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Control/Dimming Newbie on Board

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by bestboy, Jun 26, 2009.

  1. bestboy

    bestboy Member

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    I am heading into my senior year at my high school and my TD said its time to get someone to train so they can rock the board when im out of here.

    my "newb" is new to the lighting career as she has worked on sound before and took it up amazingly. i finally convinced her that lighting is cooler, so shes coming over. being as she has no idea about anything on lights i have to work with her a whole lot to get her up to par.

    im looking for tips or any advice and just plain out facts and figures so i can just give her the link to this page and she can read up on it. i mean were talking about dimmers, channels, cues, fade times, DMX. etc.... basic lighting elements

    she will be trained on an ETC Ion

    whole bunch of thanks in advance.
  2. mstaylor

    mstaylor Well-Known Member Departed Member

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    I would give her an overview verbally, walking her through the equipment that you have at your school. Walk her through the types of conventionals, what they do and how they are used. Then do a basics of intelligent lighting.
    Here is a link from the ETC site that may help her some.
  3. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Theater Manager & T.D.
    Seattle, Washington
    Have her read Stage Lighting 101... you should probably read it too actually. ;) It's an excellent overview of what you would learn in a college 101 class.

    Other than that:

    -Teach her what the lighting instruments are called.
    -Show her side by side the differences in what they do. -Teach her how to hang, aim, focus, make shutter cuts etc...
    -Teach her what you know about your dimmer system and how you get power to the instruments.
    -THEN start with the light board.

    When training the light board:
    -start with basic keypad syntax and how to turn on a single channel.
    -Move on to recording a submaster
    -next record a small stack of cues
    -Then teach her how to manipulate cues and do things like changing fade times.
    -Teach her about the patch system
    -Don't teach anything on the board about controlling DMX toys yet.

    FINALLY, after all that go set up any dmx gear you have (scrollers, gobo rotators, moving lights etc...). Teach her what it does, how to set it up, how to address it, how to run control lines all that stuff. THEN finally go back to the board and teach her how to run your DMX toys.

    As with your other post, SPECIFIC questions are very helpful for us here. So if you have any specific follow up questions please come back and let us help you.
  4. kevinz

    kevinz Member

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    Give her a copy of the board's instruction manual, reading it is quite annoying, but you learn everything that the board is capable of.
  5. JD

    JD Well-Known Member

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    North Wales PA
    Before getting into the technical aspect of things (which can get very boring), I would talk to her about the artistic side of lighting, the "painting with light" speech. Once the seeds of enthusiasm are planted everything else will become easier.

    I remember (long, long ago) an art student I knew who had no desire or aspirations to get into lighting. When I spoke to her about the artistic aspect, she decided to give it a try and ended up being a fantastic lighting designer.
  6. shiben

    shiben Well-Known Member

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    Lighting Technician (Tour)
    Chicago, IL
    I agree with gafftaper and JD. When I was just starting this a few years back, i got handed a manual for the ETC Congo Jr. I was totally lost, and had no idea what to do. Gaff, good call with starting with focusing and stuff, and then saving the DMX toys until later. Also, the artistic aspect is huge with lighting. A word of encouragement, I got a new job at the beginning of the year that uses an Ion, and the learning curve on it is not too steep.
  7. NickJones

    NickJones Active Member

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    Somewhere far far away, Vic, Aus
    Also in a HS situation, be sure to tell her about all of the things that have gone wrong with your gear in the past, if for example your dimmers have locked up, and you had to fix it, tell her what happened and show her how to fix it. Stuff goes wrong, that's a fact, but if she knows what has gone wrong in the past hopefully she will be able to fix it when you are gone.

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