Skip to main content

I know in it's current state/version, MyDMX does NOT trigger thru an audio source of any kind.

My Question is:
Is audio triggering something that is coming in the near future to MyDMX software? (6mo to 1 year)

(To make a long story long. Smiler )
The reason I ask is this.
The owner has given me permission to upgrade our DMX controller from the ADJ Show Designer.
Now of course, PC to DMX is the only way to go.
We already use VirtualDJ for our music program.

I LOVE... the MyDMX demo so far!
But, after learning that there is not audio triggering I'm shy.
I've done an extensive web search and found many other DMX softwares that do audio triggering.
Some cheaper or free, some much more expensive.

The main reason this is important to me is, this application is a 32 lane bowling center.
My "stage" is 300' wide and 130' deep and 16' tall.
When the light show is not in sync with the music, it's a herd of elephants everyone can see.
It just looks better when everything is on beat.

If it make you feel better Jingles, I did finally wrap my head around the "No dimmer/Ppack profiles" question before I asked it... AGAIN.
Thanks for spelling that out so clearly.

Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

This has been addressed, addressed again and addressed some more.

I don't speak for the developer, but here it goes:

Audio triggering is NOT going to be implemented. Not in 6 months, not in a year, not ever. They have held firm on the "no new features" concept, and this would be a new feature.

If you're relying on audio triggering, trust me when I say this, you're not going to always be on the beat anyways, but it may be close.

You have choices. But the thing is that nothing is perfect.

You can use an sound-active trigger that when based on threshold, becomes a signal that can be converted into a MIDI control, typically via a drum-brain type device. The issue here is that it is the same control signal each time, so it's useless as far as a bump is concerned.

You can get lights that support a sound active function, which may get the job done, but if that's the case, why are you bothering to even upgrade your ADJ Show Designer? Oh, because you can use that sound trigger input to bump to the next scene in your chase. MyDMX doesn't do chases, but you can emulate that by having a scene go to the next scene and on and on. Ain't perfect.

Also, chances are, since you're doing the virtual DJ thing that brings up other possible issues, only one of which being "don't do virtual DJ and MyDMX on the same machine at the same time.

It isnt't the Virtual DJ software that is the problem, nor is it MyDMX, but rather you would have to toss MyDMX into the background to do the DJ stuff, and then MyDMX gets unstable. Well, maybe it is a MyDMX thing..

Another option might be to have a custom box that can increment the MIDI note generated per beat, and maybe even per channel. MyDMX can support 240 scenes(I think it's like 249 or something like that). If you designed a unit that inplemented an electrec microphone such as what ADJ uses in their sound active fixtures, and then use a pre-set EQ to key what is being listened to, then was able to have the detected trigger generate an incrementing MIDI Note ON, then you could easily get 128 scenes out of it to be sound active/audio-input style triggered. If this device THEN hooks up via USB and is seen as a MIDI device(not an audio device), the MyDMX can see it. Programming MyDMX will be a PITA though, so you'll want something that you can sweep through notes 1-128 for MIDI learn. You'll also want to OWN this hardware as well.

Another variant might be to have a microphone input with a gain control and clip light, but a pre-designed EQ curve because you're just looking for the bass beat hits for triggering. It also should support phantom power since you're going to want a condenser mic anyways, preferably an omni, and preferably a reference or measurement= mic, such as a SuperLux 999, a
Behringer ECM8000 or a dBx RTA-M< which you can get most of those for under $100 each and they would work fantastic. Once signal is able to get heard, the rest works the same.

The problem with going with something like Compu Liive and/or Compu Show(and I may be wrong) is that I don't believe those include audio triggering either. I know you can import media and then do syncronizing, which myDMX can't do at all unless you do it via timing and trial/error. But, the problem is, let's say you go Compu Show or Compu Live, do your DJ set in that platform, and chances are, at some point, the audience just won't be "feeling it" and you see a need to break it up, well, now it's not a simple task and totally defeats the purpose you were after.

