The Magic Caf
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » F/X » » DMX Controller/DMX lights Solution (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

 Go to page 1~2 [Next]
muzicman
View Profile
Special user
LaCenter, Wa
989 Posts

Profile of muzicman
Last year, I purchased my first DMX intelligent lights to enhance my stage show. I got a DMX controller console to tell the lights what to do. The problem I encountered was the controller was not designed for a magic show. It was designed for a DJ. I consulted the Café about my situation and one of our Café members suggested using Elation Compu Ware Pro. It's a software program that allows you to preprogram your fixture movements and place them on a timeline. Just like a multitrack recorder (or video editing software). There is also a track for your WAV/MP3/audio CD track. You can see the waveform of your audio and program your lights based on that. Well, I bought this software which includes the USB/DMX interface. I received it yesterday and after a quick lesson, I had a single fixture moving in perfect SYNC with my audio track. The software is not cheap..it lists at $1299 USD. Most sites sell it for $999 USD. One of our Café members just recently got dealer status for this software so you Café members don't have to deal with any unknowns if you want to bring your show up to speed. Kevin from Living Illusions is very knowledgable with Ealtions Compu Ware Pro as he uses it himself for his touring Illusion show. He can also get you a better price than anyone on the internet I could find. For your DMX solutions/trusses/lights/programming, send him a PM and tell him I sent you. You will not be disappointed!!
g0thike
View Profile
Special user
722 Posts

Profile of g0thike
A more economical solution might be using WINAMP and the DMX controller plugin, its FREE.
muzicman
View Profile
Special user
LaCenter, Wa
989 Posts

Profile of muzicman
I looked into the Winamp plugin. It didn't have the features or the quality that I could rely on. These programs that give you conrol over DMX programming are not cheap. I found a console that listed for over 25k. Other software titles were in the 2.5k range. Chauvet has some software and an interface that came close but fell short when you had to map out a song that used time stamps, then program your timeline based on that. After a year and many many hours of researching, I believe I found the best solution for a professional wanting professional results. Elation Compu Ware Pro. After spending 1000's on lights and fixtures, trusses and cables, don't cut yourself short with WinAmp. A chain is only as strong as it's weakest link.
g0thike
View Profile
Special user
722 Posts

Profile of g0thike
The plugin should allow you to control basic DMX controls and play them at the same time as your MP3's. Bottom line it is FREE and it will work on a basic light system.

G0THIKE
socalmagic
View Profile
Loyal user
Los Angeles
267 Posts

Profile of socalmagic
Thanks for the tip about the CompuWare dealer. I have looked into the WinAmp DMX plug in. While the software is free, the USB to DMX converter is not. You have to make it yourself, and it's not easy. In addition, Intelligent lights are not a basic lighting system. They can be difficult to program, especially if it is a circlular path. I have Chauvet's program, but I plan on buying the Elation program, because it is much easier. It comes preprogrammed with scenes and a huge library of fixtures, and the snych with music is easier than Chauvet's. Often times you get what you pay for.
Brock Edwards
Kevin Ridgeway
View Profile
V.I.P.
Indianapolis, IN & Phoenix, AZ
1832 Posts

Profile of Kevin Ridgeway
Muzicman...
Thanks for the kind words....glad we could be of help. Let me know how it all turns out.

g0thike...Elation's Compu Ware is free as well. Only the USB to DMX costs anything...and as mentiond trying to create shapes especially smooth circles will prove to be very difficult...sure some poeple can do it, but try making a circle on an Etch-a-sketch. Plus why bother trying to make them, when they already exist for every major intelligent fixture on earth.

