Please recommend the best laptop-based cued lighting system

deepavali

Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2011
Location
India
Hi everyone, I need some advise. I'm based in India, and 90% of the lighting I do for theatrical shows is on submasters, live. The other 10% is on Avolite boards. I have trained on ETC consoles with Go buttons, but that was over 6 years ago in the US.

I need to light two plays in the next month that need to be run by go button, possibly by someone other than me. I can't afford to rent a console or buy one, and anyway I want to have a permanent solution to this kind of situation, so I was hoping to get a USB to DMX dongle and software to go with it. Right now I also need to go for something as cheap as possible, since most of the theatre shows I'll be doing this for operate with between 12 and 48 dimmers, and conventional lighting (PARs, Fresnels, Profiles/Source 4s, PCs).

But since I've never handled anything like that, I have no idea what works best, what is easy to programme, etc.

(I also have a deadline since I need to order the thing by the 20th in order for someone to bring it back for me from the US.)

Any advice, suggestions, recommendations would be very welcome!
 

robmerow

Active Member
Joined
Apr 20, 2010
Location
NYC
Some options would be:

ETC Nomad Software, 256 channel dongle, and USB-DMX gadget = $700
MA Dot2 free OnPc with Entecc Arntet USB-DMX = $200-300 depending on which interface
Martin M-Series free PC Version with M-DMX = $250

All have free software you can download to tryout and see what suits you.
  • ETC has the best theater stack features.
  • MA Dot2 has some frustraing submaster limitations, but a free 3d Visualizer.
  • M-Series is a happy medium and has excellent support for cheap MIDI hardware & TouchOSC.
 

deepavali

Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2011
Location
India
Some options would be:

ETC Nomad Software, 256 channel dongle, and USB-DMX gadget = $700
MA Dot2 free OnPc with Entecc Arntet USB-DMX = $200-300 depending on which interface
Martin M-Series free PC Version with M-DMX = $250

All have free software you can download to tryout and see what suits you.
  • ETC has the best theater stack features.
  • MA Dot2 has some frustraing submaster limitations, but a free 3d Visualizer.
  • M-Series is a happy medium and has excellent support for cheap MIDI hardware & TouchOSC.
Thanks! What channel dongle and USB-DMX gadget would you recommend for the Nomad? Since I know nothing, I'm not even sure of all the brand names out there.
Also someone mentioned the Lanbox from Europe. Any idea about that?
I like the idea of being able to wirelessly communicate with the dmx controller so that I can sit with my laptop in the house while cueing and not have to be stuck in the booth.
 

gafftaper

Senior Team
Senior Team
Fight Leukemia
Joined
Jan 2, 2006
Location
Seattle, WA
If you are already familiar with Avolites, why not buy an Avo Titan One DMX Dongle. They are less than $300 in the US and it's the full AVO Titan software restricted to one universe output on a laptop. Cheap, powerful, and you already know the software.
 

MikeJ

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2013
Location
Here and There
Just out of curiosity, what limitations are you referring to? Are they somewhat stripped of funcionality compared to console version of gMA2?
Well First off DOT2, and MA2 both do not have "submasters," but my guess is that the complaint is is that all executors are LTP only, with no HTP/HIGH/LOW/SUPER options. I have found workarounds for some things, but they are more complicated than most Dot2 users would ever want or need to use.

Dot2 offers one free universe, using any artnet node.

Martin MPC offers (4) four free universes, using any artnet node.

Chamsys offers....a UI from the 1990's....and bunches of free outputs using an artnet node.
 

deepavali

Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2011
Location
India
Thank you everyone! I'm still trying to figure out the best option, since what I need it for is mostly for easy cuing of theatrical shows, not for building presets to busk with for rock show type things.
I'm avoiding Avolite because I actually dislike their boards for programming cues. I like consoles where its easy to enter say @ 50 % enter, and also update a cue. :)
 

dbaxter

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2007
Location
Rochester, NY
Cue Player Lighting is designed more for theater than busking. It allows an operator to run a whole show with just the space bar. And it does have subs and the ability to add cues by typing 4/8*40 (set channels 4 to 8 at 40%). There is soft patching, group and scene store and recall as well. Disclaimer: it is from my company. You may PM me here or from the web site with any questions.
 

Jay Ashworth

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2014
Location
St Pete FL USA
Cue Player Lighting is designed more for theater than busking. It allows an operator to run a whole show with just the space bar. And it does have subs and the ability to add cues by typing 4/8*40 (set channels 4 to 8 at 40%). There is soft patching, group and scene store and recall as well. Disclaimer: it is from my company. You may PM me here or from the web site with any questions.
I assume you picked those keys cause they're on the keypad?
 

EdSavoie

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2016
Location
Windsor, ON, Canada
If you only need 512 channels, you can always get a cheap uDMX adaptor off the internet and run QLC+ with it, I've been using it to control moving heads with cues.

Grand total of $20-$40 bucks?
 

dbaxter

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2007
Location
Rochester, NY
Jay, you can set a fixture (led or mover) with whatever channels it has. The only difference is if you designate an 'intensity' channel it displays 0-100 instead of 0-255 and it will react to a blackout button. If you are using the color selector or the gel number, it does only think about RGB. Not sure how you would get amber into that sort of selection. But you can have an amber channel. And, Yes, the keyboard entry syntax is designed for the number keypad.