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Author Topic: Avolites users?  (Read 854 times)

Steve Litscher

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Avolites users?
« on: July 12, 2017, 10:42:26 am »

I reluctantly entered into the lighting world (primarily out of necessity because 99% of our customers were requesting sound AND lights), so we started quite simple - Lixada 7x10 LEDs, QLC+ software, Enttec USB Pro Mk2, and a few ADJ DJ effects lights.

The set-up worked surprisingly well, but we've since added 8 moving heads (Blizzard Blades and G-Streaks) and are looking to add 4 Blizzard Pixelicious soon. We've also been replacing the Lixadas with Hotbox RGBA lights, and have bumped up to 32 LED PARs now. (Man, that escalated quickly)

As much as I'm comfortable with the QLC+ software, it looks like I need a "true" controller solution. I'm told that programming the movers will be much more easy/intuitive, as will controlling them while busking.

The Avolites Titan Mobile has my interest piqued. It's very unlikely that our lighting rig will expand beyond what we have now. If it does, that'll indicate that we've moved to the "next level" and I'll have to bring on a true LD.

Any thoughts on the Avolites Titan Mobile? I definitely want to buy once/cry once with this purchase. :-)

Thanks in advance!
« Last Edit: July 13, 2017, 07:43:30 am by Steve Litscher »
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John Fruits

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Re: Avolites users?
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2017, 10:45:10 pm »

Lots of choices, since you are in Wisconsin, what no ETC, oh wait you could go with an entry level Hog, the Hoglet 4 is in that price range. You should also take a look at Chamsys, very common in Europe and things should improve since they are now part of Chauvet.
You might also take a look at the Pathway Cognito, easy to learn and they have a fairly nice app for those times when you are having one person running sound and lights in a small club.  All of these can be downloaded for free so you can kick the tires and see what works best for you.  Also do you have LD's you plan to use, what do they like?
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"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs.  There's also a negative side."-Hunter S. Thompson

Steve Litscher

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Re: Avolites users?
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2017, 01:07:23 pm »

Thanks, John!

I've been looking at the ETC as well, and yep - they are just down the road from our warehouse. I may have to go over and play around a bit. :)

The Pathway Cognito has me intrigued... it looks very intuitive, for sure. I'm not at the level where I need to worry about rider friendliness, but I do wonder how mainstream it is. Their user forums don't have many posts... but man, it sure seems to make sense (at least to a non-lighting guy like me).

I demo'd Chamsys and it didn't click with me as much. Hoglet 4 also looks interesting and falls within the budget... so many options...

Jamie Chappa

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Re: Avolites users?
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2017, 03:00:15 pm »

Having used several cheap software programs than moving to martin mpc. I used the m touch. Now I moved to avolites tiger touch pro.  I'd recommend mpc to anyone. It's cheap, intuitive, and quite reliable. it is also scalable, show files from the touch work in any mpc based desk.  Check it out.
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Jeff Lelko

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Re: Avolites users?
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2017, 06:33:22 pm »

I've been looking at the ETC as well, and yep - they are just down the road from our warehouse. I may have to go over and play around a bit. :)

If you have time for a tale, might I recommend visiting the ETC Congo Kid Review I wrote over in the Product Reviews Thread?  (link)  I wouldn't necessarily say this is the board for you just yet, but I was more or less in a similar situation as you and spend a good deal of the post telling the story of how I chose the next "right" product for me.  Plenty of options to ponder over - from a more advanced PC solution, to a PC+wing solution, to a full-sized console solution.  Good luck and I'll be happy to answer any questions!     
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Mark Amber

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Re: Avolites users?
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2017, 10:24:47 am »

As much as I love my M Touch and that it only costs $500 ish I can say Avo is my favorite. Avo will handle the pixel mapping where M Touch will only really be able to run effects on them. Avo is easier for busking and the locate button is a huge plus.

Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk

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Steve Litscher

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Re: Avolites users?
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2017, 12:54:46 pm »

Jeff - thanks for the link, I really enjoyed reading through it, and I appreciated the thought process behind the purchase decision. It's really excellent!

I've been leaning toward the MPC option, but like Jeff, we primarily do live busking. Very little, if anything, is scripted. So, in my mind, more physical controls = better. I don't need a ton of faders, but more so buttons that I can use to assign to cues and execute them on demand. I don't see the need for pixel mapping at this time; if we grow to that level, I'll have a real LD and will likely have expanded several things.

The Avolites really got my attention first; then the Cognito. I'm going to schedule some demos with those and see how they pan out.

Thanks again to everyone for the information and for sharing your thoughts.

TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: Avolites users?
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2017, 01:23:20 pm »

Jeff - thanks for the link, I really enjoyed reading through it, and I appreciated the thought process behind the purchase decision. It's really excellent!

I've been leaning toward the MPC option, but like Jeff, we primarily do live busking. Very little, if anything, is scripted. So, in my mind, more physical controls = better. I don't need a ton of faders, but more so buttons that I can use to assign to cues and execute them on demand. I don't see the need for pixel mapping at this time; if we grow to that level, I'll have a real LD and will likely have expanded several things.

The Avolites really got my attention first; then the Cognito. I'm going to schedule some demos with those and see how they pan out.

