Worship Facility Gear Report: Church Lighting Consoles

by | Gear, Gear Report, Lighting, Lighting Connections, Production

Buying a  lighting console for your house of worship can feel daunting, and not less so when replacing a trusted unit that isn’t cutting it anymore. We also understand that applications and budgets set boundaries on the type of console that’ll work for you. Therefore, this list sets out consoles that range in capabilities and budgets in order to present the best consoles no matter how big or small your house of worship and more can benefit from a lighting console that suits their needs or that can even grow with them as they expand. 


1. Elation Obsidian NX1

The NX1 from Obsidian Control Systems is an ultra-compact yet full-featured lighting controller using the full ONYX Operating System. Designed for smaller to medium projects where an intuitive console is needed without a PC, this small yet powerful console offers a slate of professional features and can process 8 Universes right inside the console. Features include 10.1” HD multi-touch screen + 1 HDMI output for additional monitor, 10 Motorized Playbacks, 10 Playback / Function Hybrids, 4 Encoders, Master Go section. It is expandable with a playback wing (NX P) and 10-digit keypad (NX K).

SPECIFICATIONS
  • Type: Portable and compact fully featured lighting console
  • DMX Modes: ONYX Essential License (8 Universes)
  • Compatibility: Art-Net/X-Net/sACN/Remote operation (ethernet required)
  • Screen: 10.1” Full HD multi touch screen, 1x external touch display
  • Connectivity: 4 x DMX, SMPTE Timecode, and Midi in/out/thru, 1 x USB type B
  • Faders: 10 Motorized Playbacks, 10 Playback / Function Hybrids, 4 Encoders, Master Go section
  • Software: Fully integrated industrial processing
  • OS Requirements – PC:Windows 10/11-64bit, Intel Core i3, 8GB RAMM, 40GD SSD drive space
  • Power Source:12V DC, power supply (included)
  • Length: 298.5 mm (11.75 in.)
  • Width: 636 mm (25 in.)
  • Height: 71 mm (2.8 in.)
  • Weight: 8.1kg (17.8 lbs.)
REASONS TO BUY
  • TFully integrated industrial processing
  • 10.1” Full HD multi touch screen, 1x external touch display
  • 10 Motorized Playbacks, 10 Playback / Function Hybrids, 4 Encoders, Master Go section
REASONS TO AVOID
  • None

2. Mega-Lite Mega Console

The MEGA CONSOLE is the first console to feature three control platforms in one package, including Lumen8, Enlighten, and Disco. The software programs range from a simplified introduction to the control platform to advanced production and theatrical control. All three programs include simple fixture profile builder, multi-universe output via Art-Net, direct fader channel programming, and simplified built-in 3D visualizer. Fully Embedded lighting console with Enlighten, Lumen8 and Disco, 21″ touch screen, 18 assignable faders, 16 assignable hot keys, backlit buttons, 11 Encoder wheels, Audio In and out, HD video out via HDMI, Built in trackball mouse, 4 Dmx outputs on board, additional universes via Artnet.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Output Protocols: DMX-512, Art-Net
  • Output Specifications: 4 universes built in + 24 universes using Art-Net output Nodes
  • Cue Sequences: Unlimited cues/sequences per fader cue list
  • Softwares: ENLIGHTEN, LUMEN8, DISCO
  • Saving Features: Back up and restore show file to USB to recall any Enlighten presets; Product auto-generated from fixture profiles or can be made custom
  • Playback Control: 16 assignable cue triggers, 8 assignable cue faders, unlimited playback pages with 8 graphical button groups (Visual Cue List) per page, multi-layer HD video output via HDMI out, No limit on sequences, 12288 channels of DMX, AI button creator – automatically create shows in seconds
  • Programming Control: Built-in effects such as RGB, movement, specific channels/traits, Real time and generated FX, Built-in 3D visualizer to visualize colors/Gobos and beams, Virtual matrix that allows any color mixing fixture patched to become part of a matrix, Supports multi-segment fixtures, Up to 10 fixture views to layer fixture layouts, Pan and tilt tracking for all channels as an option, Speed sensitive pan, tilt and focus wheels
  • Dimensions: 23″ X 26″ X 12″
  • Weight: 45 lbs

REASONS TO BUY

  • Three control platforms
  • Ease of use

REASONS TO AVOID

  • None

3. Avolites Quartz 16-universe Lighting Console

Avolites’ most compact full-featured lighting console, Quartz is the newest member of the Titan Mobile family. Powered by Titan software, Quartz features onboard processing and a vibrant 12.1″ touchscreen with intuitive pixel mapping, making it the ideal creative tool for all your lighting designs. Boasting the same high-quality faders and hardware as Avolites’ larger consoles, Quartz is small enough to go anywhere you go and is built tough. Offering full Multi User compatibility, Quartz is also perfect for use as an additional or backup programming surface, saving you precious programming time. Quartz is ready to take advantage of the multiband Sound-to-Light triggering functionality offered by Titan software version 9.

