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simultaneous sound and light cues

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by brookedavis, Jun 25, 2009.

  1. brookedavis

    brookedavis Member

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    I need to work a sound and lighting dance recital on my own and I have been trying to find a simple mac based software that will allow me to set lighting cues to the music. I would prefer not to be trying to run between the lighting board and computer... I am new at this and can barley work the lighting and sound boards on their own, much less at the same time. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. David Ashton

    David Ashton Active Member

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    "I am new at this and can barley work the lighting and sound boards on their own"[sic]
    There is no simple way, if you are that inexperienced, the only practical answer is some person to help, preferably a dancer, there's usually an injured one around.
     
  3. Grommet

    Grommet Member

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    If all of their music is on CDs you could rip those on to your computer plugging that into the mixer.
    Set the computer volume to 50% and set the levels on the mixer before hand.
    That way if there are numbers that need a boost in volume that can be adjusted via laptop.

    this will give you the familiar interface where you can start and stop music leaving your mind to figure the light board.

    I have done a show where i rearranged the booth in order to do sound and lights at once. I wish i had a picture. Lighting board on top of sound rack next to mixer...cables all over.
     
  4. NickJones

    NickJones Active Member

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    Check out Qlabs, it lets you control everything, and may be of some use to you if you rip your music off the CD's and have a DMX-USB controler. It's Mac software and can be found here.
    Nick
     
  5. zac850

    zac850 Well-Known Member

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    QLab + MIDI would solve your problem. QLab starts playing the music, and then will send a MIDI-GO command to your light board. You would need QLab, the QLab MIDI License, a USB-MIDI adaptor (I got one for around $35 off Amazon), a light board that will take MIDI in, and the ability to figure out both QLab (fairly simple program, if you give yourself the time to learn it, I'm sure you could) and how to make your console listen to MIDI commands.

    What kind of lighting console is it?

    (This is what NickJones suggested above me, I think he mis-typed and meant to say USB-MIDI controller, not USB-DMX)
     
  6. brookedavis

    brookedavis Member

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    Thanks for the suggestion. I had looked at QLabs, but was not sure if I could control the lights with it; I figured I would download it and play around with it, but my computer wont let me unarchived it.

    Also, as far as I can tell our lighting board is called "Strand Lighting." It connects to a computer via CAT 5.
     
  7. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    Strand Lighting is the brand name of the light board, not the model.

    Qlab will connect via a MIDI connection, and you need the Pro MIDI license in order to trigger lighting cues from a computer. You'll also need a USB>MIDI interface in order to use Qlab to get your computer to output MIDI.

    The network jack on the lighting board is for connection to a proprietary lighting control network.
     
  8. brookedavis

    brookedavis Member

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    I did manage to download QLabs, now I just need to figure out how it works. I have my computer hooked up to the sound board. I will continue to play around with the program, but can anyone explain how to hook up the lighting board?
     
  9. David Ashton

    David Ashton Active Member

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    For this to work you'll need a compatable lighting board but more crucially you will need to plot each cue into it, assuming that you have time to do this and assuming you only want one state per dance, you are still leaving yourself vulnerable to a change in the programme on the night, dancer falls on stairs, that dance is cancelled/postponed but you are locked in to your plot, not to forget how boring is 1 state per dance.
    I strongly recomend you don't do it this way, you're adding complexity to a situation that you are inexperienced in.
     
  10. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Have to agree with David. It's clear you have VERY little experience setting up lights. Combined with learning new software in Q-lab... that's too much. Find someone who knows how to program the light board and you'll be much happier. This isn't just a matter of hooking the two up together and the lights will magically dance to the music.

    If you have to do this on your own then yes Q-lab and midi are your best bet. Find out the model number of the light board and we can help you figure out if it will take midi and perhaps help you set it up. You will have to learn to program a series of looks into the light board. Q-lab will send a signal via Midi when you start a song and the light board will give you the next lighting look in the cue stack. It'll work. When do you need to do this show? How much time do you have to learn to do it right?
     
  11. brookedavis

    brookedavis Member

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    I see your point. I don't have time to try to hook everything up before Saturday's show. I have been focusing lights and setting up submasters for the last few hours and I have placed my laptop next to the lighting board... I think I will be able to handle this show.

    However, I will be doing a lot of these shows in the future and I would like to learn how QLab works at some point; it sounds like it will make my job much easier. Where would I find the model number of our lighting board?
     
  12. rochem

    rochem Well-Known Member

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    Look all around the board. The location differs wildly depending on the type of board. Maybe check if there's a sticker on the back of the board or something which might help. Also, when you first turn on the board, watch the monitor as it loads the software. Something should come up that tells you what kind of board you're using, or at least what software. Also, take a couple photos of the board and post them on here, and someone should be able to identify it.
     
  13. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    If it is blue, has rubberized buttons, and has a separate CPU then it is a 300. If it doesn't have a number like 520/530/520i on the right hand side of the face panel then it is probably an oder model, and not a 500 series desk.

    As for how to do this. I would suggest picking up a Rosco Keystroke. They are $300 but worth every penny if this is something you do often. You just plug the DMX out of your console into the Keystroke and the plug the Keystroke into your sound computer via USB. Configure the Keystroke software on your computer and you are set to go. It can be setup to fire single keystrokes or strings of keys, so you can make it do almost anything on your computer. Then you just program it into your light cues and can sync any computer based media (sound, projections, powerpoint, etc) with your lighting cues.
     

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