DMX Console that Works in Banks?

Dionysus

Well-Known Member
Well, again, I'm not trying to replace it. I'm looking for options to have a console of my own. The Innovator belongs to my son's middle school and he will be graduating from there next month. Odds are that I'll never use it again. If there were a practical option for me to buy for myself, I'd be interested. At this point, it looks like a software solution is likely, maybe one I create myself.



Could you say more about that? What do mean you say, "least stable?"

For a PERSONAL console I think mobility and storage are important. Personally I'd go with NOMAD, very powerful, will do everything and anything you need and can be run on a laptop or computer like the NOMAD PUCK no problem. To add good control surfaces costs extra of course which is the one real drawback.
I figure you to be using more conventionals than anything from the sounds of things, so many of the other cost-effective alternatives I'd steer clear from. There are a lot of options out there however.

"least stable" as in it has a reputation for crashing and misbehavior.
 

Stevens R. Miller

Well-Known Member
For a PERSONAL console I think mobility and storage are important. Personally I'd go with NOMAD, very powerful, will do everything and anything you need and can be run on a laptop or computer like the NOMAD PUCK no problem.

Hey, thanks! I didn't know about that one.

To add good control surfaces costs extra of course which is the one real drawback.

Yeah, well, I am pretty handy with a soldering iron and a USB port. Maybe I can cobble up my own wings. We'll see.

I figure you to be using more conventionals than anything from the sounds of things, so many of the other cost-effective alternatives I'd steer clear from. There are a lot of options out there however.

You figure me right. So far, all I am doing is dimming lights. No motion, colors, strobes, or anything else. One step at a time, and I'm doing community theater. If I can bring some more sophisticated options to the production as time goes by, so much the better. But I'm still a beginner, and that means taking baby steps for now.

"least stable" as in it has a reputation for crashing and misbehavior.

Ah, yes. I like the Innovator, but, that's a reputation I can already testify to myself.
 

Dionysus

Well-Known Member
The NOMAD (or PUCK) will give you full versitility to go to a fancy moving-light rig in the future. Essentially NOMAD is the ION, Element & well the entire modern ETC console (essentially) family on ONE platform on your PC. There are many many options for it including Xkeys USB buttons and an ION type wing. Or just use your mouse/touch screen and keyboard. If you want to play with it you can download it from the ETC website (it just won't control/connect).
The learning curve is also very shallow which is partly why I recommend it to you.

The M-PC or M-Touch by martin looks really cool, but I haven't really used it myself (just played with the software and watched someone else use it). It is cheaper, but it really does not seem to be well suited to your situation at all. Its intended for music events more than theatre, but it certainly can do theatre. There would also be a much steeper learning curve for you.

There of course are other PC-augmented solutions from Chamsys and Avolites which are of course worth consideration.

The best part is you wouldn't have a large console to lug around, or have to buy a road case for (to keep it from being destroyed).

I myself plan on getting NOMAD when I can justify the expenditure (most of the time I am in a venue with an Element, occasionally one with a Strand 300).


Yeah I remember the Innovator making me what to hit it more than a few times back in the day when I used one. Good board from the day but it was temperamental.
 

Stevens R. Miller

Well-Known Member
Puck is a mini-computer pre-loaded with NOMAD.

Thanks. Heh, it's funny how language changes. I'm dating myself with this admission, but when I see "mini-computer," I think of something like this:

proxy.php


When, of course, you meant something more like this:
proxy.php
 

Stevens R. Miller

Well-Known Member
Wow. That was interesting. I downloaded Nomad and ran it. It took over all three of my screens, used no standard GUI, had no visible "help" menu, and offered no way to exit. Took me several minutes to figure out how to get it to shut down.

Wow.

I haven't had an experience with a computer program written by a professional entity like that for some years. Very nostalgic.
 

Scarrgo

Well-Known Member
Wow. That was interesting. I downloaded Nomad and ran it. It took over all three of my screens, used no standard GUI, had no visible "help" menu, and offered no way to exit. Took me several minutes to figure out how to get it to shut down.

