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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: Bart Jansari on August 03, 2018, 08:19:18 AM

Title: 1st pair of Moving Heads Need Help
Post by: Bart Jansari on August 03, 2018, 08:19:18 AM
I have just bought a pair of ADJ Pocket Spot Pro moving heads and I am a complete Noob to using moving heads.
These are bought to compliment the rest of my DJ set up. I plan to use them tomorrow for a small wedding reception

What I am after is the following

- simple guides to using them - for the main dance element of the evening I will probably use sound active mode but for the other elements for now the only choice I can see is to use a pre programmed show.

- should I look at DMXing these and if so I assume that this can be done via a pc and if so does anyone have any preprogammed shows that i can use?

any other help or advice on getting the most out of these

Thanks Bart
Title: Re: 1st pair of Moving Heads Need Help
Post by: Nathan Riddle on August 03, 2018, 10:44:29 AM
No one can help you until your display name is your full REAL name as per forum rules.

If "Bart Junted" is your real name then thanks for following the rules!
Title: Re: 1st pair of Moving Heads Need Help
Post by: Nathan Riddle on August 03, 2018, 01:57:38 PM
I have just bought a pair of ADJ Pocket Spot Pro moving heads and I am a complete Noob to using moving heads.
These are bought to compliment the rest of my DJ set up. I plan to use them tomorrow for a small wedding reception

What I am after is the following

- simple guides to using them - for the main dance element of the evening I will probably use sound active mode but for the other elements for now the only choice I can see is to use a pre programmed show.

- should I look at DMXing these and if so I assume that this can be done via a pc and if so does anyone have any preprogammed shows that i can use?

any other help or advice on getting the most out of these

Thanks Bart

Thanks for fixing your display name.

Do you know anything about DMX?
Do you have a DMX controller?
Did you read the ADJ Pocket Spot Pro's manual? (http://intranet.americandj.com/ItemRelatedFiles/11246/pocket_pro.pdf)

The manual will give you a decent overview of DMX, using it in stand-alone and with a controller.

Specifically to answer your questions:
- yes, you should string an XLR between them and put one in master and one in slave mode. This will make them work in tandem.
- The simple guide to using them is in the manual. (http://intranet.americandj.com/ItemRelatedFiles/11246/pocket_pro.pdf)
- You can control via PC but you need a way to get DMX output from your computer & a DMX program on your computer.
Title: Re: 1st pair of Moving Heads Need Help
Post by: Bart Jansari on August 03, 2018, 02:17:39 PM
Yes I've had a look at the manual and got a basic understanding of them
E. G using Tilt so that they only face forward.
I understand what DMX is but don't have a controller or know how to set DMX up.
Hence I was hoping if I am to go down the DMX route someone will have some programs already set that I can use.
I have a spare laptop that I could use for the lights if we can DMX via this.
Title: Re: 1st pair of Moving Heads Need Help
Post by: Nathan Riddle on August 03, 2018, 03:22:41 PM
Yes I've had a look at the manual and got a basic understanding of them
E. G using Tilt so that they only face forward.
I understand what DMX is but don't have a controller or know how to set DMX up.
Hence I was hoping if I am to go down the DMX route someone will have some programs already set that I can use.
I have a spare laptop that I could use for the lights if we can DMX via this.

Good!

You set them to limit their movement, yes?
You didn't just position them to point one way using the manual dmx control, no?

DMX tutorial:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3jM_rbILhs
http://cdb.s3.amazonaws.com/ItemRelatedFiles/10498/dmxoperator_manual.pdf

Your event is tomorrow?

I doubt you'll be able to get DMX control out of your laptop within 24hrs.

You'd need a USB or artNET or sACN node/output device.
dmxKING has them and/or ENTTEC.

I would get used to changing the menu on the master one and set it for sound and the other to slave and just leave it.
Title: Re: 1st pair of Moving Heads Need Help
Post by: Don T. Williams on August 03, 2018, 03:43:32 PM
+1 for Nathan's comments.  If you have two lights on one side of your booth and two on the other side, set the "pan" to "reverse" on the lights on one of the sides.  This way they will be mirror images of each other and will look more professional.  When you start using software and a DMX "widget" (USB to DMX output interface), this can be done when programing, and you will not always want things mirrored.  There is a lot of software out there, and much of it is free.  DMX widgets can be found for less than $100.00, but the cheapest ones many limit you to 128 or 256 DMX channels.  A "whole" DMX universe is 512 channels of control information.  By having more than one light running at the same address, even 128 channels can produce a good small show, and a computer can store a lot of scenes and chases.
Title: Re: 1st pair of Moving Heads Need Help
Post by: Jeff Lelko on August 03, 2018, 03:43:44 PM
Hence I was hoping if I am to go down the DMX route someone will have some programs already set that I can use.

