ProSoundWeb Community

Sound Reinforcement - Forums for Live Sound Professionals - Your Displayed Name Must Be Your Real Full Name To Post In The Live Sound Forums => SR Forum Archives => Lighting FUD Forum Archive => Topic started by: Scott Flaws on December 29, 2010, 05:09:23 pm

Title: Big Boy lighting consoles ?????
Post by: Scott Flaws on December 29, 2010, 05:09:23 pm
Ok so i have been taught programming and live show running on a Grand MA, its a great desk, but obviously not something you can run out and just buy to have at the level I am doing light shows. Out side of light jockey at the low end, what is out there? I have not spent time on any Avo stuff but i know they are rider friendly. I also have seen Whole Hog 2 going for under 5k, what would be a user friendly console to walk up to for someone say at a b national act level and be happy with? The Martin maxyzz? The Chamsys opionions? Just some friendly input and experiences would be great. Thanks every one.
Title: Re: Big Boy lighting consoles ?????
Post by: Rob Timmerman on December 29, 2010, 05:29:31 pm
In many ways, lighting consoles are similar to digital mixing consoles.  Every console does the same thing in a slightly different manner, and every operator has their own preference.  And all of them have some degree of learning curve.

What type and size of rig is this console going to need to control?  Are you looking for dedicated hardware, or are you willing to go the PC + fader wing route?  Are you willing to go used?
Title: Re: Big Boy lighting consoles ?????
Post by: Scott Flaws on December 29, 2010, 05:42:02 pm
Used is absolutely fine. I want something that when i have an act onstage that their ld will be fine with, with out having to buy a MA2. I really am only familiar with the Grand MA line of desk, but more so the syntax of which it runs. How easy will be for someone who knows a MA to go to a Hog, or Chamsys, or ( insert console here) i don't think the pc thing is going to be ok for a national act. It actually has to be a desk.
Title: Re: Big Boy lighting consoles ?????
Post by: Jason Phair on December 29, 2010, 06:19:27 pm
Have you looked into an MA Lite?
Title: Re: Big Boy lighting consoles ?????
Post by: Mark Lonow on December 29, 2010, 06:45:43 pm
http://srforums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/m/606998/24533/?sr ch=avolites#msg_606998


best cheap real light console

4 dmx uni
10 faders with 40 bumps
Title: Re: Big Boy lighting consoles ?????
Post by: Rob Timmerman on December 29, 2010, 07:23:24 pm
What type and size of lighting rig?

A console for a fully conventional rig will be different from a console for a small ML rig, which may yet be different from a console for a mixed rig.  
Title: Re: Big Boy lighting consoles ?????
Post by: James Feenstra on December 29, 2010, 10:40:20 pm
Mark Lonow wrote on Wed, 29 December 2010 18:45

 http://srforums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/m/606998/24533/?sr ch=avolites#msg_606998

best cheap real light console

4 dmx uni
10 faders with 40 bumps


if i ever have to program one of those desks again i swear i'll destroy it by the end of the gig so no one ever has to go through the pain of using it ever again...

that being said, for rider acceptability you want one of the following:

grandma
wholehog (2/3/ipc/road hog)
avolites pearl/diamond 4

90% of lighting guys will be ok with any of them, the rest will be carrying their own desks or not know what they're doing and not care

going from an MA background to Hog is EASY, they're relatively the same desk, avo is a pretty easy step too
Title: Re: Big Boy lighting consoles ?????
Post by: Rob Timmerman on December 30, 2010, 08:53:22 am
James Feenstra wrote on Wed, 29 December 2010 22:40

Mark Lonow wrote on Wed, 29 December 2010 18:45

  http://srforums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/m/606998/24533/?sr ch=avolites#msg_606998

best cheap real light console

4 dmx uni
10 faders with 40 bumps


if i ever have to program one of those desks again i swear i'll destroy it by the end of the gig so no one ever has to go through the pain of using it ever again...

that being said, for rider acceptability you want one of the following:

grandma
wholehog (2/3/ipc/road hog)
avolites pearl/diamond 4

90% of lighting guys will be ok with any of them, the rest will be carrying their own desks or not know what they're doing and not care

going from an MA background to Hog is EASY, they're relatively the same desk, avo is a pretty easy step too


And you *really* want the graphics tablet to go with the Pearl.

