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Author Topic: lighting console upgrade from Elation CompuShow....which one?  (Read 494 times)

Dave Batistig

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lighting console upgrade from Elation CompuShow....which one?
« on: August 17, 2017, 01:34:48 pm »

Looking to upgrade from our PC based Elation Compushow sotware with the USB to DMX box to a console where our lighting guyhas more control, has more programming options and also the option to busk "live"

Have looked at the following and am even more confused than I was when I started this research project:

ETC ColorSource 20 and 40
Martin M2PC
Chamsys (can recall the model)
and a few others I can't recall.

Our light rig, fully deployed, consists of 35 various LED pars, amix of Chauvet SlimPar Quad and Tri 12's, 6's and 7's and a maximum of 14 moving heads of various sizes. In addition we have DMX controllable hazers and DMX controllable CO2 cannons.

What would be a good option to upgrade from Compushow without breaking the bank??
« Last Edit: August 17, 2017, 02:04:44 pm by Dave Batistig »
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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: lighting console upgrade from Elation CompuShow....which one?
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2017, 01:58:07 pm »

Looking to upgrade from our PC based Elation Compushow sotware with the USB to DMX box to a console where our lighting guyhas more control, has more programming options and also the option to busk "live"

Have looked at the following and ma even more confused than I was when I started this research project:

ETC ColorSource 20 and 40
Martin M2PC
Chamsys (can recall the model)
and a few others I can recall.

Our light rig, fully deployed, consists of 35 various LED pars, amix of Chauvet SlimPar Quad and Tri 12's, 6's and 7's and a maximum of 14 moving heads of various sizes. In addition we have DMX controllable hazers and DMX controllable CO2 cannons.

What would be a good option to upgrade from Compushow without breaking the bank??
It's hard to beat M-PC/M-Touch/M-Play for price and value, but it's a real desk, so you need to learn how to use it.  The price point has caused a lot of people to be interested in it, so more and more people are familiar with it.

Now that Chauvet is distributing ChamSys interesting things may happen, but at the moment their products are more expensive than Martin.

I would recommend against the Colorsource desks - you have too many fixtures.
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Jeff Lelko

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Re: lighting console upgrade from Elation CompuShow....which one?
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2017, 07:02:12 am »

Hi Dave,

The first thing to really establish is your budget.  How much are you looking to spend?  Anything beyond what you're using now isn't going to be all that cheap, especially if it's going to be a hardware console.

Seeing as you're a current software user, are you open to sticking with software only, software + wing, or must it be an actual physical self-contained board?

As usual, I agree with TJ - M-PC with accessories will be your cheapest option.  Your rig is too large for a ColorSource board to really be of use to you.  Going to the next step up in the ETC product line, you'd be looking at the Congo Kid - the same board I currently own/use for rigs such as yours...and bigger.  If you haven't read it already, I wrote a review about this desk a little while ago (link).  Your budget is really going to be the deciding factor though on what options are open to you.  Hope this helps!
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Dave Batistig

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Re: lighting console upgrade from Elation CompuShow....which one?
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2017, 08:52:51 am »

Hi Dave,

The first thing to really establish is your budget.  How much are you looking to spend?  Anything beyond what you're using now isn't going to be all that cheap, especially if it's going to be a hardware console.

Seeing as you're a current software user, are you open to sticking with software only, software + wing, or must it be an actual physical self-contained board?

As usual, I agree with TJ - M-PC with accessories will be your cheapest option.  Your rig is too large for a ColorSource board to really be of use to you.  Going to the next step up in the ETC product line, you'd be looking at the Congo Kid - the same board I currently own/use for rigs such as yours...and bigger.  If you haven't read it already, I wrote a review about this desk a little while ago (link).  Your budget is really going to be the deciding factor though on what options are open to you.  Hope this helps!

For budget, I'd like to be in the $ 2000.00 - $3500.00 range. Used is ok to, so long as it isn't something that is on the verge of obsolete. More important to me is to not run out of capability in a year or two as we add more movers, such as moving, zoomable wash/spot lights.
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Josh Rawls

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Re: lighting console upgrade from Elation CompuShow....which one?
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2017, 02:49:40 pm »

I have a Martin M-Play and M-Touch. That is well within your budget and gives you two universes of output with two more available through Artnet/SCAN. You could even get two more M-Play wings and still be under budget. That would give you a programming wing and three playback wings.

I learned how to use the software by watching the Zyper tutorials. I also went to a Martin class in Chicago. You can definitely get the hang of the software with the videos. The class was valuable because the instructor gave lots of little tips and tricks with programming.

For under $3500 you could get all the hardware and the training classes.
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Josh Rawls

Jeff Lelko

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Re: lighting console upgrade from Elation CompuShow....which one?
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2017, 04:12:37 pm »

For budget, I'd like to be in the $ 2000.00 - $3500.00 range.

So unfortunately that's going to rule out any ETC option, along with pretty much any other hardware-only board that can operate to the level you're looking to get out of it.  A Pathway Cognito2 might still fit within the budget though if you're okay with its flavor of programming.  Otherwise, it's probably going to have to be software with a wing.  There are a few choices out there right now and there are plenty of threads discussing each one!  You'll just have to decide if a software wing opens things up enough to meet your needs, primarily for busking.  For me it didn't, but there are many happy users for which this solution did! 
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duane massey

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Re: lighting console upgrade from Elation CompuShow....which one?
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2017, 01:57:54 pm »

Maybe Showdesigner 2? You might (OK, would) have to develop some different concepts of how to program/operate your system, but it is certainly capable of running your system with the ability to manually run shows "off the cuff". Well under your budget, especially used.
Would certainly have a few drawbacks that may or may not be an issue in your particular situation.
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Duane Massey
Technician, musician, stubborn old guy
Houston, Texas

Stuart Pendleton

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Re: lighting console upgrade from Elation CompuShow....which one?
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2017, 09:08:19 pm »

Sorry, already covered in another answer so deleted it.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2017, 09:11:31 pm by Stuart Pendleton »
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