Basic dmx control

Timchrisman

Member
So I have a very occasional dj gig on the side. I have decent dance lights with dmx but I don't want to purchase a dmx controller. I know there are computer dmx adapters and software but I need some recommendations. I'm looking for something under $70 that it's reliable and has little lag time.
 

MarshallPope

Well-Known Member
If you have time to commit to learning it, my recommendation is MagicQ. If you don't need to run for more than 5 hours continuously, you can get the $16 MagicDMX Basic. For $100, you can get one without the time limit. I can't think of anything else that is decent that you will find for under $100 (Though I may be forgetting something).
 

Bubby4j

Active Member
The cheapest solution in the world is to buy this USB to RS485 board from china and stick it in a cardboard box with an XLR connector coming out of the side. It'll work with any software which supports the "Enttec Open" interface.

I highly doubt the reliability, but I believe it's the cheapest solution in the world. Don't blame me if it all blows up in the middle of a show :D

I have personally used this to run DMX through non-DMX cable to a stage about 100ft away, and then used real DMX cable (yay non-impedance matching!) to control 2 intellabeams, and I didn't use a terminator. Worked fine.

So it might be useful if you only want to play with it.
 

misterm

Active Member
Daslight Virtual Controller runs anywhere from 75 to 600 dollars, depending on how many addresses you need. I bought the $150 package and have one full universe, which is more than what i need. though price has probably gone up.
 

dbaxter

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
If you have a Windows laptop, my Cue Player Lighting software will control your lights. You will also need a USB to DMX adapter (not an Enttec Open). To be fair, it is designed more for a stage production, but different dance 'looks' could be set as cues. Your total cost would be around $160. Check the thread in "Lighting and Control" for other options.
 

AppollSauce

Member
My question for Timchrisman would be how much programming are you willing to do for your light show? My experience with many of the "DJ" style effects lights sold by companies like American DJ and Chauvet is that they have pretty well designed stand alone operations. When you get into using DMX many of these lights need to be told what to do for multiple parameters. For example you have to tell them what color to be, what direction to rotate, how fast they rotate, whether they are strobing or not, etc.. If you want to have a multitude of looks you will usually have to program all of these factors for each look. It is not that difficult, but it can be fairly time consuming depending on the software you end up with and your level of experience with programming DMX. If that sounds like something you are willing to do, than it is just a matter of getting you set up with a DMX software that fits in your budget. If you don't want to get into programming I would recommend considering something like American DJ's SC-8 System which allows you to plug in your DJ lighting into a eight channel power strip that connects to an eight channel switch which you can use to turn on each channel individually. This way you can let them run standalone, but you can decide which lights are on or off at any given moment. If you are using identical fixtures you can use the DMX inputs and outputs for a master/slave setup. Whatever the master does the slave will mimic. This allows you to turn on two or more similar fixtures in standalone, but have the appearance of a programmed light show.
 

itie

Active Member
Magic q is the way to go in simple mode until you have the need for some thing more advance then you have what you need it's just a learning curve. Free software download it and see if you like it.


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gafftaper

Senior Team
Senior Team
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I encourage you to save up your money and get the Enttec DMXIS. For $275 you get the dongle and the software. It's very simple to learn and use. It's designed for someone like you with a band or small DJ gigs to do some fun lights without a lot of effort.

Chamsys MagicQ is free software for a high end moving light console. It's very powerful, but the learning curve is VERY STEEP using it on a laptop without some experience using moving light consoles. They hope you will try out the software then spend several thousand dollars on an interface or perhaps the whole console. You can use it without those interfaces but I wouldn't recommend it unless you have some experience.
 

MikeJ

Well-Known Member
I encourage you to save up your money and get the Enttec DMXIS. For $275 you get the dongle and the software. It's very simple to learn and use. It's designed for someone like you with a band or small DJ gigs to do some fun lights without a lot of effort.

Chamsys MagicQ is free software for a high end moving light console. It's very powerful, but the learning curve is VERY STEEP using it on a laptop without some experience using moving light consoles. They hope you will try out the software then spend several thousand dollars on an interface or perhaps the whole console. You can use it without those interfaces but I wouldn't recommend it unless you have some experience.

MagicQ is a very full features software. If you are willing to commit some time to it there are plenty of tutorial videos on youtube to get you going, but yes there is a learning curve. It could be worthwhile in the long run, especially if you enjoy doing it.
 

Catwalker

Member
American DJ's MyDMX software isn't all that expensive, and is extremely intuitive. If you don't have a lot of time to learn, you can whip up a pretty good show in not that much time.


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Bubby4j

Active Member
American DJ's MyDMX software isn't all that expensive, and is extremely intuitive. If you don't have a lot of time to learn, you can whip up a pretty good show in not that much time.


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But be warned, it's very limiting. For my personal taste it's way too simple.

You can only run 1 cue at a time.
 

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