Well I attended the Jands@Home event in Adelaide with the soul intention to find out more about the Jands Vista and the ETC Eos systems.It proved to be an interesting couple of days. first of all it was a pleasure to meet the guys from Jands and to receive some training from Eddie on the 2 different consoles.
When you compare them, they work in different ways. The ETC consoles are very much a command line desk. Which for those that are familiar with command line from their previous consoles will feel at home using them. The command line can be a bit daunting to those not familiar with the syntax. Once you figure your way around the syntax and work out where the keys are it starts to fall into place.
This is one console that you really need to have 2 monitors with and if one of those is touch even better. There is so much that this console is capable of and you can approach it in many different ways. This desk is in fact a great one for a venue with a lot of dimmers, like theatres. You can add fader wings to the unit to give you sub groups and more playbacks etc It is also great with movers, LEDs and you can even do pixel mapping. So any venues that are thinking about upgrading their consoles can not go wrong with this desk.
With the Jands Vista consoles running Byron it is more of a graphical user interface, but you could use it with a command line interface if you were that way inclined. This I found very nice as you can set it up to look like your rig, this is really great for the designer/ operator.
I like this graphical interface as a lighting designer as I can set out my system in a way that complements my design and my design style. It is visual delight to use. Now how would this fit into a theatre I am not to sure; it would suit me. The consoles that are available are great and easy to use.
Both these consoles would be great in many venues around the place, they are versatile, easy to use and come with many great features. The ETC consoles have an offline editor for you to try out and get a feel for it. There is also a lot of info on their site and links to tutorials etc. Jands software can be run from a pc as long as you have a dongle. There is also a controller that connects to your pc as well. This is rather a nice way to work the system. But those wanting a more traditional desk, you can get in embedded in a desk as well.
So which is the best, it depends on what you want to do with it and your own personnel style. I learn towards the Jands Vista but I also like the ETC system as well.
Thanks to the Jands team for taking the time to offer some basic training and an insight into these consoles.