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Author Topic: Elation DMX Operator Pro Question  (Read 8516 times)

Aaron McQueen

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Elation DMX Operator Pro Question
« on: November 25, 2007, 10:14:44 pm »

I have 8 LED Par64 Lights running of an Elation DMX Operator Pro.  Each fixture uses 5 DMX channels.  I have all the fixtures working and I've programmed a few scenes and chases.  Is it possible to fade between 2 scenes manually, or possibly assign a scene to a fader?  This seems like a natural think to do, but I can't figure out how to do it on the operator pro.  Is this board junk and if so what do you recommend for 8 LED fixtures and future expansion to include more intelligent fixtures?
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Aaron McQueen

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Re: Elation DMX Operator Pro Question
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2007, 11:25:17 am »

bump. Anyone?
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Karl P(eterson)

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Re: Elation DMX Operator Pro Question
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2007, 01:46:30 pm »

I'll bite - but only because I feel like helping you out this morning Smile

A quick perusal of the manual shows that this is a DJ console and the features you are looking for just aren't there.

More importantly features that I would consider _crucial_ to the successful use of moving lights, especially in the church, are missing altogether.

You have obviously found how to use scenes and hot punch between them - that is about as good as it gets on this board.

You have a few choices I think. Now remember these are more serious options but are really the controllers you need to be looking at for things like intelligent cue based playback and true sub-master support.

If you want great cueing ability and good "theater" features without need for mover capabilities over 2 or 3 fixtures take a look at the ETC Express line

If you didn't need as good of cueing but want better moving / automated support take a look at the ETC SmartFade ML or possibly the Zero88 JesterML.

If you want cueing and movers, but plan on having as many as 7 or 8 movers then you will need some better effect generators for movers and I would take a look at the Zero88 Illusion or maybe a software and wing Jands Vista solution.

If you plan on ever having a "larger" (more than 20 LEDs, 8 movers, etc) light rig where things such as color pickers and great effects engines start to come into play I really like the Jands Vista line of controllers for the ease of programing, although there are many competent top shelf controllers.

Personally I would take a look at my needs and then decide If over the next 5 years I would be adding a little lighting, some lighting, or a lot of lighting. From there I would probably look at the Zero88 JesterML and Illusion for the small or medium growth expectancy areas. If I thought we might add a medium or large amount I would probably take a look at the Jands Vista Software on a mac mini with an S3 wing or even full blown Jands Vista T2 depending on the growth projection.

That is just me of course Smile

Hope this helps,
Karl P
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Duane Massey

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Re: Elation DMX Operator Pro Question
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2007, 02:38:50 pm »

In addition to those that Karl suggested, take a long look at the ADJ/Elation Showdesigner series. They are very cost-effective and very powerful.

The under-$500 controllers are all pretty much useless for intelligent fixtures.
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Duane Massey
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Karl P(eterson)

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Re: Elation DMX Operator Pro Question
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2007, 03:50:09 pm »

The SHow Designer 1 is to much of the same for him to really look at the 2 has most of the features he would be looking for but he would really need to be at the 3 to get all the different playback types he really wants. By that time we are at a price bracket where we can look at ETC, Zero88, etc and they would arguably be a better investment.

Thats just my take however.

Karl P
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Aaron McQueen

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Re: Elation DMX Operator Pro Question
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2007, 04:19:47 pm »

Quote:

I'll bite - but only because I feel like helping you out this morning


Thanks Smile

Quote:

A quick perusal of the manual shows that this is a DJ console and the features you are looking for just aren't there.

More importantly features that I would consider _crucial_ to the successful use of moving lights, especially in the church, are missing altogether.

You have obviously found how to use scenes and hot punch between them - that is about as good as it gets on this board.


That's what I thought.  I got the board real cheap used, and thought it may work, but if it doesn't I'll get something that does.

Let me give a little more specific information about the situation and exactly what I'm trying to do.  I'm fairly new to lighting.  Our sanctuary is small, 200 max.  We recently did a renovation, and I was able to get a few upgrades in as far as sound and lights.  We didn't have any stage lighting at all before.  It's an old building and power is problem.  My goal was to just get some front stage wash.  I think I accomplished that.  We put in 10 lights.  6 Color LED Par64's and 4 ADJ White LED Par64's.  The setup takes less then 300W and is cool as ice on the small stage. It is doing exactly what I wanted as far as output.  I'll take some pictures tonight.

The problem is mostly because of the ceiling.  It's 17' in the middle and 8' on the side.  It's even less on the 2' high stage.  Lights have to be centrally located.  But so does the sound and the video.  Once you go off to the right of the left you start to  get people interference.

The flexibility of the LED's let us change color if we want.  The expansion for moving lights (probably just a couple of scanners, nothing too fancy) will be for youth events.  Next year we are planning quite a few.  I guess there will be only 4 moving lights (probably scanners).  The room just isn't big enough to support much more, I don't think.  We are looking at moving to a new building in the next 3 years.  All lighting and sound will be redone at that point.

