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Greetings all, I'm delurking here.

We've recently moved from traditional lighting (Elation Light Copilot II, par cans, vertigos, sound-controlled strobes, aggressors, etc...) to LED-only lighting. On our LC-II, we had an audio input direct from the mixer that ran through internal programs for the lighting we chose to have it chase.

We also had a couple of Quad Gems too, and had them linked in a master-slave mode, so they made a really slick presentation, with the two light towers in perfect sync.

So now, we've gone full LED DMX:
Chauvet Obey 70 controller, Mega Pixel x2, Quad Gem x2, LED strobe x2, a pair of Sparkles controlled by Elation dimmer/switch packs, and our first of a planned 2 X-scan LED's.

We have a few scenes created (mostly different patterns/effects with the Mega Pixels, which we use as flood lighting; toggled between solid colors and sound-active; and On/Off for the other lighting based on slow dance/fast dance needs).

The problem is that between the two light towers, the lights (MP, QG, XS...) pretty much do their own thing in sound active mode- the QG's do their own pattern and respond to sound that they hear individually, the MP's don't stay in color sync, and I *know* the X-scan's wouldn't be able to mirror movements unless they're linked.

So, the question becomes- how can I:
1) have DMX control over the lights,
2) have them in a sound-active mode, and
3) have them synchronized between "left and right"?

Sometimes I get the /feeling/ that I had more control over my lighting with my LC-II! I greatly appreciate any input from the forum community- you resident experts are many times the most valuable resource a company can have!

Dave Williams
Crossroads Entertainment Services, LLC
Original Post

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Hi Dave and welcome to the forums.

Well, the only way to fully mirror in DMX is program them that way or set the fixtures to the same address. The other lights sync up because they are in Master/Slave mode using sound as the trigger. So the slave does whatever the master tells it.

You could try setting the DMX addresses the same, but as soon as it triggers sound active mode via DMX, both lights will go out of sync. Sound active via DMX doesn't Master/Slave the fixtures like it does in stand alone. Not to say you still can't create some really great effects. One of the most useful tools I use is random strobe with a bunch of lights and add some movement. Looks more impressive and complicated then it really is.
Hi, and thank you for the response and info. I'd like to share a bit more about our rig, and see if that spurs any thoughts.

We have the matching lights in the two towers set to the same addresses (both Mega-Pixels are 1, both Quads are 17, etc...). Most of the scenes I've created have the fixtures in some type of sound-active program, with varying patterns in different scenes for different looks.

Thus far, I've created a couple of scenes with the fixtures strobing, and bounce between the sound-active pattern scenes and the strobe scene manually- a labor intensive and technologically inferior solution, in my mind... I'd like to emulate the ability of my LC-II to trigger a strobe effect, but I don't see how that would possibly work.

A question on your random strobe program- I recall several of the fixtures I have (see above) have a random strobe setting, where the time-off, time-on setting varies (not sure if its sound-active or not)- what you're saying is that you set several of these fixtures to do this? How long can you run such a scene without irritating the guests? Does it irritate the guests? (I've received complaints in the past from over-abuse of the strobe) :P

Anyway, I greatly appreciate you taking the time to help out this newbie!
Dave
Crossroads Entertainment Services, LLC
For the inner workings of MyDMX, I would talk to jingles as he is the resident guru and might have an idea on how to trigger the strobe while in a scene. I can tell you how I would do it on my console, but I doubt that would help any with your problem.

As for the random strobe, the line between too much and too little is a very fine one just like everything in the lighting game. I tend to air on the side of too little. You can always add more, but once you did it, its too late to take it back. I see this a lot of some light shows, people try to do too much, too much movement, color changes, strobing, chases, etc. Some of my most effective and powerful stuff is when I do less. I will have to see if I can't get the video of a dance I did back in High School on here to show you what I mean. It was to the song Breathe Me by Sia. 3 looks total. First lasted till 1:26 in the song, after a still beat. The second lasted till 2:37, again, after the still beat till the end of the song. Have some really bad pictures I can post that I ripped off the really bad video that I have, lol.


First look.


Second look.


Third look.

Needless to say, I like doing things really dark and dramatic. Hopefully I can get the video on here and show the whole piece. It really was great and probably the most fun I have ever had with a dance concert.
I know what you're talking about. I like to err on the side of slim/slight/caution.

I showed one of my crew how to use the lighting software and the idiot went right to the strobes and kept strobes going damn near the whole time. I was yelling at him "KNOCK OFF THE STROBES" but he wouldn't listen. If I didn't have to ride the faders like a maniac at the sound console, I'd have yanked the DMX cable out and just let the room run dark and let the guy in the projection booth just use the spot.

Sound should be used to bring out and enhance the performance. Likewise, lighting SHOULD be complimentary and augment the performance, not DISTRACT from it. Yes, lighting can be easier to cause distractions with, and sometimes lighting can be a distraction. However, if the distraction is done for artistic purposes, then it's fine.

OK, let's pull this back on topic. How to trigger a strobe within a scene? Well, there are a few ways of doing it. Neither are all that great and some will work better than others.

1: Are you using a dedicated strobe fixture? It really makes a difference. Use the channels assigned to it and drag them up/down as necessary.

2: use a MIDI controller and bring channels up and down. It may be easier for you to do it this way. It is for me.

3: Another option works good with wash scenes. You can make a second scene. For example, make a blue wash scene. Then copy this and add the strobe to it. My suggestion is to have the strobe run for a certain amount of time and intensity and then have it exit back to the simple blue wash scene when done. This option aso works good with fixtures that wash and strobe. This is how I do it.

Other than that, I see you needing to make lots of scenes. Organize and label properly.

Remember, MyDMX is more designed to be a beginner package. it packs a lot, but it can't do it all.

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