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Author Topic: Need a software DMX controller recommendation  (Read 1254 times)

dave milton

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Re: Need a software DMX controller recommendation
« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2018, 03:51:41 pm »

Keep in mind whatever system you choose you will have to program all of the lights for each venue into your lighting software. You will have to know Make, model, # DMX channels for each fixture and what DMX channel each fixture is set to. There is no easy "plug & play" setup.

I think there is a learning curve for all the DMX software, especially if you are doing more than basic color washes. I use Chamsys MagicQ, you can get a full featured USB dongle with a 5 hr limit for $15 and an unlimited time one for around $100. Runs on Windows, Mac or Linux. Pair that with a touchscreen or a PC wing and you have a full featured setup. Once you program the info above from each venue, you can just bring up that show and from that point it would be fairly plug & play. If each venue is only using DMX and just a single universe I see no benefit to moving up to Artnet at this time.

Knowing all the fixture channels is pretty straightforward in my context.  Two of the venues only have dimmers outputting to PARS/ellipsoidals/fresnels/etc.  Each of those have less than 100 fixtures each.  The third uses multichannel fixtures, but these are well known to me and they are less than two dozen units all told....most of these sharing addresses in groups (so really only about seven or eight addresses).  A single universe is more than plenty. 
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Debbie Dunkley

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Re: Need a software DMX controller recommendation
« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2018, 03:59:25 pm »

I used to use QLC with mac book and it was (is) is a really nice program. I loved the way I could customize the desktop.
However I switched to Luminair to be able to run lights wirelessly with my iPad. I was using the Enttec open DMX dongle with QLC/macbook and now I use the Enntec NODE with Luminair/iPad.
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Dave Garoutte

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Re: Need a software DMX controller recommendation
« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2018, 04:09:14 pm »

now I use the Enntec NODE with Luminair/iPad.

Me Too! ;D
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dave milton

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Re: Need a software DMX controller recommendation
« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2018, 04:41:00 pm »

Thanks for all your input so far.

So let me see if I have this correct:

I can run from my laptop with something like ShowXpress or QLC+ software, and a hardware interface/dongle such as Xpress512 or Entec open.  Basically outputting from the laptop to interface via USB, then plug my DMX cable into the interface.  Simple, easy, no problem.

OR.....I can run from my Ipad/tablet with something like Luminaire software, and run a hardware ArtNET node and a wireless router.  Basically outputting from the tablet to router via WiFi, then router to node via Ethernet cable, then plug my DMX cable into the node.  Again, pretty straightforward to me it seems.

But to clear things up.......I want to run principally from the laptop, but to ALSO have the ability to control remotely from the tablet.  I don't necessarily want the tablet to be the main controller, just an option for "sometimes". 

If I understand correctly, what I would do for this capability is to use the router and the node.  The laptop could "speak" to the lights via ethernet/node/DMX cable/lights, AND the tablet could "speak" to the lights via WiFi/router/ethernet/node/ DMX cable/lights.  But I'd be running two different software programs, no?  This does not sound appealing (or simple, or inexpensive). 

Essentially, I want the tablet to be able to remotely control the lights as a secondary source

So.....does THIS make any sense?:
    What if I go with say ShowXpress on the laptop, get an Xpress512 interface, and plug the DMX cable into that.  But I also set up a WiFi network with a router.  Then I use something like TeamViewer or Remote VNC to directly control the software on the laptop (via WiFi). 
     This would work essentially the same way I do this with audio.  I run everything on my X32 console, but I can also control just about everything remotely with my Ipad if I want to.  The Ipad has direct control of the console, but it's still the console "doing the work".  And I don't need internet to achieve this.
      Something tells me that there's something I'm not thinking about that will make this unworkable.  But I just don't know.

