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DMX controller recommendations.

Printed From: Speakerplans.com
Category: Other Chat
Forum Name: Lighting Talk
Forum Description: All your lampy, laser and 'other' special FX needs....
URL: https://forum.speakerplans.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=22417
Printed Date: 03 February 2023 at 12:39am
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Topic: DMX controller recommendations.
Posted By: markie
Subject: DMX controller recommendations.
Date Posted: 30 December 2008 at 12:27pm
I want to put a small lighting rig together just for pub bands. I have 4 LED PAR56 which I want to put onto a single stand/T bar. The lights have a controller built in but on sound to light setting the effect is a bit frantic.
 
Would like something with a chase pattern that can be music activated, so the lamps can be set to different colours and go thru the sequence in time with whatever's playing.
 
So, I want a simple, easy to use  controller (Simple is essential for me). Ideally one that actually mounts on the T bar.......... or indeed I believe some are actually built in to the T bar.
 
Any recommendations????????? or anyone selling something suitable????


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If it's got wheels or tits it's gonna cost a fortune



Replies:
Posted By: norty303
Date Posted: 30 December 2008 at 1:34pm
For what its worth, I've found most soumnd to light functions on desks to be pretty poor.  The good ones are on the Pulsar Masterpiece which has 4 way bands which can be assigned, and on things like the Chamsys music input interface.
 
Most lighting operators will use a tap-to-time function rather than a music input on any more serious desk as its much more dependable.
 
If you want a cheapy lighting desk than just pick one with the functions you need and then try and modify the input by addng a filter for the bass.  Unfortunately most of them need (but don't have) a release on the audio input, meaning they tend to trigger lots of steps every bass/kick hit rather than just one.


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My laser stuff: http://www.facebook.com/SubsonicSystems" rel="nofollow - Frikkin Lasers


Posted By: djtuffer
Date Posted: 30 December 2008 at 3:47pm
I use this one and it isn't bad.  Not bad a detecting the beats. 
 
http://www.monacor.de/typo3/index.php?id=84&L=1&artid=4926&spr=EN&typ=full - http://www.monacor.de/typo3/index.php?id=84&L=1&artid=4926&spr=EN&typ=full


Posted By: norty303
Date Posted: 30 December 2008 at 4:14pm
I used to have one of those, not bad for £100.  One of the cheaper units to offer soft patching of channels to faders.  Terrible to program and use i found (compared to todays modern desks)

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My laser stuff: http://www.facebook.com/SubsonicSystems" rel="nofollow - Frikkin Lasers


Posted By: markie
Date Posted: 30 December 2008 at 11:25pm
This is the kind of thing I think would suit. Anyone used one?
 
http://www.thomann.de/gb/showtec_show_bar_4_powercon_slide.htm - http://www.thomann.de/gb/showtec_show_bar_4_powercon_slide.htm


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If it's got wheels or tits it's gonna cost a fortune


Posted By: ceharden
Date Posted: 30 December 2008 at 11:54pm
That bar is designed for dimming and chasing generic lights rather than LED fixtures which only need 'hot' power and a DMX control signal.

There does seem to be a lack of basic, easy to use lighting controlers for things like LED cans.

Incidentally the best sound to light sensing in a cheap unit I've used is a Club40 ancient 4 channel PAR can chaser.  Without an audio signal the speed control works as normal but when you add the audio signal, the speed control selects the speed of the chase relative to the beat.  ie every beat or even between down to once every 4 or 8 beats.


Posted By: Peter Moller
Date Posted: 30 December 2008 at 11:55pm
OK, you need something to control those LED things via DMX right ?..

The Thomann item you found is a dimmerpack shaped as a T-bar and will not work with your LED par things..

There are a few options available within a reasonable pricerange:

1: If the DMX layout on your cans is the same as the layout on the Elation stuff:
http://www.thomann.de/gb/elation_led_operator.htm

2:http://www.thomann.de/gb/stairville_djx_16_dmx_controller.htm

3: Borrow a lighting desk from someone and get one of these: http://www.thomann.de/gb/botex_sd10.htm

#3 is nearly idiot proof, but not very flexible

Give me a shout if you need specific help..