Generally not.  That would more or less defeat the purpose of using DMX to begin with.  To back things up a bit, why did you buy these lights and what are you planning to accomplish with them? 
Title: Re: 1st pair of Moving Heads Need Help
Post by: Bart Jansari on August 04, 2018, 02:58:40 AM
Good!

You set them to limit their movement, yes?
You didn't just position them to point one way using the manual dmx control, no?

DMX tutorial:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3jM_rbILhs
http://cdb.s3.amazonaws.com/ItemRelatedFiles/10498/dmxoperator_manual.pdf

Your event is tomorrow?

I doubt you'll be able to get DMX control out of your laptop within 24hrs.

You'd need a USB or artNET or sACN node/output device.
dmxKING has them and/or ENTTEC.

I would get used to changing the menu on the master one and set it for sound and the other to slave and just leave it.
Yes I used the option in the menu under Tilt to limit the movement to 180 degrees forward only.

Agree I don't expect to get full control out of these lights today I will most likely just use one of the pre programmed shows for the eating part of the wedding reception and then use sound active for the dance part

Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: 1st pair of Moving Heads Need Help
Post by: Bart Jansari on August 04, 2018, 03:00:14 AM
+1 for Nathan's comments.  If you have two lights on one side of your booth and two on the other side, set the "pan" to "reverse" on the lights on one of the sides.  This way they will be mirror images of each other and will look more professional.  When you start using software and a DMX "widget" (USB to DMX output interface), this can be done when programing, and you will not always want things mirrored.  There is a lot of software out there, and much of it is free.  DMX widgets can be found for less than $100.00, but the cheapest ones many limit you to 128 or 256 DMX channels.  A "whole" DMX universe is 512 channels of control information.  By having more than one light running at the same address, even 128 channels can produce a good small show, and a computer can store a lot of scenes and chases.
Thank you
Atm I only have 2 of these lights so I plan to place them on top of my speakers either side of my booth

I'd like to understand more about these DMX widgets please

Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: 1st pair of Moving Heads Need Help
Post by: Bart Jansari on August 04, 2018, 03:05:47 AM
Generally not.  That would more or less defeat the purpose of using DMX to begin with.  To back things up a bit, why did you buy these lights and what are you planning to accomplish with them?
Overall I would like to add to what I have at the moment and the introduction of moving heads will make the set up look nicer.

I also have 4 of these lights
https://www.djkit.com/ledj/ledj-slimline-7q5-rgbw.html?gclid=Cj0KCQjwnZXbBRC8ARIsABEYg6CFc9_X2AQV4zXvLcC5qDewf-1JVIzEFpmHiJoqarLagDIL2GY8GxEaAvv4EALw_wcB#

I currently use them as a colour wash or sound active but they have DMX capability itself too.

The reason id like to be look into DMX for the moving heads is there is so much more I can do with them and although I have bought the remote that goes with them it's very limited and manual in what I can do.

So for example say when the bride and groom walk in I want it to change to the heart Gobo and be white and rotate both forwards.

Hence why I'm thinking if others have pre programmed shows I can pick and choose from them what I want.

Hope that makes sense

Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: 1st pair of Moving Heads Need Help
Post by: Bart Jansari on August 04, 2018, 04:42:34 AM
Good!

You set them to limit their movement, yes?
You didn't just position them to point one way using the manual dmx control, no?

DMX tutorial:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3jM_rbILhs
http://cdb.s3.amazonaws.com/ItemRelatedFiles/10498/dmxoperator_manual.pdf

Your event is tomorrow?

I doubt you'll be able to get DMX control out of your laptop within 24hrs.

You'd need a USB or artNET or sACN node/output device.
dmxKING has them and/or ENTTEC.

I would get used to changing the menu on the master one and set it for sound and the other to slave and just leave it.
Thanks for sending over that tutorial which was useful.

I didnt know that dmx cables and audio xlr cables are very different. I was about to use 1 of my speaker xlr cables to try and connect the 2 as master and slave and probably screw up the light

Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: 1st pair of Moving Heads Need Help
Post by: Scott Holtzman on August 04, 2018, 05:20:32 AM
Thanks for sending over that tutorial which was useful.

I didnt know that dmx cables and audio xlr cables are very different. I was about to use 1 of my speaker xlr cables to try and connect the 2 as master and slave and probably screw up the light

Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk

Invert one sides movevent so you are not just lighting one side of an area.  How large an area?  Those things are about as powerful as a maglite.
Title: Re: 1st pair of Moving Heads Need Help
Post by: Bart Jansari on August 04, 2018, 05:28:25 AM
Invert one sides movevent so you are not just lighting one side of an area.  How large an area?  Those things are about as powerful as a maglite.
To invert the movement do I set pan to reverse on 1 light?

