Quickshow DMX control problems

Discussion in 'Lasershow Designer QuickShow' started by gualo, May 31, 2016.

  1. gualo

    gualo Member

    Hi everyone,

    I have been using Quickshow with a single projector via an fb3 for a while now and I finally decided to take the plunge and control the rest of my lighting rig with Quickshow and an Enttec controller.

    After looking at Enttec's blurb I purchased the USB DMX Pro2 knowing that it should be backwards compatible with Quickshow and hoping that one day QS will be able to use it's more advanced features - 2 universes etc)

    Here's the big problem: -

    I use the Virtual Laser jockey a great deal and set the beat recognition to "beats based on audio input" I'm not going to do 6 or 8 hours of tapping on a keyboard! I have better things to be doing during one of our gigs!

    So.... How come there is no timing signal (from the audio input) sent to the quick DMX controls or am I missing something?

    There is no way I want to be controlling the laser via VLJ whilst having to tap the keyboard at every beat change to try and keep the lighting in sync with the laser. :(

    I have updated the software to V2.8 build 477 and the problem still seems to exist.

    Is there something I'm not doing correctly?

    Do I need to run another piece of software such as Enttec's own? This might be more DMX friendly but it defeats the point of trying to bring the lighting rig onto the same software as the laser and saving sequences to queue's %)

    Any and all help would be welcome!
  2. micla

    micla Member

    Hey Gualo,

    Do i understand that you have managed to trigger DMX signals trough the keyboard within Quick Show? Can you explain to me how you did that? Couse my keyboard only alters laser animations, even working in the DMX section

    To command on your question: i don't think Virtual LJ does anything with DMX channels. I guess it would be far to complex to set up, as every Rig has it's own type of fixtures having its own use of DMX channels ( color, strobe, position etc )

    But you CAN make DMX que's and place them in a seperate tab. From there you can let Virtual LG cycle trough the cue's and output them to your DMX fixtures. But it will take some effort to make a lot of these DMX cue's to make it worth. The downside is that you're stucked to use only one set of fixtures at a time. being only your lasers or only your DMX fixtures.

    It would be nice if Quick Show alows multiple instances of the software running simultaneously. Then we could use one for DMX and one for ILDA
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2016
  3. MeaningOfLights

    MeaningOfLights Active Member

    You wont get a timing signal in the Quick DMX Controls. The way it works is you use the 512 Sliders in the Quick DMX Controls to make Lighting Cues (Scene's & Sequences) and save them to the Grid. VLJ will trigger the Cues on the pages grid.

    Virtual Laser jockey runs both the Laser & DMX Cues from the same audio input or BPM tempo. Similar to a Laser Cue, see each DMX Cue has a Step Duration:


    It sounds like you need two instances of QS to achieve what you want.

    I typically create Pages 'purely' of Laser Cues and other Pages 'purely' of DMX Cues. When it comes time for control I occasionally do it on-the-fly using Multi-Cue or I put together a Page of 'mixed' Laser and Lighting Cues using the TimeLine or Capture to Clipboard to create them.

    I then set Virtual Laser jockey to run the Mixed Page. You can make the Page large, eg 10x10 by going to Settings > Configuration > Grid.

    I'd like to see a feature where you can make VLJ choose to play a selection of a few pages, and also to play multiple Pages (eg Laser and DMX pages) at the same time - concurrently! How cool would that be?!

    Its a bit over the top having to use PangoScript to switch pages on VLJ's behalf, as per: http://pangolin.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1117 and https://www.photonlexicon.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-24328.html
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2016
  4. gualo

    gualo Member


    Thanks for the replies there has been much to digest.

    Micla - using each cue as a step would work and thanks for the suggestion but... phew some of my existing sequences are far more than 60 steps long! Mind you it is a viable work around - thank you.

    MeaningOfLights - I wasn't trying to get a "trigger cues based on audio input" into the quick DMX controls, I was hoping to save a DMX chase to a cue and have the sequence speed controlled by the audio input rather than by tapping the keyboard. The same is true of laser cues - whilst you can select from "time based" or "beat based" within the cue properties you can't escape having to tap the keyboard.

