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Newbie w/ questions already

Discussion in 'New Member Board' started by szachem, Dec 7, 2008.

  1. szachem

    szachem Member

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    Steve Z, from St Pete, FL.

    Newbie, and I've got questions already. I've been tasked with redesigning my church's lights. I haven't touched a light in at least years, and I was never really into the moving/intelligent stuff when I was working. I need some recommendations.

    The good news is, we took a lightning hit a few months back, and insurance funds may give me the leeway to redesign. The bad news is, the light positions are pretty risky, and I haven't worked at height in years. I just don't trust a pew to cushion my fall!

    I've worked a lot with Leprecon and ETC boards, but I think I want to put up at least one moving light. I think I'd like to go cheap--perhaps a used Trakspot, or something in the DJ class of moving lights--anything to keep from having to pull out the extension ladder next time the soloist decides on "improvisational blocking".

    I'm hoping to be able to afford to go the socapax to at least a 12 channel dimmer route. Right now, it's 4 truss-mounted packs, running 1k for 8 channels. We have 6 elipsoidals, 4 500w fresnels and (believe it or not) 2 1k scoops. When I first started on productions, they had both on the same dimmer, and were constantly forgetting not to go to 100% and stick the dimmer.

    I also need to figure out some kind of VERY compact key lighting. There is no back light, so the performers are fading into the background. We only put on 2 Christmas shows (adults and kids performances), so I can't throw a lot of money at this.

    I appreciate any comments. Thanks.
  2. waynehoskins

    waynehoskins Active Member

    Likes Received:
    Arlington, TX
    I think Tracks are a good choice. If I had to get movers, they'd be my first pick (presuming, of course, that Spot 250s and Color 250s were out of the budget). Cybers and I-Beams are old and clunky (and big), but they might be worth a look too.

    For consoles, Strand has some new ones out, their new Palette line, that are pretty popular. ETC have Congo and Ion and Eos. ETC also have Smartfade, which we all agree is incredibly stupid at doing theatre lighting .. but in the most strange twist of fate, I'm actually considering that for my church, because it's actually a decent fit there.

    For dimming, I'm actually leaning to the ETC Smartbar for my church. 6x1.2K in a 7-foot-long raceway (and they have two other variants) that even can double as a hanging position itself, according to what they say. The whole Smart line is actually reasonably inexpensive for what it is, which is surprising.

    For backs, consider 65Qs or S4 PARs.
  3. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    NJ & NYC
    Welcome aboard!

    Would the trackspots be able to compete with the other instruments which have 500W lamps? Seems like this might be the job for an i-cue, especially if you're mainly looking for a maintenance-free movable pool of light.

    If you could get some old Martin 918s those might be a good choice, especially if you could get some of the wide lenses for them.

    If you're looking new, Elation Design Spot 250s or Elation Vision Scan 250s (same thing, just one's a moving head and one's a scanner). Scanners may be the way to go because they have less mass moving around and will probably break down less in the long run.

    The ETC Smartfade is definitely worth looking at. Too many people throw it out because it doesn't have a keypad or a monitor or a fully-functional cue stack like an Express or ION or EOS or what have you, but it's still quite a good board for the price, and it will give you basic (and definitely useable) stack functionality along with a decent set of other functions for a smaller conventional rig at a price that's far more appealing than that of the ION.

    If looking to add some basic movers, consider the Smartfade ML, which can quite easily handle a few movers and even has palettes to set up positions that may change from show to show but are used in most shows. It's also really easy to use moving lights without having to set up a complex marking cuestack - just record a memory to a fader, and put the thing in GO button mode - hit the memory's flash button, the lights mark in the dark, and then bring up the fader handle and it's right where it should be.

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