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Author Topic: Old dog looking to learn new tricks...  (Read 5790 times)

Mike Lowe

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Old dog looking to learn new tricks...
« on: April 06, 2016, 08:59:58 pm »

Hi folks,

I've been a drummer/hand percussionist/bassist forever. Recently the rock and soul cover band that I'm part of decided to up their game considerably regarding lighting. Wanting move beyond just the 4 Bars that we use, the singer picked up a bunch of Chauvet products. He bought an Intimidator Wave IRC, six Intimidator 100 moving head lights, a couple of Geysers, two Circus lights and an ADJ Starburst mirror ball effect.

The only controller that he has is a Chauvet Obey 40 which clearly was not up to the task.

I've decided to pick up a better controller and I'm leaning toward an Elation Show Designer 2 CF. It seems like it will do what we need.

This means that I'll be diving into DMX programing for the first time. I belong to drummer and bassist forums and know that a good forum can help quite a bit.

I searched lighting forums and landed here. Thank you all in advance for putting up with my newbie questions which are sure to follow.

I'm Mike from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
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-Mike

"We don't stop playing because we grow old.
We grow old because we stop playing."

"I wish that my playing reminded people of Steve Gadd. But they seem to confuse me with his little known cousin... E."

duane massey

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Re: Old dog looking to learn new tricks...
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2016, 09:11:41 pm »

SD 2 is an excellent controller. The learning curve is not simple, but well worth the effort. I have installed and programmed a lot of these over the years (currently reprogramming a system at an event hall that added a bunch of fixtures).
As with any controller/system, you HAVE to invest a fair amount of time programming the system. If you want some help/tips, feel free to contact me.
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Duane Massey
Technician, musician, stubborn old guy
Houston, Texas

Mike Lowe

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Re: Old dog looking to learn new tricks...
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2016, 07:05:01 am »

SD 2 is an excellent controller. The learning curve is not simple, but well worth the effort. I have installed and programmed a lot of these over the years (currently reprogramming a system at an event hall that added a bunch of fixtures).
As with any controller/system, you HAVE to invest a fair amount of time programming the system. If you want some help/tips, feel free to contact me.

Thank you Duane. I wanted to make sure that I wasn't completely on the wrong track. I'll likely be ordering it in the next week or so. I want to know how much I owe on taxes before I spend the money.

I will mostly be reading on this forum as I figure out this new world. Thank you for the generous offer, I'll like be sending you a PM or two as I soon as I get it.
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_______________________________________

-Mike

"We don't stop playing because we grow old.
We grow old because we stop playing."

"I wish that my playing reminded people of Steve Gadd. But they seem to confuse me with his little known cousin... E."

duane massey

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Re: Old dog looking to learn new tricks...
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2016, 08:22:38 pm »

There is one on eBay right now for $800.00
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Duane Massey
Technician, musician, stubborn old guy
Houston, Texas

Terry Martin

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Re: Old dog looking to learn new tricks...
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2016, 08:40:15 pm »

SD2 is quite powerful in its price range.    As Duane said, learning curve can be steep - but it's worth the effort and really no other console (again in its price range) that competes with it.
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Mike Lowe

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Re: Old dog looking to learn new tricks...
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2016, 12:02:13 pm »

I'm sure that I'll have some frustrating moments while I'm figuring out DMX, it's like learning a new language or instrument in a way. I would rather buy a serious controller now and not have to repeat this learning curve again.

I've been spending a good bit of time reading this forum for the past several days. So far I've learned that I need to pick up DMX cables and DMX terminators to make this work reliably.

I appreciate the ebay suggestion for a used controller. A very close friend is a Guitar Center manager, he gave me a good price on a new Elation SD2. It looks like I will be ordering it in a few days.

Thanks again for the advice and encouragement, I'm really looking forward to my digital lighting education.

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_______________________________________

-Mike

"We don't stop playing because we grow old.
We grow old because we stop playing."

"I wish that my playing reminded people of Steve Gadd. But they seem to confuse me with his little known cousin... E."

Mark Cadwallader

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Re: Old dog looking to learn new tricks...
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2016, 01:09:08 pm »

I too decided that the SD2 was the best value in a hardware-based controller for multi-channel LED fixtures, especially high-channel count movers with pixel mapping.  Find an older keyboard to plug in to do your typing for the SD2.
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"Good tools are expensive, but cheap tools are damned expensive."

Mike Lowe

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Re: Old dog looking to learn new tricks...
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2016, 12:18:23 am »

I ordered the SD-2 CF today, got a great price. It is not in stock, it should ship on April 27, which will be fine. We have a big show in June, I'm looking to have it programed and fully functional by then.


I too decided that the SD2 was the best value in a hardware-based controller for multi-channel LED fixtures, especially high-channel count movers with pixel mapping.  Find an older keyboard to plug in to do your typing for the SD2.

I looked up the specs on the Elation operator's manual. The unit supports a PS2 keyboard. I found an HP PS2 keyboard new in the box on eBay  for $9 including shipping. It will be here before the Elation.

Thanks for the help!



« Last Edit: April 16, 2016, 08:36:23 am by Mike Lowe »
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_______________________________________

-Mike

"We don't stop playing because we grow old.
We grow old because we stop playing."

"I wish that my playing reminded people of Steve Gadd. But they seem to confuse me with his little known cousin... E."

Marc Paolella

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Re: Old dog looking to learn new tricks...
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2016, 03:08:14 pm »

I am debating Show Designer 2 or Martin M2PC. The Martin is a little bit higher in price, but it seems to do more and there seems to be aggressive current development on the part of Martin. I get the feeling Show Designer is not getting much attention at all from Elation and I don't get the feeling they are serious about improving it or releasing an upgrade. I don't know any of this for a fact, just that there is little current buzz for the SD2, while the M2PC platform seems vibrant with newer hardware coming out and support for more connectivity.
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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: Old dog looking to learn new tricks...
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2016, 04:05:19 pm »

I am debating Show Designer 2 or Martin M2PC. The Martin is a little bit higher in price, but it seems to do more and there seems to be aggressive current development on the part of Martin. I get the feeling Show Designer is not getting much attention at all from Elation and I don't get the feeling they are serious about improving it or releasing an upgrade. I don't know any of this for a fact, just that there is little current buzz for the SD2, while the M2PC platform seems vibrant with newer hardware coming out and support for more connectivity.
You need to change your username to your full real name per forum rules.

The Show Designer and Martin series are completely different products.  There's a learning curve to the Martin, but it's a full-featured touring-capable lighting desk, including pixel mapping.  The Show Designer does about 3% of what Martin software can do.  That may or may not be a disadvantage, depending on what you're trying to do.

On the lower-price end of things, Martin M-Touch is what you want, along with a touch-screen laptop, rather than the M2PC.
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Old dog looking to learn new tricks...
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2016, 04:05:19 pm »


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