Help for a beginner

ted01ted01 Registered User
edited June 2008 in Misc. Discussion
Hey all,

Brand new here and brand new to lighting. I am putting together a rig that will allow me to record bands live as well as produce the FOH sound. The type of venue I will be working in will be the smaller clubs and bars. I won't be doing any kind of arenas or anything like that. I decided that I'd like to also provide modest lighting for the gigs as well. I know next to nothing about such things, and am trying to learn as much as I can. Right now, I have eight of the really low priced scanner fixtures and four of the RGB LED PAR cans. I also have a very low priced 12 fixture DMX controller. I think I have a basic handle on how to program scenes and switch between them on the controller. The thing is, the controller is just not designed to be used with lights live. What I mean is that it's not like the old days where you had a light board and the sliders basically controlled a bunch of dimmer packs. I can select one or more fixtures and use the silders to control aspects of those lights, but as soon as I deselect the fixtures they go dark. I'm trying to figure out if this is just the way it is these days or if a controller exists that works with DMX fixtures that will allow me to control them more or less in real time (rather than creating scenes and just switching between them). I know this isn't particularly politically correct, given that High End is sponsoring this forum, but are there other forums out there that are more oriented towards the low end lights and the rank beginner like me? I'd love to have a truck full of High End lights, but as light as my wallet is these days, that just ain't gonna happen. Any advice on a controller that will let me run lights in real time, or pointers to forums for amateurs would be most welcome.



  • PuffyfishPuffyfish Registered User
    edited June 2008
    For something simple but powerful, works in real time I have 2 favorites that I still use.

    #1 Lightjockey by Martin.

    With the free addons it is a powerhouse. 2 universe USB driven but add on as many as you like if ya got the cash. Windows based and best run on 2 screens. It can do anything, but is computer based vs a hard console with faders. Update wise this is a big plus as well as eithernet control. They now have console interface boards for it called fingers. It works pretty well. For about 2k us with computer $1200 without, you can have a unit with neverending memory and what it can do is slicker than owl crap. Hell it can run on a laptop if need be, I'd recomend a gig or 2 of ram just to allow other apps to be running smoothly also. Easy to set up, on screen help per screen so it know what you are doing, a nice treat. Simpte, Midi, what ever! Excellent on line support. Dollar for dollar always one of my favorites for install's. It simply rocks. Interface it with Show Designer and you can design and program a venue without even going there in 3d and in real time.:notworthy: Paul P and crew in Canada and the euro crew continue to be able to drop my jaw with how quickly they can adapt to almost anything.

    #2 MLC-16 by NSI/Leviton

    1 universe 16 fixtures. No fx generator, you get to do everything by hand. Works in preset fades or real time as well as real time recording and playback. Make sure you get the newest version of software! The old stuff had holes, since fixed. Its a hands on desk and goes freestyle for intense additions on the fly in a touch. 3" disk for show storage and input for custom profiles and fixture profiles. About 1k in cost. I have used this desk for huge dance partys linking several consoles and using 2 people to run it all on head sets. Sick it was. Good memories of the old days. Faults; only 1 universe, no extra goodies, limited memory, but plenty for a club.
    It's common rental stock here and takes to the road like a big dog. Simple pushbutton interface. 16 static scenes and many pages for animated.
    I can teach anyone to use it in a few minutes.

    There are others but these two I know really well.
    If ya got 6k you and you get lucky look for a HOG1ooo.:hogsign:
    I prefer it the best even over a Hog 2 unless you have a playback wing.

    Prices go up past here... way up.

    My 2 cents..
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