When it comes to choosing a lighting console or software for a mid-sized venue, what do you need to look for?
Today we are talking all about control and consoles for your mid-sized venue!
The unique thing about mid-sized venues is that they can really run the gamut between simpler set ups with a smaller stage and a couple hundred seats all the way up to a couple thousand seats where things become a bit more complicated and you need a lot more control.
In such a case you can also be talking about a permanent installation or a temporary setup but ultimately the concepts of control are the same no matter what.
When talking about recommending a console to someone who is working in mid-sized venues there are a couple different things to look at.
When you are making lighting happen on a stage there are two portions to the process: programming and playback. You will essentially always be doing one or the other when working with lighting.
What you end up doing and what your solution ends up being will depend on how much weight you put on your need for flexibility with one or the other.
If you have a lighting show where it is necessary to program a lot each week with multiple new songs or different bands each week where you need to update your positions and presets regularly then you may find an option that offers programming is best to suit your needs.
You will find in this case that having a console with encoder wheels and touch screen displays will help you to keep everything much more simple, efficient and organized.
If you have a venue such as a theater or church where you generally just run a theatrical style cue list where there is one list of cues in your lighting and a volunteer or staff member can easily run through the couple cues, you technically don’t need a large console with faders. You likely will only need a console with a couple buttons where you can use simple playback.
When you are running a live show where you are pressing buttons and running faders up and down throughout the show, you will find that it may be much more beneficial to have a console with plenty of playback controls.
Balancing between the two options of programming and playback comes down to deciding what you are going to be doing the most of while using your console.
The other thing we want to look at when we are talking about control is your control position.
In a traditional mid sized venue such as a theater, you will likely be sitting in the middle of the audience with the consoles where you can program and control everything during the show. If you are not in the position where you have a great vantage point, you will want to choose an option where you can have wireless control and be able to be mobile with your tablet as you work the lights.
Considering whether you have a good vantage point from where you can control the lights is a very important thing to figure out pre-show.
When it comes down to it, the console you choose should be according to your own personal needs. Whether you need a more professional setup, or you can get by easily with a simpler set up will just depend on you and your venue and the types of shows you are accustom to working on.
As long as you take these things into consideration when choosing what works best for you, you will be able to put on an amazing show with ease every time!