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Author Topic: $20K to spend on lights... suggestions?  (Read 6056 times)

Robert "Void" Caprio

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$20K to spend on lights... suggestions?
« on: July 27, 2010, 02:20:52 pm »

I know topics such as this are so vague as to be aggravating but I need a bit of help concerning a lighting rig. And yes, I did a search, in addition to scouring the forums.

Our budget is about $20k. This would be for an install in a rock club with a 30' X 24' stage, 12' ceiling height from the stage. There are trusses (pic) running across the ceiling parallel to the stage which I expect we could put to some use.

We'd like to stick with LEDs as much as possible. Wondering about using a PC as a controller or a standalone unit... thoughts on that?

We're looking for as exciting a show as we can muster within our budget so let me know what you guys think. BTW, new or used is fine.

index.php/fa/31624/0/
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Robert "Void" Caprio
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Todd Black

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Re: $20K to spend on lights... suggestions?
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2010, 07:00:02 pm »

for movers, i would suggest the Elation 250 LED spot units. I just saw an install with 8 of them and it looks great.

Control, look into Chamsys Magic Q software with a PC wing.
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Brian Jojade

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Re: $20K to spend on lights... suggestions?
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2010, 07:02:22 pm »

That looks like the roof trussing.  Before getting crazy and hanging a bunch of stuff from it, you should make sure it's good for the load ratings you plan to put up there.  Of course with LED pars and such, it shouldn't be an issue as they are lightweight.  But if you get your hands on some moving heads, they can get heavy quickly.

Computer based controllers are great for club use, and in some cases easier than dedicated boards.  All depends on what 'look' you are trying to achieve.  $20K will go a long way.  It will go even further if you consider used traditional gear instead of LED stuff.
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Brian Jojade
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Duane Massey

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Re: $20K to spend on lights... suggestions?
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2010, 07:33:21 pm »

House band or one-night shows? Do you have an in-house LD or just want to program standard stuff for average use? How big is the club?

You can certainly get a decent show for $ 20K IF you keep your fixtures balanced in terms of brightness. Avoid the no-name fixtures if possible, but be prepared to still have to deal with the occasional bad fixture.

Where are you located?
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Duane Massey
Houston, Texas, USA

Robert "Void" Caprio

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Re: $20K to spend on lights... suggestions?
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2010, 08:07:44 pm »

Duane,

One night shows. National acts, locals. We'll have an in house LD. Club is 12,000 sq ft, split down the middle... stage side is about 80' X 40'... give or take a few feet. Located on Long Island n Patchogue.

Brian,

Yep, roof trussing. We have an engineer coming in to spec out load ratings and all.

Todd,

Thanks for the info. Seems like everyone is into the Chamsys Magic Q. Will check it out.

Thanks for the info guys.
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Robert "Void" Caprio
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Duane Massey

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Re: $20K to spend on lights... suggestions?
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2010, 08:25:10 pm »

"Duh" on my part about location.....

Control is a matter of personal preference; as long as you have someone in-house to deal with it AND it has enough muscle to meet your needs, either hardware or software will work.

Pretty good-sized room, so you'll have to decide which functions you really need. Brightness, coverage, or pizazz, you probably won't get all three but you can get a decent balance with room to grow.

I'm going out to sit in with some friends, but I'll throw together a suggestion list for you. Don't worry, I don't sell gear, just enjoy playing with the stuff..
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Duane Massey
Houston, Texas, USA

JohnRoss

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Re: $20K to spend on lights... suggestions?
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2010, 07:10:43 am »

You should really look into Lightjockey with a touch screen and stay away from Chamsys.
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Robert "Void" Caprio

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Re: $20K to spend on lights... suggestions?
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2010, 08:10:37 am »

JohnRoss wrote on Wed, 28 July 2010 06:10

You should really look into Lightjockey with a touch screen and stay away from Chamsys.


