Integrating Sensor Dimmers

I'm kicking around ideas in my head about how to update a system, wanted to bounce some ideas around here:

I'm looking at a system where there are some CEM+ racks that get updated to CEM3, there is an existing Paradigm, an Element 500-60, and some work lights that aren't part of either system. There's also a dressing room that I'm thinking of putting on an Echo System, but it's flexible.

One of the sticking points I'm looking at, is let's say there is at least for sure the Echo system for the Dressing Rooms, and let's pretend it is networked with Paradigm over the Expansion Bridge.

If one of the goals is to have a new button station at the entrance of the theater with both controls for the Worklights and the Sensor Racks to recall some looks, which would be best? I'm going to rank the current Ideas based on merits, and posting any other questions or thoughts:

Using Paradigm sACN to snapshot levels from the Console to be recalled by the button stations.
This calls for having the console setup with the looks we want programmed. which we already do using faders from the designer's plot. Then using our Qlab Mac, we connect to the Paradigm and record each of the Sub looks to a Preset recalled from the button station.

Seems to be very straightforward, but needs the most configuration from an ASP. The other downside is using DMX out of Paradigm to control a relay for the worklights that is only controlled by Paradigm. Or is that a feature?

Echo Recall of Sensor 3 Presets?
This system could use an Echo relay, talk to the Sensor rack over Echo Bus. And in theory, the Sensors 3 Rack can still be programmed the same way, with signal from the console recording a preset in the Dimmers, that gets recalled by the Echo buttons.

The advantage here being that aside from the upgrade, the installation of Echo bus and button stations can be handled from the Booth, and the Paradigm, not being affected can continue doing what it does. We could simply use the Echo Bridge for connecting both the Stage and the Dressing Rooms, and for setting up the system over Echo Access.

  • 1. Work lights and dressing rooms don't change often so recording their buttons isn't a big deal.

    2. Do you need to control the dressing rooms from the booth? 

    3. If the system gets very complex then a touch screen controller will make it simple for the untrained users. (record buttons and security can be included) 

    4. Consultants (like me) get paid for this stuff because unintended consequences are expensive.

  • Fair enough.

    The Worklights and Dressing Rooms wouldn't change that much.

    The Presets recalled on the dimmer change more often.

    Essentially, we have a bank of 10 Faders on our board that we ask the LD for each show to program, which gives us some basic lighting looks to use for events.

    Full stage up, house lights, blue wash on stage, etc.

    Since what channels are brought up, and to what levels changes with each plot, those get rebuilt.

    So my idea is to program the subs like we've been doing, but then add in the step of, while the sub is active, recording it to a button station. So those looks would change on a more frequent basis. Trying to avoid touchscreens for either system, just because I'm not thinking of giving other users access to build the looks themselves, just recall presets we've set for them.

    And yes, I'm definitely a fan of asking someone else to do it when it get's really tricky. And truth be told, there's a part of the system I'm leaving out, because Paradigm would then clearly be the right choice, so I'm simplifying the whole thing anyways, really just to see if there is any problems with recording the presets for the Sensor 3, and any other considerations for using one over the other in this simpler system.

  • If all you need is one preset at a time (across the whole system) then Sensor presets should do it. If you need/want a house preset and a stage preset and a dressing room preset selectable separately then you need Echo and maybe Paradigm. If you have Paradigm there isn't much need for much of anything else. 

    Paradigm fader stations would be just what you are doing now, but not clogging the console with non-show subs. The standard layout includes a record button. 

  • hmm, i thought sensor presets were recalled from either echo or paradigm. I suppose you can recall them from Concert, but aside from that or the onboard CEM 3 interface, there isn't any other way to recall Sensor presets?

    I guess what my question really boils down to, is if I use the submasters built for the show, and want to use those subs as the values for presets in either Echo or Paradigm, are there any considerations between  the 2 systems for recording the looks?

    I know in Paradigm, (since I'm not using a touchscreen) I can record the preset from incoming sACN values going to the dimmer rack, from the web browser.

    And now that Echo Access is on Concert, can I do a similar thing, where I record the current Sensor 3 Levels as Presets recalled from an Echo Button station? or is there a different way to set that up, like recording the levels to Sensor Presets, then having Echo recall those?

  • And what happens when you get some LEDs that don't use dimmers for levels or colors? Echo scene controls can handle that, but Sensor presets can't. Sensors can't create DMX. 

    In Paradigm any button can be programed to do almost anything, 150 functions including HTP and LTP presets! Echo is presets and channels and little flexibility. 

    You might want to have a phone call with an ETC sales tech and give them the whole story. 

  • Hi...If only a single module or a couple modules need their type updated, you can perform this change in the Dimmer setup screen.  Large ranges of change can also be modified in this screen by using the And/thru buttons for multiples selection.  In more complicated setups where module density changes from one module to the next