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Here's my situation & what I've found concerning myDMX. Is this you as well??

-I'm a guitarist & regularly perform live shows using midi sequences to generate the backing tracks
-I use a laptop with sequencing software (Sonar Home Studio 6 XL... but could be anything)
-The sequencer "talks" to the midi sound module, outboard effects processors, my PODxt, etc. switching effects/sounds/volumes at the times I've designated within the sequence via Midi CC#'s, Program change commands, etc.
-The laptop sends this data via a USB connection to a USB/Midi multi-output box - all other midi gear is hooked to this and each has it's own unique port to receive the data sent to it
-To perform, I create playlists of songs in the sequencer which automatically molves from one song to the next; either starting it right away, delaying it by some amount or else waiting for input from me to begin playing again.
-I had the brilliant idea that my show would be better if I added a lighting which could be controlled by data coming from the sequencer!
-That I could create really cool individual light shows for each song!!
-That creating these light shows would be similar to working with midi data!!!
-....and that myDMX was the answer!!!!

After reading this forum, contacting tech support and re-reading the manual several times, I've come to conclude this product ISN'T right for my application in it's current state. Here's why:

1. myDMX software & sequencing software can't talk to each other internally
2. myDMX has no pre-assigned lighting actions associated with any midi CC#'s or midi note #'s. Instead, you have to design a lighting scene and then "teach" it what data will control it byh sending it the midi command you want it to act upon. This may seem foreign to midi users who know, for example, that CC#7 is the universal control for volume on all midi devices.
3. myDMX will ONLY respond to midi note # on/off data. That's it. No CC#'s, program changes, envelopes of any other kind, etc.
4. That means that you only have a maximum of 128 on/off data "triggers" you can send.
5. No such thing as a playlist for all these great light shows floating around in your imagination that go with this song or that one. The only way to associate a finished sequence of lighting scenes is to manually open up the new one at the beginning of each midi sequence. No way to roll from song-to-song. Talk about dead air in your show.
6. That being the case, it appears you'll only get to choose from a maximum total of 128 different scenes which you've designed. Think that's a lot? Read on.
7. Appears to be no way to sync lighting actions such as fade in/out times, strobing rates or moving-type light actions to the tempo in your sequence or to MTC or midi measure/beat/tick info.
8. Instead, all scene actions are based on preassigned timing (ex. scene: a 3 sec. fade out starting at 80% intensity using the P64 LED cans assigned to produce blue), not time code, tempo mapping or envelope controls from the sequencer.
9. So now you're left with trying to figure out how to design, and then apply, 128 generic actions to cover ALL the great lighting ideas you had in your head for ALL midi sequences you regularly perform.
10. My guess is that this software was not designed by performing musicians nor is for them.
11. Tech support here appears to have little detailed knowledge of myDMX, midi or the requirements of those who use midi as a performance tool. No personal slam intended there, just an observation from reading forum posts & replies. Go read them and decide for yourself.
12. Posts in this forum from people who have a similair application as mine are regularly referred to Elation Compu Live software as the solution. Although it may have better midi communication abilities, it seems MUCH less intutive than myDMX (which is what attracted me in the first place). Also, I still couldn't figure out if it'll change indivual light shows which track with my sequencer playlist (I think it won't).
13. That being the case, I'm back to #9 above.

True, myDMX is most likely a great DJ or lighting guy product, especially for it's low cost. Maybe the only hope for my intended light show is to create 128 generic scenes and to make them fit the songs I have (since that's better than no lights, right?) and hope the software will be upgraded & improved Heck, one of those scenes could be to send the control to trigger the lights to switch to their sound activation mode and then to let them run as they want without any control from me. At least regular audience members won't get bored watching since the lights will be different every single time.

Please let me know if you have a similar application and have either found a workaround, a correction to my misunderstanding of myDMX or a product which'll do what we both want and not break the bank.

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Welcome to the forums! Let me say firstly that my dmx was not designed nor is it intended for your type of application. I still think the compu live 1024EC package would best suit your needs. not 100% sure if the midi function will do EXACTLY what you need it to do. Now midi is a whole nother language to me. Midi is just not a light guy's world. So I do not know a whole lot about midi. Also to to what you are trying to acclompish with lighting will not be cheap regardless of any other product or company that I am aware of. That is all I will say for now. Sincerely,
Let's consider a few things:

1: What you want to do requires a more expensive solution. Say, Compu Live.

