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Author Topic: Small rig shopping.  (Read 1350 times)

Timothy J. Trace

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Small rig shopping.
« on: August 08, 2017, 04:42:10 pm »

Greetings,

I'm thinking of replacing my 10-year old LED lighting rig with new stuff, and I'd like to hear opinions on my choices (below).

My current rig is a small, six-instrument, foot-driven system, which sees most of its use in 150-200 seat bars with my guitar rock cover band, 2-3 times a month. Sometimes it gets used for very basic DJ jobs or for room toners in church productions and stuff like that.

This gear has served me quite well, with no failures worth mentioning over the years. Despite my satisfaction, I've been feeling an urge for new toys.

These Punch LED Pro have been bright enough for every venue, but I know their limits. I don't really feel I've ever needed anything brighter. That said, I'm good about hanging black backdrops and killing all house lights near the stage to kill ambient sources.

This is where I'd like to go. I don't know if it's good or bad that it's all ADJ, but please remember my experience with my current rig has been quite good. I'm expecting to give between $1,500 and $1,600 pre-tax+shipping.

I like these instruments because I like the look of bars, I prefer washes over spots unless I can have both, I fear moving parts, I'm intrigued by the RGBAWU, ditto for the color macros.

I think the Operator 384 does everything I need it to do, and is MIDI controllable, which explains the FCB1010.

I also have two Chauvet Cubix 2.0, which are currently plugged in only on band breaks to put some movement on the dance floor. With the new rig, I'd wire them up with DMX and include them in the band looks.

So .... here goes .... comments?  Suggestions?  Bar rig, 2 gigs per month. THANK YOU!
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Jeff Lelko

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Re: Small rig shopping.
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2017, 07:17:45 pm »

Hi Timothy,

In general, I don't see why this wouldn't work, but here are two points for consideration:

For the money, I'd almost go quantity over quality on this one.  Four bars won't be all that impressive, whereas the money spent on budget pars gives you more options.  Or...keep your existing pars and add the bars for some movement. 

Fixtures aside, I'd strongly urge you to fit a "real" controller into this purchase.  This could either be a software/PC solution or a more capable hardware board, but you're still going to run into limitations almost immediately with the DMX Operator.  Addressing the controller limitation first will really let you get the most out of your fixtures...regardless of which ones you end up choosing.  Does that sound like a reasonable path forward for you?  Hope this helps!
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Timothy J. Trace

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Re: Small rig shopping.
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2017, 02:34:51 am »

Your comments are helpful, thanks :)

Don't have any PARs, just the six rectangular washes and two disco lights.

I think I can get what I need out of two 40" bars upstage, if they're bright enough....and I think the Ultra Hex Bars are. Certainly they're not touring-grade, but then again, they list for just  $400.

As for board, I run a foot-operated show 99% of the time. In this design, that Operator 384 is basically a DMX-to-MIDI interface to allow me to use the Behringer pedal board. Is there a PC-based solution which would be as cost-effective?

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Jeff Lelko

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Re: Small rig shopping.
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2017, 07:37:44 pm »

Don't have any PARs, just the six rectangular washes and two disco lights.

Ah sorry, my mouse has been acting up and somehow I ended up on a page with Pars, so that's what I thought you had and I'm not terribly familiar with the Punch Pros to begin with.  Either way, I'd still keep what you have and just add to it.  It'd just depend if you're okay with the way the Punch Pros look when placed next to the Hex product.   

$400/ea isn't a bad price for what you get, but where I was going is that several members here have had good luck with select Generic fixtures - you could get a dozen of those for the price of one bar.  Pros and cons of course, but just throwing it out there if you want to spread your rig out a little.  If you want to stick with name brand, I know you can get between 2 and 3 small Hex Pars for that same money as well.  That's 2 bars versus 6 pars - not exactly apples-to-apples, but just helping to facilitate discussion for options.  What do you have for stands and trussing right now?

You can drive M-PC with MIDI, and I believe there are several members here that do.  I'll let them speak more to that if they chime in, but M-PC or any software controller is far better bang to buck than any sub-$5000 hardware console barring maybe a handful of exceptions.  Unless there is really a niche application for why you want a DMX Operator, I'd spend the money on the more capable product that can grow with you.  It might feel like overkill right now, and maybe it is, but once you get the hang of it I think you'll be pleasantly pleased.  Assuming you have a laptop or basic computer handy, M-PC should cost you less (or roughly equal) to what a DMX Operator will run for.  The demo is free so why not take a look and see what you think?  Youtube also has no shortage of demos and tutorials showing what the software can do.  Good luck!
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