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Preparing an FLX desk for touring


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Hi,I have a Zero88 FLX control desk with two wings.
I have been using it for a few years now with my own rig. In preparation for some potential work next year I need to set it up for maximum flexibility and capability. There is a chance the venues will be bigger and I will be using a small ground package and hooking into the house rig. I have done this in smaller venues and coped by getting fixture specs , positioning and DMX addressing info. Some venues were really good with a tech spec some not.
So the info I need some help on would be to help in a situation when you get to a venue with no tech spec info at all. How do you set your desk up, what are the work flows used for fixture selection groups, positioning etc.
 

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This was part of a comment to the same question on BlueRoom:

"although I'm not sure how advanced the FLX is in its ability to clone fixture or change the type while retaining data"

My understanding of this would be: clone=no, fixture change=yes (desk will try to map attributes from the old to new fixture the best it can).

Be interested to learn from Edward how well this works and how well pre-recorded palettes might map across if fixture swap-outs are done when at the venue.

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Thanks KGallen, yes I dont know as yet but interested in trying it out. I have a visualiser so will have a try with that first to see how it maps across.

I really dont know what movers I will come across when this is up and running so need to find some way to changeover quickly and efficiently.

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Hi Mac,

On 2/14/2021 at 6:56 AM, Uriahdemon said:

So the info I need some help on would be to help in a situation when you get to a venue with no tech spec info at all.

The most time consuming part of these situations, is simply getting the fixtures patched, let alone thinking about starting to program them. If the fixtures are RDM, RigSync will sort this out, otherwise it will be a case of working out what fixtures you have, and if they are in an existing suitable address and mode, getting them patched in.

22 hours ago, kgallen said:

This was part of a comment to the same question on BlueRoom:

"although I'm not sure how advanced the FLX is in its ability to clone fixture or change the type while retaining data"

Fixture swap-out/change/morph/replace is ultimately all the same thing - the ability for the console to replace an existing fixture in the show, with a different fixture, applying all information such as programming to the new fixture. With the addition of the new fixture library in ZerOS 7.9.8 and later, fixture changes are now far more detailed, due to the extra information in the fixture database. This will help ensure the new fixture uses the same positions, colours, intensities etc in all your cues and palettes.

If you have existing fixtures in your show, which are not used in a venue, you can therefore use these as templates, and perform a change profiles to replace the existing fixture with the venue's fixtures.

If you have more fixtures in a venue than you had programmed in an existing show, you have a couple of options. Either add the additional fixtures manually into key cues, or add additional addresses to the existing fixtures - you can then start to have pairs of fixtures doing the same thing. In some lighting designs this works really well.

20 hours ago, Uriahdemon said:

I have a visualiser so will have a try with that first to see how it maps across.

This is a great place to start. If you do at least know what fixtures the venue has, pop them into a visualiser, and then replace the existing fixtures in the show file with the venue's fixtures. Address them to match the visualiser, and see how your programming looks.

On 3rd March, I'll be running a session dedicated to using the console with limited programming time. If you're free, see the link below...

https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJ0lceuhqz4iGtzxQIwfa5oaM0qzWOTRg67a

If you have any questions let me know.

Edward

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Hi Mac,

This is a bit of a spoiler for the training 😆

3 hours ago, Uriahdemon said:

What is the workflow you use to program i.e. pallets and groups what and when etc....?

Firstly, as a prerequisite to most of this, I am assuming SmartTag is off. For most of this you're going to want to be pretty picky with what gets recorded where. For more information on SmartTag, see below...

https://zero88.com/manuals/zeros/cues-playbacks/record-options/snapshot-smarttag

If I have a completely fresh console, and have an event I need to light in very limited time, first thing I would do is get the rigged patch, preferably by RigSync if it is decent RDM kit. Otherwise, get all the info you can, and start patching. If you have a small Windows laptop (touchscreen even better!), get this connected to the console over Wi-Fi, and walk round the venue with it patching.

