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Beginner with an Express 48/96

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joe@lms Posted: 02-26-2011 5:01 PM

I've been asked to run the lights for our schools first production.  I have scanned through the manual, but it was of little help in actually understanding how to plan, program, or setup the system for a production.  I have looked through the countless forum posts as well.

I have no experience with lighting controls, but I have figured out how to turn it on!  Actually I have gotten a little further than that, but I would like to attempt to use the system we have as it was intended instead of just manually turning lights on and off.  Am I biting off more than I can chew?

If anyone can suggest some basic reading material or offer some simple getting started suggestions it would be greatly appreciated!  I do not know all of the terminology so please keep it simple.  I do better with hands on so I hope to catch on quickly.  As I said this is the schools first production and there is no one else here that knows anything about the system.

Let the show begin!


Top 100 Contributor
Posts 107

Hi Joe,


Welcome to the world of lighting, theatre, and production! Isn't it great! :) Anyways, what sort of things are you looking for more specifically. Writing cues (to create looks on stages), bring up lights on stage, patching dimmers to channels, etc.?


I found this quick guide online...this should help tremendously...



This is a lot easier of a read then the manual, because it only goes into what you need to know.


You have two ways of bringing up channels, either through channels, which are patched to dimmers, which power and dim the lights with your faders or through the keypad with the simple syntax of [1] [at] [Full] [Enter].


You can then either record what you have brought up into a cue to run this with a show, in a cue stack with the syntax of [Record] [Cue] [1] [Time] [0:05] [Enter] and this will bring up the cue when you load the cue stack and press go. The quick guide goes into more depth regarding this as well.


If you want to just bring this up as a submaster, which is controablle through a fader, you can do this with a similar syntax of [Record] [Sub] and either click the bump button under the submaster or type the number of the submaster. I believe there are 24 on your console per page. (Not 100% sure)


Hope this gets you started...there are a lot of people who are very happy to help out here to get you up and running, and hopefully that guide will help you out as well!



Jared Ross

Top 50 Contributor
Posts 339

Where are you from? There may be someone in your area that may be willing to help you in person.

Master Electrician

University of Hartford

Lincoln Theater

Ion,  2x20 Fader Wing, RFR, aRFR

Top 25 Contributor
Posts 499

you might want to contact your local dealer or ETC about the DVD training Videos available for the express consoles.  

Andrew Webberley


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Posts 2

The quick guide will definitely help.  Thanks Jarad!

I am near Atlanta.  As I mentioned the school is just several years old and no one there has any experience other than turn the lights on and adjusting the dimmers on the panel.  I may attempt to check around the school district to see if there are any others with this model controller.  Just a few quick pointers would be enough to get me started along with the quick guide.

Thank you all for your quick replies!


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