Sound, lights (and video?) for drama studio
I've just spent a couple of days sorting out sound effects for a school comedy show evening. All done now, but the exercise did highlight our lack of preparedness for this kind of thing - it shouldn't take very long to sort out a few sound effects, but it wound up taking hours. We could do with a decent way to control all the light and do sound, having a bunch of fancy lighting and sound equipment is silly if no-one uses it. What does everyone else use?
My thinking so far is to get a desktop PC (laptops tend to have flaky sound) with twin sound cards (we can use one to plug in to the sound system and one with headphones to preview stuff, plus you can always get around file format conversion problems by simply feeding the headphone line from one into the line-in of the other) and a DMX512 to USB converter cable that I've seen on eBay for £50 or so - seemingly it comes with software included, but if anyone has any recommendations for lighting/sound software designed for theatres it'd be much appreciated.