Once patched, create all your auto palettes and groups as a base. I would then start to program my own custom groups, based on where the fixtures are in the rig, and how you wish to use them for your design. With these key groups, I would then aim to program 12 intensity masters. By this, I mean record just the intensity for 12 groups of lights onto separate playbacks, with nothing else. The reason 12, is I like to fill the first row of faders on page 1. As a general rule when operating, I try to avoid having manual intensity values, and have intensity controlled by playbacks only. If I have time, and know that when the event is running it will involve very quick changes, I will then program myself some macros. I will record a macro for each intensity master I have created, which selects their respective groups of fixtures. I will then trigger each macro with each playback, so that when I raise the playback of my "back light" for example, backlight are automatically selected, allowing me to then use my palettes desktop on the external monitor to apply my palettes. If you don't have time for this, I would probably live with my groups on the internal touchscreen, and then jump between other desktops on the external touchscreen.

You may then want to have a think about custom defaults and home values - are there positions or colours that you are using more than any others, that could be used as the default for the fixtures? Rather than using the Home button as a way of "resetting" all your parameter adjustments, could the Home button instead just take the selected fixtures to a nice default lighting state?

Custom default information here...

https://zero88.com/manuals/zeros/controlling-fixtures/defaults

Custom home information here...

https://zero88.com/manuals/zeros/controlling-fixtures/home

After groups, position palettes are by far the most important set of custom palettes to create. Remember - as a general rule always include all fixtures in all position palettes - it then doesn't matter which ones you select, they will work with your palettes. Start with the usual palettes; down stage, centre stage etc, but then create some "general" position palettes, which are more interesting looks. 

Then, I create some "all" palettes, using snapshot recording. This gives me some lighting states I can fade to with programmer time manually. I tend to store these in the Beam attribute, as I find I have the least palettes in this attribute. For more information on snapshot palettes see below...

https://zero88.com/manuals/zeros/palettes/recording-palettes

For more information on Programmer Time see below...

https://zero88.com/manuals/zeros/cues-playbacks/special-playback-functions#programmer

Then, create yourself a few lighting states, that will just work for most things. I would program 6, to fill another bank of faders. Raising these faders, and double tapping CLEAR, will then always guarantee to get you somewhere suitable.

For UDKs, I like to have blinders on one for live events, house lights on another, and a "Clear Fixture" UDK, to allow you to clear manual values for the currently selected fixtures. If there is a group or position you are regularly using, stick this on a UDK too. For more on UDKs see below...

https://zero88.com/manuals/zeros/user-definable-keys

Always important to never forget - emergency lighting. If you aren't using the Master Playback for anything else, program house lights/ general light there. If something happens, bring that in.

I hope this helps, and gives you some further pointers.

Edward

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Hi Mac,

7 minutes ago, Uriahdemon said:

Thanks Ed, thats the stuff I need and seems I have plenty of homework now.

No doubt there will be more questions once I have had a read and a play.

I look forward to the training session.

No problem, look forward to seeing you on the training.

Edward

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6 hours ago, Edward- Z88 said:

If you have a small Windows laptop (touchscreen even better!), get this connected to the console over Wi-Fi, and walk round the venue with it patching.

How is this done please Ed.  I can connect up my IPAD to the desk via wifi and use ZerOS remote to trigger playbacks.  I am not sure how to do this....??

 

6 hours ago, Edward- Z88 said:

Once patched, create all your auto palettes and groups as a base.

What is the difference between a palette and an auto palette....??

 

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1 hour ago, Uriahdemon said:

What is the difference between a palette and an auto palette....??

Auto palette generates the default colour and gobo palettes - what you get when you press the button in the middle of the touch screen when you’ve got a fairly fresh desk. 
 

Palette just means one you recorded yourself eg RECORD -> COLOUR

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6 minutes ago, kgallen said:

Auto palette generates the default colour and gobo palettes - what you get when you press the button in the middle of the touch screen when you’ve got a fairly fresh desk. 
 

Palette just means one you recorded yourself eg RECORD -> COLOUR

Thanks KGallen

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Hi Mac,

1 hour ago, Uriahdemon said:

How is this done please Ed.  I can connect up my IPAD to the desk via wifi and use ZerOS remote to trigger playbacks.  I am not sure how to do this....??

 

Connecting a laptop to the console running the ZerOS Monitor app for windows, is done in exactly the same way as connecting an iPad running the ZerOS Monitor app. For more information see the link below...

https://zero88.com/manuals/zeros/networking/using-the-remote-apps 

1 hour ago, Uriahdemon said:

What is the difference between a palette and an auto palette....??

For more information on auto palettes, as opposed to palettes you record manually, see here...

https://zero88.com/manuals/zeros/palettes/automatic-palettes 

Hope this helps,

Edward

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