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Chamsys Vs Hog 4

Richard CSL

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Having originally trained and self taught on the Chamsys with a pc wing, the last 3 weeks I have had to reprogram a Roadhog 4.


I make the following observations.


The Hog 4 looks lovely the screens are less than sensitive enough, but workable, the windows style layout is superior and the moving of items around the desk is very good.


The patching of fixtures was easier than Chamsys ,


The Fan function was better in some ways in as much once selected and an alteration made, it would automatically deselect, I thought this was very good, how many times do you fan the pan , forget it is still selected then mess with the tilt by accident.


Also the undo button was very useful, not used it many times on Chamsys, so could be the same.


So that,s all the good stuff, the workflow is crazy to edit a cue. you have to create your look (same as MQ) now you have to press record, cue, number, enter, and merge on the screen. The same process with MQ is create the look, press and hold the "S" button, then press record. (making sure you are on the highlighted cue.)


So my whole job took forever, and yes I consulted the manual for a quicker workflow, even asked another lighting teck on the same project, but that is the only way to work.


Also selecting fixtures to edit on the group page is very hit and miss. if you select fixtures then record a cue the fixtures are now no longer selected and the data is semi in the programmer, ie not savable for a second cue. this was very frustrating as you had to deselect, then reselect the same heads every time,


Oh and boy did I mis the "LOCATE" button. How are you supposed to work without one.?


The effect engine was very poor as the pre made effects were all the same, there was very little in the way of encoder control, only size, rate, speed, and one other, with Chamsys you get far more and the option to start middle out for symmetry.


Also once selected an effect would come in at full size. so circles on a mover ment the damn thing would fly all around the room, while you desperately wind down the encoder to 10 percent. Crazy, who ever thought that was a good idea.?




The worst happened after a day of programming, and yes my fault, I didn't make a backup, so this brand new, 14K dollar console crashed the following morning, I reloading the presupplied backup memory stick, which completely wiped the hard drive with absolutely no warning. So for example, ie do you wish to proceede, might have been nice.??


One last rant, to change a current show file name, wow what a process, they do not have a "save as" function. so you have to create a compressed backup, re name as you create, then log out of the current show, now open the compressed file, what a palava.




OK rant over, needless to say , I am not a raving fan of the Hog 4. Now going to arrange Chamsys USA to come demo their desks to the company I now work for.

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Hi Richard,


I’m glad that you had the opportunity to give the HOG 4 a try and I’m happy to hear you had some positive experiences with the console. I think with a little training, the issues you experienced could be improved.


Let me see if I can help out with some of the issues you were having.


Regarding the FAN functionality, if you accidentally make a mistake and FAN a parameter you did not intend, you can very easily restore those values to their defaults by pressing/holding the “.” button and touching the parameter wheel for Tilt, in this example. DECIMAL Button plus the encoder wheel will return parameters to their default value.


In regards to recording a new cue, there are actually many different ways to record new cues without all of the key-strokes you mentioned.


My choice method is programming a look, and simply pressing RECORD then CHOOSE on the Playback Master where I want the cue to go. You could also simply press RECORD then ENTER, this will record the next cue on whatever the Chosen Master.


When it comes to editing existing cues, again there are number of different ways you can achieve this. You are correct in the way you did it, but there are some other options.


You can be in the cue you want to edit, select the fixture into the Programmer, make your changes and press the UPDATE button. This will open the Auto-Update Window and you are asked to confirm the cue you want to update. If the cue is referencing a palette, you will also be given the option to update the palette as well. Remember to Clear the Programmer after you confirm the Update.


You can also open the cue in to an editor. If you are currently in the cue you want to update, and on the Chosen Master, you can simply double-press the CUE button, (Alternatively, you could press CUE > #> OPEN) which will open the current cue of the chosen Master into an editor. You can select the fixture you want to edit, make the edit, and press UPDATE. This will update the cue and automatically close the cue editor window. Please note that when you open the cue into an editor, BLIND will turn on by default.


You can also make updates to existing cues any by selecting the fixtures into the programmer, making the changes, and pressing MERGE, #, ENTER. Again, don’t forget to clear the Programmer once complete.


Recording a cue, does complete a command syntax, however the fixtures are still in the programmer, if you don’t CLEAR the programmer each time, then then any new information will be recorded in future cues. And always remember that any redundant values will track forward, unless you make them hard values.


The LOCATE feature on the MQ is just about equivalent to HIGHLIGHT feature on HOG. Simply select the fixture of fixtures and press HIGHLIGHT. This will bring the fixture parameters to an ‘open white’ value so can easily see the position.


The effects Engine in the HOG is actually extremely powerful. Although it is guilty of not being the most user friendly section of the console, with a little practice and a little math, you should be able to get a fixture to whatever you would like. I would also point out that in v2 software releasing soon, there will be additional effect features to look forward too.


In v2, the starting size of the effect has been fixed. I believe the new default size will actually be 10 deg.


In regards to updating software you should have looked at the manual or called for support. Yes, backing up show files is always important. I think we have all learned the hard way.


Directly from the Manual


**Important: Before installing new software, ensure that your show data is backed up. A Full Install will erase all data on the console's hard drive.


Lastly, in regards to changing shows, this is pretty standard, this is really a painless process, and is equal to a Save As function. You still have to name you show file, which is a good thing.


Should you get the chance you use Hog 4 again, and have any questions, please feel free to contact us for any support you may need.


Hope this helps






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At least you found it easy enough to transition to the Hog as these days, major ML consoles share a lot of concepts if not the exact detail in the workflow.


