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ok, I started playing around with the FX generator today. I love how you are able to set everything up. I started off working with 1 novascan and getting it to do circles, speeds, etc.

Now here is a question that I couldn't find an answer to in the manual.

When you click FX, you select your lights, I will select my 4 novascans. I will then proceed and create a circle with 4 points. If i understand it correctly, doing a circle, all the novascans will do a circle in the area that the novascans are mounted.

Now how can you you have all 4 novascans do something different within the same steps. Example, I want Novascan 1 and 4 to go forward and backward in a straight line, while Novascan 2 and 3 are doing circles.

How can I create that into the same steps to make a scene? I couldn't find anything in the manual about making each fixture do something different unless I missed it.

Allen
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Simple answer. You can't. Or at least I haven't found a way to do this in one step.

The only (very long) way to do this is to create the two (or more) patterns seperately and then manually merge the step settings into one.
This is not as straightforward as it seems due to the step timings.

In MyDMX, I just dont think there is a simple answer to this. Limitations of the software I'm afraid.
Manual merge. Get out pen and paper and if you're prone to whining, get a sponge.

Sorry, too many people ask the same thing over and over again(like what you're asking) and then when they find out they can't do it, they explode into a fit of it being obvious they don't want to get the job done now. I just say "man up" and "get it done" because your clients aren't gonna give a crap, all they want are results in the end.

This isn't an oversight in the software. This is a limitation in order to reduce costs. While it is entirely possible to do what you want to do, it's just going to take 5 steps. Steps 1 and 2 are making your patterns using the FX Generator. DO please ensure you end up with the same number of steps, as it makes it a lot easier. Step 3 is documenting ONE of those, step by step, setting by setting(of moving lights). Step 4 is making the copy of the scene you intend to be the new merge location. Step 5 is manually inserting the values.

I know it can be a ton of work. If you just focus, it should go relatively smooth and not take all that much time. Yes, it can be a pain in the butt.
Sorry Chris if I asked something someone already has asked. And I promise I wont whine about not being able to do it within the software. It was just something that I thought about and wanted to ask if it was possible. sorry.

I figured I could do everything manually as you suggested, and I may do that, since I like the idea of what I am looking for, but why make a job harder if there is an easier way.

Since there isn't, I'll work on the manual way then. No big deal.

Allen
I don't care that you've asked a question that's been asked before.

The bigger issue is typically what happens afterwards where the user then goes ballistic over how "it should be", which isn't going to change things.

Thanks for being understanding and getting it right away. I wish more new users would take things like you would. There is only hard work that works in this industry. Sure, tools can help, but sometimes we still gotta put in the hard work. It's nice to see you're not opposed to hard work.

There was one guy who, in the amount of time he spent whining about this problem, he could have just simply done it manually. Last I read, he has stormed off MyDMX and who knows what he's using, and regardless, he's going to have to do it manually anyways, now in addition to starting from zero again.
As long as a program is user friendly, I don't mind working with it. In my mind, mydmx is very user friendly.

I am actually enjoying playing around with it.

In my light show, I am controlling around 15 DMX fixtures and using 2 different hardware controllers for them. I am using a DMX-40 and the DMX-50 DMX controllers. I think that's the model. Each one can only control 12 fixtures so I had to use two of them.

With mydmx, I can work with them ALL, all at once which I love. I would love nothing more then to get rid of my lighting console and just have my laptop, which I hope to in the near future once all of my lights are over to DMX.

But for now, its practice, practice, practice til its the way you like it.

I love not having to worry about having my lights hooked up to it to see what its going to look like since mydmx has the 3d visualizer.

Allen
Yes, that's one thing I like about the 3D Visualizer as I can't get it through my head how to visualize without it. Having an idea what my lighting show is going to look like really helps me out, especially with the movers.

You might want to consider getting some sort of MIDI controller to help with control and programming, as well as for on the fly stuff. Not to endorse something, but the Korg nanoKONTROL is fairly cheap, seems durable and works pretty good AND is USB bus powered. 4 banks of 9 faders and 9 knobs and 18 buttons gives you a lot of control right there.
(that comes out to 36 faders, 36 kbobs for control of 72 channels, plus the buttons give you 72 instant scene selections!)
The driver for the Korg products is a little wonky, so ensure it's running properly first, and then you should be OK.

