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Upgrading to a new console/theatre

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by LightingPenguin, May 20, 2009.

  1. LightingPenguin

    LightingPenguin Active Member

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    Question Time.

    My school is building a new theatre, supposed to be done by 2012 but now 2015 because of the economy. We have 6 MLs (4 Elation Power Wash 250's, 2 Elation Design Spot 250's) which take up 75 channels overall, and we're looking to upgrade in the future. We're looking into Sea Changers, ML's, and other various LED products. Currently, we have an ETC Express 24/48, and thus we're limited channel wise and control wise.

    For the past 2 shows, we rented a Hog3PC widget, and it works well and all, and my TD/Department head were considering buying it. However, if we're going to buy a widget just to run ML's and LED's, and we're looking to expand in the future, I was discussing with my TD about buying a new console all together. As we'll be most likely buying a new console (almost 100% sure) for the new theatre, I don't see the point in buying the DMX widget. They've come in handy so far, and we love using them. However, without the widget, we have by far the worst ML board I have ever seen in my life, and the ML's are useless.

    Completely. Useless.

    I was also discussing the possibility of buying (when available), the newly released ETC Element, or the ETC Ion. For a theatre with 48 dimmers, 40-50 S4's, 6 ML's , 40 fresnels, and plans to upgrade to a new theatre, which seems more logical?
     
  2. Nathaniel

    Nathaniel Member

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    I think you'd probably be happier with an Ion, because of the encoders you'd want for your movers.

    I don't have any experience with the element, but it seems like programming movers on that would be similar to on the express(with focus, beam, color, etc. palettes)

    plus the ion is a lot of fun :)
     
  3. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    ION, because of encoders. If you get an element, I'd say make sure to get a touchscreen, because with the touchscreen, you can have virtual encoders on the screen and actually use the touchscreen to control them.

    Either console will be able to control your rig.
     
  4. Esoteric

    Esoteric Well-Known Member

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    Ion for the encoders for sure.

    Mike
     
  5. NickJones

    NickJones Active Member

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    Finnished by 2012? Who knows what technology will bring by then, DMX may be dead by then (Doubt it but who knows) fact is, its nice to dream, but you can make a wish list, but don't purchase anything for a year or two, the technology could change, so many variables.
    Nick
     
  6. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    You need a bandaid. I would not buy a console until the building opens, odds are what is out there now will be outdated by the time the building opens anyway. You could do the buy the console now and take it over when you open, but I don't think that would be the best option. Pick up a Enntec Widget and throw MagicQ on a PC. For 150 bucks you have something that is very solid and very hog like. If you are used to doing the PC thing, its not a bad way to go. If you want to take it a bit farther, for 3k you can get a wing with 2 DMX outputs and be pretty well set, at least until the ETC/Strand/GMA/Chamsys/BarcoHES super magic rainbow mindreading awesome generator comes out.
     
  7. w3st0n21

    w3st0n21 Active Member

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    i really wanted to get the ion for my schools theater (in my dreams). then i saw that the element was coming out and now i really really REALLY want that, from what ive seen it has some really cool and useful features. also because the element has USB ports you can buy a cheap (or more expensive) USB trackball for your moving lights, and the fact that the element is a few grand cheaper...
     
  8. NickJones

    NickJones Active Member

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    Yeah, that's the purpose of an Element, they seem like very cool consoles. Can't wait to get my hands on one!
    Nick
     
  9. spiwak2005

    spiwak2005 Member

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    Now all I can think about is that "super magic rainbow mindreading awesome generator"! That's going to be great! Seriously, I 2nd the mention of going the PC + Widget route until you get a little closer. Unfortunately, the school probably won't like the idea of budgetting for a not yet invented "super magic rainbow mindreading awesome generator".
     
  10. highschooltech

    highschooltech Active Member

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    If you are forced to get a console get Ion. Great board and i convinced the rental place i used to get a pair so now i spec it on almost all the shows i do that require a console that can do lots of conventionals, LEDs, and some movers. I just wish 1.5 would come out sooner for the track ball, but by the time you get it it won't be a problem. I don't think the ION will become obsolete in the near future as ETC has put so much behind the Eos/ Ion/ Element line.

    If they will allow you to go the cheaper route get a Hog PC Widget and a dedicated computer. (really you can go to best buy grab the cheapest computer reformat the HD and be perfect)
     
  11. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Widget for now. New console with new theater. You don't need Ion now... you need a little extra help. Wait for the new theater and buy the console that is appropriate for the new space when the time comes. It may be Ion... it may be a Whole Hog 5. There's no reason to buy now for the unknown with the high likelihood of hating your choice in 2015. There's a cheap band aid. Use it.
     

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