Cyan Magenta What?   Rolling Eyes
Title: Re: Big Boy lighting consoles ?????
Post by: Thomas Bishop on December 30, 2010, 01:20:45 pm
Mark Lonow wrote on Wed, 29 December 2010 17:45

 http://srforums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/m/606998/24533/?sr ch=avolites#msg_606998


best cheap real light console

4 dmx uni
10 faders with 40 bumps



Thanks for the link, and reminding me I still need to get some pictures.  James, are you not a fan of Avolites, or the Azure in particular?  If the latter, what didn't you like about it?  There are only a few minor differences that I've found and they were fairly easy to get used to.  Having said that, I am selling the Azure to upgrade to the Pearl.  I don't want to carry around an external monitor and need (want) more handles.
Title: Re: Big Boy lighting consoles ?????
Post by: David Buehler on December 30, 2010, 01:37:48 pm
I think you might look at the Chamsys line, you could do a EEEpc and a Chamsys PC wing for like $3k-4k with almost all the feature set of the MQ-100s and we've had many LDs use that setup. Our lighting guys just sold both of their MAXxyz consoles last week for a song, and are gonna stick with the Grandmas and Chamsys (they have both MQ-100+wings + PC wings and dongles/Touchscreen PCs) as thats what the trends for us tend to be.
Title: Re: Big Boy lighting consoles ?????
Post by: James Feenstra on December 30, 2010, 07:06:13 pm
Thomas Bishop wrote on Thu, 30 December 2010 13:20

Mark Lonow wrote on Wed, 29 December 2010 17:45

   http://srforums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/m/606998/24533/?sr ch=avolites#msg_606998best cheap real light console

4 dmx uni
10 faders with 40 bumps


Thanks for the link, and reminding me I still need to get some pictures.  James, are you not a fan of Avolites, or the Azure in particular?  If the latter, what didn't you like about it?  There are only a few minor differences that I've found and they were fairly easy to get used to.  Having said that, I am selling the Azure to upgrade to the Pearl.  I don't want to carry around an external monitor and need (want) more handles.

I'm not really an avo fan in general, although it's hard to beat the buskability of a pearl, which i will use on occasion if there isn't another choice

the azure's bump buttons are rather painful to use
it doesn't cue list (if i recall neither does the pearl 2000, although the later models kind of do, although qlist editing is a pain in the ass)
it doesn't crossfade cues very well
you *need* a monitor to use the desk
the overall workflow on the desk is rather clunky, as far as where everything's laid out

there's probably a few other things i don't particularly like about it, i've used them a few times (i work for a shop that has three of them! thankfully i own a vista and we also have an ipc) and would prefer that they stay as far away from me as possible Smile
Title: Re: Big Boy lighting consoles ?????
Post by: Matt Stoneback on January 05, 2011, 12:40:04 am
Not meaning to hijack the thread, but what are everyone's feelings about Jands Vista?  I am about to take the step into a "real" lighting system/console and have seriously been considering Jands as my solution.  I like that I can start with the Vista App and then move to a control surface and then onto a full fledged console.  I also know the idea behind the programming is a little bit different then their competitors (more linear based like a video or audio multi-tracking software).  I will also admit I like that the software is both PC and MAC based, which is good to me as I use both.  I know that Jands is not necessarily a GrandMA or Hog, but does anyone feel that it is a legitimate lighting console solution?  Also, if I have any of my facts/assumptions wrong in this post please feel free to set me straight as I want my financial decision to be a good one.

Thanks!
Title: Re: Big Boy lighting consoles ?????
Post by: James Feenstra on January 05, 2011, 12:06:35 pm
Vista is by far my favorite desk out there, and is what I own and use every day (unless someones forcing me to use a hog or ma)

Check out the new v2 Byron software if you want to see a desk that will smoke pretty much everything on the market right now, including the ma2 and road hog

Add the fact that it's scaleable and affordable for even entry level users, and there's not much reason to not get it

There's so many advantages to vista I never want to go back to 'regular' programming

Fix 1 thru 10 @ full @ red @ pos 3 @ gobo 2 @ focus 73% @ iris full enter store cue 1 doesn't exist on vista...in the time it takes to make that cue on most desks I can do three on vista Smile
Title: Re: Big Boy lighting consoles ?????
Post by: John Livings on January 05, 2011, 03:16:54 pm
Hi James,

[Add the fact that it's scaleable and affordable for even entry level users, and there's not much reason to not get it]


What desk do you use? I checked on the Jands Vista T-2 and I think it is $17,500+ dollars. and the Jands Vista S3 is about $6,000.