Other than that, yes, it's super easy. Want to assign a fader to a DMX fader? Click it and "learn", move the fader and you're done. Let's say you have 8 64 LED Pros(like I do) and you can also assign the same fader to multiple channels, which is great as I can control all those in a gang quickly and conveniently. Same thing with the knobs.

Want to assign scenes to buttons? Be in the USER page and right mouse click to learn MIDI trigger and there ya go, hit that button and you've learned it. Only "gotcha" is to pay attention to which bank you're on.

I like to use the knobs for the X coordinates, and the fader for Y when working with moving head fixtures. This way I can have both those things in one convenient place. Just as easy to assign.

I can't see any reason to not use the Behringer BCF2000, but I personally wouldn't because I have something else. Just depends what you want to use. I think Jingles had one of those to mess with for a while and he said it worked fine with MyDMX.
One thing that is nice about the nanoKontrol is that it is a USB MIDI device, so you don't need a MIDI interface. I don't know if the BFC2000 needs a MIDI interface. But, for sure, the nanoKontrol is light on needing extras, which is nice and helps facilitate fast set-up and tear downs. But, then again, setting up a MIDI interface and a MIDI cable or two plus the MIDI device doesn't take all that much time either.

I'm not knocking MIDI, I used to use it heavily all the time. I rather miss having my gear set up so it could be used.

Once you start getting more into MyDMX, no doubt you're going to want to find some sort of accessory(or two) to help you add some dynamic elements to your shows. While there are plenty of other controllers out there, it really comes down to what you want to do, vs the cost. For example, a JLCooper CS102(which I also have), costs a good deal of cash, even this many years later, this hardware has retained it's value. But, in comparison, the nanoKontrol costs something like a 16th of the cost, is more compact, seems more reliable and offers more functionality. The CS102 does offer full sized 100mm faders though. Plus, the nanoKontrol is readily available in both black and white. I'm sort of regretting getting it on white as it will clash with the new audio console I'm getting, but hey, it works so that's all that mattters. I also have the nanoKEY and nanoPAD, so I have the whole set. I need to talk to some guys at Skip's Music or Guitar Center to see about some apps to get some things done.
Chris,

When you said fairly cheap for the nanoKontrol, I was expecting low hundreds as everyone opinion on cheap and expensive can vary greatly, but to my amazement, I found it online for only $60. Black or white as you said.

If i understand from reading a little, it can be used like a hardware controller for MyDMX. So instead of having to use the laptop for controlling fixtures on the fly and/or changing scenes, you can have the midi controller 'learn' this stuff and you can control your light show from the controller. Do I understand this correctly?

and while I'm thinking about it, is there a way that you can program mydmx or a midi controller or something else, that for light shows, the lights can go with the music. Something like sound activation, but DMX controlled?

Allen
i'm bored so lets see how stupid i can make myself look.
first off... i know "jack" about midi. but, i'm trying to pick up on it to see if its something i could benifit from. so yes i think your close except i believe the mydmx is what learns the midi trigger, rather than the midi board learning.
as far as sound triggering, look out. that is an ongoing subject here it seems. cris will explain all that.
for me, i dont know, sound triggering maybe what im looking for, but it makes me think of boring internal chases and what not. which you want to use it for triggering your schenes in mydmx so thats not the same. what im trying to do is get my brain around being able to adjust my show to the meter/tempo of the bands i may be running with.. until my dmx i relied on my 3 elation scene setters with there tap sync, "real time" fade time adjustments( fader i can grab with my fingers), flash buttons, full on and manual modes to work with to spice it up.but thats stricktley par 56 and 38's...they just.....blink. i run moniter mixes and typically once they are set it is time to play with lights and ive grown a fondness for being a lighting tech, even though its more unsung than being a sound tech, wich is a very unsung position in the entertainment world.(atleast thats my take.but thats not why i do it))
however if your a dj though, im sure sound triggering will work good if you can do it. i dj on the side and i just throw my scanners and droids into their respective audio positions with a black out button and use my elaton for par's. but that has nothing to do with the price of eggs in mongolia.... what? lol
i know there are shortcut keys and what not in mydmx, but rite now im doing less playing and more reserch.
i find its good practice to read this forum, i start with new topiccs of the day and then go back to the beginning of the forum and read read read,every night after work. very boring, but!!! gives me insight and ideas to hear what other people have asked and tried, along with the remarkable patience of jingles and cris. so in short,ha ha, ill bet there could be a way to fashion an audio trigger, but from what ive read, depending on what it is you are trying to do, (rite tools, rite job) it may not work exactley how you wish.

