ProSoundWeb Community

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

Pages: [1] 2 3  All   Go Down

Author Topic: Things to consider in general + software or desk for DMX?  (Read 2311 times)

Jonathan Goodall

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 245
  • New Zealand
Things to consider in general + software or desk for DMX?
« on: December 16, 2012, 03:37:28 am »

Ok, so I have looked back through quite a few pages and can not really find anything that  quite fits my situation.
This question is asked more from a theatre point of view than for band use (although I do provide for some singer/songwriter, folky group type events).
I have been providing sound for events for quite some time, especially in schools and I have been asked a few times recently if I have any lighting available (which I don't), this has got me thinking about this as an option for next year.
I am not talking about dozens of lights but enough to provide a bit of color on standard local school stages (approx 8-10m across and 4-5m deep, 2.5m high) which have nothing but plain incandescent lights (either on or off, not even any dimming) and no rigging points.

LED seems a logical way to go as only two local schools have 3Ph in their halls and adding some lighting would add value to what I do for them currently.
I was thinking something along the lines of 6-8 slim-par style fittings with stands and a couple of colorstrip type devices for adding a bit of color to the stage and some wash for the back.

The main brand of gear available here is Chauvet but I can also get a brand called DesignLED at good prices (I have come across very little about them compared to Chauvet but they come across as being a good brand?). Also I don't have a local dealer which I can audition gear from (have to travel 300Km over an alpine pass to do that and they keep next to nothing in stock anyway) so most purchases would be based on recommendations.

The first question would be, does this sound like "enough" to start with? are there any glaring holes that I have missed? (if it worked out I could add more later to improve things but almost anything has to be better than the current setups they have).

The second question is about control.  For this amount of stuff would one of the Chauvet desks (Obey 40 or 70) be suitable for making up scenes for small plays/shows or would software be better? (I take it that the chauvet desks save a programmed show on power down?)  I want something reasonably straight forward and quick to work if possible and in general I don't think I would need any super flashy light shows (although a moving head light could have it's uses sometimes).
Hope this has provided enough info, please ask if have left too much out.

Cheers

Jonathan
Logged

Paul G. OBrien

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 381
Re: Things to consider in general + software or desk for DMX?
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2012, 12:33:37 pm »

LED technology is just beginning to become useful believe it or not with the release of better tri and quad led fixtures like the 4-bar Tri and the SlimPar Tri and Quad fixtures. These all-in-1 LED elements are FAR superior to the older par fixtures that use hundreds of small 1/4w single color LEDs in terms of color saturation and output, IMO the older fixtures are really only good for effects they just don't produce any useful amount of light output for wash applications.
As for a controller you can produce simple shows on one of the Obey desks but you really need something with a USB or flash drive interface to store your shows because in my experience there's no guarantee you won't lose all or part of your work if you rely on the desks internal memory. The cheapest desk I know of with a USB interface is the ADJ Operator 192, but you can have a far superior laptop based system for less with an Enttec USB Pro interface and Freestyler software. This package gives you tons of future expansion potential with more sophisticated lighting fixtures but also gives you much greater show design potential now with the option to setup auto or manual cues for certain points in a song or show or to make scene changes music driven for example.
Logged

Josh Daws

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 250
Re: Things to consider in general + software or desk for DMX?
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2012, 07:07:04 pm »

i have worked alongside a bunch of schools looking to upgrade their lighting systems (i am a lighting designer). im going to be right upfront with you DO NOT waste your money on a chauvet obey controller or the ADJ equivalent. they don't have much flexibility for FUTURE upgrade uses...a waste of $200(give or take $$)...

SlimPars are over priced. but if i were to suggest go with the chauvet SLIMPAR Pro TRI. they will be punchy and have really good color mixing capabilities. my HUGE this is stay away from anything that has 10mm LED. these won't perform the way you need it to.

regular PAR fixtures and profiles still have their place as front lighting, and i wouldn't suggest using LED from front wash lighting at all. however you still can its just that because the white is soo cold, people look sick and pale.

as far as control is concerned, what you need to purchase is a INDUSTRY STANDARD brand. im not talking ADJ, or Chauvet, or other DJ lighitng company. im talking the products that are used and respected amongst production houses and tour companies. the reason i say this is that the products are MORE RELIABLE, and in the long term, upgrading and support are cheaper. if you are looking for a physical controller, look at MARTIN. the M-Series products are amazing. great prices too. BUT if you want a laptop solution the best thing i can suggest for price is a Enttec DMX USB pro for about $180ish, and download for free the MARTIN MPC Software. intuitive and gives you 512 DMX channels, and really simple to use. now if you want more channels then just buy the Martin MPC software package.

the number 1 thing i stress that is most important to spend your money on is infrastructure, because to upgrade later is going to COST you more in the long run, and you will only be frustrated by being told you have to replace you console and other things of the like.

you also should invest into getting a DMX splitter.

i hope this was a help...feel free to contact me should you have any questions.
Logged

Jonathan Goodall

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 245
  • New Zealand
Re: Things to consider in general + software or desk for DMX?
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2012, 07:12:59 pm »

Some good info thanks Josh and Paul :)

(just had a quick look. Not sure what you pay for them but Slimpar pro tri's are $649 here he he he)
« Last Edit: December 16, 2012, 07:22:39 pm by Jonathan Goodall »
Logged

duane massey

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 940
Re: Things to consider in general + software or desk for DMX?
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2012, 11:40:03 pm »

