Not the Fixtures I Ordered

This tour build I just did, I had three systems of lights replaced.  The last one was on the day of load in when I found out an entire system of lights weren’t shipped to me.  Kind of a bummer since I had programmed the whole show already in previs.  After a quick run through the five stages of grief, replacement fixtures were found locally and all that was left was how to get them into the show in the cleanest way.  If it’s useful to anyone, here’s how I did it, which I think is the best I’ve done to date.

Context For Those Who Haven’t Replaced Fixtures in a Programmed Show File

Though every console has the ability to trade one fixture type for another, there are crocodiles in those waters.  When consoles translate one fixture to another, the main attributes- pan, tilt, zoom, edge/focus, and color usually translate well.  It’s all the other attributes that torture you like Iris (yes, really), control modes, macros, prism, etc.  The reason why is one fixture’s “do nothing noticeable” value for one a parameter is another fixtures “LET’S FLASH BACK TO OUR RAVE DAYS” value, and the console doesn’t have the ability to recognize that.  You can spend hours upon hours simply finding all the errors, never mind correcting them.

The Thing I Did This Time

  1. Unpatch the existing fixtures.  Why?  I need those addresses.
  2. Move the fixtures out of the channel range.  These lights were 11-18, so I moved them to 511-518.
  3. Add the new fixtures to the patch in the original channels.
  4. Make sure all Focus, Color and Beam palettes are present in the show file for the fixture.  I was able to copy most of this data from another similar light.  
  5. Go into Blind and select all cues in the show.
  6. Select all the new lights, then select the pertinent attributes- Intensity, Cyan, Yellow, Magenta, Zoom, etc.  Pick EVERY attribute you need, and NONE you don’t.
  7. In Eos (every console has there own way to do this) Recall From the original channels, in this case 511-518.
  8. Check your work as much as you have time to.

This worked perfectly for my needs.  I can’t emphasize enough that one of the reasons it worked so well is I work in palettes and presets all the time and I had made sure the new fixtures were already entered into those palettes.  Without this, your results will probably not be very effective.  What last minute substitution stories do you have?  Hit me in the comments.

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