I mean, let's face it, you're using the DJ software for ease of bringing up stuff. You may create your setlist, but you gotta adapt to the flow, so you may have to give your set list a kick and wing it for a bit. ALso, I bet you're also not just using the same static set for months(or years, or, and yes, DECADES), so again, things would fall apart on you.

Personally, I don't bowl, but if I did(I can bowl, I suck at it, but that's not the point), I wouldn't go during the DJ/lightshow time. It's too annoying to me and I wouldn't appreciate it, even though I am also a sound production company with lighting. But at the same time, there is a market for those who want this type of service, so it certainly isn't something to throw away. No doubt the bowling facility you're talking about has a known reputation for having this attraction.

So, unless Compu Live or Compu Show offers sound active, you're sort of stuck. The only way you're going to get this to work with MyDMX is to have some sort of custom box to deal with an audio to incrementing MIDI note on generator.

Lastly, even if MyDMX DID implement audio trigger, where does it go? Do we use an internal microphone only? That's a disaster waiting to happen as taps can trigger. Do we go with an external wired computer-type microphone? Well, then cable length becomes a serious problem as well as frequency response as those tend to be voice optimized. Do we go with an external interface, and if so, what are the chosen interfaces to support unless there is a generic interface layer to tap into, or do we use Windows to specific what the audio input source is?

I'm not saying your application isn't valid. I think it's conceptually something very useful, but at the same time, nothing I have use for. Still, just because I don't need it doesn't mean I can't see the value. I ALSO think adding this functionality would be something many people do want because it's been asked for several times. BUt then, we have other issues, such as "Well, then do we need a whole chase window and drag scenes we want to chase into it?" or does it just start at the top and chase it's way down or do you have to simply use MIDI LEARNING to do it(slow but acceptable but also a PITA). If it just starts at the top of your USER show scenes, in my case, it would start with my junker "work" scene that is constantly played with, then 3 blackouts(snap, slow fade, fast fade) and then finally into something useful. But, I could always just have a DJ-type showfile with no useless stuff in it too, so again, it can be worked around. But I think also that by adding this, we need to add a reserved scene, called BLACKOUT, that can be keyboard triggered only, bypasses all other functions, BUT also must be user programmed in case they decide "no, blackout won't be black, I need to use my wash lights to go white so people can see".

Too many ideas. I hear ya, I see what you're trying to do. I think having audio chase in MyDMX would be a life saver for you on multiple levels. I just don't see it happening. It is a good idea though.
Thanks for your RE Chris, very insightful and complete.
(Bowling is fun and easy! Some advice from Ol' PinCup... Roll the ball, don't throw the ball. Harder throw = no control.)

I'm not a regular in the ADJ forum (our bowling hole-in-da-web ), I am facility manager and must spread my time solving all issues in the building, pinsetters to plumbing to the Rock-N-Bowl lights and sound.

I had not seen the "No New Features" post.
That shocked me when I read that. Seems rather short sighted.
I'd think the programmers would want to stay on top of the game. Always improving the product.
That's what we do here! Always trying to stay the best.

It's kind of funny how I can just move some of the fixtures around and folks think we have a whole new light show.

I can see where many Mobile DJs (I DJ'd weddings and parties for 20years on the side, about 10 events/yr, and have DJ'd in the center's night club (Top40), and at Country Bar as well.) could use the sound activating feature.
A "start it and forget it" is what's needed for these application.

My Front Desk employees are NOT super technical folks! Roll Eyes
For VirtualDJ, we have pre-made playlists that will run for the whole night. Easy enough.
VirtualDJ is also a very user friendly program to learn.

I'm looking for the same thing in a DMX program, start it and forget it.
Something I can pre-program, and the staff can open and start.
So far, Freestyler is in the lead. It's free, and the dongle is cheap. It's praises sung by DJs in other forums. This way I don't have a huge investment, so when/if MyDMX bounds forward with a new version, I can still get it.