I know I get what I pay for, but with the current setup I can't see spending $3K on a lighting console.  It just doesn't make sense to put that next to a Yamaha MG32.  So at least, I would like to be able to set up a scene and assign that to a fader.  Are there any other options in the sub $1K range?  I'm thinking software may be where I'm headed.
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Phil LaDue

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Re: Elation DMX Operator Pro Question
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2007, 04:30:29 pm »

Aaron McQueen wrote on Tue, 27 November 2007 16:19


I know I get what I pay for, but with the current setup I can't see spending $3K on a lighting console.  It just doesn't make sense to put that next to a Yamaha MG32.

If you buy a good desk now you can take it with you to the new space.
As long as you stick to some basic parameters a lighting desk can last you for 10+ years before it becomes obsolete.
Unfortunately not so for some audio purchases.
Much better ROI in my experience.

Aaron McQueen

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Re: Elation DMX Operator Pro Question
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2007, 09:00:17 pm »

Here are some pictures of the room and the setup.  Any suggestions are appreciated.

http://www.laurelfirstassembly.org/media/light1.jpg
http://www.laurelfirstassembly.org/media/light2.jpg
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Karl P(eterson)

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Re: Elation DMX Operator Pro Question
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2007, 11:57:08 pm »

I have a lot clearer picture now Smile

So maybe some of my recommendations were a bit large eh? Wink

I would seriously look for a used ETC Express 24/48 or maybe a 125  as it would give you what you needed in a well understood and very straight forward package.

At 16 to 17 hundred bucks you should be able to look at a Lightronics TL-2448
http://www.lightronics.com/tl_consoles.html as well.

A used Hog 500 or 250 at a bargain basement price could possibly work.

One last option to consider would be a new Smartfade 2496

I think you would be most happy with a used express.

Unless its something like the Hog or Jands with external wings I would beg you to stay away from software.


Karl P
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Tony Martin

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Re: Elation DMX Operator Pro Question
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2007, 12:46:28 pm »

Aaron: I have the Operator Pro as well as the Operator 192. Both have a fader on them which is labelled simply "FADE".
Bring this up a bit, then change scene in the normal way.
What the fader does is adjust the fade time from 1 scene to the next. You can stretch this fade time out as long as 30 seconds, which is kinda neat because the audience does not even realize there is a scene change happening, but it can be very effective in changing the mood without notice.
I use these boards for live production of bands, and truth to tell, they're great bang for the buck. You just have to approach them a bit differently than you would one of the high-end consoles.
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Aaron McQueen

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Re: Elation DMX Operator Pro Question
« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2007, 01:41:56 pm »

Thanks Tony, I'll give that a shot.  I couldn't find that in the manual.
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Tony Martin

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Re: Elation DMX Operator Pro Question
« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2007, 02:18:06 pm »

Well, Aaron, it appears I may have been mistaken.
By way of explanation, I've had the Operator 192 for a few months, and this function works well on that little board.
The Operator Pro is something my partner just picked up last week.
Today (after I posted that last message) is the first time I've tried that function on the Op-Pro, and it does not seem to be working.
I am at this moment working on it. I'll post any results here for you.
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Duane Massey

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Re: Elation DMX Operator Pro Question
« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2007, 08:13:32 pm »

Aaron, I'm going to program a Magic 260 tomorrow for a customer; this is not one of favorite controllers for movers and "on-the-fly" light control, but it does have some features that may suit your purposes. I'm not certain about the fade function (don't need this much for most of my clients), but it does have a master fader that actually functions properly if the fixtures are set up properly.

I'll play with the fade control to see if it actually works the way you need, and post something in the next few days. The price point on this one is in your range at least.
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Duane Massey
Houston, Texas, USA

Aaron McQueen

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Re: Elation DMX Operator Pro Question
« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2007, 09:37:40 pm »

Tony Martin wrote on Mon, 03 December 2007 14:18

Well, Aaron, it appears I may have been mistaken.
By way of explanation, I've had the Operator 192 for a few months, and this function works well on that little board.
The Operator Pro is something my partner just picked up last week.
Today (after I posted that last message) is the first time I've tried that function on the Op-Pro, and it does not seem to be working.
I am at this moment working on it. I'll post any results here for you.


Tony, I posted over at the Elation forum and this is the response I got.  Not exactly manual control but closer.  I think it might take some practice to get this to work.  This is basically a copy from the manual.

Quote:

Yes… but he has to create a show first then follow the instructions below.



Select the “SHOW” button that you wish to playback. The selected Show or Shows

will begin to run immediately including the originally set speed and fade times.

