ProSoundWeb Community

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

Pages: [1] 2  All   Go Down

Author Topic: Control house desk w/ QLab/artnet/DMX  (Read 921 times)

ChrissAlberts

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1
Control house desk w/ QLab/artnet/DMX
« on: February 28, 2021, 08:38:13 am »

Hi there!

For an act I'm working on I utilize ableton live for playback and midi ques, which in turn controls a QLab session for video. I am looking into the lights functions, we maybe want to bring a few lights for a few specific cues but I am also looking into controlling the house light desk with that setup. I'd like to send out a few essential ques (blackouts for example, and if it's possible maybe a few strobe type functions) but I am unable to find out to what extend this is possible. Ease is important, I want it to work even if we only have half an hour of change-over.

Very much looking forward to your idea's!

Chris
Logged

John L Nobile

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2202
Re: Control house desk w/ QLab/artnet/DMX
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2021, 01:07:41 pm »

Does the lightboard respond to midi? I used to control a show with a mac running Logic for trax and triggering scenes on a GrandMa on PC. Very solid system. Also very easy to fine tune timing for the light cues.
Logged

Jeff Lelko

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1667
  • Cape Canaveral, FL
Re: Control house desk w/ QLab/artnet/DMX
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2021, 06:34:31 pm »

Hi Chris, the short answer is "yes", that this can be done, but there are a few variables in here that will affect the "best" solution.  As John mentioned, if the house board accepts MIDI you can just command it that way.  You'll need to know the proper commands to send it to work as you intend though, which might make a half-hour changeover difficult if you need programming on the house board to be in place too. 

Another option is to use QLab itself to control the lighting.  So long as you don't require anything terribly complex the lighting options now offered in QLab may suffice just fine.  You'll need to know the patching of the house system, but otherwise you can just unplug the DMX output from the house board and connect that into your DMX interface - very quick and easy so long as you have your programming right.  Knowing the make/model of the house board along with the patching of their system can help us give better advice though.  Hope this helps!
Logged

Erik Jerde

  • Classic LAB
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1105
Re: Control house desk w/ QLab/artnet/DMX
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2021, 03:46:51 pm »

Absolutely possible if youre using a lighting system that supports it.  What is your desk?  The best solution would be syncing lights to timecode and then just feeding timecode to it from abelton.
Logged

Chris Alberts

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4
Re: Control house desk w/ QLab/artnet/DMX
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2021, 02:07:46 pm »

Hi Chris, the short answer is "yes", that this can be done, but there are a few variables in here that will affect the "best" solution.  As John mentioned, if the house board accepts MIDI you can just command it that way.  You'll need to know the proper commands to send it to work as you intend though, which might make a half-hour changeover difficult if you need programming on the house board to be in place too. 

Another option is to use QLab itself to control the lighting.  So long as you don't require anything terribly complex the lighting options now offered in QLab may suffice just fine.  You'll need to know the patching of the house system, but otherwise you can just unplug the DMX output from the house board and connect that into your DMX interface - very quick and easy so long as you have your programming right.  Knowing the make/model of the house board along with the patching of their system can help us give better advice though.  Hope this helps!

Somehow my answer deleted.. I assume you mean programming the light show as a whole. That would take up a LOT of time, since every venue has different lights, a different patch, a different grid.. I only want to trigger a few essentials. The most important one is a "blackout" cue, and maybe it's even the only one. Other than that we rely on the house tech. I don't know the make/models yet, but I am probably going to encounter some GrandMA, some Avolites, some HES, maybe some HOG or Martin. Could I set up a couple different ways of communicating with the different brands, and if yes, what kind of commands would be the way to go for these brands at least, and if you can add one or more common ones those too?
Logged

Chris Alberts

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4
Re: Control house desk w/ QLab/artnet/DMX
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2021, 02:11:59 pm »

Let me add Chamsys to that list. I'll probably encounter that one too at some point.
Logged

John L Nobile

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2202
Re: Control house desk w/ QLab/artnet/DMX
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2021, 02:37:28 pm »

Somehow my answer deleted.. I assume you mean programming the light show as a whole. That would take up a LOT of time, since every venue has different lights, a different patch, a different grid.. I only want to trigger a few essentials. The most important one is a "blackout" cue, and maybe it's even the only one. Other than that we rely on the house tech. I don't know the make/models yet, but I am probably going to encounter some GrandMA, some Avolites, some HES, maybe some HOG or Martin. Could I set up a couple different ways of communicating with the different brands, and if yes, what kind of commands would be the way to go for these brands at least, and if you can add one or more common ones those too?

So you want a quick way to control lighting boards from every different manufacturer? I'm interested to see how this would work. Is there a universal blackout command?

