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Chamsys MagicQ and other pc based consoles

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by SHARYNF, Aug 10, 2008.

  1. SHARYNF

    SHARYNF Well-Known Member

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    I was wondering about peoples's experience with the free Chamsys MagicQ vs lightjockey or elation compuclub. As mentioned in some other threads on occasion I have had folks with a standard console (NSI 75xx) for example that want to add movers, and I wondered if anyone had used a combo of say the Chamsys with the dmx in and out interface and the standard console so that the faders coud be used for conventionals and the pc software for the movers? ( I just got a message from Chamsys that this is not possible without their hardware OR using artnet to dmx conversion to bring in the signals and then I guess merge them with the output from Magicq pc

    the other question is using the enntec usb and pro usb dongles, has user experience shown that the pro version is needed or just nice to have?

    Sharyn
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2008
  2. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    I've only had the Enttec OPEN DMX USB (~60 USD) and the MagicQ software about a week, but for the price, the combo is phenomenal. The software is very Hog-like, which certainly lessens the learning curve for those with prior Hog experience. We've discussed many times that a Personal Computer cannot compete with a dedicated control surface, but for some, a $60 solution, with or without the ~$1000 10-fader Mini Wing, or the ~$2000 PC Wing is the only viable option. The $60 OPEN DMX USB works only with PC machines. The (~150 USD) DMX USB Pro works on both PCs and Macs.
     
  3. len

    len Well-Known Member

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    Derek is right, in that most prefer a dedicated console. I'm in the minority in that I don't care what the desk is, as long as it's the right one for the job. In traditional theater, yes, I'd probably use a console. But there are a lot of applications where a pc based solution is more than adequate, and perhaps even better.

    There was an article/column in PSLN recently about programmers who get married to their Hog or MA or whatever. But that some other desk might be better suited to a particular show. You might check their site to find it.

    And I'll also add the old expression: It's not the hammer, it's the carpenter.
     
  4. Sayen

    Sayen Active Member

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    I have been looking into a software based solution to run tandem to my console for the few moving fixtures we have. I've spent the summer downloading demos and learning program after program. Mind you, I haven't tried it live, but BlueLite XI struck me as being very user friendly and geared towards moving lights - you might want to give it a try.

    For those of you missing the feel of a dedicated console and not liking the cost of wings, I found some cute USB toys that make life easier. I've been using a Belkin N52 for graphic design for a while now. It's a left hand keypad designed for gamers, with a healthy set of programmable keys. Each key can be programed to a lengthy macro - for example, one key copies the area of an image, opens a new file, pasts the image, flattens the layers, resizes the image, and opens the Save As dialog. While I was playing with some of the demos I found that I can quickly program keystrokes onto the N52. 23 ish buttons with three shift states, so really 69 button options. The N52 retails for something like $40, and there are lots of other programmable USB keypads now. While experimenting with software, I set it up to act like a standard number pad, go button, @ levels, etc. No faders, but still very handy. Stable too - I've never had a related crash from it.
     
    thelightguy87 likes this.
  5. Froggy

    Froggy Member

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    I guess that what I'm about to say answers Sharyn's questions...

    For the past few years, my high school has been renting more and more moving lights for our productions, whether they be concerts or regular theatrical shows. However, our main console is a Leviton Innovator 24/48. When we tried to run movers off of it, it totally died on us three days before opening night. So, we quickly went out and bought an Entech USB-DMX dongle, the regular, not pro version, and some free software. It has worked beautifully ever since, running several Martin MACs and other fixtures with ease. We still use the repaired Innovator for conventionals, but the two-control-surface operation works perfectly for us, a high school lighting crew in a 1200-seat auditorium with 20 stage dimmers and a limited budget.

    We would also like to look into some MagicQ software and hardware to replace both the console and the other software.
     
  6. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Froggy, MagicQ is free. Just head over to the Chamsys website. Its very powerful, but has a steep learning curve.
     