I don't have any dmx cables atm only audio xlr ones, I've ordered from amazon prime same day so hopefully they arrive before I need to head out

Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: 1st pair of Moving Heads Need Help
Post by: Scott Holtzman on August 04, 2018, 05:40:05 AM
To invert the movement do I set pan to reverse on 1 light?

I don't have any dmx cables atm only audio xlr ones, I've ordered from amazon prime same day so hopefully they arrive before I need to head out

Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk

You can get away with a mic cable for that short a distance.

Yes Pan invert.

Title: Re: 1st pair of Moving Heads Need Help
Post by: Bart Jansari on August 04, 2018, 05:46:33 AM
The distance between 2 speakers will only be about 6 metres so my 15m xlr should suffice?

Silly q but the inverse is that just for movement so if light one goes right the other one goes left but what does it do with colour does it just keep the same colour or both or would it somehow try and inverse the colors too

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Title: Re: 1st pair of Moving Heads Need Help
Post by: Don T. Williams on August 04, 2018, 10:58:08 AM
The pan invert is only for movement.  Master and slave will still have the same colors, gobos and tilt movement.  Only the pan will be mirrored.  I realize you only have two lights now, but I anticipate you will be adding more.  We call it "GAS" - Gear Acquisition Syndrome.  One of many DMX interfaces is the ADJ "My DMX Buddy".  The software download is free and there are YouTube instruction videos on its operation.
Title: Re: 1st pair of Moving Heads Need Help
Post by: Bart Jansari on August 04, 2018, 11:07:19 AM
Thanks a lot
Yes I've tried the pan and tilt and works well so yes I can already feel me itching to get more of these lights. Hence I'll want to understand dmx use.
My other lights which do have dmx capability have limited options so I can't see me needing to. Dmx these as I use them as a colour wash or sound active.

I'll have a look at the software you mentioned. I assume you mean that I can use this to control the DMX controls.

What would you recommend in terms of connectivity to connect laptop to lights?

Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: 1st pair of Moving Heads Need Help
Post by: Paul G. OBrien on August 04, 2018, 04:34:53 PM

My other lights which do have dmx capability have limited options so I can't see me needing to Dmx these as I use them as a colour wash or sound active.
Well you may be surprised what is possible once you have control, I'm using Freestyler to control wireless uplighting to great effect, the software has a neat little app in it to run them in chase sequences with single or multiple colors and it is fully variable wrt speed, fading or snap changes, sound active or automatic, etc.

But a hardware controller may be beneficial for a single operator, I find it is easier to control on the fly when busking live or when otherwise occupied as you would be when DJing. To that end I think the best budget HW controller available at the moment that has some really good built-in features for moving heads is the Blizzard Prokontrol-mh (https://www.blizzardpro.com/products/prokontrol-mh), and I recently discovered the same controller is available in Europe from Eurolite as the Move Controller 512. It has built-in movement macros.. those are pre generated movements that you can customize in scale/offset/speed for your movers, fixture patching which means you can control the same parameter on diverse fixtures with a single control button/fader regardless of their factory channel assignments, and it will also run several scenes and/or chases concurrently which is a very powerful tool for generating complex ever changing effects. I use both of these control systems a lot and sometimes both at the same time.. depending what the requirements are. I have built up scenes and chases in the controllers that I like but these have to be tweaked for every venue as the equipment is always setup differently with respect to the area you want to cover with the lighting, that's easy to do with these. But I won't sugar coat it you will have some steep learning to do to get the most out of either of these systems but it is worth it IMO.
 

What would you recommend in terms of connectivity to connect laptop to lights?
You need a USB to DMX interface, these are widely available now all over the web. I have an Enttec USB open and an unbranded chinese version that work equally well, the Enttec Pro and its clones are generally more recommended though as they buffer the signal in the event of a USB glitch which is a common occurrance. This interface https://dmxking.com/usbdmx/ultradmxmicro (https://dmxking.com/usbdmx/ultradmxmicro) is one of the more cost effect solutions.
Title: Re: 1st pair of Moving Heads Need Help
Post by: Dave Garoutte on August 04, 2018, 04:55:51 PM
Also look at the Luminair software.
It has a lot of tools to make your programming easier.
Title: Re: 1st pair of Moving Heads Need Help
Post by: Rob Spence on August 04, 2018, 07:14:14 PM
Another one bites the dust.... DMX has been verbed


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Title: Re: 1st pair of Moving Heads Need Help
Post by: Bart Jansari on August 05, 2018, 01:20:42 PM
Thanks guys for the input it's much appreciated

Are we saying for basic control a laptop would be a better option or a controller?

As I DJ on my own most of the time I can't see me needing to do anything too elaborate.

If there are some pre programmed sequences that would be a good start and would also help me understand how these are set up.

