There are multiple kinds of Computer-control software available. Some sequencing titles are free while others are not. The most notable sequencing software consist of Vixen, LightShowPro and Light-O-Rama Showtime Suite, however there are others out there.
Software Name Licence Type Cost LightShow Pro Basic (1 universes, 2 computer - up to 5 on request) USD $99.00 Advanced (16 universes, 2 computer - up to 5 on request) USD $249.00 Professional (64 universes, 2 computer - up to 5 on request) USD $399.00 Ultimate (300,000 channels, 2 computer - up to 5 on request) USD $POA Vixen Freeware $0 xLights (& Nutcracker) Freeware $0 Light-O-Rama Software Suite Standard (8 controllers/128 channels no dmx/e1.31, 5 computer) USD $99.95 Advanced (Unlimited controllers with dmx/e1.31, 5 computer) USD $139.95 Animated Lighting Animation Director Commercial USD $399.95 Aurora Commercial USD $99.99 Madrix Commercial EUR $300 - $4000 Light Factory Personal 1 (100 universes, some fixtures excluded from initial package, personal use only) USD $499 No longer available 1 Universe Pro 2 (1 universe, commercial use permitted) USD $499 HLS Freeware $0 PixelController OpenSource $0
Protocol Support Comparison
Light-O-Rama's Showtime Suite and Animated Lighting's Animation Director mostly support their own proprietary controllers only whereas Vixen and LightShowPro provide options for DIY protocols such as Renard and Olsen 595. The comparison table shows the different protocols that each sequencer supports.
Software Name Version E1.31 (sACN) Art-Net DMX512 (E1.11) Light-O-Rama Animated Lighting Renard Olsen 595 X-10 Misc LightShow Pro 1.x ? 2.x ? Vixen 2.x via addon^ ? via DMX/addon* 3.x ? ? xLights 3x, 4x Light-O-Rama Software Suite S2 via converter** S3, S4 Yes (with advanced licence)*** Yes (with advanced licence) Animated Lighting Animation Director - ? Yes**** Aurora 1.x ? Yes***** Madrix 3.x via DMX ? ? ? ? HLS 6x ? ? ? ? ? ? FPP (Falcon Player) 0.3x via DMX PixelController 1.x ? UDP, Rainbowduino, MiniDMX, PixelInvaders
- * LOR Controller support possible with either a supported DMX dongle and DMX-to-RJ45 adapter or a 3rd-party LOR1 plug-in
- ** DMX Lighting requires the advanced version of S3/S4 OR an additional Light-O-Rama component (iDMX1000)
- *** E1.31 Equipment requres the advanced or professional version of S3/S4, 3.5.0 or higher.
- **** DMX Lighting requires an additional Animated Lighting component
- ***** DMX Lighting requires an additional Aurora component
- ^ E1.31 support via optional plug-in
E1.31E1.31 is a relatively new way of transmitting DMX signals directly over Ethernet, instead of using traditional USB dongles and XLR cabling.
A simple test utility for testing E1.31 hardware is called da_E131. This can be useful for tracking down whether a problem is hardware or software related.
UtilitiesUtilities may assist with achieving certain effects but do not drive a light show directly. Utilities output some kind of file that may be opened in a sequencer.
Falcon PlayerThe Falcon Player (FP), previously known as the Falcon Pi Player, does playback of your sequences without a connected PC. You can use Nutcracker to convert from various sequencing software to FP format or some software supports direct export to FP like Vixen version 3. If your show is lagging this is a good option.
- http://falconchristmas.com/wiki/index.php/Falcon_FPP (Original Wiki Site)
- Read more: Falcon Player wiki page
NutcrackerNutcracker is a free tool that will allow the easy creation of animations for RGB devices. Developed by Sean Meighan and added to xlights by Matt Brown in December 2012.
LED DMX Module Address ProgrammerScott (SBDJ) from the ACL forum wrote and released an application for setting the start address of the simple 3 channel dmx modules available from holidaycoro, Ray Wu and ebay among the numerous sources. It requires an open dmx FTDI usb dongle and the application can be downloaded from http://www.sbdj.co.uk/dmxmodule/ or https://auschristmaslighting.com/wiki/File:DMXModuleAddress-zip
David Duffy of da-Share has developed several test programs for testing lighting controllers.
E1.31A simple test utility for testing E1.31 hardware is called da_E131. This can be useful for tracking down whether a problem is hardware or software related.
Single or multiple universes can be selected. Individual channels, white, R, G or B can selected or chases can be done.
DMXA simple test utility for testing dmx hardware controlled via open dmx or dmx pro usb dongles is called da_DMX. This can be useful for tracking down whether a problem is hardware or software related. After the software is run select "Open Port" to connect to the dongle.
xLights has built in testing features as well. The latest version of xlights incorporating nutcracker effects builder can be found at https://xlights.org/resources/
Forum Signature Generator
Planet Christmas have incorporated Several software providers into the signature generator that is compatible with this Forum.
You can generate your own here:
AusChristmasLighting also has a smaller "slimline" signature builder from http://auschristmaslighting.com/signatures/