Reminds me about the one good thing about standards is that there's so many of them to choose from.
Logged

Chris Alberts

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4
Re: Control house desk w/ QLab/artnet/DMX
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2021, 08:18:15 pm »

So you want a quick way to control lighting boards from every different manufacturer? I'm interested to see how this would work. Is there a universal blackout command?

Reminds me about the one good thing about standards is that there's so many of them to choose from.

A way of thinking at least. I of course can set up 4 different ways, midi, RTP, DMX, whatever to be programmed as ques in to the house board. It does have to be relatively quick though. I will mention this in the rider so they can prepare, but I should assume they won't. 30 minutes is an absolute worst case scenario of course, in a festival setting I come in early and check in with the technicians so they already could prepare and in a club setting we have all day basically, but still I want it to be as easy as possible and not clog up the time of the house guys too much.
Logged

Jeff Lelko

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1667
  • Cape Canaveral, FL
Re: Control house desk w/ QLab/artnet/DMX
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2021, 09:26:00 pm »

I assume you mean programming the light show as a whole. That would take up a LOT of time, since every venue has different lights, a different patch, a different grid...

Yes and yes.  I'll explain why I feel this is your best option though.

If you want universal compatibility with grandMA, Avolites, ETC, Hog (also ETC), ChamSys, and others, you won't get that.  True, many of these boards can accept MIDI input while others might response to SMPTE, but there's no guarantee that any of them will be configured for this purpose or have the appropriate hardware installed to do so.  Not only that, the MIDI commands that you'll be sending will vary by board.  You'll need a MIDI map for each console and then likely need a show file for each board in each venue to map MIDI to their rig.  The short answer is that there's no universal console language that maps between manufacturers.

What is universal, however, is DMX.

By physically plugging into their DMX hardware you take all the console decoding that I mentioned above out of the equation.  QLab would not be my first choice to work in as a traveling LD, but it's what you mention as a point of departure and will technically get the job done to some extent.  I am a traveling LD and often travel with my own console if I won't be familiar with what the venue/sponsor is willing to provide.  Yes, I need to know the plot/patching of my system ahead of time and yes I need to have a set of programs for each show/venue I play, but that's what I'm getting paid for.  A proper console has the programming horsepower to help work quickly and adapt existing programs to new venues as part of your workflow, but I don't see how you can get around that as a whole. 

I know this probably isn't the answer you're looking for but there's no way to build 100% compatibility into anything to work with any console you might encounter in the wild.  Avoiding that situation all together and learning to program a console of your own (QLab or otherwise) will be your best option long-term.  Good luck!
Logged

Chris Alberts

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4
Re: Control house desk w/ QLab/artnet/DMX
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2021, 07:42:18 pm »

Yes and yes.  I'll explain why I feel this is your best option though.

If you want universal compatibility with grandMA, Avolites, ETC, Hog (also ETC), ChamSys, and others, you won't get that.  True, many of these boards can accept MIDI input while others might response to SMPTE, but there's no guarantee that any of them will be configured for this purpose or have the appropriate hardware installed to do so.  Not only that, the MIDI commands that you'll be sending will vary by board.  You'll need a MIDI map for each console and then likely need a show file for each board in each venue to map MIDI to their rig.  The short answer is that there's no universal console language that maps between manufacturers.

What is universal, however, is DMX.

By physically plugging into their DMX hardware you take all the console decoding that I mentioned above out of the equation.  QLab would not be my first choice to work in as a traveling LD, but it's what you mention as a point of departure and will technically get the job done to some extent.  I am a traveling LD and often travel with my own console if I won't be familiar with what the venue/sponsor is willing to provide.  Yes, I need to know the plot/patching of my system ahead of time and yes I need to have a set of programs for each show/venue I play, but that's what I'm getting paid for.  A proper console has the programming horsepower to help work quickly and adapt existing programs to new venues as part of your workflow, but I don't see how you can get around that as a whole. 

I know this probably isn't the answer you're looking for but there's no way to build 100% compatibility into anything to work with any console you might encounter in the wild.  Avoiding that situation all together and learning to program a console of your own (QLab or otherwise) will be your best option long-term.  Good luck!

Well, that's a bummer. Thanks a lot for the information. The problem here is that I am not a light technician, but sound. I am taking on stage/set/show design for now. Programming an entire show will cost me hours and hours and I will still probably make serious mistakes since I am not invested enough, plus it would be unpaid (otherwise we'd pay an actual light tech). I've created a solution for now though. I'll import audio into QLab with countdowns for the light technician for those important moments ("Blackout in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, now"). Should work too. Again, thanks for all the information!
Logged

ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Control house desk w/ QLab/artnet/DMX
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2021, 07:42:18 pm »


Pages: [1] 2  All   Go Up
 



Page created in 0.027 seconds with 20 queries.