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Newbie Requesting Help

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by talbottsw, Mar 13, 2006.

  1. talbottsw

    talbottsw Member

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    I am new to this online community and have a few questions I was hoping some of you could help me answer. I DJ at a local nightclub on the weekends and the owners of the club have asked me for help with their lighting system. I have always controlled the lights with a controller but always using what was pre-programmed. I have since learned that these lights are capable of so much more than we currently use them for.

    Some of the equipment we have:
    - Elation Show Designer
    - 4 Elation Joy 150's

    1. Are there any good Instructional / Learning DVDs for DMX / Intelligent Lighting overall as well as programming the lights and using the control board?

    2. Are there any websites that give a good overview and instructions that would help me accomplish this task? I've been lost searching for stuff on the web and haven't really found anything more helpful than this website, however, I'd like to get the information in one place versus going through message boards ;)

    I downloaded the manuals for the 4 lighting fixtures as well as the controller and played around with everything for hours over the weekend. I must admit, the lights are worse now than they were before I started. Elation's manuals are not very informative. I suppose that's because they expect a designer/programmer to do that part of it.

    3. I've always been interested in theatrical lighting, programming and lighting design. How can I find out if there are any local area schools I could enroll in that offer courses specific to these topics? I am in Nashville, Tennessee. I have a wonderful opportunity to learn in a real life environment, being associated to this nightclub and since this has always been a passion of mine, I want to take advantage of it.

    4. I am waiting on a serial null modem cable to arrive so that I can hook my notebook into the control board to update the software. I have no memory files to upload so I guess I'll be starting from scratch. I have been looking around at software that I could use and I quickly found out that I can't control the lights with software and a usb to serial cable since the control board has a serial type port on it. Instead, I need a DMX to USB converter, right? I found one on ebay made by ENTTEC - will this meet my needs? Also, what software would you suggest for a nightclub environment?

    Thank you all for your help! Please give me any suggestions, comments, advise or guidance you have to offer. I am eternally grateful!

  2. len

    len Well-Known Member

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    Not that I've found. You should go to the ADJ website and register in the Compuware forum. The moderators seem fairly knowledgeable about their product.

    The closest I know of is Full Sail in Florida. I guess googling will help.

    I don't know if the Entec dongle will work with compuware. If you ask the mfgs. they will typically tell you that only their dongle works with their software. That makes sense since the software is free and they have to make money for development somewhere. So they charge you to buy the hardware. It may work, but there's no guarantees. And they may not take it back if its incompatible because incompatibility is not considered a defect.

    I know you didn't ask but I'll tell you anyway. Compuware is not the only software on the block. There's a lot of others, and IMO better ones. Some cheaper, some more expensive. Price doesn't necessarily guage quality, either. IMO, the best in terms of support is Martin LightJockey. More expensive than Compuware, but light years (no pun intended) ahead in quality, usability, etc. I've heard people have issues with Compuware crashing. LJ doesn't. I've run it for over 6 years with no incidents. And every day somebody new comes out with another open source software package and cheap dongle. Ask yourself the likelihood of them being around in 2 years when you need support, or a new fixture profile, etc.
  3. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Lots of books on the market that cover all questions. Why is it nobody asks for what books are best these days? Is it some form of fast gratification or speedy expectation of knowledge type of thing?
  4. Radman

    Radman Well-Known Member

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    Franklin, TN
    I suspect nowadays everyone has too much ADHD and whatnot to sit down and read a book.
  5. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    NJ & NYC
    Everyone else calls it ADHD. I call it accumulative laziness. Over time, people have gotten lazier. In the world of internet these days, many people think of it as unheard of to read a good book on whatever subject you're interested in. Personally, I think that books can do wonders for one's intelligence.

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