Thanks in advance for any information.

Regards,  John.

Title: Re: Big Boy lighting consoles ?????
Post by: James Feenstra on January 06, 2011, 02:31:50 pm
John Livings wrote on Wed, 05 January 2011 15:16

Hi James,

[Add the fact that it's scaleable and affordable for even entry level users, and there's not much reason to not get it]


What desk do you use? I checked on the Jands Vista T-2 and I think it is $17,500+ dollars. and the Jands Vista S3 is about $6,000.

Thanks in advance for any information.

Regards,  John.


I currently own a m1 + tablet w/ 256 dongle and rent/borrow larger if I have a bigger show where I have to provide a desk. My rig cost me about $3000 including tax and the tablet I have. With a regular laptop, $2000 isn't an unreasonable number, possibly less. Not bad considering you have the full power of the $30,000 t4, just less output capability (256 chan vs 2048 chan) and less hardware. Software is exactly the same.

My house gig has an s3 w/ 512 dongle
One venue I work for has a t2
One company I work for has an s1, s3, and several USB/dmx dongles

I also have access to a t2 in town if I need to rent one, and since Ac lighting is close (30-40 min drive across the city) I could pretty easily buy something larger if necessary.

I'm planning on buying my own s1 and upgrading my dongle sometime this year so I don't need to keep renting.

You can run a rather large show off just an m1 and s1 if you know how to use the desk...generally my shows are in the 1000-2500 crowd size with ~10-20 movers, 48k of dimming and 10-12 led fixtures and/or strobes. Fitting it all on a 512 dongle (biggest I can get my hands on for free) is the biggest issue I run into (hence me wanting to upgrade), although I can generally design in advance so it can be gotten around Smile
Title: Re: Big Boy lighting consoles ?????
Post by: John Livings on January 06, 2011, 04:12:01 pm
Thanks James,

Most Helpful.

Regards,  John
Title: Re: Big Boy lighting consoles ?????
Post by: James Feenstra on January 07, 2011, 10:25:26 am
No problem...vista is also rider acceptable in a lot of cases as long as you provide a competent tech skilled in the consoles operation

If you've got any more questions feel free to ask Smile
Title: Re: Big Boy lighting consoles ?????
Post by: Matt Stoneback on January 08, 2011, 06:43:46 pm
Hey there James -

Thanks for all of the info you provided about Vista.  Since you said we could ask some more questions, ( Very Happy ) I might just have to take advantage of the offer.

First, what exactly is the v2 Bryon Software?  I have heard of it and that is about it.  I believe I just have the regular vista software downloaded onto my Mac Book Pro.  What are the benefits of Bryon?  Can I download the demo of Bryon like I could of Vista?  Do all of the consoles now ship with Bryon or is it just a beta?

Second, as I stated before, I am looking at taking my first steps into a better lighting control solution then what I currently use (a Martin Freekie - this is not meeting my needs any longer in any way but I have had to make due with it).  I was thinking about getting either a license for a 512 or 1024 dongle.  Which would you suggest?  (I think the 1024 might be a little bigger than what I really need).

Third, is programming and playing back just through the Mac Book Pro a viable solution?  I am looking towards purchasing a control surface, but the budget might only allow me to get a dongle.  Is it a deal breaker if I don't have a surface?

Fourth, when I do decide to get a surface, which would you suggest?  M1, S1, S3?

Thanks for the knowledge, it has been nice to find someone through the forum who knows about the Jands Vista product line.
Title: Re: Big Boy lighting consoles ?????
Post by: Darren Scaresbrook on January 08, 2011, 09:58:26 pm
Hi Matt,
I've just gone through the same decision making process!
For me it came down to Vista/Byron or Clarity by LSC.
Both are excellent but I ended up going with Clarity as I found it much faster to program and much, much better for busking a show. The various playback options are great. I'm not sure how well known LSC is on your side of the globe? LSC and Jands are the two big ones here.
There is a free demo download on the website. Most manufacturers have a free demo version, so try them all and see what suits your style of work.
Darren
Title: Re: Big Boy lighting consoles ?????
Post by: James Feenstra on January 09, 2011, 12:14:26 am
Matt Stoneback wrote on Sat, 08 January 2011 18:43


