Live show options....

Discussion in 'Sequencers & Software Tools' started by zeighty, Jan 10, 2014.

  1. zeighty

    zeighty New Elf

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    Hi everyone... New to the site and hopefully have found where some experts hang out!
    I am a LOR user and have two 16 channel controllers. I have limited time this year for sequencing. My neighbors and family will hang me from the oak in my front yard if they hear the same 10 songs from 2013 Christmas show.
    Here is what I want to do and I am looking, nay - begging for help and suggestions.
    I want to do a live show. The s/w that I know can do this is Madrix ($400 +++) and a less expensive option called LightJams ($140) plus USB / DMX dongle. I was about to commit to LightJams when I came across Enttec DMXIS h/w & s/w package ($290) with a program option call Show Buddy ($113). DMXIS gives a performer the ability to play their back-tracks and send DMX commands with the option of no external intervention.
    I am new to DMX and just need to see if anyone has ventured in to live control of their light show and what were the results. I am also having a hard time determining what I can do with DMX as far as effects, but I will post that on the LOR forums.
    There are some links that may help:
    Madrix LOR example:
    http://youtu.be/aArcIiAbrD4
    Show Buddy:
    http://youtu.be/RO_HaBI7Wos
    Really appreciate your time!
     
  2. viennaxmas

    viennaxmas New Elf

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    I have used Madrix this year to drive a 5600 pixel matrix. Occasionally I have done some "live" operation either from the Madrix interface or via the http remote option. Most of the time it was Controlled by LOR.

    Madrix is great if you have a large number of pixels to control however I am not sure it is the best option to control a few channels or to even control my 12 LOR controllers. You pretty much have to pre-build every light scene you want to have. Madrix can do some sequencing based on time code but it does lack the wave form visualization we have all gotten used to.

    You also have to keep in mind that the $400 license is pretty limited in the number of universes you can control (1 universe) and if I have learned one thing this year - the number of channels in a display keeps exploding (last year I had 20k lights and 210 channels, due to all the pixels this year was 30k lights and 17,000 channels... Next year I am expecting to be above 50,000 channels). This is something to keep in mind and with Madrix you need to be prepared for some pretty pricy upgrades to unlock more universes.

    Unfortunately I cannot say much about the other software you mentioned.
     
  3. mborg10

    mborg10 Michael Borg

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    Firstly welcome to ACL.
    I recently stumbled on a youtube video of a behind the scenes of a ladies show in the states. Her display was running LOR controllers. What I found interesting was her show was run from a box (don't know the name of this box product) it looked a lot like a home PC desktop box. She said it have some pre sequenced Halloween songs on it, but what seemed cool was she was also able to connect her iPod or mp3 to the box and it would create a show on the spot to any song she played. I assume much the same way an equalizer works.

    The plus for this is you can have unlimited songs. The down sides are if you played the same so g twice it wouldn't look the same, it would just to the high and lows however it wanted. Maybe this is something you could look into so your neighbors don't kill you.


    Saying all that id just get busy sequencing now and you can usually find some sequences online that people want to share. To have lots more songs.
     
  4. firebug

    firebug Senior Elf

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    Welcome to ACL... 8)
     
  5. greg58

    greg58 Full Time Elf

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    Welcome To ACL
     
  6. OP
    OP
    zeighty

    zeighty New Elf

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    Wow! I have become one of those forum posters... that appears to abandon his posts. My apologies to those that did reply. Your replies did not go unnoticed, just un-responded to...
    I took a hard look at all kinds of options. I asked friends and family what they liked and what could be some options for the future. More than one person said that my show for 2013 was impressive (though I am still a rookie at this). They commented on the time that it took to sequence each song. More importantly they mentioned that it was certainly repetitive. The suggestion I liked the most and it drove my decision was challenging: If i were to some to see your show 5 times in a season it would be nice to hear different songs each time, or if I hear the same song that it was not predictable to how the lights would behave. "It would be cool if the lights were more random". "still keeping time to the music, but kind of untamed".
    So, 2014 will be the year of the "untamed" Christmas light show. Using Madrix (one universe version) and 32 channels of non-RGB lights. Expensive software, yes. Cool control, yes and different. Someone likened the Show Buddy software to a more "artistic" form versus the "waveform or piano playing form" that normal sequencing produces. I agree. Madrix is more of the artistic, interpretive (software) type of show. I set up some basics for the parameters of the matrix in Madrix and I am letting the software due the improvising.


    I will do my best to post a topic that tells the results of what could be an expensive experiment and failure.


    Merry Christmas everyone and again - Thanks for the input.
     
  7. Jamie

    Jamie Lighting up the night.

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    Welcine back to ACL.
     
  8. OP
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    zeighty

    zeighty New Elf

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    Re: Live show options.... Madrix

    Hi to any that may stumble across this very old post... sorry for not updating it sooner. In fact a PM prompted me to come back and do this. I will make a new post to cover this topic for those that may be considering Madrix.


    Well in a nutshell Madrix did not work out as I planned. I had hoped to use a its features of sound card input to "interpret" the music and provide a pleasing display. I had everything ready to go. Learned a lot about it in the 6 months prior to show time and then after my lights were up and I was ready for testing. BLAH! It was so disappointing. I messed with it for more than a week most every evening. It was awful. Settings for one song did not work well for the next song. As viennaxmas pointed out in his post, you really have more work in Madrix that in LOR S3 (or your s/w equivalent) because using the feature of Madrix to listen and respond was good in theory and one example I saw via YouTube (with only a portion of one song), but it really was horrible in practice. I had prepped myself for potential problems and had a contingency plan... I purchase a few LOR sequences and worked about 5 of my own. I had a total of 28 minutes of show. The purchased shows were not cheap, especially when you buy 5 of them (full versions that allow editing). Oh yea, I did add another controller and two arches. Those are really cool. It is neat to see them, live and video, but it is a kick to have them in your show. I like them better than a meager.


    To sum up Madrix, it is a great piece of s/w, but it, in retrospect, is very, very expensive. It is most definitely "professional" s/w for bigger budget shows. If you are not making money using it (meaning professional lighting folks) I do not see the need nor will I have the time it would take to implement it so the show would be pleasing.
    vimmaxmas was right on the money (pun intended) concerning the number of universes and the cost. Max'ed out, Madrix can run greater than $7000.00. Yes that is thousands. My little piddly little 1 universe version may serve me well one day, but thus far it was an expensive lesson learned.
     

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