curtis73
curtis73 GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
9/11/17 7:53 p.m.

In a short-term solution for lighting at the theater, I'm thinking about getting a USB-DMX interface and then some inexpensive software for an old PC tower I have around the office.

Anyone have any experience?  Cause I don't.  I'm only just learning to program a console myself and I'm not the greatest at the lighting part.  Two things I fail at being a Tech Director:  Lights and knots.

Needs to be able to do full logic control on things like Profile 700s, LED fixtures, etc... primarily because I don't yet have any dimmers so I have to rent controllable fixtures.  Right now I keep renting an ION but I figure I can spend under $100 on the gateway/interface and then use some inexpensive or free software to cue a show and save at least that part of the rental

I have a $50k grant proposal ready to do the whole kit and caboodle but I don't anticipate seeing that money until next season if at all.

mad_machine
mad_machine GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/11/17 8:30 p.m.

let me talk to a couple of people, I will get back to you when the resident lighting geniuses get back from their days off.

 

BTW. If you are going to spend some of that money on a board, I would suggest a Grand MA. You don't need the MA2 yet, we are still going strong on the original and now that the 2 is out, 1s are cheap used. I just programmed and a running a comedy show here at the Borgata on an MA1 in an all LED house.

Mike
Mike GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
9/11/17 8:40 p.m.

My DMX control solution has only three options: stop, drop, and shut em down & open up shop.

 

(I am so sorry.)

ProDarwin
ProDarwin PowerDork
9/11/17 8:43 p.m.

Posting so I can follow this thread.  I was experimenting with a DMX/Xmas light controller powered by a headless RPi and controlled via web interface a couple years back.  It would have been cool if I could get the damn thing to work.

curtis73
curtis73 GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
9/11/17 9:38 p.m.
Mike said:

My DMX control solution has only three options: stop, drop, and shut em down & open up shop.

 

(I am so sorry.)

I'm simultaneously groaning and applauding.

curtis73
curtis73 GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
9/11/17 9:41 p.m.

2 universes is kind of a need.  Not because I need more than 512 addresses, but because it makes it so sweet for running wireless DMX to things like practicals on stage: desk lamps, floor lamps, sconces, backstage, cycs.

So since 2 universes is not really any more expensive I see no need to not have it.

curtis73
curtis73 GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
9/11/17 9:45 p.m.

Long story short:  I want to do almost all of what an ION does but without the $8000 price tag.

Already opened up the wallet for wireless DMX tx/rx package with 7 receivers and a couple elation 4 channel edison dimmer packs.  That will handle anything I need for practicals and on-set things.

I'll see if I can get a video of my current show's setup so you can see what I really need.

curtis73
curtis73 GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
9/11/17 9:58 p.m.

Quick video linky

Looking for something that will handle cueing a full show, with full logic control for LED, RGB, and motion.

USB-DMX interface isn't the tough part, its finding intuitive software that will do it without requiring visiting designers to read a 424-page manual on how to use it.

AWSX1686
AWSX1686 GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
9/12/17 12:22 p.m.

This is the device I got for my church: Open DMX USB

And I set us up to run this free software: Freestyler

I'm not super great with the software, but it does what I need it to do, and seems to be capable of a LOT more than that. 

curtis73
curtis73 GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
9/12/17 4:27 p.m.

The Open DMX is one I had my eye on.

The Freestyler software is not something that would work for what I need, but looks like fun and not too difficult to learn.   I watched a video tutorial on it and the sheer amount of time it would take to program a show would be intense, and I don't think it really would do all we need.  I think I'll download it and poke around with it to see what I can do.

bluej
bluej UltraDork
9/12/17 5:17 p.m.

In to see where you end up with this.

AWSX1686
AWSX1686 GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
9/13/17 9:28 a.m.
curtis73 said:

The Freestyler software is not something that would work for what I need, but looks like fun and not too difficult to learn.   I watched a video tutorial on it and the sheer amount of time it would take to program a show would be intense, and I don't think it really would do all we need.  I think I'll download it and poke around with it to see what I can do.

I'm using it because it's free, and does the VERY simple things I need, RGBW LED up-lighting that generally stays the same color per day. 

If you find something better I would definitely be interested in learning more about it. 

Ashyukun
Ashyukun UltraDork
9/13/17 9:45 a.m.

Not sure if it's what you're looking for, but I believe Millumin might do what you want (and then some). We use it (they have a weekly rental price since we really only use it one weekend a year) to run all the video & audio playback for SWMBO's non-profit's annual show, but it does have the ability to control lights over DMX too. We've toyed with trying to get that aspect to work with the lighting system at the theatre we perform at so we could better sync things up, but that would likely piss off the LD at the theater. :P

It works really well for me because it's really easy to set everything up on the timeline for the show, and I imagine integrating the lighting would go similarly simply (though with a lot more variables depending on the complexity of your lights...).

Downside: to actually purchase it, it's not particularly cheap by my standards- but by those of what software with its capabilities can run, it's not bad. There is a free trial (a month I believe) as well.

EDIT: Oops... sorry, missed the important fact that you needed it for PC and forgot that Millumin was (AFAIK) Mac only... -_-;

curtis73
curtis73 GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
9/15/17 12:53 p.m.

I think I found my solution:  The industry standard "toyota camry" of the theater lighting world is the ION which is a budget ($8000) version of the full-fledged EOS.

Just discovered that ETC sells the Nomad puck to educators and students for $250 and the ETC software is free.  So I can basically get an ION/EOS and buy a nice big touchscreen and have a full console for under $500 (using an old tower I have here and buying a big touchscreen or two small ones)

I scored some analog dimmer packs (48/96).  Is there a way to DMX those inexpensively?

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