# Control/DimmingEverything is great except the Board

#### SeanR

##### Member
Ok so here's the deal. The current show we have going up is in a space with more dimmers than I could ever want, really nice instruments, it's a rare treat. The catch is that the only board we have available is a 16 channel Light Station 2 American DJ board. I am trying to figure out alternatives on the fly.

The only one I have come up with so far is the idea of connecting my computer to the midi port on the board and running a different program on my computer, I'm not sure how viable that option is though (I don't really know what I'm talking about here). I would appreciate any ideas.

#### chausman

Fight Leukemia
We often suggest MagicQ for a computerized system if to want to use a computer, and you could buy a dongle from them for $16USD. The software is free, although it does have a steep learning curve. EDIT: I should add, this software (with the dongle) would replace the current board in the space. It would be the only thing you had to work with. Midi would not be able to control your lights directly, only tell the lighting console when to go to the next cue. It would probably be more complicated then you would like. Another option would be to rent, if you have the budget. I personally would want to rent over using a laptop. LXPlot will probably be able to suggest a rental house that is local. Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Last edited: #### waynehoskins ##### Active Member Seems like you should be able to rent a small conventional board like an Express for a couple hundred a week, something like that. That would be my first choice. Second would be a software solution like MagicQ/PC and a USB DMX dongle. #### SeanR ##### Member Great, thanks guys. unfortunately renting a board is a little out of our budget (as is someone who knows what theyare talking about) so magicq it is. #### mstaylor ##### Well-Known Member Departed Member MagicQ is inexpensive but it isn't the easiest thing to use. Once you get everything in place and work with it a little, feel free to come back and ask questions to help you along. Also consider looking at Doug Fleener's site to learn more about using DMX. I am assuming, always dangerous, that you are working with all conventionals so your curve should be a little less because you only need to address your racks. #### shiben ##### Well-Known Member MagicQ is inexpensive but it isn't the easiest thing to use. Once you get everything in place and work with it a little, feel free to come back and ask questions to help you along. Also consider looking at Doug Fleener's site to learn more about using DMX. I am assuming, always dangerous, that you are working with all conventionals so your curve should be a little less because you only need to address your racks. Thats what I assumed because they had a 16 channel board for the space... Doubtful you can run more circuits than you can ever want on that in the first place, much less movers... However, it might make a decent controller for a single mover! #### mstaylor ##### Well-Known Member Departed Member Very true, but I was referencing that he said he had more dimmers than he could need. The interesting question is why did they put that board where he has a bunch of dimmers. #### TimMiller ##### Well-Known Member I am assuming they are renting the space and bringing in their own board. Why not just use the house console if this were the case? #### metti ##### Active Member Depending on how many "more dimmers than I could ever want" is, you might consider just using Simple mode in Chamsys. #### shiben ##### Well-Known Member Very true, but I was referencing that he said he had more dimmers than he could need. The interesting question is why did they put that board where he has a bunch of dimmers. Not to be a jerk, but I always want more dimmers. Would take multiple Sensor+ 96 racks to make me happy... #### LXPlot ##### Active Member Another option would be to rent, if you have the budget. I personally would want to rent over using a laptop. LXPlot will probably be able to suggest a rental house that is local. Nice memory! I could do that, yes. However, with what you can get with a fair price I'd choose MagicQ 9/10 times. Although, I rarely use my sliders, so... Also, note that MagicQ will run with the 16$ USB, but it will have a 3-pin output and will need to be restarted if open for five hours. For 100$you can get their full sized dongle which is five-pin with no other restrictions, and for 150$ you can purchase the Enttec Pro Dongle which also could run other software if need be.

SeanR, tell me if you find anyone who can sell MagicQ in the area, I'm looking to find a copy without ordering it directly.

Great, thanks guys. unfortunately renting a board is a little out of our budget (as is someone who knows what theyare talking about) so magicq it is.
Whether I know what I'm talking about is debatable, but I'll work in the "free - paid in limes range"

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#### Gern

##### Active Member
Not to be a jerk, but I always want more dimmers. Would take multiple Sensor+ 96 racks to make me happy...
I'm sure to have been called a jerk & worse; I too always want more dimmers.
I'm rarely getting all the dimmers/relays I would like in T.V. the last couple years.
Too expensive I'm told.
Features & Commercials do me right of course.

#### chausman

##### Chase
Fight Leukemia
Nice memory!

SeanR, tell me if you find anyone who can sell MagicQ in the area, I'm looking to find a copy without ordering it directly.
Thanks!

Do you mean you are looking for the dongle, or the software, because the software is free to download at ChamSys :: Home

#### SeanR

##### Member
We're using the board in the rental space and all conventionals. Its a new performing arts center and although they have great equipment in their main theater, that theater seats 600. We are the first to use the new space (seats 50-60) and they haven't invested in the space yet, so we are stuck with the little board. And we can't move the good board over because the large theater is in use during our run.

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#### mstaylor

##### Well-Known Member
Departed Member
We're using the board in the rental space and all conventionals. Its a new performing arts center and although they have great equipment in their main theater, that theater seats 600. We are the first to use the new space (seats 50-60) and they haven't invested in the space yet, so we are stuck with the little board. And we can't move the good board over because the large theater is in use during our run.
Is it possible to rent a board as suggested, that would be the easiest solution.

#### SeanR

##### Member
Is it possible to rent a board as suggested, that would be the easiest solution.
Unfortunately renting something better is out of the budget.

#### shiben

##### Well-Known Member
Unfortunately renting something better is out of the budget.
Rather small budget or is everything else costing a lot? Anything you can drop to get more control?

#### mstaylor

##### Well-Known Member
Departed Member
You need to explain to the powers to be that what you have is a DJ board that will control a few lights and that's it. It isn't intended to run anything more than a few lights around a DJ setup or some lights for a band. Somewhere along the line something has to give.

#### shiben

##### Well-Known Member
You need to explain to the powers to be that what you have is a DJ board that will control a few lights and that's it. It isn't intended to run anything more than a few lights around a DJ setup or some lights for a band. Somewhere along the line something has to give.
Thus why I support removing budget for the noise boys and use it for a console. Its 50 seats, they dont need it.