And Yes, I've already acquired a separate WinXP computer just for my lighting software.
I'm think the same thing you are, running both VDJ and DMX software on the same PC is a bad idea, whatever software I choose.

(Note from PinCup to the programmers of future versions of MyDMX)
Some things I would need from DMX software:

-Start it and forget it. A light program that will run by itself.
In the Mobile DJ market (weddings, corporate parties, private parties), there is little time to fuss with the light show. Filling requests and keeping the event on schedule is job #1.
In clubs and pubs, requests and dance floor rotation top the thoughts.

-Pause or blackout, then restart easily.
"Quick Call" MIDI style buttons that give me about half a dozen scenes that will pause the running chase. User labeled.
I'd name them, -One for Blackout, another for dim light (end of set dance floor rotation),
Soft blue (Bride and Groom's first dance),
Closing time (full white). ect...

-Line In for music trigger. If run through WinAmp or wave, Sound2Light or an internal program, a line signal is already near by. Like Chris said, a mic would have cord length issues and unwanted noise problems.
All good sound cards (internal or external) have Line In, Line Out.

Thanks for everything Chris,
I won't comment on bowling, other than to say I have tried it(many times) and just didn't care for it. But, to each their own. I will say that where I live, they finally did opening up a bowling complex, but feeling they got themselves a regional monopoly, priced themselves in a way where they drove all their business to another facility that is a short drive away. But, there's a reason why places stay in business and others fail.

The MyDMX product is about providing a feature-rich product that is still in the entry-level category. As a result, some things don't get added that some people may want. So, in regards to improving the product, it's about maintaining compatibility with service packs, hotfixes, OS releases and things like 32/64 bit. It also includes fixing stuff that's broken, fixing stuff that is suppose to be in there but isn't working right, and stuff like that.

(Side note: I don't DJ. I handled A-list talent for 18 years as a FOH and monitor mix engineer, and have been an indy sound production company for 10 years)

I definitely agree that "set it and forget it" is the best way to go. Even if your front desk folks are technical, they have their hands full.

Your pre-set playlist though, that's got some potential for use with Compu Show. Another option could be using MyDMX as a slaved machine if Virtual DJ can provide some sort of MIDI triggering. I don't use Virtual DJ, so I can't comment on what it can or can't do.

Now, a note about Freestyler based what you said:
DJ's love cheap.
But, even so, if it has SOMETHING you need, your hands may be tied. I mean, business is business, and that's what this is all about. As much as I like MyDMX and will stick with it, that's what I'm gonna do.
But, keep this in mind: free is free and you get what you pay for, like lack of support and maintenance and if they decide to just stop supporting it, you're out of luck if it stops working.

Onto your suggestions:
Start and forget: If you want to take the time to set it up, you CAN do that. It's not that difficult. It just depends on how much work you want to do, but you do have to realize that synchronization won't be possible. MyDMX simply won't support it.

Pause/blackout/ then restart easily: Well, you have to make your own blackout scene, but you can switch to your EDIT page and the show will pause, and then you can go back to the USER page and the show will resume. It ain't perfect, but it does the same thing. HOWEVER: if you choose blackout, it EXITS whatever you're doing and goes to that scene(which I feel should recalled via a hotkey). Resuming is a matter of clicking the scene you think you were on last.

ALL good sound cards do have line in and out. ANd they all tend to suck. But that's another issue all together. But even adding a pro interface, the issue with microphones ins't a bit deal. I mean, I deal with large mixes and many open mics on a frequent basis and I don't have issues. I mean, if I wanted to, I could bring in a mic, insert an EQ, dial in what I want to listen to via harsh slopes and narrow bands(I'd actually want to use a parametric instead of a graphic for this with a narrow Q), then chug that into a gate/compressor/limiter/expander with a key or sidechain input. And then I can adjust the gate thresh-hold to where it works good as well as compress the holy crap out of it to totally nuke the dynamic range using the limiter, then take the sidechain output into a trigger to MIDI converter. I mean, easy, no big deal. The box I'm talking designing would just simply incorporate all of this into a head-end device to simplify the whole process and then provide a line out or USB interface into the computer.