Last q for the mo am I ok to continue to use my audio 15m xlr cable with these 2 lights or do I need data cables?

TIA

Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: 1st pair of Moving Heads Need Help
Post by: Jeff Lelko on August 05, 2018, 01:37:05 PM
Are we saying for basic control a laptop would be a better option or a controller?

As I DJ on my own most of the time I can't see me needing to do anything too elaborate.

If there are some pre programmed sequences that would be a good start and would also help me understand how these are set up.

It depends.  That’s why I asked further up what you’re trying to achieve with all this.  There’s no argument that PC-based controllers are by far the best bang to buck.  The downside is that there’s usually a much steeper learning curve to using one.  No matter which route you end up going, there is no database of preprogrammed sequences to download from.  There’s just too many different combinations of fixtures, setups, and demands to make anything like that viable...which is why you’ll need to learn how to program anything that you end up buying. 

Given that your needs don’t seem too elaborate I’d think you could probably get away with just about anything, so pick something that is approachable and makes sense to you (hardware or software). 

Last q for the mo am I ok to continue to use my audio 15m xlr cable with these 2 lights or do I need data cables?

Can you get away with it?  Probably.  Should you buy the right thing?  Yes.  Good luck!
Title: Re: 1st pair of Moving Heads Need Help
Post by: Mark Cadwallader on August 05, 2018, 02:04:21 PM
I always recommend data cables and a terminator for the last light on the cable run. Don't use a wye-cable to split a cable run, either; daisy-chain from one light to the next.  If you need to branch dmx signals, use an optical splitter. They are cheap and well worth it. There is a recent thread in the forum on that topic, too.
Title: Re: 1st pair of Moving Heads Need Help
Post by: Bart Jansari on August 05, 2018, 02:06:02 PM
Thanks I think the most cost effective way atm would be using a laptop especially as I have a 2nd laptop that I carry with me

Looking at the responses above looks like the MyDmx Buddy seems to be a good route for me.

I've picked up the data cables too

If I can't put the lights high enough I may want to limit the lights ability to shine forward as it would go into peoples faces. Can I use the tilt option to limit this?

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Title: Re: 1st pair of Moving Heads Need Help
Post by: Bart Jansari on August 05, 2018, 02:07:18 PM
I always recommend data cables and a terminator for the last light on the cable run. Don't use a wye-cable to split a cable run, either; daisy-chain from one light to the next.  If you need to branch dmx signals, use an optical splitter. They are cheap and well worth it. There is a recent thread in the forum on that topic, too.
Thanks
Even when connecting just 2 lights do I need to terminate the last light?

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Title: Re: 1st pair of Moving Heads Need Help
Post by: Mark Cadwallader on August 05, 2018, 02:13:50 PM
Thanks
Even when connecting just 2 lights do I need to terminate the last light?

Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk

You might be OK without a terminator. The longer the cables, and the more channels of control needed, the common wisdom is the more likely a terminator is a good idea. For under $10 (usd), you can buy a pre-made one. If you can solder, you can make one even cheaper.
Title: Re: 1st pair of Moving Heads Need Help
Post by: Jeff Lelko on August 05, 2018, 02:53:57 PM
Looking at the responses above looks like the MyDmx Buddy seems to be a good route for me.

What interests you in MyDMX?  Have you played with a free demo of the software?  For what it’s worth, MyDMX doesn’t see a whole lot of love, especially the higher up you go in the industry.  I think this is generally due to a somewhat nonstandard approach to control along with a number of hardware/software/backwards compatibility issues.  MagicQ PC and M-PC can be had for a similar price and have much wider acceptance.  That, or give Luminare a try - though limited it’s designed for applications such as yours.

If the software is a bit much to wrap your head around, I’d take a look at a cheap hardware controller.  For just a few lights it might make sense for the moment before diving into something far more complex.  Back in my DJ days (15 years ago) I frequently used a pair of scanners and a few other DMX effects - a hardware board was plenty for what I needed and didn’t add unnecessary complexity to everything.  Hope this helps!
Title: Re: 1st pair of Moving Heads Need Help
Post by: Bart Jansari on August 05, 2018, 03:06:03 PM
No affinity to my dmx just when I had a look at the initial tutorial it seemed OK.

For me I'm not fussed either way as I know atm I want to just have some element of control.

Silly q time, I thought the programing of lights is the same if it's a controller or laptop and the only difference is the control method

For each element that I want it to do would I have to program this e. G change to colour white and display Gobo x and spin?

By cheap controller what do you mean if be hoping for something less than £100 for now?
And with a controller do I then need to purchase software to run with it?

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Title: Re: 1st pair of Moving Heads Need Help
Post by: Jeff Lelko on August 05, 2018, 03:28:09 PM
No affinity to my dmx just when I had a look at the initial tutorial it seemed OK.

