ProSoundWeb Community

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

Pages: 1 [2] 3  All   Go Down

Author Topic: Things to consider in general + software or desk for DMX?  (Read 10072 times)

Brett Gilbert

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 18
    • Facebook
Re: Things to consider in general + software or desk for DMX?
« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2012, 10:49:26 pm »

If you're looking for something inexpensive for occasional use consider Luminair by Synthe-fx (http://synthe-fx.com/products/luminairipad)

My main lighting console is a Hog, but for small bar gigs and so forth I like Luminair.  Also, you might consider keeping an eye out on eBay for Hog DMX Widgets. I paid $500 for a Hog Widget and I bring my laptop as an emergency back up in case my big console goes down.

I also give a +1 for the Chauvet LED's.  I bought the TRI-64's because there is no color halo's from individual RGB pixels.  I will say a 2800-3200k color temperature is a little difficult to obtain, but for what I do it's not a huge deal.

Two negatives on the low-end Chauvet LED's, one they don't like timing issues on the DMX signal, I had to buy a Doug Fleenor DMX timing regenerator due to occasional 'flickering' due to rate refresh issues, it completely solved the issue.  2nd, at very low intensity levels the LED intensity changes can be a bit 'steppy'.  The fixtures don't follow a typical square law dimming curve, they're very linear.
Logged
Brett Gilbert

Jonathan Goodall

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 479
  • New Zealand
Re: Things to consider in general + software or desk for DMX?
« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2012, 11:29:58 pm »

Thanks for all the replies so far :)
I will admit that I have only a very basic understanding of DMX control at this point in time so some of the info has just gone straight over my head (I just need to grow taller maybe ;) )  I think to start with this would be a "small" side project to see how it went, so although I would love to have top notch gear (I know, buy once, cry once. This is how I generally work in the audio side of things), I don't see that it would ever really be a large part of what I do or recoup quickly the investment cost (I guess that puts me in the mid to lower priced fixtures market to begin with).

Like the look of the Ipad App thanks Brett.

Cheers
Logged

duane massey

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1572
Re: Things to consider in general + software or desk for DMX?
« Reply #12 on: December 18, 2012, 02:23:52 am »

The Martin dongle is $499, plus the cost of the computer. Having operated and programmed on both systems I would choose the Showdesigner 1, hands down. I dislike running lights without a control surface, and I can program much quicker on the SD 1 than the Martin software. I still stand by my statement that there is nothing in the hardware controller market that comes close at that price point.
Logged
Duane Massey
Technician, musician, stubborn old guy
Houston, Texas

Jonathan Goodall

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 479
  • New Zealand
Re: Things to consider in general + software or desk for DMX?
« Reply #13 on: December 18, 2012, 02:33:23 am »

There does not seem to be an Elation dealer in New Zealand :(
Logged

duane massey

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1572
Re: Things to consider in general + software or desk for DMX?
« Reply #14 on: December 18, 2012, 02:45:18 am »

Yep, that could be a problem, Jonathan. If you can buy thru eBay you can find them. If your only option are cheap controllers or a PC-based system, go for the PC-system. You can add a midi control surface to make playback more effective (something like this: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/keyboards-midi/novation-launchpad-controller--limited-edition-white). You are wise to start off with a smaller investment to see if there is a market for this. The fact that you may not have much competition gives you more leeway to start on a lower level than someone here in the US. Good luck!
Logged
Duane Massey
Technician, musician, stubborn old guy
Houston, Texas

Jonathan Goodall

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 479
  • New Zealand
Re: Things to consider in general + software or desk for DMX?
« Reply #15 on: December 18, 2012, 03:04:03 am »

Cheers Duane. The local theatre does have a large stash of standard lighting but it is just not practical in many of the venues I work in.

:)
Logged

Nicolas Poisson

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 147
  • Paris, France
Re: Things to consider in general + software or desk for DMX?
« Reply #16 on: December 18, 2012, 03:39:57 am »


I work in a tiny venue and went to LED last summer, mainly because of the heat the former PARs were creating on stage (artists were melting).