JR,

OK... why is that? Any particular recommendations for a touch screen?
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Robert "Void" Caprio
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James Feenstra

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Re: $20K to spend on lights... suggestions?
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2010, 10:07:17 am »

um....curious as to why you say this, seeing as how lightjockey is by far one of the worst lighting software platforms ever invented....
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James Feenstra
Lighting, Audio and Special Effects Design

Todd Black

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Re: $20K to spend on lights... suggestions?
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2010, 06:55:45 pm »

JohnRoss wrote on Wed, 28 July 2010 06:10

You should really look into Lightjockey with a touch screen and stay away from Chamsys.


are you serious? why? chamsys is a well developed widely accepted platform with excellent scalability and most LDs already know how to program it since its essentially the same as hog.
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Jeff Lelko

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Re: $20K to spend on lights... suggestions?
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2010, 09:53:05 pm »

I happen to really like MagicQ and really hate LightJockey.  I've used MagicQ on my tablet PC for the past four or five years and have nothing but good things to say about it.  The one 'however' I'd add though is that for shows using conventional Par 64s, I still use a simple 2-scene preset board.  I leave MagicQ for my movers, but won't give up hands-on control of my conventionals nor pay the $1000+ for a wing.  I think for your use you might want to consult your primary light designer/programmer/operator to see if he/she has an opinion about hardware vs software consoles and see what'd they'd be most comfortable using.

-Jeff
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JohnRoss

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Re: $20K to spend on lights... suggestions?
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2010, 12:52:59 pm »

Robert "Void" Caprio wrote on Wed, 28 July 2010 07:10

JohnRoss wrote on Wed, 28 July 2010 06:10

You should really look into Lightjockey with a touch screen and stay away from Chamsys.


JR,

OK... why is that? Any particular recommendations for a touch screen?


I can program in LJ faster than anything else, but I use it everyday so that might not matter. In any case you'll figure it out the second you look at it, and if you have an LED rig LED-Trix is probably the coolest way to control LEDs I've ever seen. Creating your looks in cues and triggering them from LJ Manager is super fast and if you can't run your show anybody with a finger can hit cues. You also get to use Maxxyz free if you have the USB dongle, so you could simply use it as a Maxxyz PC. For a touchscreen the ELOs are the best, I'd look for 20-22".
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James Feenstra

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Re: $20K to spend on lights... suggestions?
« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2010, 05:18:27 pm »

JohnRoss wrote on Thu, 29 July 2010 12:52

I can program in LJ faster than anything else, but I use it everyday so that might not matter. In any case you'll figure it out the second you look at it, and if you have an LED rig LED-Trix is probably the coolest way to control LEDs I've ever seen. Creating your looks in cues and triggering them from LJ Manager is super fast and if you can't run your show anybody with a finger can hit cues. You also get to use Maxxyz free if you have the USB dongle, so you could simply use it as a Maxxyz PC. For a touchscreen the ELOs are the best, I'd look for 20-22".
things chamsys can do that lj can't;
1. Built in media server...led matrices are great but can you run video? Not without some extra $$ involved
2. Meet riders!!! No (or very few) touring lds will run lj
3. Run without lag and/or crashing
4. Not make me want to throw it out the window

Just because you don't know how to program it does not mean it's a bad console. It's in the same leauge as grandma and hog

Plus without a wing lj should be reserved for lds who don't know how to do anything more than dj night club lights. If I can't hit 4-6 cues at the same time the console is garbage, period.
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James Feenstra
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Duane Massey

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Re: $20K to spend on lights... suggestions?
« Reply #13 on: July 29, 2010, 06:23:55 pm »

I agree with Jeff, allow your LD to have some (but not final) input on control system, as the best system in the world sucks if the operator can't work with it.

10% of your budget will probably be about right for a control system. I'm not a Lightjockey fan myself, and I have no experience with Chamsys, but I would avoid the "DJ" and entry-level packages if you go for software. The package offered by Megalite impressed me at NC&B, but I have no real-world experience with it. Bluelight was a disappointment, and the Elation and Chauvet programs just seemed too limited for a live venue.

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Duane Massey
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JohnRoss

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Re: $20K to spend on lights... suggestions?
« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2010, 02:20:31 pm »

Well a few weeks ago I got to see the Chamsys PC Wing running on a Mac Mini with two ELO touchscreens and somehow already became a convert. Now I'm running it too with the Enttec DMX Pro, and I'm planning on buying the Maxi Wing next. Not sure if its going to really deter me from buying the M1, but I know the GrandMa 2 is the only way to go big and this is a nice stepping stone to learning how to program it.
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David Buehler

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Re: $20K to spend on lights... suggestions?
« Reply #15 on: August 26, 2010, 01:30:26 am »

our Lighting guys have a bunch of Chamsys desks, and sold some of the first desks in the nation. They have a few "wing" rigs setup with Asus EEE Top computer and the USB fader wing.

http://www.cdw.com/shop/products/default.aspx?EDC=2041804
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David Buehler
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Audio Excellence
New Mexico's Premire Event Production Company
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