Strand MX + Scrollers

soundlight

Well-Known Member
BUT: After reading up some more and messing with the OLE, I find that there is always a bargraph indication of the level in the little LCD window. Experiment with just moving faders in the standard "normal mode" window of the LCD. It reads the levels of the channels in bargraph form.
 

DHSLXOP

Active Member
BUT: After reading up some more and messing with the OLE, I find that there is always a bargraph indication of the level in the little LCD window. Experiment with just moving faders in the standard "normal mode" window of the LCD. It reads the levels of the channels in bargraph form.

Does that bargraph come with the actual board or does it only show on the OLE?
 

soundlight

Well-Known Member
From what I read in the manual, it's how the board works. If you close the "Light Output Display" and use just the OLE without it, you are basically using the console. Same functionality, it's just a million times easier to work with your fingers than your mouse. I'd go ahead and have them demo it for you. If they know that you have the cash to make the purchase, they'll probably send a rep out with the board. They have a link for demo'ing the smartfade on the product page from ETC. Check it out. That way you could actually check out the console in person before buying it.

EDIT: Here's the Demo Link:
http://etcconnect.com/product.requestdemo.asp?ID=20014
 

soundlight

Well-Known Member
OK: Horizon Software: Good stuff, from what I've heard. But I would NEVER take a PC software console over a hardware console for conventional. For movers, I'd take Hog PC. But never for conventional. It's a matter of stability, IMO. You have to think about how often PC's crash or mess up. Consider that.

I really have to thank someone for making me look in to the SmartFade, I really like it after playing with it. It's extraordinarily easy to use, and priced lower than it's NSI and Leprecon counterparts.
 

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I would do the horizon with a wing way before going with the smartfade. The smartfade is a jazzed up two scene, and there is really no point to running without a monitor anymore, especially with any type of scroller or any other light with an attribute of any type. PM Van on this board (or he will be around). He has alot of experience with the horizon system. If all you have on the PC is the horizon system, and you don't have it hooked up to the net, it should run for a very long time without any issue. That being said, don't buy a POS computer.
 

DHSLXOP

Active Member
OK: Horizon Software: Good stuff, from what I've heard. But I would NEVER take a PC software console over a hardware console for conventional. For movers, I'd take Hog PC. But never for conventional. It's a matter of stability, IMO. You have to think about how often PC's crash or mess up. Consider that.
I really have to thank someone for making me look in to the SmartFade, I really like it after playing with it. It's extraordinarily easy to use, and priced lower than it's NSI and Leprecon counterparts.


That makes sense, and I think you're right about the crashing thing--i didn't think about that. I think that the SmartFade will probably work best for us right now.

So if I used this, I would need a splitter to use both my existing dmx line to the conventionals and another dmx line to new scrollers or Led's, correct?
 

DHSLXOP

Active Member
I would do the horizon with a wing way before going with the smartfade. The smartfade is a jazzed up two scene, and there is really no point to running without a monitor anymore, especially with any type of scroller or any other light with an attribute of any type. PM Van on this board (or he will be around). He has alot of experience with the horizon system. If all you have on the PC is the horizon system, and you don't have it hooked up to the net, it should run for a very long time without any issue. That being said, don't buy a POS computer.


We have a PC available, so that wouldn't be an issue. On this site do you know if the basic edition would include everything that I needed to use (both the software and the usb to dmx device) or would it just come with the software?
 

soundlight

Well-Known Member
As said, if you're going to go horizon, don't hook it up to the web, and don't use the computer for anything else. The basic package has the software and interface that you would need, but you would need to get the submaster wing to have any physical fader control.
 

DHSLXOP

Active Member
As said, if you're going to go horizon, don't hook it up to the web, and don't use the computer for anything else. The basic package has the software and interface that you would need, but you would need to get the submaster wing to have any physical fader control.


Ok thank you. Now back, kind of, to my original questions:

1) What would be better--scrollers with par cans or Led Pars?
2) Do I need a splitter and what type if necessary?

Thanks everyone
 

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Ok thank you. Now back, kind of, to my original questions:
1) What would be better--scrollers with par cans or Led Pars?
2) Do I need a splitter and what type if necessary?
Thanks everyone

I prefer the scroller route, but to each his own. I believe the a par64 with a 1k lamp in it is brighter then anything most comparably priced LED's will run.

You will need an opto splitter if you do not have a DMX through on your dimmers or if it does not have a through your console only has one output (which I believe the MX does not have). Any DMX opto isolator splitter will work, the DF one you post will work great, though you can get them cheaper if you look around a bit.
 
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DHSLXOP

Active Member
I prefer the scroller route, but to each his own. I believe the a par64 with a 1k lamp in it is brighter then anything most comparably priced LED's will run.
You will need an opto splitter if you do not have a DMX through on your dimmers or if it does not have a through your console only has one output (which I believe the MX does not have). Any DMX opto isolator splitter will work, the DF one you post will work great, though you can get them cheaper if you look around a bit.

I know for certain the MX does not have a through or a second output but I need to check the dimmers next time I'm in the theater. Do you know of any other companies that make an opto splitter and know how easy it is to use one?
 