Now as far as your idea of PROPERLY labeling stuff(You wouldn't believe how many people refuse to do that!), then your next step is easy. You can have the program LEARN either MIDI commands on a per scene basis or use keyboard hot keys. Also, organization is key. A lot of guys don't do that too. This is also a major strength for MyDMX, with the ease of organization and labeling.

With proper organization and labeling, you can train someone to run lighting in a few minutes. It won't be fantastic, but they could get something happening. Again, this is a strength of the MyDMX product being so easy to use.

Say, using your example without a MIDI interface:
Blackout, I like to use the "-" for my snap blackout. I use "f" for my 10-second fade to black and I rarely use my 3 second fade to blackout so I can just get it real fast.
Dim could be the D key, setting a scene with 75% intensity but you also call have set the entire scene, it's not a modification of another scene.
Soft blue, could easily be the "B" key
Closing time FULL white could be "W".

Also, keep in mind a scene can contain THOUSANDS of steps, including timing and in-between fading stuff. But if all you need is soft blue, that's good too.

You can also do your own "scene chases" if you want. You can have scene 1 go to scene 2, then scene 3... and so on. Or, you could have a long scene with many, many steps in it and that is your chase. But this fails because this is time-based, so if you go "over", it keeps on moving on, no pause unless you exit to the EDIT page.

I think you got some valid and GOOD ideas.

For me, I have a DMX Operator, which I stopped using, but I never even used it to the point where I was programming scenes and using chases. I then upgraded to MyDMX, mainly because I have movers and LED fixtures and I simply needed something that could support this stuff better(like moving heads moving and cool color movement sequences). Since my focus is live sound production, I don't need a lot of things DJ's would actually find useful, which is also stuff you're finding.

Now, I certainly can understand budget and bang for the buck features. I want you to stick with an ADJ or Elation solution, but if Compu Show or Compu Live can't handle what you want because you've got a mission critical requirement that these solutions can't handle, well, then you don't have a choice. But I don't know if Compu Live or Compu Show supports an audio input, but I do know they support importing audio(compu Show also supports video), so you could sync your lights to something. My concern would be "how long does it take to load a song" and it won't be as cool or seamless as what a DJ can do. But you're barely taking advantage of what Virtual DJ could do, and you could just as easily dump this into iTunes or Windows Media Player or WinAmp, just to name a few examples.

BUT, back to your static set-lists, you can program your show and I suppose walk away. Not sure if Compu Show or Compu Live can work in an endless loop, or if you can just copy and paste if there are repeats. Not sure about the pause stuff, as I'm still learning Compu Show. I am skipping Compu Live for now because Compu Show is MORE oriented towards what I am involved in these days.

Compu Show and Compu Live are going to set you back quite a bit more, but you may also get more software than you really need and a learning curve that might be a bit too hight at first.

I suppose IF the developers decide to add audio input for chasing, 2 things have to happen:
You gotta program your scenes, but leave your scenes in an always loop mode(in the case of sequences) or 1 loop mode to support chase for sound functionality as well as enable a sound input chase functionality.
Add a feature that includes a chase function trigger. The problem here is where are all the places to integrate this? Should this work on a move between scenes basis? Steps within a scene? Can jump to a next scene after all the scene steps will then cause it to loop the scene or jump to the next scene?

So, trying to add this request isn't quite so simple. But who knows, maybe they change their minds. Maybe not. I'm just an audio guy trying to make sense of lighting with an overly strong background in software, hardware, data comm and IT.

I've splurged for Compu Show, so I'm willing to sink dollars into what I do. And with inventory of mine for all my gear approaching $300K, I have put my money where my mouth is(and then it got yanked out by all the various vendors I spent it with). But I also understand things like budgeting. We have vastly different business models. It's not an apples to apples comparison. Honestly, for what you're trying to do, I don't see a need to go nuts on it. You're willing to spend SOME money. Owners are being limited with their budget, and I can't really blame them.

