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Author Topic: Recommendations for software dmx controller  (Read 806 times)

Bart Jansari

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Re: Recommendations for software dmx controller
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2018, 01:45:33 pm »

That's correct I have but that seems to be very limiting and not intuitive and a lot of money for what it is. Plus I work be tied to using only rekordbox for my dj software. Therefore as the RB dmx1 didn't blow me away I'm thinking for my needs it might be better to go down the dmx managed route either software or hardware
In another thread you said you bought the Pioneer interface.

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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Recommendations for software dmx controller
« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2018, 01:59:18 pm »

That's correct I have but that seems to be very limiting and not intuitive and a lot of money for what it is. Plus I work be tied to using only rekordbox for my dj software. Therefore as the RB dmx1 didn't blow me away I'm thinking for my needs it might be better to go down the dmx managed route either software or hardware
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All you have to do is download a DMX software package for the controller that you have. 

You probably can fire cues from your DJ software.
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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman
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Steve Garris

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Re: Recommendations for software dmx controller
« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2018, 04:27:57 pm »

ok so Ive had a  look online at a couple of videos for using a hardware controller and for the par cans it seems quite easy to change colours , not sure how I would strobe with it?

however is controlling moving heads and selecting gobos and colours , pans etc a hold different problem with just a controller?

if so i have seen a few controllers - for what I want is there much difference in them?

see below

https://smile.amazon.co.uk/American-1322000051-DMX-Operator-Mixers/dp/B00S2VV3YQ/ref=sr_1_8?rps=1&ie=UTF8&qid=1538052733&sr=8-8&keywords=dmx+controller&refinements=p_76%3A419158031

https://smile.amazon.co.uk/192-Channel-DMX-Controller-Joystick/dp/B0046ZUSZC/ref=sr_1_6?rps=1&ie=UTF8&qid=1538052733&sr=8-6&keywords=dmx+controller&refinements=p_76%3A419158031

https://smile.amazon.co.uk/CHAUVET-DJ-Universal-DMX-512-Controller/dp/B001E9X7X8/ref=sr_1_4?rps=1&ie=UTF8&qid=1538052733&sr=8-4&keywords=dmx+controller&refinements=p_76%3A419158031

Any of those will do want you are trying to accomplish. I've used the Obey 70, and other cheap boards like the ones you posted.

You will first assign your fixtures to the appropriate dmx addresses, then record your scenes using the faders on the board to control the light. Strobing is just one of many functions of your lights, and will be assigned by the light manufacturer to one of the channels.
Same with the moving heads & gobo's. There will be a channel for the movers that allow them to run in "auto" mode, or even sound activated. Most of these boards will allow you to set it in "chase mode", either via an auto setting - using the speed control fader, or sound active. When the chase is running it simply goes through each of your programmed scenes.
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Bart Jansari

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Re: Recommendations for software dmx controller
« Reply #13 on: September 27, 2018, 04:36:38 pm »

So would you say it's quite simple to do?

Re the heads so for example Tilt will be set to say channel 6 so I would use that to program the head to move a certain way?

When using dmx does master and slave come into it and invert or is each light treated on its own? So when programming heads they move in opposite directions?

And are you saying there are auto modes on these where I can let the units run in sound active mode if I want?

Is there much difference in the boards I suggested?

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Jeff Lelko

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Re: Recommendations for software dmx controller
« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2018, 08:50:12 pm »

So would you say it's quite simple to do?

It's easy enough.  I'd take this over playing with MIDI any day.  You'll have to read the manual, yes, and it might take a bit of trial and error.  With enough patience you'll get there though.  Some people like the computer interfaces, others don't, but I still find these tiny boards easy to handle for those with little experience so long as they keep an open mind and aren't afraid to spend time learning them.

When using dmx does master and slave come into it and invert or is each light treated on its own? So when programming heads they move in opposite directions?

And are you saying there are auto modes on these where I can let the units run in sound active mode if I want?

Master/Slave, auto mode, and sound-active are usually modes that intelligent lights can run in when DMX control is absent.  There are exceptions to all three cases, such as some lights being able to be commanded to auto or sound-active mode via DMX, but DMX will always take precedence in these cases.  Some fixtures can invert certain parameters such as pan and tilt, though this is usually something you leverage when running in auto or sound-active modes.  In DMX mode I prefer to let the controller handle 100% of this, though there is nothing inherently wrong with inverting fixture parameters on top of DMX.

Is there much difference in the boards I suggested?

Not really.  Some have more bells and whistles than others (such as MIDI), but for what you want they're more or less the same.  Read and understand the manual before buying though.  I do suggest getting a name brand such as American DJ or Chauvet.  The no-name generic Chinese products that have permeated throughout Amazon and ebay can be tricky due to very poor documentation. 
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Recommendations for software dmx controller
« Reply #15 on: September 28, 2018, 12:12:19 am »

It's easy enough.  I'd take this over playing with MIDI any day.  You'll have to read the manual, yes, and it might take a bit of trial and error.  With enough patience you'll get there though.  Some people like the computer interfaces, others don't, but I still find these tiny boards easy to handle for those with little experience so long as they keep an open mind and aren't afraid to spend time learning them.

