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Author Topic: 1st pair of Moving Heads Need Help  (Read 4714 times)

Bart Jansari

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Re: 1st pair of Moving Heads Need Help
« Reply #20 on: August 05, 2018, 01:20:42 PM »

Thanks guys for the input it's much appreciated

Are we saying for basic control a laptop would be a better option or a controller?

As I DJ on my own most of the time I can't see me needing to do anything too elaborate.

If there are some pre programmed sequences that would be a good start and would also help me understand how these are set up.

Last q for the mo am I ok to continue to use my audio 15m xlr cable with these 2 lights or do I need data cables?

TIA

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Jeff Lelko

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Re: 1st pair of Moving Heads Need Help
« Reply #21 on: August 05, 2018, 01:37:05 PM »

Are we saying for basic control a laptop would be a better option or a controller?

As I DJ on my own most of the time I can't see me needing to do anything too elaborate.

If there are some pre programmed sequences that would be a good start and would also help me understand how these are set up.

It depends.  Thatís why I asked further up what youíre trying to achieve with all this.  Thereís no argument that PC-based controllers are by far the best bang to buck.  The downside is that thereís usually a much steeper learning curve to using one.  No matter which route you end up going, there is no database of preprogrammed sequences to download from.  Thereís just too many different combinations of fixtures, setups, and demands to make anything like that viable...which is why youíll need to learn how to program anything that you end up buying. 

Given that your needs donít seem too elaborate Iíd think you could probably get away with just about anything, so pick something that is approachable and makes sense to you (hardware or software). 

Last q for the mo am I ok to continue to use my audio 15m xlr cable with these 2 lights or do I need data cables?

Can you get away with it?  Probably.  Should you buy the right thing?  Yes.  Good luck!
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Mark Cadwallader

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Re: 1st pair of Moving Heads Need Help
« Reply #22 on: August 05, 2018, 02:04:21 PM »

I always recommend data cables and a terminator for the last light on the cable run. Don't use a wye-cable to split a cable run, either; daisy-chain from one light to the next.  If you need to branch dmx signals, use an optical splitter. They are cheap and well worth it. There is a recent thread in the forum on that topic, too.
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Bart Jansari

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Re: 1st pair of Moving Heads Need Help
« Reply #23 on: August 05, 2018, 02:06:02 PM »

Thanks I think the most cost effective way atm would be using a laptop especially as I have a 2nd laptop that I carry with me

Looking at the responses above looks like the MyDmx Buddy seems to be a good route for me.

I've picked up the data cables too

If I can't put the lights high enough I may want to limit the lights ability to shine forward as it would go into peoples faces. Can I use the tilt option to limit this?

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Bart Jansari

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Re: 1st pair of Moving Heads Need Help
« Reply #24 on: August 05, 2018, 02:07:18 PM »

I always recommend data cables and a terminator for the last light on the cable run. Don't use a wye-cable to split a cable run, either; daisy-chain from one light to the next.  If you need to branch dmx signals, use an optical splitter. They are cheap and well worth it. There is a recent thread in the forum on that topic, too.
Thanks
Even when connecting just 2 lights do I need to terminate the last light?

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Mark Cadwallader

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Re: 1st pair of Moving Heads Need Help
« Reply #25 on: August 05, 2018, 02:13:50 PM »

Thanks
Even when connecting just 2 lights do I need to terminate the last light?

Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk

You might be OK without a terminator. The longer the cables, and the more channels of control needed, the common wisdom is the more likely a terminator is a good idea. For under $10 (usd), you can buy a pre-made one. If you can solder, you can make one even cheaper.
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Jeff Lelko

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Re: 1st pair of Moving Heads Need Help
« Reply #26 on: August 05, 2018, 02:53:57 PM »

Looking at the responses above looks like the MyDmx Buddy seems to be a good route for me.

What interests you in MyDMX?  Have you played with a free demo of the software?  For what itís worth, MyDMX doesnít see a whole lot of love, especially the higher up you go in the industry.  I think this is generally due to a somewhat nonstandard approach to control along with a number of hardware/software/backwards compatibility issues.  MagicQ PC and M-PC can be had for a similar price and have much wider acceptance.  That, or give Luminare a try - though limited itís designed for applications such as yours.