   For the record, I already have a suitable router, Ipad, and laptop.

d.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2018, 05:04:43 pm by dave milton »
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Taylor Hall

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Re: Need a software DMX controller recommendation
« Reply #14 on: September 20, 2018, 05:09:34 pm »

I can't speak to the other software options, but QLC+ has a web interface that allows you to operate the program remotely on any device connected to the same network.

Since you already have a router, tablet, and host PC, all you would need is a suitable DMX interface.
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Johannes Halvorsen

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Re: Need a software DMX controller recommendation
« Reply #15 on: September 20, 2018, 05:12:52 pm »

If you use QLC+ on your laptop and set up a custom virtual light desk in QLC+, you can enable QLC+'s internal webserver and acces QLC+ on your laptop from your tablet over http...

OR

You can asign each virtual fader/knob in QLC+ it's own virtual dmx address as INPUT and use another DMX controll software on your tablet to controll that.

OR

Use e.g. TouchOSC to build an interface for your tablet and remote controll QLC+ with that.

OR

Have two separate controllers send Artnet commands to the same Artnet node and BOTH controll the same DMC universe. (Although this solution will likely give you some grey hairs...)

OR....

...There is a whole bunch of cats in the wood, and plenty of ways to skinn each of them.

Also: QLC+ can use both Artnet, other DMX-over-network protocols AND lodes of different DMC USB dongles. The Same goes for e.g. Freestyler. Some loves that system; I've never seen the light... ;-)
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Debbie Dunkley

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Re: Need a software DMX controller recommendation
« Reply #16 on: September 20, 2018, 06:25:12 pm »

Yes - you have the right idea for sure......QLC on your macbook plus team viewer works but I found when I used this method that my screen view wasn't complete (working from memory here). This is what made e make the switch to Laminair because I couldnt get it to look the way I wanted. However, this was a few years ago so it might be different now....
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Jeff Lelko

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Re: Need a software DMX controller recommendation
« Reply #17 on: September 20, 2018, 08:00:45 pm »

I see no benefit to moving up to Artnet at this time.

I agree.  There is no reason for you to use this here based on the scenario youíve described so far.  Gateways have their purpose, but this isnít it.

The nice thing about DMX software is that practically every program allows you to download a free demo to play with, so take advantage of that!  Also, read the manual to see how remote control is handled.  Almost every software on the market will do this, but they differ in implementation. 

Lance makes excellent points as well - choose something that not only fits your workflow but also the situations youíll see yourself working in.  Thatís what drove me to buying an ETC Cobalt desk over several more popular options.  Prior to that I also used MagicQ PC with an Enttec DMX-USB Pro.  M-PC is also another popular option.  Good luck!
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Len Zenith Jr

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Re: Need a software DMX controller recommendation
« Reply #18 on: September 20, 2018, 10:55:54 pm »

  What if I go with say ShowXpress on the laptop, get an Xpress512 interface, and plug the DMX cable into that.  But I also set up a WiFi network with a router.  Then I use something like TeamViewer or Remote VNC to directly control the software on the laptop (via WiFi). 

I've done that with team viewer and showxpress. There was a .25 second lag doing it that way. Only noticed it when hitting strobes to the beat manually and I adjusted pretty quickly. I don't remember if I was using a dedicated router or just going through the internet at the time. Showxpress also has a nice app you can run on your phone/tablet to trigger any custom buttons (scenes, chases, macro's, etc) on your live pages, the app was instant with no lag.
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Need a software DMX controller recommendation
« Reply #19 on: September 20, 2018, 11:25:02 pm »

I've done that with team viewer and showxpress. There was a .25 second lag doing it that way. Only noticed it when hitting strobes to the beat manually and I adjusted pretty quickly. I don't remember if I was using a dedicated router or just going through the internet at the time. Showxpress also has a nice app you can run on your phone/tablet to trigger any custom buttons (scenes, chases, macro's, etc) on your live pages, the app was instant with no lag.
ShowXpress has an IOS and an Android app.  No remote control app needed.

Sent from my VS996 using Tapatalk

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