Well recently I had an interesting experience in a very small theatre. I was going into the venue as a lighting designer for a touring show I am working on. This venue that we were visiting had written on their website about how green their venue was with the use of several LED lighting fixtures (7) and their computer operated lighting software. Well it is true,but the did not tell you that the LED fixtures were cheap, did not have any dimmer curve and sometimes did not listen to the DMX stream very well. The lighting system used the CHAMSYS MagicDMX Basic dongle and the software. Now the problem with this is that you need to shut down every few hours and re-plug the dongle and re-start the software. Not very professional for a pro venue. I know that this system is very cheap to buy, I have one and it cost AUD $16. for a pro venue it would have been better that the got the next one up. This turning off the pc is a pain. In fact just before the show the “venue tech” turned the system on ( I was not allowed to) and the systemed failed, so he had to re-boot and try and solve the issue. I had wanted to turn on the system half hour ahead to make sure that every thing was ok, but no that was not allowed. The lighting stock was strange, as I alluded to the LED floods and pars did not have a dimmer curve they stepped through changes, there were some 2 outdoor floods providing a spalt of light and some domestic MR16 type fitting doing something. Now I know money is always tight in venues but I rthink they need to look at their technical set up. Even the sound system was well below standard, I had a domestic CD/Radio combo with speakers in the venue for sound. The main system with a mixer had to much buzz in it to be workable – this had only be recently installed after it had been purchased on e-bay. Not a good buy. I am glad the system I used had removable speakers that were place behind the audience, there was only one problem – I could not hear what was happening on stage except through a baby monitor. The control room was totally sound proof and the windows could not open. The whole place had once been a recording studio and I was in the vocal booth.
All I can say is that it was an interesting experience, a lot of had work on my part for one performance but the audience did like the end result. The next time I do this show it will be under better circumstances of which I will tell you more later.