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Sound Reinforcement - Forums for Live Sound Professionals - Your Displayed Name Must Be Your Real Full Name To Post In The Live Sound Forums => Lighting Forum => Topic started by: Adam Barnett on August 14, 2011, 06:29:36 pm

Title: DMX control of Chauvet Colorstrip minis- ShowXpress software vs. Obey 10?
Post by: Adam Barnett on August 14, 2011, 06:29:36 pm
Hey folks. Forgive my lack of experience in lighting in advance- I'm an audio guy.

My current application is quite simple. Two Chauvet Colorstip Minis (their small size is essential to the application). I would like merely to create some basic color-fading type programming, as well as push button control of specific color scenes, and have control over blackout.

I was considering an Obey 10 DMX controller from Chauvet, but noticed there is a software solution for slightly more money, an XPress 512 USB to DMX interface accompanied by their software- "ShowXpress". I'm using a MAC, NOT PC, but it says this is compatible.

My question is this- is the software USB interface solution significantly better for my application? I think since I am the performer as well, it might be easier space-wise to deal with everything from my laptop, rather than clutter my workspace with yet another piece of hardware like the Obey 10. However- I am ALSO running Ableton Live off of the same laptop with a USB audio interface. I have two USB ports on the laptop but is it possible this could create interference of some sort?

Any experience or advice would be greatly appreciated. The only lights I'm controlling are two Chauvet Colorstrip Minis, and I want them to operate identically (one slaved to the other).

Thanks.

Title: Re: DMX control of Chauvet Colorstrip minis- ShowXpress software vs. Obey 10?
Post by: duane massey on August 14, 2011, 07:00:50 pm
I'm normally not big on software control, but this seems like the perfect place for it. You "should" be able to sync your lights to your tracks, but it would take a bit of time to program everything. Well worth the effort.
Title: Re: DMX control of Chauvet Colorstrip minis- ShowXpress software vs. Obey 10?
Post by: Adam Barnett on August 15, 2011, 05:59:53 pm
I'm normally not big on software control, but this seems like the perfect place for it. You "should" be able to sync your lights to your tracks, but it would take a bit of time to program everything. Well worth the effort.

Thanks for the feedback Duane. Since I am also the performer and controlling everything including Ableton Live AND the lighting from a position at a piano and mic, I think software may be the way to go as well, in terms of the fact that the top of the piano is already cluttered with charts, mixer, laptop, etc. (no real space for a hardware light controller).

Only question then is can I run Chauvet's ShowXpress software from a new Macbook Air (1.8 Core i7 w/ 4 gigs of ram) and simultaneously run Ableton Live using the other USB port, without one program interfering with the other?
Title: Re: DMX control of Chauvet Colorstrip minis- ShowXpress software vs. Obey 10?
Post by: duane massey on August 15, 2011, 08:40:50 pm
Yep.
Title: Re: DMX control of Chauvet Colorstrip minis- ShowXpress software vs. Obey 10?
Post by: Arjan van Gog on August 17, 2011, 08:07:21 am
My current application is quite simple. Two Chauvet Colorstip Minis (their small size is essential to the application). I would like merely to create some basic color-fading type programming, as well as push button control of specific color scenes, and have control over blackout.
...
Any experience or advice would be greatly appreciated. The only lights I'm controlling are two Chauvet Colorstrip Minis, and I want them to operate identically (one slaved to the other).

I'm using ShowXpress with the Xpress 512 interface and I'm liking it a lot so far although my experience is with the Windows PC version only. I have actually written some software (Windows PC only) that allows me to control ShowXpress simply by playing and pre-defining what sequences to run based on what notes or chords I play or what sounds I select, on a per-song basis:

The available buttons are imported automatically by my software which then proceeds to modify the ShowXpress setup file to automatically assign a unique MIDI event to each button and turn them into 'Flash' buttons which makes them more controllable.

Like I said my software is PC only (ShowXpress itself is indeed available in a Mac version) but I suppose this might be way overkill for what you are trying to achieve anyway, or perhaps not?

Incidentally you could also record MIDI events (note on messages) in Ableton to control your sequences in ShowXpress. I don't know what methods there might be in Mac world to send MIDI data from one application to another without using a physical MIDI loopback, on the PC I use MIDI Yoke. Or if you have a spare MIDI input and output on your Mac you could of course use a physical loopback cable.