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Martin Wizard Extreme / Control


obsy

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Hi people,

 

I have used this forum for guidence over the last few months, but now has come the time to register and ask a question.

 

Firstly I was asked if I would like to help a band I knew to do some lights for them. I jumped at the chance even though I had only dabbled with discos about 15-20 years ago when it was just plug in chasers!

 

So I worked out my budget to get myself a start, on searching what to buy for the money I found I kept coming across something called DMX?

I made a phonecall to a shop I found on the web and the guy was very helpfull.

 

So here is what I purchased 18 months ago, 8 - 500w parcans, 2 dimmer packs, 1 Showmaster 24.

and 12 months ago, 1 Attomic 750w strobe, 4 Acme Rover Scanners.

6 months, 2 Led par cans, 1 floor par 64 (all for front of stage)

last month, 2 more Led par cans (for drummer uplight) and 1 Martin Wizard Extreme (+ another on the way)

 

The reason for the Wizards is that we are now doing a few weddings etc (something for the dance floor)

So my question is - even though the Showmaster 24 will control the Wizard/s I have'nt got enough channels left even in their 8 channel mode!

I would like some control over them to include them into the bands show, so should I purchase a seperate desk designed for scanners (with joystick)?

or chop the showmaster 24 in and buy a bigger desk (if budget allows) Any recommendations would be great.

 

P.s I see all these 8 + channel (with joystick) desks advertised for scanners saying they can control upto 12 scanners etc, is that done by asigning 1 of 12 buttons to each scanner then using the 8 channel sliders to move that scanner??

 

Sorry about the length of the post.

 

Thanks for your help with this one

Obsy

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To get the best out of fixtures like the wizard you really need a desk that has a chase generator in it, manually programming scenes across 8 channels on the fixture is tedious and gets frustrating very quickly. PC based controllers like ShowCAD are the fastest way of doing this but obviously you don't want to be lugging a PC about and you'll want hands on control. Possibly a job for a pulsar masterpiece, or a masterpiece replay unit (1u rackmount DMX controller which replays scene's off a memory card) with a load of shows stored in (including wizards + all your other lights) then just use an outstation (box with buttons on that plugs into the replay unit) to switch between shows. Martin also do dedicated control units for their lights, though they are slightly limited in what they can do and being martin their a tad pricey. Only problem I've found with the Pulsar stuff is that its a to program, but once it is programmed its fairly bomb proof.

 

By the way best of luck lugging the wizards about, their nice fixtures but god damn they're heavy bits of kit! If you get anymore martin stuff I'd strongly suggest looking at the mania range, great value for money and much better built ;)

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Hi Steve,

 

Thanks for the reply and all the info.

Have you had any experience with the Pulsar masterpiece 108 ?

Also, I do every song manually because the set list can alter instantly so I'm very hands on, could I still be hands on with the Pulsar as in just controlling the par cans etc and then switch to the chase generator when needed for the Wizards and scanners?

 

The reason I didn't buy a Martin controller like the MC - 1 was because I would like to add more scanners (maybe none Martin).

 

As for the Wizards yes they are quite a heavy piece of kit, but after lugging all the Mackie pa they do seem quite light!

 

You mentioned Martin mania, anything specifically stand out or you have used/got?

 

Thanks again

 

Obsy.

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The masterpiece was a de-facto standard in clubs for years and there are still hundreds of them around the UK doing sterling service, however remember its an old bit of kit now. Still very capable, but most new installs are using PC based things like Martin LightJockey and ShowCAD Artist, which have made life so much easier.

 

You could have scenes/cues stored on the masterpiece but also assign some of its touch pads faders to individual lights to allow you to flash/dim etc lights manually.

 

Only problem I found with the masterpiece was programming it - I nearly threw one out of a Dj stand once :D But there's plenty of people out there with more paitence and knowledge of these things than me - I'm sure you could get them to set it all up for you. Using them is a piece of cake, I lightjock'd on one two nights a week for years and never had one go wrong on me.

 

As for the manias - I've got 4 SCX-600's. Fantastic little scanners with massive light output - they are halogen not discharge so the light is a little yellow, but if that doesn't bother you you won't get much more bang for your buck in terms of scanners, especially not with rotating gobo's. They put the MX-10's, which are 5x as expensive, to shame. There's 8 MX-4's on my rig too and they look pretty pitiful in comparison. The mania version of the wizards are also great. I've also put some DC-1 flower type effects in a few bars and again, for £130 you won't get anything better. They make the NJD, Mad, Abstract, Soundlab etc. stuff look like the cheap tat it is

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I would second the use of a Masterpiece for what you propose. Once you learn how to use it busking with it is quite easy if you use a list for memorising your steps & chases or better still a screen driver with monitor. More importantly it can use a mixture of analogue dimmer packs & DMX fixtures & has plenty channels to get going with. They go at very reasonable prices on E-Bay & in my opinion are worth every penny. Once you get used to it you will wonder what all the fuss was about.

