Master/Slave Mode vs. Sound Active Mode

Trying to stop "broken record" syndrome since I've seen the same questions posed over and over again. So, perhaps this might get the attention of some newbies as well as people going through the motions.

Issue 1: Mix and matching.
This pertains to DMX mode vs. Master/Slave mode. You can NOT mix this on the same wire topology. Lightings behaving in Master/Slave mode, while using DMX cabling, do NOT work in DMX mode. You must choose a mode. Do not put your fixtures that are in master/slave mode into onto the same line that you're running DMX on. Don't cross paths.

Issue 2: Master/Slave mode. Master/Slave mode works exactly like it sounds. One unit acts as a master and whatever it does, the slaves attached to it do the exact same thing. The limitations with Master/Slave mode are that you must use identical fixtures as well a there is almost aways a finite number of maximum fixtures that can be used as slaves. Read your manuals for more information on specifics. It may be possible to mix similar fixtures, but again, check your manuals. Don't expect non-identical fixtures to play together properly. I have seen some fixtures that say that they can support master/slave mode for 2 fixtures(1 master, 1 slave), 4 fixtures(1 master, 3 slaves)and even 8(1 master, 7 slaves). Bigger numbers could be possible IF the manual states so

Issue 3: Sound Active mode. A lot of people like the "easy show" concept of sound active. It's neat, it works great. The big thing I see people asking over is really in regards to sound active mode. People want the control of DMX, but with syncronization of sound active mode among like fixtures. You can't have it both ways, unfortunately. In DMX mode, throwing a fixture into Sound Active mode throws that fixture(or fixtures)into Sound Active mode, and in this mode, each responds to sound active mode independently. Each fixture responds to Sound Active on its own, not in an organized group. Even if all the fixtures are on the same channel(s), the won't behave as one unit in DMX Sound Active Mode.
Sound active in Master/slave mode works as follows: The master does the sound active mode, and the slaves follow that fixture. In this case, you give up control of the fixture itself, but you do get syncronization of sound active mode response.

My suggestions are as follows:
Those who need sound active mode-type functionality yet need the syncronized "randomness" of Master/slave Sound response, the best solution is to program scenes and chain them together in a chase-type sequence. It's really the only way to get this accomplished.

This is not a shortcoming of DMX, Master/Slave mode or Sound Active. It's just the reality of the situation.

Keep playing, keep learning. And for everything else, keep asking!
Original Post
Well put Chris.

Also, for the sake of clarification, the term 'Stand Alone' operation needs to be thrown out there.

Simply, stand alone operation entails the fixtures working entirely independent of any sort of controller. This means that master/slave modes are actually under the category of stand alone operation.

There can be a variety of flavors of this mode of operation. For example, master/slave, independent sound-active, sound-active master with slave units, independent stand alone operation (not sound active, not master/slave; just single units doing their own thing)...and many, many more.
ok from the manual, no master/slave mode but u have these other options.
"Sound Active Mode:
In this mode the P36 LED will react to sound, and chase through the
different colors.
1. Plug the fixture in and put dipswitch #10 in the “ON” postion.
2. The fixture will now change via sound.
Auto Mode:
1. Plug the fixture in and put dipswitches # 9 and 10 in the “ON”
postion.
2. Adjust the speed by adjusting dipswitches 1-7.
RGB Mode:
1. Plug the fixture in and put dipswitches #8, 9, and 10 in the “ON”
postion.
2. Dipswitch #1 alone will project Red at 25% intensity, dipswitch #2
alone will project Red at 50% intensity. Combine dipswitches 1 & 2
and Red will be projected at 100% intensity.
Dipswitch #3 alone will project Green at 25% intensity, dipswitch
#4 alone will project Green at 50% intensity. Combine dipswitches
3 & 4 and Green will be projected at 100% intensity.
Dipswitch #5 alone will project Blue at 25% intensity, dipswitch #6
alone will project Blue at 50% intensity. Combine dipswitches 5 & 6
and Blue will be projected at 100% intensity."
Sincerely,
When I do what the book says, nothing happens at all. When I put one light into any mode - I can't get the others to follow at all???? What should I put the dip switches on the slave lights in?

