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Author Topic: What is your favorite iOS/Android DMX light control software (via wifi)  (Read 5975 times)

Goerge Thomas

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Hello all,

I am building a new 40 fixture RGBAW led lighting system. I have an En-ttec art-net dmx to ethernet controller that lets me link my dmx 512 system to my venue wifi system so I can control the rig with an ipad along with my X32 control via wifi on a 2nd ipad.

What are your favorite iOS and android lighting control apps? I do not have any intel lights or dmx foggers or strobes. Just 40 LED par cans all linked.

Let me know your thoughts. I want to be able to do basic rock show stage lighting from anywhere in the venue and not be tied to a board much like our X32 ipad control has allowed us to do for sound.

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Scott Carneval

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Re: What is your favorite iOS/Android DMX light control software (via wifi)
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2016, 06:11:25 pm »

I have luminaire on a few systems. Works great, easy to use and reliable.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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Steve Garris

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Re: What is your favorite iOS/Android DMX light control software (via wifi)
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2016, 01:31:32 pm »

I have luminaire on a few systems. Works great, easy to use and reliable.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Scott, How hard is it to program or customize Luminair? I've been looking over the manual, but they use terms I'm not as familier with. I'm basically wanting to do the following:
1. Set up pre-programmed scences that activate by color coded buttons on the pad.
2. Set up pre-programmed chases - same as above.
3. Have a master fader and blackout button showing all the time.
4. Have a tap-sync button for the chase speed showing all the time.
5. Have a fade-rate slider showing all the time.

This would basically mimic the controls I'm used to on the old NSI boards I'm used to operating. I know I can get both 1 and 2 of the above, but what about the rest?
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Scott Carneval

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Re: What is your favorite iOS/Android DMX light control software (via wifi)
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2016, 11:14:18 am »

Scott, How hard is it to program or customize Luminair? I've been looking over the manual, but they use terms I'm not as familier with. I'm basically wanting to do the following:
1. Set up pre-programmed scences that activate by color coded buttons on the pad.
2. Set up pre-programmed chases - same as above.
3. Have a master fader and blackout button showing all the time.
4. Have a tap-sync button for the chase speed showing all the time.
5. Have a fade-rate slider showing all the time.

This would basically mimic the controls I'm used to on the old NSI boards I'm used to operating. I know I can get both 1 and 2 of the above, but what about the rest?

1, 2, and 3 above are all available.
4. There is a tap-sync button, but it's on a 'pop-out' window so it's not available all the time.
5. I don't believe there's a 'global' fade rate control. I believe this is set individually on each step of each scene. I don't have my iPad available to confirm.
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Steve Garris

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Re: What is your favorite iOS/Android DMX light control software (via wifi)
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2016, 12:45:46 pm »

1, 2, and 3 above are all available.
4. There is a tap-sync button, but it's on a 'pop-out' window so it's not available all the time.
5. I don't believe there's a 'global' fade rate control. I believe this is set individually on each step of each scene. I don't have my iPad available to confirm.

Thanks Scott! I could live without the fade rate, the other options being more important.
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Goerge Thomas

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Re: What is your favorite iOS/Android DMX light control software (via wifi)
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2016, 01:33:04 am »

I have luminaire on a few systems. Works great, easy to use and reliable.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Good to know! I think I will give this a shot. Have you tried it on an ipad or an ipad mini or both?
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Debbie Dunkley

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Re: What is your favorite iOS/Android DMX light control software (via wifi)
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2016, 01:49:59 am »

Good to know! I think I will give this a shot. Have you tried it on an ipad or an ipad mini or both?

I use Luminair on an iPad mini and an iPad 2. Very reliable.
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Mike Karseboom

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Re: What is your favorite iOS/Android DMX light control software (via wifi)
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2016, 01:58:38 pm »

George - some more notes for you:


1. color coded scene buttons - it is very strong in this regard.  You can make however many you like, give them a name, color code them, assign a line drawn icon to distinguish them, or even take a picture of the scene with the iPad camera and assign that.


Access to the scene buttons is either with a scrollable screen full of just buttons  or in a view that also shows dmx channel faders.  In the later case the scene buttons  are along the bottom of the screen and scroll horizontally.  In that mode it can take a while to get to widely spaced scene buttons.  Scenes can be arranged in whatever order you like.


Each scene can have a default fade time assigned. At a deeper level you can also assign individual channels to snap to their value setting rather than fade.


Scene buttons can also be set to "bump" on by tapping and holding. It returns to the prior scene when the tap is released.   But you can only do that so fast.  So trying to rapidly flash lights by tapping won't work.




2.   Pre-programmed chases are called "sequences".  These are pretty strong also.  You can access these as a "scene button" like a regular scene, or you can go to a completely separate "sequence view" to run the sequences.


Each sequence can have any number of scenes.  You have a couple of options on how the sequence executes such as repeat endlessly or run once and stop.


Within a sequence you can override the fade time and hold time that will apply to each scene.  You can also specify a tap tempo.  However this basically eliminates any fade time or hold time.  You can also specify sound activated changes but I haven't used that.


