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DMX Controllers and LED Lamps


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This is my first post and I apologize that it may include very basic questions.


I am a longtime drummer in a band and have just bought an LED set (EUROLITE LED KLS-400 RGB DMX) for the small gigs where no lighting crew or equipment is made available. I basically selected the LED set because of the compact size and RGB flexibility as well as the DMX compatibility.


During the process of finding out what to get I have also been looking at various DMX controllers in case I want to be able to create my own scenes/chases or expand the set up. Obviously I have been looking at "entry level" controllers and I have noticed that there seems to be 2 types:


1: Channels normally limited to the number of faders, often labeled as "dimmer", "conventional" or "show". Example: http://www.thomann.de/gb/showtec_showmaster_24.htm


2: With a number of fixtures multiplying the number of channels, often labeled as "Scanmaster", "Scan..". Example: http://www.thomann.de/gb/showtec_scanmaster_2_mkii.htm


It seems to me that the first type is aimed at usage with non intelligent equipment such as PAR lamps. These can then be linked via DMX dimmer packs and one can control 24 individual lamps (or 24 groups of lamps).


It also seems that with intelligent equipment such as scanners or moving lights you will need many more channels as each scanner will take up several channels. So therefore type 2 with e.g. 12 fixtures of 16 channels is more appropriate.


So my question is what about LED RGB lamps? They are "unintelligent" but never the less take up several channels each. So would it not be a better choice to go for as many channels as possible (type 2)?


And ignore that they call them "Scanmaster". After all, as I understand so far, as this is a DMX controller it can control any DMX compatible equipment and not just scanners.


So is the choice really between 24 channels or 12x16channels? And why should anyone then go for only 24?'


I may be missing the point completely. If so, please let me know!

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Of the two options the second one is better: it is slow to program (unless the software and control are much improved from the previouse version) but once done will be better; more channels, memories and chases with a sound input.

If you buy a wobbly mirror/moving head FX you can program for it.

The down side of this controller is no foot/external control except via MIDI so while economic: limited. I'm sure other members will recommend alternatives (or search the forum . e.g. small band lighting)


What you need to do with care is plan the 12A (+12 on B) FX control addresses and DMX channel allocations so that you can control the individual LED lights,


OR groups lights together on the same address: e.g. left & right lead singer LED ; left & right middle LED L&R back LED; L&R drum LED.... this reduces the number of items to program and doubles the weak LED light power (two units doing the same) but limits flexibility...


Also plan what scenes and chases will make up the lighting for your show... Appropriate lighting for songs etc etc Have fun!

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Thanks for the reply!


I would certainly be very interested in some suggestions for alternative DMX controllers in that range (not necessarily price but size). And agree that the ability to add a foot/external controller would be good.


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Sorry about banging on about this, but I've just bought a Showtec 136 and with this unit you have the best of both worlds. There is room for 8 movers x 12 DMX channels (128) on one side of the board and 8 channels of conventional dimmers for your cans on the other side of the board. And there is a connection for foot controller.


Hope this helps a bit.



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I had also been looking at the Showtec 136 as it combines the two types.


I may have the possibility of buying a Zero88 Diablo at a very reasonable price. It seems it also has the possibilty of combining intelligent controlling with more conventional types. It has 18 generic channels for conventional equpment in addition to the intelligent controlling.


Would the Diablo be a better choice than the Showtec 136? Even though it is discontinued?

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If you are getting the Zero 88 at a good price, then I'd go for that, if only for the fact that you have a fixture library with this desk. Don't think that you have any sort of remote for it though so your back to the problem of control.


The other thing with this is that you are getting into the realms of programming a full 'show' and without a dedicated operator to hit the cues, theres a good chance that the overall look will be a waste of time and money.

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