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General Chat Thread, Lighting Desks in General; Hi All Been asked my bursar to research getting a new lighting desk for our hall setup, obviously googled it ...
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    triggmiester's Avatar
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    Lighting Desks

    Hi All
    Been asked my bursar to research getting a new lighting desk for our hall setup, obviously googled it but has anyone got any recommended companies that they have used and are happy with?

    Thanks in advance

    Stuart

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    On the make front, I would go with Zero88 Desks personally. On the supplier front, I have used these people for various bits and pieces in the past: stagelighting.co.uk | Stage Lighting Equipment Sales from Lighting Partners

    Also, Stage Electrics have been good too, if a bit odd when i tried to get a quote last year.

    Quote Originally Posted by jcollings View Post
    Indeed. However, if you want to build a system that could use any form of modern lights (ie. colour changers, moving heads etc...). So the basic model I'd go for is the Jester ML. Zero 88 Lighting. Lighting Control Systems for Entertainment, Stage, Film, Television, Theatre, Schools and Drama

    Although if you're feeling flush, the Fat Frog is pretty damn good. My old school bought one of these and it was superb.
    Last edited by localzuk; 23rd April 2008 at 09:26 AM.

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    Domino's Avatar
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    Depends what you want it for.

    For very basic stuff the zero88 stuff is fine, however make sure you keep up on the servicng, cause the components are quite cheap in them.

    If however, you want to give you yourself more room for future expansion (such as programable or moving head lights/computer controlled scenes/etc) I'd suggest going for a leapfrog rather than the lower end desks. Zero 88 Lighting. Lighting Control Systems for Entertainment, Stage, Film, Television, Theatre, Schools and Drama

    I've used one while touring with a couple of shows and love them to bits, even installed a few of them into local venues.

    They're simple enough for anyone to use- but with the features to allow pro quality productions

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    If you're a Strand man, an MX would do on a budget but a proper playback desk would be better.
    My money is on LightFactory (LightFactory Home Page) which runs on a PC. I've implemented it here for about 300 and it's great, does everything a 512 can You have the advantage of tying into WYSIWIG, moving light support, etc etc. Very flexible.

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    richard.thomas's Avatar
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    I do lighting in staffordshire got live music and club nights, we use Avolites desks (which i dont expect any school would need!) but a nice simple Pulsar Masterpiece is good fun for a school.
    We've got some desk that i've never heard of before, and the instructions are in Engrish, wasn't too hard to use though, Think it's a DVL. I'll double check when i get back to school, The people that installed the lights programmed quite abit into the desk aswell, which is always useful!

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    john's Avatar
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    Fat Frog from Zero 88 are nice, have also played with an Avolites Pearl desk very nice bit of kit but way OTT for a school to need. Zero88 do seem to have a good reputation in schools most local ones that I know of have them, but talk to others. As for suppliers, Stage Electrics are great

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    Andrew_C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by richard.thomas View Post
    but a nice simple Pulsar Masterpiece is good fun for a school.
    God forbid! The Mantlepiece is a desk designed to be programmed by an "expert" and left in a disco for the numpty DJ to use.

    Zero have a good foothold in schools, I've not used a recent desk (but hated the older ones). We have an ETC Express and it is easy and powerful. The Smatfade is sounding popular, but again I've not used one. Avolites are almost certainly OTT unless you do very big shows with lots of moving lights.

    You could do worse than visiting the ABTT show in June and try some hands on. Or contact a supplier and get them to bring a couple of different types of desk (different makes).

    I'd be a bit circumspect of buying second-hand in your case. Without the experience to recognise a sub-standard desk, you could end up with a lemon that needs lots of maintenance.

    A bit more reading here, too much to summarise!
    Last edited by Andrew_C; 25th April 2008 at 09:41 AM.

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    adamchapman's Avatar
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    LX desk

    The lighting desk you choose really depends on the lighting system you have in place at your school.

    If you have older analogue dimmers you will need a Demux which will convert the DMX signal from a modern desk into Analogue. Zero88 make one called the Demux24. Obviously If you have newer DMX dimmers then this isn't needed.

    For a lighting desk, I would always recommend Zero88 as their desks are simple to use - but also have lots of useful features. Personally, I have used The Fat Frog and the Jester ML24.

    A bonus of the ML24 is that Scene memories can be recalled by MIDI command meaning that a PC with MIDI can control the lighting too. I use a program called sound cue system which programs the sound but will also trigger midi commands. - This enables the PC to control the sound & lights by simply pressing the space bar during a show!

    If you want any more info - PM me. I have a BTEC in Stage Lighting so hopefully I can help!

  10. Thanks to adamchapman from:

    triggmiester (25th April 2008)

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    richard.thomas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew_C View Post
    God forbid! The Mantlepiece is a desk designed to be programmed by an "expert" and left in a disco for the numpty DJ to use.
    Exactly my point

    Get the suppliers/installers to program it up for you and sorted. I for one love programming them!

    Tonight at the union i've got about 20 extra features to programme into the masterpiece including a laser... Going to be real good fun

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    john's Avatar
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    Also, the FatFrog has a comptuer emulator of it so its good for showing the kids on large screen how it works if you have a big group and don't want them to all croud round the main desk etc, they are not the only lot to have this though, but I'd consisder it something to look for in a school.

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