most basic lighting consoles

- Jul 11, 2017 -


Preset boards are the most basic lighting consolesand also the most prevalent in smaller installations. They consist of two or more identical fader banks, called scenes. The faders (control slides) on these scenes can be manually adjusted. Each scene has the same number of channels which control the same dimmers. So the console operator can build a scene offline or in "blind", a cross-fader or submaster is used to selectively mix or fade between the different scenes.

Generally, at least with a preset board, the operator has a cue sheet for each scene, which is a diagram of the board with the faders in their positions as determined by the lighting designer. The operator sets the faders into their positions based on the cue sheets. Typically during a cue, the operator sets the next scene. Then, the operator makes the transition between the scenes using the cross-fader.

Preset boards are not as prevalent since the advent of digital memory consoles, which can store scenes digitally, and are generally much less cumbersome but more expensive than preset boards. However, for small setups such as that of a DJ, they remain the board of choice for their simple to use interface and relative flexibility. Preset boards generally control only conventional lights; though some advanced hybrid consoles can be patched to operate intelligent lights in a round-about way by setting the control channels of the light to channels the preset board can control. This is however not recommended since it is a long, drawn-out, and cumbersome process.


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