but who the hell am i... i just fell out of the dmx womb...and cant even spell chris's name rite!

just bored!
Last edited by brdley
The only way to truly sound trigger is with time code unfortunately, and that means quite a bit of money. Midi is a kind of sound triggering, but only works off of certain notes. It is like a poor man's time code (no offense, you can do some really awesome things with midi triggering, just can do that much more with time code). Once I get ESP Vision, I think I am going to post a few videos of what you can really do with syncing via track/time code. Some good stuff is out there on YouTube as well, Soundlight comes to mind. Search "Light Show - Are You Gonna Be My Girl - Jet" and "Light Show - Tank - The Seatbelts". Those light shows where programed with an ETC Obsession 750 using SMPTE time code. So you get an idea of what can be done.

Now, would I do something that busy for a dance/band, no because they would just be staring at the lights the whole time. The point is, you can see how you can sync things really easily for great effects. Remember, less is sometimes more and much more powerful as well.
It really depends on how you want to use MIDI tiome code. MTC by itself is in fact a "poor man's time code", because, it is in fact tied to MIDI clock, which isn't super accurate, even though at 96 ticks per quarter note can get you there, the whole point surrounding MIDI is music production. The initial applications for MIDI were to remotely control other devices by providng a common signalling protocol. Later on as sequencing became more and more a reality via hardware sequencers(at first) and there came a need to have clocking in the sequencer, MTC began to be a requirement. Later on with computer sequencing and more requirements, MTC began to really become essential, but only as something that worked off a SMPTE time code, with interfaces doing a SMTPE to MTC conversion.

With MyDMX, TRUE sound trigger is impossible as there is no interface for it. Then, well, why not implement a sound to MIDI trigger device? Because that device will feed the converter box and output the same MIDI note time and time again, so it's not practical for MyDMX, considering most people want to do the old type of "chase" that you use with hardware controllers.

Even so, with SMTPE, SMTPE CAN drift, which is why it's a lot better to use SMTPE with digital sources as it will greatly reduce drift. This drift is largely due to analog recording of SMTPE time code, which while accurate, can be "smudged and smeared" a little bit. Tape can stretch, warp, deteriorate and even wear out. With digital, you do avoid some if not all of those issues depending on how you're working with it.

Still, SMTPE to MTC sycn will still be subject to some degree of drift. It is generally recommended to work in short time amounts, say, roughly 15 minutes, which is I think what film makers call a "reel". As SMTPE to MTC improves AND as digital non-linear workstations are improving and as recording tactics change and revert back to older tactics, these limitations are starting to ease back.

For example, if I were working on a film and am slaved to SMTPE, I'd keep my synth tracks and other MIDI tracks as MIDI until the very end in order to preserve as much as possible until final mixdown. MIDI won't wear because you never recorded anything to tape. But we're not recording to tape anymore, or are we?(I love analog 2", but I'd rather track to that for certain things then bounce to ProTools). No, these days, the MIDI sequences aren't being used as they were before. The MIDI tracks are being submixed(the audio being produced) and are then being dumped to digital audio tracks, and the dragged into the production or timeline. I find this to be foolish because songs can change or evolve and you don't want to commit to that until you absolutely have to.

MyDMX simply does not respond to MTC, period. So, while you may have timed everything to work perfect with this one tempo, MyDMX doesn't have the capability of tempo mapping. MyDMX works off "hard time", or what the actual time is. It is not dynamic. If you need to speed or slow things up or down, you have to get in there and manually tweak values. This is a deliberate limitation of the software. You don't get those sort of goodies until you step up to higher end products. Not bashing MyDMX in any way, but folks who need a lot of really tight syncing and the ability of time expansion and compression really shouldn't be using MyDMX because as good as the product is, it's not the right product for that sort of job. MyDMX is more for the DJ/small companies who want computer control over lighting in an easy to use package. And for that, it does the job amazingly well.

MyDMX still has tons of things in it, and is great value for the money. MyDMX isn't limited to the boring chases of the past, unless I'm your lighting designer, since my shows tend to be rather "boring". You can make chases, but the chase system isn't handled the same was as a hardware controller where you can bump it along via a sound trigger. If you think more scene-based chasing, you can say "do this scene, then do that scene" and repeat until you run out of scenes, and you can't repeat scenes without it starting the pattern over again, which may not necessarily be a bad thing.

