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Martin Oakley

Controlling smoke/haze

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I have been asked to look at a show where a theatre cue stack will be used and incorporated in to the lighting design is the use of a smoke or haze machine. This will controllable via DMX - it will be an Antari or Le Maitre machine.

Whilst creating the lighting effect is no problem, there are occasions when the smoke/haze needs to be controlled. How best to do this? I am expecting the volume is the parameter that is under MFF control.

Firstly I thought of a cue calling for the effect to be switched on at a level (set via the MFF) and a following cue automatically called from the first cue to switch the device off. The lighting will fit around the cues.

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Hi Martin,

Unless you plan on programming the smoke/haze machine into cues, personally I would patch the smoke/haze machine as generic dimmer channels, rather than using a dedicated personality. For most hazers this will be a dimmer channel for Pump and another for Fan. As smoke behaviour varies greatly on many factors such as venue, size of audience, positioning of the machine, what's going on on stage etc, this method gives you 2 faders to control the smoke/haze live, whilst running the lighting cues from your master playback.

If you would prefer to use a dedicated fixture profile for a smoke/hazer, you can still control the rate using a fader by recording onto a playback. The simplest way to do this is to set the pump and fan to full, record to a playback, and in the settings of the playback enable Fader Controls Beam, so that the fader scales the rate of haze. The Pump and Fan controls can be accessed by selecting the fixture, and tapping the Beam tab. The control parameters will then be controlled using the encoders.

Hope this helps,


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