[ANSWERED] More questions about DMX lighting

  • Hi All

    I'm just starting experimenting with DMX and Isadora. A question arises in my feeble mind... it seems many of you use OSC to communicate with a lighting program. I know it has double the resolution of MIDI, but is it that much better? I am trying out QLC+ and it can use either protocol, but seems fussy at times, so I'm investigating LightKey which only has MIDI. Any experience you could share?

    My plan is to use a TH2Go plus QT quad audio files and plus some protocol to control a fairly simple DMX lighting setup for an installation project. The video & audio patches I use work fine on my older MacBookPro, but I am concerned about adding the "outside" program. I get my dmxKing Pro interface today, so some real experience will no doubt help.

    Thanks, John

  • @jjhp3 I use qlc and trigger it via osc all the time. I never saw it to be picky, it has osc learn. Mostly though I creat scenes and chasers in qlc and then create an interface where I can attach functions (either exclusive so each button turns all the others off) or just one shot so the scenes can accumulate. All the osc does is trigger a scene.

    Yes, midi is 7 bit, DMX is 8, so you get half the resolution, the same goes for using midi to fade video which is also 8 bit. It is hard to get smooth fades.

  • Tech Staff

    Since you say some fairly simple lighting, I would suggest you consider running it from within Isadora.
    I personally find minimizing the setup (less interconnected softwares) preferable. 
    It is possible to do some pretty great lighting work from Isadora.

    I use dmxKing interfaces and they have been working great for me.
    I posted about 2 User Actors that I use with these interfaces here: https://community.troikatronix...

    Both are available in the Plugins Section.

  • Tech Staff

    QLC+ would be my recommendation. It's pretty robust as far as I'm concerned. Is your network solid?

  • Thank you all for taking the time to help me... I am not using a network, just USB connection. Networking is not something I'm familiar with. QLC+ is working, but I learn from others' examples (thanks Izzy users!) and while informative the QLC+ site leaves me with lots of questions. At least they have a forum!

  • Tech Staff

    Hi there @JJHP3,

    Feel free to send me a DM if you have any questions regarding QLC+, glad to give you a hand :) I'm one of those users that uses OSC to connect to my lighting desk, I do this mainly because my setups are rather 'complicated' and I wish to receive feedback from the desk as well. It is one thing to send stuff, but getting software to talk to eachother and respond to certain events is where the magic happens :)

    Adding QLC+ to an installation is a great idea and really low weight on your computer resources.

  • @jjhp3 as a fast hint for QLC+ make your fixtures (groups are great here for expanding shows in larger spaces), make scenes from fixtures. The trick to make it work easily with Isadora is creating setups in the virtual console. Most simply let's say you have 10 scenes, add a 5x2 button matrix to the virtual console. When you make the matrix you will get an option to set the buttons as exclusive or not (this stumped me for ages, if they are not exclusive you will just trigger scenes on top of each other, so I like exclusive when connecting to Isadora).  Assign a function to each of the buttons (double click in design mode I think), give each button one of your scenes. 

    For midi or osc you need to enable them in the input/output tab, once this is done you can use the midi learn function in QLC. Send midi or osc (as we are not sending levels just triggering scenes and I'm assuming we are using qlc and isadora on the same computer midi is fine). Use the midi learn from each button in the matrix to learn a new midi note from isadora. Now you should be able to trigger the scene from Isadora. The scenes could also be chasers or more wild effects and by using multiple button matrices things can get more interesting. Of course you can use faders in the qlc virtual console to get scene level access from Isadora as well.

    QLC+ will also work with artnet very easily, as well as almost any cheap USB DMX module.

    As @DusX mentioned Isadora can do lighting directly, and I am also not a fan of running multiple softwares on one computer. The jump for me was that qlc can run perfectly on a raspberry pi, and there is a dial image you can download (the author asks for a donation for access to this). It has autorun and a web portal access so you don't even need a screen. It is pretty reliable once you get the swing of it and it is pretty much a very cheap lighting console.