2: Lights should be run by a lighting operator, not the performer. But hey, that's just me. let me put it this way: a band multi-tasking will suck at all elements. Musicians need to play. Sound needs to be run by a sound engineer, and lightng should be run by a lighting tech.

Please understand what MTC is. MTC has no factor in your application. The tempo of your sequence would determine timing. But, fade times are typically a function of a lighting controller, NOT MIDI.

My testing with MyDMX and Sonar Home hasn't been exactly "blow your mind". It's being investigated.

What you want isn't MyDMX. You're past that if that's what you want to do.

myDMX is a great package. It works wonderful for my sound production company.

Thanks for your very prompt reply and for considering my application of your product.

My intention in this thread was to help musicians seeking a lighting solution to grasp the difference between the advertised 'midi triggering' and the kinds of midi control we're used to working with. This was not an attempt to slam the product which looks like it'd work great for the intended use.

Your clear pronouncement that myDMX is not intended for this kind of application should help musicians considering it continue their quest.

Your product development folks should consider the use of your applications which are similar to mine. Surely there is a large and completely untapped market just waiting for a solution like myDMX which is tailored to us.

Thanks again.

Thanks for your feedback. Unlike your 5-piece band, entire premise of my show is that it's completely automated since it's a one man show. I simply can't do everything at once and therefore rely upon the sequencer to enact the changes I've told it to make at the appropriate times. Bringing an extra person along to run lights and/or sound would be great but isn't an option at this point.

For those considering my path: I think as a solution I'm going to purchase the Elation DMX Operator 192 Controller. A 3U rack mount, I can program a large number of scenes & banks which can be triggered via midi and even tweak the pan/tilt of the scanners depending on the setup at each venue. Also, a midi control signal sent to the lights during the sequence will allow them to switch triggering to an audio feed from the mixer thus giving me even more lighting options and less programming work to do. Plus the entire show can be backed up on either a USB stick or into my PC.
See, the right tool for the right job.

For me, "quick shows", the DMX Operator(pre 192) works fine. I programmed some color washes, and it gets the job done. 8 scenes can get me through a night, believe it or not. And it does support MIDI triggering, although only 128 will be accessible and good luck finding a MIDI controller with all 128-keys on it. But since you're using a sequencer, it's more critical to hit the "timing" and then move that value to where you need it. That's the purpose of sequencers.

Personally, I prefer specialization. Then again, I charge a lot more too. That's why I stay on the sound production side. I don't give a squat who gets paid, but I do and I have a contract that says so.(no contract? No show, no exceptions anymore)
DMX: Streaming unidirectional protocal running at 230kbps, asyncronous. No error correction, no flow control. Operates in a serial-type method.

What else you need to know?

Don't split/Y DMX signalling. Use a DMX terminator(can also be made, cheaply and just as good as a paid for one). Use DMX cable, even if it looks identical to XLR(and it's wired the same, but trust me, use DMX cabling even though XLR will work).

One of the best technical resources is right here.

But I'm just a sound guy.

I see too many people try to mix on stage. Then they do a sucky mix and sucky performance. I can only imagine the more you try to do on your own, the overal quality dives down as well. I'm just of the opinion of doing it right.

My suggestion is to basically work with a dedicated group of professionals. Sure, the technical people can double up on certain tasks. The main thing is they emphasize on ensuring the performer(s) is able to concentrate on the task at hand. I recommend this to all performers. Then again, because most club owners are cheap, they expect you to work for $5 for an entire night of music. Out of that, you're expected to give a chunk to the house sound guy, who doesn't give a rat's you-know-what about you and it's just going through the motions. Or you're in a place with no gear and you've got to do the total one-man show.

As a result of my philosophy of no compromise and getting things done properly, I'm finding that I'm getting fewer wedding gigs. I cost too much. Yeah, well, enjoy your $5K sawdust cake!

Good sound costs money. Good lights cost money. Good music costs money too. I guess with people happy with lousy sounding MP3's, you can see quality is becoming less and less important.