Brock...get ahold of me when you're ready and we'll take care of you. We can get you Compu Ware, help you set it up or even program your entire show. Shoot me out a PM or email me...
kevin@livingillusions.com

Kevin
Living Illusions
Ridgeway & Johnson Entertainment Inc

Kevin Ridgeway &
Kristen Johnson aka Lady Houdini
The World's Premier Female Escape Artist

www.LadyHoudini.com

www.livingillusions.com
muzicman
View Profile
Special user
LaCenter, Wa
989 Posts

Profile of muzicman
I have spent 2 nights (about 4 hours) with my Elation Compu Ware Pro and the results are not anything less than FANTASTIC!! A year of research has paid off! It is so nice to work with multiple timelines for each fixture. I can't wait to share this with my audiences. Thanks again Kevin, you ROCK!
MagicByRy
View Profile
New user
53 Posts

Profile of MagicByRy
Is it possible to use any USB to DMX converter with any kind of software? I am assuming it is not but I have never tried. Exactly what is in a Hog Widget, the Chauvet Box, or the Compu Ware Box that only allows it to work with its software? Basically I am asking if it is possible to use Compu Ware with a Chauvet Box, etc.

socalmagic, you mentioned "making it (USB to DMX) yourself" --does anyone know any more about that? I am assuming it is incredibly complicated, do you know any more about it. Thanks
Kevin Ridgeway
View Profile
V.I.P.
Indianapolis, IN & Phoenix, AZ
1832 Posts

Profile of Kevin Ridgeway
Magicbyry...I have yet to test it out. But I believe there is some proprietary thing within each USB to DMX box. The Hog Widget is viewed as the best, at least for the fact that it works with the Whole Hog II & Whole Hog III, the best automated light boards out there. But be prepared to drop $27,000 for the Hog III.

Our own experience is that the Compu Ware Pro works the best for us and for how we are using it. We have used the Hog PC for several of our shows produced by another company. It did its job fine...but the Compu Ware does so much more of what we require. It syncs all of our music, lights, special effects, etc.

Hope that helps....if you have questions about Compu Ware Club or Pro...or are interested in using it....contact us and w can take care of you.


Kevin & Kristen
Living Illusions
Ridgeway & Johnson Entertainment Inc

Kevin Ridgeway &
Kristen Johnson aka Lady Houdini
The World's Premier Female Escape Artist

www.LadyHoudini.com

www.livingillusions.com
muzicman
View Profile
Special user
LaCenter, Wa
989 Posts

Profile of muzicman
I have spent about 8 hours now with my software. This is truly amazing, I must thank you again Kevin for leading me to Elations software. I have programmed my entire show with perfectly synced lights from my laptop. My visions of how these lights should work are finally coming true. Such a choreographed light show is typically only seen by big name acts with big time budgets. I'm not big time but my audiences are certainly going to think so when they see me now. There are some really creative scenes you can make and fully adjustable after you make them. Making new BUTTONS is fun and easy and only lmited by my imagination. You could possibly do the same sequences with Chauvet Show Express, but for the same cost, you could use the EASY SHOW software to put it all together on a timeline right next to your audio track. This is sooo much easier and delivers profressional results. I'll never have to hire a light man to run my light board. It paid for itself after only 4 gigs. BEST MONEY I EVER SPENT!! Seriously folks, if you have DMX lights, you need control like this. I see a multimedia projector in the near future, and more lights. It will be simple to add them to my existing programmed shows. This is too kewl. Kevin, you're the greatest!
Kevin Ridgeway
View Profile
V.I.P.
Indianapolis, IN & Phoenix, AZ
1832 Posts

Profile of Kevin Ridgeway
Muzicman...I glad you are enjoying the software. The funny thing with this software, is that it really makes programing fun. It's a great feeling to see your work in real time...and to start "painting" with light. Now that you have a good grip on the program you can start concentrating on what you want to do with your lights. Rememebr this...it is just as important to not be lighting something as it is to light something. SoO keep in mind light bleeding into areas you don't want lit. Start looking at slowing changing from one color to another to create a different mood.
I will start posting some tips and lighting techniques as time allows. Right now we are running production for another show. It's a sideshow, but instead of just a bunch of stunts by feaks and geeks (LOL)...they have turned it into a play...very cool.