 

Good luck.

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Long time Masterpiece user here (as some might know!)

 

Although the desk was first developed in 1990 the desks are still going strong and like what has been pointed out, you will find many a Masterpiece in venues up and down the UK. The Masterpiece 216 came out around about 2000 but still based on the original concept of the 108.

Although the design of the board is slightly flawed (nightclub + metal buttons + beer = chaos!) it is relatively easy to programme and the Chase Generator makes chases far easier, giving you many different effects all from just one scene's attributes (ballyhoos, random, fly-ups etc).

For busking they are great and the desk has a keyboard layout so you can 'play the desk' when busking parcans, strobes or moving light attributes.

Once you have programmed the board you could for instance attach an Outstation to the desk where the button's represent certain environmental programmes from the desk.

 

Alot of people believe they are DISASterpiece's but they do have a good few years left in the industry.

 

Enough said...

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Thanks guys for all the replies, I've just ordered the training dvd for the masterpiece to have a look what it can do and how easy it is to operate.

I'm still open for any further suggestion as I need to get something that is right for me + availability for expansion.

 

Thanks Obsy.....

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Thanks guys for all the replies, I've just ordered the training dvd for the masterpiece to have a look what it can do and how easy it is to operate.

I'm still open for any further suggestion as I need to get something that is right for me + availability for expansion.

 

Thanks Obsy.....

 

In terms of expansion the masterpiece is probably as good as you'll get in that price/form factor bracket. As has already been said, as well as having DMX on it you get PMX, plus analogue lines - very few other desks in similar lines will give you all those outputs. Plus most of them will only have one DMX universe and very few are expandable in the way that big consoles or computer based systems are, so if you outgrow one universe then you'll need another desk anyway. Not that you should - I've worked on a rig for a 3000 capacity nightclub that didn't use all the channels on one DMX 512 universe so you should be fine :D

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Hi Guys,

Just a quick question regarding the Masterpiece 108.

 

I have noticed some people stating that there is an older and newer model, the latter having a 256 patch??

Could the ones that know confirm that this is true, also which one should I go for and will this effect it's price??

 

p.s What sort of money should I be looking to pay for a good second hand one??

 

Thanks once again!

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The main desks in the Masterpiece range are the 108 and the 216 - the numbers indicating their maximum PMX output.

So obviously on the 216 you can drive 216 individual PMX channels. Without using the patch/slot function this number also means you can only have 216 individual DMX channels for them to all work.

 

On the Masterpiece 108 you can patch up to 256 DMX channels with the patching function.

On the Masterpiece 216 you can patch up to 512 DMX channels.

 

Now I can't go into how exactly the patching works because tbh I've never needed it yet and also I'm still getting around how it actually works (doh!) but if you look in the manual on the update pages, it gives you a table on how the patching could be efficient for many moving lights.

 

Money wise... I've seen second-hand 108's on ebay going for anything between £200-£500.

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Thanks for all your help on this one!

 

Just one last question for now, I've noticed that the DMX out is 5 pin on the back but all my eqiupment and leads are 3 pin will this matter??

 

Thanks Obsy.

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No, the 5 pin has the same signal +, signal - and GND that a 3 pin DMX connector has so you can just solder up a converter lead. There's still a mixture of connectors out there - most DMX kit is predominantly 3 pin now, but Pulsar, Clay Paky and some others still use 5 pin
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Thanks Steve,

 

Thought that might be the case, just reading your post about electrical testing and I noticed it's in realation to a nightclub, can I ask do you own it or maybe a partner?

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No, the 5 pin has the same signal +, signal - and GND that a 3 pin DMX connector has so you can just solder up a converter lead. There's still a mixture of connectors out there - most DMX kit is predominantly 3 pin now, but Pulsar, Clay Paky and some others still use 5 pin

My bold - you appear to be implkying that DMX is moving from 5-pin to 3pin. This would be wrong as it breaks the USITT specification for DMX. DMX is 5-pin. Some manufacturers choose to break the specification and use 3pin.

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