The DMX Operator 192 would be idea for your environment. The concept of MyDMX being the end-all be-all solution just isn't feasible. I remember paying $400 for Master Tracks Pro for the Mac, which grew nicely with me. Now I have Sonary Home 6, which does a lot more and costs a ton less. With lighting software, it doesn't evolve as quickly as sequencing. Sometimes the low-cost solution isn't the way to go. In this case, it's not like we're talking a Shure KSM9 vs an SM58, where one is the old standby(SM58) and the KSM9 is the ideal option(opinion, not my choice though). Both get the job done and it's basically a "this or that" scenario. With DMX, specifically MyDMX vs Compu Live, Compu Live was designed to be a more thoroughly thought out product with more features built in. And you're paying the extra for such premium features.

Now, as far as intuitive, that's a matter of opinion. I've seen so much that MyDMX was relatively intuitive to me AFTER I got past certain roadblocks. In some cases, doesn't matter, some people just can't think a certain way and so sometimes a great product is unusable as a result. From what I see, if MyDMX is a scaled back version of Compu Live, then wow.

MyDMX suits my live sound company. I have intels, moving heads, Par cans and hi-tech effects. I have a DMX Operator(pre 192). While the tools I have aren't top of the line, they get the job done. Now, sound is a whole other thing, but that's a whole other thing to deal with. My focus is on sound first.

Back to DMX Resources, I suggest that you set up your stage rig, start playing, run into an issue(or create a scenario that produces and issue) and then ask here if you can't figure it out.

Unlike some other companies in this marketplace, ADJ stands behind their products.

I don't work for ADJ, I'm just a satisfied end-user.
I am in a similar situation. I use Sonar and/or Ableton Live to control my light show when my band performs. We are an electronic/pop duo. I currently have an NSI MLC128R and am very unhappy with it. It's incredibly un-user friendly and the MIDI implementation isn't up to par.

I think what would be best, if it exists, would be the ability to trigger scenes from any MIDI command, not just the 128 note messages and be able to program in fades to sync to MTC or some other sync options.

Even with the limitations you listed here, I am still thinking of getting MyDMX because of how simple it is to program. After the annoyance I've had with my MCL128R, I can't imagine a hardware board being user friendly. I'm thinking I can just program scenes with chases and can use CC for controlling faders and such.

I'm still looking for a better solution though.
MTC ain't gonna control your fades. Might want to learn what that is used for. If you're using MIDI as a sequencer, you're not really syncing to anything, you're just having something behave as another MIDI device(say, a synth, sampler, drum module, keyboard). What you'd want to see is if fading is assigned a MIDI controller. Often the fade time is controlled by the console acting as the MIDI to DMX unit.

Ideally, it is necessary to understand the role of MTC, and the vast majority of it is to line up(within reasonable limitations) multiple units outside the master controlling sequencer. Tempo control comes from MIDI clocks based on the tempo programmed into the sequecer for the song(96 clicks per beat). In the case of SMTPTE, the MIDI interface converts the SMTPE stream into MTC with SPP(song position pointers), so it becomes necessary to ensure that your sequence is set to start at the proper time. As the SMTPE stream goes flying in, MTC is generated with the SPP data and the sequencer rolls into chase mode until it hits the right location. This typically happens within a second. The sequencer can then re-generate MTC and pump it down any MIDI out, where other sequencers and/or computers will listen to the MTC to get their location, which again will take usually less than a second.

It is due to this "Delay" is why I often recommend at least 1 blank measure at the beginning of any song just to resolve this. I also use this one measure to send any sequence set-up parameters such as patch assignments and any initial volume settings.(My Emu Proteus 1 drags butt when having to do a volume change and that channel is in the display window on the module. Other units of mine can emit noise during patch changes) If you gotta do sysex dumps, then you might want to allocate more time. But then you'd also have to do more pre-roll and if you're striping tape, striping extra tape.

MIDI time code merely transmits location within a song, and has nothing to do with actual streaming time code.

On top of that. MIDI Time Code(MTC)isn't all that accurate. It's not unusual to see things start to drift around the 10 minute mark, especially when syncing to ANALOG tape. With digital MDM's and workstations, MTC tends to hold up a bit better since those mediums don't stretch have tighter operational timing specifications.

