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Zero 88 Illusion 500


Rob

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Has anyone tried the new Illusion 500 yet?

 

I've done the training and had a bit of a play and I quite like it. There are a couple of minor bugbears still - like the absence of an on/off switch! and very loud 'clicky' buttons - but I find it very intuitive to use. I certainly got the hang of it far more quickly than the ETC Express, and it should be even better when they sort out the software for Moving Light programming. Any thoughts....

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Unless they've done major improvements since the Illusion 250, I'd steer as far clear as I possibly could. It had a really nasty, non-intuitive software interface; very slow, clunky hardware and I really don't know why anyone bought them.

For that kind of money (they may cost a little more, but everyone will thank you for years to come), go for an ETC or a Strand 300 which are the industry standard.

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Unless they've done major improvements since the Illusion 250, I'd steer as far clear as I possibly could.

 

I can't speak from personal experiance of having used one but I have a friend who as tried to sell me his almost Brand New 250 at every possible turn on an almost monthly basis for the last year or so which hardly fills me with confidence in the desk. ;)

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Rob,

In which part of the industry do you classify a Strand 300 series to be industry standard?!?

 

 

Group,

Re: the Illusion500, I also did the training session (or the try to break it session) that Rob did, and the desk does seem quite a nice little thing, a few bits and peices were suggested to them and they probably taken them on board for software update. But all together the user interface is quite easy and most people could pick one up. Definatly alot better than an express24/48!!!

 

But bear in mind that it is intended to be a small to medium size theatre/studio desk (schools, colleges, small theatres)

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In which part of the industry do you classify a Strand 300 series to be industry standard?!?

What I mean is that it runs the Geniuspro operating system - ok, maybe the 500 series is more 'industry-standard', but it is at a different price point - making it and the 500 series fairly standard (along with ETC desks) to find in theatres. Apart from a few differences, the functionality of the 300 is pretty similar to the 500; remembering we are comparing it to an Illusion!

 

i.e. If you have a 300, you're running a very common platform and anyone who's used 500 can use it without a problem and can run their show disks etc. If you have an Illusion, people will have to learn a completely new and (IMHO) non-intuitive interface and won't have a hope of loading their show disk etc.

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But all together the user interface is quite easy and most people could pick one up. Definatly alot better than an express24/48!!!

All these comments about the Express not being intuitive are reassuring - I thought it was just me! Really must try and get a training session on it, rather than just swearing at it a lot, while using my (sadly-lacking) third hand to turn the pages of the manual!

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I'm not sure it's fair to compare the Illusion to an ETC Express or a Strand 300 series. You would not expect a Ford to be as good as a BMW. The Illusion 500 is half the price of the 250 channel versions of the Express and 300.

 

Most of the R&D time and cost for a console is in the software. You would hope that dearer ones would have a better user interface than cheap ones, but it's not always true. On this subject, anyone ever used a Compulite desk? I believe they're worse than ETC!

 

I actually have little sympathy with those who take the least cost option, but frequently the people who want to get the best (ie dearest) product are overruled by the bean counters. Although a couple of thousand pounds is a drop in the ocean in most corporate budgets, often there is not the political will to invest in quality equipment.

 

I recently consulted on a stage lighting installation that was valued at about 1% of the total cost of some building works that were happening at the same time. The management dropped the lighting (on cost grounds), but spent a much larger sum refurbishing the toilets :D ;)

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On this subject, anyone ever used a Compulite desk? I believe they're worse than ETC!

yes I have and yes, they are worse than the ETC.

Made in Israel instuctions are lacking in readability to say the least, not a console I would go for given the choice, and im happy to use an ETC if it will do the job but compulite... well I think its safe to say that some desks should never have been made, and in my opinion this is one of them.

 

I'm not sure it's fair to compare the Illusion to an ETC Express or a Strand 300 series. You would not expect a Ford to be as good as a BMW. The Illusion 500 is half the price of the 250 channel versions of the Express and 300.

 

I agree, you cant compare desks that are not in the same league. The price alone reflects what people think, if they could do the same things and were all as good as each other no one would get the more expensive and we would all be usin Illusions or worse still Compulites.

 

just my 7.5p worth excluding VAT (damn inflation)

Ben

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I use compulites all the time, my desk of choice, why? Cos they are powerful and I find them alot more useful than an ETC desk or Strand...

They are alot stronger for running live applications with 20controllers assignable to anything from groups, pages, subs, channels, chases. macros and beyond. (spark lx and spark4d)

 

Rob, re: industry standard, I wasnt argueing with you, I was just enquiring into which part of the industry you find a Strand to be industry standard? as in Theatre, Tv etc...

 

Compulite Desks are pretty much industry standard for TV moving lights along with the Hog2...

 

The reason Strand desks are found alot in westend theatre shows is that the majority of houses are still running on D54 dimming protocol (clever idea of strands way back)

 

Which compulite desks have you used? And what didnt you like about them?

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The reason Strand desks are found alot in westend theatre shows is that the majority of houses are still running on D54 dimming protocol (clever idea of strands way back)

 

I think that's a tad far-fetched! :D Are you seriously suggesting that the biggest theatres in the country are running 500 series desks just to make use of the D54 outputs??! Nothing to do with their software features or other reasons? How much is a D54 converter to hire anyway?!

 

I'm really not getting on with the Expression 2 at the moment, I think it might have a convenient accident on Monday morning... And what's with the pink bits around the edges??!

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D54 was one of the first multiplex standards in the UK. It was a revolution in the 1980's when the option of running a single control line rather than multicores with a core per channel. Strand developed and adopted it at a time before DMX was available. As they were supplying most of the permenant lighting consoles in theatre at that time D54 became the standard in UK theatres.

 

This was fine until the introduction of moving lights using DMX and no longer needing dedicated consoles. Since then (only about 10-12 years ago) DMX has taken over.

 

The legacy of D54 controlled dimming in UK theatres is a result of having led in this area and then a different system becoming the norm. A bit like Betamax and VHS.

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I think that's a tad far-fetched!  :D  Are you seriously suggesting that the biggest theatres in the country are running 500 series desks just to make use of the D54 outputs??! Nothing to do with their software features or other reasons?

As I mentioned to you the other day Rob, that isnt entirely what I meant...

 

There are many factors as to why Strands are very common on westend theatre...

Some include the D54 issue, some that many venues have only ever had strand, alot of american theatres are running strand desks so when shows transfer over they stick to the same desk, and also that they are okay theatre desks. But in my experience not very good at handling a live show, there isnt enough option for on the fly operation.

 

The fact that many theatres in london are still running D54 is very true too!

Catch ya later, did you really not get on with "Barbie" at all? (exp 2x)

Its fine once you get used to they way around programming it, although there are some anoying querks to it...

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