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Lighting Software for M1 Apple Silicon Macs?

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Mike J Davis:
Hello all - long-time lurker, first time poster.

I have a huge mass of questions regarding lighting software, but I figured I'd start with the most focused first and go from there.

Does anyone know if any of the lighting control software manufacturers have ported their code to the new Apple Silicon Macs yet?  And I suppose as the obvious follow-up, if not, have any of them committed to doing so?

Again, I'll follow this up with a few other questions, but based on my (limited ability to) search, the answer appears to be "no."


Brian Jojade:
Does it really matter quite yet?  Rosetta emulation has been pretty much rock solid, so the old code should be just fine for now.

Mike J Davis:
Short answer, not really.

Medium answer, if I'm going to spend ~$1k on lighting software, I'd like to know it isn't going to be obsolete in a year or two.  I'm purely a hobbyist, so this isn't covered by a production budget or anything.

Long answer, you're likely correct.  The original Rosetta went away because the system went 64-bit, and could no longer support 32-bit.  I sincerely doubt we'll see 128-bit computing in the relatively near future, so that is less of a risk this time.

So I suppose the next question is, what do people find competent for software on the Mac in that ~$1k range?  I've only seen Chroma-Q so far, but Jands doesn't seem to get a lot of love around here?

Jeff Lelko:
Hi Mike.  Honestly, the first question to be asking is which software works best for my application.  Then you buy the necessary hardware to run it. 

I personally use ETC Nomad which runs just fine on a 2020 MacBook Pro (Intel), but reinforcing my first point, I use Nomad because it coincides with the Cobalt server running on my ETC Congo Kid physical console.  There are plenty of good choices that work on MacOS.  In the world of professional users we don’t update hardware often, so I wouldn’t worry too much about any obsolescence issues with software once Apple Silicon is fully supported.  Hope this helps!

Mike J Davis:

I completely understand.  The only software I've used so far is DMXIS.  It worked for the application where I had a band with backing tracks and being able to run the lighting control embedded within Logic while I focused on the audio mix was a decent fit for my first foray into DMX.

One thing I learned from that experience is that not having the ability to define fixtures and mix colors without setting specific DMX levels is a MASSIVE pain in the butt!

For the time being I have very little lighting on hand.  I'd like to add more, but then getting all synchronized becomes an issue, unless I get a controller of some kind.

That's what led me here.  It's looking like another long Covid winter, and having lighting software to play with and put together some decent shows while blasting some music would be a great way help get through it all.

I'm perfectly happy with an entirely in-the-box solution in the short-to-medium-term.  Even when the band does reconvene, we're nowhere near gig-ready, so I don't need to have a corporate-approved stage show ready to go by day one.  Even when we do try to gig, a very small control wing will do everything I can ask for, since I'm the only tech-savvy person in the band.

So it looks like ETC Nomad, with the standard dongle, supports 2 universes (which is way in excess of what I would need for the foreseeable future,) at an exceptional price.  I need to look into it more, since ETC seems well-loved around here (and elsewhere).

That leads to a follow-on question regarding Art-Net and sACN devices.  Do these software packages insist on only talking to same-branded ethernet-to-DMX devices, or will (generally) any such devices work with a valid software license and working network port?

I ask because one issue I had with my previous setup was the the DMX daisy-chain gets very long very fast, and fixture response starts to suffer.  If I can just set up a good wired router and then add (for instance) another Chauvet DMX-AN 2 when things start getting slow, and not have to worry about buying the software vendor's hardware, that would be FANTASTIC!

Okay, looking into Nomad a little more - it doesn't seem to have a stand-alone manual for the software?  Would I just be looking at the "Eos Family Software v3.0.0 manual to get a feel for usage and capabilities?


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