Bluelite X1?

SanTai

Active Member
Now there has been some discussion lately on Mac/PC based lightning controllers. When that subject comes up, MagicQ is always mentioned. There is always the problem of how to get some faders and not go broke.

I found Bluelite X1 system(DMX Controller | Lighting Controller | Stage Lighting | Theater Lighting | Architectural Lighting: Innovate Show Controls), it looked promising except that it seems to be put on ice and no development is done.
It has the feature of having the posibility for DMX-in to control the software. It supports midi, and it got support for timecode without having to get any extra hardware.

My question is, have anyone used this? Is it bad? Why are not everyone that have a small budget use it since it got the features that everyone looks for?
 

chausman

Chase
Fight Leukemia
It doesn't look like it has real faders. Just on screen ones. And I know windows 7 is pretty reliable, this is windows only. I would rather use the Mac OS x software.
 

bigtim

Member
I'm a very small time community theater tech guy who has just found - and purchased - the BlueLite Mini X1. We only run conventionals, but are hoping to add some LEDs soon (oh yeah, we're dreamers). I'm currently designing our first show using it and am very impressed. No problems with reliability. There is a learning curve, but their support guy, Craig Spederman, will spend as much time as needed to get you up and running. I've showed friends (another theater and 3 teachers at small high schools) the system and all are buying it. It's true that everything is 'virtual', but you can also easily slave your existing board to the X1 controller and then control the 24 BlueLite submasters by manually bringing up the first 1-24 sliders on your old board (think manual specials). Using the main console, you can create 1,000,000 (yes, one million) individual cues per show. That should get you through the first act :lol:. The software is free and at $399 for the hardware, I'm not sure why everyone isn't using this. Also, I belive they're coming out with an update soon.
 

jglodeklights

Well-Known Member
I'm a very small time community theater tech guy who has just found - and purchased - the BlueLite Mini X1. We only run conventionals, but are hoping to add some LEDs soon (oh yeah, we're dreamers). I'm currently designing our first show using it and am very impressed. No problems with reliability. There is a learning curve, but their support guy, Craig Spederman, will spend as much time as needed to get you up and running. I've showed friends (another theater and 3 teachers at small high schools) the system and all are buying it. It's true that everything is 'virtual', but you can also easily slave your existing board to the X1 controller and then control the 24 BlueLite submasters by manually bringing up the first 1-24 sliders on your old board (think manual specials). Using the main console, you can create 1,000,000 (yes, one million) individual cues per show. That should get you through the first act :lol:. The software is free and at $399 for the hardware, I'm not sure why everyone isn't using this. Also, I belive they're coming out with an update soon.

Yes, it is extremely easy to use (I feel there is no learning curve, it is just how fast can you read the manual), but at the same time the ease of use comes at an absolutely glacially paced workflow. Based in a preset language, a la the Congo and Magic Q, you build Cues/Presets and then add them, MANUALLY, to a sequence. Very slow if you program 100's of cues. Programming is all via virtual sliders and axis controls; nothing can be entered via keypad. No ability to Track changes. A decent start, but this program still has A LOT of work to be done to it before it can even, in my book, compete with the Expressions (yes, the original) that I occasionally work on, much less Magic Q PC, in typical theatrical settings.
 
I used Bluelite x1 for 4 years with a touring band. It is very usable software. It works a little differently than anything else. It's not HTP or LTP, it uses an 'additive' system, meaning it adds dmx values. If you have a dimmer channel in one cue set to 50%, and at the same time programmed in another cue at 40% - the output on stage will be that dimmer channel at 90%. It takes some getting used to, but when you get it, you can use it to your advantage and crate some pretty cool effects.
The reason I chose Bluelite X1 was the cost. I had a very low budget and it fit right in. I researched everything available software wise and Bluelite was the best and most capable.

You can easily use a dmx in to control the 24 faders (there was talk of upping that number of faders but I'm not sure if it happened yet.).
I also used a behringer bcf2000 for some midi control of changing pages and speeds of chasers etc.
Most Importantly I added a usb touch screen 'overlay'. it velcros right over your laptop screen. with these three additions to the software (only a few hundred dollars) I had the software working very similar to a Hog.
 

AhClem

Member
The BlueLite X1 is now available from Light In Motion Show Control.
We currently have Version 1.5 alpha 3 availble and plan to release alpha 4 in the next few days.
The current release adds ArtNet Input as well as an expanded Live Panel API and a new network API. While the upgrade to 96 submasters and 16 event lists will not be ready until we get to the Ver1.5 beta release, the current release adds the ability to connect using WiFi devices to communicate and control the software.
We have our iPanel mobile app being tested by some of our users on both iPhone/iPAD and Android platforms that allow you to control the Live Panel from your mobile device. If you'd like to try the iPanel app but don't have a mobile device, we also have PC and MAC versions of the iPanel app available on our site that allow you to control Live Panel over your network.
The source code is also availble for developers wanting to write their own applications, as well as sample code that can be used to compile the iPanel app for Windows, MAC, Linux, iOS, etc....

The upcoming release will add API enhancements to allow bidirectinal communication with both the LivePanel and the Main portion (the submasters) of BlueLite allowing applications to not just send control commands to the BlueLite X1, but to read back information from it. The next "Sample App" planned is scheduled to be a more typical Cue Stack application.

Our current roadmap is designed to accelerate multi-platform development. Ver. 1.5 will position the underlying code and development environmnet to mve forward with Version 2.0 which we're expecting to release as both as a native MAC app as well as the PC build, at the same time allowing more control via the Network API.

I'm happy to answer any questions you may have.
Craig Spredeman
[email protected]
 

bigtim

Member
I understand that BlueLite has limitations, but I think what gets lost in the conversation, at times, is what you're getting for the money. In my geographic area, there are dozens of schools, churches, bands, community theatres, etc. that have VERY limited funds. An ETC Element is $4-$6K. The BlueLite X1 Mini controls a DMX universe (in a world where having 100 conventional lighting instruments is an Impossible Dream and no one can spell 'LED', much less color scroller) is $399. The full X1 is 4 universes for $999. The software is free and can be put on as many machines (I'm thinking a high school tech class here) as you like. On top of that is the outstanding (free) support from folks who have 'been there'. In my admittedly very, very small theatre world - where the largest cue stack I've ever had was 107 and typical is closer to 25 - I can do a lot of shows and save some serious cash. Another benefit - and this is new as of last week - you can now have limited remote control of cues (built in the Live Panel part of BlueLite) using your smart phone (iPhone/Android) or tablet and a wireless network (internet or ad hoc). This can be used for aim/focus, running manual 'specials', chases, etc. and run simultaneously with the Event List (their version of a cue stack). The Mini controller is about 4"x3"x2" and can easily be moved from one place to another, only needing DMX access, a laptop and a USB cable to be up and running. You can also control Capture - a CAD visualization software - which has a free version (can't save files, times out), a student version (files can be saved, limited library) or the full package and design shows in your PJs at home. So, as with most things, your needs and budget should be considered. I don't expect my wife's Corolla to do what my F350 4 wheel drive diesel can do and I don't expect my truck to get the fuel economy the car gets. Both work great, both are transportation, but neither is the answer to every situation.
 

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