New Board

Hi, our theatre/church is currently on the lookout for a new light board. Our old board is a 64 channel NSI board. Any suggestion on where I should start my search? There are a large variety of boards on the market, and I felt almost overwhelmed with choices. This is what I am particularly interested in...

1. DMX Signal

2. Macros

3. Sliders, as well as computer monitors. I'd like to have a system that you can on the screen, program all of the lighting macros and settings, and have a mouse hooked up. I would also like each of the sliders be easily reasignable via the mouse and monitor. Obviously a mouse can control less lights at once than a handful of sliders. I love pc-lighting controllers and would gladly use them, accept for the fact you don't have as much hand control. Any kind of controller that is setup like the martin light jockey or axis pc controller (but with more physically) would be great.

4. A Joystick (for scanners or moving heads), or a usb port to connect one.

I appreciate ANY imput that people have to give.





I would stand buy Source4's ETC Express suggestion.
I suggest the "Emphasis Control System" with the "Express"
They are excellent, logical, and powerful tool. Makes the programming very easy. I have had some bad experiences w/ NSI boards, and programming on an NSI is not specifically easy or logical. Plus they look nice!!!


Active Member
The Express 48/96 should do the trick. It's a hybrid console which means it can run conventional and moving lights. If you are thinking about running moving lights, I would look into a Martin Exciter. A great new console I have been testing it (a.k.a beating the crap out of it to see If I can break it) and it is a great small moving light console that can support 48 moving lights.


I personally recommend the ETC Express line of boards. It gives you the ability to attach a VGA monitor that is VERY useful when cueing as well as during general operation.

I have used this sort of board at one of the "Mega-Churches" here in Vegas in the Junior High Ministries departement for about two years. It's a very solid and reliable system, and the submasters are very helpful when running things on the fly or your service schedule changed last minute. Not only do they allow for faster cueing by allowing easy access to usual fixture groups, but they also allow for common fixture groups to be called up without firing the cue. As I said, very useful if your schedule changes without enough notice to re-cue.

Would the ETC line work intelligent fixures well like a dmx software package would? If not, do the ETC boards have the ability to add other intelligent-lighting software to themselves?



I myself have no experience running intelligent fixtures through ETC boards. In both of our ETC expression workstations we use other equipment to operate our intelligent fixtures.

If your looking for DMX control software, I'd say go with Martin Light Jockey. The software is free, but requires a $500 DMX to USB adapter.



2 words

Horizon System

It is a great program for the computer it requires you to buy the software and the box (Its not cheap though) except it doesnt have any sliders. But you can patch things to where you can click and hit home on the keyboard and it puts all patched instruments at full. umm you could probably find a joystick that is compatible with it somewhere. I believe it is made by Rosco.

Rock Springs Wy.


Well-Known Member
I would definitely recomend any ETC board Express and up. ETC's boards operate on the Linux platform, so they are less likely to crash. We have an Express 48/96 at the Playhouse. Express does not allow a mouse as far as I know, however it has a built in laptop style mouse. I dont remember if it is for intelligent light control, but I think it is. If so I'm sure it allows macros to be applied that will correctly align multiple fixtures to be controlled simultaneously. I have no experience with the others, other than Acclaim which is basically featureless and wouldn't suit your application.

Users who are viewing this thread