SPECIFICATIONS
  • Type:Lighting Controller
  • DMX Modes:8192 channels, 16 x DMX universes
  • Compatibility:DMX-512
  • Connectivity:1 x Ethernet, 1 x 5-pin DMX, Bluetooth, MIDI in, 2 x USB type A, 1 x 1/4″ (in), 1 x 1/8″ (headphones), 1 x DVI-D
  • Faders:10 x playback
  • Power Source:Standard IEC AC power cable
  • Height:7.6″
  • Width:18.3″
  • Depth:16.7″
  • Weight:17.6 lbs.
REASONS TO BUY
  • 1 Gigabit Ethercon port for Titan Net, Artnet, and streaming ACN
  • 16 DMX Universes (8192 channels) with ArtNet or sACN
  • Expandable to 64 Universes via Titan Net Processors
REASONS TO AVOID
  • None

4. ChamSys QuickQ 30 4-universe Compact Lighting Console

The ChamSys QuickQ 30 is a compact, 4-universe lighting console with an icon-based interface that supports gesture support just like a smartphone. It’s so intuitive, you don’t have to be a lighting professional to use it. Students, volunteers, and lighting pros alike will appreciate the power and simplicity of the QuickQ 30. Onboard Wi-Fi allows remote control from your phone or tablet — which can also function as a second external monitor. The QuickQ 30 is ideal for medium-to-large shows in all types of venues.

SPECIFICATIONS
  • Type:Lighting Console
  • DMX Modes:2048 Channels, 4 x DMX universes
  • Compatibility:DMX-512, Art-Net, sACN
  • Connectivity:1 x Ethernet, 3 x 5-pin XLR (DMX out), MIDI in/out, 2 x USB, 1/8″ audio in/out
  • Faders:40 x Fixture, 10 x Playback, 1 x Master
  • Software:MagicVis visualiser
  • Power Source:12V DC, 1A power supply (included)
  • Height:4.17″
  • Width:29.92″
  • Depth:13.78″
  • Weight:13.45 lbs.
REASONS TO BUY
  • Supports output of DMX over a network via ArtNet/sACN/Pathport
  • MagicQ playback compatibility
  • Compatibility with RDM-compliant fixtures
REASONS TO AVOID
  • None


5. Avolites Titan Mobile DMX Lighting Console

The Avolites Titan Mobile blends powerful hands-on lighting control with smart software effects for seriously pro results. Titan Mobile boasts 10 luxurious smooth-action playbacks, three luxurious metal optical encoders, and a host of assignable buttons for seamless touch integration with Titan software. Four physical 5-pin DMX outputs (expandable to 16 with ArtNet) are capable of controlling your entire rig. Expandable wings (not included) grow your control surface as your needs do. Even better, Titan Mobile is USB powered — just bring your laptop and you’re good to go. A hard cover, carry bag, and license for Avolites Titan software are included.

SPECIFICATIONS
  • Expandable control surface for Avolites Titan software — license included
  • Seamless hands-on integration
  • 10 smooth playbacks with 3 luxurious metal encoder wheels
  • Assignable buttons for custom control functions
  • Four 5-pin DMX outputs (expandable to 16 with ArtNet)
  • Optional wings (not included) further enhance the software experience
  • MIDI Notes/Timecode support
  • Powered from your laptop’s USB port
  • Includes hard cover and carry bag
  • Required: PC running Windows 7 SP1 or higher (32- or 64-bit)
  • Minimum specs: Intel i5 2GHz processor, 4GB of RAM, and SSD drive with 10GB of free space
REASONS TO BUY
  • Required: PC running Windows 7 SP1 or higher (32- or 64-bit)
  • Minimum specs: Intel i5 2GHz processor, 4GB of RAM, and SSD drive with 10GB of free space
  • Four 5-pin DMX outputs (expandable to 16 with ArtNet)
REASONS TO AVOID
  • None

6. Vari-Lite’s NEO X15 CONSOLE

The X15 is Vari-Lite’s flagship, high-performance lighting console designed for large facilities that host multiple types of events, such as houses of worship; studios; concert halls and multipurpose venues; stadiums and arenas; performing arts centers; and more. Leveraging over 150 years of combined experience in entertainment lighting control and running the mature Neo platform, the X15 console offers a feature-rich, customizable platform that is perfect for houses of worship lighting.

