ETC Unveils New Element Lighting Control Consoles
Posted on Monday, March 23rd, 2009
Users have been asking for an ETC lighting control console designed expressly for modest rigs and maximum hands-on fader control, the company says. In response, ETC is introducing its new Element consoles at USITT 2009 in Cincinnati. ETC controls product manager Sarah Clausen explains: “ETC defined the basic lighting controller when the Express console was introduced in 1995. We’ve seen over time that the basic lighting rig has changed. With Element, we’ve redefined what ‘basic lighting console’ means, without losing the ease of use of Express.” Element comes in two hardware versions, based on fader count (the Element 40 or the Element 60). Each supports either 250 or 500 channels and a full two universes of DMX output.
Element is directed at smaller venues like schools and houses of worship, who depend on single console operators or volunteer staffers. It is designed to handle rigs outfitted predo,minantly with conventional fixtures (spotlights, PARs, Fresnels, and their accessories — scrollers, mirror heads, gobo rotators, etc.), while also accommodating some LED fixtures and/or a small number of simple moving lights. “We based Element on our Eos control system but with a simplified feature set in a stand-alone console,” says Clausen. Integral faders, a single cue list and command prompts echoing those of the Express console make operation of an Element console simple and direct. ETC addressed a number of special requirements in this new console. Users asked for channel faders. ETC engineered Element with true LTP channel faders for handling simple shows directly or for building up looks for use as submasters or cues, or for editing levels live. Users wanted submasters. By turning a switch, Element’s channel faders become 40 submasters for simple playback of live shows. When submasters are needed all the time, the Element 60 console provides 20 additional dedicated submaster faders. Users wanted the simplicity of one-button operation if needed: Element records cues and fade times into a single cue list for simple playback of more complex shows using a GO button. Or, when users are ready to move up, they can access more complex timing functions like cue parts and follows to create more intricate lighting transitions.
Element also opens the realm of special effects to basic operators by recording effects directly into cues or loading them into submasters for more dynamic lighting looks.
Element even navigates basic accessory, LED, and moving-light control. At the press of a button, the console’s On Demand ML Controls appear on screen with tools designed to control smaller numbers of non-intensity equipment like scrollers, gobo rotators and mirror heads for conventional fixtures. Element’s color and gel-picker tools simplify the control process further, applying appropriate colors to LEDs and color-mixing accessories and fixtures.
Smaller-scale venues like schools will appreciate the deep customer and technical support behind Element — from its on-screen prompts, Help system, and video tutorials, to ETC’s online Community Forums and standard expert 24/7 phone support.
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