Maxim Lighting console Review
The maxim lighting desks designed and manufactured by LSC Lighting Systems have been around in Australia for quite a number of years. These desks are often favoured by schools and community venues. They offer a reasonable degree of flexibility in the way they are used. You can quite easily busk a show for a one night stand or you can program a reasonably complex show into the system for repeatability night after night. The desk has solid, robust feel. Unfortunately the colour scheme from my point of view is a bit bland, it would be nice if things like the record button etc. had different colours from the rest of the buttons. This would them stand out, especially when you are tired, you sometimes need all the help you can get. But before we get into to much detail lets look at its features.
As you can see from the above list of functions the desk has a lot going for it. You can get this desk in a variety of flavours from the small 12/24 channel to the 60/120 channel desk. There is an optional patpad controller available for some of the desks. The patpad is a control surface designed to control moving lights and the like. The desk is built very solid and should survive the rigours of touring or use in a school. The desk is laid out in the standard 2 preset format with the addition of a 3rd bank of faders next to the preset masters. The only one of the series that this is not true for is the MaXim S which is the smallest model in the range. The range of models is:
- maXim S (12/24).
- maXim M (24/48).
- maXim MP (24/48 with PatPad).
- maXim L (36/72).
- maXim LP (36/72 with PatPad).
- maXim XL (48/96).
- maXim XLP (48/96 with PatPad).
- maXim XXL (60/120).
- maXim XXLP (60/120 with PatPad).
There are 3 Modes of operation for this desk: Preset, Where the desk works in manual 2 preset mode.
Wide, where you can double the number of available channels.
Scene, where the Red Bank of Faders act as Scenes.
In all modes the Bottom row of faders acts as scenes except on the 12/24 model which does not have this row of blue faders. So you can see there are a range of options for the lighting operator. You can use the desk as a 2 preset system with a whole load of scenes recorded. An example would be to have a whole series of colour washes recorded as scenes and then use the presets for specials – great for busking. If using the desk in wide mode you then have access to a wide range of channels, not easy to operate a show from but great for setting up shows and you can then record the resulting lighting states into the blue faders as scenes. But you can also record scenes on the second preset faders as well. So you could record all of your scenes on this preset and your chases on the bottom presets or your intelligent lighting cues on the bottom faders and your generics on the second preset. so you can see that this desk is only limited by your imagination.Once you have recorded your show you can then stack the cues into what ever sequence you require, you can then play this stack back on the stack master.
Each scene or state that you record can also have fade times recorded with it. When you then put these scenes into a stack the states will playback with those times. Also within a stack you can set in and out times if you did not do that will recording the states initially. Or you can use the manual time faders for playing back the stack. You can also use these time fades for manually playing back scenes or presets.
With this desk you can also record chases sequences easily. This desk has the ability to do a lot just as a lighting desk. Editing states is no real drama. Just press the edit button, select the scene you want to edit, you then use the top preset to modify the levels, when you are complete just hit the edit button again to exit. You can edit live or blind.
There are only a couple of niggly thinks that annoy me. One is the display on a monitor is a little crowded, it would be nice if you could arrange the elements on the screen in the way you want to improve your workflow. Another thing that would be nice if it could change is the labelling of the scenes that occurs. I understand why it is the way it is, but it would be nice if you could re-label them. You can label a cue but it is not the dominant info on the screen. If you label the cue it should be easily seen on the monitor so you know where you are in a production. Lighting operators like their memory cue number to match a stage managers and be easy to call. The standard scene label is not easy to call, it follows this format -R1.02 – this means Red preset page 1, fader 2. So you can see that it is difficult to call LX R1.02 GO. If this could be changed or the labels assigned by the operator made bigger and bolder, it would be easier.
Another feature that I have not had a chance to try out is the PatPad section, which is designed for programming moving lights etc., Reading up on this area it looks like a great but relatively easy process. There are videos available that show you how to program movers. When I get a chance to user some movers with one I will write a review on the process.
I have only scratched the surface of what you can do with this desk. Apart from a couple of niggles I am very happy with the desk. It is well built. It performs like you would expect it to. Software is easy to update. And the manual is not to bad to read. This desk will give you many reliable years of service. It is great to see equipment of this caliber coming from Australian designers and manufacturers.
I would rate this desk 8 out 10