I agree with Josh about the cheaper controllers, but the Elation Showdesigner series is very, very useful and cost-effective. I would also somewhat disagree that you cannot successfully use the more economical lines for your purposes, especially if your budget is limited or the market in your area will not justify the expense of top-line products. I'm not a big Chauvet fan when it comes to mechanical fixtures, but their other fixtures are decent. Try to stick with the tri- or quad-type fixtures, as they look better for theatrical purposes, and balance your choices with your budget. If coverage is more important than brightness, look for fixtures with a wider beam angle, or buy more fixtures at a lower wattage/lower$$. If you aren't certain what to buy, take your best shot at one fixture and play with it. Better to actually see it with your own eyes than trust a dealer or one of us.
Logged
Duane Massey
Technician, musician, stubborn old guy
Houston, Texas

Josh Daws

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 250
Re: Things to consider in general + software or desk for DMX?
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2012, 12:08:38 am »

I agree with Josh about the cheaper controllers, but the Elation Showdesigner series is very, very useful and cost-effective. I would also somewhat disagree that you cannot successfully use the more economical lines for your purposes, especially if your budget is limited or the market in your area will not justify the expense of top-line products. I'm not a big Chauvet fan when it comes to mechanical fixtures, but their other fixtures are decent. Try to stick with the tri- or quad-type fixtures, as they look better for theatrical purposes, and balance your choices with your budget. If coverage is more important than brightness, look for fixtures with a wider beam angle, or buy more fixtures at a lower wattage/lower$$. If you aren't certain what to buy, take your best shot at one fixture and play with it. Better to actually see it with your own eyes than trust a dealer or one of us.

i agree about the chauvet stage designer 50 console. these are great, but if you are going LED and want control over 6-8 led wash fixtures PLUS some LED bars, if you do your channel math, you are probably going to be well over the 48ch mark...HOWEVER being DMX and control you can set a bunch of fixtures together on the same channels to save channels.

also agree about chauvet moving head fixtures...im not sure if im allowed to say this or not (sorry chauvet) but i am currently at a 50% failure rate on a particular moving head fixture (not mentioning specifics). however i have found their pars and scanners pretty reliable at this point. for schools moving heads are cool but i think a little bit unnecessary. scanners for the most part will do the same job that most schools will use them for. but if you like the practicality of being able to point and shoot a beam of light somewhere then sure...

$500 for 2 universes (1024 DMX channels) plus the FREE download of the Martin MPC software, will be money way better spent, then spending $200-$300 approx on a 48ch controller or a 192ch controller, or whatever. plus you can control ANY fixture appropriately, efficiently, and effectively.

yeah the slim par pros are pretty expensive...lol i didn't think that they were quite that much. if you can get the MICROH brand, purchase the RIO TRI PAR, and you won't be dissapointed. the throw distance is approx 30ft with decent intensity. i have washed a stage multiple times at a size of 24ftW x 16ftL, lit on tripod stand, and out front. works fantastic. these are about $400 a piece though...
Logged

Kyle Malenfant

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 96
Re: Things to consider in general + software or desk for DMX?
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2012, 09:53:44 am »


as far as control is concerned, what you need to purchase is a INDUSTRY STANDARD brand. im not talking ADJ, or Chauvet, or other DJ lighitng company.

Great advise, however I've had great success with Elation's CompuShow...have used it from mobile DJ events all the way up to a DJ Tiesto show and everything in between.
Logged

duane massey

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 940
Re: Things to consider in general + software or desk for DMX?
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2012, 06:00:24 pm »

Elation Showdesigner 1; $ 749 MAP, 512 channels, 99 pages w 16 scenes per page, 16 fixture buttons w/ ability to "multi" fixtures for independent control over more than 16 fixtures; each scene can contain multiple chases as well as static looks; for live use you can access all fixture functions in realtime; Chase speeds are programmable independently; 16 pages of 16 individual programmable chases; can be backed up to a PC. There is nothing on the market that compares in this price range.
The learning curve would be a challenge for a novice, as it a generic DMX controller, but you can create very quickly with a little bit of practice.
Logged
Duane Massey
Technician, musician, stubborn old guy
Houston, Texas

Josh Daws

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 250
Re: Things to consider in general + software or desk for DMX?
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2012, 09:18:14 pm »

Elation Showdesigner 1; $ 749 MAP, 512 channels, 99 pages w 16 scenes per page, 16 fixture buttons w/ ability to "multi" fixtures for independent control over more than 16 fixtures; each scene can contain multiple chases as well as static looks; for live use you can access all fixture functions in realtime; Chase speeds are programmable independently; 16 pages of 16 individual programmable chases; can be backed up to a PC. There is nothing on the market that compares in this price range.
The learning curve would be a challenge for a novice, as it a generic DMX controller, but you can create very quickly with a little bit of practice.

ummm the martin universal DMX dongle and free software...??? 1024 dmx channels and unlimited scenes cue stacks, and control, and live control OR setup on a cuelists...and you set and control what you like.

if you want jump up to their control surfaces, sure its $6000, but the software is free for laptop! :)
Logged

Steve Alves

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 233
  • South Florida
    • South Florida Sound
Re: Things to consider in general + software or desk for DMX?
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2012, 09:50:39 pm »

How about Martin Lightjockey? With the USB/DMX Dongle it is around $1100 street price.
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 3  All   Go Up
 


Page created in 0.131 seconds with 23 queries.