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Sound Reinforcement - Forums for Live Sound Professionals - Your Displayed Name Must Be Your Real Full Name To Post In The Live Sound Forums => Lighting Forum => Topic started by: Scott Wagner on April 08, 2015, 10:40:17 am

Title: DMX Controller for small club install
Post by: Scott Wagner on April 08, 2015, 10:40:17 am
I've been asked to spec a DMX controller for an extremely small club lighting install. They'll be using 8 to 12 ADJ MegaQA Par38 fixtures. This will be used in a busking style by people with little to no experience. They prefer an actual controller (not PC). Basically, they're looking for a simple/easy way to change color and dimming level for each fixture. Scenes will most-likely be static throughout each performance. Budget is undefined (open), but I'm sure they prefer to keep it on the cheaper side of things.

What do you recommend?
Title: Re: DMX Controller for small club install
Post by: Josh Daws on April 08, 2015, 11:27:24 pm
i would use martin MPC with something like a elation stage setter8 mapped to it
Title: Re: DMX Controller for small club install
Post by: duane massey on April 08, 2015, 11:41:38 pm
ADJ Show Designer 1. For non-motorized fixtures you can do a ton of presets in 1 hour or less, an all they have to do it hit a button.
Title: Re: DMX Controller for small club install
Post by: Scott Wagner on April 09, 2015, 11:56:12 am
i would use martin MPC with something like a elation stage setter8 mapped to it
Martin MPC requires a PC, and the client is looking for a non-PC solution.
Title: Re: DMX Controller for small club install
Post by: Scott Wagner on April 09, 2015, 12:02:23 pm
ADJ Show Designer 1. For non-motorized fixtures you can do a ton of presets in 1 hour or less, an all they have to do it hit a button.
That's more or less where my thoughts were. I was hoping for a less-expensive solution. SD1 seems to be a lot more than they'll ever need, but it's certainly on the short list. There will never be any movers, although I'm recommending adding a few white/amber fixtures out front in the future. This is for simple set and forget scenes.
Title: Re: DMX Controller for small club install
Post by: Jeff Lelko on April 09, 2015, 07:03:46 pm
This may be a case where a basic ADJ DMX Operator or DMX Operator Pro will fit your needs.  They're very basic and quite limited in what they can do, but for the right situation they tend to work well enough.  If you're looking for a physical board over software and think a Show Designer 1 is too much (and too expensive) for your needs, then this will probably be what you're looking at.  Changing color and intensity of each fixture on the fly will be a little tricky though since you don't really get to that level of programming on this board.  It can be done if the board is set up for it, but the user would need to know a little about the unit's programming philosophy first.  Just be sure to read the manual for each board you're looking at to get an idea of each unit's capabilities.  The bright side is that once programmed, these boards are very easy to use so you'll be good on the 'user' side of the equation!  Hope this helps!

-Jeff
Title: Re: DMX Controller for small club install
Post by: James Feenstra on April 09, 2015, 08:51:51 pm
the Jands Stage-Cl sounds like the perfect product for your application;
http://jands.com/stage-cl/

happy to arrange a demo for you if you're interested!

list pricing is around $1500, but can definitely be found cheaper
Title: Re: DMX Controller for small club install
Post by: Josh Daws on April 09, 2015, 11:24:34 pm
Martin MPC requires a PC, and the client is looking for a non-PC solution.

ummmm....yeah...i know....hence the stagesetter ;) it doesn't remove the need for it, but certainly helps with the flexibility and control...

but for once i would be to agree though with duane on the show designer.
Title: Re: DMX Controller for small club install
Post by: Scott Wagner on April 10, 2015, 11:19:45 am
The Jands Stage CL looks like just the ticket - except for the price. This is going to be a hard-sell. I can see it now; they're going to end up with the stupid little IR remote. Ugh...

I'm perfectly fine with doing some programming, but I'm having trouble believing that such a simple solution doesn't exist in a lower-end DMX controller.

This is why I usually stick to the audio side of things.
Title: Re: DMX Controller for small club install
Post by: duane massey on April 11, 2015, 02:31:35 am
The problem with just about every low$$ controller is the lack of being "end user friendly". IMHO, for a controller to be truly "idiot proof" AFTER it has been programmed, it needs to have the ability to store all aspects of a chase/scene/program such that all the operator (or bartender) has to do is push one button to call up a new look without having to adjust speed, fade, etc. It also needs more than 8 buttons for this task. None of the low$$ controllers (that I'm familiar with) will do this. All of the "Operator" series have the same limitations, in spite of the "pro" cosmetics.
$ 749 may seem like a lot until you look at what all you are missing. Yes, there are tons of features that you might not use, but the important thing is the fact that you will be able to get almost everything possible out of the fixtures without the client having a need to know anything other than "Pick 1-16".
Title: Re: DMX Controller for small club install
Post by: Scott Wagner on April 11, 2015, 04:35:38 pm
The problem with just about every low$$ controller is the lack of being "end user friendly". IMHO, for a controller to be truly "idiot proof" AFTER it has been programmed, it needs to have the ability to store all aspects of a chase/scene/program such that all the operator (or bartender) has to do is push one button to call up a new look without having to adjust speed, fade, etc. It also needs more than 8 buttons for this task. None of the low$$ controllers (that I'm familiar with) will do this. All of the "Operator" series have the same limitations, in spite of the "pro" cosmetics.
$ 749 may seem like a lot until you look at what all you are missing. Yes, there are tons of features that you might not use, but the important thing is the fact that you will be able to get almost everything possible out of the fixtures without the client having a need to know anything other than "Pick 1-16".
You're preaching to the choir here, but plenty of other people are likely to read this. I'm going to hit them with the Stage CL first, then back down to the SD1 if they balk.

I was just lamenting the fact that the low-budget controllers seem less usable than the pathetic IR remote. The market seems wide open for such a device. How difficult could it be?
Title: Re: DMX Controller for small club install
Post by: Josh Daws on April 12, 2015, 12:17:10 pm
well $799CA for a martin M-Touch, plus the cost of a PC, gives everything. PC solutions now are the way forward as far as cost effectiveness and features. i have been using it for a while now, and for installs in clubs/bars/ the MPC platform works great.

i know that its not what your client wants...but honestly, best option for the $$$ IMHO.
Title: Re: DMX Controller for small club install
Post by: Mike Pyle on April 12, 2015, 03:54:37 pm
I have a couple of Magic 260s on the shelf that may fit your needs.
Title: Re: DMX Controller for small club install
Post by: Richard Turner on April 14, 2015, 11:17:59 am
If you want to keep it really simple use a chauvet (or equivalent) obey 4 controller it gives you 9 preset colors and controls 4 fixture zones at touch of a button, cant get much more idiot proof $70 also has audio chases and such built in

sometimes less is more.