Triggering cues for 2 projectors/interfaces using DMX in (Enttec DMX USB Pro).

Discussion in 'Lasershow Designer QuickShow' started by Magnus, Nov 23, 2020.

  1. Magnus

    Magnus Member

    I currently use a single FB3 with two small projectors (X-inverted) and sync the cues to music using Denon DJ Prime hardware -> SoundSwitch -> (via DMX) -> Enttec DMX USB Pro -> QuickShow which works great!

    Now I want to add a bigger centerpiece projector (Kvant 3400 FB4) and run simultaneous but different cues for the FB3 projectors and the FB4 projector. From what I have read in this forum and according to my own experiments I can not really trigger multiple cues from DMX in QS (though I might in Beyond using the DMX server?). So my idea for a QS workaround is this:
    1. Use the Quick Capture tool to capture dual-cues where each cue is individually set to FB3 and FB4 respectively using the zone feature and build a page in QS with these dual-cues.
    2. Trigger these cues from SoundSwitch through DMX in.
    Anyone knows if this sequence would work? Since I do not yet have 2 interfaces I can not (or at least have not been able to!) direct the cues to these 2 interfaces and simulate it in the software without the physical interfaces connected.

    As a last resort I guess I could trigger the cues for the FB3 in QS (via Enttec) and the cues for the FB4 directly via DMX in to the FB4. But it seems to me that one might have better/simpler overall control if everything was triggered from the QS software.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Igor Strakhov

    Igor Strakhov Staff Member

    Hi, Magnus!
    The idea of using Quick Capture is quite working!
    Before capturing, you must assign the necessary zones to the cues, and after copying the capture to one common cue, do not forget to clear the destination of capture cue.
    upload_2020-11-24_3-8-2.png
     
  3. Magnus

    Magnus Member

    Hi Igor!

    Clearing the destination of the capture cue did the trick! Thank you so much for your excellent and super fast support! Really next level - this is how you build happy and loyal Pangolin customers!!!!

    /Magnus
     
  4. Magnus

    Magnus Member

    Igor,

    If I want to take this one step further and really trigger independent cues at any time from DMX in, would I be able to do that in Beyond using the DMX server, and if so - what version of Beyond would be needed, Essentials, Advanced or Ultimate?

    /Magnus
     
  5. Igor Strakhov

    Igor Strakhov Staff Member

    Hi, Magnus!
    Indeed, Beyond DMX server provides a more flexible and convenient way to solve your own and other tasks.
    Beyond DMX server functionality is included in the Advanced and Ultimate versions.
    You can find all the differences between the versions here https://pangolin.com/collections/beyond-software/products/beyond-essentials-license

    By the way, in the period from November 27, 2020 to January 5, 2021, you can buy Advanced license (+ FREE Kinetic Plugin) with 15% discount, and Ultimate license (+ FREE Kinetic Plugin) with 20% discount.
    And join the "family" of Beyond users!

    upload_2020-11-25_0-35-18.png
     
  6. Magnus

    Magnus Member

    Ok, thanks Igor, will check it out!
     
  7. protohippy

    protohippy Member

    @Magnus, how is your setup? I am trying to get sound switch to work with my Enttec and FB3 and it doesn’t seem to want to work. Any suggestions would be helpful.
     
  8. Magnus

    Magnus Member

    Setup is working great and I found an even better way to accomplish what I wanted! I have it setup like this:
    * Denon DJ Prime hardware -> SoundSwitch -> SoundSwitch Micro DMX -> (DMX hardware signal) -> Enttec DMX USB Pro -> QuickShow
    * In SoundSwitch I added a fixture labeled "QuickShow" (you find it under "Pangolin" -> "Quickshow (Chn = 15"), thus 15 DMX channels
    * In SoundSwitch I added Attribute Cues that triggers QuickShow cues or complete timelines. They will look something like this:
    Skärmavbild 2021-01-27 kl. 08.56.03.png
    * Note that you need "Access" to be above a certain DMX value (I just use 255) to "arm" QuickShow DMX control.
    * You also need to setup DMX in QuickShow, there is a YouTube tutorial on this
    * I can go into details how I trigger my "mini" shows (using Quick Timeline), I have it setup to output ILDA through one FB3 to two mirrored projectors and then one KVANT ClubMax FB4 as center projector. Works great!
     
  9. protohippy

    protohippy Member

    Thank you very much! I would love any other details. I am very new to both softwares to be honest and having a heck of a time.
     
