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Thread: DMX control with QS or LSX?

  1. #21
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    Personally, I don't like Chamsys. It locks you to their hardware, and while the DMX interface looks cheap, you need to pay €€€ for future expansion (for example, if you want to use your own midi controller, you need a ridiculously expensive MIDI interface as the program will only work with that). Alternatively, you can go with their wings, but I don't like them (personal preference of course). They are a bit limited. Other than that, the program feels slow, and not intuitive.
    I have to nuance my statement by saying that I only had one encounter with Chamsys which wasn't very great. It was at a venue where everything was preprogrammed and all I could do was pick a chase and dim the lights. Even tap sync wasn't working. I was very unimpressed.
    Other than that, it looked powerful and feature rich.

    Perhaps Norty can comment on the ability of the program to sync with other programs. I think it's mainly a live program, but I didn't bother finding out if it has a timeline :P

    Quote Originally Posted by Galvonaut View Post
    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?
    I don't know how you see it. In Freestyler, you create a chase with preset values, which you can put in a cue list and play back. You can select which chase to play and speed (tap sync) using MIDI. There's no timeline. The way to go would be to send midi signals from LSX/QS through a virtual port that trigger chases etc.

  2. #22
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    Your first experience of chamsys is pretty typical of a lot of people's. I presume you're not an experienced lighting person with experience of 'proper' desks?

    Chamsys MagicQ, whilst being software, is basically the system that makes their desks run.

    As such, it is never going to run like a Windows program, and it works better for it as a result. The problem is that people boot it up and expect to be faced with familiar user interface and control standards as any other PC application (its actually natively Linux on the desks and you can ruin it under Linux standalone).

    Treat it as a piece of dedicated hardware and you'll start to understand it better I think. Remember, the consoles use a touch screen at the heart of them, so it is optimized for use with a touch screen at the very least.


    Chamsys are not trying to compete with Freestyler or any of the PC based control systems for a few hundred quid, because they're not in the same arena.

    They give away their enormously capable software for free because they make their money from hardware. So naturally they tie you into their hardware. They are expensive partly because the price includes R&D for software, but also because they are built for hardcore touring - something the vast majority of MIDI surfaces cannot claim (see the thread here about designing a MIDI interface)

    I don't think anyone can really comment on the true capability of Chamsys unless they are either a) an experienced lighting person, with some time on Avo, Hogs, GrandMA, et, or b) has 50+ hours on Chamsys.

    Internet forums are littered with people proclaiming Chamsys to be crap based on less than 10 hours of use by non-lighting people.
    Given that they have a huuuuge user base of very happy people, and some extraordinarilly large events to their credit, across all media control types, who is right?


    Yes, MagicQ has a timeline,and it can sync in a number of different ways, depending on what you want to sync with (SMPTE, midi, ArtNET, direct media server control for all the big ones Hippo, etc inc their own free one, etc).

    The real beauty of Chamsys is that you can take a show file from your PC and load it into any other Chamsys PC or console and it'll run perfectly.
    And by the same token, if you learn to use Chamsys on the PC, you could be taken directly to a big festival stage and put in front of a big MQ300 desk and feel immediately at home. That right there is worth a lot (IMHO)

    Equally, whilst you may think that the wings are expensive, I built my control system around a PC Wing that I picked up for 800, 2x ELO touchscreens and a small format PC, for about 1200.
    That is essentially an MQ50 desk, not in such a fancy box, but about 4500 cheaper. In the world of lighting control, that is incredible bang for buck.

    Anyway, I'm biased, just like the people here who like Pangolin
    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.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by norty303 View Post
    They give away their enormously capable software for free because they make their money from hardware.
    Yep, they sucked me in that way. I came for the free software, then stayed and spent thousands on a PC MaxiWing. Been learning MagicQ for 3 years now, and am starting to get the hang of it. But I run professional grade lights. Nothing in my rig made by American DJ, but I do have a half dozen Chauvet LED PAR cans. The MagicQ learning curve is steeper than Freestyler.

    But I'm a lighting guy now getting into lasers. For laser guys wanting to get into additional lighting control, Freestyler is probably the best place to start.

    I personally can't wait to explore other ILDA SW that has more functionality and supports ArtNet, and internal DMX and or MIDI mapping. Right now all I got is Quickshow. Good stuff, but I need more!

  4. #24
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    An interesting concept for laser and lighting shows is for the laser to be controlled by the laser controller/operator, but have a break in box for the colour lines, run from a DeMux controller (with a bit of work to reduce to 0-5v) run off the lighting desk, so the laser colour becomes a simple RGB fixture on the desk.

    This gives freedom of movement, but co-ordinated colours.
    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.

  5. #25
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    That sounds pretty awesome - I've seen shows where lasers and other lights are matched but presumed that these were pre-programmed shows. Maybe not

  6. #26
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    We sometimes play 'follow the leader' on colours between lighting, laser and video ops. Thats when you find out about pallete limitations of your projector.
    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.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by norty303 View Post
    We sometimes play 'follow the leader' on colours between lighting, laser and video ops. Thats when you find out about pallete limitations of your projector.
    Hence the excitement with nice linear all diode systems?

  8. #28
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    Indeed that sounds interesting. You also obviously understand ChamSys very well, Norty. I like you already! I've only used Quickshow thus far, and I do find it limiting, as one is supposed to with entry level SW. I haven't looked at the more expensive packages yet, as QS and a FB3 came with the lasers I bought. On the shows I've done so far, it's the laser puter running lasers, and the lighting puter running lights.

    In Quickshow, an Enttec DMX Pro can be configured as a DMX IN, turning the computer/software/laser into a DMX fixture. This is cool, but all I can do is pick from patterns. QS doesn't have a DMX input command that says "do what your doing, just make it all blue now". Or "red". or "run this QuickFX". But by being the guy running both computers, I can make it look coordinated. Kill the lights and work the laser hard, or kill the laser and work the lights hard. Keep the dynamics of all photon activity correlated the the music dynamics. Live. It's fun. I think I could do it smoother once I graduate from Quickshow.

    I love ChamSys and will never go back to Freestyler. But Freestyler is where I started and I do recommend it to others to try at first.

    Quote Originally Posted by Galvonaut View Post
    Does freestyler have some automation in this regard?
    Although I'm rusty on Freestyler anymore, I believe the answer is yes.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Infinity6 View Post
    QS doesn't have a DMX input command that says "do what your doing, just make it all blue now". Or "red".
    That should be possible. If you manually setup a cue with the keyboard, mouse, touch-screen, etc. and then ONLY MOVE the DMX slider to control color in QS, then it should do what you wrote above.

    By the way, we support both Enttec and DMX King. It's the same thing and we found that it's possible to load firmware from one into the other with no problem! (seems like someone copied someone else...)

    Bill

  10. #30
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    Build the OpenDMX interface. It's very cheap and should work with any enttec supporting software.

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