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chrisparry_LD

Confusion for Theatre people..

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Hi..

I'm not a novice lighting designer - been doing it for 30 years - and originally started in the UK (now in the USA). I started on the first Rank Strand Computer Desk at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in 1976 - the Strand DDM, then went through the Strand Galaxy range.. etc.

 

But I have to say that your Frog Desk (BullFrog) is the most confusing desk I've ever come across, or tried to understand the structure of. I feel like I'm trying to learn a strange new foreign language.

 

Maybe it's because I'm from the world of Theatre..?? I know how to program several ETC desks, and the Strand series.. but your seems like it came from another planet!

 

I cannot be the only person that feels this way...

 

What/who were these desks originally aimed at..? Moving-Light programmers.. who are used to the Hog series..??

 

I read that they are "simple" and can be used in schools. I find that hard to believe... there are SO many commands and esoteric terms that a Layman/schoolboy cannot possibly understand..

 

If you're going to make a desk this complex, you need a better step-by-step manual - and yes, I did download the BullFrog Manual.

 

Chris Parry

Lighting Designer

San Diego, USA

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It's true that "real" theater consoles work in a completely different way. It's not true the Frog range brings complicated consoles (nothing like Hog 3)!

 

Maybe the manual doesn't do it for you, seek someone who can explain the primary functions of the console. Pretty soon you'll figure out a way of working yourself. I do admit that with latest upgrades I find the interface a bit confusing too. But that's mainly because some button functionalities were changed around in the movinglights section, some added...

 

Just give us a quick inside on the actions you want to perform, maybe we can guide you through that. Just yelling it's an annoying console won't help you getting any further with it.

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Thanks..

I'm honestly not "yelling".. and I did post a question in another part of the Forum. I'm just expressing that for theatre people, it seems like a very strange desk.. I thought Zero88 should know that.

 

And, I was unsure who the "target market" really was..?

 

ChrisP

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Ive got to say I can work it very well, and im 13.

Does this tell you something?

 

BTW does anyone else miss the green of the old forums? -we should have it back, its not as hard/tiring to look at!

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I learned this board in a day (with the combination of manual and the Phantom Frog, trying everyting). Did the first show the next day, and apart from some small programming errors it wasn't a biggie. And I came from the Z88 Lightmaster, wich is very simple (or so they tell me, I still have a hard time programming/using a chase on that thing, while on the FatFrog I can do it blind (true, still have some issues with the submaster chases, but still trying to find the fault myself)

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I read that they are "simple" and can be used in schools.

 

I have had no trouble in learning the desk. I have just left school and we used one for most musicals and plays and in lessons for teaching. Not one of my fellow students had difficulty in learning it.

 

You could try using the phantom frog and play around with it. Or try the tutorial by Sam Henderson I thought it was brilliant. It may be for the fatfrog but most of the basic stuff e.g assign fixtures, programming is the same.

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The functionality and user interface philosophy of the fat frog and bull frog desks are identical.

 

You just get twice as many generic faders, fixtures and submasters on the Bull Frog :D

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Though I always preferred the zero88 way of programming (probably cause I was trained on them). Recently I did a musical with about 60 light channels, 80 dimmer channels and lots of scenes. For this I really liked command line programming, albeit it takes some getting used to and you really have to pay attention to your screen instead of just the board (with the screen as a helper). So currently I'm debating what I prefer myself... (probably have to get to play with the frog 2 sometime.. ;) ).

 

Anyways, the zero88/ FatFrog is and stays the most simple interface to especially the laymen. This week I had a relative inexperienced light technician at our theater, which also came in late. Within 5 minutes she was programming her scences, submasters and naming them. This was someone who had limited experience even to any DMX type board. Goes to show we did a great investment for a theater which has to educate complete laymen as part of regular use.

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Im sorry, But I have been using this board since I was 12, Im now 16. This board is as easy as it gets, From programming chases, To assigning fixtures, Its very easy. Sorry but go out there and try using the " Grand MA Full " Lighting console. Im not trying to be rude, But as this person stated " it couldnt be used by school boys " I think that is very wrong. I have created some fantastic light shows using this console, and recomend it to anyone looking for a simple to use lighting board, that can create a fantastic light show!

 

Oliver Wilkinson

CEO Wilkinson Events

Email: wilkinson_event_managment@yahoo.co.uk

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Im sorry, But I have been using this board since I was 12, Im now 16. This board is as easy as it gets, From programming chases, To assigning fixtures, Its very easy.

 

SAME HERE!!!

I also have to commend designers for allowing additional fixture libraries... Suddenly I want to do Macbeth with a series of XSpot eXtremes... Zero88 to the rescue...

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it would probably help if you included some examples of what you are confused by, and what you are looking to do.

Sadly if you make throw-away comments about schoolboys, half of essex is going to come and duck you in a duck-like fashion. :rolleyes:

 

Seriously though - it is a pretty simple interface to use for generic programming. Set faders, select memory/sub, press program. My only gripe is that it is a bit too easy to clear a memory/sub out.

although I am surprised you don't get on with a frog.

 

Granted the memory recording section in the manual is next to useless, and was probably written by someone who was dropped from a great height as a small child. Half the terms are not covered, nor are their effects, nor how they could be manipulated (with examples) to achieve a desired look, or a potential look.

 

Oh, and stop bashing the original poster, it's unkind to our foreign neighbours :P

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The comments about terminology we have taken on board, and in the newer manuals like Leapfrog48/96 and JesterML, there is a comprehensive A-Z of terms at the back. Have a look in those manuals for help with general lighting terminology, or alternatively look at the Blue Room Wiki.

 

This forum is for discussing issues with products, not other forum members competencies, so please no more comments along those lines.

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It wasnt my intention to question competency; more to highlight school kids who have only known one desk tend to have an affinity with that desk that they learnt on; whereas someone coming from a different background will not necessarily be able to transfer as easily.

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I do theatre. im 13 now and have used all sorts of zero88 desk and strand desks. I was dropped in at the deep end, i actually used a manual desk after using a fatfrog. I learnt when i was 10. first show was bugsy malone (remember it like yesterday)

 

IT IS SO EASY!!!

 

just read the manual and have a play. that always help.

 

pm if u need help

 

 

 

Joe

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