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Author Topic: Newb looking for advice  (Read 5645 times)

Dave Delfel

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Newb looking for advice
« on: August 28, 2012, 11:49:50 pm »

I have been doing sound for few years and have started collecting lighting to improve shows.
So far i have:
8 ADJ par56 LEDS
4 Intimidator Spot 2.0
1 Elation DMX Operator

I have figured out basic functions of the lights and I kinda know how I want my shows to look like. I have not done much programming yet. Because I am a 1 man show I need to rely on scenes and chases that I can recall quickly and have quick setup preshow. Do I have the right gear to get started?
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duane massey

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Re: Newb looking for advice
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2012, 11:43:22 am »

You'll need to do a bit of programming before you can really easily do a show. The Operator is a limited and clumsy beast, but it will "work", technically. You will find yourself getting very frustrated as you tackle programming on this controller. Keep your looks simple.
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Duane Massey
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Dave Delfel

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Re: Newb looking for advice
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2012, 01:06:06 pm »

You'll need to do a bit of programming before you can really easily do a show. The Operator is a limited and clumsy beast, but it will "work", technically. You will find yourself getting very frustrated as you tackle programming on this controller. Keep your looks simple.
Any reccomendations of a controller worth investing in? This setup may expand a little but it is 90% bar band stuff.
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Jamie Chappa

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Re: Newb looking for advice
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2012, 01:38:07 pm »

Any reccomendations of a controller worth investing in? This setup may expand a little but it is 90% bar band stuff.
I use an enttec dongle and freestyler total cost 70. With that i have an old computer in my rig with a wireless keyboard each key is a scene. This setup is perfect for one man shows. I can give ya more detail if you want it. This very easy to do.
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Dave Delfel

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Re: Newb looking for advice
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2012, 03:51:05 pm »

I use an enttec dongle and freestyler total cost 70. With that i have an old computer in my rig with a wireless keyboard each key is a scene. This setup is perfect for one man shows. I can give ya more detail if you want it. This very easy to do.
I am very interested in that setup. I currently run Software Audio Console, so I have a computer on stage and a laptop FOH.
I was thinking I could have the lighting software running in the background of the laptop.

I tried to research MagicQ via this forum but found reviews to be criptic(not familiar with the light lingo) so I gave it a shot and tried it. Not for me. Specificly I need pro fixtures(and alot of them) to really use it. In addition to another computer for the visualizer. Too much for good old basic bar shows.
Which brings me to asking if the Chamsys dongle works with Freestyler or do I need to get the Enntec dongle?
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Randall Hyde

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Re: Newb looking for advice
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2012, 07:18:42 pm »

I am very interested in that setup. I currently run Software Audio Console, so I have a computer on stage and a laptop FOH.
I was thinking I could have the lighting software running in the background of the laptop.

I tried to research MagicQ via this forum but found reviews to be criptic(not familiar with the light lingo) so I gave it a shot and tried it. Not for me. Specificly I need pro fixtures(and alot of them) to really use it. In addition to another computer for the visualizer. Too much for good old basic bar shows.
Which brings me to asking if the Chamsys dongle works with Freestyler or do I need to get the Enntec dongle?

I'm using MagicQ and I'd recommend against it. It makes SAC's user interface look absolutely great.

For a one-man show, I'd suggest taking a look at ENTTEC's offering. I forget the name, but it's intended for operation by a solo performer and does a good job (at least AFAICT) of automating chases during a show.

Also, take a serious look at Blizzard Lighting (their fixtures, not necessarily FreeStyler which is probably a bit complex for you). The Rocklite RGBAW and Puck fixtures are absolutely great. They blow anything by ADJ out of the water. The ADJ PAR56 cans are going to be rather dim, sadly; cheap, but worth every penny....
cheers,
Randy Hyde
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Jamie Chappa

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Re: Newb looking for advice
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2012, 12:58:23 am »

I am very interested in that setup. I currently run Software Audio Console, so I have a computer on stage and a laptop FOH.
I was thinking I could have the lighting software running in the background of the laptop.

I tried to research MagicQ via this forum but found reviews to be criptic(not familiar with the light lingo) so I gave it a shot and tried it. Not for me. Specificly I need pro fixtures(and alot of them) to really use it. In addition to another computer for the visualizer. Too much for good old basic bar shows.
Which brings me to asking if the Chamsys dongle works with Freestyler or do I need to get the Enntec dongle?
Freestyler for a first time user i found very easy to program and they have very good tutorials. Its free and very functional for your situation. Its only limit i have found is only 30 keys can be made to scenes. It works well with movers also. If you go on there site it tells you all the usb dongles that work. There forum is full of new fixtures also.
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duane massey

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Re: Newb looking for advice
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2012, 11:17:18 am »

I found Freestyler to be incredibly limited for a software-based system. It is "free", but it can't compare to a decent hardware controller or a mid-level software package.
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Duane Massey
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Houston, Texas

