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Expression 3 and Smartfade via DMX in

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by willbb123, Mar 22, 2009.

  1. willbb123

    willbb123 Active Member

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    So I got this idea that works perfectly in my head... but probably will not in real life.
    At my theater we have an Expression 3, and there is a big concert coming up and 24 submasters wont cut it. And I've always found it too confusing to switch pages. There isn't a fader wing for the Expressions...
    I can borrow an Smartfade 2496 from a local community theater that I design for. I currently use 2 DMX universes (1 for conventional, #2 for scrollers and DMX strobes). In my head I think it would be possible to connect one the two boards together and use the DMX in either on the Smartfade or the Expression. That way I could use the smartfade as submasters.

    Is this possible?
     
  2. Jeroen

    Jeroen Member

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    I did not try it before with my Smartfade, but it can either merge with DMX or take input from DMX, with the newest smartsoft loaded it even shows the dmx input and output on a screentab.

    In normal mode the dmx input is on fader 1, using a smartfade 2496 you can use all 48 faders as submasters.
     
  3. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    Yes, you can use the DMX in on the smartfade and have an additional set of faders that way. I did this with a Smartfade ML and a Smartfade, but it works the same way with an Expression - universe 1 out the main board and in to the SF, then SF out to dimmers.
     
  4. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    I know its not possible with the DMX in from the expression. But, as posted above, I guess you can do it the other way.

    Side note: it is possible on Strand 500/300 to use an external board and run DMX into it and use those DMX in slots as extra subs. Did this a few years back with an old ETC idea and it worked great.
     
  5. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    DMX In on the Expression only reads one universe. You then have to assign a range of unused console channels to assign the incoming DMX channels to, hopefully a different channel assignment then the console is currently running in it's standard patch. The console channels for incoming DMX data then read in Focus Point Zero, so you call up that FP to see/capture the values.

    Probably useful in a scenario where you assign all conventionals to the Expression with ML's and others on the SF, then capture the SF data as recordable looks for cues on the Expression, so as to have one master cue list.

    Steve B.
     
  6. disc2slick

    disc2slick Active Member

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    Hey,

    It is possible to do, I think. Though I can't give you exact directions on it, never having done it myself. I am constantly in the same situation as you (running out of subs on an expression III and I also have access to a smartfade, just never got around to trying to set-up). Definitely read the DMX-In part of the manual for the Expression because it involves more than just running a cable from one board to another. There's a whole deal with setting channels to Focus Point 0 etc. Also, you could only control 1 universe, but I imagine that would be enough.

    What I'm not sure of is if the Smartfade would be spitting out channel #s to the expression or DMX values. I assume it would be sending DMX values (just like sending signal to a dimmer or movers or whatever), which means you could just patch groups of dimmers to a single channel on the SF and have it work like a submaster, kind of. Unless you want to have the instruments at different levels within the sub (not all at full). If it is sending channel #s out, well that sucks, cause then you are limited to 96 channels (or 48 easily accessible ones). I suppose depending on how your Expression is set up that might be enough.

    Bottom line is...I'm pretty sure it can be done, and if you make it work I'd love to know how you do it.

    -Dan
     
  7. willbb123

    willbb123 Active Member

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    I'm sitting with the boards right now. I connected DMX universe 1 to the out on the smartfade, then the out from the expression to the In on the smartfade. I had to change the DMX in settings on the smartfade to "To Memory". It works exactly like I wanted.
    Mem 1 has to be up to pass through the lights from the expression. If you bring lights up on the expression you can record them to memories on the smartfade.

    Now that ive figured this out the smartfade may have to be used for another show at a different location....:rolleyes:
     
  8. Jeroen

    Jeroen Member

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    That's exactly how i would suggest to use the smartfade in this combination, giving you a lot of (submaster)faders when on a Smartfade 2496. Good thing you got it easily to workthe way you wanted it.
     

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