Chances are, it sounds like CompuLive is the way to go. It has internal bridging and more functionality than MyDMX and from what I understand isn't that difficult to get started with.

Look, with hardware, it's designed to work certain way. Usually, MIDI is added as an after-thought. Honestly, you've got to go past the ADJ controllers to get really great MIDI implementation. not knocking ADJ, but you have to get the concept that in some cases "more money means more functionality".

I won't go into the MIDI functionality of MyDMX.

In the case of using MIDI on my DMX Operator, the fade times are controlled by a fader on the DMX operator console. In the case of MyDMX, assuming the MIDI functionality is working properly, the fade times are programmed into the scene. Limitation? Weakness? Depends. But a quick work with a calculator should be able to get you to nail the new fade times. It does mean each song should be programmed appropriated, including fade times.

Look at what MyDMX is. It is a rather powerful package, but at the same point is marketted to the lower end of the marketplace. Considering the price gap between Compu Live and MyDMX, the jump in price isn't really all that bad. But, I work at a different level, so where most users are crying at the "extra cost of Compu Live" over MyDMX, I'm whining over trying to round up $100K or more to get new audio consoles and stuff like that.(Debating A&H iLive or Digidesign Venue or a Midas XL8).

What becomes more and more apparent is that a lot of folks are jumping into purchases and then really paying for it down the line. I hate that. It's one thing when you purchase something and then in time outgrow it. That's a "stuff happens" scenario and can go along with simply being the cost of business. I'm just seeing a lot of people buying products that simply aren't appropriate for what the end user ideally needs it for. Unfortunately, I can't place blame on the end user soley, but it appears on the sales people as well. Just wasted money, which could be better spent on the appropriate gear.

More people need to get on support forms and ask questions or contact companies directly either via phone or email to get answers. It would be nice if people in this smaller/lower cost marketplace was able to get its hands on evaluation units. But we don't because we're only spending a few hundred bucks, not a few thousand or ten thousand or more. Better to waste few bucks on phone calls than end up taking the plunge with what turns out to be a bad purchase and then you have to eat it.

It's like when you buy a $1000 Mackie board: You buy it and take your chances. In my case, it's a sure thing. But when you go spending over$40K on a console, you get some leeway. You can get some play time, some hands on, some more vendor support, and possibly a evaluation unit. Same goes with the lighting stuff too. I can't recall how many times I saw the local lighting company I like to work with and the owner playing with yet another evaluation board. While lighting is differet than sound, both should be fully evaluated.

There's a lot of gear out there. You can find what you want and what you need. Hopefully need and what you want lines up with what you can afford. The reason why there is so much gear is that for some people, what you hate may be what someone else loves. For example, Roland makes a LOT of great gear, but for me, their user interface for some units is just trash(in my opinion). I like how Korg does their stuff better. That's just an example as I own gear from many companies. Not everyone "thinks" the same way, so what seems logical to some is just "stupid" to others. So, sometimes we do have to cater to how the gear works. But, in some cases, it's not worth it, especially if it's just a controller. Since you're not reliant on the "sound" of a controller, so might as well move onto something that is more compatible with yourself.

Just makes me angry to hear of another person who wasted money on gear that they just simply hate. I'm still small, so I feel that pain, which is why I heavily evaluate best I can before buying whenever possible. We can't all know it all, but we can at least educate ourselves better.
I've been successful at using myDMX to make a light show that is driven by my sequencing software.

