midi interface between lighting and sound

ccfan213

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Jun 20, 2004
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Maryland
this question is about lighting but pertains to sound too, so i wasnt sure where to put it...

how would i go about setting up midi from my soundboard to my lightboard? my soundboard is a crest x8 and my lightboard is a colortran encore 24/48. the crest board doesnt have midi, but the colortran does. if you are not familiar with these specific boards but know how to set up midi from a sound console to a light console in general post that too...
 

scarlco

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Jan 16, 2005
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If the crest doesn't have MIDI, there's not much you can do with that setup alone. We use two Yamaha PM3500 boards, which have MIDI in. The MIDI's pretty useless, though. It only allows us to change the preset 'scene' memories on the sound board. However, we use MiniDiscs for sound effects. They have remote play capabilities. Out of the ETC lightboard, we rigged a MIDI trigger with simply closes a relay, and patched that relay to the MiniDisc's play trigger. On a lightening cue, the strobes would flash, and the MD would play a thunder sound. Fun... as long as 'thunder' was cued up. Was hilarious the day 'farm animals' was cued up by mistake....
 

ccfan213

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Maryland
i have my own yamaha 12ch, that has midi, suppose i bring that in and run one of the outputs from the crest to the yamaha and the yamaha to the light console? would that work or does it not convert after it has been mixed..
 

scarlco

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Your Yamaha 12ch has MIDI? I'm very confused.... exactly what is it that you're hoping to achieve by hooking these two devices up, anyway?
 

ccfan213

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Jun 20, 2004
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Maryland
this is more theoretical, i saw it in another post "what is midi" and decided to ask, i would use it for something like a lightning chase or a rock concert. the yamaha 12ch has midi, but i would be mixing the show on the crest, could i take an aux output from the crest into ch1 on the yamaha and send the midi from the yamaha to the lightboard?
 

scarlco

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Ahhhh... I see where you're going. Unfortunately, it's not quite as simple as that. Your Yamaha is most likely a digital mixer, that's why it has MIDI. You see, the MIDI in such a case is used to perform certain functions, such as muting a channel or changing effects. While you could connect your lightboard to do such a thing, it wouldn't be as 'fun' as a chasing light effect. And, as far as your other board, there's really nothing MIDI can do with that. At all.

To make the lights 'chase' to a MIDI signal, it would involve providing a MIDI source - from a computer or a keyboard, for example... and you'd have to program the source to provide the lightboard with the necessary MIDI 'codes' to perform whatever function you desired, such as chasing lights or what have you.

It's really complex, and has nothing to do with the mixer.
 

ccfan213

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Maryland
oh, i see, i must have gotten some misinformation along the way, someone at my sleepaway camp a few years ago told me that you could take the midi output from a digital mixer and plug it into the midi input on a lighting console to do chases and whatnot, or at least thats what i think he said, but he was a radio sound guy who was working in a sleepaway camp's theatre program over the summer, so he wouldnt know that much about lighting.
 

scarlco

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Jan 16, 2005
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Las Vegas, NV
Well, I suppose you could program the mixer to make the lights chase, if the mixer was capable of sending MIDI control data that you preprogrammed. You could also program the mixer to send MIDI commands when you pressed certain buttons, but you might as well press the buttons on the light board instead. It wouldn't be to any 'beat' or time. It would just be a bunch of data. For the same effect, you could just program the light board to chase. It would be a lot more work than it's worth, and it's not really what it's designed for.

And also, an analog mixer like the crest can't do anything midi. Only digital mixers have that functionality.
 

bdesmond

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Mar 8, 2004
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Chicago, IL USA
ccfan213 said:
oh, i see, i must have gotten some misinformation along the way, someone at my sleepaway camp a few years ago told me that you could take the midi output from a digital mixer and plug it into the midi input on a lighting console to do chases and whatnot, or at least thats what i think he said, but he was a radio sound guy who was working in a sleepaway camp's theatre program over the summer, so he wouldnt know that much about lighting.
Yes you can often rig these things up. Some lighting desks will have a sound to light option as well which will sync up light levels with audio levels.
 

scarlco

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Las Vegas, NV
From what I can see, the ETC 125 has no input for audio beat detection, which is what this is:
Yes you can often rig these things up. Some lighting desks will have a sound to light option as well which will sync up light levels with audio levels.
Some DJ oriented lighting controllers use this feature. Some have a built-in microphone to respond to ambient sounds in a room. Most professional boards do have a midi input, but that's not the same thing.

You can't just plug in the audio from a mixer via midi to have the lights react, nor does any mixer that I'm aware of produce midi data based on the beat of the music it's processing.

If there is a piece of equiptment that does that, please let me know.
 

freshmantech

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Jan 10, 2005
ETC Express 48/96 beat matching

I was told similar information over the years by tech's at our school reguarding the syncing of a beat via midi from our computer output (we have an sound blaster audigy card) and our ETC express 48/96. if this is possible it would be wonderful but we have never toyed with this option as our stock of midi cables is non-existant. Anyone who knows anything please let me know!
 

bdesmond

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Mar 8, 2004
Location
Chicago, IL USA
scarlco said:
From what I can see, the ETC 125 has no input for audio beat detection, which is what this is:
Yes you can often rig these things up. Some lighting desks will have a sound to light option as well which will sync up light levels with audio levels.
Some DJ oriented lighting controllers use this feature. Some have a built-in microphone to respond to ambient sounds in a room. Most professional boards do have a midi input, but that's not the same thing.
I'm not saying htere are. I know Strand's consoles which I'm familiar with have sound to light submasters and xlr inputs to patch to these. I've never used one, but, the submaster's level is proportional to the level on the audio line.
 

moojoe

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Sep 25, 2004
Location
merion, PA
scarlco said:
If the crest doesn't have MIDI, there's not much you can do with that setup alone. We use two Yamaha PM3500 boards, which have MIDI in. The MIDI's pretty useless, though. It only allows us to change the preset 'scene' memories on the sound board. However, we use MiniDiscs for sound effects. They have remote play capabilities. Out of the ETC lightboard, we rigged a MIDI trigger with simply closes a relay, and patched that relay to the MiniDisc's play trigger. On a lightening cue, the strobes would flash, and the MD would play a thunder sound. Fun... as long as 'thunder' was cued up. Was hilarious the day 'farm animals' was cued up by mistake....
is it possible you could draw up how you created that? id be extremely interested in that kind of thing.
 

scarlco

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Jan 16, 2005
Location
Las Vegas, NV
When I get in to work tomorrow, I'll see if I can dig the unit up and get some pics and info off of it. It's been a few shows since we used it, but I think the ME squirreled it away where it can be found again.
 

moojoe

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Sep 25, 2004
Location
merion, PA
thanks a lot
 

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