Wow.

I haven't had an experience with a computer program written by a professional entity like that for some years. Very nostalgic.

The nomad software is exactly what you see if you had the physical console in front of you, you can download cheat sheets that will show you all the button strokes that you need to run it is if you had the console, using your standard keyboard.

As others have said, you can get an x-keys to help with keystrokes, and ETC has videos online to help you get the most out of your console.....

Hope this helps

Sean...
 

RonHebbard

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Thanks. Heh, it's funny how language changes. I'm dating myself with this admission, but when I see "mini-computer," I think of something like this:

proxy.php


When, of course, you meant something more like this:
proxy.php
Any minute, you're going to show us a picture of an Osborne, right?
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard.
 

icewolf08

CBMod
CB Mods
Well, again, I'm not trying to replace it. I'm looking for options to have a console of my own. The Innovator belongs to my son's middle school and he will be graduating from there next month. Odds are that I'll never use it again. If there were a practical option for me to buy for myself, I'd be interested. At this point, it looks like a software solution is likely, maybe one I create myself.

If you are looking for something simple that you can use yourself, you might check out ETC Nomad. You can use it as offline for free, and you can buy channel keys in various output counts as needed. This would allow you to use your own PC as a controller and you get full Eos capabilities. Pair it with an x-keys or similar programmable keyboard, and maybe with some OSC encoders, and you have yourself a pretty simple rig for a good price. With a windows machine, you can also attach universal fader wings. ETC also offers the Nomad Puck, which is an NUC designed to just run Nomad.

You could do a similar thing with Martin MPC, which has limited channel output for free.

Unless you think you really can re-invent the wheel better than the people who are already making computer lighting controllers (or you just want the challenge), why do it? There are a lot of software based controllers out there now, it seems like finding something that meets your requirements shouldn't be hard.
 

SteveB

Well-Known Member
When you launch Nomad you get a 5-4-3-2-1 countdown option to launch to the shell. That's where you tell it how many screens, whether to open as windows on the desktop, etc...

The user interface - "GUI" completely mirrors the actual console to (I assume) make it easier to navigate both, as once you learn the off-line editor, you've learned the console.
 

derekleffew

Resident Curmudgeon
Senior Team
Premium Member
@Stevens R. Miller , while looking for something else in a pile of CDs containing software I've never or will probably never use, I found Innovator Offline Editor Software v1.0
[Zip file is too large (10.8Mb ?) for CB to upload, but it's still on Leviton's site]:
http://www.leviton.com/OA_HTML/ibcG...ojf7vBeA&label=IBE&appName=IBE&minisite=10251

I don't know if Leviton ever produced a later version (doesn't appear so), or if this one is any good, but might be worth a spin if you think it could be of any use.
-----
I was once threatened with a Innovator, but fortuitously (I've lived a good Christian life, or so someone thinks--the project was cancelled.)
I will be doing a show with VL1000TS units on an Innovator (which I've never used) soon. Any tips and tricks? Will I have to write my own personality or download one? How does Innovator handle a "multi-part" fixture? I really have to start looking at the User Manual.:(

HA HA HA!!!

Good Luck! :lol::twisted::boohoo:

If you look at the User's Manual, it tells which profiles are loaded on the machine already. From recollection, there aren't a whole lot.
I quite liked the Innovator's predecessor--Encore, IIRC.
 

Stevens R. Miller

Well-Known Member
If you are looking for something simple that you can use yourself, you might check out ETC Nomad.

Done that. I can see it has a good reputation, so I will look at it again after the show I am doing now wraps (in about a week). My first glimpse was not encouraging, as I found it incomprehensible, but one of our colleagues here told me that it copies the company's hardware, and I can see the advantage to that. Certainly worth a more in-depth review.

Unless you think you really can re-invent the wheel better than the people who are already making computer lighting controllers (or you just want the challenge), why do it?