And there’s nothing wrong with that.  It just depends on what you’re comfortable with, and then if you feel MyDMX is the best software/ecosystem to buy into.  MagicQ PC and M-PC are two of the bigger ones, but there are many.

Silly q time, I thought the programing of lights is the same if it's a controller or laptop and the only difference is the control method

Yes and no.  At the end of the day, the DMX signal sent to your lights won’t vary, regardless of the controller you use.  DMX is an industry-standard protocol.  What varies is the tool you use to generate that signal.  Most cheap hardware controllers are rather limited in what you can do with them.  They’ll have buttons and faders, but since you’re not really using a controller with any processing power you’ll see limitations in the complexity of programs you can make.  You also usually can’t use saved device profiles, programming palettes, and other tools you’d see on a professional-level console.  The truth is, you don’t really need any of that right now and for simplcity’s sake might make more sense for you. 

Software (PC) controllers trade buttons and faders for increased features and capabilities.  In some cases the software is the same or similar as what’s seen on much larger (and expensive) hardware consoles.  The downside with this is that because the software is similar to what’s found on larger consoles, you need to learn how to use it.  The learning curve can be steep and some programs are hard to approach, especially if you’re new to all of this. 

I personally use a hardware console for most of my work to get the best of both options, but this is the most expensive route to take and is much more than you need.  A small hardware controller will be more than enough.

For each element that I want it to do would I have to program this e. G change to colour white and display Gobo x and spin?

Yes.  You will need to program every part (attribute) of each light.  This is true for both hardware and software controllers.  As you work your way up the food chain of controllers and consoles you generally get better tools to help you with this, but a pair of simple moving heads should be no trouble for pretty much any controller on the market. 

By cheap controller what do you mean if be hoping for something less than £100 for now?
And with a controller do I then need to purchase software to run with it?
ADJ, Chauvet, and others make controllers for sub-$100.  Their quality varies.  The DMX Operator and Obey Series are where you’d start, but you can sometimes find some used Elation boards for a reasonable price.  Yes, any software solution will run rings around these boards, but if all you need is BASIC control of your two lights with little fuss this might be a reasonable option.

No, you do not need to buy software to use on a hardware controller - it’ll come ready to go out of the box.
Title: Re: 1st pair of Moving Heads Need Help
Post by: Bart Jansari on August 05, 2018, 06:47:21 PM
Another basic. Q

From what I see on controllers there are essentially faders which you will map a function to e.g  change Gobo to x and turn blue. However does as there is no visual indicator on a controller does this mean you have to remember or make a note of all the functions that you sef up?

Whereas I assume using software. On a laptop you can ^see^ what the function is and then click and drag to use it?

For me if I'm right the 2nd option seems easier?

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Title: Re: 1st pair of Moving Heads Need Help
Post by: Jeff Lelko on August 05, 2018, 07:13:26 PM
From what I see on controllers there are essentially faders which you will map a function to e.g  change Gobo to x and turn blue. However does as there is no visual indicator on a controller does this mean you have to remember or make a note of all the functions that you sef up?

Whereas I assume using software. On a laptop you can ^see^ what the function is and then click and drag to use it?

The faders on hardware controllers can command intensities, attributes, “presets” - basically a preprogrammed static scene, and sequences/chases to name a few.  Whether a controller can handle some or all of the above will depend on the controller.  My “big” board can assign about 20 difference things to its faders.  Some controllers can only handle one or two.  Either way, you normally don’t drive moving lights in 100% manual mode during a show.  Even when busking you usually call upon preprogrammed groups/presets/sequences that you layer together.  Occasionally I might manually command a color or gobo to a set of moving lights, but that’s as far as I’ll go (and even then that group has already been programmed to accept such commands on the fly).  The point I’m getting at is that no matter what you choose there will be some degree of programming that’s needed ahead of time to make things work.

Faders on software will, again, depend on the software.  You can usually label faders and execute buttons on a software controller to some extent just like you can (with spike tape) on a hardware controller, but keep in mind that you normally don’t have moving light attributes on faders to begin with (on software and big boards).  Those are usually commanded via encoders or direct selects when programming and executes when playing back - terminology depending on the flavor of console.  You can put attributes on faders if you really want to, but make sure your software has it set up to act on “LTP” and not “HTP” - essentially that the latest command executed takes precedence even if its “0-255” value is lower than what’s currently running. 

