probably be of good use. But I seldom see either, ever.
     
  10. porkchop

    porkchop Well-Known Member

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    That sounds like a good way to destroy all the circuitry from the techno or the spot when you make a small mistake.
     
  11. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    It was an "indy" version of the StudioColor575. I never got to use one, but it failed in the market miserably, and was quickly discontinued.
     
  12. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    The Martin 918s are really nice units. The guts are exactly the same as the MAC500.
     
  13. muvment

    muvment Active Member

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    moving mirrors are faster and less weight/intertia factors, moving yolk have a wider degree of motion. It depends on the application. Although, on most of my shows, I personally like moving mirrors. But I'm in the minority as the trackspots are still my favorite fixture. After I sell my technobeams and trackspots, I'll move on to DL.1s, 2s, and 3s, so I skipped about 15 years of development. But thats because there was nothing that great after the technobeams until the digital lighting. At this point, I better duck from all the abuse I'm about to get.
     
  14. porkchop

    porkchop Well-Known Member

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    Before any abuse comes I'll say I loved my technos when I was working with a company that had them, and I think your right there have been some advances but if you have technos, or trackspots, in inventory there hasn't been any huge advancement to make you buy something else (with the exception of CMY mixing which has its use if the programmer takes some time to get to know common colors mixer values). I think the transition from a techno to a DL is a huge one but that's a topic for another time and place.
     
  15. muvment

    muvment Active Member

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    porkchop,

    I completely agree. Color mixing is great, but was even around before the technobeams. More gobo wheels, remote zoom, and other features are great, but there hasn't been anything that exciting to be worthy of an upgrade.

    For instance, I was playing with the new Matin with the 150 W lamp that puts out over 4000 lumens. Cool, small, and bright fixture, but its pretty limited as far as features (1 gobo wheel, 1 color wheel, and thats it)

    LED fixtures, when they get bright enough, will also be worth the upgrade. But I think my jump will still be from trackspots to digital lighting.
     
  16. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Well, let's hope your console has the horsepower. A Trackspot® uses 7 channels, a DL.3 uses 170 channels. Don't try this on an Express!
     
  17. porkchop

    porkchop Well-Known Member

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    That's pretty much exactly my point. Even if you only use one or two "newer" features on a full featured fixture you need to have the address room for everything. I loved my technos because they only took something like 20 channels and I used most of them in every show (I'm lazy, I know it's not exact, correct me if you really want the rest of the world to know you can look up the data sheet when I'm too lazy). The DL series is a dream of mine to play with but at this point there is no need to have that much ability to send that much information. Maybe PTC will decide to project all it's scenery next year and me and Icewolf will get to learn the ins and outs of the DL series but for now it's too smart of a fixture to be useful IMHO.
     
  18. muvment

    muvment Active Member

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    170 channels?!? ****. I use intellabeam LCD controllers for my trackspots and Technobeam LCD controllers for my technobeams. There's no DL.3 LCD controller? **** you High End *shakes fist*
     
  19. Pie4Weebl

    Pie4Weebl Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    I think anyone who can afford a DL can afford a real controller. I am getting antsy the place I just started working at has two new DL2's and a full size MA so I am just waiting to get my hands on them at an event....
     
  20. porkchop

    porkchop Well-Known Member

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    You have no idea how jealous I am of you, what do you guys have for a media center to send data to them?

    EDIT: INSANELY JEALOUS
     

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