Chases in MyDMX can be as simple as a series of simple scenes strung together, or it could be more multi-step scenes strung togehter, or if you really want to think outside the box, it can just be one way complex mega scene with hundreds or thousands of steps within it.
NanoKONTROL:

I don't mention prices due to forum rules, but that is the correct street price and I paid a little bit less. And yes, that is cheap!

From yout reading, you are correct. It can be used as a hardware controller because it is a hardware controller, and as such, because it is a USB MIDI device(no external MIDI ports, it's a "dead end" product), you can use it WITH MyDMX to trigger scenes and control channels.

But, let me clarify a few things. First off, this controller is very soft. I configured mine using a profile to emulate a JLCooper CS102, because I use ProTools MPowered on the same machine I use MyDMX on, and ProTools MPowered requires I configure the nanoKontrol this way for compatibility. But, for your applications, this is trivial. It's only worth mentioning that the unit itself is highly configurable.

Now, once you have the controller hooked up, the controller itself is NOT learning anything. You have to tell MyDMX what MIDI things to respond to. In USER mode, you can assign note values to scenes for triggering, which is where the 72 buttons come in handy on the NanoKontrol. In the EDIT mode, this is where you can assign the faders and knobs to DMX channels. It needs to be mentioned that you need to set those same DMX channels into either HTP or LTP(on a per channel basis, find out which mode works best for you and yes, you can mix and match) if you intend to or need to be able to do over-rides or have tweaking abilities. For example, you can make a scene with movers doing circles, but leave your gobo and gobo spin channels in HTP mode, and that way you can choose your gobos on the fly as well as if they spin.

You of course still need MyDMX running the whole time. The laptop would be doing the vast majority of the work, while you would have some ability to play on the fly. In the case of the show I am designing, I am choosing to leave control over the high-tech FX to the DJ's, with marked faders showing channels for the Mystic, Verigo, Sunray II, "scanner bank" and "small dancers", so they can play with those as they feel fit. The rest of the show will simply loop and hopefully get the job done.

I look at the nanoKONTROL as a vital tool to help me maintain some degree of human control should it become necessary. Since I am not good at color mixing on the fly, I leave that alone. I like the color schemes of my light show, but I may feel the need to add something by adding gobos or gobo spin to my movers, or add the hi-tech FX as needed(if I even use them). The rest, I more or less leave alone.

That's how I look at it. Even so, MyDMX has saved me time in programming since I have assigned multiple DMX channels to the same fader on the nanoKONTROL. For example, I typically use my 8 64 LED Pros as one large bank of lights, but I want the lights to remain on their own sets of channels for better control, and as such I can have MyDMX do things like rainbow chases. But, let's say I am programming my shows and dialing in colors, I assigned all like channels on those fixtures to a single fader on my nanoKontrol. So, all red channels are on one fader, green on another, blue on another.... Works great.

Sound triggering is not possible with MyDMX. You'd have to use MIDI to emulate sound triggering, but it wouldn't be true sound triggering and not from the standpoint that MIDI is not sound, but from the view that a sound type trigger would work like a drum trigger and that drum trigger would only ever output one note from the brain unit.
Holy cow, Chris! You've got way too much typing skill to be in the forum! J/K.

None of this has to be all that complicated. Although there's no actual "tap", I've been able to set the lights that have macros or sound active settings to accomplish the same "sorta" effect as tempo tapping. The macros usually have different rates and the sound active patch does just that.

My methods are a bit old school, but as we've discussed here before, with my band I run sound, lights, and play bass on stage. I use a Behringer FCB 1010 to do scene changes, which has turned me into a pedal dancing fool, but it is rather fun to be that busy on stage.

The pedal has 10 banks of 10 patches each, plus 2 expression pedals. I do my best to have programmed everything I can think of by way of bank 1 as set one, bank 2 as set 2, etc. Then I set the expression pedals for a fade to black and an instant blackout since their midi notes stay the same regardless of the bank. These because they are easy to find. One switch (usually #5 because it's bottom row next to the expression pedals) is used as a low level white and copied to each bank, which means it repeats on the user tab grid 10 times. I use that for a little light after a blackout to get everyone set again or have our frontman say a few words.

This may not help in your case, but it's one solution of many, I'm sure.

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