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Author Topic: Sound Company With Lights Looking for Input on a Lighting Controller  (Read 5841 times)

Bill Schnake

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Ok, I want to start this by saying the we are not a lighting company nor do we aspire to be a lighting company…we are a sound company that happens to own some lights for our smaller shows.

Here is what we have:

24 Par 64 cans w/1000 watt MFL bulbs, mounted on Socapex Bars of 6
16 Blizzard LED ProPar 7 lights (RGBW) 7 dmx channel mode
16 Blizzard Pucks (RGBAW) 12 dmx channel mode
4 ETC Source Four Ellipsoidal
2 ACL packs
NSI 7016 Lighting Controller w/dmx chip
5 Behringer LD6230 dimmers (dmx)

This system is only used for small festivals and I do not for-see adding much more to it in the future.  It is possible that I would double the Par Cans so I could provide a 24 front and 24 back truss for 48k plus the Lekos and ACLs.  This would definitely not be happening any time soon.  Did I mention we are a sound company not a lighting company?

We know that the NSI 7016 Lighting Controller is not large enough.

So here are my requirements:

I am looking for a lighting controller that is fairly easy to learn, will be acceptable to acts such as Tracy Lawrence, John Michael Montgomery, Brett Michaels and such.  I would like to be able to address each light on the front truss by itself that would be 24 Par Cans, 4 Lekos and 2 ACL bars.  Additionally, I need at least another 19 – 38 dmx channels for address the LED lights on the back truss.  If I understand the term correctly, I could use 1 dmx Universe for the front truss and 1 dmx (512) Universe for the back truss of LED Lights.  I also want to have the ability to put each gel color on a fader.  So all of my Reds on a fader, all of my Blues, on a fader, all of my Clear on a fader, etc so that whoever the LD is they can change the stage color by moving one fader.

I am hoping to be able to pick up a controller that can do all of this in the $1,500 - $2,500 range.  I would like for the controller to be able to be connected to a computer screen for ease of programming and to a computer for software updates.

On shows that need anymore lighting than what I have outlined above I will continue to use my favorite lighting company Rage Revolta.  Steve and the guys are amazing.

Thanks for your help and in case I didn’t it mention we are a sound company that owns lights not a lighting company.
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Bill Schnake

217.670.1328    Office
217.553.2278    Cell
Schnake Sound, Inc

Experience, Expertise, Professionalism and Reliability

Cailen Waddell

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Re: Sound Company With Lights Looking for Input on a Lighting Controller
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2013, 08:05:22 am »

Pathway cognito. Super easy to use, acceptable to the artist riders?  Hard to say, will certainly control everything and I think it is a good inexpensive console to do a live show on.
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James Feenstra

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Re: Sound Company With Lights Looking for Input on a Lighting Controller
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2013, 08:44:19 am »

Check out the Jands Vista line of products;

www.jandsvista.com

It sounds like a M1 with 512 dongle will be almost exactly what you're looking for.

The software is free (dmx output will blackout every five minutes), so you can see how it works for you before you commit to buying hardware.

It's easy to use, rider acceptable (acts like peter gabriel and fall out boy currently tour with Vista), and can easily be scaled to fit your show.

Note; although I now work for the distributor of Jands Vista, I've been a owner/operator of the product line for roughly six years
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Bill Schnake

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Re: Sound Company With Lights Looking for Input on a Lighting Controller
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2013, 08:58:53 am »

Check out the Jands Vista line of products;

www.jandsvista.com

It sounds like a M1 with 512 dongle will be almost exactly what you're looking for.

The software is free (dmx output will blackout every five minutes), so you can see how it works for you before you commit to buying hardware.

James, thanks for the info, I will take a look at it.

Bill
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Bill Schnake

217.670.1328    Office
217.553.2278    Cell
Schnake Sound, Inc

Experience, Expertise, Professionalism and Reliability

Bill Schnake

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Re: Sound Company With Lights Looking for Input on a Lighting Controller
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2013, 09:00:07 am »

Pathway cognito. Super easy to use, acceptable to the artist riders?  Hard to say, will certainly control everything and I think it is a good inexpensive console to do a live show on.

Thanks Cailen, I'll check it out.

Bill
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Bill Schnake

217.670.1328    Office
217.553.2278    Cell
Schnake Sound, Inc

Experience, Expertise, Professionalism and Reliability

TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: Sound Company With Lights Looking for Input on a Lighting Controller
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2013, 09:02:50 am »

Lots of consoles can do what you want, and a few are in your price range - the ETC SmartFade ML and the Cognito would be self-contained products in that range.  There are several PC-based systems that would potentially be more rider-friendly - HogPC, Vista, MA, Chamsys, also in that price range, depending on what kind of physical control you require.  Unfortunately, like with audio consoles, there are a lot of different designs and workflows, and there isn't really one "everybody uses this" choice - especially in your budget.