However, the selected Show speed and fade times can manually be adjusted on the

fly by simultaneously pressing the “SHOW” # button followed by the

“STEP/MIX/SEQ” button. A rapidly flashing Show LED indicates that you can

manually override the preset speed and fade times by adjusting the “SPEED” and

“FADE” faders- the “TAP SYNC” function will also be enabled (see Tap Sync on

Pg-6) . A slow flashing Show LED indicates that the Show is running at its

preprogrammed speed and fade times. Adjusting the Speed and Fade fader at this

time, will have no effect. You can also manually trigger Show steps by tapping on the “STEP/MIX/SEQ” when desired.
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Terry Martin

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Re: Elation DMX Operator Pro Question
« Reply #14 on: December 04, 2007, 04:02:10 pm »

I use the Operator Pro, and for the longest time - I thought I had a learning disability (and maybe that's still partially true)! Rolling Eyes

The dimmer section of this controller is pretty straightforward, and works quite well - although limited to 8 channels.  I'm just now beginning to outgrow it, although that is purely a financial issue.

The intelligent section of this controller is very difficult to work with.  I've got four Hulk 150 moving heads, two Intimidator scanners.  It is very difficult to program these fixtures to do anything unique.  I can see now that some of the higher end consoles have built in macros/programs to make the lights do some pattern.  

What is the next step (up) in controller capability - is it the Show Designer 2?  I'm interested - even toying with the software applications - but worried about my laptop staying alive.  No plan to buy another laptop - might as well buy a new lighting controller.

I dont' mean to hijack this thread, but I think it's on topic???

Is there a recommend hierarchy of controllers from the ground up?

Thanks,
Terry
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Martin Performance Enterprises, LLC
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Aaron McQueen

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Re: Elation DMX Operator Pro Question
« Reply #15 on: December 04, 2007, 04:22:11 pm »

Terry Martin wrote on Tue, 04 December 2007 16:02


What is the next step (up) in controller capability - is it the Show Designer 2?  I'm interested - even toying with the software applications - but worried about my laptop staying alive.  No plan to buy another laptop - might as well buy a new lighting controller.


I'm interested as well.  I respect Karl's advice but I don't think going from an Operator Pro ($300) to the ETC Express ($3000) makes much sense.  There has to be something in between that works well.  I'm concerned with the software route too.  What happens if the computer crashes midshow, and the lights go crazy.  Not that bad in a club or bar, but in a church service, I'm in trouble.
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Duane Massey

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Re: Elation DMX Operator Pro Question
« Reply #16 on: December 04, 2007, 06:07:23 pm »

Terry, I'd take a serious look at the Showdesigner 1 for your purposes. It's under $1k, has some preprogrammed patterns (not very exciting, but they exist), and has tons of memory. Unless you're looking at using a large number of fixtures, or a handful of really big fixtures, the SD 2 might be a bit of overkill.

If you approach programming correctly, pre-programmed movements are not very important; available memory and actual hardware controls are much more critical (IMHO).
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Duane Massey
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Duane Massey

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Re: Elation DMX Operator Pro Question
« Reply #17 on: December 04, 2007, 06:11:16 pm »

Aaron, I was going to give you an update on the functions of the Magic 260, but I ran into a classic case of "DYI" cand really be a bad idea. The client did his own install, including making his own cables. I spent the entire session chasing down bad cables instead of programming, so now we've rescheduled the programming for next week. His final bill is going to be a bit more than he was planning on, but, hey, he wanted to save money on the cables.
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Duane Massey
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Terry Martin

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Re: Elation DMX Operator Pro Question
« Reply #18 on: December 05, 2007, 06:49:16 pm »

I made add 4 to 6 (more) intells to my setup over the new couple of years, but I doubt anything more elaborate than that.

So with the SD1, I can still control dimmers and my intells?

Thanks for the info.

Terry

Duane Massey wrote on Tue, 04 December 2007 18:07

Terry, I'd take a serious look at the Showdesigner 1 for your purposes. It's under $1k, has some preprogrammed patterns (not very exciting, but they exist), and has tons of memory. Unless you're looking at using a large number of fixtures, or a handful of really big fixtures, the SD 2 might be a bit of overkill.

If you approach programming correctly, pre-programmed movements are not very important; available memory and actual hardware controls are much more critical (IMHO).


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Duane Massey

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Re: Elation DMX Operator Pro Question
« Reply #19 on: December 06, 2007, 12:17:54 am »

Terry, the answer is "yes, but...";

You have 8 sliders, so live control of dimmers would be limited to 8 channels at a time; you can assign one "Fixture" to be a 32-channel dimmer, and step thru 4 banks of 8 channels. This would be a challenge if you either need simultaneous access to a bunch of dimmer channels for live control, but is no problem at all if you're pre-programming scenes for playback.

The other function that some band LD's just can't live without are "Flash" buttons. No luck here, but if you're moving towards intelligents, "Flash" buttons become much less important.

Like any controller under $ 5K, the Showdesigner series are not perfect for all applications, but they are very powerful controllers if you learn what they can do and adapt.
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Duane Massey
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