I am a computer programmer. We always think we can re-invent the wheel better ;).

More seriously, I can see some contexts in which features that aren't obviously desirable become important. For example, having worked closely with the cast and crew on a middle-school show, I could see that the Innovator 24/48 was a fine choice for the theater we had, but also that it was actually an impediment to producing the best show that was within the reach of our sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-grade children. Why? Because it was just too complex for them to learn to use in that context. (To be specific: no one on school staff knew how it worked, the rehearsals put performance at the top priority--over things like technical issues--and there was no non-rehearsal time available in the theater to learn how the console worked. This means that most shows have been done entirely with the kids shoving the channel faders around, not using any recorded cues. The powerful Innovator is reduced to being nothing more than a set of 48 dimmers, in that context. Now that computers can cheaply be made to emit DMX-512 commands, I can see a reason to write a lighting program accessible to middle school students.)

There are a lot of software based controllers out there now, it seems like finding something that meets your requirements shouldn't be hard.

Agreed. But I do like to tinker and will probably write my own at some point. If it fills a currently empty niche or two, so much the better. I'm still a beginner at all of this, and humility is something all beginners profit by, so I'm taking my time and trying to learn from what's already out there. Just completed our second full rehearsal of "My Fair Lady" with a local community company. We're actually renting a middle school's theater, and it has the same model Innovator 24/48 I used before. But, like the first one, it's crumbling a bit (some bump keys don't work; diskette drive is broken; faders are scratchy), so I took a leap and downloaded DMXControl (using it with an Enttec Open DMX USB). The program is cranky and has a lot of GUI issues (among those being that the "English" version of this German software is not a complete translation: to dim a light to a soft level, for example, one sets its "helligkeit" to about 15%). But, it flawlessly memorized and sent all the of cues I defined. At yesterday's rehearsal, I never even turned the Innovator on. The cast members are mostly experienced performers, but none of them had ever seen a laptop replace a lighting console before. I heard, "that's amazing" more than once. (As a safety net, I would have liked to pass the DMXControl traffic through the Innovator, as it has a DMX-in port, which is supposed to replicate its commands on the Innovator's DMX-B output port. I simply could not get that to work, so I dumped the Innovator entirely and plugged my laptop directly into the DMX-in port on the wall. Smooth sailing after that.)

Alas, DMXControl may be free, but it's not open-source code. Their Web site explains, in somewhat snide terms, that they think open-source code becomes messy and unmaintainable. I guess that means Linux will never go anywhere. (Or, being a programmer myself, maybe it means there is something about their code they don't want anyone else to see.) So, again, I may feel the need to write my own. Certainly not feeling the need to search further, for now, for a dedicated console. The software option, especially if hardware like wings and what-not can be added, is looking very good to me.

We have our first actual performance tonight. Wish me luck, eh?
 

Stevens R. Miller

Well-Known Member
@Stevens R. Miller , while looking for something else in a pile of CDs containing software I've never or will probably never use, I found Innovator Offline Editor Software v1.0
[Zip file is too large (10.8Mb ?) for CB to upload, but it's still on Leviton's site]:
http://www.leviton.com/OA_HTML/ibcG...ojf7vBeA&label=IBE&appName=IBE&minisite=10251

Yes, I found that too, along with a firmware upgrade. Alas, I cannot get their offline editor to run on Windows 10. For that matter, I would have to rummage around in my basement to find a computer with a diskette drive so I could copy the firmware files to diskette, as that is the only way (I know of) to install the upgrade on the Innovator. Kind of a shame, as their (distressingly abstruse) user's guide describes a couple of features that don't exist on the Innovator I used, so I am guessing they come into being after you upgrade the firmware.
 

Stevens R. Miller

Well-Known Member
When you launch Nomad you get a 5-4-3-2-1 countdown option to launch to the shell. That's where you tell it how many screens, whether to open as windows on the desktop, etc...

That would be nice. I don't seem to get that start-up option. I just takes over and that's that.
 

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