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Author Topic: Questions for MPC users  (Read 1362 times)

BrianHenry

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Questions for MPC users
« on: July 13, 2017, 01:43:15 pm »

Hi All:

I have been a D-Pro user for several years and am contemplating switching to a more professional level software. I can go into the reasons why I want to switch if anyone is interested, but not really relevant to my questions (in the interests of keeping this brief). I am not using a hardware console at this time but if I am going to spend the time learning new software, I'd like for it to be something I will not grow out of.

My typical use case is this: There is a pre-programmed cue list for each song a band plays. Most of the cues in each list are triggered by a midi signal from a pedal (others are time-based). Only two midi signals are used: One to advance cues within a cue list and one to advance to the next cue list. This allows the band to control their cues from the stage with software running back-stage.

Second use case: Cuelists are prepared to sync to prerecorded tracks (this is used for dance shows). All cues timed to the track for automatic playback.

So, the question is can MPC work in these ways? I have looked at MagicQ, but seems like MIDI is locked out without an expensive piece of hardware.

I have spent some time searching on this and watching some tutorial videos. Would love to hear from some users to avoid spending the time installing/learning just to find out it will not meet my needs. Thanks!
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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: Questions for MPC users
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2017, 04:51:02 pm »

Hi All:

I have been a D-Pro user for several years and am contemplating switching to a more professional level software. I can go into the reasons why I want to switch if anyone is interested, but not really relevant to my questions (in the interests of keeping this brief). I am not using a hardware console at this time but if I am going to spend the time learning new software, I'd like for it to be something I will not grow out of.

My typical use case is this: There is a pre-programmed cue list for each song a band plays. Most of the cues in each list are triggered by a midi signal from a pedal (others are time-based). Only two midi signals are used: One to advance cues within a cue list and one to advance to the next cue list. This allows the band to control their cues from the stage with software running back-stage.

Second use case: Cuelists are prepared to sync to prerecorded tracks (this is used for dance shows). All cues timed to the track for automatic playback.

So, the question is can MPC work in these ways? I have looked at MagicQ, but seems like MIDI is locked out without an expensive piece of hardware.

I have spent some time searching on this and watching some tutorial videos. Would love to hear from some users to avoid spending the time installing/learning just to find out it will not meet my needs. Thanks!
Brian, M-PC has significant timecode functionality, and combined with MPCTools can do lots of stuff with MIDI controllers.  As the software is free, other than offering a high level "probably" that it will do what you want, your next step is to put some time into it and evaluate it for your needs.
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BrianHenry

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Questions for MPC users
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2017, 05:29:41 pm »

Tom, thanks! MPCTools looks to be a great tool for my application. I will have to spend some time with this now. Looks like MPC is being used regularly on tablet PCs. I have a surface 3 (not pro) I would like to use. Hopefully it is sufficient!


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Dave Barker

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Re: Questions for MPC users
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2017, 09:15:46 am »

I believe MPC will also do what you ask but for the best direct answer to your question go to the Martin M-Series user group on facebook and you will probably get an answer from the Martin guys in a matter of minutes.  They are on there constantly and are very useful.

I have seen many questions and answers about controlling with midi and midi controllers.  I don't do anything with midi but they certainly seem to be used.
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BrianHenry

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Questions for MPC users
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2017, 10:25:30 pm »

Started working with it yesterday and it's been a bit slow going so far. The problem is they just updated the layout editing this spring and all the tutorials came before that, so I'm having a hard time grasping the basic workflows. Looks like I'm going to have to open the manual :P

From what I've seen it should meet my needs, I just need to get accustomed to it and then deal with the MIDI connectivity. I don't anticipate needing to attach any kind of wing hardware any time soon.


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« Last Edit: July 14, 2017, 10:27:40 pm by BrianHenry »
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Graham Spice

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Re: Questions for MPC users
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2017, 12:43:23 am »

All the M-Series tutorials were recently updated to reflect the changes in the interface:

https://www.youtube.com/user/MartinController
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BrianHenry

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Re: Questions for MPC users
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2017, 02:37:49 am »

Thanks, I'll check it out. I did get through the learning curve and am now fairly comfortable with the way it works. I am now integrating MPC Tools to see if I can get the stage workflow to where I need it. At this point I'm pretty confident MPC will work for me...


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Graham Spice

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Re: Questions for MPC users
« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2017, 12:30:09 pm »

Nice! I have also learned a lot from Zyper's tutorials - check them out if you haven't already:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ua937W94Yo8&list=PLcu5WrJoCcr3EbD4PcasTzNWM1P6oBxuL

If you ever get into busking shows, there are a bunch of links here:
http://forums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/topic,159866.msg1468657.html

I think that M-PC is a really good bargain for someone wanting to get into pro-level DMX software. Post a picture of your setup when you get it up and running!


Thanks, I'll check it out. I did get through the learning curve and am now fairly comfortable with the way it works. I am now integrating MPC Tools to see if I can get the stage workflow to where I need it. At this point I'm pretty confident MPC will work for me...
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BrianHenry

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Questions for MPC users
« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2017, 12:57:36 pm »

Thanks Graham. Actually Zyper's second video is really what helped me get going w MPC. Still need to watch the third.

