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Show control



  • Hi,

    If I purchase a LanBox or ENTTEC box does it understand where I am in the cue sequence?  Currently, I use a Rosco Keystroke which recieves a signal from the light board then converts the signal to be the "space bar"  to activate my triggers.  The problem comes when I need to go back into my cue sequence for whatever reason.  The Rosco Keystroke has no idea what is going on it only acts as the "space bar" and a stagehand has to manually reset the Issy sequence.  Do the new boxes along with some special actor allow the light board and Issy to talk to each other to know where in the show the "scene" is located thus allowing you to jump around in the show for tech rehearsals?  Thanks.



  • You could probably figure out a way to make that work but it is going to be hacky at best. What you really want is a USB to MIDI interface and then you should be able to use MIDI Show Control to jump around in scenes. What light board are you using this with?



  • Strand 550i



  • I seem to recall that the 550i does indeed support MSC so that would probably be your best bet.



  • The problem, I believe, is that Isadora does not currently support MIDI Show Control input (apparently it is on its way).  It does support MSC out and MIDI in and out.  I have successfully built a patch that allows for an ETC Express lighting board to send MIDI commands to Isadora, which will do just as you ask - fire specific scenes based on the current lighting cue with the ability to go forward, back and jump. It would seem that the Strand 550i will output regular MIDI, so you could probably do something similar.

    To specifically answer your question though, both the Lanbox and the Enttec are optimized to output DMX (i.e. replace the lighting board, not slave to it).  Although both can be used to input DMX into Isadora, it is as Matthew says, hacky at best, and it will not really do what you want.



  • Hmmm... is it really "hacky at best"? Using the DMX signals themselves to control Isadora seems much cleaner to me. A handful of users (at least -- there may be others I don't know about) are doing this successfully. There's one in particular who has darn near recreated Pandora's Box on Izzy.

    So, perhaps you can elaborate on your "hacky at best" comment.
    Best Wishes,
    Mark


  • I guess what I mean to say is that DMX is not meant to be used as a show controller in the way described above, it is meant to send a streams of data to discrete addresses.  I have also used DMX input into Isadora many times to control specific parameters (e.g. projector intensity) quite successfully.  There are two ways (that I can think of) to use a DMX signal to trigger scene changes in Isadora.  The first would be to use a specific DMX address and have it trigger scenes based on its intensity level.  This is problematic because lighting boards use control values between 0 and 100, whereas the DMX signal is between 0 and 255, so rounding can be an issue.  The second method would be to use individual DMX addresses for each scene, and have them triggered when that address reached a certain threshold.  This method is more robust, but it can quickly eat away at your available DMX addresses once you get into a large show situation.  Also, as of my last testing, the Enttec was only able to input DMX addresses 1-9 (as limited by Isadora's Serial In Watcher).

    Both of these methods also require a lot of programming on the lighting board side to make them work, which is problematic if you have a separate lighting designer who doesn't want to spend the extra time. MIDI or MSC, on the other hand, can usually be sent automatically from most lighting consoles, so the lighting programmer can set and forget it and then Isadora can be programmed to listen to the lighting cues and act appropriately.

    Furthermore, since the OP was looking to purchase an Enttec or Lanbox to overcome a specific problem, we are suggesting that purchasing a midi interface would be a cheaper and easier way of doing it.

    Craig

    PS: I am looking forward to seeing a MIDI Show Control listener sometime in the future, as it would solve a lot of issues that I commonly encounter.



  • I've attached a portion of an Izzy file that I have used in the past to slave Isadora to an ETC Express lighting console.  It uses the MIDI out function of the board (each LX cue number is sent as a MIDI value) to activate and deactivate scenes and it uses DMX in via a Lanbox to control intensity of the 3 projectors.  Lots of user actors.  This could be adapted to the Strand 550i, depending on how that board sends MIDI signals.
    b69107-cue-from-express.izz



  • Just to clarify, my comment about DMX based show control being hacky was not a reflection of Isadora's DMX support but rather the fact that DMX was never intended to be a show control protocol and, as such, devices like light boards don't really provide an elegant way to have something like a channel that automatically conveys the current cue. Isadora isn't really the problem (although MSC in would be really awesome) the issue is that light boards aren't going to do what the OP wants via DMX without someone programming the necessary information into each cue, which is a pain in the ass.



  • Has anyone created a DMX input actor for Isadora?

    [http://dx.com/p/usb-to-rs485-module-black-221402](http://dx.com/p/usb-to-rs485-module-black-221402)

    RS485  is  DMX!

    Can Isadora accept RS485?


  • Dear @opmeyer,

    The cheapest solutions are either ENTTEC DMX USB Pro or DMX King. There is an example patch posted on the forum somewhere that will allow you to read DMX from these devices. Details on the devices can be found here: http://troikatronix.com/support/recommended/
    Best Wishes,
    Mark


  • Hi @opmeyer,
    I posted a DMX input actor for the enttec dmx usb pro here: http://troikatronix.com/troikatronixforum/discussion/comment/6607#Comment_6607

    you may try this actor, which works fine with various dmx sources (MA Light Commander, Lanbox, Avolite Pearl, Stairville DMX master) It didn't work with Sand Box though. For communication with the Sand Box the attached actor worked.

    cheers, gunther
    0eec36-dmx-input-actor-serial-input-text.izz



  • i'm a bit late to this thread, however with much interest i have caught up with it today.

    in some older show control programmes the question of "where am i in the sequence?" was taken care of of "pozitracking" or "dynamic tracking". devices connected to a time line being synchronised to that timeline and where ever one went on the time line, all the devices would be updated to the new position. ( this was especially useful when working with handfuls of pvw beta sp decks. )
    in this case there appears to be a need for the lighting board cue to contain a unique identifier for that cue that isadora can read and adjust the active scene to match the unique identifier.
    in isadora the "current scene number" actor can derive the isadora part of the logic sum. having a routine of comparing the incoming unique identifier with the current scene number can both advance and reset the position of isadora relative to the unique identifier from the lighting board.  
    (apologies if in this thread, other comments have suggested something similar and i've failed to see that.)

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