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Desk for occasionally controling movers on tight budget?


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I had a skirt around the FAQ and couldn't seem to see anything which answered the questions I have. Firstly, I'm a sound engineer though I do know the basics of lighting (DMX, basic desk programming on Avo/Strand).


My local church has some six way par can bars, four of them to be precise and also three dimmers to run them (one split). Currently we have the good old Behringer lighting desk controlling them most of the time, but that is playing up something cronic and I've never liked it. Cheap and chearful! When we recently did our Christmas special we hired in a Jands Event 24/48 as it allowed us complete control of the lighting. We hired that because it was what the hire company had and would do the job. The lighting isn't used that often, just at our larger events because we meet in a school hall and is used for lighting/colour washing the stage etc.


With the new budget year coming up I'm looking to put forward a request for a new desk. Features? Needs to be able to control at least 24 channels of dimming and have preset ability. I'd be wanting something stand alone, not bolted onto a PC and something which would be better/more reliable than the Behringer.


I understand there are many desks that can do that, but on top of that it would be great if we could find one that could also control say four moving head lights (e.g. Mac 250's). There are some of our events that I would like to try and use them on (hired in) and it seems stupid to buy a new desk, then have to hire one in the whole time if we start using moving heads more often.


I realise I won't get a desk for the same money as a Behringer, but would would people recommend down the low end?






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Zero 88 used to make the diablo, which could control 18 generic and 18 movers, and wasn't too pricy (£350 on usedlighting.co.uk). I think it was also sold cheaper under another brand name. Alternatively a fat frog, Jands Hog 250 or second hand azure would be about £1000-1500.
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I'm sure if you do the correct searches around this forum, you will find many views on various desks suitable for this task but I would expect them all to be costing >£1000 - you do tend to get what you pay for in terms of desks and it is worth the investment.


I use a Zero88 Fat Frog for exactly what you are proposing and it performs very well. I did consider a diablo but thought it was very limited for using with generics.


I believe the FatFrog is due to be replaced soon so you may be able to pick one up cheaply as that happens.


Don't rule out the PC option - even if it is only to run the movers - I have found that Churches have loads of willing helpers when it comes to using a PC to do something but everyone shys away when you present them with a lighting desk! Think about who will be running this and the effort to set up movers to get the effect you are after.


All the best with your search,


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Fat Frog. You should be able to pick one up for around £1500. Good all round desk that is fairly straightforward to use.


The Diablo mentioned will work but (a) they don't make them anymore and (b) programming them is not the most obvious thing in the world.



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