I use ADJ flatPAR QA5 for the back. These are good entry level PARs:
- Optical mix of colors
- Additional amber LED
I use four of them oriented toward a velvet backdrop (which reflects a good quantity of light, even though it is black), and 4 more as droplights. I put a Lee 228 filter to have the backdrop coverage more even. Considering the light output of the device, I think there should be no less than one / meter. They reach 2.5m height with no problem.

I would not use cheap LED for the front: the quality of the white is too low (this is a question of Color Rendering Index). I kept traditional bulbs for that.

For light control I have a basic "two preparation" 2x12 desk for the front and a PC with MagicDMX for the LEDs. MagicDMX is a free version of Chamsys's software and it cannot be beaten in term of price: you only have to pay the transport fee ($16) to get the USB-DMX interface. So for that price you get pro software plus a DMX interface. There are a few limitations, of course:
- You cannot run the software continuously for more than 5 hours. After that you need to quit the software, unplug and re-plug the interface, and re-launch. This is not a big deal as this takes only a few seconds. There is a more expensive interface (magic DMX "full", $100) that does not have this limitation.
- You cannot use third party control surface (strongest limitation IMO), and Chamsys's control surface are rather expensive ($1000 and more).
- You cannot sync light with audio
- Plus a few other ones.

I bought a second hand Asus all-in-one PC with touch screen off eBay to run the software.

I do not think such a system without control surface would be acceptable in a real pro environment with moving heads etc. The touch screen helps but it is not adequate for virtual faders (I am still more precise with the mouse). But if you are the light operator, this is enough to create a constant set of lights for each song.
Logged

Jonathan Goodall

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 479
  • New Zealand
Re: Things to consider in general + software or desk for DMX?
« Reply #17 on: December 18, 2012, 04:27:32 am »

I see that after 5 hours it resets itself, can you save and reload what you have done?
Logged

Nicolas Poisson

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 147
  • Paris, France
Re: Things to consider in general + software or desk for DMX?
« Reply #18 on: December 18, 2012, 05:31:25 am »

Yes.
Indeed each time you launch the application, it lets you choose between several options. The default one is to reload the last configuration (even if it was not explicitely saved by the user before quiting). The whole reset + un/re-plug can take less than 10 seconds, depending on ease of access to the USB port.
The free version of the software also work with standard third party DMX interfaces (such as the well-known Enttec), in which case the time limitation is not applicable. Only third party control surfaces (faders, encoders, etc) are ingored. I mean you cannot use a BCF 2000 for example. The "Magic DMX full" does not have much interest, since a basic Enttec Open DMX does the same for half the price. You can try the software with the MagicDMX for almost no $$$. If you like it, getting an Enttec to escape the time limitation is a good idea. The Enttec will work with other software, the MagicDMX will not.

Other than that, save to file is possible (no inhibition as can be found on so many demos). So you can save many config an reload them if you work several times in the same place.

When I start the computer, there are some color flashes when the interface is initialized and starts communicating with the flatPars. However, this does not happen after when unplugging/re-plugging the interface. This is good to know: if you have forgotten to reset the interface and discover you only have 15 min left while the show is going on, you can reset it between two songs without undesired flashy effects. All connected device will remain off. This is more problematic if the front lights are also managed by the interface, however.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2012, 05:56:35 am by Nicolas Poisson »
Logged

DanGlass

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 58
Re: Things to consider in general + software or desk for DMX?
« Reply #19 on: December 18, 2012, 06:29:01 am »

+1 on the Chamsys PC software control.  The software does exactly what their full size consoles do.  If you invest roughly $150.00US in an Enttec dongle you do not need to restart the software every 5 hours.  So for the cost of software (free) and the Enttec dongle ($150) you get a pro grade lighting controller.  I always prefer an actual console with faders but if i am doing a smaller show without alot of cues or if I physically dont have the space I will use the PC without any issues.
Logged

ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Things to consider in general + software or desk for DMX?
« Reply #19 on: December 18, 2012, 06:29:01 am »


Pages: 1 [2] 3  All   Go Up
 



Page created in 0.149 seconds with 24 queries.