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Author Topic: DMX Light react to Audio Output  (Read 1379 times)

Alex Reid

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DMX Light react to Audio Output
« on: April 02, 2021, 06:18:49 AM »

Hi,

Ive purchased a Equinox Swing Batten LED light which has DMX Out / IN. Im wanting the light to react to the audio coming either from A) My mixer output or b) laptop audio output.

Please can anyone advise how to do this?

Cheers,
Alex
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Jeff Lelko

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Re: DMX Light react to Audio Output
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2021, 06:24:32 AM »

Alex, the easy solution is to put the light in sound-active mode and let it react to your music.  DXM requires the use of a controller and even then wonít do much better if just wanting the unit to flash around randomly with music.
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Alex Reid

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Re: DMX Light react to Audio Output
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2021, 06:27:50 AM »

Alex, the easy solution is to put the light in sound-active mode and let it react to your music.  DXM requires the use of a controller and even then wonít do much better if just wanting the unit to flash around randomly with music.

Hi Jeff,

Thanks thats great, however I'm looking for it to react to the actual output, for example even if the speakers were turned to 0 the lights would still react to whats playing (even though you cant hear it).

Cheers,
Alex
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Debbie Dunkley

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Re: DMX Light react to Audio Output
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2021, 12:41:41 PM »

Hi Jeff,

Thanks thats great, however I'm looking for it to react to the actual output, for example even if the speakers were turned to 0 the lights would still react to whats playing (even though you cant hear it).

Cheers,
Alex

I've never owned a DMX fixture that could do what you are asking - The audio has to be 'listened' to by the inbuilt mic in the fixture usually. Of course you could use midi to what you want and it would be much more controllable too.
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Dave Garoutte

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Re: DMX Light react to Audio Output
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2021, 12:47:26 PM »

Even the lower end controller boards use an onboard mic the activate to the music.  Never seen anything that took an audio input.
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Jeff Lelko

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Re: DMX Light react to Audio Output
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2021, 01:05:07 PM »

Never seen anything that took an audio input.

Believe it or not my little Behringer LC2412 can take a 1/4" audio input and has a sensitivity fader for sound-to-light triggering.  They're out there, but it's an uncommon feature.

Alex, if you're not satisfied with your light's sound-to-light function or auto mode you'll need to buy a DMX controller.  There are ways to set up what you describe but your expectations need to be very low in order to be satisfied with the result.  It's a fair bit of work and money to set up something that ultimately won't be much better than what the light can do by itself.  Better sound-to-light can be accomplished with MIDI triggering or plugins with DJ software but increase complexity by another order of magnitude.  What exactly are you trying to accomplish with this?
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Rick Earl

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Re: DMX Light react to Audio Output
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2021, 01:45:41 PM »

Hi,

Ive purchased a Equinox Swing Batten LED light which has DMX Out / IN. Im wanting the light to react to the audio coming either from A) My mixer output or b) laptop audio output.

Please can anyone advise how to do this?

Cheers,
Alex

This might do what you're asking. https://www.ledlightingproducts.co.uk/sound
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Paul G. OBrien

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Re: DMX Light react to Audio Output
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2021, 10:24:46 PM »

There are lots of DMX controllers that can take a line level audio input and use it to trigger lighting, the one thing none of them will do however is automatically control the lighting with no pre programming. Basic hardware controllers use the audio signal to advance scenes or chases that you have programmed, software controllers can do much more complex things with the audio signal including custom timeline based effects specific to individual tracks, but again there is a lot of work that has to be done ahead of time to get good results.
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Alex Reid

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Re: DMX Light react to Audio Output
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2021, 07:58:39 AM »

Hi All,

Many thanks for your input, as you can tell Im new to the lighting scene ha ha!

Basically I'm starting to do live DJ Streams online with video, however because of where I live I can hardly "blast out" the tracks to a point where sound to light mics on the light would react with any decent correlation.

I have learnt to mix and play my sets without the need to play them "out loud". Instead I stream the master output to my laptop which then streams the audio live to the feed online. Therefore even though no sound is playing at where I am, the music is still playing (if that makes sense). That obviously creates problems of the lights reacting to the sound, as there is none playing out loud!

I have read somewhere (you may laugh at this Im not sure the legitamcy of this), but to get an old pair of cusioned headphones and stick one of the headphones (l or r) over the mic input on the light for the sound to light fixture, creating an air tight seal. This may not be perfect, but I presume A) It will react more to what Im playing from my mixer and B) it will react better than it just in silent mode?