I agree the software is amazingly powerful and yet not terribly difficult to understand once one understands how they operate. This is the first pro level lighting controller I have worked with.

I'll get some pics next time it's set up on stage.


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Dave Barker

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Re: Questions for MPC users
« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2017, 01:41:31 pm »

For those of you using MPC or looking at it.  There just came out with a batch of new video's on the newest release setup.  Maybe these will help some.

https://www.youtube.com/user/MartinController/playlists?shelf_id=21&sort=dd&view=50&app=desktop
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BrianHenry

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Re: Questions for MPC users
« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2017, 05:21:54 pm »

I have made a lot of progress with MPC. I have been able to transcribe several of my cuelists into it and am getting comfortable with FX attributes. I have successfully set up MPCTools and linked control of the global GO button to my MIDI footswitch. There is one thing that I really need to do that I have not been able to figure out yet, so I was hoping someone here might have an idea. I have posted at Martin's user forum and have an email out to Ricardo Dias as well.

I can't seem to find a way to set this up such that a push from a midi footswitch button will advance to the next cuelist in a bank (or even better, the next playback button). I can set a current cuelists to release when a new cuelist begins, but the advancing with a button I cannot find a way.

This is the one thing remaining that is preventing me to fully adopting MPC. Any ideas?

Thanks
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Graham Spice

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Re: Questions for MPC users
« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2017, 11:20:34 pm »

The Martin M-Series User Group on Facebook is really great. Super responsive, helpful people have eyes there. Highly recommended: https://www.facebook.com/groups/martin.mseries/
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BrianHenry

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Re: Questions for MPC users
« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2017, 02:17:21 am »

Thanks, I will check out the FB group!
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BrianHenry

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Re: Questions for MPC users
« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2017, 12:47:00 am »

Just to update, I haven't gotten anywhere on this with FB, the Martin forum, or elsewhere so far. It's kind of a bummer if this can't be done but I like MPC enough that I'm inclined to change the way I operate so that I can stick with it.
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Alan Halverson

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Re: Questions for MPC users
« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2017, 09:21:27 am »

Just to update, I haven't gotten anywhere on this with FB, the Martin forum, or elsewhere so far. It's kind of a bummer if this can't be done but I like MPC enough that I'm inclined to change the way I operate so that I can stick with it.

Hi Brian -

I have a similar use case (band with 1 cuelist per song). The missing piece for you is the "next cuelist/playback" issue. For me, I have song charts loaded into an iPad app (Forscore). This allows me to send arbitrary MIDI. Since I know exactly what song we're playing next, I can send (through "buttons" defined in MPCTools) a GoToBank command followed by a MainPlaybackButtonDown command to select the exact bank and playback I want to run next. This way the playbacks don't need to be in setlist order - you just set the setlist order on the iPad, and advance the songs there. Now you just need to execute the global Go/Back commands as necessary.

I also saw that you mentioned "cuelist release when a new cuelist begins". Maybe that is built in, but I used a macro in a cue numbered 0.5 to execute Release All followed by triggering my actual cue number 1, which is my "between songs" look. Scene 2 ends up being the actual first look for each song.

Hope some of that is helpful. I'm just learning all of this too.
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BrianHenry

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Re: Questions for MPC users
« Reply #15 on: August 17, 2017, 01:47:27 am »

Hi Alan,

Thanks for the reply. That is an interesting solution, however we don't use charts on stage so there is no ipad. I may be misunderstanding your setup, but would that not be the same as just choosing the playback button for a song directly in MPC? This would be my fallback solution if I can't solve the advance to next issue as I am running MPC off a touchscreen Surface 3. Still hoping to boil this down to only one or two midi commands.

Yes, the release can be selected in your cuelist options dialog. You might find it to be less work than building in a release command to each cuelist, although your solution is pretty clever.
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Alan Halverson

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Re: Questions for MPC users
« Reply #16 on: August 20, 2017, 10:30:05 am »

Hi Alan,

Thanks for the reply. That is an interesting solution, however we don't use charts on stage so there is no ipad. I may be misunderstanding your setup, but would that not be the same as just choosing the playback button for a song directly in MPC? This would be my fallback solution if I can't solve the advance to next issue as I am running MPC off a touchscreen Surface 3. Still hoping to boil this down to only one or two midi commands.

Yes, the release can be selected in your cuelist options dialog. You might find it to be less work than building in a release command to each cuelist, although your solution is pretty clever.

Yes, you're right that having the MPC in front of you and clicking the playback would be the same thing as sending the MIDI from the iPad. I was just relaying how I was attacking the problem, and I already had the iPad setlist happening. I'd check in with the Martin forum about the nuances of external MIDI control you'd like to have.

Thanks for the info about the cuelist options. It wasn't too hard to do it with the macro - I built it once and then copy/pasted the cuelist a bunch of times so every one of them had the same first two cues.
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