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ETC Smartfade ML Views and opinions?

#16 User is offline   smalljoshua 

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Posted 25 January 2011 - 09:02 PM

I'll add my support for Hippy's solution, I'm a keen user of MagicQ with my MiniWing. It's a very versatile piece of software.

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#17 User is offline   Joe Bleasdale 

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Posted 25 January 2011 - 11:33 PM

View Postmaxjones2000, on 25 January 2011 - 06:36 PM, said:

And yes, you can embed chases in MagicQ. Quite a few desks can (like Jesters, MagicQ, ADB Phoenix). However, I see Joes point of learning to 'go without' as only a minority of desks can actually do this :)

Believe me, there are more desks that don't let you, than ones that do. ;)

View Postmaxjones2000, on 25 January 2011 - 06:36 PM, said:

EDIT: I'm lying - you can sort of embed chases to my knowledge. You set them as follow/auto cues so that they automatically execute themselves after a given time. However, I'm not sure about 'looping' the chase. You'd have to have a look in the manual for that

On the Jester ML series, there are two types of memories (cues). Scene, and chase. Scene consists of one "look". Chase consists of multiple "looks". I dislike the chase memories, they become fiddly for someone who is used to more complex desks. The chase memories can be part of the main stack, however say your recording a colour chase for 4 moving lights, you still have to have the rest of the information for your rig in ALL of the cues*. It becomes tedious to keep building huge cues when on more advanced desks, it would be a far simpler task. But that being said the desk was designed to be simple, have a good price point and for use with MLs in the lower market ranges. So I understand this and just get on with it when I use the desk! Ohh, and last time I checked, there is no looping options on the ML range. But in terms of GUI it is all one "layer" you rarley have to look deeper, very easy desk to get the hang of.

*This may well be down to the fact the ML I use every now and again has tagging disabled. If it was enabled this process may be different.

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#18 User is online   jonhole 

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 12:22 AM

View Postmaxjones2000, on 25 January 2011 - 06:36 PM, said:

I'm lying

No your not!

You can build chases into the cue stack in the same way you build a chase on a submaster.

edit: beaten to it, didn't notice page two!

This post has been edited by jonhole: 26 January 2011 - 12:27 AM

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#19 User is offline   tvi675 

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 01:44 PM

View Postnb705, on 25 January 2011 - 04:16 PM, said:

I believe you can embed a chase into a cue stack in Chamsys, perhaps Matt or someone can confirm?

You can indeed! Each cue in your stack has a cue type that you can change between cue and chase, so for the chase within the stack just change these cues to chase, set the last step of the chase to jump back to the first and you're away. Before the chase, if you insert a mark cue with 0 fade time and the halt set to yes then this will act like a stop between your previous cue and the chase, as the chase obviously has the halt fields set to no. Depending on how you want to jump out of the chase you might also need to set the Go jumps out of loop option on the stack.


#20 User is offline   lightsource 

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 01:35 AM

Just for the OP, there are a good set of training videos for the Smartfade ML on YouTube.

Just do a YouTube search for ETC Smartfade ML, and you'll find them.....

Here's one to get you started:

There are some that are not in English though.
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#21 User is offline   Biskit 

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 05:08 PM

Thanks to everyone for their comments, and to Lightsource for the pointer to the YouTube videos. I will have a look with interest.

Regarding the Jester ML suggestion, this is something I had actually considered, and having owned a Jester myself until recently (albeit not the ML model, just the 12/24) I found it excellent for what it is on basic shows with small generic rigs. However, the sorts of events I'd be using the Smartfade ML for, and knowing some of the venues I'd work in with it, as soon as I mention to the house crew that I'm bringing a Zero 88 desk the mickey taking won't stop until long after the show! And that is no disrespect to Zero 88, but unfortunately a fact of life in some circumstances, and as such has to be a consideration. An ETC desk, even the 'baby' of the range, doesn't have the stigma attached.

Its a little like audio hire companies stocking named brand desks, speaker systems etc, even where many would argue that XYZ unknown brand sound just as good for a quarter of the price, XYZ just won't bring in the work like D&B, Meyer, etc!

#22 User is offline   02jamesdaniel 

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 06:11 PM

View PostBiskit, on 24 January 2011 - 03:15 PM, said:

Are there 3 x 24 pallettes for each fixture or 3 x 24 in total? Ie. if I had, say, Mac 250s and Mac 500s in a rig, could I use the same pallette button for 'red' for all fixtures of either type which are currently selected? Or would I need to use seperate pallettes for each type of fixture, thus using up the pallettes very quickly?

There are 24 palettes for each attribute I.e. 24 colour palettes, 24 position and so on. yes you can assign a palette across all of your fixtures if they have the same colour's the difficulty comes in your beam palettes there just is not enough room for all the effects which are available on the units.


How fast/easy is it to quickly select a group of fixtures and select pallettes for them?

not fast enough!! it depends on the environment, one of which is not ideal is a busking one when it comes down to it if you have effects running as well it becomes just a flap of trying to press 10 buttons at once.


Is it possible to interchange what is stored in pallettes on the different pages? Eg. I might want to have colour, gobo, position and movement pallettes on the same page? And finally, the manual refers to speed and size of shape effects being saved to the 'effect' rather than to a pallette. Does this mean that if I want to use the same shape effect for two or more different groups of fixtures simultaneously, that the speed and size would have to be the same?

No each page is assigned to that specific palette, colour will only do colour and so on. In regards to the effects, you are given the option of using up to 11 effects in the case of movement effects some are circle, square, infinity, flower, triangle and so on. so if you assigned one circle effect and changed the speed for a fixture currently running that shape but wanted to have another fixture running the shape at a lower speed you just wouldn't be able to do it. You could however do this if you assigned another circle effect. This would mean you could have two circle movements one at a fast speed the other at a lower speed as well as another 9 effects.

Hope this helps and makes sense?!

Its a great little desk dont get me wrong I just think its more suited to a conference situation than any other.


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