I’m not sure if this really helps you, so the short answer is “maybe” and “sort of”.  The best advice I can probably offer is download the demo for a few different software controllers and play with them a little.  Watch their YouTube tutorials along with overview/programming videos for a few hardware boards.  After which, buy whatever you think you can succeed on!  Good luck!
Title: Re: 1st pair of Moving Heads Need Help
Post by: Bart Jansari on August 07, 2018, 10:58:35 AM
The pan invert is only for movement.  Master and slave will still have the same colors, gobos and tilt movement.  Only the pan will be mirrored.  I realize you only have two lights now, but I anticipate you will be adding more.  We call it "GAS" - Gear Acquisition Syndrome.  One of many DMX interfaces is the ADJ "My DMX Buddy".  The software download is free and there are YouTube instruction videos on its operation.
Are you using my dmx 2.0 with the my dmx buddy?

I've had a good look at this on YouTube and looks simple to use. I think it would be a good intro for me. If I end up deciding to get a lot more lights I could look to upgrade but I think this should give me what I need to start with.

I'd look to get the Akai LPD8 midi controller too to map with this.

Im unclear where to get the software from though?
The my dmx buddy is just the interface right to get usb output into dmx?

Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: 1st pair of Moving Heads Need Help
Post by: Nathan Riddle on August 07, 2018, 12:14:37 PM
Are you using my dmx 2.0 with the my dmx buddy?

I've had a good look at this on YouTube and looks simple to use. I think it would be a good intro for me. If I end up deciding to get a lot more lights I could look to upgrade, but I think this should give me what I need to start with.

I'd look to get the Akai LPD8 midi controller too to map with this.

I'm unclear where to get the software from though?
The My dmx buddy is just the interface right to get USB output into DMX?

Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk


You can download the software from here under "downloads."
https://www.adj.com/mydmx-2-0

The "my Dmx buddy" is probably to enable output from the software & serve to connect your lights.

Note: there is a newer version 3: https://www.adj.com/mydmx-3

Disclaimer: I do not use MyDMX. I am regurgitating info from their website.

---

How'd your event on Sat go?
Title: Re: 1st pair of Moving Heads Need Help
Post by: Bart Jansari on August 07, 2018, 01:09:35 PM

You can download the software from here under "downloads."
https://www.adj.com/mydmx-2-0

The "my Dmx buddy" is probably to enable output from the software & serve to connect your lights.

Note: there is a newer version 3: https://www.adj.com/mydmx-3

Disclaimer: I do not use MyDMX. I am regurgitating info from their website.

---

How'd your event on Sat go?
Thanks a bunch for that I was missing it.

The event on Saturday went well kinda . Got some good basic movements out of the lights and the pan tilt and inverse all worked well in master and slave mode. However I had placed the lights on top of the speakers and secured them with bungy cords. But towards the end of the night i noticed that the lights had moved backwards towards the edge of the speaker so we quickly took them off.

A solution im going to use is to mount them on a speaker stand using a rhino multi clamp that I've seen done and place them just behind me which I think will make the set up "look better" too.

What can you suggest in terms of a usb to dmx interface. When I'm looking on Amazon I can see so many it feels like I am shooting in the dark as I'm not sure whether one is better than the other I mentioned my DMX buddy as someone on the forum and mentioned it

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Title: Re: 1st pair of Moving Heads Need Help
Post by: Nathan Riddle on August 07, 2018, 01:21:44 PM
They seem to have a confusing series of software.

Here's a PDF of all the different software licenses & hardware capabilities.

http://cdb-cdn.adj.com/ItemRelatedFiles/10527/MyDMX%20upgrades.pdf

To me, it seems that you have to buy the hardware:
https://www.kpodj.com/american-dj-mydmx-3-0-p-107932/

That gets you 512 live channels  & 12 DMX channels (stand alone) [whatever that is??]

Then version 2 is free. But it is $89 to go to version 3 (full: 3D + midi)

Hopefully that helps

---

I prefer Jands Vista's strategy, free software, hardware dongle for channel count (128, 256, 512, 1024, 2048, 4096, etc), and ArtNet node or sACN node (ethernet) or hardware board that plugs in USB for output.
Title: Re: 1st pair of Moving Heads Need Help
Post by: Bart Jansari on August 07, 2018, 02:04:43 PM
Bugger I'm even more confused

So are we saying for me to use the my dmx software I to buy their dongle?
From what I saw it was $300?




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Title: Re: 1st pair of Moving Heads Need Help
Post by: Taylor Hall on August 07, 2018, 05:18:59 PM
Pretty much. Any big name like Chauvet or ADJ makes their software only work with their hardware. That's why you're better off going with independent software and hardware as it's usually cheaper in the long run and gives you way more versatility in both features and channel/universe count.
Title: Re: 1st pair of Moving Heads Need Help
Post by: Bart Jansari on August 07, 2018, 05:29:39 PM
Pretty much. Any big name like Chauvet or ADJ makes their software only work with their hardware. That's why you're better off going with independent software and hardware as it's usually cheaper in the long run and gives you way more versatility in both features and channel/universe count.
What would you suggest then?

