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Controlling Sophisticated Lights for Volunteers


Noah D Mitchell:
Quick question,

We have a basic DMX lighting rig (dmx dimmers and conventional lights) that a number of volunteers run. We've got a basic controller (faders and chases) that they can pretty much get a handle on.

I'm wanting to add a few multi-channel dmx lights in two different areas: 1: Color-mixing LED's for the audience 'ambiance' lighting, and some movers and color changers around the stages.

What I would like to do (my ideal), is get a controller (or software, I'm fine with putting a laptop in there) that I can program a number of 'looks' or scenes into. The operator can 'run' the conventional lights as normal, and then select a scene (red stage, or highlight drums) for the other lights.

What I want to accomplish is a drastic simplification of the high-end fixtures for the volunteer.

First question: Would it be best to run two different systems - the conventionals on the 'fader board' we've got now, and the other fixtures on software/different controller - OR is there a system that will allow me to accomplish this with little danger of the volunteers getting in over their heads.

Second Question: With any of these systems, can the 'house lights' have their own scenes? In other words, if I've got the house lights on a slow color cycle, I wouldn't want to abort that when I change the stage scenes or hit a stage blackout.

What products/tools/processes should I be looking at?

Thanks in advance,


James Fahey:
Hey Jonathan,

For what you seem to want, I'd suggest having a look at the maXim consoles made by LSC lighting ( ). They're still fader controlled so it will be a familiar interface for the volunteers and the optional PatPad allows you to program intelligent lighting effects effectively enough.  Scenes and Chases can be assigned to faders and can all run independantly of each other.

Hope this helps you a bit.


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