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Ray From Bermuda

Discussion in 'New Member Board' started by OnTheRock, Dec 21, 2007.

  1. OnTheRock

    OnTheRock Member

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    Hi there,

    I'm living and working bermdua. At the beginning of this year, I joined up with Bermuda Musical and Drama Society, www.bmds.bm, to see if I could help out with lights. Something I've never done before. But what the heck.

    After helping out with a number of shows to start, I 'firsted' and 'soloed' on Moliere's Sisterhood.

    My thoughts on the whole adventure:
    http://www.oneunified.net/blog/Personal/Lighting/index.blog

    My second show, which was a blast, was '24 hours to curtain', where starting at 6 pm on Friday, six writers come in, write a ten minute play and have it ready for 8am saturday morning. The actors and directors come in then learn their lines, sound and lights come in read the scripts and put together some edits. The six plays get done at 8pm Saturday night. I was totally amazed at the actors being able to pull that off, off book. Out of about 20 actors and actresses, only one was out of his element.

    The last show of this year I was co-LD on was a Jack and the Beanstalk Panto. A Panto is popular in the UK, but I'm not sure the US and CDN in this group will be too familiar with it. Any way, I wasn't too happy on the production on this one, as there was no 'dark' time to really do anything with lights. The script was last minute, stage settings were last minute, and costumes were last minute. I'm promised next year will be much better.

    One question to start. I've been thinking of acquiring some moving lights and use them to make a light show done to music. After that, I'd like to use them in the theatre (where the players aren't miked or anything). How loud are modern moving heads (movement and fan wise)? Are they suitable for their adjustability, lighting, and gobo effects in small environment?

    Ray.
     
  2. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    That multi play program sounds great, concept to opening night in 24 hours is unimaginable for most playwrights.
    If you want quiet moving lights of good expect to be spending about $1,500 US per at the very least.
     
  3. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Welcome to the Booth! Sounds like you are having a lot of fun. I would love to see some Panto. I'm a big fan of Commedia... it's ancient ancestor and it would be fun to see what the Brits have done with it over the years. But alas in the U.S. Pantomime has been reduced to only silent mime work. Which don't get me wrong is fabulous in the hands of a master. I got to see "Fool Moon" with Bill Irwin and David Shiner a few years back. It was AMAZING!

    As for your question. There are really only two moving light products that were really designed for theater application. The ETC Revolution and the Vari Lite VL1000. Use the search function there have been lots of discussions of them here. Most folks are VL1000 fans the big factor is that they have CMY vs. a gel scroller in the Revolution. But I think you can get revolutions for around $2500 vs. $5000 on the VL. Like I said there have been several really good threads comparing the two so do some reading first then feel free to post a follow up question in one of the old threads, a new one, or here.

    Other options:
    If you want to just have some color changing ability and the movement isn't that big of a deal. Consider some Ocean Optics Seachangers or gel scrollers for your existing gear. To add just movement consider Apollo Right Arm or Rosco I-cue. If you've got $10,000 each to blow and you want top of the line, take a look at the Martin Mac700 it's a very powerful yet quiet instrument that sees a lot of theater use.
     
  4. phil000

    phil000 Active Member

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    First off, welcome to controlbooth.

    I support the idea of adding color changing ability vs. a full blown mover. However, Seachangers are not exactly cheap either, mind you they can get a lot of great colors...but not cheap.

    The ETC revolution is slow. It's just, bad.

    We used 2 High End studio spot 250s for our production of Hair in our 500 seat auditorium, and were able to do some really cool stuff with them. The noise was not an issue for our production, but then again, Hair isn't exactly a quiet show. However we also used the 250 wash fixture with unmic'ed actors for peterpan, and that worked rather well out in an out door space, which was much smaller.

    If I recall, they are also real friendly with DMX, 3 or 5 pin.

    They disassemble real easily, and after maybe 5 minutes with a really smart guy looking over my shoulder, I felt comfortable working with them, it's all on wheels, that can be removed with a star driver...we had to replace one or two motors all summer, in a humid outdoor summer environment.

