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Author Topic: Moving from Compushow Basic to Showdesigner 2?  (Read 1831 times)

Rusty Stevens

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Moving from Compushow Basic to Showdesigner 2?
« on: January 03, 2016, 10:04:42 pm »

I'm a sound guy. I like doing sound, and don't know much about lighting.
I had some pressure from customers to bring lights. These are small bar shows, and most of the time you see a pair of trees set to auto. As is typical for me, my desire to be the best in my segment took over. I grabbed Compushow, some LED PAR's, stands, a pair of dual head moving spots, and a couple of LED bars. I studied, I watched video's, and I hacked my way through learning enough to make it all work. I then find out that the venue that I'm getting the most bookings at has hyper-sensitive smoke detectors, and fog/mist/etc. are out. I also found that when I'm giving the sound the attention it deserves, I can't dedicate the time I need to stumble around in Compushow and switch up the moving lights. With the lack of ambient atmosphere (also 4 heads isn't enough to really look like much of a show when you get them on a stage) the movers were about useless to me. The 8 pars I have aren't throwing enough light when they go to primary colors, so I trade the movers in for 8 more pars and a couple of panels. The first show with the extra lights was simple, but a huge improvement on the audience being able to actually see the band.
I'm not finding an easy way to control the individual fixtures in Compushow. Many of the preset buttons either don't function, or they don't allow me to control individual segments on a fixture. For example, it likes to link all of the segment's color faders together on my bars and panels, so I can't build chases on them. I'm sure there is a way around it, but I'd kill for a set of faders that I can adjust and hit save at this point.
So I looked at the options, and decided my best bet was to switch to a dedicated board. I'm looking at the Showdesigner 2 because of the ability to handle the 20+ fixtures, and grow when I need it to. After reading the manual I believe that I should be able to figure out how to select fixtures, move some faders, and hit save on it. It's gotten great reviews here, and doesn't seem as intimidating as a used HOG2 or any of the other boards that let me have the control I'm looking for when I'm setting up some chases and scenes. It also has the benefit of freeing up my tablet PC for remote mixer and speaker management from somewhere other than my desk (Monitor mix during sound check from the stage again - yay).
So thoughts? Am I in for a rude surprise? Will I still have the complexity\understanding issues I've had trying to use Compushow? I just want lights to make the artist's visible, and blink to the music with the colors I choose. Oh and if I could use all of the factory programs and strobes in the fixtures that would be awesome too. I really just want to set up a couple of colored chases, a couple of static colors, and a strobe "chase" or two right now.
If I ever get a gig that can afford a Lighting guy, they can have it (no, really, please you run the lights).
Thanks
Rusty
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Jerome Casinger

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Re: Moving from Compushow Basic to Showdesigner 2?
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2016, 12:25:03 pm »

While I am not familiar with the new compushow (I used the old version years ago).  I do similar things that you do in regards to sound and lighting.  Going to a console of course opens other opportunities and maybe limitations depending how you look at it.  I wanted to get away from a console as I felt programming was easier on the computer and I could make them do more with less time. 

Have you looked into utilizing MIDI and a touchpad?  I use a Novation touchpad which gives me something like 64 buttons.  I have scenes for front lights, back lights then I have "specials" that I can hit to apply to the color scene (or movements), things like strobe, random on off, chase, etc.  Kind of layering capability.  So I can make them dance on the chorus etc with the push of a button.  Works well for me and I now never select anything on the computer anymore as its all on the pad.

I use showxpress for my software.

Rusty Stevens

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Re: Moving from Compushow Basic to Showdesigner 2?
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2016, 11:39:49 am »

Thanks. I did look at the Midi controllers, and thought that they would only add another layer of complexity to a system that I was already struggling with. I have a Designer2 arriving tomorrow. We'll see if that feels more comfortable and go from there.
Thanks
Rusty

While I am not familiar with the new compushow (I used the old version years ago).  I do similar things that you do in regards to sound and lighting.  Going to a console of course opens other opportunities and maybe limitations depending how you look at it.  I wanted to get away from a console as I felt programming was easier on the computer and I could make them do more with less time. 

Have you looked into utilizing MIDI and a touchpad?  I use a Novation touchpad which gives me something like 64 buttons.  I have scenes for front lights, back lights then I have "specials" that I can hit to apply to the color scene (or movements), things like strobe, random on off, chase, etc.  Kind of layering capability.  So I can make them dance on the chorus etc with the push of a button.  Works well for me and I now never select anything on the computer anymore as its all on the pad.

I use showxpress for my software.
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Rusty Stevens

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Re: Moving from Compushow Basic to Showdesigner 2?
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2016, 01:47:23 pm »

Thanks for the feedback. I just received my Elation SD2 and have all of my fixtures (no movers) already patched correctly. I found this to be way easier and quicker than the initial setup of CompuShow. I guess it's how my brain works.
Rusty
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Terry Martin

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Re: Moving from Compushow Basic to Showdesigner 2?
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2016, 03:31:40 pm »

Once you get your head around the SD2, it's probably the most powerful console in its price range.  I've got 2 of them, and I've also strongly considered software.   However, we need the buttons and functionality of a the SD2 per our current workflow.   


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duane massey

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Re: Moving from Compushow Basic to Showdesigner 2?
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2016, 12:21:27 am »

Used the entire range of the Showdesigner series for many years now. The SD 2 is a very powerful, cost-effective controller and is my favorite console (none of my clients are in the pro-level budget world). I'm not crazy about the manual nor the DIY videos out there, as I have my own approach to organizing and programming, but it's a tremendously useful controller once you get past the initial learning curve. Feel free to contact me if you need some suggestions.
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Duane Massey
Technician, musician, stubborn old guy
Houston, Texas

ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Moving from Compushow Basic to Showdesigner 2?
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2016, 12:21:27 am »


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