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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » F/X » » Using Mp3Tech to cue lights. (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Brendan Byrne
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New user
Ireland
44 Posts

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Hi everyone,

I currently use an Mp3Tech for my music. I love it and coupled with Audacity I have everything I need sound wise.

Last year I added simple lighting to my show. The lighting rig consists of 8 Par cans (4 on two stands). These are hooked up to a dimmer bar and I use a simple 4 Channel foot switch to control them. The foot switch allows me to to record 12 scenes. I typically operate this offstage as my show opening music is playing, on the last beat of the opening music I advance to a scene which is programmes for a full stage wash. I do my show. After I walk off stage I then hit the next scene which goes to my end of show lighting.

What I am after is a way, hopefully through mp3tech to sync the lighting scenes to tracks on the mp3 tech. Therefore giving me complete show control from my pocket.

I am aware that Kerry has the Media Star now but I simply don't have the budget for it yet.

other options I have investigated are Chauvet Show xpress software a little but am wondering if it is possible to sync music to this and how it is remote controlled?

Any advice or opinion would be much appreciated. I am no Willie Williams but have a fair working knowledge of tech stuff.

Cheers

Brendan
Ray Pierce
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Inner circle
Los Angeles, CA
2167 Posts

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If the MP3Tech has a relay closure output, you could wire that to the footswitch input (if there is one) to trigger additional scene changes that are already programmed on that device. Make sure you really understand your footswitch closure contacts though. Some foot switches are normally open, others are normally closed. It will make a big difference!

The more advanced technique would be to use some form of time code or MIDI based triggering to hook up via MIDI to a more traditional light board.
Ray Pierce
<BR>www.HollywoodAerialArts.com
Brendan Byrne
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New user
Ireland
44 Posts

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Hi Ray,

Thanks for the response. here is link to the footswitch I am using

http://www.thomann.de/ie/showtec_lightfo......ller.htm

Kerry sells an additional relay output receiver here http://www.ceswebsite.com/products/audio......ay4.html

Is the the kind of thing you are talking about?

Really I just want a simple (with mp3tech if possible) solution that allows me to remotely and invisibly (ie. a remote in my pocket) trigger sound and light cues.

Thanks for your help again

Brendan
PCoreyB
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Regular user
138 Posts

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Can't help with the MP3Tech since I haven't used it but I currently use the Chauvet Show Xpress and it works like a charm. We just did a production of "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" and I synchronized a lot of complex lighting with the music. All we had to do was click on a button and the music plays and the lights perform. It works by giving you a timeline like you would have in a video editor and you just drop your lighting scenes in at the appropriate spot.

As far as remote control, I run it from a laptop and when I'm performing I have someone run it for me however there are a lot of remote options for computers available. In the software, you can make the buttons really large so it shouldn't be too hard to see if you had your computer set up in the wing.
socalmagic
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Los Angeles
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Hi Brendan,

I have run a very complex lighting plot from the ShowTech (the predecessor to the MP3 Tech). I believe that the way it works is similar. The MP3 Tech has an output that sends a signal to your light board. The lightboard has a input from the ShowTech that is added by Wireless Wizardry. The lightboard must have the ability to set-up your chase in order. I have used the Dmx Operator by American DJ. You then add the cue in the music where you want the lights triggered. When you play the music the lights synch perfectly with the music.

While I have used this system for 12 years, I recently switched to ShowXpress. In the end there were things I wanted to do with my lights that were not possible with the ShowTech lighting system. First of all, it is very difficult to change the show order because you have to reprogram the order of the lights, which was very time consuming. In addition, ShowXpress allows you to layer the light scenes. This is a huge time saver, especially when setting the X/Y of intelligent lights. Also, ShowXpress allows you to program curves for intelligent lights. Finally, the ShowTech's synch with the lights was always off by a split second, which was a little annoying.

I know that you currently don't use intelligent lights, but either was I when I started out. You want to make sure that you don't have to upgrade your lightboard and change your whole system every time you want to add lights.

Finally, I recently inquired about MediaStar's compatibility with ShowXpress. MediaStar will no longer work with the new version of ShowXpress, and they don't plan on continuing support for it. This has made me come up with my own remote system based on the remote laptop seen elsewhere in this forum. It is a work in progress, but you can view how I set it up here: http://forum.thelightingcontroller.com/V6/viewtopic.php?f=40&t=880. I'm not happy with the range of the remote, so I might have Kerry at CES make a replacement remote with greater range. In addition, I plan on adding a 3.5" security LCD monitor to have a visual confirmation of what is playing. ShowXpress can have video or picture files and I will output it to the monitor. Keith Rubow's remote is very versatile for programming. I can have it do almost anything I want. Besides starting and fading music, I have buttons that control fog and house lights.

I hope this helps, and let me know if you have any questions.
Brendan Byrne
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Ireland
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Socal / Brock,

Thanks so much for all that info.

Your post offers a lot of food for thought. Perhaps if you had the time and/or inclination it might be nice (ad quicker) to have a chat on Skype.

If that's ok let me kow and I'll pm you my skype id

Cheers

Brendan
rattman
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Check out DigiSelect it will coordinate your music and lighting from a remote and does not cost very much
socalmagic
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Los Angeles
267 Posts

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Hi Rattman,
I looked into DigiSelect, but it only oontrols 90 DMX channels and allows 30 scenes. While this may work for Brendan in the near term, it won't allow the ability to expand. That isn't nearly enough scenes or DMX channels for any show that uses moving head lights. Besides that, it looks like a great software program.
Regards,
Brock
Brendan Byrne
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New user
Ireland
44 Posts

Profile of Brendan Byrne
Hi Guys,

First off, thanks to all who have taken an interest in this.

Re the Digiselect. I have come across that before and certainly looks good. But I am on Mac and from what I can see it is Windows based. I do have an old Windows machine but it is so slow and once you go Mac it's hard to go back.

While I don't have moving head lights yet, it is certainly something I can see I will add to the show. The end game really is to remote everything (including house lights. ie. Moving heads acting as house lights).

Typlically I play to about 200 in school halls etc, so being able to me a one man operation is important, financially as much as anything else.

Brock, thanks for the PM. If Skype is too much hassle I can always phone you sometime.

Thanks again everyone,

Brendan
Jason Purdy
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Regular user
New England
133 Posts

Profile of Jason Purdy
Does any one here happen to have a DMX/USB dongle available for exDMX used with MediaStar? Thank you.
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