Making Strategic Channel Assignments (part 2)

In the last post we explored the organization of channel assignments for a single axis of front lighting for a basic series of lighting areas.

Simple stage divided into 9 areas

 A system of front lights from the front-of-house house right might be mirrored by a system of lights into each area from front-of-house house left:

Fixtures with focus and instrument numbers

 Notice that the instrument numbers on this side of the CL pick up where they left off on audience right.  Likewise, each instrument is circuited to the nearest of the permanent circuits provided on this FOH beam position.

Fixture with circuit numbers in circles

 The channel number assignments, however, might provide a bit of a surprise, because instead of picking up at the number 9 with area A as you might suspect they would.  They begin with area A-#11, area B-#12, area C-#13, etc.…

Fixtures with channel numbers in hexagons

If you recall from the last post, this means that the channel numbers for both front lights into area A end in 1.  From SL the channel number is 01; from SR the channel number is 11.  Thus, each area has a unique channel ending number.  Area B channels end in a 2; area C channels end in a 3; area D channels end in a 4.

Bringing up a front light from both sides into areas A, B, C, and D to a level of 50% requires the following 16 keystrokes:

[chan] [0] [1] [through] [0] [4]  [and] [1] [1] [through] [1] [4]  [enter] [5] [0] [enter]

Compare that to the 28 keystrokes (almost 75% more keystrokes) required to do the same using the dimmer numbers:

[dim] [3] [6] [and] [3] [0] [and]  [2] [6] [and] [2] [0] [and] [5] [6] [and] [5] [0] [and] [4] [6] [and] [4] [0] [enter] [5] [0] [enter]

It doesn’t take much imagination to realize that this system might be expanded to cover any number of systems of top lights, backlights, and sidelights into each area.

It also doesn’t take much imagination to recognize that the designer also benefits by the numerical connection between each area and the ending number of channels that service it.

See Part 3 for further exploration of this topic


Have fun!  But be safe!



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