Control/Dimming Small concert series controller

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by CCPA, Mar 10, 2018.

  1. CCPA

    CCPA Member

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    We are a small community concert provider in Montana and acquired some moving lights with expanding to more later, (2 now more later) and am trying to find a affordable controller (new or used) that would fit the bill for both moving and non-moving dmx fixtures. Some of the ones I have looked at are, ( computer) freestyler seemes to be a viable solution and for a board, am looking at the hog 1000 or so series of controllers because of the availability of training, etc. So, would really appreciate the info on recommendations. We are small group and am trying to get things going in the right path for upgrades and have the capabilities that would keep the audience ( school age up to gray hairs) entertained. thanks
     
  2. Amiers

    Amiers Renting to Corporate One Fixture at a Time.

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    Budget?
    Age of Volunteers?
    Current Controller?
     
    RonHebbard likes this.
  3. CCPA

    CCPA Member

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    budget, hopefully under a grand, age, I'm 68 and do the sound and lights, trying to recruit where the labor pool is shallow is challenging, controller now, sushi for the pucks and strips we have, tried it on out 2 moving lights and need something differnet for that
     
  4. Amiers

    Amiers Renting to Corporate One Fixture at a Time.

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    RonHebbard likes this.
  5. Jeff Lelko

    Jeff Lelko Active Member

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    So just a few thoughts...

    I'd strongly advise against a Hog 1000. Those boards are ancient and the market's current offerings can run rings around one. Don't let the attractive prices fool you - you get what you pay for. I personally don't buy used consoles. I'll buy plenty of other things used, but not that. They're just too critical and (usually) too expensive to deal with if things start going south. For what it's worth ETC's Smartfade Series is also discontinued, but only recently. Honestly, there aren't too many hardware consoles worth owning that are under $1000. I think you'd be much better served with a software or software + wing option, but if you must have hardware (which is understandable), I wouldn't consider anything less than maybe something from the ETC ColorSource Series or maybe an offering by Jands or Pathway. They're very approachable and tend to do well in a volunteer environment. Otherwise, you don't start getting into "real" consoles until you grow your budget to the 4-7000 range, give or take, and that's still considered cheap.

    Going the software route, Freestyler is okay. I never really cared for it but there's a loyal fanbase out there. Chamsys's MagicQ PC and Martin's M-PC are two of the more popular software platforms on the market right now. I was a MagicQ PC user for nearly a decade before buying an ETC desk. Both software programs can be up and running for about $100 so long as you have an existing computer to use with your DMX interface. Additionally, you can buy hardware "wings" that give you hands-on control of select features. For less than half your budget you can get an M-Touch to go with M-PC. It's probably the best you're going to do for under $1000 and still give you plenty of room to grow. Both software products let you download a free demo, so give both a try and see if it's something you like. Good luck!
     
    RonHebbard likes this.
  6. robmerow

    robmerow Active Member

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    How about a cheap Windows 10 tablet and Martin M-touch?
     
  7. Chris Pflieger

    Chris Pflieger Well-Known Member

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    Kyla Werrett and Amiers like this.
  8. Amiers

    Amiers Renting to Corporate One Fixture at a Time.

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    I love the M1 for little one off busk shows. I’ve used it a handful of times. Although it did take me half a day to power through the videos cause of the accent lol.
     
    Kyla Werrett likes this.
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