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Author Topic: DMX Controller for small club install  (Read 5452 times)

Scott Wagner

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DMX Controller for small club install
« on: April 08, 2015, 10:40:17 am »

I've been asked to spec a DMX controller for an extremely small club lighting install. They'll be using 8 to 12 ADJ MegaQA Par38 fixtures. This will be used in a busking style by people with little to no experience. They prefer an actual controller (not PC). Basically, they're looking for a simple/easy way to change color and dimming level for each fixture. Scenes will most-likely be static throughout each performance. Budget is undefined (open), but I'm sure they prefer to keep it on the cheaper side of things.

What do you recommend?
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Scott Wagner
Big Nickel Audio

Josh Daws

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Re: DMX Controller for small club install
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2015, 11:27:24 pm »

i would use martin MPC with something like a elation stage setter8 mapped to it
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duane massey

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Re: DMX Controller for small club install
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2015, 11:41:38 pm »

ADJ Show Designer 1. For non-motorized fixtures you can do a ton of presets in 1 hour or less, an all they have to do it hit a button.
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Duane Massey
Technician, musician, stubborn old guy
Houston, Texas

Scott Wagner

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Re: DMX Controller for small club install
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2015, 11:56:12 am »

i would use martin MPC with something like a elation stage setter8 mapped to it
Martin MPC requires a PC, and the client is looking for a non-PC solution.
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Scott Wagner
Big Nickel Audio

Scott Wagner

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Re: DMX Controller for small club install
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2015, 12:02:23 pm »

ADJ Show Designer 1. For non-motorized fixtures you can do a ton of presets in 1 hour or less, an all they have to do it hit a button.
That's more or less where my thoughts were. I was hoping for a less-expensive solution. SD1 seems to be a lot more than they'll ever need, but it's certainly on the short list. There will never be any movers, although I'm recommending adding a few white/amber fixtures out front in the future. This is for simple set and forget scenes.
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Scott Wagner
Big Nickel Audio

Jeff Lelko

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Re: DMX Controller for small club install
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2015, 07:03:46 pm »

This may be a case where a basic ADJ DMX Operator or DMX Operator Pro will fit your needs.  They're very basic and quite limited in what they can do, but for the right situation they tend to work well enough.  If you're looking for a physical board over software and think a Show Designer 1 is too much (and too expensive) for your needs, then this will probably be what you're looking at.  Changing color and intensity of each fixture on the fly will be a little tricky though since you don't really get to that level of programming on this board.  It can be done if the board is set up for it, but the user would need to know a little about the unit's programming philosophy first.  Just be sure to read the manual for each board you're looking at to get an idea of each unit's capabilities.  The bright side is that once programmed, these boards are very easy to use so you'll be good on the 'user' side of the equation!  Hope this helps!

-Jeff
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James Feenstra

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Re: DMX Controller for small club install
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2015, 08:51:51 pm »

the Jands Stage-Cl sounds like the perfect product for your application;
http://jands.com/stage-cl/

happy to arrange a demo for you if you're interested!

list pricing is around $1500, but can definitely be found cheaper
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Josh Daws

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Re: DMX Controller for small club install
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2015, 11:24:34 pm »

Martin MPC requires a PC, and the client is looking for a non-PC solution.

ummmm....yeah...i know....hence the stagesetter ;) it doesn't remove the need for it, but certainly helps with the flexibility and control...

but for once i would be to agree though with duane on the show designer.
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Scott Wagner

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Re: DMX Controller for small club install
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2015, 11:19:45 am »

The Jands Stage CL looks like just the ticket - except for the price. This is going to be a hard-sell. I can see it now; they're going to end up with the stupid little IR remote. Ugh...

I'm perfectly fine with doing some programming, but I'm having trouble believing that such a simple solution doesn't exist in a lower-end DMX controller.

This is why I usually stick to the audio side of things.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2015, 11:26:40 am by Scott Wagner »
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Scott Wagner
Big Nickel Audio

duane massey

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Re: DMX Controller for small club install
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2015, 02:31:35 am »

The problem with just about every low$$ controller is the lack of being "end user friendly". IMHO, for a controller to be truly "idiot proof" AFTER it has been programmed, it needs to have the ability to store all aspects of a chase/scene/program such that all the operator (or bartender) has to do is push one button to call up a new look without having to adjust speed, fade, etc. It also needs more than 8 buttons for this task. None of the low$$ controllers (that I'm familiar with) will do this. All of the "Operator" series have the same limitations, in spite of the "pro" cosmetics.
$ 749 may seem like a lot until you look at what all you are missing. Yes, there are tons of features that you might not use, but the important thing is the fact that you will be able to get almost everything possible out of the fixtures without the client having a need to know anything other than "Pick 1-16".
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Duane Massey
Technician, musician, stubborn old guy
Houston, Texas

ProSoundWeb Community

Re: DMX Controller for small club install
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2015, 02:31:35 am »


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