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Author Topic: Setting up new church lighting system  (Read 534 times)

Ben Herbrandson

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Setting up new church lighting system
« on: June 13, 2018, 11:21:36 pm »

             My church is in the process of redoing our outdated sanctuary and wanted to add some stage lighting. Right now there is nothing. We contacted Sweetwater, gave them our layout and what we wanted capability wise and they got back to us with a package to fit our wants/needs. The package include 12 Chauvet dj slimpar 64 rgba lights, and a Chauvet xpress 512 dmx converter. I know a little about lighting and I have used an older light board to run a simple set of lights. I am very computer literate but I am having a hard time with the Chauvet Show Xpress software.
            Right now I just want to be able to turn on the lights, adjust the color and brightness in a simple format. I know the software should be able to do that and so much more, but right now I just need these simple options and I am having a hard time setting up a simple interface to do what I want without setting up a lot of settings/stages/universes/ etc in the program. I tried to watch the tutorial, but I got lost in all the extra features. I just need something simple for right now, until i have more time to dive into it. Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated
Thanks Ben
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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: Setting up new church lighting system
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2018, 03:11:50 am »

             My church is in the process of redoing our outdated sanctuary and wanted to add some stage lighting. Right now there is nothing. We contacted Sweetwater, gave them our layout and what we wanted capability wise and they got back to us with a package to fit our wants/needs. The package include 12 Chauvet dj slimpar 64 rgba lights, and a Chauvet xpress 512 dmx converter. I know a little about lighting and I have used an older light board to run a simple set of lights. I am very computer literate but I am having a hard time with the Chauvet Show Xpress software.
            Right now I just want to be able to turn on the lights, adjust the color and brightness in a simple format. I know the software should be able to do that and so much more, but right now I just need these simple options and I am having a hard time setting up a simple interface to do what I want without setting up a lot of settings/stages/universes/ etc in the program. I tried to watch the tutorial, but I got lost in all the extra features. I just need something simple for right now, until i have more time to dive into it. Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated
Thanks Ben
Ben, welcome to the forum.

Maybe your best bet is to post your location and someone near you may be willing to come help you out for a small fee.  It may be asking a lot for someone to write out a big tutorial on a forum like this—something that would be a lot easier in person.
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John L Nobile

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Re: Setting up new church lighting system
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2018, 10:55:22 am »

YouTube is a treasure of knowledge. Or a pile of crap. Here's the former. A tutorial for showexpress and links for more.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-fNCljgUUY
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Jeff Lelko

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Re: Setting up new church lighting system
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2018, 06:43:23 pm »

Hi Ben, without knowing more about the situation I agree with TJ - find someone in your area to at least consult for you if not handle your entire install and setup. 

Also, I disagree entirely with what Sweetwater chose for you.  The mentioned fixtures are about as cheap as you can go while still being "name brand" - they're aimed at the DJ/Band/Club market.  For most places of worship you want something that can produce a much higher quality of light (in simplest terms) and offers better dimming.  I also don't recommend ShowXpress for this application.  Again, it's aimed more at the DJ/Band/Club market.  There are better options available for less money (M-PC/MagicQ) and also offer the ability for simple integration with hardware for user-friendly control.  There are budget "hardware consoles" that might be a good fit too.  Hope this helps! 
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Paul G. OBrien

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Re: Setting up new church lighting system
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2018, 09:56:06 pm »

Also, I disagree entirely with what Sweetwater chose for you.  The mentioned fixtures are about as cheap as you can go while still being "name brand" - they're aimed at the DJ/Band/Club market. 

+1 on that but I'd say isn't not even because of the market these fixtures target it's because these are 1st generation LED that are totally outclassed by current technology and simply don't do anything very well, they're not very bright, they don't mix colors well at all, dimming won't be smooth, and overall quality is no better than a dirt cheap direct-from-china fixture. Bottom line is you could do much better and as far as controllers go if your venue doesn't plan to add movers at a later date then a simple hardware controller may be a better option, however if there are future upgrade plans then getting familiar with software is a good first step.



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Josh Daws

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Re: Setting up new church lighting system
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2018, 05:55:13 pm »

most of the problem is that you went to sweetwater...second problem (probably not too much that you could do) i assume that your church didn't have the budget to throw tons of money. so i understand that you did what you have to do with what you had.

but my advice. as others have said. find an integrator and go from there.

but that chauvet software is horrible OEM things....either try to find something simpler operationally (elation MPC for example), or find someone who can help you through what you have
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Dave Garoutte

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Re: Setting up new church lighting system
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2018, 07:11:40 pm »

I agree.  Nothing you purchased would have been on even my basic list.
The quality of light, output, flexibility and usefulness for video for your application are all below 'par'.
I like the Luminaire software, but it requires more hardware.
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Lance Hallmark

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Re: Setting up new church lighting system
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2018, 10:44:27 am »

Also to note, Chauvet has either acquired or at least become the distributor for Chamsys MagicQ. That may put the longevity/lifespan of ShowExpress in question.
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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: Setting up new church lighting system
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2018, 11:50:04 am »

Also to note, Chauvet has either acquired or at least become the distributor for Chamsys MagicQ. That may put the longevity/lifespan of ShowExpress in question.
Also to note, the OP appears to be a drive-by and hasn't logged into the forum since his original post a month ago.
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