  10. Magnus

    Magnus Member

    OK, here is my current way of doing things that is tailored to my personal workflow.
    First off I use two types of content, graphic shows (without haze) and then beam shows (with haze, obviously). I am not too crazy about laser graphics to be honest but it can be fun to throw in like the jumping frog, ECG (heartbeat tracing) etc at select times.

    First, make sure to clear all the zones that come as default in QS. This is an important safety aspect and there are good videos on YouTube from Pangolin on how to do this (and also good general safety routines). The zone feature is really awesome in QuickShow and together with the Beam Attenuation Map you can create safe shows with pin-point accuracy of where your beams are projected! For my typical venues I really need to get this level of precision for projections to still be compliant with the 3m rule and not have beams fly off through windows or hit highly reflective objects and QuickShow really lets you do that.
    I then setup two zones for each interface (FB3 and FB4), one for graphics and one for beams. Down the line more zones might make sense but that is all I really need for now.

    Then I created two new custom pages in QS, one for graphics and one for beams. I fill these with "mini-shows" that I make to typically be 16, 32 or 64 beats for a set BPM using Quick Timeline (again, Pangolin has a great video on using the Timeline). So I label these shows like "Graphics 1, 128 bpm, 32 beats) and similar.
    I then make an Attribute Cue in SoundSwitch with the same label which triggers that laser cue (timeline) on that QS page.
    From there on, life is easy! Just drop that attribute cue into a scripted song whenever you want the laser show to be activated and voila - you can just focus on DJing or performing or whatever and the laser show will take care of itself!
    If you want the lasers to continue, just make another mini-show and drop that attribute cue into the song 32 beats or whatever later.
    In practice, you will need to trigger the show slightly ahead of the beat since there is some latency, but it is not too bad. Also, if there is a BPM misalignment (some can typically be tolerated, like playing a show made for 138 bpm at 136 instead) the show will then regain sync at the next attribute cue.
    You could also manually adjust the BPM in QS to be in perfect sync with the song but I like to keep things as simple as possible and truly "fire and forget" so that I can just focus on the DJing and overall laser safety and not mess with the actual show.
    So basically I make my graphic shows for a fixed BPM of 120 and 128 bpm and my beam shows for 128 and 136/138 bpm as that fits the kind of EDM music I play.

    Hope at least some of this makes sense. Have fun!
     
  11. protohippy

    protohippy Member

    I guess the issue that I am having most at this point is that if I have both the FB3 and the Enttec plugged in, it doesn't seem to be able to connect to the Enttec. If I start Soundswitch first, and then Quickshow, it will see the Enttec in Soundswitch, but will not allow for me to connect to it in Quickshow. I thought that I would need to have it working in both softwares. So here is what I have going on, I use Serato, I have soundswitch installed on the same PC that I have quickshow installed, and I connect directly to the pc with both items (no need for a hub), I have all my music loaded on the hdd (1 TB SSD). I want to be able to use Soundswitch to trigger cues in Quickshow, while also sending signals to my other lights (and mobile lasers). I understand what you are saying for the most part about making the custom attribut flags. I have them set to 255 for access. In quickshow I have the DMX address set to 255 (but again I can't seem to have the Enttec working with both things). That's where a lot of my confusion lies, in how to get both programs to see the Enttec and then talk through it. Do I need to have the Microusb to DMX running to the Enttec or something? I just don't understand at this point. I do appreciate all the information that you have given so far.
     
  12. Magnus

    Magnus Member

    Ok got it, this is what you need to do:

    * I do not even know if it is possible for two separate softwares to "share" the same USB device but in any case SS and QS won't do it! So what you need to do is to use the SS Micro DMX interface to output DMX from SS, then use a DMX splitter to split the signal going to your other lights + Enttec. I know that it sounds kinda funny that you really need to go to a physical hardware signal and then back again in 2021 but that seems to be the only way and in any way - it works!
    * Then bring the Enttec into QS (using the DMX in feature), also you need to "arm" DMX in by manually pushing the button with the 5-pin XLR connector up center on the main screen in QS. The DMX in monitor can also help you to verify that you really are getting DMX in commands.
    * Start creating attribute cues in SS, watch as QS responds by changing pages, cues etc. Remember that you need to set the "Access" parameter to 255 or other high value, bring up the visible points to 255, X and Y sizes etc. As a starting point you could pretty much copy the settings I posted above.

    I actually run my system on three different platforms (Denon Prime 4 as a standalone console for the music, MacBook Pro running SoundSwitch which is then also synced to my Denon music library and then a separate small PC notebook that I am integrating into a laser control case for the sole purpose of running QuickShow). So the load on the computers is very low in my case, will be interesting to see how your PC is doing running all 3 softwares!