My advice would be to pick a product that someone on your staff will get familiar with, and then you can assist the band's light op/tour manager/girlfriend in getting what they want out of your rig.

Do get a board that is designed for intelligent fixtures though - running LEDs on a dimmer-only board is beyond silly.  Your method of "each color on a fader" should be possible for pretty much any board, but there are better ways to work with modern controllers.
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John Fruits

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Re: Sound Company With Lights Looking for Input on a Lighting Controller
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2013, 02:17:49 pm »

The Cognito is a great console but above your budget.  I don't know about this year, but at last years LDI there were at least 9 different booths which used it for booth lighting.  You can download it and try it out, which is something you should be able to do for most of the contenders.  In addition to the smartfade ML from ETC you might also take a look at the Strand 250 ML.
http://www.strandlighting.com/index.php?submenu=250ML&src=directory&view=products&submenu=Controls&category=Controls&query=category.eq.Controls&srctype=detail&back=products&refno=2650
Another PC+wing option would be the Avolites Mobile, still above your budget. 
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Cailen Waddell

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Re: Sound Company With Lights Looking for Input on a Lighting Controller
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2013, 05:19:08 pm »

If you shop the base cognito into your price range. Cognito PC with a dongle is certainly in your price range
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Bill Schnake

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Re: Sound Company With Lights Looking for Input on a Lighting Controller
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2014, 03:34:27 pm »

Ok, I want to start this by saying the we are not a lighting company nor do we aspire to be a lighting company…we are a sound company that happens to own some lights for our smaller shows.

Here is what we have:

24 Par 64 cans w/1000 watt MFL bulbs, mounted on Socapex Bars of 6
16 Blizzard LED ProPar 7 lights (RGBW) 7 dmx channel mode
16 Blizzard Pucks (RGBAW) 12 dmx channel mode
4 ETC Source Four Ellipsoidal
2 ACL packs
NSI 7016 Lighting Controller w/dmx chip
5 Behringer LD6230 dimmers (dmx)

This system is only used for small festivals and I do not for-see adding much more to it in the future.  It is possible that I would double the Par Cans so I could provide a 24 front and 24 back truss for 48k plus the Lekos and ACLs.  This would definitely not be happening any time soon.  Did I mention we are a sound company not a lighting company?

We know that the NSI 7016 Lighting Controller is not large enough.

So here are my requirements:

I am looking for a lighting controller that is fairly easy to learn, will be acceptable to acts such as Tracy Lawrence, John Michael Montgomery, Brett Michaels and such.  I would like to be able to address each light on the front truss by itself that would be 24 Par Cans, 4 Lekos and 2 ACL bars.  Additionally, I need at least another 19 – 38 dmx channels for address the LED lights on the back truss.  If I understand the term correctly, I could use 1 dmx Universe for the front truss and 1 dmx (512) Universe for the back truss of LED Lights.  I also want to have the ability to put each gel color on a fader.  So all of my Reds on a fader, all of my Blues, on a fader, all of my Clear on a fader, etc so that whoever the LD is they can change the stage color by moving one fader.

I am hoping to be able to pick up a controller that can do all of this in the $1,500 - $2,500 range.  I would like for the controller to be able to be connected to a computer screen for ease of programming and to a computer for software updates.

On shows that need anymore lighting than what I have outlined above I will continue to use my favorite lighting company Rage Revolta.  Steve and the guys are amazing.

Thanks for your help and in case I didn’t it mention we are a sound company that owns lights not a lighting company.

Hi all, I have been doing some research and looking at software controllers.  Since I already have an NSI 7016 and a Blizzard SnoKontrol I think software is the way to go.  Additionally, I can rent a hardware lighting controller from a local company for jobs that require them.

So I have tentatively narrowed it down to two softwares Blizzard LucidDMX and NicoLaudie Sunlite Suite 2.  I have loaded both on my laptop and they both seem to be fairly easy to program and both support multiple dmx Universes.  It is my plan to use one Universe for LED lights and then one for conventional lighting Par Cans and Lekos.  Does this make sense and what have I missed?

Thanks
Bill
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Bill Schnake

217.670.1328    Office
217.553.2278    Cell
Schnake Sound, Inc

Experience, Expertise, Professionalism and Reliability

ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Sound Company With Lights Looking for Input on a Lighting Controller
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2014, 03:34:27 pm »


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