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Lighting control for a school


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Hi everyone,

Maybe this subject is current but here it is:

I'm working for a school in a 300 places theater with 48 2,4k dimmers, 12 LED (colorblast look like) and 10 cheap led and 4 MAC 500.

The actual setup is One standard 24/48 control and SunLite (computer program) with a little MIDI control.


I'm looking for 1 console that can do everything better than this setup but for an abordable price for a school (max: 10 000$)


One compagny suggest a LEAP FOG 48 but I'm not sure that is a good move.


Does everyone have a suggestion or what are you thinking about that cheap leap fog? (http://www.zero88.com/en/products/2/88)




P.S.: That's a very cool website! / Sorry for my English, it is not my best language ;-)

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This is a discussion which has been had many times before on this forum. A lot of people will recommend the frog range for schools as they are very easy to understand. The Etc Element is also a good recommendation. Do a few searches on this forum and you will find a wealth of discussion on the do's and don'ts of lighting desks :)
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Before people get too carried away recommending things, it's worthwhile bearing in mind that going from the quoted price of $10000, the OP probably isn't UK based.


Karl, would you care to tell us where you're from? The last thing you want is a desk that's impossible to get service for in your country!

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you already have the sunlite usb interface. all you need is a more suitable program to run on it. The strongest recomended program on BR is Magic Q.


so the advice is download it for free. read the manuals and give it a try. this way you do not have to change anything, only the software.


If you find you are comfortable with the software, then consider buying the pc wing for about 1000 pounds.

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I suspect that many people, resistant to change, tried a few software based systems on a pc and hated them, however, I'm now a total convert to magicq, and the oddest thing is I'm still surprised by it. I bought a PC Maxi wing, a rack mount PC in a flight case and a decent touch screen and constantly surprise myself when other ops use it. Almost everyone customises it to their own needs using built in features I didn't even know existed! Thanks to somebody else, I discovered the execute screen where you can pop useful groups, faders, or practically any 'thing' you have programmed somewhere else.


Rather than use pages of 10 faders, one op stuck lots of cue stacks onto the faders, so he could manually step through them, chase like, or just use them static, while he plonked touch screen faders onto the execute screen for some white light specials and the hazer controls - that way, he had access to 10 real faders, plus a screen full of touch screen ones - plus on buttons for certain effects.


The concept of the system is just very simple - have an operation system similar to many other desks, then give you a control system that can be set up to suit the need of a particular person, or a particular production. You get into a position of saying "I wonder .." and then you prod a few buttons and something just works, with helpful screen prompts if you need them. Things like copy and paste. highlight something, almost anything on the display and you can just copy it somewhere else. You can set up a screen with all your channels set out in a plan view, so you can select them by their location, rather than having to remember numbers. Even patching - can be made easy. In the list it may come up initially as a dimmer, but typing FOH truss PAR and then tapping the 'dimmer' tag changes it to a description. Enter a Lee or Rosco colour works too, and if you just call it yellow, that's fine, all the yellows can be selected.


It's happy with every weird fixture we've patched into it - you don't need to think computer at all, it's very logical. If you shove a memory stick in, it realises it's there and gives you the option to save your show to it without messing about with computer style file manager.


Networking works just the same way. There's a neat bit of software called multi-windows. I'd no idea what it did. I tried it a couple of times and nothing much happened. However, after somebody else had been using it, I plugged in my laptop to save a copy of a show file to it, not having the USB stick. I didn't unplug it, and while bored, tried the multi-windows thing again. This time, something different happened. a list of chamsys windows appeared, selecting one at random, the plan layout appeared, with the correct current levels and colour on it. Pushing the EXT button on the wing sent the current touchscreen view to the laptop - and the laptop could select channels. Then I discover there's a web browser style interface too, so with a wireless network gadget connected, I'm guessing I could use my blackberry as a riggers remote.


I'm not teaching anymore, but with the software installed on a number of PCs, I can imagine being able to monitor what each student's up to.


Even with the cheap dongle the sell for just a few quid, it's an excellent way in. The hardware wings are well worth having - without them it's just a very clever PC system, but with the wing it's a really useful product for all scales of use.

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Zero 88 is owned by US based company Cooper Industries. We have a US based office, and are in the process of expanding our North American distribution networt, so service and support shouldn't be an issue if you were to choose a Leap Frog.


The desk runs the same operating system (we call it ZerOS) as our ORB, Frog 2 and soon ORB XF consoles. This means that show files and fixture libraries are transferable across the range, it's easy to upgrade in the future without having to learn a whole new system, and any updates we make filter their way through the whole range of consoles, not just the higher end models.


If you want any more information about the Leap Frog, or any of our other desks, I'd be more than happy to help.

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