Playback video and pre-programmed DMX
November 21, 2016 6:48 PM   Subscribe

I would like to pre-program some lighting sequences to go along with various videos. Any suggestions for software that could play back video and lighting cues (over either DMX or MIDI)?

I'm trying to make running video and lighting easier on a church youth program. The group sings & dances to some music, and we have some rudimentary lights (all DMX) and a lighting controller (sends DMX but can be MIDI-controlled). Any thoughts on what software to use for some fairly inexpensive theater-quality video playback and automated light cues I could program to accompany the video/music?
posted by catkins to Technology (3 answers total)
We have used Light Factory for demos in the DMX course we teach at work. We mapped video from a web cam to a DMX controlled RGB display, the software is really powerful. I don't think it is inexpensive though.

Open Lighting Architecture (OLA) is open source software I have used for development with our in house DMX boards and some ART-NET appliances (including this one I made than runs on an esp). It is certainly scriptable, there might even be a simple cue interface, but I haven't looked.

If you try OLA and have sticking points I would be more than willing to lend a hand.
posted by adventureloop at 2:48 AM on November 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

I'm not really a lighting or video guy (see username), but the way it tends to work these days is that the software itself (or a 90% functional demo version) is "free", and if you decide you like it you pay for a piece of interface hardware (often just a USB-DMX converter aka "dongle") that sends a security handshake signal to the software and/or you get a registration number that unlocks the full features and allows you to actually use the software for real.

IOW, you can do a pretty extensive "try before you buy", so feel free to Google DMX software and play with some of the programs you find - maybe start with seeing if the manufacturer of your controller has a software package.

Lighting PLUS video control tends to be only available in top-end expensive systems (AFAIK), although I do know people have sort of cobbled together systems using a free/cheap DMX software package plus a free/cheap Video Jockey (VJ) software package.

The lighting guy I work with said you should take a look at Timelord and ChamSys MagicQ software. The ChamSys system gives you the option of buying a few different dongles at different price points, including dongles from other manufacturers - the "full unlock" dongle is $850 but you may be able to live without the "full unlock" features and go with a cheaper interface.

He also suggested you do some poking around for possible solutions in online forums - controlbooth is about the closest thing to an "overall" light tech forum, but software/controller manufacturers usually host some fairly extensive forums (often found via their Support page), so when you find a software system you're interested in, check out their forums to see if the system will really do what you want it to do, and get tips and ideas and solutions to problems.
posted by soundguy99 at 3:00 PM on November 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I forgot to thank everyone for the tips -- thanks for the valuable information!
posted by catkins at 9:45 PM on November 30, 2016

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