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Frog or Pearl...


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Okay, an interesting dillema has reached us. The retailer of Avolites products is offering a deal on the (fairly new) Pearl 2004 console. We get a rather nice discount when we deliver them a working DMX console, the Pearl than only costs about 7000 euros.


Now there's also the Frog 2. In my opinion, what I've read here a rather nice console, but the software does need a fair bit of work yet. The price of the Frog 2 is listed at 11388 euros. Of course there is a bit of discount there, but that's not going to get us to 7000 I guess.


So just a quick comparison:

- Pearl: cheaper

- Pearl: good software, though the USB isn't usable yet I think

- Both have 2048 channels at 4 universes

- Frog2 has a touch screen and more screen output

- Frog2 might work a little bit better in theatre situations, but I think the Pearl is much faster in live situations

- Frog2 has a commandline option


But very important to us: the Pearl can be operated by almost any (good) LD in Holland, the Frog2 definitely can't.


Comparing these arguments I'm very much drawn towards the Pearl. Maybe you guys have some convincing arguments (other than "it's great for this and great for that") why F2 is a better option. I'm not stating we're going to buy one, since we don't have enough budget for the Pearl at the moment, and certainly not for the Frog, but we're keeping our options (and loans ;) open for suggestions).

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Funny you should ask, but the exact same topic came up on The Blue Room a while back. CLICK HERE. You might be interested to read what some non-Zero88 folk thought before our sales folk dive in with the hard sell! Bear in mind that some of the posters in the topic on The Blue Room hadn't actually used the desk at the time, and that the Frog2 software has been moving very quickly in the last couple of months, so alot of the gripes from back then have gone away.


Cue Graham, Bryan, Grant, Franck for the long list of reasons why a Frog2 is better than a Pearl... :lol:

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Interesting thread indeed...


a few things I picked up and find very interesting:

- Plus I like loads of faders on my desks!!!!

- the new frog is using the same user interface and syntax as the hog making it very powerful, it has a lot of potential


And still, I choose the Pearl... for a few reasons:

- we do quite a lot of theatre shows, and I like the possibility of 4x60 faders for controlling that.. i just don't know it the playback possibilities are there at all.

- we never do shows with large numbers of movers (ie 20+) so we don't really need the advanced programming solutions of Frog 2

- at this point I cannot use the console for festival gigs, because most riders would state a Pearl or Hog at FOH.


I think the Leap Frog we've got is perfect for the theatre jobs we're doing, and the Pearl is the one for gigs with guest-techs. Though that might change after some training days.


I'm curious about the training in Holland, but I do need some training on the Pearl as well. Must say that the offline version available for download is pretty nice, and I'm learning it quite quick.

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Well, where do I start. ........


As Paul mentioned, this has been a topic of conversation before, and probably for a while yet.....


There are a couple of things about the Frog 2 that make it unique and excellent for both Theatre and live events (busking). We have created what are know as UDF's and UDK's (user difineable faders and user defineable keys). 1000 faders and 2000 keys which can be assigned to control anything from a single group of fixtures to a complete memory.


As you mentioned you also have 2 monitors and an on board touch screen. If you really want to, you can display up to 9 different sets of info at once.


There is 3 on board USB ports but using a USB hub, this allows you to use up to 32 USB devices....should you need to.. :D


Storage can be via a USB stick (which comes with the desk), CD-R (built in) or via one of the USB ports, a ZIP Drive.


You can also plug in 2 x Touch screen monitors to the desk to allow very very quick programming.


You have multiple cue stack playback, not like the Pearl, and macro's allow for automatic programming and playback.

Software has been seen to and as always with Zero88 we have updates regularly on our website which you can download free of charge.


The desk also runs Ethernet and has all the facilities needed for the future RDM and ACN compatibility included on the software.


If you need any more questions answered...please feel free to contact me or any of the Zero88 sales Team.........



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A 1000 faders and 2000 keys... that a huge desk, I know these are mapped over different pages, so how many can I use at the same time?