Let me address the issues you mention:
1) You can use a MIDI yoke or other program to create a virtual MIDI cable between you programs; if that doesn't work, just send MIDI signals out from your MIDI soundcard to a MIDI USB in connected to your computer. The physical loop works just fine.
2) There won't be any pre-assigned actions with midi CCs because the actions are dependent on the kind of physical lighting you have. Programming the scenes isn't so hard after you've learned it, and you can make some really great original lighting effects this way.
3) Not a problem if you can program the scenes. One suggestion would be to make the conversion between bpm and milleseconds so that you can time your programs to correspond to the bpm in your song.
4, 5, and 6) True. But, you can create your own playlist and change them from your computer keyboard. I do it in my live show using keyboards strokes (escape twice, control O, a number for the file, down arrow, and enter - this will load the file you designate by the number). It takes 5 seconds. I wish MyDMX would make a proper playlist that could be changed with a MIDI program change command, however.
7) All you need to do is make the conversion between bpm and milleseconds (divide the bpm into 60 seconds to get the number of seconds per beat - multiply by 100 to get the milleseconds). My dmx allows programming events in 4 millesecond increments, so you can match with your tempo this way.
8)OK, I admit it would be cool to have myDMX detect the bpm of your host sequencer then have the program increments displayed as quarter, eigth, or sixteenth notes....
9)128 scenes has been enough for each of my 4 minute songs.
10)OK, agree.
11)They have been very helpful, but a bit more understanding of how musicians want to use DMX would be helpful.
12)I've been successful with MyDMX, so I don't think more expensive software is the key.
13)My light show is pretty cool, even with all of the constraints, I've been able to work with MyDMX.
Hey All,
I'm a DJ, soundman, lightman, guitarist, and often, several of these at once. myDMX is working really well for me as a first computer-based DMX program after using my hardware-based DMX Operators. As a DJ or soundman/lightman, I have no problem running a great lightshow via my laptop. But when I'm onstage playing guitar, it sure would be nice to use a typical MIDI footcontroller to select lighting scenes hands-free.

I'm fairly familiar with MIDI and DMX, but I don't have a MIDI/USB interface to try this out. Can myDMX be programmed to select scenes via MIDI program change commands? I have an old Roland FC-200 and would love to be able to tap out scenes with my foot.
I am unable to fully test this because I can't bring a keyboard into the house. I suppose I could emulate something to get what I want accompished. But, I'm not that motivated and I'm working on real events these days.

First off, you're right to assume you need a MIDI interface. Doesn't matter how you get there, be it via a USB interface, firewire, a device with a serial to MIDI bridge(like the Alesis QS-series), or via the joystick port.

Now, I'm not familiar with the Roland FC-200 so I can't speak authoritatively on that unit. I do know that Roland does their addressing a bit goofy as far as calling up patches using Program Change commands. But that is more of a comment on Roland sound units. It's not that big of a deal, one quickly learns and adapts to it.

Now, my unit of choice for testing is a Korg DDD-5 drum machine, and based on HOW it operates, it simply does NOT transmit program change information, so that kind of nuked my testing. However, MyDMX isn' totally picky about WHAT it is listening for, as long as it gets something to listen to. In my case, I was able to see that by going into a certain mode, I could transmit pattern numbers, which I'm having trouble deciphering the MIDI controller number.

Why the DDD-5 doesn't transmit Program Change data is not important to this discussion. Other units, such as my Korg DS-8, Roland D-50, Roland Juno-2 and Alesis QS-8 DO transmit program change data. I know for a fact my Roland Octapad II Pad 80 not only transmits program change data, but transmits program change data on sepparate channels as part of the "kit" design, letting the this device be the "centralized" focus on an electronic drum kit. Of course, by today's standards, the Octopad II is way outdated. I am not sure of the status of my rack mount synths transmitting program change data.

I suspect that MyDMX would not have a problem working off Program changes as the trigger. For those who do not know how those work, you MUST complete the command sequence for it to be transmitted. Depending on the unit, it may be a 2 key-stroke task, others a 3, but that's not important.

I would ASSUME that a program change command should work the same as a note on from the position of being a "definitive" value. Progam Up/Down commands work by sending the actual value, not a "+/-1 from current". So, if you're at Patch 59, and then hit "Program Up", you're going to send "Program Change to value 60", no a "+1".

Actually, I'm just kidding about "assuming". That's how it works.

So, with that in mind, you should be able to change your scenes with your FC200. The only weakness I can forsee is if your show isn't set up in the order you want it if you're just doing an up/down thing. It also might be a pain to memorize up to 128 patches, or even refer to via a cheat sheet, but that's just ME.

The only other thing I can recommend is to change any memory battery in the FC200. I'm currently having to do this for a few of my devices. Can you imagine? The battery in my DDD-5 lasted 20 years! My DS-8 battery lasted 8 before I changed it, and it is due again.

