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POLL: What’s Your Lighting Control Surface of Choice?

A conversation I had about programming “ambidexterity” and console choice the other day has been sticking in my mind like white on rice, a glass of milk, and a paper plate in a snowstorm.  I’m curious as to what the JimOnLight.com Community as a whole considers its favorite console or consoles.

Please participate in this quick little poll below – if you’re a JimOnLight.com RSS feed reader, come on over to the website and participate in the poll!  Choose one of the answers from the list below.

If you happen to program on something or really like programming on something NOT on this list, would you leave a comment and let us know what that console might be?

What's your control surface of choice?

  • I'm an ETC programmer. (29%, 59 Votes)
  • I'm a GrandMA programmer. (20%, 42 Votes)
  • I'm a Hog programmer. (16%, 32 Votes)
  • I program something not on this list. (7%, 14 Votes)
  • I'm a Maxxys programmer (Martin). (6%, 13 Votes)
  • I'm a Jands programmer (Vista, etc). (6%, 12 Votes)
  • I'm an Avolites programmer. (5%, 11 Votes)
  • I'm a ChamSys programmer. (4%, 9 Votes)
  • I'm not a programmer elitist, I love them all. (4%, 9 Votes)
  • Programming? F*** that, I'll hire someone like Cat West or Benny Kirkham. (2%, 4 Votes)
  • I'm an architectural lighting control surface programmer. (1%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 206

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Setting Up Pixellage – Cat West’s Video

One of the people I follow on Twitter – a gal named Cat West – has published a video on using the Echo software to collage across pixelation luminaires (ie, StudioPix and ShowPix).  It’s a good video – please check it out!


Setting up Pixellage from Cat West on Vimeo.

Also, check out Cat’s blog at Console Trainer.  Thanks, Cat!

ETC Unveils The Element Console

What’s that you say?  Electronic Theatre Controls (ETC) has released a new series of consoles!  So, to the huge family of consoles at ETC – from the Microvision FX way back in the day to the Expression line, the Express line to the Obsession line, the Congo, Eos, Ion, SmartFade, and architectural controls Unison and Pharos – welcome to the market, ETC Element!

People at USITT 2009 today will be seeing the new console.  I had a plane ticket to USITT, and I’m supposed to leave tomorrow – but I am too sick with this bronchitis crap, and I’ll be missing this year’s conference.  Someone take a picture for me?

element-angle1

ETC unveils new ElementTM lighting control consoles, USITT 2009

Middleton, WI (20 March 2009) – When customers demand, ETC listens. Users have been asking for an ETC lighting control console designed expressly for modest rigs and maximum hands-on fader control. In response, ETC is introducing their new ElementTM consoles at USITT 2009 in Cincinnati. ETC Controls Product Manager Sarah Clausen explains: “ETC defined the basic lighting controller when the Express console was introduced in 1995. We’ve seen over time that the basic lighting rig has changed. With Element, we’ve redefined what ‘basic lighting console’ means, without losing the ease of use of Express.” Element comes in two hardware versions, based on fader count (the Element 40 or the Element 60). Each supports either 250 or 500 channels and a full two universes of DMX output.

Element is directed at smaller venues like schools and houses of worship who depend on single console operators or volunteer staffers. It is designed to handle rigs outfitted predominantly with conventional fixtures (spotlights, PARs, fresnels, and their accessories – scrollers, mirror heads, gobo rotators, etc.), while also accommodating some LED fixtures and/or a small number of simple moving lights. “We based Element on our Eos® control system but with a simplified feature set in a stand-alone console,” says Clausen. Integral faders, a single cue list and command prompts echoing those of the Express console make operation of an Element console simple and direct.

ETC addressed a number of special requirements in this new console. Users asked for channel faders. ETC engineered Element with true LTP channel faders for handling simple shows directly or for building up looks for use as submasters or cues, or for editing levels live. Users wanted submasters. By turning a switch, Element’s channel faders become 40 submasters for simple playback of live shows. When submasters are needed all the time, the Element 60 console provides 20 additional dedicated submaster faders. Users wanted the simplicity of one-button operation if needed: Element records cues and fade times into a single cue list for simple playback of more complex shows using a GO button. Or, when users are ready to move up, they can access more complex timing functions like cue parts and follows to create more intricate lighting transitions.

Element also opens the realm of special effects to basic operators by recording effects directly into cues or loading them into submasters for more dynamic lighting looks.

Element even navigates basic accessory, LED and moving-light control. At the press of a button, the console’s On Demand ML Controls appear on screen with tools designed to control smaller numbers of non-intensity equipment like scrollers, gobo rotators and mirror heads for conventional fixtures. Element’s color and gel-picker tools simplify the control process further, applying appropriate colors to LEDs and color-mixing accessories and fixtures.

Smaller-scale venues like schools will appreciate the deep customer and technical support behind Element — from its on-screen prompts, Help system, and video tutorials, to ETC’s online Community Forums and standard expert 24/7 phone support.

ETC plans to begin shipping Element this summer 2009.

For more on Element, see product page: www. etcconnect.com/element

PRG’s V676

I had a chance to check out the V676 console from PRG at LDI last week.  My favorite thing said about this console by the rep who was showing me the ins and outs was “budget was not an issue since it’s a rental item, so we spared no expense to make this desk great.”

Well, bravo, PRG.  What a great desk!

From the press release on the PRG site:

The V676™ console is an elegant programming and control solution. Offering extraordinary speed, both in programming and responsiveness, as well as innovative interface advancements both in hardware layout and software design. V676, built on a legacy of proven reliability and cutting edge console development, expands the possibilities offered to designers and programmers alike. Intuitive features that quickly and easily handle the ever expanding scope of equipment to be controlled while acknowledging the ever decreasing time to program it all. V676 is designed with attention to detail and an insightful understanding of the practical demands of programming.

I got some pictures of this as well.  It sort of resembles an iPhone!  I really want to learn this desk.  I really want to learn this desk.