If you been around for a while it’s very obvious that I really like Lighting Consoles.
Why is this?
The reason is that the lighting console is the brain of the operations. When you have the right console that fits your needs and capabilities everything else will fall into place with your lighting.
So, with that, how do you choose what lighting console you should buy?
With so many different types of consoles, it can be very overwhelming.
In this video and article, I’ll introduce you to some of my favorite consoles and what makes them unique so that you can start thinking about what console would work for you:
One of the most important things to remember is that you want to find a console that will fit your needs.
Not what someone thinks you need or being pressured into getting. Finding the right console for you is important so that you don’t get a console that is too simple and holds you back or getting a console that has would be too much for you to learn.
Chauvet Obey 40
The Chauvet Obey 40 is a very simple console and other companies offer a very similar console. This console is more ideal for those that just may be starting out in lighting.
With its simple setup, you have 8 Faders and 12 Fixtures that you can set up on the console.
It also has the option to setup chases. This really isn’t one of my favorite consoles for a few reasons. It’s slow to program and you don’t have the option to specify the time between each scene. This makes it a very rough transition in between your scenes.
Although, I don’t recommend it often this console can work for certain circumstances if you just need something basic and less expensive to get you going.
DMXIS by ENTTEC
One of my favorites is a piece of software called DMXIS by ENTTEC. What I really like about DMXIS, is that much like an audio console you have all these faders to work with. This software was really designed for musicians and audio people.
DMXIS makes it very easy to set up difference scenes, patch in fixtures, and you can define the time in between the scenes letting you set up a very smooth transition.
This console is a great option for bands, DJs, Churches, etc. If you’re looking for something simple to work with but also offers the capabilities to do more complex stuff with your lighting the DMXIS is the way to go.
M-Touch by Elation
If you’re looking for more of a professional style console I do recommend checking out M-Touch by Elation. The M-Touch works with the Onyx (formerly M-PC) software that runs on PCs.
What I really like about this console is that for a reasonable price you get 10 faders, a programming section, playback keys, bump buttons, and a go section. You’ll get a full on professional console on your computer.
With this console, you can do pretty much anything. While it’s great to have the capability to do anything it can be overwhelming someone who hasn’t worked in lighting for very long.
Working with a professional console is great but it does have a learning curve so be sure to consider that if you decide to go with a professional console.
A little side note is that if you have the ENTTEC DMXIS or other PC Consoles in that range I like to add in a MIDI Controller. MIDI Controllers are great and work with a lot of software-based consoles.
With a MIDI Controller, you’re able to program difference scenes and functions. If you’re getting just an on-screen console such as DMXIS I highly recommend getting a MIDI Controller with it so you have a physical piece of equipment to work with.
If you feel like having a MIDI Controller, be sure to check if your console is capable of MIDI control via USB.
I dive more into what to look for when purchasing a Lighting Console here: How Do I Choose My First (or Next) Lighting Console?
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Inside of Learn Stage Lighting Labs, we’ve got action plans that teach you everything you need to know to master all of the lighting consoles we’ve talked about in this article.
Don’t forget to access the console training action plans on DMXIS, D-Pro, Onyx, ShowXpress and more!
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