ETC Element 40-500

In Lighting, Product Reviews by tfwm

ETC Element 40-500

By Jason Price

The mission at Cross of Christ Lutheran Church is to live out the love of Jesus. What motivates us is the Greatest Commandment that Jesus gave which is to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, strength … and love your neighbour as yourself” (Luke 10:27). God chose to do for us what we couldn’t do for ourselves: save us from our sin and death we could spend eternity with Him and live a joy-filled life today. To give us these gifts, God sent His only son, Jesus, to die on the cross for our sins and rise again 3 days later. We also believe that God tangibly shows His love to us through the Sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion. We are also very mission minded and seek to reach other people with God’s story of life and salvation.

God invites us, and you, to join Him on this journey to grow in our faith and reach out to those in need. At Cross of Christ, we offer two services on Sunday at 8:30 and 10:30 am, and a third worship service on Mondays at 6:30 pm. While we have been at our present location for more than 55 years, we have been in our current worship Sanctuary for about 20 years. We offer a blend of traditional Lutheran hymns with our three-manual, 45-rank, midi-equipped pipe organ, as well as contemporary music with our five- piece praise band and vocalists.

For our annual Christmas program, we always rent extra moving lights and spotlights. The integrity and reliability of these items varied from year to year and created unnecessary stress and frustration. We felt the need to purchase our own items that we know are reliable, as well as the ability to use throughout the rest of the year as we grow in our ministry.

To create a great lighting design with the lights we have, and the lights we use for events like this years’ Christmas Lights program, “Christmas Lights”, we knew we would need a great lighting console. We wanted to choose a console that would meet our current and future needs, while at the same time, being very easy to run.

Our old board was an ETC Element console that was more than ten years old, and started to not respond to commands. With our success and familiarity of this board, we decided we wanted to stick with ETC for the new board. We reached out for local ETC distributors, and contacted Michael Kelty at TPS Productions. Michael and TLS Production have assisted us in the past with repairing some of our moving light fixtures. We were very confident that TLS Productions would guide us in choosing a new console. After making that decision, it was easy to select the ETC Element 40-500.

Based on ETC’s award winning Eos® control system, the Element 40-500 has a simplified feature set designed expressly for modest rigs and maximum hands-on fader control. We choose the Element 40-500 because it has 40 faders, 500 channels and two full universes of DMX output.

One of the features we really liked about this board was our ability to control what lights we were using, and letting it sync up with the actual fixtures. There are several fixtures already pre-programmed in the system, so we just needed to tell the board what lights we had on our DMX, and the board immediately integrated the specified fixtures and all the settings, while at the same time, showing us the picture of the fixture on the screen so we could verify it was the correct one.

We currently run about four cues during worship, so we wanted something easy to use. The Element 40-500 allows us to put our light fixture locations up on a computer screen, and click and select which fixtures we want from there. This makes programming a breeze. We can link up to two monitors to our Element, and each monitor allows three user definable work spaces, each with split-screen controls and frame management. The boards’ channel fades can be used directly, to build up looks for sub masters or cues, or to edit levels stored in subs or cues live. We can store simple to complex commands into a cue list, record cues and fade times, and then run our service by pressing a Go button. The Element also offers Color and Gel Picker tools to apply whatever color we want from our LED, along with color-mixing accessories and fixtures. We can store our most used settings for intensity, focus, beams, etc., to buttons we label ourselves, so we always know what settings are available.

Making the move to a larger board can be intimidating at first. However, with the help of TLS, in selecting our new console, we knew the ETC Element 40-500 was the best choice for us. We look forward to putting it through its paces this Christmas, and having it grow with us for years to come.

JASON IS A MUSICIAN AT HEART (TENOR SAX) HE BRINGS HIS MUSIC TALENT TO RUNNING THE SOUND BOARD FOR WEEKLY SERVICES. JASON PRICE SERVES AS CROSS OF CHRIST’S TECHNICAL DIRECTOR AND WEBMASTER, OVERSEEING ALL AUDIO/VISUAL, WEBSITE AND IT NEEDS. *WHILE THE ETC ELEMENT HAS BEEN AVAILABLE FOR A FEW YEARS NOW, IT IS A WORKHORSE IN THE INDUSTRY AND STILL A GREAT OPTION FOR HOUSES OF WORSHIP