If the software is a bit much to wrap your head around, Iíd take a look at a cheap hardware controller.  For just a few lights it might make sense for the moment before diving into something far more complex.  Back in my DJ days (15 years ago) I frequently used a pair of scanners and a few other DMX effects - a hardware board was plenty for what I needed and didnít add unnecessary complexity to everything.  Hope this helps!
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Bart Jansari

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Re: 1st pair of Moving Heads Need Help
« Reply #27 on: August 05, 2018, 03:06:03 PM »

No affinity to my dmx just when I had a look at the initial tutorial it seemed OK.

For me I'm not fussed either way as I know atm I want to just have some element of control.

Silly q time, I thought the programing of lights is the same if it's a controller or laptop and the only difference is the control method

For each element that I want it to do would I have to program this e. G change to colour white and display Gobo x and spin?

By cheap controller what do you mean if be hoping for something less than £100 for now?
And with a controller do I then need to purchase software to run with it?

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Jeff Lelko

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Re: 1st pair of Moving Heads Need Help
« Reply #28 on: August 05, 2018, 03:28:09 PM »

No affinity to my dmx just when I had a look at the initial tutorial it seemed OK.

And thereís nothing wrong with that.  It just depends on what youíre comfortable with, and then if you feel MyDMX is the best software/ecosystem to buy into.  MagicQ PC and M-PC are two of the bigger ones, but there are many.

Silly q time, I thought the programing of lights is the same if it's a controller or laptop and the only difference is the control method

Yes and no.  At the end of the day, the DMX signal sent to your lights wonít vary, regardless of the controller you use.  DMX is an industry-standard protocol.  What varies is the tool you use to generate that signal.  Most cheap hardware controllers are rather limited in what you can do with them.  Theyíll have buttons and faders, but since youíre not really using a controller with any processing power youíll see limitations in the complexity of programs you can make.  You also usually canít use saved device profiles, programming palettes, and other tools youíd see on a professional-level console.  The truth is, you donít really need any of that right now and for simplcityís sake might make more sense for you. 

Software (PC) controllers trade buttons and faders for increased features and capabilities.  In some cases the software is the same or similar as whatís seen on much larger (and expensive) hardware consoles.  The downside with this is that because the software is similar to whatís found on larger consoles, you need to learn how to use it.  The learning curve can be steep and some programs are hard to approach, especially if youíre new to all of this. 

I personally use a hardware console for most of my work to get the best of both options, but this is the most expensive route to take and is much more than you need.  A small hardware controller will be more than enough.

For each element that I want it to do would I have to program this e. G change to colour white and display Gobo x and spin?

Yes.  You will need to program every part (attribute) of each light.  This is true for both hardware and software controllers.  As you work your way up the food chain of controllers and consoles you generally get better tools to help you with this, but a pair of simple moving heads should be no trouble for pretty much any controller on the market. 

By cheap controller what do you mean if be hoping for something less than £100 for now?
And with a controller do I then need to purchase software to run with it?
ADJ, Chauvet, and others make controllers for sub-$100.  Their quality varies.  The DMX Operator and Obey Series are where youíd start, but you can sometimes find some used Elation boards for a reasonable price.  Yes, any software solution will run rings around these boards, but if all you need is BASIC control of your two lights with little fuss this might be a reasonable option.

No, you do not need to buy software to use on a hardware controller - itíll come ready to go out of the box.
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Bart Jansari

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Re: 1st pair of Moving Heads Need Help
« Reply #29 on: August 05, 2018, 06:47:21 PM »

Another basic. Q

From what I see on controllers there are essentially faders which you will map a function to e.g  change Gobo to x and turn blue. However does as there is no visual indicator on a controller does this mean you have to remember or make a note of all the functions that you sef up?

Whereas I assume using software. On a laptop you can ^see^ what the function is and then click and drag to use it?

For me if I'm right the 2nd option seems easier?

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Re: 1st pair of Moving Heads Need Help
¬ę Reply #29 on: August 05, 2018, 06:47:21 PM ¬Ľ


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