Unlike with Avo, LOCATE on the MQ is essentially an all attribute Home palette. You can create one on any desk in a few button presses so long as you remember to set the record mask to all attributes. LOCATE can't really be equated with Highlight on the Hog or MQ.

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I mis-spoke regarding LOCATE, thank you. According to the MQ Manual; "Locating a head brings all the attributes for that head into the programmer."


On the Hog if you wanted to do this on HOG, you can select the fixture(s) and press TOUCH (soft-key on the bottom, right screen) this will touch all values in the programmer. If you need them to go to their default values, you can again use the '.' button then press the fixed kind keys (I, P, C, B) to take them to default values.


If wanting to extract fixtures/parameters from a cue playing back live on stage, you could press LIVE+TOUCH or LIVE+SUCK


Hope this helps,

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LOCATE on the MagicQ is basically HOME on some consoles or setting all attributes to their default setting (as set in the fixture personality) What it does do is forces all those attributes into the programmer so it's a good way to start a programming action, particularly if you are a beginner as you then 'get what you see' if the desk is recording by attribute rather than fixture. MagicQ also has shortcuts for forcing whole attribute families 'active' with key press or two in a similar way to Active used to on the older Hogs. You can also locate I C P B attributes on their own in a similar way on the MagicQ. The key with all these actions on both the Hog and the MagicQ is knowing the shortcut to do it.


The slightly odd thing about MQ using the term "locate" is that the word usage (AFAIK) originated with Avo which sets all the attributes to default but does NOT activate them in the programmer, effectively leaving a newly cleared programmer still empty. This means you are still working with only some attributes active in the programmer having set a few.


This is very different to the outcome with a MagicQ LOCATE which not only defaults the attributes but also activates them, ready to be recorded (possibly unwittingly) into the next item.


I have to say that having had a quick nose around the Hog 4 but not used it in anger, I find some choices of 'new' terminology for particular concepts rather odd but any console that actually does have a SUCK button can't be all bad. The Hog 4 has brought some new words for (usually) old concepts that I can't help wondering if it wouldn't be better not to invent additional language for "walk up" LD/Programmers to have to understand.

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The slightly odd thing about MQ using the term "locate" is that the word usage (AFAIK) originated with Avo which sets all the attributes to default but does NOT activate them in the programmer, effectively leaving a newly cleared programmer still empty. This means you are still working with only some attributes active in the programmer having set a few.


It's always fun to forget the behavioural differences when you go back to an Avo desk from MagicQ, record some beautiful states, and play them back only to have a minor panic attack when nothing happens, before you realise that it's just that all of your heads have no intensity recorded...

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I've had a Chamsys Maxi wing set up for a few years, been quite happy with it, a lot of good, but also a lot of annoyance. At the time I needed a desk of my own and the Chamsys fitted the bill regarding function and cost. The last year of using it I found some of the annoyance becoming less than great, a lot was to do with the wing disconnecting from the PC and dealing with shows where the a tour would start with new fixtures, different positions, but the core programming would remain, modifying, extracting, seeing information became a chore. End of last year I decided not to have a PC/wing system, so an MQ100 was on the list as that would take some of my disappointment away.


Before the Chamsys I was certainly still using H2, in 2002 I started with H3 and never cared for it, moved off to MA and due to cost bought into Chamsys. The new chap at HES to run console development is someone I know, talking with him gave me some interest with the H4 platform and my dealer also came up with a good price, so in February a Roadhog 4 arrived.


First impressions for me was the stuff missing from a Hog compared to the mass of functions on a Chamsys. That said I just prefer the editing process, the routines are so easy, I found copying a cue or copying the state of a cue on a Chamsys odd and the command line/syntax is just simple on a Hog. Agree with the FX part, I do think the Chamsys has the best system, always thought it a great way to do things, The Hog system is okay, but you need to think about what you are wanting to do and while thats fine, the Chamsys programmer will have already done it ages ago....


Since getting back into Hog I have not missed Chamsys world, I came across an MQ100 last month I just found it clunky and a bit frustrating. I am happy to be with Hog again, I get the feeling people around think its not a great system, perhaps from its H3 days they lost something, but had some good shoot outs and I have done a few demos for my dealer which resulted in sales and with V2 around the corner some catch up is on its way. The true test for me is as a festival FOH/house system. The MQ100 with an execute wing is certainly a great way to do it. That was hard to give up, I got a few festivals in Denmark to look after and the first one gave an Avo as house desk, so thought give the RH4 a go. Using scenes to control colour, beam, positions and movement for wash and spot is super easy, 4 very simple macros to control timing over these parameters, the function keys allow executer style buttons and if coupled with a mini wing its really all you need, however I have been using an iPad with OSC as a playback wing, now I have a festival show if I am hired to do FOH and all I do is replicate and change type, not programmed at a festival for months and get to bed/bar before daylight goes.


Just come back from China, 30 shows in all, the replicate and change type is very good, thats better than Chamsys, however if you get something not in the library then Chamsys wins, its fixture maker is so simple, the Hog version is very complex as the desk uses real would values and that I miss while sat in a control room attempting to read a Chinese manual, but if you change type then very little work to update palettes is required.


Another note is networking, loved that on the Chamsys, but also Hog is very strong and also very easy to configure. I used the Chamsys app for daylight festival focus, Hog does not have a native app as yet and uses OSC, I like it, but more so as you can make your own templates, as an example at a trade show we gave a presenter an iPhone with a couple of buttons on which executed two cues he needed for that presentation, that sort of thing is very nice.


I feel and felt quite quickly in my case moving to back to Hog is a good move, but interesting to hear your experience, the dealer roadshow I have done, the first thing to ask is what you use and take it from there.

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