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Question on Controlling Lights

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by hlbly1969, May 8, 2009.

  1. hlbly1969

    hlbly1969 Member

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    Hello All,

    I run the light show for a 6 piece cover band.

    Currently using 3 different hardware controllers to run these lights. However I am switching over to computer control.
    Will be using Lightfactory software to control the lights. I want to be able to trigger the lights through Midi notes that come from the drums and Keyboard.

    I would like to feed the triggers from the drums into a "brain box" but also run the midi out from the keyboard into the same box and then to the computer. From the box to the computer could either be connected via USB, network or DMX. Prefer network or USB control

    I would love to keep this as simple as possible. I already pack in way more stuff than I would like to. But the band has really prospered with the light show that I do for them and I enjoy doing it.

    Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks
    Bill
     
  2. NickJones

    NickJones Active Member

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    Lightfactory is good software, especially with the additional hardware controllers to give you a more console like feel. To control the lights from the keyboard you would need a MIDI to USB converter. I can't tell you exactly how to set this up, but it will be relativity simple. You may also want to control them from somewhere other than the side of the stage, you may need a USB or MIDI extender, you can make them yourself using cheap Cat5 cable, using this pinout. I can't tell you what the maximum lenth you can run it is. You can also run it through XLR, the downside is you only get 16 bit signal, but this won't effect you much, again, making them yourself is cheaper than buying them. You can also run your DMX down XLR too, but for long runs it is not advisable, there are plenty of threads about this on here. If you want to risk it, its up to you.

    You would also need a USB to DMX converter, but I presume you know that.

    Nick
     
  3. hlbly1969

    hlbly1969 Member

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    Thanks Nick for the input.

    I usually run the lights from out front. I use at least 1 moving head and will add to this over time. Its much easier to see where to point it from out front than it is from the side ;)

    The Cat5 cable is a good trick that I wasnt aware that could be done. This will make it easier to run from the keyboard out to the computer.

    Does anyone know if there is a box that I can run 2 inputs to and have one output from? I would like to run the output from the drums to a midi box and the output from the keyboard to the same midi box. then the output from the midi box to the computer with the correct midi notes from each.

    Thanks
    Bill
     
  4. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV, USA
    From http://www.richmondsounddesign.com/faq.html:
    For Show Control applications, the JLCooper MLA series of MIDI Line Amplifiers is often used when sending MIDI signals over long distances.

    MIDI Solutions™ Merger appears to fulfill your requirements.
    [​IMG]
    I'm sure there are others, just Google "MIDI mergers."
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2009
  5. hlbly1969

    hlbly1969 Member

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    Thanks Derekleffew that is exactly what I was looking for.
     

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