Pie4Weebl

Well-Known Member
Fight Leukemia
several companies make them and they are insanely easy to use, just plug the line from your board into the in and in the outs one line to the dimmers and one to the chain of scrollers/led pars. But if you have a dmx through on your dimmer rack (as just about all do) that rout would be free which is even better.

As for the par/vs led, since the space is significantly smaller I think leds would be a better bet, mainly because the lack of noise involved which would be very noticeable with the scrollers.
 

DHSLXOP

Active Member
several companies make them and they are insanely easy to use, just plug the line from your board into the in and in the outs one line to the dimmers and one to the chain of scrollers/led pars. But if you have a dmx through on your dimmer rack (as just about all do) that rout would be free which is even better.
As for the par/vs led, since the space is significantly smaller I think leds would be a better bet, mainly because the lack of noise involved which would be very noticeable with the scrollers.


Lack of noise is definitely something I looking for, since my theater is very small, so thanks for bringing that up. I do, however, want to be able to do cool, warm, and neutral washes (which I've really never been able to do before) Would it be best if I did that using Leds or pars with gels? (and if pars with gels, what color would be best...also how would they have to be focused?)
 

soundlight

Well-Known Member
Nothing can beat scrollers or straight gels for amber and "warm white," but the scrollers are going to make an intolerable amount of noise in your small space. I am at a loss. Another option that has not been suggested yet is this: Get enough par cans to create a RAB (Red Amber Blue) was across the stage (3 cans per area), so that you can use amber, blue, red, or any shade of those colors mixed together. I'm thinking that you really won't be pulling out solid green much, and a RAB mix makes much more theatrical colors. So, if you have 4 lighting areas across the stage, you get 12 par cans, 3 for each area. But this again brings up the issue of 3 control channels of colors which your system does not support.

So basically, LED pars will get you all colors except a warm amber and a warm white, both of which are pretty critical to theater. If you've ever used RGB cyc lights you know what I mean, and you know what kinds of colors you can make.
 

DHSLXOP

Active Member
Nothing can beat scrollers or straight gels for amber and "warm white," but the scrollers are going to make an intolerable amount of noise in your small space. I am at a loss. Another option that has not been suggested yet is this: Get enough par cans to create a RAB (Red Amber Blue) was across the stage (3 cans per area), so that you can use amber, blue, red, or any shade of those colors mixed together. I'm thinking that you really won't be pulling out solid green much, and a RAB mix makes much more theatrical colors. So, if you have 4 lighting areas across the stage, you get 12 par cans, 3 for each area. But this again brings up the issue of 3 control channels of colors which your system does not support.
So basically, LED pars will get you all colors except a warm amber and a warm white, both of which are pretty critical to theater. If you've ever used RGB cyc lights you know what I mean, and you know what kinds of colors you can make.

So there really is no other good option for lighting unless I were to get a bigger control board that supports more channels?
 
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soundlight

Well-Known Member
Well, if you have two lights in the rest of your rig that are never turned on separately, you can patch those two together. On the Strand MX in our blackbox (it's the actor's console for when they're doing theater projects, our actual show console is an express 250 up in the booth), we have up to 3 fixtures/3 dimmer channels patched to one fader. This way you could free up some faders.
 

SHARYNF

Well-Known Member
Nothing can beat scrollers or straight gels for amber and "warm white," but the scrollers are going to make an intolerable amount of noise in your small space. I am at a loss. Another option that has not been suggested yet is this: Get enough par cans to create a RAB (Red Amber Blue) was across the stage (3 cans per area), so that you can use amber, blue, red, or any shade of those colors mixed together. I'm thinking that you really won't be pulling out solid green much, and a RAB mix makes much more theatrical colors. So, if you have 4 lighting areas across the stage, you get 12 par cans, 3 for each area. But this again brings up the issue of 3 control channels of colors which your system does not support.
So basically, LED pars will get you all colors except a warm amber and a warm white, both of which are pretty critical to theater. If you've ever used RGB cyc lights you know what I mean, and you know what kinds of colors you can make.

What is typically done in this case is to gel the led lights, there are some all white led's with gel frame holders and you just but bastard amber gel in it

As always every solution is a compromised
Sharyn
 

DHSLXOP

Active Member
Well, if you have two lights in the rest of your rig that are never turned on separately, you can patch those two together. On the Strand MX in our blackbox (it's the actor's console for when they're doing theater projects, our actual show console is an express 250 up in the booth), we have up to 3 fixtures/3 dimmer channels patched to one fader. This way you could free up some faders.


So based on what you said both here and above with the RAB mix, I could theoretically patch all of the Reds together on one, patch all of the ambers together on another, and all of the blues on a third correct? And by doing that I could only have to use three channels?
 

soundlight

Well-Known Member
Response to the patching: Yes, you could patch all of the reds to one fader, all of the blues to one fader, and all of the ambers to one fader.

Response to the gelling LED's question: since the RGB LED pars and the white LED pars are the same price, you could get the ones with gel holders, and have 5 RGB LED pars with bastard amber gels and 5 RGB LED pars without. This would basically make all of the colors in one can warmer, so that you could have a warm and a cool can in each of 4 or 5 areas across the stage. That'd be a really good idea, IMO.
 

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