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Author Topic: DMX - midi - Mac  (Read 2806 times)

Steve Garris

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Re: DMX - midi - Mac
« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2018, 09:35:05 pm »

Great!  Always happy to lend useful advice! 


Have you thought about a small but capable hardware console?  While I have yet to get hands on one, the QuickQ Series from ChamSys is quite promising.

I'm a weekender (lounge) that works pretty much every weekend. I operate out of a minivan, and budget is pretty limited. I'm pretty happy with a bunch of good scenes, a master, and the ability to quickly change the fade rate between scenes. In the old days those little NSI controllers made this an easy task, but with led and even my cheap movers things are certainly more complex.

In addition I work with a "project band", basically a bunch of seasoned musicians doing hair rock 80's covers. We make a big deal out of our shows, and the lights have become an increasingly larger part of the show. We do about (6) shows each year at a local club that has a light system that runs via a midi push-button controller, so our light guy has to busk using both this and my iPad with Luminair. The band owns lights, I have a bunch, and we hang them all up together. I've been programming all of the scenes which work both with my lights, the band's lights, or both combined, in the case that we're using them at another location, or for my other gigs. I'm doing more and more sound system/operator/light rentals than any time in the past, so I'm looking for simple solutions that are not too costly ($400-500 max software). Our lights consist of mostly very cheap, Chinese fixtures, but in large quantities they are shockingly effective.

My plan is to learn this midi-dmx, and fully program their show start to finish. In the process, I'll end up with a huge library of scenes, and can busk using the Mac laptop. This is where a chase, and a tap sync come in handy. If I'm successful programming the band's light show, I intend to sell this programming to other bands as a service.

If got a lot of research to do, but I'll check in with you from time to time. Really appreciate your expertise!

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Jeff Lelko

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Re: DMX - midi - Mac
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2018, 12:52:14 am »

No worries, and definitely lots to consider!  Given that you're using more than just a couple fixtures I would think you'd want something that can handle higher channel counts more gracefully, but at the same time if you're only programming this once it's not insurmountable. 

M-PC (now called Onyx by Obsidian) would be a nice fit that's well within your budget, except it only runs on Windows PCs.  Chauvet's ShowXpress might also be another possibility, though I don't have enough experience with it to make a recommendation, and I'd also question its longevity now that Chauvet owns ChamSys.  The reason I mention M-PC is that if you plan to sell programming, I think you'll find more M-PC users in the wild than almost any other platform commonly seen at the lounge level.  The startup cost is also about a third of what DMXIS runs.  Just more food for though...  Good luck with the project!
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: DMX - midi - Mac
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2018, 04:23:10 am »

Yes, helping immensely!

Not sure what HTP and LTP is. I typically use preset scenes if I'm busking. I've never used pallets. As for the movers, we have only (2) focusable movers, and (6) mini wash movers in our show. (1) Universe is fine, but I'm sure as I learn more I'll want more. I'm coming from this progression: Cheap dmx board > Magic 260 > Luminair3. The Luminair has the oscillators and a separate movement generator, much like you're describing. It works, but like you said it's very limited.

I'm going to keep looking, and I'll check out those that you mentioned. My concern is that the Mac-software-midi connectivity will be too complicated. I've not worked in any recording scenario and I'm not familiar with any DAW, so I've got a lot to learn to make this work. I'm a sound guy that got interested in lighting. I just wish there was a "package software" that would do it all, made specifically for band lighting.
I used the Magic 260 for years.  Really liked it.  Do you need a backup?

Sent from my VS996 using Tapatalk

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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman

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Mal Brown

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Re: DMX - midi - Mac
« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2018, 12:47:52 pm »

Steve, what are the 8 spot fixtures in your pic ?  They look to be 12 to 13í up ?
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Rich Grisier

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Re: DMX - midi - Mac
« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2018, 03:08:21 pm »

Thanks Jeff. While looking I stumbled across DMXIS and liked how it looked regarding the interface. Also liked how well it is integrated with Showbuddy. This will be my first midi operation, and I need something easy to use. Can you elaborate on its limits, or lack of horsepower?

I've been using DMXIS for about 4 years. I use a MIDI controller to select various presets during a show.  It's a great setup.  You can achieve some great looks with it although it can be a bit tedious to program.

I've played around with their new product, Show Buddy Active (Formally known as DMXIS Platinum).  I highly recommend it over DMXIS.  A lot of the things I wanted in DMXIS have been incorporated into Show Buddy Active. Show Buddy Active has SO many more programming features compared to DMXIS. It's hard to even compare the two even though they are similar.

