Using ENNTEC DMX USB Pro Mk2 + Two Computers to replace a Lighting Board

  • Tech Staff

    So I am currently an undergrad in the USA, and I'm designing the Isadora and lighting for, and performing in, a dance piece for my thesis. I have successfully been controlling lighting instruments in our smallest theatre with a Leap Motion, a Korg NanoKontrol 2, and a Wiimote in conjunction with an ENNTEC DMX USB Pro Mk2 and OSCulator. For the performance I will be set up onstage with my computer and equipment, and I want to be able to control certain specials live (in addition to my projections and sound), while also having a board operator offstage controlling the normal lighting cues, because I leave my station to participate in the performance at certain points.

    My current plan is to go completely without a lighting board, and just use two Mac Pros with Isadora 2.0 plus one ENNTEC. My "board" operator would be at one computer, offstage, hooked up to the lighting system via the ENNTEC, and I would make my live changes via Net Broadcaster actors, which would feed into my op's computer. The op's Isadora patch will have preprogrammed lighting cues, built in Isadora, and a GO button, as he is not at all familiar with lighting boards or Isadora.
    Yesterday, the decision was made to move the piece from a dance studio with 36 dimmers to our main stage, which has 148\. The space is much better equipped lighting-wise, and so I now have a bit more on my plate than I originally planned. I was just going to put together a small control panel quickly for the original space, but now that I have between 148 and 228 control channels (we have some LED fixtures), I will likely need to figure out a way to do submasters, some other standard lighting controls, as well as making the 150-230 control channels. As such, I was wondering if anyone had a patch lying around with a virtual lighting board built in the control panel of Isadora that I could use as a template for my project. I know that I could just make 200+ sliders and attach their control IDs to the value ins for the Matrix Value Send Actors, but I'm not exactly sure how to go about making a virtual lighting board in Isadora that is more robust than that. An example of how one would make a submaster would also be extremely helpful.
    In addition to that, it would be helpful to know of any problems/complications you can foresee that I might encounter. While I've successfully used the ENNTEC to control lighting instruments on a proof-of-concept basis, this will be my first time using it for a performance.
    Many thanks in advance!

  • I'am currently testing an user actor for nanokontrol that allow you to have 4 layer of fader, buttons and so on, probably can be usefull for you.If you need it sen me a PM

    The way to have many subaster is to place every cue in a different scene and activate it through activate scene amount actor, then link this actor to nanokontrol. In my experience isadora and enttec dmx is a good solution, stable and easy to set up, but I never had so many channels to control, never more than 100

  • I would look at handing off the lightng work to a more suitable software. QLC+ is free and perfect for the job (great moving head and led support), it will also give you fine grained remote support over OSC from multiple stations and can run perfectly on a raspberry pi.

  • Tech Staff

    I personally like doing lighting in Isadora, but on the odd occasion that I need to do 'more'

    I like LightJams, it offers OSC in/out so its easy to control from Isadora.
  • Tech Staff

    I got quite far brute-forcing my way through making a lighting control board in Isadora based on the wonderful user actor for the NanoKontrol2 that Maximortal sent me. The original actor had 4 banks, and I expanded that to 16. However, I actually ended up deciding to go with a traditional lighting board in the end. It was a tough decision to make, but it was going to be too time-consuming (but still very possible) to record cues for the show using the NanoKontrol2 and Isadora rather than a lighting control board. It did mean that I had to give up on the idea of being able to make live changes from onstage via the NanoKontrol2, but I may just annex a few of our Selador Vivid Rs (7 colour LED lighting instruments) and use my ENNTEC and Korg to control them.

    I will finish the user actor after I'm done with this show, and would be happy to post it if anyone is interested. It gives you access to half a universe of DMX (16 x 16 = 256) in control channels that are faders/dials on the Korg NanoKontrol2, (though it could always be adapted for other purposes).
  • Tech Staff

    Sounds cool. This little user actor is really growing up.