3.  Master Fader and Blackout button.  These actually take 2 taps to get to in V3.  The blackout works well as it globally sets every DMX channel value to zero immediately.  The global fader probably won't work the way you want with typical DMX fixtures.  That is because you cannot assign just some of the channels to be affected by the global fader.  So, for example, your "dimmer" channel for a particular fixture will fade as desired.  But the RGB channels will also change and you get a whole different color.  Mode, strobing, and other channels will also change causing wild results.  So the master fader is pretty much useless as currently implemented.


4.  Tap sync button - It is not globally visible.  You have to go into the sequence to get to this.  It takes a few taps to get there. Plus you have to specify the sequence to be tap sync.  You change timing types on the fly, but it is more taps.


5. Fade rate slider - It is not globally visible.  You have to go into the sequence.  I think it only applies when the sequence timing effect is set to "time".


General:


I use Luminair on iPad 3 and iPad 2 as a backup.  Both are basic 16GB models.  My main show "project" has about 6 different types of DMX fixtures and about 100 different "scenes". 


If you don't turn off the auto-backup you may experience frequent delays  switching between scenes and possible crashes.  Otherwise it has been pretty stable and responsive.


There are a lot of interesting aspects to this program which, for the most part, are poorly documented.  It is almost like one of those role playing computer games where part of the fun is figuring out how it works.  Sadly for me that is not fun.  That is just crappy documentation.


There are also a lot of powerful features that are not really very usable because they have not "matured".  For example the XY automation movements are very cool but exceedingly hard to get any precise control over due to the very small drawing box used make the changes.  Or you can sort of create your own "submasters" by assigning a new fader to multiple DMX channels, but it is not additive in any way, just LTP, and not documented.




I have been through a bunch of different workflows trying to find powerful but simple "busking" techniques.  Overall I think busking is pretty awkward with Luminair. I am not a lighting guy and don't have the background on higher end boards to know what all is possible.  But I have this vision of starting a scene with a basic color pallet and then layering things on top, turning things on and off easily, starting movement sequences and having them continue until I stop them, being able to change individual parameters like a gobo or color without affecting everything else, being able to master dim all dimmer channels, strobe all channels, change the colors of blocks of fixtures, etc., etc. all easily with simple taps.  No doubt this is a pipe dream on any console.
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Steve Garris

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Re: What is your favorite iOS/Android DMX light control software (via wifi)
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2016, 08:36:33 pm »

Wow - thanks for the detailed report! I might have to move to a PC based system, perhaps something that can run on a Windows tablet.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2016, 10:46:52 pm by Steve Garris »
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Josh Rawls

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Re: What is your favorite iOS/Android DMX light control software (via wifi)
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2016, 10:03:48 pm »

I use Elation's Emulation (rebrand of CueLux) software on a Mac with TouchOSC running on an iPad. TouchOSC allows you to control software on a computer with MIDI via a bridging program on the computer. So, theoretically it can control any DMX software that allows MIDI input.

I found pre-made layouts for TouchOSC that emulate the MIDIcon. That was perfect for me since I was using the MIDIcon. There are also layouts that are designed for Emulation/CueLux. I'm sure there are other pre-made layouts for other software.

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Josh Rawls

Mike Karseboom

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Re: What is your favorite iOS/Android DMX light control software (via wifi)
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2016, 11:52:26 am »

Wow - thanks for the detailed report! I might have to move to a PC based system, perhaps something that can run on a Windows tablet.


I might have sounded a little overly critical towards the end of that.  Don't get me wrong, I think this is really good software for the price and when used within it's design limitations.  Support is very responsive and they keep adding new features.


For relatively simple shows where you just want a few basic scenes it is great.  You can run Luminair and you mixer app on the same iPad. 


For more complicated shows with lots of sequences of scenes it can work very well also.  It has all the power and flexibility to create extensive sequences.  Some of the automation, like an XY movement loop, is supposedly "not supported" during a sequence.  But I have found that they do seem to work.  If you work with a band and have the entire lighting show preset, or at least the lighting show preset by each song, then Luminair can handle that very well also.  Plus I guess you can use midi to trigger scenes so something like a foot pedal control might be possible.  I've never done that.


I work with different bands and none of the lighting is pre-coordinated with the music.  So for each song  I am using a combination of scenes and sequences I have pre-defined to give a cohesive look and feel.   I group these with the same button color and  icon so it is easy to see which scenes belong to a particular group.  I can run the sequence or jump out and manually jump between scenes and it can be very effective.  I just did a show with a pretty good light show while mixing a 13 piece funk band at the same time.  Lots of fast paced scene changes and lots of different looks.  It was demanding on me but pretty amazing in my mind that a show this complex and dynamic can be delivered by one operator with 2 ipads.


My light shows have been getting better in terms of more, non repettative looks and more effective and interesting use of my fixtures.  The key has been setting up the lights and working out lots of good scenes and sequences ahead of time.  Where I struggle is when I want to make certain types of adjustments on the fly during a live show.   Once again, not being an experienced lighting guy a lot of my problems might be due to lack of know how.