/p


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real phone no: +45 four zero six two four four nine eight ( using obvious anti phone spam encryption )


Posted By: monkeypuzzle
Date Posted: 31 December 2008 at 4:10pm
The reason there isn't a generic system to control LED cans is that the dmx channels are rarely in the same order and the controller needs to know what make/model is plugged into it and its dmx address. If you just want flashing colours in time to the music, 4 par standard 56 cans with gels in them are hard to beat. They take more power but will always give you a much brighter stage and much richer colours. I've always found the cheap led pars good for nothing much more than uplighting architectually. Almost any system you buy that controls via dmx will need programing rather than being plug and play. this can be useful but again, most cheap systems are a pain to work with. If you want to continue down this route and have a laptop, the chamsys software that norty mentioned is ace, i'm not sure whether you can use the input on your laptop as a sound source but contact them and they'll know. The software is free to download and with a usb adaptor that you can buy from maplin for £60 you get the power of a desk that retails at over £8k. This leaves plenty of room for adding a moving head or twenty if the venue has them.

Hhhmmm, just re-read your post and think the standard parcan option could be the best. I don't think you'll find anything that is simple. If you do though. let me know, would be useful to know.


Posted By: norty303
Date Posted: 31 December 2008 at 4:36pm
Unfortunately, one of the features that is disabled until you buy some specific Chamsys hardware is the audio input (and Execute window)  Cheapest is to buy one of their DMX or audio interfaces but they're still not cheap.  Their audio interface is very good though with multi band detection.

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My laser stuff: http://www.facebook.com/SubsonicSystems" rel="nofollow - Frikkin Lasers


Posted By: mk2_ginger_biscuit69
Date Posted: 14 January 2009 at 4:24pm
nothing a downloadable crack wont fix Wink.
 
i just use freestyle dmx now, its so user friendly, and easy for anyone too use. ive found for small simple shows, theres just no need to have a virtual desk.


Posted By: norty303
Date Posted: 14 January 2009 at 6:16pm
Hmm, I wouldn't have thought Chamsys was a big enough distro to attract the attentions of the crackers...  I'll have to check the P2P's tonight
 
Is this something you know of specifically, or just speculation/wishful thinking?


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My laser stuff: http://www.facebook.com/SubsonicSystems" rel="nofollow - Frikkin Lasers


Posted By: tvi675
Date Posted: 15 January 2009 at 4:32pm
Originally posted by mk2_ginger_biscuit69 mk2_ginger_biscuit69 wrote:

nothing a downloadable crack wont fix Wink.


Although something that we would take a very dim and very strong legal view against!

It is possible to use your computer's sound card for sound to light functionality, however you do need a piece of our hardware connected over USB to activate this function. Why? Well, we give you 18 universes of DMX, media and LED control with impressive functionality for nothing so it's only fair to shell out a few hundred to get an Audio Interface that will do the job properly and pay our wages!

Regards,

Matt Lemon
ChamSys Ltd


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Matt Lemon - matt@chamsys.co.uk
ChamSys Ltd - www.chamsys.co.uk


Posted By: minaximal
Date Posted: 15 January 2009 at 4:46pm
Originally posted by tvi675 tvi675 wrote:

Originally posted by mk2_ginger_biscuit69 mk2_ginger_biscuit69 wrote:

nothing a downloadable crack wont fix Wink.


Although something that we would take a very dim and very strong legal view against!

It is possible to use your computer's sound card for sound to light functionality, however you do need a piece of our hardware connected over USB to activate this function. Why? Well, we give you 18 universes of DMX, media and LED control with impressive functionality for nothing so it's only fair to shell out a few hundred to get an Audio Interface that will do the job properly and pay our wages!

Regards,

Matt Lemon
ChamSys Ltd


busted!LOL

but nice to see you hear mr chamsys!