For others inquiring what should work, the biggest concern should first be knowing what your device is capable of transmitting. As I stated earlier, in the scenario I created, the drum machine will NOT transmit program changes(values 0-4 in this case), but DOES receive them. Check your MIDI implementation charts, as nearly any MIDI device includes one either as a sepparate page or towards the end of the manual. I do recommend using things that are not continuous controller data, such as volume, after-touch, pan, pitch bend, tremolo. I'd also generally recommend against things like sustain pedals mainly due to the fact you don't get many options. I have a pedal pair I use for program up/down applications, which should be OK if used properly AND assuming you've programmed you show to perform as you envision.

I generally recommend against knob controllers and certain slider type conrollers due to a lack of control for triggering. When I get a keyboard inside, I'm gonna see about assigning the joystick to a channel and see if I can control a DMX channel that way. In that application, a knob or other continuous controller(slider/fader, stick, wheel, volume pedal) would be a ideal CONTROLLER, although the only weakness would be that for every value change of 1 in MIDI, it would be scaled by a value of 2 in DMX due to the addressing schemes. As you know, MIDI goes from 0-127, while DMX goes to 256(while addressing is 9-bit!)

And don't forget, test it all out WAY ahead of time. some modern TV remotes, the myDMX software can be set to "learn" whatever MIDI command you throw at it, whether it's a control change or simple program/preset change? If that's so, then no problem. Trouble is, I've only seen examples of control change commands being referenced. Do you open the trigger window, assign a port that corresponds with your MIDI input, initiate whatever MIDI command you want to use and then hit enter to store the trigger?

I hope it's that easy...I'd truly like to be able to put the myDMX presets under footswitch control. Thanks...I'll try to scrounge up a MIDI interface for my laptop and let the forum know what I find.
You mostly got it. MIDI trigger learning is done via the USER tab. Go into user mode, right click the scene you want, select "learn midi" then a "waiting for MIDI command" window will pop up. Perform the trigger action, typically a keyboard press(note on). Once it sees something, it "learns" it and then the "waiting for MDI command" window will go away. Repeat as necessary, and save often and document wat you do so you can repeat it.

Just an interesting note:
Have your MIDI interface plugged in BEFORE you launch MyDMX or else MIDI functionality will be disabled, including the "Learn MIDI trigger" function. Worse case is you quit MyDMX, ensure your MIDI interface is plugged in and recognized, and then re-launch MyDMX. I discovered this because while I was troubleshooting your other problem, then I saw this posting of yours in this thread.
geez, you guys bitch waaaaaaaaay too much about this stuff. I run sound, lights, play bass AND cover vocals FROM THE STAGE AS A "PERFORMING" musician! Get a freakin' footpedal, program your shows with a stop watch in hand or learn the math to coordinate the lights to the rest of your MIDI sequences and shut the hell up! You sound like a bunch of 12 year olds trying to figure out the Commodore 64... damn, I'm old...

In order to get the most out of MyDMX, you have to think outside the box. You have to find ways to get the effect/scene/show you want by "fooling" the software into doing things it wasn't designed for. If you've already got the sequences programmed and the timing is right, all you need is a one note trigger to get MyDMX to start. The rest is up to your own ability to program accordingly. YES! You'll have to use a second PC to run the lights, but I've built small systems capable of this for less than $300 in a rack mount. I've now built 7 systems for clubs and other bands using this very method. Every one of those customers has been amazed at what this package can do for the price.

Sure glad I'm not an admin on this forum. I'd probably get in trouble for talking like this... oh well, just my humble opinion.

So what if you have 18 more steps to get what you want... at least you didn't spend $4000 and 6 weeks learning to program a few par cans and movers...

I use a Behringer FCB1010 and an Edirol/Roland USB/MIDI cable. I have 3 different light shows I use on stage depending upon which size venue I'm in. I've built all of my regular stages in the 3D visualizer and built shows from that. On average, I use 30 scenes, 24 effects, and at least 10 static washes. On stage I do the same pedal dance as any guitar player that loves his effect pedals. It's so simple I've handed to footpedal to other band members and let them run the show just for fun. It can't get any easier than that, regardless of what your technical ability is.
Last edited by troublemaker
Instead of all the extra work and hassle to make a program kinda do what you want,....spend more time researching the application that's best for you. Most fully featured dmx programs are $600 to $300.....and do way more than Mydmx. And Mydmx is sold as an American DJ product!!! NOT American BANDS!

Do the research, and go with what gives you the performance you need.

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