On this week’s episode, we are going to discuss how to choose the right lighting console or software for your setup. This is a very important piece and the “brain” of your operation, so this is a very important decision.
If you are new here and haven’t check this out yet, be sure to check out the Learn Stage Lighting Quiz. This will ask you just a couple of questions and you will send you the best guide for your lighting situation.
SJVogt via Apple Podcasts · United States of America · 07/19/19
“Found this podcast awhile back. It is an awesome source of real world information and not just a sales pitch from a vendor. It has taught me so much about lighting design and fundamentals and doesn’t just focus on how to get geeky with a console. I love that I just asked my first question and to be honest didn’t know if I would get a response. I got a quick response with exactly the answer I was looking for. Thank you David for this great podcast! I can tell you really care about your audience and what you do. I’m hoping to join the lab soon!”
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Main Segment (16:55)
A couple of days ago I was listening to the Geezer of Gear Podcast and they had a guest, Eric from Elation who said it very well: Lighting consoles are very a personal decision because once you choose, work, and program with that console it’s difficult to program differently.
This is most likely why most of the professional-grade consoles have the same program feel to them. But if you have to choose the right lighting console for you, but how do you approach this?
On a side note, I am considering creating a quiz on choosing the right console for you. If this sounds like something you may like be sure to let me know, Contact Us.
Things to Consider
I’ve seen so many people list what they are working with, what they do, and asking which console is best for them. When asking others they are most likely going to recommend the console they are using which isn’t always the right console for you.
Instead, when working with Learn Stage Lighting Labs members I go in deeper by getting to know the individual and about how they want to run their show. The reason why I take this approach is that generally consoles are already designed to work with a certain profile or methodology.
Going into this you want to know how you want to program your show. Will you be doing this or will you have others programming the show? Another angle to consider is will you have someone manually controlling the lights or do you need a more automated approach?
The next step is knowing how many lights and what types of lights are you wanting to have control over?
Something to keep in mind is that the older consoles are designed to more work with conventional lights. So, if you are planning to work with more new units you want to go with a console that has the capability to handle it.
Another avenue to consider is that while you may be working with certain units now, what will you be working with from a year to 5 years from now?
Finally, is the toughest one I struggle explaining to others is what is your complexity level? There’s a couple of ways to approach this as what is your complexity level to learn the new console versus the complexity level of programming with the new console.
Generally, the consoles that can do more and have the bells and whistles will have a harder learning curve than other more simple consoles.
A good way to consider this is asking yourself are you, someone, that when you hit a spot and get stuck will you work through it to get great lighting? Or are you someone who prefers to work a console that is more simple and can do what you need it to do?
Unfortunately, there is no clear cut answer to this, this is a question you have to explore and answer yourself.
If you’re new here and you’re not sure how or where to get started with your lighting be sure to take this Quiz and I will send you a guide based on your answers to help get you pointed in the right direction.
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