First, what exactly is the v2 Bryon Software?  I have heard of it and that is about it.
byron is the new version of vista...it adds a ton of features (like matricies and video effects...my favorite feature as you can pixel map leds- or any other fixture directly from the desk and play animated gifs over them) although it's still in the public beta stage of development

Quote:

I believe I just have the regular vista software downloaded onto my Mac Book Pro.
likely as byron currently does not have a mac version available

Quote:

What are the benefits of Bryon?
check out the manual and compare...there's a lot that's been changed

Quote:

Can I download the demo of Bryon like I could of Vista?
yes, pc version only though at the current time
http://www.jandsvista.com/download/public-beta/

Quote:

Do all of the consoles now ship with Bryon or is it just a beta?
still in beta...the desks don't even ship with the most current release of vista, but it's a free download off their site so i'd recommend updating the desk to the most recent version as soon as you get it

Quote:

 I was thinking about getting either a license for a 512 or 1024 dongle.  Which would you suggest?  (I think the 1024 might be a little bigger than what I really need).
that would depend entirely on the size of shows you're doing...if you need more channels later though you can upgrade your dongle and get a discount on a bigger size

Quote:

Third, is programming and playing back just through the Mac Book Pro a viable solution?  I am looking towards purchasing a control surface, but the budget might only allow me to get a dongle.  Is it a deal breaker if I don't have a surface?
again this would depend on what you're programming...i do smaller shows with the pc only version and a usb/dmx dongle from time to time, and scale up as necessary

i find as soon as i'm running movers in an actual 'show' environment (ie. not a corporate one look type thing) that I like to have at least an s1 so i have the physical encoders to make positions and whatnot

Quote:

Fourth, when I do decide to get a surface, which would you suggest?  M1, S1, S3?
what you could do, depending on budget, would be to get multiple desks. the main shop i work for was looking at buying a lighting console around the 6-8k budget, with vista and an ipc being the options. i suggested this:

2 m1 + 256 channel dongle package (~$1700 each)
1 s1 + 1024 channel dongle package (~$4000)

which came in just under 8k, and gives them not one but three consoles (or one big console, as the desks will hook together via usb...dongles won't combine though), so they can send out just an m1/256 on a smaller show while sending the rest out on a mid to large show, or do two smaller, no mover shows and one small show with movers, or do a huge show with all of it, etc.

it's better to buy in this fashion than spring for an s3 and dongle for the same price, as you're increasing your versatility and don't need to send out a big desk to do a little show

a comparable system with say, hog pc, would consist of two playback wings, a programming wing, two widgits and one super widgit to get the same number of physical outputs and the same amount of hardware. the cost for this is well over $15,000, and that's probably a low estimate seeing as how hog wings are $3-5k each. half the price, just as much (or more) desk.

if you have to deal with riders, the only reason someone wouldn't accept vista (provided you supply a competent programmer to walk lds through the desk if they're unfamiliar) is that they're doing a fly in, are specing a specific rig and have their show on a disk/key. in 12 years of production, i've had this happen maybe twice, so on those occasions you can just cross rent what they need.

on strictly a cost vs cost basis for consoles, vista will give you more versatility at roughly half the price of other 'big boy' desks, not to mention the countless other great features

i've walked unskilled lighting guys through the desk and had them doing basic programming in under 15 minutes. try and do that with MA, Hog or Pearl Smile

Quote:

Hi Matt,
I've just gone through the same decision making process!
For me it came down to Vista/Byron or Clarity by LSC.
Both are excellent but I ended up going with Clarity as I found it much faster to program and much, much better for busking a show. The various playback options are great. I'm not sure how well known LSC is on your side of the globe? LSC and Jands are the two big ones here.
There is a free demo download on the website. Most manufacturers have a free demo version, so try them all and see what suits your style of work.
Darren
only lsc board i've got any experience with is the old maxim, which goes into the pile of desks i'd rather never see on a show haha...hopefully they've made it better

vistas pretty decent for busking, although buskability generally depends on the size of the rig involved. if it's a huge rig (say, 40 movers, 128k of pars, strobes, blinders, and other crap) you need a lot of console to busk effectively. my house rig is a dozen movers, 36k and some acls, and the s3 i have is more than enough, even when i have to bring in more stuff Smile
Title: Re: Big Boy lighting consoles ?????
Post by: Craig Leerman on January 09, 2011, 01:20:41 am
David Buehler wrote on Thu, 30 December 2010 10:37

I think you might look at the Chamsys line, you could do a EEEpc and a Chamsys PC wing for like $3k-4k with almost all the feature set of the MQ-100s and we've had many LDs use that setup. Our lighting guys just sold both of their MAXxyz consoles last week for a song, and are gonna stick with the Grandmas and Chamsys (they have both MQ-100+wings + PC wings and dongles/Touchscreen PCs) as thats what the trends for us tend to be.