Secondly, I have purchased a cheap DMX Controller to see what I can come up with it is a cheap:

IBIZA 16-2320 LC12DMX DMW Controller - 12 Channel DMX controller, and the light Im wanting to use it with is the Equinox Swing Batten LED which says DMX channels: 6/12 or 16 selectable. Have I bought the right equipment even if it is just to "mess about" to see what I can come up with?

Any more thoughts?

Appreciate all your help.

Cheers,
Alex
« Last Edit: April 03, 2021, 08:01:32 AM by Alex Reid »
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Jeff Lelko

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Re: DMX Light react to Audio Output
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2021, 08:34:20 AM »

Secondly, I have purchased a cheap DMX Controller to see what I can come up with it is a cheap:

IBIZA 16-2320 LC12DMX DMW Controller - 12 Channel DMX controller, and the light Im wanting to use it with is the Equinox Swing Batten LED which says DMX channels: 6/12 or 16 selectable. Have I bought the right equipment even if it is just to "mess about"?

Well, maybe...  As youíve already noticed your controller is only 12 channels, so youíll have to use the light in 6 or 12 channel mode for things to work properly.  That being said, it doesnít look like your controller is programmable in any way.  As mentioned above, you typically program scenes and chases into the controller that get cycled by audio.  I donít see how this controller will work for what you need.

Sound-to-light usually picks up on bass more than anything else, but putting a headphone over the lightís mic is probably worth a try.
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Paul G. OBrien

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Re: DMX Light react to Audio Output
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2021, 10:43:11 AM »

I don't think that controller will work, does it even have an audio input?

A controller like this is more like what you need... https://www.thomann.de/gb/adj_dmx_operator_384.htm
Although this one has some built-in FX that would produce better results with less programming.. https://www.thomann.de/gb/eurolite_dmx_led_color_chief_controller.htm
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duane massey

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Re: DMX Light react to Audio Output
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2021, 12:40:37 PM »

For your specific needs, the headphone trick will probably be the simplest thing to try.
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Duane Massey
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Alex Reid

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Re: DMX Light react to Audio Output
« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2021, 02:08:15 PM »

Well, maybe...  As youíve already noticed your controller is only 12 channels, so youíll have to use the light in 6 or 12 channel mode for things to work properly.  That being said, it doesnít look like your controller is programmable in any way.  As mentioned above, you typically program scenes and chases into the controller that get cycled by audio.  I donít see how this controller will work for what you need.

Sound-to-light usually picks up on bass more than anything else, but putting a headphone over the lightís mic is probably worth a try.

My logic behind the controller was well if the music slowed / beat dropped I could manually "control" the light and slow it down etc? Or is that not what a controller does? Sorry for all the questions!
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Jeff Lelko

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Re: DMX Light react to Audio Output
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2021, 03:36:31 PM »

My logic behind the controller was well if the music slowed / beat dropped I could manually "control" the light and slow it down etc? Or is that not what a controller does? Sorry for all the questions!

No worries about the questions - that's what we're here to help with.  So let me take a step back and try to explain a few things.  I'll be making several generalizations for the purpose of simplicity, but here's the gist on a lot of this:

Many DJ lights can run in three modes - auto, sound active, and DMX.  Auto mode just cycles through a series of pre-programmed chases or looks.  Sometimes the speed of the cycling is adjustable.  Sound-active mode cycles the light through (usually) the same set of programs but uses the bass in the music to trigger the cycles.  Some lights will automatically black-out or transition to a static look if there's a lack of music...others won't.  DMX mode foregoes all that for use with a DMX controller.

A DMX controller sends commands to light fixtures that translate into colors and movement from the fixtures.  The "decoding" will vary by fixture but DMX is an industry standard.  With any DMX controller you, the end user, will be required to program the various scenes, looks, and/or chases into the controller for playback during a show.  You gain significant advantages by doing this over using the fixture's internal chases since you can program the lights to look and move exactly how you want, but it takes time and skill to get everything to come out right.

The DMX controller can then playback the chases either automatically at the rates/times you've preprogrammed, can (in some cases) use music input or an onboard microphone to trigger the same chases based on the music, or can be triggered manually by the operator to sync to the music as best determined.  All professional operators use this last option or will have their lighting equipment triggered by timecode (or sometimes MIDI).

As mentioned in a previous post of mine, your expectations need to be very low to find sound-to-light triggering acceptable.  It'll work, but it usually has a very random and erratic look to it.  Your best bet is to program a variety of chases on a DMX controller and trigger them in real-time based on your music.  This will require the most work on your part but will also look the best.  If this is more scope than what you originally intended I vote to try the headphones and see what that looks like before spending more money.  Good luck!   
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Re: DMX Light react to Audio Output
¬ę Reply #13 on: April 03, 2021, 03:36:31 PM ¬Ľ


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