SPECIFICATIONS
  • Type: Lighting Console
  • DMX Modes: 100x Universes (51,200 Channels)
  • Programs: 120 Memories, 99 Chases, 650 Steps
  • Compatibility: DMX 512, MIDI, Analog Out (0-10V DC)
  • Connectivity: Out 4x Neutrik 5-pin DMX, In 1x Neutrik 5-pin DMX, MIDI In/Out/Thru, 2x Neutrik etherCON
  • Faders: 15 Faders
  • Display Outs: 2x DisplayPort (4K UHD)
  • Power Source: 100–240 VAC, 50 / 60 Hz
  • Height:4.18″
  • Width:17.5″
  • Depth:11″
  • Weight:8.3 lbs.
REASONS TO BUY
  • Streamlined layout, and 15 multifunctional motorized playbacks with backlit encoders
  • Strong CITP visualizer protocol support
  • Rugged metal chassis with powerful processor, backlit Cherry keys, Bourne faders, and Neutrik connectors
REASONS TO AVOID
  • None

7. ADJ WMX1 Standalone DMX Lighting Controller

If you’re tired of lugging computers to and from gigs, the ADJ WMX1 Standalone DMX Lighting Controller is for you. Housed in a compact, road-ready chassis with tactile controls, the WMX1 lets you whip up high-impact, complex light shows on the fly — no computer required! Its streamlined workflow, powerful built-in effects engine, and intuitive control set make it easy to take command of a DMX lighting rig with different fixture types. The WMX1 is powered by Wolfmix, a robust modern protocol for standalone DMX lighting control, which makes your WMX1 sync-compatible with other Wolfmix-powered controllers. Enjoy the grab-and-go convenience of self-contained DMX lighting control without compromise: step up to the ADJ WMX1 Standalone DMX Lighting Controller.

SPECIFICATIONS
  • Type:DMX Lighting Controller
  • Connectivity:2 x 3-pin DMX, 2 x 5-pin DMX, 1 x Type-B USB, 1 x 1/8″ (line in)
  • Power Source:USB type B bus power
  • Height:2.44″
  • Width:7.68″
  • Depth:8.66″
  • Weight:2.36 lbs.
REASONS TO BUY
  • Up to 50 fixture types; up to 680 fixtures and beams
  • Up to 5,000 fixture features (color, gobo, etc.)
  • 6 projects; 8 fixture groups
  • 15,000+ available fixtures (3,500+ onboard)
REASONS TO AVOID
  • None

8. Chauvet DJ Obey 70 384-channel DMX Lighting Controller

The Chauvet Obey 70 DMX lighting controller offers you the convenient portability of a compact controller with many of the advanced functions you’d only expect from a full-sized lighting board. With 14 reversible faders onboard, you can easily take control of up to 12 intelligent lights and 384 channels of DMX with the Obey 70. A total of 30 banks of eight instantly selectable scenes lets you set up complex shows, and a set of six chase effects controls makes adding energy to your worship performance easy. Top it all off with fog and strobe control, beat activation, an assignable pressure-sensitive joystick, and more, and it’s no wonder the Chauvet Obey 70 has small churches everywhere talking.