I also think that once Jingles hops in and adds information about Compu Live and Compu Show, it may cause you to consider these products. I think having a strong but calm discussion about the offerings and pricing, the owners might choose to allocate additional funding. But, what about the learning curve? Don't choose a product based on price only. MyDMX is, well, on the inexpensive side, but also is easy to use, especially once programmed, and programming isn't too difficult. This IS friendly. I talked a DJ into using MyDMX to operate my lights with 30 seconds of training, and then he trained the other guys and it went fine.

Compu Show costs a LOT more, has a VASTLY higher learning curve, and still requires a high learning curve just to operate. This may not be ideal for your employees. I won't lie, I was intimidated by Compu Show. I still have a LOT of learning to do, but I do what I have to do, so it's irrelevant to me, I will master it with 97 days before the show I need it for, and 96 days for a new show I also need it for.

Keep asking. Who knows, we might all be able to come up with a useful solution.
Pincup, if you have any specific questions about compu show or even MY DMX please let me know. For what you are trying to do ,Yes I would recommend Compu Show. There are a few different interfaces of Compu show you can buy. Each with their own specific supported advanced feature. For example triggering a bunch of scenes to a audio track or video track in a external time line based software is not supported on the first two Compu show interfaces. However I can say that compu show has a trigger by audio or BPM function that works for if the computer it is running on has sound playing on it's sound card. I can g into more detail, just let me know.
Thanks a bunch guys.

That's all the info I needed, and some.

While I'd love to have CompuShow or LightJockey, the $1000 price tag just doesn't fit in the budget here.
Bowling is a pennies business. We make a little on everything.
Pinsetter parts prices are a killer! They really got us there. Not a whole lot of places to buy AMF parts, other than from AMF. And then some teenager thinks it's funnier the hell to throw a ball at my $600 sweep.

I suppose I'll be stuck with the cheap chit for now until I can prove "PC to DMX" worth to the owner.
I'm getting ready to place a $500 rope light order tomorrow. So asking for $1000 for software ain't gonna fly.
At first I told him $300, and show him the MyDMX demo, he said buy it.
Breaks my heart that it won't do what I need it to.

I've dabbled in Visual Basic and C programming, so I know that what sound like an easy addition to the program, can be months of code writing, testing and debugging.

I'll keep checking back in on MyDMX for any new features.

Thanks again for sharing your knowledge,
So we lost your sale? lol. Sorry. My DMX is still a good and powerful software for the features you get and price point. But if you think it will not work in your setting then don't buy it. Who knows what the future or even this year holds for my dmx. Smiler Keep checking and if you ever have any more questions you know where to find us at.
Good luck.
I'd rather see someone get something that works than get something they hate, even if that means I lose a sale or have to send them off somewhere else. But, as a VAR-type reseller(not anymore, I ain't in that game these days), it's a whole different ball of insanity.

In this case, I'd rather the client go with something that may work, rather than buy MyDMX and just end up regretting and/or hating it because it is missing some "drop dead" features.

I'm wondering if maybe it might be time to develop a mid-range product between MyDMX and Compu Live? Maybe call it "Compu Lite?" or "Compu DJ"? But, without having personally played with Compu Live yet, I don't know how it steps up from MyDMX. I know Compu Show is in a whole other league than MyDMX, but I can see where it shares a lot of heredity with the product line.

Regardless, that's how the game works. Buy what works best for you, regardless of the brand. I know these day that in some endorsement contracts, they state you can only use that brand of mics, which is SOMETIMES an issue if they need a certain mic for a certain reason.
Another thought:

Since Compu Show can work off the clock and calendar, you could quite literally have the light show come on when needed without any user intervention. I know, sounds goofy, but it also sounds rather interesting to me. I can't see ME doing something like this because I'm a production company that goes from site to site, but at a fixed location, that could be cool!

Add Reply

Link copied to your clipboard.