One of the main things you get with Show Buddy Active is ArtNet.  With DMXIS, you're stuck with using the DMXIS USB-to-DMX box. With Show Buddy Active you can use any ArtNet Node.
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Steve Garris

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Re: DMX - midi - Mac
« Reply #15 on: December 16, 2018, 03:21:43 pm »

Steve, what are the 8 spot fixtures in your pic ?  They look to be 12 to 13í up ?

My newest lights and I love them! I call them "sweepers".
https://goo.gl/VQJ6UN
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Steve Garris

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Re: DMX - midi - Mac
« Reply #16 on: December 16, 2018, 03:23:20 pm »

I used the Magic 260 for years.  Really liked it.  Do you need a backup?

Sent from my VS996 using Tapatalk

Mine just came back from a repair, so it's wiped clean. Great board, but lacks a movement generator. I'll probably reprogram mine for simple scenes, to be used with a smaller show.
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Steve Garris

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Re: DMX - midi - Mac
« Reply #17 on: December 16, 2018, 03:43:13 pm »

I've been using DMXIS for about 4 years. I use a MIDI controller to select various presets during a show.  It's a great setup.  You can achieve some great looks with it although it can be a bit tedious to program.

I've played around with their new product, Show Buddy Active (Formally known as DMXIS Platinum).  I highly recommend it over DMXIS.  A lot of the things I wanted in DMXIS have been incorporated into Show Buddy Active. Show Buddy Active has SO many more programming features compared to DMXIS. It's hard to even compare the two even though they are similar.

One of the main things you get with Show Buddy Active is ArtNet.  With DMXIS, you're stuck with using the DMXIS USB-to-DMX box. With Show Buddy Active you can use any ArtNet Node.

I'm a little confused by this product line. You still have to purchase DMXIS, correct? DMXIS is not offered without a dongle, so you have to purchase theirs (I have a DMXKing Pro)?  So the Show Buddy Active is the midi interface, and DMXIS is the lighting software - correct? All of those newer, better features are a function of the midi software?
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Steve Garris

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Re: DMX - midi - Mac
« Reply #18 on: December 16, 2018, 03:48:01 pm »

My newest lights and I love them! I call them "sweepers".
https://goo.gl/VQJ6UN

If you have Facebook, here are a couple of videos. Please be advised that our LD is in training!! He loves pressing buttons but doesn't quite grasp verse/chorus/drum fill scenes. I have to yell at him all night to back off on the specials.

https://www.facebook.com/fallenangel1986/videos/200922824185352/

Before the sweepers - close to the stage:
https://www.facebook.com/100009587670297/videos/1990487191280851/
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Rich Grisier

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Re: DMX - midi - Mac
« Reply #19 on: December 17, 2018, 02:23:53 am »

I'm a little confused by this product line. You still have to purchase DMXIS, correct? DMXIS is not offered without a dongle, so you have to purchase theirs (I have a DMXKing Pro)?  So the Show Buddy Active is the midi interface, and DMXIS is the lighting software - correct? All of those newer, better features are a function of the midi software?

There are some blurred lines between product offerings. Iíll do my best to simplify it:

DMXIS - this allows you to create a light show that uses a virtual light controller on your computer. It comes bundled with the DMXIS hardware interface. In only works with that interface.

Show Buddy - extends the functionality of DMXIS by letting you map lighting events into a song.

Show Buddy Active - think of it as the new improved DMXIS... except you donít need to use the DMXIS box (although you can if you want). You can use your DMX King Pro with Show Buddy Active, but you canít use it with DMXIS. You donít need to get DMXIS if you get Show Buddy Active. Show Buddy Active does everything DMXIS does and a TON more. You can use Show Buddy with either DMXIS or Show Buddy Active.

The programming that can be done in Show Buddy Active blows away DMXIS. HERE is just one example.

If you have a program like Abelton Live, then you donít really need Show Buddy. DMXIS and Show Buddy Live can be used as plug ins with Abelton Live.

You can try Show Buddy Active as a full featured demo, except it doesnít transmit any DMX or ArtNet data- all the Midi stuff still works.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2018, 02:58:21 am by Rich Grisier »
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Re: DMX - midi - Mac
¬ę Reply #19 on: December 17, 2018, 02:23:53 am ¬Ľ


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