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Thread: DMX control with QS or LSX?

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by norty303 View Post
    Chamsys are just down the road in Southampton and they do training courses cheap/free.
    Their kit isn't horrendously expensive either.

  2. #12
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    I've used the Enttec DMX Pro with Pangolin QuickShow several times now, and it works quite well!
    QuickShow and Beyond both work with that particular Enttec DMX interface.

    DMX cues work just like laser cues, so it's really easy to add DMX lighting to a Pangolin setup -
    And, since Beyond and QuickShow are both MIDI-enabled, it is quite easy to add external MIDI hardware to control your laser & DMX cues from one app, with one MIDI controller!

    I've gone an extra step and setup a MIDI-control template for my iPad (using the MIDI Designer Pro app) to trigger cues from the touch screen -
    sort of a poor-man's touch-control solution instead of buying an Akai APC-40 ~

    Cool stuff!!

    Randy
    RR

    Metrologic HeNe 3.3mw Modulated laser, 2 Radio Shack motors, and a broken mirror.
    1979.
    Sweet.....

  3. #13
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    Hey Keith.

    Like North said, I'd also highly recommend keeping the lights and lasers DMX separate. As far as I've seen (through mucking about with the DMX bits in Pango software) laser software is a bit simple when it comes to controlling anything more complex than a few channels.
    This'll be fine to fire off a strobe, dim some simple par cans or pump out some smoke... but when you start getting into moving/intelligent lighting, the DMX channel count reaches 10-30 channels PER LIGHT or more. So a rig of 6 moving lights, some LED pars and a couple of strobes can conceivably run to 200+ channels of DMX.
    Adjusting them in Beyond to sync a light & laser show could take you all year, or more if you were trying to build movement shapes...

    By comparison, even basic lighting desks/software have built in 'personalities' these days meaning you treat each light's full complement of DMX channels as a single 'fixture' and the software works out how to change colour from say green to red while moving the beam from point A to point B.
    As far as I can tell, in laser software, DMX channels are treated as pure data. So changing the colour in the example above would involve working out where between 0 and 255 each colour is. On which channel. Then working out where point A is on which DMX channels etc etc etc.

    I think DMX control is in laser software to control beam effect/rail actuators, smoke machines etc rather than real lighting.

    But I'm prepared to get shouted down on this...

    Chamsys make good desks and software fairly cheaply when compared to the competition at that level. Also the company are nice to talk to!
    Also consider Avolites if you don't mind buying second hand desks. Avolites have also just released a dongle for pc's that's supposed to be dirt cheap, though I've not yet seen one in the flesh as it were...

    I've not tried it yet, but I think the best way to sync the two elements might be via SMPTY, MIDI or ARTnet. Program the complex bits of the light show as Cues in the lighting software/desk then trigger them using a trigger signal from the timeline in your laser show...
    Should be relatively doable without too much mucking about and keep the best bits of both control systems... but does mean you need a second Laptop/PC to run the lighting software...
    If in doubt... Give it a clout?

  4. #14
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    ^^^ thanks for all the help-- good thread!

  5. #15
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    I certainly agree with the wookie on this one ~

    If you're going to be running a complex lighting rig with pro-grade equipment, you probably want a pro-grade solution for the show lighting control!

    If, on the other hand, you'll be dealing with just a handful of the "consumer-grade" stuff (i.e. American DJ, Chauvet, and Elation gear like you're likely to find at some of the big online music supply stores), the Pangolin combo should work fine, and if you already have and are familiar the Pangolin software, you don't have to acquire or learn new software to get your DMX lighting up and running.

    It's a great way to learn the basics of DMX, and should be sufficient to get you started - at least until the lighting gets complex enough that you need the additional features found in dedicated lighting control software.

    Just my nickel's worth...
    RR

    Metrologic HeNe 3.3mw Modulated laser, 2 Radio Shack motors, and a broken mirror.
    1979.
    Sweet.....

  6. #16
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    Thanks Wookieboy - great info

    For this little gig I'll probably only have a handful of lights - never know what'll happen in the future though.

    I would rather have chases and movements pre-set like you suggest with personalities. QS looks like this is all manual - not keen on doing this even for a dozen lights!

    CMB: Does freestyler have some automation in this regard?

    Keith

  7. #17
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    I second Hakzaw! I have played with controlling 2 16 channel dmx moving head lights with Quickshow...fun but basic

    Hope to try with my lazers sometime...just for giggles.

    This has been very informative...Thanks!

  8. #18
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    Their kit isn't horrendously expensive either.
    Which bits are you looking at? Most people have the opposite reaction when they look at even the simple wings or pro grade interfaces, before you even start to get into the entry level desks!

    But yes, a 5hr limited dongle for 12 and a fully unlocked one for ~70 is pretty good value when the software is free and so good.
    They even have their own media server too now which I'm yet to explore, and the MagicQ software now has an inbuilt visualiser.

    I'm a fan, but lots of other LD's are too Avolites are playing catch up a bit in this respect over the last few years (Chamsys caught everyone napping a little) but have a good software product now.

    Chamsys grew from the old Chamtech (Chameleon Technology) company who made the old PM series laser controllers, so that might give some affinity with them
    http://www.facebook.com/SubsonicSystems
    http://www.frikkinlazors.co.uk

    You are using Bonetti's defense against me, ah?

    I thought it fitting, considering the rocky terrain.

  9. #19
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    When you compare the Chamsys DMX interface for 60 odd quid versus the Pangolin solution for ~130, it seems pretty cheap.

  10. #20
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    Don't forget that the 'Pangolin solution' is not compatible with just Pangolin.
    The Enttec Pro interface is one of the best supported interfaces out there (which is why Pangolin support it), so you get many options of software, including MagicQ, Freestyler, Pangolin, etc.
    The Chamsys interface, naturally only works with MagicQ.

    So your extra buys you flexibility, particularly in the unseen future
    http://www.facebook.com/SubsonicSystems
    http://www.frikkinlazors.co.uk

    You are using Bonetti's defense against me, ah?

    I thought it fitting, considering the rocky terrain.

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