    Actually, using the SS Micro DMX interface is something I would recommend anyway regardless of whether you integrate with QS or not. Since I already had the Enttec I started using SS with it but then switched to the Micro DMX once it arrived. I now get consistent high frame rates with the Micro DMX, something I never got with the Enttec. I really could not strobe lights for example using the Enttec but that works pretty good with the Micro DMX.
    Also, having an external DMX splitter is something I would recommend with the Micro DMX, the Enttec has galvanic isolation of the DMX signals built-in but the Micro does not AFAIK. Particularly with long cable runs in electrically noisy environments it is always a good idea to have isolation for the USB interfaces, I have had my share of PC:s freezing up due to electrical transients coming in via USB (ESD etc) in the past.
     
  13. Magnus

    Magnus Member

    One more thing, you obviously need to configure both SS and QS to use the same DMX starting address with 15 available channels.
    I have mine starting at 449 but AFAIK there is no limitation in any of the softwares.
     

    Attached Files:

  14. protohippy

    protohippy Member

    No. It all just snapped in my head with your earlier statement. No kidding 2 programs can't share the same device. When I had everything working I had it like this:
    Soundswitch out to the micro dmx that I had adapted with a 3 - 5 pin adapter going to the Enttec's DMX in. From there I had another 5 -3 pin adapter with a DMX cable going to my lights. What I was seeing was that the Enttec was only in Blackout mode and I did not have any custom Attribute flags that would have triggered the laser, and lastly I had it as an FB3 (though I have tried with Quickshow as well). I am going to try again tonight. As for how well everything ran, it ran just fine to be honest. Lights triggered without issue, and I could still run QS independently, I just would have to switch back from Serato to QS to change up different stuff which could be a hassle at some points. I am doing my best to automate as much as possible and get it down to one machine if at all possible. If I do it this way, do I still need the splitter? I am not too sure what the splitter is for.
     
  15. protohippy

    protohippy Member

    It seems to me it should be working at this point. I have the Soundswitch Micro DMX plugged in and running to the in of the Enttec DMX USB Pro. Then I also have the FB3 plugged into the same PC. I open soundswitch and choose the microdmx, and I open Quickshow connect to the enttec and the set the channel to what I have it set in Soundswitch 385. I set all the things in the custom attribute, but when looking at the monitor in Quickshow, it's stuck at blackout mode. I am not too sure what it is that I am missing at this point.
    Currently, I have 1 page with 1 cue. I just want to be able to trigger that one thing before I move forward.
    upload_2021-1-28_21-10-49.png
     
  16. Magnus

    Magnus Member

    That should work! Will see if I can find time later today to see exactly how it looks for me. I also remember that at times a few months ago I had some issues getting it going, like that you have to "kick it" once with a manually sent command (like editing an attribute cue like in your picture above) and then it was all fine with the scripted tracks or auto loops.

    Regarding the DMX splitter - if it works the way you have set it up (SS DMX just being forwarded to the Enttec OUT port and your other lights) then all is fine and you do not need it! (I was not aware the Enttec behaved like a normal DMX fixture when in "IN" mode).
    I have it anyway since I split my DMX going to separate stands, uplights, Ape Labs wireless controller and Quickshow, would be a 3rd degree cable mess without it.
     
  17. protohippy

    protohippy Member

    Sweet. If there is something needed to “kick it off” and get started that would be nice to know. I’ve tried everything that I can think of, other than using a separate pc just for quick show. If you have any other tips or suggestions I’m all ears. Thank you!!
     
  18. protohippy

    protohippy Member

    Figured it out. It was my page and cue settings messing me up! Magnus, pm me your Venmo or something I really owe you a beer!!
     
  19. Magnus

    Magnus Member

    Great to hear! I guess your input DMX monitor looks something more like the screenshot below now.
    One additional piece of advice, although it looks a little bit cluttered in my screenshot, position your projectors just like you would have them in reality (in my case I run 2 X-mirrored projectors on the sides (FB3/ILDA) and one center KVANT on FB4. I raised the center projector somewhat to get it a little less cluttered. This way you can fairly accurately simulate what it is going to look like so you can get everything right (particularly matching colors with any additional LED lights, movers etc) without physically hooking up the lasers.
     

    Attached Files:

  20. Snyderd25

    Snyderd25 New Member

    Hello Magnus & protohippy i have been reading this forum for 2 days now I’m EXTREMELY excited that you have confirmed i have the ability to turn my vision into reality, using sound switch with quick show & serato for laser shows I’m super curious on if you would be willing to help me get started on my journey down the road for setting up all the software and if you up for it i would be very willing to compensate you privately for your time and effort in doing so (if allowed)