I've been trying to get it to work for nearly a year so I've just assigned them all to the same DMX channel and run scenes for them now.
I have a question that could fall in this category fellas. I have 4 colorstrips (I realize they are chauvet but the question is probably relevant for other fixtures). I see demo's and such where you can put them side by side, horizontially, and get effects such as the Knight Rider (left to right). When I put the first fixture in DMX and the rest in master/slave mode, like you have said, they all do the same thing. Does these special types of effects with multiple units have to be part of the master/slave programming within the unit, or do I have to run them all seperate DMX and program this (whew that sounds tiring). I use MyDMX for control.

Once again thanks for your time.
Chuck:

That "knight Rider" effect is a chained effect. Master/slave is "Master does this, slaves DO THAT TOO!" or at least that is the regular application. There's really not often a whole lot down the line as far as telling a slave which slave is which. I could be wrong, but there may be a few fixtures that do assign a slave ID to the slave assignment. But really, master/slave communication is the same as DMX from the standing of "it's only going in one direction", so there's no "talking back" between fixtures.

Multiple units require more control. If you want to do the knight rider thing, you're gonna have to know your color and dimming as well as movement. Then repeat the pattern but offset on the next fixture and repeat.

There are SOME fixtures that have speciality controllers to do similar type things. I'm not sure what they use for control, but it could be DMX, or it could be proprietary. I think both ADJ and Chauvet make a tube light set that gets plugged into a special controller, and this controller in turn is sound activated and behaves like a neat viewable 31-band EQ.

If it was me, I'd just do my control in MyDMX. It is what it is for.
chuck b, i also have the colorstrips for my uplighting behind the drums onstage. what you do for this effect is run the dmx signal into the master colorstrip. on the master colorstrip there is an alternative output strickly for slave units. do not send the dmx signal to the slaves. on the master unit, set it to DAD. on the slave units, set them to AAD. this should get you your knight rider effect. it makes for a really cool show.
see it in action at www.youtube.com/metropaulitan.
On Color strips have two outputs one for DMX and One for slave You can link several Color strips useing the slave output and still use the DMX out to go to your next DMX fixture. All you need to do is address the first color strip to an address and the others will folow what ever internal program they run to include the Night Rider effect... You might Have to set up one Strip and when you run My DMX watch the effect output and just name the light seen as you see it like Night_Rider, 2by2_color_jump or something that reminds you what it does .. In the 3D visuliser it will only show the it in RGB mode and will not show the cool effects only basic colors your other DMX lights will not be effected by the Master/Slave output signal if you just use the DMX out to and dasie chain the rest of your lights .... I hope you could folow this
I have a question that may pertain to this topic...However I believe I already know my answer by reading everything that has been said.

I have 2 of the VIZI Spot LED Pro's and my question is from what I am gathering is that when in sound active mode I can't control what they do? Utlimately what I would like is for them to run in sound active mode but with only a certain gobo showing or certain color showing. To achieve this I should just program a chase go about it that way, correct? Does this make sense?
Metro, so you can maintain the Night Rider effect of the Colorstrip while under DMX control? Very cool… It is mind blowing to have say three of them linked together and have the pattern begin on the far left strip and continue to make it’s way across to the end of the far right strip. I don’t believe you can do this with the ADJ fixtures, at least you couldn’t in the past, not sure about now…

I link my CS’s without a DMX controller and it puts on a heck of a show BUT there is one thing you have to do when linking them this way in order for them to act as one long bar. You have to apply power to the MASTER unit LAST or it won’t work. It says that in BOLD in the manual, of course I didn’t read that at first… If you do not do this, they will all link together fine and copy each other but the patterns will be identical on all connected bars which would give you four separate Knight Rider effects. Set the master to ACT 23 first so it will go through all available patterns. Does that make sense the way I explained it?

I just saw what you said about how to connect them via DMX in the manual... Thanks!

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