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Experience of using Phantom as an offline editor

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Hi, my amateur theatre company is currently using a Zero88 twin preset desk but needs to invest in a desk with the additional specification:

• supports intelligent fixtures

• includes an offline editor

• includes a remote handset facility


The Solution series appears to fit the bill but Phantom does not look as useful as say the ETC one or Light Factory. I would like to hear of your views please for setting up a show and then editing it using Phantom.


Many thanks



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As well as being in the industry - I still light shows for a little theatre (and used to light shows in a bigger theatre using Strand kit) and whilst I always thought I couldn't work without an offline editor for my lighting - I've always managed to.


My "weapon" of choice is an Illusion 500 (I'd like an Orb but hey...) so I've never had access to an offline editor although I do have a spare console at home but I've never felt the need to pull it out to rework any programming. Perhaps it's the way our theatre works (and that I was taught to work) but I always manage to find time between rehearsals to rework the few cues I get wrong or during a rehearsal if the director really needs to change stuff.


From my demo's and handover training of LeapFrog/Solution and Orb over the last few years - I think it's powerful enough with the features in the software that if you come to think within 12 months of ownership "Oh geez - I NEED an offline editor" then perhaps you've come at the desk the wrong way.


A remote handset has it's uses but then I come from a background where I'm used to using a flash lead (a hard power extension) to focus my lights - I started off having to wait for a time switch to turn on my dimmer power - the flash lead changed my life. Whilst the remote monitor function is handy to let an SM see the cue list - I've never worked with an SM who wasn't busy enough calling the book to worry about LX cues executing - up a ladder with a 223 in one hand and focus remote in the other, somethings going to get dropped.


If you are actively considering ETC (and I presume you're looking at Ion...) then bear in mind the limitations of the remote in relation to it's power management, our most regular customer bought one and has gone through 2 sets of ETC remote batteries in about 12 months...


The easiest (or perhaps the best) advice I can give is this - if you've not seen a Solution in your venue, then contact your Local Zero88 dealer and ask them for a demo at your venue so you can see how it does it's "magic". If your local dealer can't do a demo then ask Jon to set one up for you - I think you'll end up being pleasantly surprised.

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