Jamie Chappa

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Re: Newb looking for advice
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2012, 02:10:49 pm »

I found Freestyler to be incredibly limited for a software-based system. It is "free", but it can't compare to a decent hardware controller or a mid-level software package.
yes but the op is looking for simplicity he only wanted scenes and chases
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Dave Delfel

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Re: Newb looking for advice
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2012, 06:13:51 pm »

yes but the op is looking for simplicity he only wanted scenes and chases
I'll admit I don't know much about programming and patching. I have some concepts in my head and not sure the easiest ways to implement them. And free or cheap is always nice. I'm not afraid to put in the time to set things up but I like the idea of tweaking certain elements from show to show. I.E. striking spots for center , L &R stage. Im not sure what would work for this type of setup. So far chamsys is out and the basic controller is out. I can't see buying a $1,000-$2,000 controller for bar gigs.

Pros/cons of free styler vs. a decent analog controller? I may be able to cross rent a controller but I don't know what is in demand in my area.

Again I apologize for being a newb, all of your advice is appreciated.
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Jamie Chappa

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Re: Newb looking for advice
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2012, 08:02:39 pm »

The best advice i can give ya is to download it. As you set it up use the virtual usb. This will allow you to program everything you want. Use the 3d visualizer to see if ya like what ya got. If ya hate the layout and find its not working for you nothing is lost but a few hours of your time. If you do like it bonus programming is done. Buy a dongle and away ya go.   

As for the comparison to a good anolog controller. I have never owned nor used one so im not sure. I have always made freestyler work for what i need, previous to that i had a simple chauvet controller.
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Paul G. OBrien

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Re: Newb looking for advice
« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2012, 10:17:36 am »

I found Freestyler to be incredibly limited for a software-based system. It is "free", but it can't compare to a decent hardware controller or a mid-level software package.

I guess it depends what you're comparing it too, it's FAR more capable than any sub $1000 HW controller but it's very clumsy to operate compared to a $1000 SW package.
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duane massey

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Re: Newb looking for advice
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2012, 06:11:47 pm »

Paul, a Showdesigner 1 is far more capable for real-time operation, and is available online for $749. I've worked with both, and there is no comparison.
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Duane Massey
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Houston, Texas

Paul G. OBrien

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Re: Newb looking for advice
« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2012, 09:14:06 am »

The ShowDesigner1 and Magic 260 are probably the cheapest hardware controllers worth buying particularly if you have any movers, the Martin Freakie would be the next step down but doesn't have any means of loading or saving shows which is a big deal breaker for me. All of these do give you that instant access to fixtures with real sliders to handle and yes that is desirable for live use, but none of these can do layered scenes/sequences like any of the software controllers Freestyler included, and that one feature puts them at a whole other level for ease of programming and the ability to have virtually endless combinations of looks at your fingertips.. or mousetip as it were.
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duane massey

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Re: Newb looking for advice
« Reply #14 on: September 03, 2012, 12:08:46 pm »

I wouldn't compare the Magic 260 to an SD 1. The 260 looks like it would be a cool device, but it's really not much better than an Operator. I've only had to use a Freekie twice, and was (surprise) very frustrated by it's limitations.
You can layer Chases on the SD 1 (up to 8), but you can't layer scenes. One of my personal complaints about all PC-based packages is the lack of simultaneously access different functions (color, gobo, rotation), etc. Lots of small quirks that may not be of importance to someone else. What I really like is the instant response of using the sliders for pan and tilt instead of a joystick or mouse. What really sucks about all of them is the lack of a really helpful manual, one of the worst being Light Jockey.
What really makes no sense to me is the practice of putting together a system with multple movers and par/wash fixtures, and then going cheap on the controller. Obviously not the OP, as his system is very basic and will be easy to operate. Lately I've been brough in on several system installs where the client purchased a package with 12 or so fixtures, installed them, and tried to hire me to set-up and program a DMX Operator. In both cases I told them to either buy a better controller (SD 1) or just let their DJ do it and save the expense of having me come onsite.
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Duane Massey
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Houston, Texas

Othmane Alaoui

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Re: Newb looking for advice
« Reply #15 on: September 03, 2012, 06:11:06 pm »

Freestyler is pretty simple et efficient for the type of gigs you want to do. Before I moved to an M-one system, I used freestyler with the enttec dongle to control 12 moving lights ( SGM and Coemar ) with the addition of 24 colorblasts and some LED Pars. The only thing that can be an issue is reliability for large events. I still use FS for all smaller gigs ( 4-6 movings and some LED's). I also use an analog board for traditionnal lightings ( Pars, leeko's ...).

Chamsys is a real solid lighting control system, used in larger events, a lot more complicated to setup but once you get along with it, its a better solution even for small gigs ! Usually is used with a console from chamsys ...

If you want to spent a little more, 3-4K take a look at the Martin M2GO !
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