DMX Light Show Programming Tools

Discussion in 'Lasershow Designer QuickShow' started by PhillD, Sep 30, 2011.

  1. PhillD

    PhillD Beta Tester

    Please can someone tell me if it is possible to do a couple of these things in the Quick DMX Programming tab in Quick Show.

    1. Adjust Crossfade speed between scenes. I know about the smooth step option on each DMX channel but that's really not what I need).

    2. Ability to select and move multiple faders at once.

    3. Ability to copy and paste values in the DMX Grid view.

    4. Quickly adjust values in the DMX Grid without having to right click and select the value option. I would love to be able to use the arrow keys and then enter a value directly with the keyboard. I've tried all the shortcut keys I can think of but none of them work.

    If there's any other advice people can offer me to help make programming DMX shows easier, then I would be very greatful.
  2. PhillD

    PhillD Beta Tester

    Can anyone help me? Am I doing something wrong? Do people use other software to control DMX shows? I would have thought it would be very common to use this kind of feature?
  3. johnfl68

    johnfl68 Active Member

    PhillD - please have some patience. There are a lot of knowledgeable people in here, but they don't always check the forum every day.

    I would think that someone should be able to offer some insight to your questions soon.

  4. PhillD

    PhillD Beta Tester

    Sorry, I didn't mean to come across as impatient. Just wondered if I am doing something that nobody really uses. I have figured out that you can right click in the DMX grid and choose select Row, then you can right click the fader bar at the edge of the DMX grid and set a value using the mouse or arrow keys. That's really still a little awkaward. I have to program an entire nights evening for a Halloween party as well as decorate my entire garage by Oct 29th. I know that's a long way off but I work long hours and I don't have much time to play with Quick Show. It can be as little tedious to program the DMX shows in QuickShow. Please, don't get me wrong, I really love the software overall especially for the price, but I do wish it had some of the more advanced features you see in other DMX related software. e.g. select all faders of a particular type (Pan/Tilt etc) by double clicking a single fader. I know this would involve some additional functionality such as loading/setting fixture profiles but I think it would be worth it. Being able to multi select different faders by holding shift + click or ctrl + click etc. I'm hoping some seasoned users can give me some quick tips how to make things a little easier.

    Thanks in advance.
  5. smokeAndMirrors

    smokeAndMirrors Well-Known Member

    Hi Phil

    I'm afraid the DMX functionality in QS2 is limited, and you have found some of the weaknesses. I use the software to control 2 satellite lasers with DMX (still saving for 2 more FB3s!), plus some LED mini moving heads. You can do basic stuff, but no more. I have put in a number of requests to Pangolin for better DMX support, in particular a way to control repeats and be able to jump and tween to other cues (behaviour that would work well with laser cues, too). However I think that - given that this is laser software primarily - it is to be expected that we won't see all the sorts of fancy stuff you might find on a dedicated lighting package.

    It's also possible we'll see some extended DMX functionality in BEYOND. So maybe it's worth keeping an eye on that to see what is available.
  6. PhillD

    PhillD Beta Tester

    So I guess my next question is, is there a way to sync quick show with other DMX programs? For example, let's say I wanted to write a specific laser show to a piece of music, including some DMX lighting elemets. I would use the time line to build the laser portion with the audio track. How would I trigger my DMX software to run when I start the show in Quick Show? Or is it still a better idea to work with what I have in quick show?
  7. smokeAndMirrors

    smokeAndMirrors Well-Known Member

    There are several possibilities.

    1. Use a lighting controller (eg Daslight or Freestyler) and trigger cues in QS on the same computer by sending MIDI messages. Needs a loopback MIDI device but you can download one for free.

    2. Use a lighting controller as above to trigger QS running on a remote computer using DMX (Enttec becomes an input device).

    3. Similar to 1, but use a hardware MIDI controller to trigger BOTH your lighting controller and QS.

    These all work, but for my own needs it's just simpler to have QS do everything. I did put in a feature request to Pangolin that asked for QS to send MIDI messages when you clicked cues (so you could use QS to trigger your lighting software) but for some reason Alexey their developer did not understand it?
  8. PhillD

    PhillD Beta Tester

    Do you know if virtual Jockey can be triggered via DMX? I use that feature a lot for laser shows, and intend to use it for DMX too.
  9. PhillD

    PhillD Beta Tester

    I hate to seem like a quitter but after 7 days of programming, I think I'm going to look at some other DMX software. I have a fair few lights,

    4 X Chauvet Quick Spot 260 (12 channels each)
    2 X American DJ Dynasty (6 Channels Each)
    2 X Chaved U.V. LED (2 Channels Each)
    1 X Chauvet Mega Strobe (2 Channels)
    1 X 300 mw Green Laser (12 Channels)
    1 X 1W RGB Laser (controlled by FB3)
    1 X DMX Relay (4 channels)

    It is just too much work to program my lights on a tight deadline. I'm going to look at something a little more automated. Still love Quick Show though!
  10. PhillD

    PhillD Beta Tester

    Does anyone have any experience with elation Compu Show? Seems like some pretty serious DMX software.
  11. smokeAndMirrors

    smokeAndMirrors Well-Known Member

    No, it can't.
  12. PhillD

    PhillD Beta Tester

    So I did continue on with the DMX programming in Pangolin and have a few tips for other users.

