ProSoundWeb Community

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

Pages: 1 2 [3]   Go Down

Author Topic: Recommendations for software dmx controller  (Read 772 times)

Jeff Lelko

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 963
  • Cape Canaveral, FL
Re: Recommendations for software dmx controller
« Reply #20 on: September 28, 2018, 08:02:49 pm »

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.

Sounds like fun...sort of...  But yes, sadly reverse-engineering fixture profiles is becoming a more common skill that programmers need to develop.  Once you apply the "time is money" aspect to the project the appeal of no-name fixtures quickly diminishes, especially if that's time needed on a console you don't own.  I've used enough generic fixtures to thus far avoided buying them for my own personal inventory.  The itch to get 4 or 5 dozen Sharpy clones is strong though, mostly so that I can build effects only possible with larger numbers of identical units.  At the same time, such effects will also highlight the inconsistencies between fixtures usually present in these budget units.  It only takes one bad fixture in an 8x6 grid to mess up the whole presentation!   
Logged

Scott Holtzman

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4959
  • Ghost AV - Avon Lake, OH
    • Ghost Audio Visual Systems, LLC
Re: Recommendations for software dmx controller
« Reply #21 on: September 28, 2018, 08:13:58 pm »

Sounds like fun...sort of...  But yes, sadly reverse-engineering fixture profiles is becoming a more common skill that programmers need to develop.  Once you apply the "time is money" aspect to the project the appeal of no-name fixtures quickly diminishes, especially if that's time needed on a console you don't own.  I've used enough generic fixtures to thus far avoided buying them for my own personal inventory.  The itch to get 4 or 5 dozen Sharpy clones is strong though, mostly so that I can build effects only possible with larger numbers of identical units.  At the same time, such effects will also highlight the inconsistencies between fixtures usually present in these budget units.  It only takes one bad fixture in an 8x6 grid to mess up the whole presentation!   

You are dead right.  We have two "limpy" lights that the vendor could care less about.  Eventually they will be just spares.

There are so many things deficient about this fixture once you have use a real one.  Speed of color wheel, snappiness of positioning, focus of gobos.  They are not that great. 

However I am in Cleveland and are B shows are historically underlit.  I can send 10k worth of gear out for $700-1000 with the PA/Monitor/Wireless they make money.

We did get rid of the Chinese pars and replace with Blizzard Hotbox's.  A nice fixture.

I will add that the fixtures are surprisingly well built.  We have opened them all up to check for unsafe wiring, clearance issues and replaced with high quality fans.

The ballasts and power supplies are also very available.
Logged
Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman
River Delta Audio is now:

Ghost Audio Visual Solutions, LLC
Cleveland OH
www.ghostav.rocks

Bart Jansari

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 32
Re: Recommendations for software dmx controller
« Reply #22 on: September 30, 2018, 03:38:10 pm »

hi guys so I have got hold of a controller I got this one (https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0047003OM/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1)

i had a bit of a play and using the manuals of the lights that I have I figured out how to use the various channels.

I have a few questions please

1 - how do i fix the moving heads to only point forward?
2 - if i have 2 heads can i program them together but get them to invert each other in terms of movement?
3 - looking at my manuals I think I only need 6 channels of DMX input (unless I need to use the TARGET Mode) to fix the position of the heads forward in which case I need channel 11. If i only need 6 channels is it worth me changing the controller as this is 16 channels?
4 - can you give some basic steps to start off the programming
what I mean by this is should i for example
- set the lights in the order that I plan to have them set up in live so i can see what they so properly?
- how should I go about programming scenes , do I need to think and make a list?
5 - in my set up in live I could have a combination of either  just 2 par cans, just 2 heads , 2 par cans and 2 heads or 2 heads and 6 par cans - will i need to program indiv scenes for each combo or could as long as I expect all the par cans to do the same program them together? Then if some of the fixtures are not used in a chase would they just be omitted and it goes to the next part in the chase or will the chase fail?

Any other advice would be appreciated

Thanks

Bart
Logged

Scott Holtzman

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4959
  • Ghost AV - Avon Lake, OH
    • Ghost Audio Visual Systems, LLC
Re: Recommendations for software dmx controller
« Reply #23 on: September 30, 2018, 04:19:05 pm »

If a fixture has 16 channels you have to reserve them all in the map,  you can't skip...

You don't have to change values in a step but you have to preserve them.  The value of each channel (timeslot) is sent continuosly to the fixture.

Address all fixtures should be addressed,  no master slave.  That way you have full control of you movements.  It only takes two steps to move a fixture, start point and finish point.  You set the speed of the movement.