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Subs + Barges = :)

http://www.metaacoustics.com" rel="nofollow - www.metaacoustics.com



Posted By: tvi675
Date Posted: 15 January 2009 at 4:54pm
I'll have to keep an eye on here now, we don't tend to get talked about much on sound forums but a search throws up a few mentions!

Plus we need to make sure that you're not starting up a cracking sideline to speaker building Wink


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Matt Lemon - matt@chamsys.co.uk
ChamSys Ltd - www.chamsys.co.uk


Posted By: norty303
Date Posted: 15 January 2009 at 5:22pm
Hi Matt
 
You'll find there's quite a few of us sound guys into lights too, and there's some familiar faces from Blue Room over here too  Wink
 
I think you'll find most of the Chamsys fans over here own some of your hardware so I wouldn't be too concerned by the comments of Mr biscuit...


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My laser stuff: http://www.facebook.com/SubsonicSystems" rel="nofollow - Frikkin Lasers


Posted By: imageoven
Date Posted: 15 January 2009 at 5:41pm
And some of us are lighting guys in the first place...

regarding the origional question, depending on the dmx options in the unit and how much control you want, you may get away with a simple 6 channel desk with master control. (all cans using the same address)

a common dmx layout for led pars is

ch 1 red
ch2 green
ch3 blue
ch4 macros
ch5 strobe (including individualy random trigger)
ch6 various pre programmed chases (including individualy triggered sound to light)

obviously its limited but if your prepared to practice with it you can certainly give you self more control than just crazy speed sound to light. plus its dead simple and cheap.


Posted By: mk2_ginger_biscuit69
Date Posted: 15 January 2009 at 6:15pm
didnt say i had a crack, hence the 'Wink', was just a passing thought if you were really that bothered... its way too small/specilist a product to attract the crackers.
 
sorry if i alarmed any of you chamsys lot, nice to see how many manufactorers browse these forums.
 
rest assured you can keep your energy focused on more important things like making lovely new products Smile


Posted By: djgorey
Date Posted: 16 January 2009 at 8:47am

Slightly off topic I know, but as a mobile DJ, a laptop based DMX package would be cool for me!

However, I'm also a Mac freak (once you go Mac, you don't go back) - does the Chamsys system work on OSX?
 
Also, could somebody point me in the direction of the interface between the laptop and the light (I presume a USB/firewire to XLR box of some kind).


Posted By: monkeypuzzle
Date Posted: 16 January 2009 at 9:02am
I've not tried it (PC only but would love a Mac) but the website has a Mac version for download. As for a usb to dmx convertor, Maplin do one, i got one of these originally but couldn't get it to work (its a kit so i may have spazed it) but i now use the enttec open dongle which has been fine. Also, don't forget Chamsys do an amazing range of bits from basic convertors through to large scale festival desks and as mentioned earlier, you get the full functions of the software but even with other systems like the enttec you're not missing much. Like it so much i think I'll be getting a desk soon enough.

http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=46502&doy=16m1&C=SO&U=strat15 - http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=46502&doy=16m1&C=SO&U=strat15

http://www.chamsys.co.uk/default.asp?p=start.asp - http://www.chamsys.co.uk/default.asp?p=start.asp

http://www.enttec.com/index.php?main_menu=Products&pn=70303&show=description - http://www.enttec.com/index.php?main_menu=Products&pn=70303&show=description





Posted By: norty303
Date Posted: 16 January 2009 at 9:04am
Worth noting that Chamsys only reccommend using the Pro box from Enttec

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My laser stuff: http://www.facebook.com/SubsonicSystems" rel="nofollow - Frikkin Lasers


Posted By: djgorey
Date Posted: 16 January 2009 at 9:04am
Cheers!  I can see a spend coming on (but only a small one, thanks to software price!!)
 
I've always fancied getting the lighting sorted and with a nice computer based system like this (not expensive at all really - even the Enntec one is roughly the same price as Maplins), it allows me to play around with it at home.
 
I thought I'd stopped spending money on lighting!