    1. The capture tool! You can use the capture tool to combine DMX chases which creates new and some what random effects. I have used this with moving head and scanner fixtures with some interesting results.

    2. Setting the Smooth transition on a DMX fader channel will only apply to the current chase you are programming. For some reason, I assumed it would apply to that specific channel for all pre-recorded chases.

    3. I am having great success with building chases for different groups of fixtures in different pages e.g. program all moving head chases on 1 page, then program scanner fixtures in another. Then using the time line feature, I can build up a light show using the chases from each page. This gives a huge variety of the overall number of shows you can build and cut's down the time it takes to program them.

    4. After copying an existing DMX chase, you can open it in the DMX grid (in the DMX tab) and manipulate an individual DMX channel for every step at the same time. This is great for copying and pasting chases and quickly mass producing shows. To do to this, switch to DMX grid view and right click a column, then use the fader bar (at the right of the grid) to manipulate all DMX values for a particular channel at the same time. It might now show the new value in the grid if you have more steps than the grid can show (BUG) but once you click back into the grid, it will show the new values. You can also use the arrow keys on the keyboard to fine tune fader as you are adjusting values. I use this mostly on the color, gobo, iris, rotate and shutter channels. Leave the movement channels in-tact and you can basically re-use shows.

    That's about it. If anyone has some handy tips, please post back.
  13. smokeAndMirrors

    smokeAndMirrors Well-Known Member

    Some nice tips there Phil! BTW I can confirm that there is some interesting features in BEYOND that may help. For instance, using their scripting control, you can play a cue N times then jump to another cue (and so on) - then stick that script in a cue and bingo! complex mixtures of lights and lasers.%)
  14. PhillD

    PhillD Beta Tester

    That sounds very helpful. The biggest problem I encounter is just programming light movements. It's too easy to get very repetitive with plain old up down, left right routines. I would love some kind of movement oscillator feature or just a macro creator where you can program movements on some kind of grid and then re-use the movements with various colors/gobo/rotate changes. I guess I'm losing my creativity in my old(er) age. Now can I convince the wife to let me buy beyond? She was going to let me buy the elation software after all!
  15. smokeAndMirrors

    smokeAndMirrors Well-Known Member

    It would be nice to have a macro / oscillator function for generating procedural DMX data. I am lucky in that my fixtures have some built-in movement programs that are easily selected using a single DMX channel.
  16. PhillD

    PhillD Beta Tester

    I can understand why my American DJ Dynasty scan's wouldn't have pe-programmed macros built into DMX, they are about as cheap as they get for intelligent fixtures. The Chauvet Q Spot 160's however, that's another story. They are almost $600 a piece! The elation Compu Show software that I was going to buy seems very complex. I looked for introduction videos but found very little. It was almost like they expected you to know the software before the tutorials made sense. I'm sure i could figure it out with a little time but sadly, that's the onle thing I don't have. Do you if there will be a working demo of beyond? I would love to try it out before halloween and before I potentially change the lighting software.
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2011
  17. PhillD

    PhillD Beta Tester

    Ok, now I'm in trouble. I thought it was possible to add a "capture" scene to the timeline but QuickShow won't allow it. When I try and drag the scene to the timeline, the mouse turns into the dissalowed icon and the scene does not show in the time line. Is there any way around this?
  18. smokeAndMirrors

    smokeAndMirrors Well-Known Member

    I guess if the software says "no" then that's pretty much it.
  19. DJ HottRocks

    DJ HottRocks New Member

    Hey Phil.. new member as of Oct 21 2011. I've been using Martin Light Jockey for several yrs for my LED and Intelligent instruments. I tried Elation's software and although it was easy programming, it failed with the amount of features that I required for shows.

    Today I just received my QuickShow software system and found I can run both LJ and QS off my one laptop at the same time. I'm sure there is a way to use midi sends to act as a trigger for my laser shows. Will keep all posted on the outcome once I get the hang of QS.
  20. PhillD

    PhillD Beta Tester

    Thanks for the info, I will be very interested in doing some upgrades after Halloween.