One of the inherent limitations for a complex show is just the screen area available on an iPad, let alone an iPhone.  It would be nice to be able to show a lot more stuff on the screen for quick access.  Scrolling back and forth can be too slow.  The processing power in the iPad is also an issue (iPad 3, 16GB).  Certain jumps are not instant and you can't always get a change as quickly as you would like.  Perhaps the speed issue could be mitigated with a faster iPad but the screen area limitation would be tough to overcome.


I am enjoying creating the light shows as they definitely take the productions up a notch.  I am thinking that if I want to get more serious about it, to where I could be hired to do just lights for something bigger than a 200 person community event, I will need to move past Luminair.  What I have been looking at is buying a used 17" touchscreen laptop, or possibly a larger all-in-one PC, and running the free version of Martin's M-PC Lightjockey software.  I will still be able to do it remotely to Art-net and it will give me a lot more power for a minimal monetary investment.
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--Mike
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Steve Garris

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Re: What is your favorite iOS/Android DMX light control software (via wifi)
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2016, 01:51:35 pm »


I might have sounded a little overly critical towards the end of that.  Don't get me wrong, I think this is really good software for the price and when used within it's design limitations.  Support is very responsive and they keep adding new features.


For relatively simple shows where you just want a few basic scenes it is great.  You can run Luminair and you mixer app on the same iPad. 


For more complicated shows with lots of sequences of scenes it can work very well also.  It has all the power and flexibility to create extensive sequences.  Some of the automation, like an XY movement loop, is supposedly "not supported" during a sequence.  But I have found that they do seem to work.  If you work with a band and have the entire lighting show preset, or at least the lighting show preset by each song, then Luminair can handle that very well also.  Plus I guess you can use midi to trigger scenes so something like a foot pedal control might be possible.  I've never done that.


I work with different bands and none of the lighting is pre-coordinated with the music.  So for each song  I am using a combination of scenes and sequences I have pre-defined to give a cohesive look and feel.   I group these with the same button color and  icon so it is easy to see which scenes belong to a particular group.  I can run the sequence or jump out and manually jump between scenes and it can be very effective.  I just did a show with a pretty good light show while mixing a 13 piece funk band at the same time.  Lots of fast paced scene changes and lots of different looks.  It was demanding on me but pretty amazing in my mind that a show this complex and dynamic can be delivered by one operator with 2 ipads.


My light shows have been getting better in terms of more, non repettative looks and more effective and interesting use of my fixtures.  The key has been setting up the lights and working out lots of good scenes and sequences ahead of time.  Where I struggle is when I want to make certain types of adjustments on the fly during a live show.   Once again, not being an experienced lighting guy a lot of my problems might be due to lack of know how.


One of the inherent limitations for a complex show is just the screen area available on an iPad, let alone an iPhone.  It would be nice to be able to show a lot more stuff on the screen for quick access.  Scrolling back and forth can be too slow.  The processing power in the iPad is also an issue (iPad 3, 16GB).  Certain jumps are not instant and you can't always get a change as quickly as you would like.  Perhaps the speed issue could be mitigated with a faster iPad but the screen area limitation would be tough to overcome.


I am enjoying creating the light shows as they definitely take the productions up a notch.  I am thinking that if I want to get more serious about it, to where I could be hired to do just lights for something bigger than a 200 person community event, I will need to move past Luminair.  What I have been looking at is buying a used 17" touchscreen laptop, or possibly a larger all-in-one PC, and running the free version of Martin's M-PC Lightjockey software.  I will still be able to do it remotely to Art-net and it will give me a lot more power for a minimal monetary investment.

You use it pretty much how I want to, and I do plan on using a dedicated iPad or tablet just for lighting. My biggest concern is having to flip pages in order to get to a tap-sync. I want to start the sequence and quickly set the speed so I can get back to mixing. The Martin stuff looks very nice, and I like that new little control surface they have.

Right now I'm not using a controller - my current light show is too small. I have some lights set to run sound-active, and others that just slow-fade through colors. I turn these off & on along with some Par 38's as front floods using a small 3-button household remote I picked up from Amazon.

As I've been increasing my light count I'm just thinking ahead now, wanting a better show, and I love the simplicity of using a wireless controller. Thanks again for all of the valuable info.
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Debbie Dunkley

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Re: What is your favorite iOS/Android DMX light control software (via wifi)
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2016, 02:03:20 pm »

I do have one gripe however:
After I had downloaded and paid for the software, I noticed a couple of issues with the software and had communicated this to Luminair customer service. It was to do with the master fader and file copying.
A rep responded and had me send him my file to check it out. He sent it back to me but the problem remained and he told me he would work on it and let me know when there was a fix. I just continued to use my own 'fix' that I had been using to make things work for me and I had work arounds for the other issues I was having.
I never heard back from him and then the new version got released within a few months and they wanted another $100 for it. So the fix presumably is to pay for the new software!!!......
It has been a good tool to allow wireless control and like I said it has been reliable - very little drop out or latency especially since I started using the Airport Express. .....
So overall I am still happy - just would have been nice for them to follow through on my problems and offer an incentive to existing customers for the new software.
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