Posted By: 4D
Date Posted: 16 January 2009 at 11:33am
What is this about usb/dmx interfaces and fried laptops

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DMZ. "The bass was intense. Girls were literally running up to stand next to the subs"


Posted By: norty303
Date Posted: 16 January 2009 at 12:39pm
I suspect thats to do with the design of some interfaces not using isolated DMX I/O.
 
This means that any power that finds its way onto a DMX line can get passed back to the laptop/lighting desk with obvious results.  Something to check when buying an interface as few quid more at the start could save you a lot of quids later on.


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My laser stuff: http://www.facebook.com/SubsonicSystems" rel="nofollow - Frikkin Lasers


Posted By: 4D
Date Posted: 16 January 2009 at 1:20pm
So any recommendations of which units to avoid and which to use.

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DMZ. "The bass was intense. Girls were literally running up to stand next to the subs"


Posted By: norty303
Date Posted: 16 January 2009 at 1:34pm
[statingtheobvious]I'd reccommend those with isolated I/O and avoid those without[/statingtheobvious]  Tongue
 
But seriously, I think a lot of this is going to be dictated by what software you want to run.  Some software requires their own dongle to be used, others support a variety of the independant options out there.
 
I can only talk from experience of the Enttec Pro interface.  I chose this because it is one of the more widely supported ones, whilst doing its own processing (rather than the PC) and has properly isolated ports
 
http://www.enttec.com/index.php?main_menu=Products&pn=70304&show=description&name=dmxusbpro - http://www.enttec.com/index.php?main_menu=Products&pn=70304&show=description&name=dmxusbpro
 
There are other options out there but at the time I bought it none really had the support of the Enttec.  As I wanted to use Chamsys it was the obvious choice.


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My laser stuff: http://www.facebook.com/SubsonicSystems" rel="nofollow - Frikkin Lasers


Posted By: 4D
Date Posted: 16 January 2009 at 2:01pm
thanks if its good enough for you.. then....................its good enough for me..

whats RDM


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DMZ. "The bass was intense. Girls were literally running up to stand next to the subs"


Posted By: norty303
Date Posted: 16 January 2009 at 4:40pm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RDM_%28lighting - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RDM_(lighting )
 
More fixtures are starting to appear that support it but they are generally at the high end of things.


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My laser stuff: http://www.facebook.com/SubsonicSystems" rel="nofollow - Frikkin Lasers


Posted By: mk2_ginger_biscuit69
Date Posted: 16 January 2009 at 6:48pm
i have the  aurora2 interface, which has protection built in and responds very well running roughly 250 channels worth of movers scans strobes smoke and led pars, only slight lag when everything is on the go (ie: less than 1/4second), but ever so slightly noticable when you are on the controls.


Posted By: imageoven
Date Posted: 27 January 2009 at 9:32am
Markie, if you haven't chosen already, have a look at the 'LED remote comander' which is a prolight product. I've not used it myself but it looks suited to your application. Straight forward enough and you can add a foot controller, will only work with cans from the same manufacturer (or with same DMX layout).


Posted By: H...
Date Posted: 27 January 2009 at 10:31am
Mmm looked at this but the LED pars i have and need a controller for are on different dmx chans.
Prolight
1: Red
2: Green
3: Blue
4: dimmer / strobe
 
The units i have
1: dimmer / strobe
2: Red
3: Green
4: Blue


Posted By: mk2_ginger_biscuit69
Date Posted: 27 January 2009 at 3:29pm


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''Remember that the object of a subwoofer is to enhance the output of your main speakers, not overpower it''

''Dubstep - an elongated electronic fart''


Posted By: Dayveboy
Date Posted: 05 February 2009 at 3:39pm
http://www.velleman.be/ot/en/product/view/?id=353412 - http://www.velleman.be/ot/en/product/view/?id=353412
thats a 512 usb kit, that i have built and used probably 20 times. works great for small set-ups. set up a laptop with it and the possibilities are endless.. well 512 channels endless :P

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Its all Gravy



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