What I think i would like to do is create probably about 8 scenes if that.

Use a button of some sort (midi controller etc) to control them in live.

I liked my dmx 2.0 as it seemed very easy to use such as it showed all the attributes of the light and within the scene builder made it easy to manipulate the lights

Do we think that if i wanted to use the my dmx software I would be able to use and adj controller?

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Title: Re: 1st pair of Moving Heads Need Help
Post by: Jeff Lelko on August 07, 2018, 06:41:40 PM
So are we saying for me to use the my dmx software I to buy their dongle?
From what I saw it was $300?

Yes.  While some mainstream lighting programs allow for third party interfaces, MyDMX isn't one of them.  You'll need to buy one of the ADJ interfaces to use their software.  I'm not sure if you need the $300 interface, but you'll need to understand the differences between the interfaces and which version of the software each one is compatible.  As mentioned earlier, ADJ's ecosystem is nonstandard and not 100% intercompatible.  I wouldn't recommend it for those reasons (and more), but if you like it there's nothing inherently wrong with using it.

Any big name like Chauvet or ADJ makes their software only work with their hardware.

I disagree.  Both MagicQ PC and M-PC, made by companies far beyond the caliber of ADJ and Chauvet, support third party interfaces.  Both are professional control software, and the Enttec DMX-USB Pro is an example of such an interface that will work with either one.  Both programs can be downloaded and used for free so long as you can live within the restrictions of the third party interface compatibility.  The marketing plan is that you'll learn and like the software to the point you buy the more capable interfaces and programming wings sold by ChamSys and Martin/Elation/Obsidian(?).  From the success of MagicQ PC and M-PC, I'd say that strategy works quite well.  This method also has resulted in a very wide userbase that can help you navigate through issues you encounter with the software.  In contrast, the ADJ forums are all but dead, so I wouldn't expect much help from them.   

What would you suggest then?

As mentioned by a few of us further up, I'd suggest you download the free demos for software you might be interested in (and then buy the required interface for the one you choose), or look into a low-cost hardware board.  Any of these options will work for you, but you're going to need to do some product research to find the right thing for your needs. 
Title: Re: 1st pair of Moving Heads Need Help
Post by: Bart Jansari on August 07, 2018, 06:57:35 PM
Thanks for that

Having looked at my dmx it seems that programming the lights is not as daunting as I thought it would be.

Now I understand a bit more about the limitations I'll have a look at magicq pc and my pc as I'm sure there will be some decent online tutorials.

How do I know what is compatible with this?

Am I understanding this correct , if I get a hardware controller then that is my connectivity to the lights sorted? I would also connect this to the laptop to do all my programming but then in live I would just run direct from the board and map my scenes etc to buttons/faders on the board?
If I don't have a controller then I have to find a method for connectivity such as the emtec interface you mentioned.
I then need to decide if in live I control direct from the laptop or get a midi controller like the akai?

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Title: Re: 1st pair of Moving Heads Need Help
Post by: Jeff Lelko on August 07, 2018, 07:21:58 PM
How do I know what is compatible with this?

All software should provide a list of at least some compatible interfaces, though they'll recommend their own brand first of course, which is reasonable. 

From the MagicQ PC FAQ: "MagicQ software has support for Enttec Pro (also DMX King Pro Interface), Digital Enlightenment, Peperoni, DMX4ALL, Velleman and Nicholaudie devices." 

From M-PC:  "M-PC can be used for offline programming or can be linked to a Martin M-DMX or any ArtNet, sACN interface device for direct control of fixtures...Alternatively, a single universe can be controlled with M-PC when using an ENTTEC compatible USB-DMX interface."

Any interface should also list which software it is compatible with, especially if it's a third party device.  The list for the Enttec interface is quite long and can be found on Enttec's website. 

Am I understanding this correct , if I get a hardware controller then that is my connectivity to the lights sorted? I would also connect this to the laptop to do all my programming but then in live I would just run direct from the board and map my scenes etc to buttons/faders on the board?

Hardware controllers are usually standalone.  You will not need to connect them to a laptop for programming or playback.  There are some exceptions such as ETC's SmartFade products, but for your purposes you won't need to worry about that.  All your programming is done on the controller itself.  Again, have a look on YouTube if you need to see an example of how this would be done, though it'll vary by controller.

If I don't have a controller then I have to find a method for connectivity such as the emtec interface you mentioned.
 
Yes.  You need to generate DMX somehow.  A hardware controller does this all onboard, but to use a laptop as a substitute you'll need an interface to convert USB (or Ethernet, but we won't go there) to DMX so that the computer can send the industry-standard control signal to your lights.

I then need to decide if in live I control direct from the laptop or get a midi controller like the akai?