The CD-R is nice, but when I save my shows on USB (much faster I presume and I don't need a new disk all the time), what's the chance I'm actually going to use that? Same for the 3 USB ports onboard.


Multiple cue stacks... ok, nice feature but in what situation do you actually use it? I only use the Frogs cue stack in theatres, and have no idea how to fill anotherone up. Are the "GO" buttons linked for each stack, or do I have to press multiple buttons, increasing the chance of a wrong button press?


Ethernet, RDM, ACN... lots of fun but I'm not going to use it.


So I guess I'll be paying a lot of money for features I'm not going to use. That might be the difference in price-tags and therefore the Pearl seems a better choice. The one thing I keep hearing over and over again is thata Pearl isn't ideal for theatre-operating. I'd like to know why, cause when I take a quick view into the theatre stack mode on the Pearl, it seems to be rather the same as on the Frogs?

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Hi folks,

First posting so here goes.

I used the frog two for "The Christians" on 20th April with the normal on-the-day lighting requirements. We have two Mac 500s, two Mac 300s, two Mac Kryptons, one Golden Scan HPE and 120 generic dimmers. From a desk that only had the patch on it I got a perfectly acceptable show programmed and running in just under four hours, not bad as I was still learning some of the syntax as I went and the manual had not been released. By laying the "group", "beamshape", "colour" and "position" screens onto one VDU I had instant access to all that I required. Having looked at the Pearl and the Frog 2 when deciding on our new desk I figured that they could both run Rock shows equally as good but the Frog 2 was a much better "Theatre" style desk. hope this helps.


Cheers. :lol:

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If you really wanted to...you could use them all at once!!!!!


The CD-R is nice and is there as an option for anybody who does not want to use USB sticks and it is also used for driving music cd's for midi/smpte.


The 3 USB ports allow you to plug your 2 Touch screen monitors in and also use a USB Stick.......


Each designer differs and if you dont use multiple stacks then thats fine, but for anyone who wants to run a position chase for example on one then a colour chase on another and a beam shape on another then this can be done by using multiple playbacks with a "Master Go" button or by using macro's to fire the chase at any point in the original cuestack.....

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If you want to do proper theatre with a stack then you are wasting your time on a pearl, it horrible for theatre stack, its like its just been quickly added on and not a proper feature in the desk! I had a good demo of the F2 at ABTT from Bryan and I am also a trained avolites Pearl Programmer however I would have to say I would prefer to use a F2. Its a new product, far more modern and up to date than the pearl! And don't forget the F2 is made my Zero88 and they do give awsome service!


Just a few reasons why i think its better,



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Just as a few extra things, I missed a few points out in my original thread as I didn't read the original replies properly!


Multiple Cue Stacks; Very useful, You can use one master cue stack to trigger off cues in other stacks etc. makes the desk very versitile.


Ethernet: I know of several venues that are now having Ethernet tie lines being put in or already have them. A lot better than running 4 DMX cables; cheaper as well!


USB: Memory stick, what a great idea! Way better than floppies; you can stor e more shows on there, keep it arround you neck, if you want to backup the files on your laptop then a lot of new laptops don't actually have a floppy drive, my iBook certainly doesn't.


Touch Screens; Speeds up programming so much epsecially the externals, you will find on the pearl that to get to a lot of stuff you have to go through many menus using the softkeys, with the f2 everything is more accesible.


All those UDF's amd UDKs; how amazing for live busking, now the pearl is famous for its busking abilities however to get to more than one set of palletes there is no clear page systm you have to use the AVO key which is annoying!



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As I just read in the manual, you can set up the Pearl to have different pallets on each fixture page. That means you've got 4x30 pallets to use there.


I'm curious about the training and hope I'm available that day so I can see the power in the F2.

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Ice a couple of other things.....


You will be able to run eight universes using ArtNet sometimes toward the end of the year.


We will during next year look at wings which will give you more physical faders, these will be like the current UDF's so can be assigned to be pretty much whatever you want.


We have 200 palettes for each type.


I am sure that Franck will be happy to arrange a personal demo and training for you at some point.

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