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Author Topic: (Another) new to lighting question(s)  (Read 1688 times)

Roch Lafleur

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(Another) new to lighting question(s)
« on: August 24, 2012, 01:52:05 pm »

Over the years, I've accumulated quite a bit of sound gear. It started out as a little p.a. system for the bands I was playing in, to a full EV QRx rig (4 tops/4 subs), Crown IT amps, Midas desk, etc. Now we are doing some bigger shows where I either run sound from the stage or get someone to run sound (properly) at FOH. I have never owned lights, mainly because I don't have time to set them up while I'm setting up p.a. for my band.

Lately, I've been getting hired for smaller festivals and by other bands and have been renting lights too often for my taste. Nothing crazy, usually just 2 bars of 4 for wash. I hate running all over town to pick up and return rentals over my lunch hour or after work (I have a day job). I get along pretty well with a decent size local company and can get a pretty good deal on chauvet lighting (the DJ line). I'm seriously considering the following:

2 bars of 4 for front lighting (on stands). Each bar would have 2 SlimPar Pro Tri and 2 SlimPar Pro VW. I might ad more toys later on, but for now, that's all I really need or can afford (trailer is already full).

One of the reasons I'm looking at these is that this production company uses the same fixtures for uplighting on several events and sometimes have all their inventory out. They suggested that if I got matching fixtures, we could cross rent when the need arises. They are making me a really good deal.

My main question is about the controller. Several years ago (pre-dmx days), one of my bands had a nice little NSI foot controller where I could program 8 scenes (on 4 switches), blackout, freeze and chase. It was really compact and I could switch the scenes while playing bass. I'd like to find a controller that would allow me to program the fixtures/scenes and to be able to somehow run it via foot controller.

Again, this is not for a full on rock show with moving heads and lasers, but mainly for stage wash with the option of changing the stage color and intensity depending on the song (mainly country bands - private functions, rodeos, weddings, xmas parties). Anything bigger, sound and ligthing would be provided.

I realize the Show Designer is often recommended on here, but would any of the chauvet controllers work for me? If so, which one(s) would you recommend?

Thanks,
Rocky
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duane massey

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Re: (Another) new to lighting question(s)
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2012, 03:29:39 am »

Challenge is the lack of "middle ground" on controllers. The low$$ controllers basically suck in regards to programmability, ease of use, and memory, and will only get you so far. A better choice for low$$ would be a dedicated controller for LED fixtures. these are certainly limited in memory and programmability, but they are easy for playback.
http://www.americandj.com/ProductDetails.aspx?ItemNumber=1803&MainId=3&Category=DMX_Controllers
http://www.americandj.com/ProductDetails.aspx?ItemNumber=2081&MainId=3&Category=DMX_Controllers
ADJ controllers may not match up with the Chauvet fixtures, so look at the channel line-up to see if they are compatible.
A used Showdesigner 1 would be worth considering (for all the same reasons a new SD 1 is a great choice). I have yet to find a Chauvet DMX controller that didn't drive me nuts with the limitations and lack of easy operation, but you may find one that works for you.
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Duane Massey
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Houston, Texas

Roch Lafleur

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Re: (Another) new to lighting question(s)
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2012, 11:28:11 am »

Thanks Duane,

I think I might just bite the bullet and get the SD1... buy once, cry once mentality.  ::)

Now, knowing I would have 2 SlimPar Pro Tri & 2 SlimPar Pro VW on stands on each side of the stage (front), what should I look at next? first for upstage? more wash cans? scanners?, moving yokes? I'll be keeping an eye out for deals, but don't want to jump on something if it wouldn't be the next logical move.

This would mainly be used on 4-5 piece country/rock bands in halls for 200-600 people halls. Typical stage size: 16'(or 20)x12'.

Thanks,
R
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duane massey

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Re: (Another) new to lighting question(s)
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2012, 11:39:15 am »

I'd add more wash fixtures until you have enough to adequately cover the stage. Then look for scanners or movers as well as "eye-candy" fixtures. At that point you will want a hazer or fog machine. Feel free to contact me if you get an SD 1 and need some help getting started.
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Duane Massey
Technician, musician, stubborn old guy
Houston, Texas

Roch Lafleur

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Re: (Another) new to lighting question(s)
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2012, 01:52:06 pm »

SD1 ordered. Will send you a PM to get me started on programming.
Thanks a million for this.

Rocky
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