    Mind you, they are halide, so they will slice through your normal incandescents but they're pretty nice as opposed to using meteor mirrors (not DMX friendly, and a general PAIN to make work).

    Phil

    You wouldn't happen to know any of the boys from AA sound wouldya?
     
  5. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    Welcome aboard! There's been probably over a dozen discussions about moving heads recently, with many coming out on the market from different companies, people asking about different brands, and about what lights are the best for different wattages and types. Do some searching, it'll save you alot of time.
     
  6. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    Welcome aboard, glad to have you. Ask questions, answer when you can, and I am sure you'll enjoy it here.

    I will take the other side of Revolution vs. VL argument. Granted, I would love to have VLs mostly for the CMY functionality, but I have Revs. They are really not bad units, and for the cost it is hard to beat. They are slow and heavy, but they get the job done and they look almost exactly the same (beam-wise) as a source four zoom. The modular features are nice since you can only get the VL in shutters OR iris, but you can't have both. You also buy into ETCs renowned customer service. VL has a pretty big name though. Ultimately on either side you could be happy.

    On the other hand there are plenty of choices in moving lights these days, so it helps to know the application and what your space is like.
     
  7. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Welcome aboard!
    Sounds like you're going to enjoy it here. There are a ton of folks with the knowledge you seek. It also sound like you're involved in a very cool group down there, I can't wait to check out the links. Welcome, Ask what you want answer what you can.
     
  8. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    ETC actually touts the scroller of the SourceFour Revolution™ as one of its benefits, as the gel will match exactly the rest of the conventionals. I don't know how many shows actually use a custom scroll for each production, but I doubt that is that common, except in an open-run productions.

    I'm surprised someone hasn't mentioned a color mixing scroller, such as Wybron CXI, Morpheus ColorFader, or ChromaQ Cascade. More cost effective than a SeaChanger, in my opinion.
     
  9. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Hey I mentioned scrollers... barely. Hey Ray a critical point to consider is if you want them to be tungsten lamps or not. If you want tungsten then you are limited to the Rev, VL1000, and Mac T1W (wash),... and I think Robe has a wash unit... thats about it. If you go with just about anything else it's going to be a totally different color temperature. Granted there is almost always a CTO filter option that will correct it, but it's going to be harder to get it to really match up with the rest of your gear.

    Most people I've talked to how complain about the Rev's are trying to use them for music. If your goal is a moving light for theater and not concert purposes then you will probably be happy (like Icewolf above). They are freakin huge and they are designed as a tool for theater, not concerts so they move a little slow compared to concert gear. Silarly somepeople complain about Seachangers taking too long to change colors. Again, it's a theater device not a convert device.
     
  10. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    I thought I'd heard it somewhere.:) But there's not been much discussion on CB re: color mixing scrollers.

    Don't forget the VL500 80V Wash, possibly the best tungsten wash light available. I haven't seen the Martin MAC TW1™.
     
  11. OnTheRock

    OnTheRock Member

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    Many have been talking about the scrollers. All well and nice, but I currently have a fixation on heads with CMY capability. Something with gobos is a bonus. I've had experience with ColorCommands where I can dial in any color I like. Now that I've been spoiled that way, I see the benefit of dialling in a color based upon someone's costume or a set backdrop without running around matching gels and such.

    We have a 126 seat theatre, which is generally sold out for any of our shows, which run 8 to 10 days. As mentioned before, productions are unmic'd. So fan noise is a consideration. If movement noise is too much, then the moving lights would be static till scene changes. The ColorCommands are noticeably noisy when rapidly changing colors, but are good for slow transitions.

    I've seen some Elation Design Spot 575E's, which are decked out with CMY, rotating gobos, zoom, focus, etc. Anyone play with those? I'm kind of drooling over them. I'm going to have to supplement with static fixtures like PAR and Source Fours, but a couple 575E's might add some pizzaz.
     
  12. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    The Elation fixtures are nice, I own two of the Elation Design Spot 575E's big brothers, the PowerSpot 700 CMY. They work very well, and I have a fairly extensive review on here somewhere. The nice thing about the Elation fixtures is that you can adjust the fan speed (I would imagine you can do this on other fixtures as well). It has a setting where it will stay in low, but kick up only as needed.