MIDI opens up another can of worms.  Some software such as MagicQ PC and M-PC support programming wings to give hands-on control of select features, which I think it what you really want.  M-PC's options are more cost effective than MagicQ's, but both essentially serve the same purpose.  MIDI would require yet another interface, and while it can certainly be done, at this point I'd just say get a hardware board and learn how to use it.  MIDI to PC to DMX is getting rather complex for two lights, but that's up to you to decide on what's best.  Hope this helps!

Title: Re: 1st pair of Moving Heads Need Help
Post by: Paul G. OBrien on August 07, 2018, 08:59:20 PM
Am I understanding this correct , if I get a hardware controller then that is my connectivity to the lights sorted?
Yes.

I would also connect this to the laptop to do all my programming but then in live I would just run direct from the board and map my scenes etc to buttons/faders on the board?
No. Once you have a hardware controller you don't need anything else, it is all you need to create and run scenes. The only downside is you have to connect the light fixtures to it to do programming.. that is your visualization. With a complex setup this becomes something of an issue but with only 2 fixtures you won't have any problem, and with a capable controller(see my earlier post) you will find making custom scenes on site only takes a few minutes once you get the hang of it.
Title: Re: 1st pair of Moving Heads Need Help
Post by: Taylor Hall on August 07, 2018, 09:37:18 PM
What would you suggest then?

What I think i would like to do is create probably about 8 scenes if that.

Use a button of some sort (midi controller etc) to control them in live.

I liked my dmx 2.0 as it seemed very easy to use such as it showed all the attributes of the light and within the scene builder made it easy to manipulate the lights

Do we think that if i wanted to use the my dmx software I would be able to use and adj controller?

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We have been using QLC+ for several years now and really like it. It's completely open source (and free) and works with a variety of well established DMX interfaces like Enttec and DMXKing. You can create all your scenes, chases, cues and whatnot in the program and then run it yourself via a virtual console with no need for a physical controller. They also have a massive library of fixtures to choose from, and if it doesn't exist, adding your own is very easy, or the forums can help create the definition for you. You can also use various MIDI devices as triggers for pretty much anything, though I've never messed with that myself. The program is great in that it is very powerful, but not intimidating to use. Your project can be as simple or complex as you want to make it. It has a very active forum and the developer is quick to chime in. The biggest thing it lacks is a 3D view to show you moving head positions or par beams, but that is coming very soon in the next major release. I'd be happy to go into greater detail in PMs if you'd like.

I disagree.  Both MagicQ PC and M-PC, made by companies far beyond the caliber of ADJ and Chauvet, support third party interfaces.  Both are professional control software, and the Enttec DMX-USB Pro is an example of such an interface that will work with either one.  Both programs can be downloaded and used for free so long as you can live within the restrictions of the third party interface compatibility.  The marketing plan is that you'll learn and like the software to the point you buy the more capable interfaces and programming wings sold by ChamSys and Martin/Elation/Obsidian(?).  From the success of MagicQ PC and M-PC, I'd say that strategy works quite well.  This method also has resulted in a very wide userbase that can help you navigate through issues you encounter with the software.  In contrast, the ADJ forums are all but dead, so I wouldn't expect much help from them.   

Sorry, I realized I did that thing where I thought one thing and typed another. :-X What I should have said is that a fixture company like Chauvet or ADJ will try to get you into their "walled garden" of software and hardware in an attempt to keep you in their ecosystem by preventing third party devices like something from Enttec from working, or having the software not work at all unless it detects an approved device. There are certainly many options out there from reputable companies that don't seek to restrict you unnecessarily.
Title: Re: 1st pair of Moving Heads Need Help
Post by: Jeff Lelko on August 07, 2018, 09:55:21 PM
Sorry, I realized I did that thing where I thought one thing and typed another...

Oh no worries, and what’s interesting is that with all the branding shake-up going on lately MagicQ, which comes from ChamSys, is now part of Chauvet, and M-PC is now part of Elation who is branching that off to a new entity called Obsidian.  It’ll be telling to see if either company keeps the precident set by the original developers of allowing third party interfaces.  I can see the business strategy both for and against this...
Title: Re: 1st pair of Moving Heads Need Help
Post by: Scott Holtzman on August 08, 2018, 12:52:03 AM
Chauvet has made a lot of advances in Showxpress.

I have not joined the beta for version 9 but 8 has palette support, much simpler layering and a playback fader that is actually useful for busking.

I have a 24" touchscreen.  My scenes are broken down to color,  gobo, prism, misc. (Frost etc.) And movement.  I also have aome macros.  I busked a show for about 5000 with 32 pars, 10 movers, blinders and and aome specialty fixtures.  It was passable.

There are tons of fixture profiles.  I didn't have a single Chauvet fixture in the show.

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