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NSI Melange vs. sub $500 DJ console

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by Radiant, Oct 11, 2008.

  1. Radiant

    Radiant Active Member

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    Two of my NSI 7536 consoles have been commandeered by the Nightmare production team for the remainder of the month, perhaps longer. In exchange for one of them, they've offered an NSI Melange. Has anybody used one of these? I don't need too much from it, just a few scenes and half a dozen chases. I'd like manual bump buttons for each channel, but I think it only offers scene bumps. Perhaps that would suffice. We're currently using about 24 or 28 dimmer channels, and will add another 6 soon. I haven't read the manual yet, though I located it on NSI/Leviton's website and will go over it on Monday. I'll need to locate a VGA monitor also. The Melange may be overly complex for the people who will operate it.

    The alternative is to find a new or used console by Wednesday, within a budget of $500. I'd really like to find a two-scene preset equivalent to the NSI 7536 or 7524, but the list prices exceed my funds. Solaris doesn't list any smaller consoles of this type. We recently bought an ADJ Scene Setter 16 channel board. I really don't like it - it's weird! I don't anticipate the room will have any moving lights for years to come, so that's not a factor.

    So my question is, should I utilize the Melange or locate a budget two scene preset?
     
  2. BillESC

    BillESC Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    For two scene operation look at NSI's MC 7024. It fits in your budget, offers 24 submasters, bump buttons on every channel and two 23 step user programmable chases.
     
  3. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Not than I'm a fan, mind you, but for almost every application, I'd take the Melange. Haven't you been following the "death of the two-scene preset" threads?
     
  4. BillESC

    BillESC Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Derek,

    I'm an application/budget sort of person. I look at the task, evaluate what level of control is called for and then suggest a product that fits.

    IMHO, all too often, technology is installed into new construction for the sake of technology that far exceeds the need or potential ability of the users to fully understand or correctly operate.

    Case in point: A new local regional High School is nearing completion. The 800 seat auditorium is having an EAW system installed with full DSP. (Please note, I didn't get the contract.) I guarantee, this system while exceptional in its' abilities, far exceeds both the needs and the abilities of those who will operate it. No doubt, we will be called in to 'fix' the system countless times once the kids start playing with it.

    A Broadway system is beyond the abilities of high school students, they'd be far better served learning the basics on a basic system.
     
  5. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    Easy solution, lock out the DSP.
     
  6. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Bill,
    I was answering [user]Radiant[/user]'s question: "should I utilize the Melange or locate a budget two scene preset?" Not sure what you were doing with the quotes below.
    As for application: I (and I suspect others) find a memory console easier to use than just about any budget two-scene preset, particularly the ones where you "hold this, press that" to program. Telling a teacher or untrained volunteer: "Turn on the board and raise handle #1 to full for worklights" is the same on either console.
    As for budget: it's a non-issue as the lighting supplier appears to be offering the Melange in temporary exchange of his NSI 7536, for free. I think Radiant is getting the better end of the bargain.

    One of the best quotes from David Lincecum's article, attributed to an anonymous Broadway Lighting Designer, (paraphrasing, cannot find the actual quote right now) "Teaching students on a two-scene preset encourages bad lighting."


    Agreed. However, I don't think what you're saying is applicable in this particular instance. I know you don't mean to insinuate that [user]Radiant[/user], a church volunteer, is too stupid to learn a Melange?

    Again, please don't tell me you're equating a Melange to a "Broadway system"?
     
  7. Sony

    Sony Active Member

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    I used the Melange on many shows in High School and it was a good board. It's similar to the ETC Express series from what I remember. I'd take the Melange
     
  8. Radiant

    Radiant Active Member

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    Thanks for your help thus far. I neglected to detail a few things. For the most part, I program, patch, install, service, and generally oversee all our lighting systems on campus, and train most of the operators. At service time, various people will operate a board, some of whom I've trained, others just want to turn some lights on. If we go with the Melange, I'm sure I'll figure out how to patch and program it, and will enjoy the learning process. But, I want it very simple for the board ops to intuitively grab a control and make an adjustment. Really I only need a half dozen scenes, an equal number of chases, and bump buttons per channel would be nice. A theatrical stack will be ignored, perhaps even covered with e-tape. I'd begun teaching a couple of the board ops to program their 7536s before they were absconded, so I'm leaning towards the 7024 for the sake of continuity.

    Perhaps another question is in order: "If a person knew absolutely nothing about lights, which console would instinctively make more sense to operate [programming/patching excluded]: a two-scene preset or the Melange?"
     
  9. Ghostman21

    Ghostman21 Member

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    I'm going to have to disagree with you here. I worked for a high school that had a newish, less than 10 year old 800 seat theatre. It had a mono horn cluster PA and a 24 channel soundcraft mixer along with some other stuff. In theory that would have been just fine. But within 10 years they were renting $10k worth of PA twice a year in order to do their musical productions. They were hiring in professional lighting and sound designers from the local area. So they were spending close to $20k per year in order to fill their sound needs. After much arm twisting I talked them into a $100k sound system refit which included Soundweb DSP, Vertec Center, JBL left and right speakers and a digital snake. I didn't end up getting the Yamaha M7CL I wanted in the package but the department is putting away close to 7 grand a year and should be able to get something like it in a year or two. Sure all of that is beyond the ability of a high school student. But they had a full time TD and professionals coming in to use the stuff. And for cost reasons it made sense. There's no way to tell which direction a school program is going to grow but in most cases you can count of expansion so get a little more than they can handle in the long run and you won't be disappointed. (EAW price my be overkill but the technology isn't.)

    I also agree with the other poster. The beauty of DSP is that you can lock people out of it and unlike analogue systems people can't just bypass the way the system is setup. (For better or worse!) But if you get a pro in who wants to use a different setup and knows what he/she is doing you can let them in. They can reroute and process to their hearts content and when they're done you simply reload your old setup. Any new multi-million dollar High School theatre that isn't going the DSP route should fire their audio consultant IMHO.

    Sorry for the threadjack!
     

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