    I wanted to also mention that I heard a rumor that Apollo is working on a color mixing scroller. I bet Kelite can substantiate that if it is true.
     
  13. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    These are probably your cheapest option that's worth it in terms of CMY heads with nice featuresets. Elation gear is becoming better and better with each new product, so you may want to wait and see what this year's fixture line has to bring (there's a thread on the new fixtures around here somewhere).
     
  14. OnTheRock

    OnTheRock Member

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    Can anyone, who owns and elation 575e, make any comment as to their fan sounds and movement sounds?

    Also, in another thread, I did read about Seachangers for the Source Fours. That sounds like an interesting thing, as we do have Source Fours in various beam widths. I'll have to give up on the movement, but at least I get the color dialability, which I think people would appreciate for a light show.
     
  15. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    You don't have to give up movement, get a Rosco I-Cue or Apollo Right Arm with it to have it move.
     
    OnTheRock likes this.
  16. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Yeah the Seachanger/gel scroller with an I-cue/Right Arm is a great way to start into the intelligent gear world using your existing equipment. The negative is that it's not as fast at moving or changing colors as a pro light is... so again. It's a good option for theater and musical theater but if you want to do concert lighting where the lights snap to different colors and dance around, you'll probably be disappointed.

    Elation used to be a low end discount product (like American DJ and Chauvet). They have been working really hard to improve their reputation in the industry. A couple years ago they hired one of the top guys from a another lighting company. They are trying to establish themselves as a lower priced alternative that isn't junk and have been very successful at it. As he said, Icewolf has a couple of their Powerspot 700's and he's been quite happy with them. Do a little searching for his reviews. (Bill if you are reading this can you get us a M.A.P. price on the 575 and 700?)

    Another serious issue to consider before stepping up into the intelligent world is that status of your control console. Can it realistically handle the gear you want to buy?
     
  17. OnTheRock

    OnTheRock Member

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    The theatre had a Strand board of some sort. Around the time I started, but was a relatively noob, they went and got an ETC Express 72. The regular folks like that. I arrived a little late on the scene to direct them into something different.

    Me, always being different, and after some research, downloaded LightFactory, purchased a 1 Universe license, picked up a two Enttec USB/DMX Pro converters, and an Enttec Playback wing. I've set up and run three shows with that config. With each show I introduce myself to more and more functionality. I see in it good setups and effects for moving lights.

    After running a few shows off my own laptop, they went ahead a purchased a dedicated laptop for LightFactory. Lightfactory has a telnet interface, and a supplied program for a Pocket PC. Sitting up in the lighting grid and remotely controlling the fixtures wirelessly when all I had was me, myself, and I, was a true performance enhancer. A recent pocket pc version supposdedly has a dedicated screen for cue GO and BACK, so I can step a show from various locations in the house for test purposes.

    That is the long way of saying, yes, I think my gear can handle the moving lights and other toys.
     
  18. OnTheRock

    OnTheRock Member

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    Well, if the 'old folks' want a remote, they can get one. When I do a show, I haul the Express to the back closet, put my laptop down, and poof, suddenly all sorts of desk space becomes available! And way more flexibility. Have you ever tried to delete a cue on an Express? I couldn't. Some sort of magic finger dance: menu, S6, scroll, click, ... whatever, whatever, whatever, no thank you. I like my Windows GUI with a layout window, multiple show runners, moving path makers, and effects editors, and... named cues.
     
  19. OnTheRock

    OnTheRock Member

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    You could always propose a gig for the local power plant. They should have a few extra megawatts on tap for your own local Wizards of Winter exposition!
     
  20. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    OnTheRock, check out this thread. (Dang, that's not exactly the thread I thought it was. Anyone want to post the link to the thread I'm thinking of?) Most of us were against using a PC as a LightBoard, for various reasons, but if it works for you, great. The toys are only tools, it's the light onstage that matters.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2007

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