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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 => LAB: The Classic Live Audio Board => Topic started by: Patrick Moore on October 09, 2012, 02:53:44 pm

Title: 2 computers- 1 keyboard
Post by: Patrick Moore on October 09, 2012, 02:53:44 pm
I need to be able to trigger a qwerty key-mapped playback software, running on separate laptops, with one keystroke.

I want my primary and backup playback machines to be in sync, basically.

The software (sound plant) can be controlled with a midi controller.. So would it be easiest to split the midi signal going to both computers? 

Or is there even something at Office Depot that can easily do the job. 

Doesn't seem like a difficult task but let me know what y'all think.  Thank you.

Title: Re: 2 computers- 1 keyboard
Post by: Chris Hindle on October 09, 2012, 02:59:41 pm
I need to be able to trigger a qwerty key-mapped playback software, running on separate laptops, with one keystroke.

I want my primary and backup playback machines to be in sync, basically.

The software (sound plant) can be controlled with a midi controller.. So would it be easiest to split the midi signal going to both computers? 

Or is there even something at Office Depot that can easily do the job. 

Doesn't seem like a difficult task but let me know what y'all think.  Thank you.
A computer based KVM won't help. It will let you share a keyboard between multiple machines, but won't replicate the keystroks to all . Just 1 by each.
I would think that MIDI trigger would be the answer, but I have no real experience with MIDI.
Title: Re: 2 computers- 1 keyboard
Post by: Mac Kerr on October 09, 2012, 03:08:18 pm
I need to be able to trigger a qwerty key-mapped playback software, running on separate laptops, with one keystroke.

I want my primary and backup playback machines to be in sync, basically.

The software (sound plant) can be controlled with a midi controller.. So would it be easiest to split the midi signal going to both computers? 

Or is there even something at Office Depot that can easily do the job. 

Doesn't seem like a difficult task but let me know what y'all think.  Thank you.

A Midisolutions Footswitch Controller (http://www.midisolutions.com/prodfsw.htm) lets you use the switch of your choice to produce a midi cue to control your computers, a Thru (http://www.midisolutions.com/prodthr.htm) lets you split the midi to both computers. There is also a 2ch and an 8ch version of the footswitch controller if there are other action besides GO that you want on a switch.

These have been pretty standard fare in the theater for controlling multiple SFX or QLab rigs.

Mac
Title: Re: 2 computers- 1 keyboard
Post by: Patrick Moore on October 09, 2012, 06:48:14 pm
Thanks guys-- there HAS to be some simple way to do this via usb without having to introduce midi.  I don't even require mouse control to both computers, just need to be able to fire the cue at the same time on both machines with one hand!
Title: Re: 2 computers- 1 keyboard
Post by: Mac Kerr on October 09, 2012, 07:13:35 pm
Thanks guys-- there HAS to be some simple way to do this via usb without having to introduce midi.  I don't even require mouse control to both computers, just need to be able to fire the cue at the same time on both machines with one hand!

Midi is the easy way. Off the shelf products, high reliability, simple wiring.

Put a Nice Big Switch (http://www.automationdirect.com/adc/Overview/Catalog/Pushbuttons_-z-_Switches_-z-_Indicators/Fuji_Electric_30mm_(AR30B0R_Series)) in a box, wired to short across a TS jack. Use a TS cable to go into the footswitch controller, and a midi thru to get to more devices. Done.

Or use any other way of giving a contact closure to the FSC.

Mac
Title: Re: 2 computers- 1 keyboard
Post by: Thomas Lamb on October 09, 2012, 07:41:47 pm
I need to be able to trigger a qwerty key-mapped playback software, running on separate laptops, with one keystroke.

I want my primary and backup playback machines to be in sync, basically.

The software (sound plant) can be controlled with a midi controller.. So would it be easiest to split the midi signal going to both computers? 

Or is there even something at Office Depot that can easily do the job. 

Doesn't seem like a difficult task but let me know what y'all think.  Thank you.

Check out http://widgeteering.com/ Chris is the owner and last i spoke to him he had ordered all the parts to build a 2 USB output controller to do exactly what you described. It currently works with Qlab but he says the code can be written to control other programs. One of the things I really liked was its setup so that regardless of what program is on top it always triggers the cue thats next in the list. Plus its useable to scroll through the list too.
Title: Re: 2 computers- 1 keyboard
Post by: John Neil on October 15, 2012, 08:58:30 am
Thanks guys-- there HAS to be some simple way to do this via usb without having to introduce midi.  I don't even require mouse control to both computers, just need to be able to fire the cue at the same time on both machines with one hand!

I'd reach for a D'san Perfect Cue.  It's a wireless presentation cue system, that has USB outputs for two computers.  (It's an expandable system...I have a bunch of it running my rig right now.)  What makes this ideal is that the USB ports are keyboard replicators and you can program them to any keystroke you like (not just powerpoint keyboard forward, back, and blank.)  It has buttons for each command on the base unit as well as on the remote.

It's the industry standard for this sort of thing, I'd guess any AV rental house nearby will have it.

Otherwise I'd think the newer Logitech wireless keyboards (with programmable receivers) could be keyed to multiple receivers.
Title: 2 computers- 1 keyboard
Post by: Patrick Moore on October 15, 2012, 09:51:11 am
Thanks John.  I used a perfect cue in an old AV job. Had no idea it could work with a keyboard stroke.  Will definitely be looking into this!  Thanks again.
Title: Re: 2 computers- 1 keyboard
Post by: John Neil on October 15, 2012, 10:20:37 am
Thanks John.  I used a perfect cue in an old AV job. Had no idea it could work with a keyboard stroke.  Will definitely be looking into this!  Thanks again.

They have a utility on their website for doing the programming via USB port.  I can't comment on mac availability/compatibility.