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Lighting desk for studio space


simon-carter

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Hi,

 

I'm looking for options to replace a lighting desk in a small studio space. We're currently using a Strand 200 in 2-preset mode controlling 24 dimmers. The desk needs to be user friendly, simple and portable, we're not looking for a PC based solution or needing to control movers or LED fixtures. We need at least 24 channels (the 24 installed dimmers occasionally get supplemented with a couple of small 3 channel dimmer packs) and most importantly a cue stack.

 

Currently we're looking at the Zero 88 Jester 24/48 and ETC SmartFade 2496; the Jester looks like the winner at the moment. Is there anything else in a similar price bracket that we should be considering?

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I would say that the Jester ML 24/48 is a good replacement for you, it gives you the option in the future (if you so wish) to add moving lights/led units to your programming capabilities. I guess that the studio space only upgrades every blue moon(hence the strand 200) like it or not the ability to control more channels from a desk is ineveltably the future. You need to make your choice based on that theory.

The Jester ml24/48 gives you a decent theatre stack and the choice of 12 subs... Also a 24 channel A-B Presert mode.

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These small Zero 88 controls have been ideal for studio work for so many years now - the Jester 24/48 has all the features you're likely to need. I had one of the first Sirius controls and was immediately impressed with the build quality and features, most of which survive in the Jester. For small spaces using only conventional lanterns where you may wish to have a two preset board that looks like they always have it would still be my choice.
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Thank everyone. The Element is probably beyond the needs of our studio space; longer term it or one of the other EOS family consoles might well be suited to our (small) main auditorium. I think Junior8 has hit the nail on the head though - given that it is used by a number of people with different levels of knowledge and experience, something that looks and works like a conventional 2-preset desk and can be used manually or with a programmed cue stack is just the ticket. I'd rather not think about how long ago I used a Sirius though!

 

However we should probably consider the Jester ML a bit more to give some future proofing. Any further comments / options welcome.

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............, we're not looking for a PC based solution or needing to control movers or LED fixtures. We need at least 24 channels ...
Always a good idea to never say never...

 

You may not consider using more 'intelligent' stuff at the moment but as output/quality of things like LEDs continues to go up whilst prices come down, you may well find yourself wishing you had the capability of adding such beasts to your inventory sooner rather than later. :)

 

The downside to that is the fact that the kit takes up so many channels on a desk. So whilst you may be happy with your 24+ dimmers, having the option in the future to drive multiple LEDs to compliment those would be wise.

 

That points squarely at something with 'ML' or fixture based options.

 

 

 

 

 

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Jester of something like the Jester tl/ml ( I dont know what is the current one) might be an option with "expansion" to move in to LED etc when required.

 

I think Jester is the simplest of the small desks + plug and play and cannot go wrong easily.

 

It would not "hurt" to see if you can do a deal on two element kits (screens and all) it might be a bigger outlay by far but at least you will have the same between spaces.

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Jester of something like the Jester tl/ml ( I dont know what is the current one)

They are both current.

 

The Jester ML24 / ML48 has either 24 or 48 "channels" (fully patchable to all 512 channels) on the faders, and up to 30 "fixtures".

 

The Jester TL Xtra has up to 200 "channels", controlled via basic syntax rather than faders, and then up to 30 "fixtures". The 10 faders are just for submasters.

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I've been very impressed with LSC desks for this sort of thing lately. They seem to have bullet proof build quality and reliability and are very intuitive and easy to use.

There's the Minim 12/24 which is super simple and perhaps too small for you but the Maxim range is available in a variety of sizes and has a nice traditional preset and submaster interface that anyone can use without getting in a mess. It also then has another layer of features available for more advanced programming, LEDs and movers should you need them.

 

Worth a look...

 

http://www.lsclighting.com/products/consoles/maxim-console

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I regularly use both a Maxim and a Jester ML. For dimmers, there's very little in it although I don't think you can use the Maxim as a two preset desk. For anything intelligent, I've never managed to get my head around the patpad on the Maxim - my brain just doesn't seem to function that way. Avo, Chamsys, Strand and Zero88 all seem to have some degree of logic but LSC is just a little too far off the beaten track for me to understand. Your mileage may vary of course.
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Although I've never touched one personally, I believe you can do two preset on them, based on a conversation I had just a couple of nights ago with a chap who actually uses Maxim consoles by preference. I fairly sure he said it could do two preset or wide mode with single preset.
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Being that person , Yes I do use maXim consoles for most things by preference , they are a highly versatile, damm near bulletproof ( the whole system is solid state flash based) and very easy to use desk. It is possible to do two preset fades on the desk. and single preset wide mode. the only limitation here , is that in twin preset mode you are limited to half the number of fixtures in the singe preset mode. ( I say fixtures here as the MaXim uses faders to represent intensity only any other parameter control is done in the optional patpad module).

 

The console works in a simillar , but very different way to a theatrelight console ( for those of you who have used one , you will know what I mean) each fixture has its own fader , or if you prefer slider to control it's intensity , and then as I have said above , and other parameters for intelligent fixtures are controlled by the patpad.

 

the control sliders are broken into two or three different banks depending on what sized console you purchase , all of the consoles have a yellow and red bank. the yellow bank is permanently set for intensity control , and the red bank can either be used as the second preset in two preset control. as playbacks (of wich there are 9 pages available) and in wide mode , in wich the red faders all become intensity faders as well.

 

On the 3 larger consoles a varying number of dedicated playbacks ( With 9 pages of memory) are also fitted. The desk is also capable of stack playback any and all of the scene faders can be used to store a stack , but the console can only play one stack back at any given time.

 

The other cool thing with the maXim is the patpad module , this is an optional accessory , but has to be fitted from new. It enables control of intelligent fixtures , and is perfect for things like LED pars and bars. fixture templates for most major models and makes are available directly from LSC but if they don't have what you want instructions and software are provided with the console to write your own templates.

 

In terms of DMX output , the two smaller sizes have 512 channels of output available , and then the larger ones have 1024 over 2 universes available , with a fully proportional softpatch function available.

 

If you are looking for something that isnt syntax based , very easy to learn to use the basic functions on and stable , it might be worth considering the MaXim, there is a full set of feature set video's on youtube (as well as training videos , these are provided with the console as well) , and I will link these as well as the product page on the LSC website.

Hope this was of some use , B.L.

 

http://www.lsclighting.com/products/consoles/maxim-console

 

Console Demo Video

Patpad Demo Video

 

 

 

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