Anyways we are using Compu Ware Pro to run all conventional lighting this time. Now they were not too sure about this "little computer program" to be able to run all the fixtures we brought in as well as renting tons more. We are flying 50' of truss downstage with 40 Source Four ellipsoidals and a hand full of Source Four pars. We loaded in two days ago and yesterday we flew the rig, focused and gelled everything. Last night before we left we were already well into our 40th cue. That's just how easy it is to work with this program. The best thing has been duplicating scenes, renaming them and tweaking them to get what we need. A lot better than starting from scratch for each scene.

Hope that inspires anyone that is thinking about the program or lighting in general. It really is amazing what can be done.
Kevin
Living Illusions
Ridgeway & Johnson Entertainment Inc

Kevin Ridgeway &
Kristen Johnson aka Lady Houdini
The World's Premier Female Escape Artist

www.LadyHoudini.com

www.livingillusions.com
M-Illusion
View Profile
Special user
549 Posts

Profile of M-Illusion
It truly is an amazing program! We've been using it for some time now for illusion shows and concerts (more concerts now, less illusion shows). After learning this program, we sold off our Martin Light Jockey system and all of our other DMX boards. No complaints here!
Jim Stan Magic Man
View Profile
Loyal user
Chicago Area
241 Posts

Profile of Jim Stan Magic Man
I have the DP-DMX4B controller. does anyone know where I can get information on setting the dip switches? I am new to dmx and am not sure of how to change the switch settings. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I currently do not have the money to invest in getting software to program myself.
Thanks.
Jim
Grandillusionsmagic
View Profile
Loyal user
270 Posts

Profile of Grandillusionsmagic
Dip switches are simple


How to address your DMX512 system:
1. Select the channels of DMX controller
2. Dipswitches
Dip #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 #9 #10
Value 1 2 4 8 16 32 64 128 256 option
• Examples:
Channel 01:dip / on : #1(=1)
Channel 06:dip / on : #2,#3(2+4=6)
Channel 11:dip / on : #1,#2,#4(1+2+8=11)
Channel 16:dip / on : #5(=16)
Channel 46:dip / on : #6,#4,#3,#2(32+8+4+2=46)

So determine the starting channel for that fixture I am going to say we start with one, you will turn dip switch #1 on. You know that this fixture is a four channel fixture so your next fixture will start with channel #5 and so you will have dip switches #1 and #3 on (4+1=5) and so on, make sure you know how many channels each unit takes, some take one, and some take 14+.
look to your manual to see what switch #10 does it is used as an option and so you need to see what that option is.
Please feel free to ask if you have any questions.
Jason Byers
Jason@Boisemagic.com
http://www.Boisemagic.com
Magically,
GI
www.boisemagic.com
muzicman
View Profile
Special user
LaCenter, Wa
989 Posts

Profile of muzicman
I have found programming to be fun as well Kevin. One of the biggest reasons I went with DMX was so I COULD put the light where I wanted it and keep if from places I didn't. Sometimes less is more depending on the mood you want to set. I now see lighting is an art form..."painting" with colorful moving lights is another creative outlet I now have because of the Elation software. I would be interested in any tips you might have as I am new to this medium of creativity. I have noticed by blending different colors I can create a certain mood or "feeling".
socalmagic
View Profile
Loyal user
Los Angeles
267 Posts

Profile of socalmagic
I have two questions about CompuWare Pro...

I have several intlleigent lights and par cans on a stick of truss at the back of my stage. Is it possible to have the par can's chase to the beat of the music, then switch to preprogrammed scenes while the intelligent lights go through a set of scenes?

Also, is there a way to point your intelligent lights to a few points on the stage, and that will calibrate all the locations for the rest of the scenes?

