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Author Topic: Dmx Controller with Master Dimmer  (Read 1678 times)

Earl Teigrob

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Dmx Controller with Master Dimmer
« on: March 13, 2019, 12:16:42 pm »

I need a dmx controller for simple scenes and chases but need to be able to adjust the overall brightness. Basically, as the night goes on, the lighting brightness needs to get lower. Iím hoping not to have to create seperate scenes and chases for each lighting level I need.

Thank you
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Earl Teigrob

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Re: Dmx Controller with Master Dimmer
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2019, 01:12:39 pm »

All my lights are the same, so having a way to override one channel (the dimmer channel) while the chase is playing would work for me.
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Taylor Hall

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Re: Dmx Controller with Master Dimmer
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2019, 01:40:47 pm »

I'm pretty sure a lot of the Eurolight desks have a grand master fader on them, been a while since I've looked at one, though.

You could also look into a software-based controller like QLC+ or Luminare, all you would need then is an appropriate DMX interface like an Enttec or DMXKing which would be about the same cost as a small physical desk.
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Steve Garris

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Re: Dmx Controller with Master Dimmer
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2019, 01:49:57 pm »

When I was shopping for a hardware controller a few years ago the Master dimmer was on my list. I recently saw a thread with a newer $200 model designed for movers that had a master, but didn't save the link. From my old list there were only (3):
Magic 260 (discontinued)
Martin Freekie (discontinued)
Elation Operator Pro

The discontinued models can be purchased used. I'm sure there are others as well.
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Earl Teigrob

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Re: Dmx Controller with Master Dimmer
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2019, 02:20:25 pm »

When I was shopping for a hardware controller a few years ago the Master dimmer was on my list. I recently saw a thread with a newer $200 model designed for movers that had a master, but didn't save the link. From my old list there were only (3):
Magic 260 (discontinued)
Martin Freekie (discontinued)
Elation Operator Pro

The discontinued models can be purchased used. I'm sure there are others as well.

Steve, thatís good to know. The more I think about it the more I realize that to most controllers, a channel is just a channel and can control anything. Only a controller that lets you map channels to colors or vic versa  would allow the controller to manage color intensity.

Software should be able to do this easily but for hardware itís going to take special setup or hard coded channels for specific colors.

The Magic 260 keeps popping up on my radar.

Thank you!!!
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Paul G. OBrien

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Re: Dmx Controller with Master Dimmer
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2019, 03:36:24 pm »

All my lights are the same, so having a way to override one channel (the dimmer channel) while the chase is playing would work for me.

Have you tried it with your current controller? All your fixtures are the same so pulling down the slider for whatever channel controls the master intensity should do the trick. Now if your fixtures don't have a master intensity channel then you are SOL and another controller won't help.
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Earl Teigrob

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Re: Dmx Controller with Master Dimmer
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2019, 03:56:59 pm »

Have you tried it with your current controller? All your fixtures are the same so pulling down the slider for whatever channel controls the master intensity should do the trick. Now if your fixtures don't have a master intensity channel then you are SOL and another controller won't help.

Paul, such practical advice!!! No, I havenít tried it on my existing controller which is a Adj operator 192 clone. Actually I never thought of the idea until after my first post, so I will give it a try and see what happens. And yes, my lights do have a master dimmer in the 10 channel mode.
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Dave Garoutte

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Re: Dmx Controller with Master Dimmer
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2019, 05:13:14 pm »

An actual master dimmer reduces the increment on EVERY addressed channel.
If you have a color macro or internal program running, or have a mover, everything will go wonky.
In Luminair, for example, you can link similar faders, so if you move one, they all move.
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Jeff Lelko

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Re: Dmx Controller with Master Dimmer
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2019, 08:32:51 pm »

I'm pretty sure a lot of the Eurolight desks have a grand master fader on them, been a while since I've looked at one, though.

Do you mean the Behringer Eurolight?  If so, yes, it does have a Main fader (i.e. Grand Master) though I'd never buy one of these boards today, and I say that still owning one. 

An actual master dimmer reduces the increment on EVERY addressed channel.

This is highly dependent on the board.  At face value, yes, a fader that reduces the value of every single channel on the board will cause symptoms such as what you describe, however any modern console worth its weight will have programming to sidestep this.  An example would be my ETC Congo Kid.  It has a true Grand Master fader (plus a Blackout knob), however both functions will only apply to channels flagged as "Intensities".  This can be an actual dimmer, the shutter on an intelligent light, or the dimmer channel on an LED fixture.  Attribute channels and anything else not marked as "Intensity" are unaffected by the Grand Master and thus hold position regardless of what the GM is doing. 

Many modern boards omit this feature since with even basic grouping and layering you can assign any content fader to be a "Grand Master" if you desire that capability.  That said, many desks still do include one which I personally have no gripes about. 

On the lower end of the spectrum I believe the ChamSys QuickQ has a Grand Master and is worth a serious look in my opinion.  While I have yet to touch one myself this is a very promising board for the junior varsity market.  Most of the older Strand boards have a GM too, though given how the complexity of lighting has evolved over the past decade I'd strongly hesitate purchasing something created back in the 1990s or early 2000s - before LED fixtures became prevalent on the market.  Hope this helps!
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Dave Garoutte

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Re: Dmx Controller with Master Dimmer
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2019, 02:23:35 am »

Based on the OP's wording, it sounded like he was looking at a simple controller, not a full featured pro console.
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