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A few questions about DMX console controller


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Before you all start going mad I have spent the last couple of hours searching through the forums, and while I have found the answers to many of my questions one still remains.


I have a budget of £100 - £200 for a DMX controller capable of controlling at least 50 channels.


I've been considering both PC and Console based control, and downloaded demo software for the all the makes mentioned before for the PC ones.


However while I can make my mind up on which pc based solution is best, I don't understand what exactly a console based one can do.


The first thing is DMX channels: If, for example with this showtec controller, if it says "It can control 12 scanners with a maximum of 16 DMX addresses per scanner" it means it can control up to 12 x 16 = 192 DMX channels, so I could control 192 x 1 channel DMX fixtures, or 32 x 6 DMX channel scanners, etc OR does it mean it can only handle 12 fixtures with a maximum of 16 channels each?


The other thing is that when programming a show, how do you usually get it to fade between steps in a scene, or even fade between fades? (Just generally, don't worry about an exact step by step.)


Thanks for your time!

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What exactly *are* your 50 DMX channels? All dimmers? All movers? A combination?


With the desk you've pointed at there, it looks very much like it'll deal with anything up to 12 fixtures of any sort, so it may be able to deal with 12x 16 channel scanners, or 12x 1 channel dimmers.


When you're programming a show, how the fades are done can depend on exactly what sort of show you're programming; if you're doing a theatre style show, you'd normally programme each cue into a stack on the desk, with fade in and out times set for each cue when you were programming.


Tell us a little more about what you're trying to do, and I'm sure that someone will give you a more useful answer.


Oh, and sub-£200 is going to be difficult if you want individual control of every channel! Second hand might be an option, but it's still going to be tricky.

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The ShowTec control states it can handle 12 Fixtures with 16 channels each, however this is just how it sets out the DMX addresses. The way you select the channels (to control them via the faders) is you select the fixture numbers using the fixture 1-12 buttons, the 8 faders then become channels 1-8 on the selected fixtures. You then press a button to go to "Page B" to get channels 9-16 on the selected fixtures. This function is normally for ease of "grabbing" different combinations of fixtures to change their levels.


Because of the way the ShowTec controller is set up, it means you can use all 192 channels with as many fixtures as you like. It is NOT limited to 12 fixtures per controller (baring in mind the limitations of fixtures per DMX line). All you have to do is be clever about how you setup your DMX addresses. If you want to control channels 1 to 6 (lets say you have a dimmer listening to those channels) you have to select the "Fixture 1" button, and then use faders 1-6 to control the output.


If you wanted to control channels 19-25 (for another dimmer). You would have to select fixture button 2 and use the faders 3-8, and so on.

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K, that makes more sense that its 16 x 12 DMX channels rather than just 12 fixtures.


As for our decision, we're going to go with a PC based, showxpress solution as after trying a variety of programs we found it the easiest one to set up a show.


While consoles have a more hands on approach, unless we get a more expesive desk, it going to be hard switching to certain scenes, unless we keep them in order, and we would have to carefully store all the separate shows on the console and hope they dont get deleted.


Anyway, thanks for your help! Will let you know how our EBS factor event goes (our X-factor like talent show.)

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