Another vote for the Chamsys MagicQ. The consoles are well made, and the PC software is exactly the same as in the consoles.

I have seen quite a few LDs use Chamsys, and I switched to it a few years ago and now use it as my main console.

 

Title: Re: Big Boy lighting consoles ?????
Post by: Adam Finlayson on January 10, 2011, 08:43:14 am
James Feenstra wrote on Thu, 31 December 2010 00:06

Mark Lonow wrote on Wed, 29 December 2010 17:45

      http://srforums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/m/606998/24533/?sr ch=avolites#msg_606998best cheap real light console

4 dmx uni
10 faders with 40 bumps




the azure's bump buttons are rather painful to use
it doesn't cue list (if i recall neither does the pearl 2000, although the later models kind of do, although qlist editing is a pain in the ass)
it doesn't crossfade cues very well
you *need* a monitor to use the desk
the overall workflow on the desk is rather clunky, as far as where everything's laid out




I've got an Azure Shadow, mostly used for small club jobs and cant say that the problems James mentioned have ever really bothered me.  It is definitely a console designed for rock and roll use, not theatre.

The bump buttons dont seem to be that different to those on the Pearl.  What makes you say they are painful to use?

The Azure does have a theatre stack and cue list function, but given it is a club and busking rock and roll style desk, its not one of the main features.

I guess cross fades are down to personal opinion, i've personally had no problems with the Azures crossfades, but again, i'm not using it for theatre.

I dont think the monitor thing is a major issue as no matter what kind of desk your using, its always nice to have a monitor.  You dont need to use a huge 20" CRT, I normally use a 12" TFT monitor and it does the job nicely whilst not taking up much room.

Workflow wise, again I guess its down to opinion again.  I do lots of work on the Azure, along with the Pearl and ETC congo.  I find that although each is different, once you get used to a console and learn the workflow and layout, its as easy to program as any other desk.  When I first used the azure, I also found it a bit clunky and time consuming to program, however given time and practice, I can now program a show on an Azure as fast as any other console.

Adam


Edit: fix quotes
Title: Re: Big Boy lighting consoles ?????
Post by: James Feenstra on January 10, 2011, 12:55:17 pm
the buttons on this (azure 2000):
http://www.fuzeconnection.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/avo lites-azure.jpg

are nothing like this (pearl):
http://www.enlightenedlighting.co.uk/sites/default/files/Avo lites_Pearl_2004_2008.jpg

im not doing theatre either, 98% of my shows are rock and roll, although my shows typically include a large amount of cue listing, so quick and easy cue list editing is important
Title: Re: Big Boy lighting consoles ?????
Post by: Adam Finlayson on January 10, 2011, 02:45:14 pm
Ahh, I was refering to the Azure Shadow
http://www.avolites.org.uk/products/azshadow.htm

It uses the same classic Avo 'rock and roll' buttons as all of the other Avo desks.

Adam
Title: Re: Big Boy lighting consoles ?????
Post by: James Feenstra on January 10, 2011, 04:37:38 pm
never used the azure shadow, looks like a baby pearl so it might be useable haha
Title: Re: Big Boy lighting consoles ?????
Post by: Thomas Bishop on January 10, 2011, 05:11:56 pm
The Azure Shadow is the same as the Azure 2000 except without the waterproof membrane (which is why the buttons are weird on the 2000).  It was made to go in clubs where there is a high potential of drink spillage.
Title: Re: Big Boy lighting consoles ?????
Post by: neil juneja on January 19, 2011, 11:48:59 am
I highly recommend both the Azure and any Chamsys products.  I also have my Azure Shadow listed for sale, but I'm very torn on parting with such a fun console.  The Shadow is way more fun than the Azure 2000 due to the buttons (I've had both, but sold my 2000 a couple of months ago).  I also have a Chamsys PC Wing (not currently for sale) and its a blast to use as well.

Also, if you're interested in any Chamsys MagicQ products, shoot me a message or email, I have a good contact with a wholesale account that is able to do some very excellent pricing.