    Froggy and (deleted member) like this.
  7. Hughesie

    Hughesie Well-Known Member

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    Recently I've found myself doing a lot of festival work with a company that loves to splash the cash on lights but never budgets for control gear leading me to use PC control systems. After using both Q and MAonPC for a few shows I can report that MagicQ will blow MA out of the water in terms of control and led mapping. OnPC feels like more of an OLE than an actual control system.


    MagicQ is free except if you want MIDI control (think fader banks like the BCF2000) but by the time you get there and require that type of control you should be have budget to afford such an addon.

    The fantastic thing about MagicQ is you can use it with art net boxes which means less lengthy dmx runs :)

    I know a online supplier which makes really good Artnet single universe devices but Im not sure if I can post company information here. If you are interested PM me as they cost around 150$ US
     
  8. jglodeklights

    jglodeklights Well-Known Member

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    Necropost; many changes even since 2010 to MagicQ.

    Unlikely that use of movers and death of the Innovator correlate positively. What software? I have used MagicQ for small shows, love it. Since learning it better, I plan on purchasing an ENTTEC PRO for many of the shows I would normally have an Express for. And it is FREE!!!!!!!
     
  9. avery

    avery Member

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    Due to working at a venue with pretty much no budget at all, I've tried pretty much all the DMX software on the market (both pc and Mac).

    I actually prefer a software interface over a physical controller when I'm working with traveling acts. Don't get me wrong, I still love running consoles, it's just that sometimes you have to pick the best option, and price is always a factor.

    If you have specific software that you would like to hear about let me know. One thing I've found is that when it comes to DMX software, the big names in lighting don't make the best stuff.
     
  10. Froggy

    Froggy Member

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    Yeah, actually we discovered later that it was a malfunctioning video card that was locking the console up... it was just interesting/curious that the problem happened at the same time as we tried running movers with the board for the very first time.

     
  11. Cadmium6855

    Cadmium6855 Member

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    I haven't actually bought it yet, but I have heard that the MagicQ and one of the PC interfaces is a great combo, you get full computer control with a dedicated console. They are pretty expensive which is why I don't own one yet.
     
  12. chausman

    chausman Chase Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    The software is free. Download it and try it out. If you like it, buy a wing.
     
  13. Pie4Weebl

    Pie4Weebl Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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  14. JeffM

    JeffM Member

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    Check out Cham Sys MagicQ PC Introduction - On Stage Lighting for a great tutorial on MagicQ PC. Rob has several tutorials on MagicQ PC, and covers it well from setting up your first lights to movers. The Enttec USB-DMX dongle (60USD) works great for my conventional rig. Have used it through numerous shows over the last 18 months and haven't had any problems.
    :)
     
  15. IEGPR

    IEGPR Member

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    I love my magic Q PC
     
  16. Jamyo

    Jamyo Member

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    How did you diagnose this? We have been having the same issues . . .
     
  17. Pav636

    Pav636 Member

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    Ive tried them all, freestyler, MagicQ etc, Ive found BlueLite X1 to be the simplest and ready on the fly. The other have a steep learning curve and if you have time and patience I heard MagicQ is amazing.
     
  18. Tex

    Tex Active Member

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    I came into a school with 30 movers and a badly behaving Emphasis console. We de-Emphasised the console to use for conventionals and used an Enttec USB Pro plus Magic Q for movers. It was a great solution for us. I have changed schools, but the Enttec is on permanent loan to the old school.
     
  19. indigo7us

    indigo7us Member

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    We are using Light Factory, and are very happy with it. Very simple to set-up and go, as well as expand. I'm am mainly a sound engineer, and I have been able to learn most functionality intuitively, with minimal reference to the manual. The total setup with wings was just over $2,000 so the price point was right, and the tech support, has been very good as well. There are still some bugs in the software, but the last update fixed many of them.

    It is also available as a free download to try.

    Depending on your needs, this might be a good option.

    Just my thoughts!

    Devin
     

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