Brock Edwards
muzicman
View Profile
Special user
LaCenter, Wa
989 Posts

Profile of muzicman
The answer for both quesations is yes! You would need to buy a converter for your PAR lights so they would respond to DMX. I have seen them but have never used them, but I do understand how and why they work. With the Compu Ware PRO, you will be able to perfectly syncronize the chase of your PARs all the while the DMX fixtures are controlled independently. Calibration of all your lights is critical. If any of your DMX fixtures have any movement (X and Y) then you need to find the center point and work from there. I have not yet set all my lights up using my new software on a stage yet and I was wondering the same thing myself. I believe if I phisically set the direction from a fixed point (tripods), I should be able to use a laser pointer to directly point them to any point of the stage I want perfectly. I am also setting up a scene with all the FIXED POSITION lights ON, and all the moving DMX lights to their center position for alignment and calibration. Maybe Kevin could chime in and let us know how he does it for his shows.
Kevin Ridgeway
View Profile
V.I.P.
Indianapolis, IN & Phoenix, AZ
1832 Posts

Profile of Kevin Ridgeway
Brock...
You have total and individual control over both conventional and intelligent fixtures. You can indeed have the par cans chasing to the sound, then switch to programmed scenes. This can be happening while the intelligent lights are chasing or acting to preprogrammed scenes. In fact you could have just certain conventional lights chasing, while others are focused say center stage. What you will be doing for example is telling only DMX channels 33-38 and 45, 48, 59, etc to chase, while channels 32, 39-44, etc are running programmed scenes. One step further, you even have control of several functions of the chase...how often they switch off and on, reverse, etc. Plus, you can set levels for it to react to.

AS far as calibrating your lights at each venue...yes you can do it like you menitoned...it is a little bit different than just as you mentioned, but yes that can be done.
Another option used for specific purposes, is you can change where they might hit for reappearing in the house. Well, each theatre is different in size, layout, aisles, etc...maybe you need to appear in a totally different area than normal. Literally in less than one minute you can have the lights hit in the new location.

Hope that helps.

Kevin
Living Illusions
Ridgeway & Johnson Entertainment Inc

Kevin Ridgeway &
Kristen Johnson aka Lady Houdini
The World's Premier Female Escape Artist

www.LadyHoudini.com

www.livingillusions.com
Kevin Ridgeway
View Profile
V.I.P.
Indianapolis, IN & Phoenix, AZ
1832 Posts

Profile of Kevin Ridgeway
Quote:
On 2005-04-02 18:43, muzicman wrote:
You would need to buy a converter for your PAR lights so they would respond to DMX. I have seen them but have never used them, but I do understand how and why they work.


I'm not quite sure I know what you are talking about, unless you are referring to dimmers which operate via DMX.
All our dimmers, not to mention foggers, hazers, special effects, etc all have DMX on board. If you need to control a unit that doesn't have DMX then you can get a DMX to multiplex convertor, or depending on the fixture, say a fan for example...you can get a DMX relay pack, which is on and off versus dimming.

I hope that is what you were referring to and that this helps answer some of that.

Kevin
Living Illusions
Ridgeway & Johnson Entertainment Inc

Kevin Ridgeway &
Kristen Johnson aka Lady Houdini
The World's Premier Female Escape Artist

www.LadyHoudini.com

www.livingillusions.com
muzicman
View Profile
Special user
LaCenter, Wa
989 Posts

Profile of muzicman
That's what I was talking about was a DMX dimmer pack, I just couldn't remember what they were called. DMX relay pack is the other I term I couldn't think of. LIke I sadi, I know they exist and what they do, just not what they are called! As far as calibration, I am designing my loghts for my set and my stage area. I "KNOW" where they are going to point anywhere during playback. It's that initial setup direction that I was referring to. All my lights hang from a truss system. Since this must be setup and torn down for each venue, it's important to make sure it consistant. I was thinking of using a pen type laser pointer that I already have. I will lay it on the top of the fixture and phisically adjust it's X and Y axis so that the initial pointing direction is always the same, regardless of venue.
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » F/X » » DMX Controller/DMX lights Solution (0 Likes)
 Go to page 1~2 [Next]
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2022 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.05 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL