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Show Control automation - Midi/DMX, PPT

Discussion in 'Multimedia, Projection, and Show Control' started by jamsession, Feb 5, 2009.

  1. jamsession

    jamsession Member

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    I'm helping with a show that has

    Lighting: an (oldish) Strand MX board (bidirectional midi and DMX512 ports) (no moving fixtures, about 10 circuits currently)
    Sound: audio mixer with midi in/out, that can store scenes and fwd/bck via midi program changes
    Graphics: pc1 for PPT slides to project overhead. (I can hook up a USB/fw sound card to it to add midi if needed)
    Soundfx, cd tracks/mp3: pc2 with (soundcuesoftware lite at the moment) for doing sound cues.

    I'm "the" technical guy, running sound amongst other things, and would like to automate the production scene-to-scene. as much as realistic, and key requirement is easy editing of lighting scene programming, editing, as director just might be changing their mind during rehearsals, hehe.

    Any suggestions on best, cost-effective way to do this?

    I'm guessing it 2 or 3 main parts - a lighting control program that can send the dmx commands out to to board or fixtures directly, and receive midi commands for each scene change.

    Plus a main show control program to move from scene to scene changes and manually trigger sound cues (+midi to mixer scene changes, + midi to roscoe keystroke for PPT)

    k, silly question: Could I use a midi sequencer to do this?
    am also checking out roscoe keystroke based on discussions about that (to receive (midi commands? or dmx only?) to receive scene changes and sync the overhead PPT graphics. So if mixer scenes,

    note: If I had a lighting program/interface that output the DMX commands, I'd be ok with bypassing the board altogether, rather than programming/editing the scenes via the board (awkward/time consuming) - so that is one piece I want to solve if cost-effective.

    so ideally it would be pressing a button at each scene step to change lighting, overhead graphics, mixer scenes, and use the other hand to trigger sound cues on time as needed. ;) At least make it easier for those who are doing it.

    fyi - would like to keep solution under $1k if feasible, less is better. I'm pc based at the moment but if qlab can do all this, I'd consider "the switch" (and I'd have to borrow some macs at first)

    I've been reading other threads on similar topics, but given my timeframe I figured it might be better to post the puzzle pieces I am working with and the problems I want to solve and see how others would tackle this.

    I'll keep researching but any help is much appreciated. Thx
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2009
  2. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Saratoga Springs, NY
    Rosco has that product the goes from dmx to ps2 that pretty much just emulates keyboard commands. That might be your best option for the pp stuff. As far as the sound thing goes, the .mx should be able to control it, however it might be pretty limited.
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  3. NickJones

    NickJones Active Member

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    Somewhere far far away, Vic, Aus
    PS2 being the plug on the end of your keyboard, not playstation ;)
  4. jamsession

    jamsession Member

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    So, I little farther down the road, research-wise......

    I realize that using a midi sequencer opens up a whole nother can of worms.... it could add some benefit for syncronized shows (dance recitals, etc), but introduces more programming and possible points of failure, difficulty in debugging.

    And since I'm mostly doing theatre (event-based lighting sequences), what I really need solution wise is a simple scene step-editor, that does DMX lighting control (with USB-DMX interface), and can output midi triggers to sound cue program, mixer scenes, and even to PPT player to sync overhead graphics to scenes (these are cross faded with live video feeds of actors through a video switch)

    I've only found one for the PC that does all that - PCSTAGE, and looks like it would do the trick, although website is old and it seems to be written by 1 person in the uk. I would feel more comfortable with a more mainstream app for supportability, but the users who are using it seem fairly happy with it.

    for the price it might be worth a try.

    But if anyone has a fav PC-based DMX control solution that also sends midi triggers, (+ for audio cueing and Graphics/PPT) I'd be glad to hear about it. Thx
  5. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Las Vegas, NV, USA
    If only there was a book that covered topics such as this.;)

    Also, check out The Show Control Mailing List. Like the Stagecraft Mailing List, it seems (to me) an archaic manner in which to share information (now that we have forums like ControlBooth), but it works, and many like it.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 30, 2014
    jamsession and (deleted member) like this.

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