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Author Topic: Martin Freekie good for non dj work?  (Read 2839 times)

Tim Weaver

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Martin Freekie good for non dj work?
« on: May 04, 2010, 04:47:31 pm »

Hi all, I am looking to buy a light board in a small format and need some suggestions.

Here's what I'm working with. I need to control 4 Chauvet Qspot 200's and at least 4 "addresses" of led lights. Plus sometimes conventionals, never more than 8 channels worth. This is for a typical rock or country band and not DJ style dance music. What I'm wondering is, will the Freekie let me do this with relative ease and give me a good operating experience? Right now I'm using Daslight on a laptop, and I kinda hate it. The number one thing I don't like is the lack of faders, and 2 it's hard to make up a show "on the fly" with it, because you can't, for example, leave some lights burning for the singer while changing the look on the movers, or what ever. If you change a look it's all lights at once. Not something I like.

So is there a junior level dmx console capable of easy use that is not geared towards "strobe crazy" dj work?

I'm hoping that someone here will tell me that the freekie will do this, or give me a suggestion of something else that will...

Thanks!
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Stuart Pendleton

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Re: Martin Freekie good for non dj work?
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2010, 05:35:34 pm »

I have used a Freekie for the last 5 years.  I like it a lot.  It has some limitations that annoy me (only 12 fixtures) and the macros aren't great, but they are OK.  I like to do most of my shows on the fly, and it works fine for this.  I have put a LOT of hours on mine with not one issue.  I really like being able to control my hazer the way it does.  You set the address to match the smoke button, then program a default setting for the hazer, and an active setting for the hazer.  I can have it running really low level and hit the button to get a burst.  I also like the ease of programming.  The fades aren't in actual time (as in seconds) but in relative numbers so you have to get used to it.  For precision work, it would be hard.  For running your standard bar/club type work, it's been good for me.  I also own a Magic 260 and Bluelite on my PC.  Bluelite or course is much more powerful, and much less user friendly.  The Magic 260 sits in between.  I find that for 90% of my shows, I grab the Freekie and go.

It is an easy to use, easy to program board that can do a small show fine. I find it hard to migrate to anything else after using it because of that.  I just wish it had better macros, and could do about 6 more lights. (I have to group too many together to make me really happy.)
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Tony "T" Tissot

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Re: Martin Freekie good for non dj work?
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2010, 11:11:23 pm »

Daslight - "live' mode

http://www.dmxsoft.com/manuals/?oem=FT8p45&na=plX

Don't know your version - but I had to figure that out before.
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Tim Weaver

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Re: Martin Freekie good for non dj work?
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2010, 12:31:54 pm »

I've been working in live mode, but it is still at best crappy DJ software. I haven't been able to figure out the crossfade speed functions, and what if I want to change all my LED's from green to blue but leave the movers where they are? It just doesn't work.

I know I could grab the faders for the led's but then I have to right click on every fader I grab and reset it so it will follow cues again.

This software is not at all friendly with running live music lighting. Period.

If I could work with the same band, doing the same set list every night it would be fine. But when you are running lights (both your own and what the club has) it just plain sucks.
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Matt Stoneback

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Re: Martin Freekie good for non dj work?
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2010, 04:19:14 pm »

It sounds like Stuart has had a better experience with the Freekie than me.  I too have used the Freekie and for approximately two years.  It is not a bad little console but I think it leaves a lot to desire.  For one, I have never got it to work with my Radiance Hazer.  All it seems to do for me is turn it on with the fan on high and the haze output on high.  So I have no control at all.

Also, from what I read from your original post it sounds like the Freekie will be too small of a console for you.  There are only 12 channels, like Stuart mentioned, and you list the need for at least 20 channels if I am reading your post correctly.  As for "on the fly looks" it can be done, but you would need to program all of these looks ahead of time and move from show to show.  You could do some on the fly looks if you left the board in edit mode but I think this would be a huge hassle.

All in all I think there might be better equipment out there that could be bought for the amount you would drop on the Freekie.  I must admit I thought it would be a great little console because of the Martin name... it is not bad, but I am underwhelmed.  Don't get me wrong though, the Freekie is a great controller for DJ work.

Have you ever looked into the Show Designer series by Elation?  I just had a client purchase the Show Designer 1 and they seem very happy.  I look at it and wonder why I didn't just spend my money there when I had it.  Oh well, you learn with time.
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Matt Stoneback
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Stuart Pendleton

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Re: Martin Freekie good for non dj work?
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2010, 04:56:05 pm »

I use a Radiance with mine and it works fine for the most part.  The hazer doesn't seem to like to put out much at the lowest possible settings but it does get control from the Freekie fine.  I used my smoke button the Freekie.  I left the inactive setting as a very low setting for constant hazing and then programmed the active scene as a higher value so that I could just bump the output when needed.

I didn't see 20 channels in his post.  I saw 4 spots that would have to run in the 11 channel mode, 4 leds lights, and 8 conventionals.  He would have to gang up a few lights to get down to 12, but I only saw 16 total so it doesn't seem too bad.

I do shows on the fly leaving the board in edit mode.  I sort of like working it like that. I also have made a few shows with pars and just bring in the Martin scanners while the show runs by adding them to the show in progress.  I have my Radiance hazer on the smoke button, and I have lasers set on the button where strobes are labeled.  If I had another 8 fixtures on it, and I a few more macro movements, I would just use it.  I have a Magic 260 board, and find that although it has a lot more power than the Freekie, I really don't like to use it at all.  I think when I do leave the Freekie, it will be because I also use Bluelight and am getting more comfortable with it. Once I feel at home with it, I will probably relegate the Freekie to back up board status, but I do like it for the price point it is at.
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I am the luckiest man in the world because I'm married to the most wonderful woman in the world!!

This should have been my company's slogan:
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Luke Andrew Reichart

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Re: Martin Freekie good for non dj work?
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2010, 05:33:22 pm »

I have used this console for about two years.  It is a great console for the most part and depending on what you are using it for.  I have mostly led par cans that we use with the freekie.  I mainly use it only for dj work and nothing bigger.  It is great for that i think if you only used it for strobing then it would be great.  But there definitely are better consoles out there.  Once you get familiar with it the muscle memory makes it really easy to control and program too.
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Luke

Matt Stoneback

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Re: Martin Freekie good for non dj work?
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2010, 05:41:29 pm »

Quote:

I didn't see 20 channels in his post. I saw 4 spots that would have to run in the 11 channel mode, 4 leds lights, and 8 conventionals. He would have to gang up a few lights to get down to 12, but I only saw 16 total so it doesn't seem too bad.


I was counting the 4 spots on 4 separate channels, 4 separate LED channels, and 8 conventional channels so that is where I was getting the 20 channels but now I see that I miscounted and it is indeed a max of 16.  I do agree that more fixtures is easily obtained by having some fixtures on the same channel.  I do this every time I am out with mine.  I always have at least 16 fixtures being used at once.

What really interests me is how you (Stuart) get the Radiance to work with the Freekie.  If you wouldn't mind, maybe we could send some PM's back and forth so I can figure this out.  I am never shy about asking for help and it looks like you have some knowledge I have overlooked.  Anything I can do to extend my use of Freekie would be awesome.

It is nice to finally meet some fellow Freekie users on this forum.  When I originally purchased the unit I searched on here for info and it appeared as if no one made use of it.  I find it quite interesting that a couple of posts regarding the Freekie have surfaced.
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Matt Stoneback
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