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Control/Dimming SmartSoft v2.0 released!

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by lieperjp, Dec 12, 2008.

  1. lieperjp

    lieperjp Well-Known Member

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    SmartSoft. Is. Amazing. At least, that's my first impression.

    The only problem I have had with it is that the first three times I downloaded the software it gave me SmartSoft v1.7.6, which is only compatible with Smartfade ML, which I don't have. Finally I was able to get SmartSoft 2.0.0.6, which is finally working with my SmartFade 2496.

    However, I am in the midst of programming for our Christmas Choral Concert, using SmartSoft is very nice. The visual display is nice and cues are much easier to go through. The visualizer is also helpful as I am programming a Right Arm for the first time as well.

    Overall, it's pretty intuitive. I'll have to try some of the more advanced features later.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2008
  2. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    I believe others at Electronic Theatre Controls - Community Forums have had similar issues. Perhaps now that it has been officially released, it will be an easier install for others. [But then again, www.etcconnect.com/smartsoft is currently returning a 404-error for me.]
    edit: But it's on this page: Lighting solutions for Theatre, Film & Television Studios and Architectural spaces : ETC. A sad caveat, from the release notes: "SmartSoft is available for Mac OS X 10.3.9 and later systems in an offline-only version.":(

    When you have time, tell us more about your experiences. Do you think a SmartFade with SmartSoft can actually be a suitable replacement for an Express?
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2008
  3. sclausenETC

    sclausenETC Active Member

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    Whoa there - SmartSoft v2.0.0 is fully compatible with Mac and PC for online connection to both SmartFade style and SmartFade ML consoles. Derek - is that incompatibility statement in the v2.0.0 release note or in some other document? Can you send it to me?

    There is one incompatibility for PCs and that is with Windows Vista X64 systems for live connection of the console. The USB driver works with 32-bit XP/Vista machines only.

    I'm glad to hear you like SmartSoft. We were in the process of getting all the files uploaded yesterday so that may have been the problem there. Officially we released the software today.

    Thanks!

    Sarah

    Sarah Clausen
    Controls Product Manager
    ETC, Inc.
     
  4. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Sarah, email sent.

    Top of page 3 of this document: SmartSoft_v2.0.0_RelNote_revB.pdf. I guess we now need release notes for the release notes.;)
     
  5. lieperjp

    lieperjp Well-Known Member

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    OK, a more full review:

    SmartSoft made programming a cue stack very easy. It took me a bit longer than it should have, as I have never programmed a cue stack on the SmartFade before. However, 15 minutes with the instruction manuals from the SmartFade and SmartSoft had me up and running.

    For some reason, though, a few cues did not transfer properly from the computer to the board - the cue sequence (most specifically the fade time) worked with the computer connected, but without the computer connected the sequence did not work as programmed. I ended up having to disconnect the computer, deleting the steps in the board, and creating new ones. That solved the problem.

    I think one thing needs to happen before it is ready for theatre use: Number Pad control!!! Even with SmartSoft, there is no keypad control. I believe that would make the Smartfade theatre ready. It's also kind of a pain to have to get a computer and the board ready, as it's not just a switch on a light board.

    Would I use it for theatre? Maybe. That remains to be seen. It's great that I can now program offline on my computer and just load it to the board. With my Leviton board I can't do that as I have no floppy drive. That alone may make me want to use the SmartFade for theatrical shows.

    It would be interesting to hear from someone who has a SmartFade ML.
     
  6. Jeroen

    Jeroen Member

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    We have a Smartfade 2496 and were beta testing the v2.0 Smartsoft, recently installed the new release of smartsoft.

    It is still amazing, it realy makes programming a cue stack a lot easier and fun instead of stress. Without the Smartsoft it was no fun but stress with a director next to you. Now you can easily identify steps, change cue times, move steps, delete steps, insert steps,... and the look and feel of Smartsoft shows that it's a little brother of the powerful ETC consoles.

    Realy nice software, certainly still with some flaws and things that need improvement... but hey, it's only the second version, and the first to incorporate support for all smartfade consoles. I hope that the people of ETC will put effort in canceling out the minor flaws in Smartsoft, making the Smartfade consoles trustworthy reliable consoles with a lot of possibilities. Software with flaws makes me loose confidence in a console and that's no good.

    The Smartfade ML is very powerful, if you look at its footprint in your booth and your wallet it offers a lot of quality for money.

    I used an ML a few weeks ago, for a performance with musicians and dancers, controlling three Varilite 3500Q 's a bunch of ETC source fours, and a bunch of par's. And the ML certainly has a lot of power. It is easy to use, quick to set up, and has a rich set of functions normaly only seen on more expensive desks.
    For example patching moving lights is child play, choose quantity, make and model and up you go.


    However, the ML has the same minor points as the regular Smartfade, the external power supply is of poor quality (get a replacement in your electro shop for the case the original fails on a saturday evening) and Smartsoft is only as strong as it keeps getting updates.

    Still, the ML with Smartsoft is more powerfull with moving lights than some $10k or more consoles on the market.
     
  7. phil000

    phil000 Active Member

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    Sadly it requires mac 10.5 to launch the setup...and I've got the 10.4.11

    ...le sigh...
     

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