Great Deal! Only a Few Minor Issues
This is a nice, basic controller for people needing a small controller for mobile light rigs, or for smaller, permanent installations. The Obey10 is also a great controller for people who want to get to know how to use DMX.
The OBEY10 can handle 8 fixtures, each with up to 16 channels. I've found that, because it only has eight faders with a page button to access the last eight channels of a fixture, if you are controlling a fixture, "on the fly," you may want to re-assign the most important, or most used channels to the first eight channels so you can control them faster, even though changing pages is easy. This ability to reassign, and even reverse the function of the faders is a nice feature, and one I didn't expect to find at this price point. The downside of these features is that, once you reassign a fader, it is re-assigned for every fixture.
Programming the OBEY 10 is fairly easy once you get the hang of it. One thing that is really annoying to me is not being able to add an element to any scene in a chase without first finding the scene, matching the faders to the original setting, editing it, and then deleting the original scene.
One other element missing from the OBEY 10 is a tap-tempo synch button. It is possible to scroll through the scenes in tempo with the music using the up and down buttons, but that ties up a hand, and you wouldn't want to do it all night. It is possible to get close to the tempo by using the speed slider, but that is not exact, and the speed of the chase doesn't change in real time as you are adjusting the fader, but rather waits until you finish moving the fader for the change to take effect. The music button/function will detect the beat of the music, but there is no way to set the sensitivity of the mic, wherever the mic actually is on the unit.
With those issues, synching the controller's chases to the tempo of the music is the OBEY10's biggest downfall. I use a monitor when I DJ or do sound for bands, and the best way I've found to synch the chases to the beat of the music is by placing the OBEY10 close to the monitor and use the volume or bass control for the monitor to work around the OBEY's poor beat synching. I would definitely trade a couple of the OBEY's advanced features, such as the fader re-assignments I mentioned before for a tap-tempo button, a line in or at least an opening for the mic that I can cover with tape for SOME control. About the only way I've had success in gaining control of the beat sensitivity is to place the controller on a hard surface to make it more sensitive, and to place it at least partially on cloth to make it less sensitive.
This is a good controller, but, with a few tweaks, it could be a great controller.
The placement of the AC and DMX outputs on the top of the unit needs mentioned. Although the OBEY10 is listed as a two-space controller, this will take up at least three rack spaces to allow connection of the AC and DMX cables, and that is only possible with a right angle DMX cable. The connectors are in a recessed area, but it still doesn't give you enough room. The other option would have been for Chauvet to put the connectors on the back, which would prevent you from using it on a table top. Ideally, the connectors would be on a rotating panel, but that would undoubtedly make the controller more expensive. Just plan on using extra rack spaces or just place it wherever it's handy.
The controller's six chases, with 999 scenes available in each, are more than enough for a controller of this size and are more than I expect in this price range. I do, however, actually consider the OBEY10 to be a four-chase controller. This is because I use one chase as a dedicated "stand-by" chase, containing only one scene, with my lights set to provide general lighting with no movement for breaks for announcements, initial up-lighting, and those types of situations. I also leave one chase empty so I have the option of setting a scene with complete control of any settings of the lights. I just select the empty chase, enter program mode, and adjust each fixture however I want it. I simply don't save the changes I've made when I'm done so that chase remains empty. That's just the easiest way I've found to make adjustments "on the fly."
This is a great controller for ColorStrips, which are hugely popular lights for DJs or other RGB fixtures that take up four or more channels. The smaller OBEY or American DJ RGB controllers only have three channels, making this the least expensive option for those lights. ColorStrips can be controlled with a footswitch but it is clunky and doesn't allow you to access individual programs without stepping through all of them, and also doesn't allow you to color-mix.
Theoretically, you could control 32 ColorStrips or similar four-channel lights with this controller and have control over every single function of each light. In fact, you can fill up all 16 channels of each scanner any way you wish, as long as you address the fixtures properly and either have a good memory, or keep good notes. For example, you could have one 8-channel fixture, and two 4-channel fixtures assigned to one scanner button.
The bottom line is that this is a very good controller, especially at this price. Just take the little issues I've mentioned into consideration when you purchase it so you aren't disappointed.
Im my opinion, for those people looking to control their ColorStrips or any other RGB lights with more than three channels, this is, by far, the best option, and, after you get the hang of DMX, you can add other DMX fixtures to your rig and have an easy-to-use controller that is very flexible and seems to be durable.
It's a good deal!