About Beyond Ulimate how to control more than fifty FB4 hardware

Discussion in 'Lasershow Designer BEYOND' started by lvguilin, Sep 22, 2022.

  1. lvguilin

    lvguilin Member

    We want to try to perform with more than fifty FB4 controllers, how should we set it up
  2. Igor Strakhov

    Igor Strakhov Beta Tester

    Hi, lvguilin!

    BEYOND currently only supports 40 Hardware controllers (FB4, or FB3) per installation. This itself requires a very high performance pc to run. However there are a few options as we do have a number of clients who regularly exceed 40 lasers and even up in the hundreds of lasers. This mainly looks like having multiple PCs running together.

    For Timeline shows:
    The best way to create a timeline show for over 40 lasers, is to create one very large timeline and zone file on one pc to program. Once the programming is complete, you can save that file and distribute to multiple PCs. Delete the zones that are unneeded for that group of lasers on that pc, and for performance reasons we recommend deleting the tracks in the timeline that are not for that group of lasers on that pc. Then you can run all of these by having your first computer send some sort of timecode to the other PCs, over Artnet timecode, SNTC, Midi timecode etc.
    You can learn more about Beyond and timecode here: https://wiki.pangolin.com/doku.php?id=beyond:timecode&s[]=timecode

    For Live Shows:
    Create your live workspace and save the file. Distribute this to each pc for each group of lasers, so that the workspace file is the same for them all. Then use the Beyond talk server to connect all "secondary" PC's to follow instructions from the "Primary" PC. So any triggers like a cue, master fx, midi command etc is duplicated on all the "secondary" PC's.
    You can learn about the Beyond talk server here: https://wiki.pangolin.com/doku.php?id=beyond:package-sender&s[]=beyond&s[]=talk&s[]=server

    For DMX Shows:
    For DMX controlled shows, the process is very similar of live shows, except for each zone you will want to use DMX server inside of Beyond. This lets each laser be individually controlled from a console using beyond as a server to supply data to the lasers.
    Check out more on DMX Server:
    There is an alternative option for DMX control of FB4's from a console directly, where the content is stored on the SD card on the FB4's and triggered from DMX directly, the limitations on this are setup is longer on the console, and the lasers look less smooth as dmx and artnet packets only really go up to about 30fps while lasers can run above 120fps regularly. DMX server soothes this out for you.

    Things to keep in mind when making lasershows with this many lasers:
    1. This is a lot of work for the computer to process, you will want and need a very high performance PC, and you will need to use parametric images when making your cues, they are very efficient and help with performance.
    2. Each computer needs its own separate BEYOND license
    3. Each computer and group of lasers needs to be on an independent network from each other, so each computer can only see up to 40 FB4s on the network.
    4. It is recommended if you can, to power up the lasers in the order you want them to be in BEYOND this will make zoning and assigning FB4s to zones much faster.
    Martin Kapp likes this.