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DONGLE and Software suggestions

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Patrick Campbell:
Hey Friends,

I have 24 par 4 LED's by Chauvet, 4 Elation 250 movers, some other small movers and DMX fog machines.

What would you recommend if I have a laptop already  ?



Jeff Lelko:
Hi Patrick,

The best answer to this question really depend on which software you plan on using.  MagicQ PC and M-PC are two of the more popular platforms on the market right now, but there are others.  Some support third party interfaces (dongles), others don't.  I used MagicQ paired with and Enttec DMX-USB Pro for nearly a decade before switching over to an ETC product.  The Enttec unit will work with both MagicQ PC and M-PC, along with many other programs.  If you like M-PC in particular, for a little more money than an Enttec interface you can buy an M-Touch, which in addition to acting as an interface also acts as a compact control wing, which is by far the most cost-effective on the market right now.  I'll let the more experienced users speak to that in particular, but most software platforms allow you to download a free demo, so try a few out and see what seems to be the best fit for you.  Hope this helps! 

Dave Garoutte:
The M-PC software is free, as are most of the other companies' software; they expect you to buy their dongle of controller.
Download the interesting ones and see which you like.
Then get the hardware that works with it.

Kevin McDonough:
I'm a big fan of Magic-Q.

When you first download it and install it, it seems super scary and confusing (or did to a sound engineer who knew what a DMX address was and not much else!  ;D)

However a little perseverance for a couple of hours and some online tutorials and it really actually becomes pretty simple and straightforward. And while I don't do LOADS of lighting work in general, I've managed to program a few pretty complex theatre style shows with exactly the kind of small rig you describe, one even just this week, with little to no hassle at all.

There's also a very good facebook user group unofficially supporting it who (while the may tell you to RTFM a couple of times for simple questions lol) are very helpful in learning to get around it and get the best out of it.


Lyle Williams:
Lots of packages allow at least one universe (512 dmx channels) to be controlled via Artnet.  Artnet is DMX run over ethernet.  Artnet to traditional-DMX interfaces start at about $100.

Running with a touchscreen is a possibility, but a physical control jnterface is going to be needed at some point.


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