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(Almost) blank check for tech but short deadline

Printed From: Community Theater Green Room
Category: Producing Theater
Forum Name: Lights and Sound
Forum Discription: Technical discussion
Printed Date: 4/18/24 at 9:43am
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 8.05 -

Topic: (Almost) blank check for tech but short deadline
Posted By: MusicManD
Subject: (Almost) blank check for tech but short deadline
Date Posted: 10/27/11 at 2:01pm
So I've been told that we can spend $20,000 to $100,000 on equipment upgrades through our school's Drama Academy.  The only catch is that the grant will be written tonight and turned in tomorrow, so I need ideas and quotes quickly.

Our lighting system is most frustrating to me (sound has been upgraded within the last couple of years).  I'd like to get everything on DMX, and right now the current board and lighting system is 20-30 years old.  I run a separate DMX controller for some color lights, scanners, and dimmer packs that I own, but we just run that board alongside the old one.  I'd love to get everything on the same system.

Our theatre is pretty small, so do we have high powered amber LED fixtures that would provide reduced heat?  Right now we have fixtures sitting maybe two feet over the actors' heads (less when we use elevated platforms), and we have to run many of them at half power to keep the heat down.

We have a bar that runs about halfway back on the theatre for our long throw lights.  This bar goes over seating and, of course, the raked floor, making adjusting those lights a HUGE chore.  Many of them have "settled" into positions I don't like, but to adjust them would require scaffolding or the removal of entire rows of seating.  Would it be cost effective to replace those fixtures (mainly floods for general stage cover) with intelligent heads of some sort?  I don't know if the LEDs exist yet that could sufficiently light the stage from 40-50 feet back, but I would take the heat from conventional lights if I could actually aim them.

Finally, what kind of controller would be ideal for this situation?  I'm currently running the MyDMX software on my laptop, which works fine, but we might need support for multiple DMX universes, depending on how many channels we're really looking at for these fixtures.

Thanks for your quick replies!

Posted By: museav
Date Posted: 11/04/11 at 11:20am
Sorry you were put in that position but it is not real surprising you received no responses. For one thing, there is no way one can put together a viable response that quickly and in my experience trying to do so is usually just asking for troubles further down the line such as some critical piece or element overlooked or left out. For another, it would probably take all of the time you had just for you to being anyone up to speed on your situation, the existing systems and infrastructure, and your goals. Suggesting spending the $20k on qualified people to asses what is existing and then help you put together a plan for the other $80k might be the best option.

Brad W.

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