# User Friendly Light board suggestions?

#### KaR356i

##### Member
Any suggestions on light boards that are user friendly and are capable of using a few moving lights with? (for people who have no experience with ML's or anything more than a simple two scene preset board)...

And of course, they would be on a budget...

Thanks!

#### JD

Here is the thing, there is an inverse correlation between price and ease of use. Meaning, the least expensive boards can be awkward, and to some extent, when you put out more money they get easier. There is a point where this abruptly reverses itself, and you end up with a board that requires training before use. Most likely, each person that responds to this thread will have their favorite. An inexpensive choice would be the Elation DMX Operator Pro (~ $325) It can run eight fixture groups (up to 16ch each) with 96 scenes. It also has eight stage dimmer channels for straight dimmers, so it gives you a little of everything at an entry level price. I think if you search this forum, you will find a lot of threads that already cover this subject in one form or another. Last edited: #### jeffheart08 ##### Member An NSI MLC-16 is a good moving light board all though it has little quirks here and there as do most boards in the lower prices. With a disk drive, it is about$1200 so I dont know if that counts for being on a budget but compared to real deal lighting consoles, 1K is a drop in the hat. Download the manual and read up.

Any suggestions on light boards that are user friendly and are capable of using a few moving lights with? (for people who have no experience with ML's or anything more than a simple two scene preset board)...
And of course, they would be on a budget...
Thanks!

#### icewolf08

##### CBMod
CB Mods
I think the big questions are: What is your budget? And What is the application?

Answering those questions will be able to focus the responses you get to ones that are actually useful to you.

#### soundlight

I'm going to go right to the top of the budget range and say ETC Smartfade ML, at about $2200. Great board, easy to use, easy to set presets with, familiar fader controls, can be used as a preset, submaster, or cue stack board, with basic ML control. That said, it's probably out of your price range. But well worth it if you can afford it. #### Grog12 ##### CBMod CB Mods Premium Member I'm going to go right to the top of the budget range and say ETC Smartfade ML, at about$2200. Great board, easy to use, easy to set presets with, familiar fader controls, can be used as a preset, submaster, or cue stack board, with basic ML control.
That said, it's probably out of your price range. But well worth it if you can afford it.

Steve B.

#### SerraAva

##### Active Member
While the Express hardware might be old, it doesn't change the fact that it is tried and true. One of the best things to have in a console is the ability to know its bulletproof, and DOS based is just that, bulletproof. Windows based consoles crash, its just a fact of life. The Jands Vista, which I love, crashes quite often when I am using it. Hog 3 use to be real bad with crashing. Hog PC has many things that can crash on it. The dongles being one which can lead to real problems and the reason why you need back up dongles. I have even seen a Ma crash on a few occasions. I have yet to this day seen an Express OS based console crash. I have logged far more hours on Express OS consoles then anything else. I have also never heard about one crashing that didn't have something internally wrong with it, bad solder joint, bad disk drive, etc.

As stated, Express OS is not the easiest for moving light control. He said it was for a theatre, and thats what the Express/Expression/Insight are made for. They control moving lights, and do it easier then his two scene preset. There isn't that much in the way of a cue stack, moving light control, and subs for easy theatre use out there and cheap cost. Also, the Express OS has an Offline Editor and Personality Editor. This makes things much easier for making personalities for those oddity moving lights, or you can edit the ones that already exist for your tastes. You can also take an Express OS show, load it on any Express, Expression, or Insight console that is using version 3+, just watch your channel count and in the case of the Insight to other consoles, your sub count.

I would love to recommend the Ion, but if the Expression is out his range price range, the Ion most certainly is. The Ion is also brand new, so bugs have yet to be worked out. I have no doubt that one day, the Express line will be replaced, or maybe ETC will refresh them. That day isn't today, so I can't say not get one because its old. A Hog 500/1000 are also old, doesn't change the fact that people still love, use, and buy them everyday.

#### PhantomD

##### ♂
LSC Lighting Systems all the way.

They make VERY user-friendly boards, with a full on moving lights controller at a very competitive price.

I own their equipment and I couldn't be happier with it.