Master/Slave, auto mode, and sound-active are usually modes that intelligent lights can run in when DMX control is absent.  There are exceptions to all three cases, such as some lights being able to be commanded to auto or sound-active mode via DMX, but DMX will always take precedence in these cases.  Some fixtures can invert certain parameters such as pan and tilt, though this is usually something you leverage when running in auto or sound-active modes.  In DMX mode I prefer to let the controller handle 100% of this, though there is nothing inherently wrong with inverting fixture parameters on top of DMX.

Not really.  Some have more bells and whistles than others (such as MIDI), but for what you want they're more or less the same.  Read and understand the manual before buying though.  I do suggest getting a name brand such as American DJ or Chauvet.  The no-name generic Chinese products that have permeated throughout Amazon and ebay can be tricky due to very poor documentation.

I totally agree with Jeff on the Chinese fixtures.  Unless you have an intuitive understanding of how DMX works you won't be happy.

As an example we bought some not so cheap Sharpie 4R clones.  They came with Osram bulbs as promised.  The documentation was horrible.  There is only a narrow window in the lamp on/off channel where the lamp will actually strike.  Having to map out multiple gobo wheels, prisms, focus, diffusion, colors and movement probably took me 40 hours total until the fixture profile was bug free.

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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman
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Bart Jansari

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Re: Recommendations for software dmx controller
« Reply #16 on: September 28, 2018, 02:58:10 am »

Ok so looking at the attached pics for my pocket pro moving head am I reading this correct for how I set them on controller (I'm looking at the adj 384)

Gobos will be channel 4 with the Gobo I want {1 to 7) depending on what value I choose from 72 to 127?

Pan and Tilt will be channels 1 and 2

If I want them to only face forward do I have to set target mode on channel 11 to value 110 - 119?

Would you suggest making a list of what I want the lights to do e. g change to Gobo 5, turn white and spin and then start programming?

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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Recommendations for software dmx controller
« Reply #17 on: September 28, 2018, 04:49:28 pm »

Ok so looking at the attached pics for my pocket pro moving head am I reading this correct for how I set them on controller (I'm looking at the adj 384)

Gobos will be channel 4 with the Gobo I want {1 to 7) depending on what value I choose from 72 to 127?

Pan and Tilt will be channels 1 and 2

If I want them to only face forward do I have to set target mode on channel 11 to value 110 - 119?

Would you suggest making a list of what I want the lights to do e. g change to Gobo 5, turn white and spin and then start programming?

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Pocket Pro reminds me of an unhygenic device carried by lonely roadies.

I am unfamiliar with the target option but it sounds right.  You put your controller in manual mode and send the values then observe the outcome.

Sounds like you have the basic idea.  Put it to practice.

You mentioned your software interface in other posts.  Why don't you download some DMX software and give it a roll?
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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman
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Bart Jansari

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Re: Recommendations for software dmx controller
« Reply #18 on: September 28, 2018, 04:52:03 pm »

The RB DMX 1 is specially for rekordbox DJ whcih is a DJ software.
What this does is analyze the tracks and then changes the lights accordingly. In principle it's not very good though and not much control with it hence why I'm looking at going the manual control route

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Jeff Lelko

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Re: Recommendations for software dmx controller
« Reply #19 on: September 28, 2018, 07:33:00 pm »

Ok so looking at the attached pics for my pocket pro moving head am I reading this correct for how I set them on controller (I'm looking at the adj 384)

Gobos will be channel 4 with the Gobo I want {1 to 7) depending on what value I choose from 72 to 127?

Pan and Tilt will be channels 1 and 2

Yep, and in truth this will be the same for any controller you choose.  The nicer ones that have better control of attributes take care of all the numbers for you, but this is generally what's happening behind the scenes. 

If I want them to only face forward do I have to set target mode on channel 11 to value 110 - 119?

I believe so, though I have limited experience with this type of feature as well.  This will fall into the same bucket as things like pan/tilt speed - they're benefits that might help you with certain types of programming when using a very restricted controller, though as mentioned above I generally avoid these types of channels when programming and let my console do all the work.  Target Mode won't affect your unit's pan/tilt resolution, so why not just let your controller figure this out?  This feature is more useful when running in auto/sound-active/master-slave. 

Would you suggest making a list of what I want the lights to do e. g change to Gobo 5, turn white and spin and then start programming?

It can't hurt!  Even when programming on large professional-grade consoles I always have a note pad with me.  Console tape or spike tape will also be your friend here so you can label where you put things.  If you don't foresee changing your programs very often you can also print stick-on labels for a more permanent and professional look too.  Hope this helps!
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