Is Hog 500 a good desk for "improvising" on conventionals?

Maybe I'm a luddite. . .

The road house I work at just bought a used Hog 500. We have no movers, just 120ish conventionals. My initial take is that this desk isn't very good for "on-the-fly" lighting for one-night shows.

Am I missing something? Any tips for how to do this? Like how do I mix a color on the cyc, back/side/front light and bring up specials on the fly?

Or should I convince them to dump this and get something simple with 48 handles?
  • its not ideal for that use its better for small corporate with a mix of movers and conventionals your probably better with something with more handles like
    a ,dare i say it here, avo pearl
  • I'd agree with mikeray on this one. The Hog 500 is more geared towards being able to program ahead of time. I recently had to use a Hog 500 to help run a show where there were a few movers and maybe 50 conventionals. We had no chance to program cues before the show since we didn't know what the bands wanted. We wound up setting up several looks on each of the masters. We did ok with the show but it's not an experience I'd like to repeat.

    I replaced my ETC Expression 2X with a HogIII when I added movers to my inventory. The house plot was 113 conventionals. The cool thing about the Expression was that you could assign a chase (as well as a few other effects) to a submaster and run all the subs concurrently. With 24 submasters per page it was relatively easy to set up and improvise a show.

    The Expression is a pricey console for what it sounds like you need. You could probably get away with an Express 125 or 250. They're easy to find used. Keep the Hog though (if you can). You'll love it if you ever add movers to your house. Since they both use DMX to talk to your dimmers swapping them out would be a snap.

    Hope this helps.