SPECIFICATIONS
  • Type:Rackmount Lighting Controller
  • DMX Modes:384 x Channels, 240 x Scenes
  • Connectivity:1 x 3-pin XLR (DMX), 2 x 5-pin MIDI, 1 x 1/4″ (remote)
  • Faders:14 x Fixture, 1 x Speed, 1 x Fade
  • Power Source:9V DC Power Supply (included)
  • Height:7″ (4U)
  • Width:19″
  • Depth:2.8″
  • Weight:7.3 lbs.
REASONS TO BUY
  • Support for up to 12 intelligent lighting fixtures
  • Provides up to 384 channels of DMX control
  • Store 30 banks of 8 scenes for a maximum of 240 scenes
  • Enhance light shows with 6 sets of chase effects containing 240 scenes
Reason To Avoid
  • Limited Capability

9. ChamSys MagicQ MQ80 48-Universe Compact Lighting Console

The ChamSys MagicQ MQ80 is a powerful, compact lighting console with direct support for 48 universes and four RDM-compatible DMX ports. MagicQ MQ80 sports a large 12″ high-resolution display for easy access to all MagicQ features, including the Plot window where you intuitively select and focus fixtures graphically. For complete compatibility with the entire MagicQ range of products, MagicQ MQ80 is driven by the same MagicQ software found on all MagicQ consoles and uses the same show file formats. MagicQ MQ80 can be connected over a network to macOS and Windows computers running the free ChamSys MagicVis lighting visualization software, or for output of up to eight layers of HD media, MagicHD media player software at no additional cost. Despite its massive professional lighting capabilities and tour-tough build quality, the MagicQ MQ80 is extremely compact and lightweight (just 17.5 pounds) and complies with airline checked luggage regulations.

SPECIFICATIONS
  • 48 Universes directly accessible from the console
  • Complies with airline checked luggage regulations
  • 12″ multi-touch Display
  • 10 Playback faders, 200 Pages; 8 Attribute encoders
  • 20 Execute buttons
  • External monitor compatibility (full HD, touch)
  • Includes MIDI, Audio and Timecode input support
  • RDM support via direct DMX ports and network
  • Channels: 24576; number of fixtures: Up to 24576
  • Cues: 5000; Groups: 5000
  • 4 x 5-pin XLR DMX ports
  • Network ports: 4
  • USB ports: 6 (including 1 on front panel for easy access)
  • Audio in jack
  • MIDI: Notes, TC, Show Control
  • LTC in/out
  • Remote input port
  • Wing support; multi console support
  • 1 dual-color, dimmable LED console lamp
  • UPS (uninterruptable power supply)
  • Dimensions: (WxDxH) : 22.5″ x 15.9″ x 4.3″
  • Weight: 17.5 pounds
REASONS TO BUY
  • Channels: 24576; number of fixtures: Up to 24576
  • Cues: 5000; Groups: 5000
  • 4 x 5-pin XLR DMX ports
  • Network ports: 4
  • USB ports: 6 (including 1 on front panel for easy access)
REASONS TO AVOID
  • None

10. ETC Eos Apex

ETC’s flagship Eos Apex consoles enhance the familiar Eos interface with industry-leading hardware built for comfort and customization. Features include generous 4K displays, haptic-feedback touchscreens and encoders, Target Keys, book lights, charging ports, motorized playbacks (5, 10 or 20) with dedicated scroll wheels, and a flexible I/O Garage to mix and match outputs. Within the desk, the Eos software—the product of two decades of ongoing development—boasts a 3D-programming and visualization suite, interactive Magic Sheets, award-winning color tools, a full effects suite, and more.

SPECIFICATIONS
  • Output Addresses: 24,576
  • Hardware Class Compatibility: Apex, Gio, Ion
  • USB 3.1 Ports:
    • 12x USB-A
    • 8x USB-C
  • Displays Supported: 3x Display Port, up to 4K multitouch
  • Networking Interface:
    • 4x Gigabit Ethernet, ethercon connectors, PoE++ (802.3bt compliant PSE); individually configurable
    • 2x SFP+ 10 Gigabit Ports (copper or fiber sleds sold separately); individually configurable
  • Power Consumption (approx.): 6A
  • Ambient Room Temperature: 0°–35°C (32°–95°F)
  • Ambient Humidity: up to 90% non-condensing
  • Dimensions (HxWxD): 19.64″ x 56.00″ x 25.53″ (499 x 1422 x 648 mm)
  • Weight: 147 lbs (66.68 kgs)
REASONS TO BUY
  • Displays Supported: 3x Display Port, up to 4K multitouch
  • Networking Interface
    • 4x Gigabit Ethernet, ethercon connectors, PoE++ (802.3bt compliant PSE); individually configurable
    • 2x SFP+ 10 Gigabit Ports (copper or fiber sleds sold separately); individually configurable
REASONS TO AVOID
  • None

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