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Do I need dedicated chow control?

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Jeff Markgraf
Do I need dedicated chow control?
on Apr 30, 2010 at 6:39:28 pm

Hope this isn't off-topic here.

I'm involved with a stage production (a small-ish musical) that will be using some projection elements (time & place locator slides, some backgrounds and a few video clips).

Can this be handled effectively from my Macbook Pro in dual monitor mode using VLC or some such playlist-oriented player? I'll use an external eSata or FIrewire 800 drive, so having sufficient bandwidth and disk speed is not an issue. I'm more concerned about accurate, repeatable playout.

Or so I need actual (read: expensive) show control software and/or hardware?


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Walter Soyka
Re: Do I need dedicated chow control?
on Apr 30, 2010 at 6:50:20 pm

[Jeff Markgraf] "I'm more concerned about accurate, repeatable playout. Or so I need actual (read: expensive) show control software and/or hardware?"

Check out DT Videolabs Playback Pro. It's a playlist-based software DDR for Mac OS X with program and preview busses. I'm not sure where your definition of "expensive" begins, but this is a far lower-cost alternative than a traditional DDR.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Jeff Markgraf
Re: Do I need dedicated chow control?
on Apr 30, 2010 at 7:42:29 pm

Hi Walter.

I looked at the Playback Pro site yesterday. think it's pretty reasonable. But I have to keep in mind that the producer (who is self-financing this show) almost choked when I insisted that he spring for a proper Countryman B3 mic for his lead actor/singer/dancer. So over a grand for the software + the nifty USB controller box may cause him to faint.

Sigh. The drama of low-budget theatre.

If he won' go for it, what are your thoughts on the really cheap (under $500)/free options?

Keep in mind, it's one projector, and the changes don't have to be perfectly synched with the light cues (they can de done manually with a second or two of wiggle room).

Thanks in advance.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Do I need dedicated chow control?
on Apr 30, 2010 at 8:01:14 pm

No need to get the controller -- PBP can be operated from the keyboard.

It you really have no budget, you could use embedded videos in Keynote. You won't have the controls or information you get out of PBP, but it will work.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Jeff Markgraf
Re: Do I need dedicated chow control?
on May 3, 2010 at 3:43:27 am

Looks like Playback Pro is going to work just fine. Pretty useless manual, but I figured out how to do what I needed it to do. Thanks for your help.


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Joel Hufford
Re: Do I need dedicated chow control?
on May 3, 2010 at 3:48:17 pm

If you're only doing a handful of performances, then the USB enabler key for Playback Pro can be rented from DTVideoLabs as opposed to purchasing the software outright.

However, in my opinion, Playback Pro is an invaluable tool for handling live event playback. I use it on almost every show I do and it continues to save me time and headaches!

And like Walter mentioned, it is a much more affordable solution when compared to the traditional DDRs like the Turbo or Doremi.


joel


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