    It is hard to imagine that from a software point of view the difference between using the signal which makes the yellow rectangular block light up when the system recognises a "beat" (top of screen next to BPM) and using the space bar as a trigger would be beyond the wit of man.

    I have now had the chance to have a much longer play with the DMX controls and I am beginning to grasp some of the issues!.. I wonder if I should start a new thread!

    OK so perhaps I should start with my set up as was.

    I always get two audio inputs form the mixing desk (both with low pass filters which gives better "beat recognition"). One audio input goes to my laptop running QS and the other one goes to my DMX controller.

    Some fittings such as the starcloth/a couple of qtx neutrons and a pair of domin8rs work very well left to operate on a sound to light setting with master slave setups and I use a remote mains switch for blackouts and strobes or an audience scanning laser show etc.

    The rest of the light fittings such as a dozen sequenced parcans and a number of scanners are controlled with the DMX desk and the four 1.5k different coloured strobes are controlled separately with a dedicated four channel strobe controller.

    As you might imagine the (crowd pleasing) sequence at the hiatus just after a refrain - lots of fog followed by Blackout - Strobe, then Laser (usually something fast and flashing to bridge the gap between strobing and the main lighting rig) requires more button pressing fingers than even my family in rural Gloucestershire have!

    So... about time I got a pc based DMX controller to bring it all "under one roof" and it would have been very nice if I could have programmed all the fixtures into QS and just by selecting the strobe cue (if using the "single cue" setting) it would automatically black out the rest and select the strobe sequence I have chosen...

    OK so tapping in a beat is a pain in comparison with letting the DMX controller accept an audio input but as I mentioned above it seems as though the beat information VLJ can access is just not made available within QS to any of the beat based sequences held within cues...

    Woe betide anyone who forgets to tap in a beat at the next track change! (lets hope your fellow dj can play everything at exactly 140bpm eh!)

    So once my whole rig is dmx controlled and programmed in to QS (I have already done some of this) and I have a page of DMX chases to chose from were cooking on gas (and tapping the space key) right?...

    Until you select different laser cue and your entire rig switches off because you are still set to "single cue" D'oh! :confused:

    Ok so I played around with multi cue settings and found I could select a DMX chase on the dedicated DMX page and then manually select laser cues elsewhere remembering to stop one cue running a s soon as another was selected... It works but its pretty clunky - oops track change - tap the keyboard again!

    So I played with using VLJ on the DMX chase page but some of my chases are much longer than 32beats (the maximum setting before it selects the next chase).

    The workaround was to limit each chase to no more than 32 steps (actually I chopped the existing chases up to 32 step chunks). Again clunky and when I wanted to start using VLJ for the laser I had to (smoothly!! ha ha!) cancel VLJ on the dmx page and select a more complete chase on (the other) DMX page then select the laser cue page I was going to use and start VLJ there ( not forgetting to tap the keyboard at the start of the track I was going to use as my loo break!!) Oh well if party-goers wont stop bringing me beer its the price you pay ;)

    Hmm that was a bit of a rant wasn't it.

    Pangolin... if you are out there - What would help me enormously would be: -

    • If you could maintain a "single cue" setting for moving around the pages of laser cues etc (just as now) but have a facility to make a cue "sticky" (toggle and lock ON until unlocked) That way a single DMX chase saved to a "sticky" cue can be left running while you continue with the laser show.
    • Allow the sequences contained within cues to access the audio information the VLJ can use. (no more tapping the space bar if you so choose)

    If anyone can come up with some better work around or if some of the things I am trying to do can already be achieved and I've simply missed it I would be extremely grateful of all suggestions :)
  5. gualo

    gualo Member

    MeaningOfLights, I meant to thank you for the second half of your reply enlarging the grid to 10x10 etc. I am playing with that now and mixed pages of cues may well work in some circumstances so thanks for the ideas. I will read those threads you mention shortly.
    All the best!