Sent from my VS996 using Tapatalk

Logged
Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman
River Delta Audio is now:

Ghost Audio Visual Solutions, LLC
Cleveland OH
www.ghostav.rocks

Jeff Lelko

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 963
  • Cape Canaveral, FL
Re: Recommendations for software dmx controller
« Reply #24 on: September 30, 2018, 08:12:06 pm »

1 - how do i fix the moving heads to only point forward?

Program them to only point forward.  You guessed it though - you'll need to have your lights hung in the same orientation each time you use them so that your programs match up with the unit's positioning.  Larger boards have ways to compensate for this type of thing, but (presumably) not yours.

2 - if i have 2 heads can i program them together but get them to invert each other in terms of movement?

Yes, but again, this is a programming thing.  While it is possible to set two units to the same address and invert the pan/tilt on the unit so long as it has that option available, this is very bad practice.  So long as your controller has the capacity you always want to invert attributes on the console itself.  It makes troubleshooting significantly easier, among other things.

3 - looking at my manuals I think I only need 6 channels of DMX input (unless I need to use the TARGET Mode) to fix the position of the heads forward in which case I need channel 11. If i only need 6 channels is it worth me changing the controller as this is 16 channels?

As Scott mentioned, you cannot do this.  You must "use" all the channels in a fixture's DMX profile even if you're not sending non-zero data to them.  Overlapping is also bad practice. 

4 - can you give some basic steps to start off the programming
what I mean by this is should i for example
- set the lights in the order that I plan to have them set up in live so i can see what they so properly?
- how should I go about programming scenes , do I need to think and make a list?

It's generally best to program with the rig set up in show-configuration.  For very large rigs we use visualizers to get 95% of the way there and just touch up programming once on the full system, but in your case just set everything up and play with it.  Once you build some skills you can probably program "blind" to some degree, but for just starting out set the whole thing up. 

Yes, you need to think and plan out what you're doing.  If you don't, you'll end up confusing yourself and wasting a lot of time.  As I mentioned further up, I always have a note pad with me when programming. 

5 - in my set up in live I could have a combination of either  just 2 par cans, just 2 heads , 2 par cans and 2 heads or 2 heads and 6 par cans - will i need to program indiv scenes for each combo or could as long as I expect all the par cans to do the same program them together? Then if some of the fixtures are not used in a chase would they just be omitted and it goes to the next part in the chase or will the chase fail?

It depends on the types of chases you'll be making.  The chase will never "fail" per say because your controller doesn't know what's plugged into it - it just broadcasts data to whatever's listening.  That said, a chase meant for 6 lights will look poor with only 2 lights.  This will probably be a bit of give and take, but if you're smart about how you program you should be able minimize the amount of duplicate work done for the different rigs.  Layering is your friend here.

Any other advice would be appreciated

Yes - read manuals, watch tutorial videos, and don't be afraid to just play with the equipment.  You're not going to break anything here, and experimentation is the best way to learn in this case.  Good luck!
Logged

Lance Hallmark

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 253
  • Tampa Bay, FL
    • Hallmark Events & Entertainment
Re: Recommendations for software dmx controller
« Reply #25 on: October 04, 2018, 03:19:30 pm »

Watch this video for an overview of what you are trying to accomplish
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7oOF4mizac

There are a lot of videos on youtube that will give you pointers and get your head around work flow - even if they use a different system that what you are working with.
Basically, you will use the dmx channel sliders to set the light how you want it to look (shutter open, Intensity 100% blue, Gobo2, pan far right, vert 90 degrees). Once you have that set, you will record that to a chase. You then will readjust the light to the next position you want it to be (shutter open, Intensity 100%, yellow, Gobo2, pan far left, vert 90 degrees) and record that to the same chase. Keep doing that for as many steps as you want. When done, you can run that chase it will start off at step 1, then the light will change color and position for step 2, and so on... Software programs have fx built in, so you can just select a circle or figure 8 pattern and it will map it out automatically, rather than plot each point as you will with a manual controller.
To have the second light invert - you can program them to do the same thing (or give them the same DMX address) but change the pan/tilt settings in the menu of the light itself to invert.
Unless your light has a Totem Mode option in it's menu, you will just have to program the lights to not shine behind where they are positioned from.
Logged
----------------------------------------------------
Lance Hallmark
Hallmark Events & Entertainment
Pages: 1 2 [3]   Go Up
 


Page created in 0.118 seconds with 21 queries.