Thanks again to everyone for the information and for sharing your thoughts.
Steve, compared to the Cognito especially, MPC has WAY more buttons - each "playback window" has 100-button pages.  Depending on your monitor configuration, you can get up to 400 buttons on a single screen page (not suggesting that is a good idea, but an example).  For physical buttons, the M-Play has 12 faders and 48 buttons, not to mention remote control by devices like this: http://www.midi-store.com/Novation-LaunchPad-Mini-p/sku21096.htm?gclid=CKCx0JGjidUCFQ6paQodqowB8w

FWIW I find that on-screen buttons are for many things easier to deal with than physical, because you can label and color code them.

An under-valued feature of the M-Touch/M-Play system is moving fader-like functionality - the touch strips never get out of sync with the values when you change pages.

If you look at the big dog desks like the MA2 series, they aren't huge physical surfaces with hundreds of buttons.  This is a good indication that there are other ways to work that don't require lots of physical controllers.  One of my favorite M-PC tricks is to use an override fader to control things like pan and tilt effect speed.  Instead of burning up 20 buttons for various speed ballys, I can use one button for a given bally pattern and use an override fader to adjust the bally speed dynamically.
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Steve Litscher

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Re: Avolites users?
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2017, 02:24:59 pm »


FWIW I find that on-screen buttons are for many things easier to deal with than physical, because you can label and color code them.

I agree - I do like that with our current software solution.



If you look at the big dog desks like the MA2 series, they aren't huge physical surfaces with hundreds of buttons.  This is a good indication that there are other ways to work that don't require lots of physical controllers.  One of my favorite M-PC tricks is to use an override fader to control things like pan and tilt effect speed.  Instead of burning up 20 buttons for various speed ballys, I can use one button for a given bally pattern and use an override fader to adjust the bally speed dynamically.

Oh man! This is an awesome suggestion/trick - I'm stealing it, if you don't mind!

I've got the MPC software installed on a spare laptop and am playing around with it a little. I'll have to focus on it more... Thanks again!

Jeff Lelko

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Re: Avolites users?
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2017, 12:10:02 pm »

Jeff - thanks for the link, I really enjoyed reading through it, and I appreciated the thought process behind the purchase decision. It's really excellent!

I've been leaning toward the MPC option, but like Jeff, we primarily do live busking. Very little, if anything, is scripted. So, in my mind, more physical controls = better. I don't need a ton of faders, but more so buttons that I can use to assign to cues and execute them on demand. I don't see the need for pixel mapping at this time; if we grow to that level, I'll have a real LD and will likely have expanded several things.

Great, glad to hear that was of benefit to you!  Just to throw yet another wrench into your thought process, as you demo these products, weigh out the features you need right now and in the foreseeable future against what you'll probably never need.  It's nice to say you have 64 universes at your disposal, but if you never plan on using more than 2 of them, why pay for the other 62?  3D pixel mapping is neat, but if your rig will never be capable of that, it's a wasted feature that the money could have been better spent elsewhere.  Headroom to grow is necessary in a purchase of this magnitude in my opinion, yet at the same time excess capability can become infinitely expensive.  In my case I wanted a solid control surface that fit my style of workflow, so I was okay with spending the money for that at the expense of not having as many universes or bells/whistles that in all likelihood I didn't even need to begin with.

As far as the number of faders and buttons go, there are many "right" ways to design and operate a show.  As TJ points out, many of the big boards don't have all that many faders and buttons.  It all comes down to workflow and how you set up your show.  In my case, I basically grew up on the ETC Express and Express-like boards, so I quickly became very accustomed to having a fader for just about everything.  Fast forward nearly 20 years and things have certainly changed, but I still like to have as much "hands on" control as possible.  I will say though that global attribute commands can really help to reduce the number of buttons you need, as mentioned. 

I'm the opposite though - I prefer physical buttons over on-screen buttons for a number of reasons.  Being able to easily push more than one button at once would probably be at the top of the list, followed by the tactile feedback, followed by not having to spend time re-aiming the mouse to click where I want (or risk poking the wrong thing on a touchscreen).  Just my personal opinion though, and as you demo these boards I think you'll quickly see what works well for you and what doesn't.  Have fun with the demos and let us know which way you end up going!
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Mark Amber

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Re: Avolites users?
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2017, 08:20:26 am »

I brought up pixel mapping because he was talking about the pixelicious. (I don't know for sure how that is spelled). They also have macros too but where is the fun in that when you can burn a few universes and an entire quad core CPU playing random content on them?

Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk

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Mark Amber

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Re: Avolites users?
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2017, 08:25:36 am »

Also I would suggest a Lenovo think pad with touch screen like the 460 Yoga. Make sure you get one with a low screen resolution like 1080

If you go with the Avo other Microsoft surface pro 4 is great because avolites it's written better and scales to the high school resolution. The surface pro 4 (or newer if they have one) will work really well outside as the screen is in excess of 500 nits.

I also have used a Dell Inspiron touch screen with the articulating hinge which is perfect for both. All these computers run around $1000

Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk

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Steve Litscher

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Re: Avolites users?
« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2017, 10:55:01 am »

Also I would suggest a Lenovo think pad with touch screen like the 460 Yoga. Make sure you get one with a low screen resolution like 1080

If you go with the Avo other Microsoft surface pro 4 is great because avolites it's written better and scales to the high school resolution. The surface pro 4 (or newer if they have one) will work really well outside as the screen is in excess of 500 nits.

I also have used a Dell Inspiron touch screen with the articulating hinge which is perfect for both. All these computers run around $1000

Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk

Mark - thanks! I was leaning heavily toward a Surface Pro 4 because of the form factor. But if the MPC software renders better on a traditional laptop, that's good to know.

And good call on the pixel mapping with Pixelicious - we don't do anything too crazy with them right now, but could with the right console. :)
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