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Hi all,


I noticed how the Strand530i and Magic MQ200 have like 6000 plus control channels.


Why? Who would want this many control channels. Have you ever used this many channels?


To me it might seem a little pointless. But I can kind of see why - to sell more desks probably








P.S. Sorry if this is in the wrong section. Mods, feel free to move it if you think it will be better somwhere else

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Why so many channels? 1 channel is 1 only piece of control. Bog standard moving lights easily use up 30 odd channels each these days. Media servers and LED arrays use a ton more.


Until we stop using a "channel" based control system all together, modern desks will need to provide more "pieces" of control.


//edit - Yes, I know all control systems are channel based effectively, but you know what I mean.

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The MagicQ software is the same for all consoles and PC solutions, so its 18 universes (short of 10 thousand channels) whether you have a miniwing, or a MQ300!


And the amount of media and LED fixtures nowadays require a heck of a lot of channels. As John has stated there, thats 451 channels per fixture. However this is in full individual control of each LED in the thing (I think, after what I saw at PLASA)! Media servers also take up an awful lot of channels. Have a look at the manual for the Robe DigitalSpot 7000 or something like that. Has 170 channels for basic media control, and theres other servers which still use more. A LED array of 10 by 10 pixels (fairly small), is instantly 300 channels (without a virtual dimmer). 25 by 50 array goes up to 2 and a half universes worth, and so forth.


I'm guessing that at some point, a fair few years ago, someone went "512 channels?! Why would you want 512 channels". In the same way with computers people didn't really comprehend how much storage a computer could happily use, and now I'm sitting here with nearly a terabyte of HDD space! I guess if consoles of these days are designed in mind with more channels than currently 'necessary' for most situations, they'll at least still happily support the amount of channels we might end up using in a few years time!


my 2p.

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This is an excerpt from the ALIA forum ALIA P_C on Bejing Olympics


Lighting Fixtures


112 Clay Paky Alpha Wash

980 Martin Mac 2000 Wash

162 Martin Mac 2000 XB Wash

308 Vari*Lite 3500 Spot

316 Vari*Lite 3000 Spot

180 Vari*Lite 3500 Wash

12 High End Show Gun

20 Ushio 2k Xenon Follow Spot

16 Kupo Super Sol 3k Xenon Follow Spot

204 PureLight City Color

80 FineArt Fine2000 Wash

32 FineArt LED Par Can

46 Sliver Star LED bank


Lighting Control - grand MA


3 Sessions consisting of two full-size consoles in multi user mode.


Two MA Lite consoles acting as remote surfaces for focusing.


Session 1 (Red): 15921 Parameters. 834 Fixtures. 14 NSP

Session 2 (Green): 13503 Parameters, 884 Fixtures, 16 NSP

Session 3 (Blue): 15987 Parameters, 624 Fixtures, 16 NSP


each paramater uses at least one channel

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So I suppose having this many channels helps you alot?
Only if you need them. If I were in the market for a desk, I'd look at the number of dimmers we have, how many we might squeeze in, and add a fist full for hired movers to do a reasonable show. So 96 ways of dimming, add say 36 for a hired rack, and 90-100 for movers, so something around 250 would do me, in my particular circumstance.


If we were then to do something with media servers and dozens of 30+ channel movers, I'd hire a fancy desk (and possibly a programmer, I know the limits of my knowledge) for the event.

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2 DMX Universes is really a basic, small desk these days. 48 Generic channels, a dozen movers, and 20 LED's will eat up most of these pretty rapidly. The more headroom you have, channel wise, the more 'future proof' your desk.
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