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Please Recommend DMX Lighting Software


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Hi All


Can anyone recommend entry level DMX lighting software with USB interface that could run up to 12 intelligent fixtures such as four mirror scans with four channels of DMX each and perhaps eight p64 leds with four channels of DMX each? I also have an additional eight p38s and eight p56s. In addition I am currently using Chauvet DMX-4 dimmer packs. I am not renting to anyone, this is just for band purposes. I have a Pentium 4 laptop with 512 mb of ram and a decent video card.


I am looking for something in the $400 to $700 dollar range.


If there are any standard boards that could run the above and in a similar price range, I would be interested in hearing your suggestions as well as pros and cons. Thanks.

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Try "DMX Control" its a freeware software and although it takes alittle getting used to its a cracking bit of control software, you can download it from:




You will need to buy the dongle that goes with the software but its only around £80.00





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Don't forget the Jands Vista PC version, software free to download (www.jandsvista.com) ... just buy a dongle and a means of getting the DMX out of your computer (USB to DMX cable or Artnet box). Speak to AC Lighting.
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Horizon is good and is free to download and use HOWEVER you need to buy a license to actually be able to use the DMX function. This lisnce costs $1500 I believe then you need to buy the dongle to go with the software. Although it is amazing software (practically a vertual lighting desk but more advanced)


You could always download the program for free and if you like it buy the lisence for it to actually be able to use it for controlling lights (DMX OUT as I said requires a lisence)




(You want horizon GOLD if you want to be able to use movers and intelligent fixtures with it)


It can also be used with WYSIWYG as in as you adjust levels in horizon etc if you have them plotted and the channels matching they show up on WYSIWYG (incase you cant see the stage very well or are not in front of the stage.) Also works with softplot 3D which is another good program and cheaper!


Horizon - http://www.rosco.com/us/lightingcontrol/horizon.asp

Softplot 3D - http://www.stageresearch.com/products/LightingSoftware.aspx


Edited becuse I missed the price range

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Sounds like we should set up a wiki page for these. Any thoughts on a page title - how about "Lighting Control Software" ?
I think to be honest, that the lighting FAQ covers it, by listing various options.


If what you mean is that this is meant to be an area for discussion of the said products, then won't we end up with lots of bickering about peoples conflicting opinions. I have used a couple of the programs, and have 2/3 favorites. For busking, it has to be the hogpc (though this is sort of a different catergory) and chamsys. And for smaller shows, with a mainly generic rig, I prefer a cheap one I found, for £50 with the DMX box, which is modest in its capabilites, but I like it. When talking to some friends recently, though chamsys was agreed on, there were many arguments about why each one was best. As such, a list of websites, where you can go and download a trial version would seem much more beneficial, as it would allow people to make their own minds up.

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Weird, we don't make your list - but have a 5 star review on your listed homepage. Dissention in the ranks perhaps? :)


Frankly, I have to side with the FAQ. There are tons of offerings, most are utter crap. We could even have a heated debate as to rather many of them should, technically, be called "DMX" under the current guidelines.


At the end of the day I think it comes down to: what you are trying to control, the sorts of shows you are trying to do, and how much dog doo and broken glass you'd be willing to slog through to save $50...


Seriously, the first two should really be considered. What is above is not a list of interchangable solutions - and I'm not just talking about Martin Show Designer not even having a DMX out! :( Seriously, aside from a couple of 'outliers', like LightFactory and Light Jockey, there are many solutions within the given price range. I think that the best thing to do is spend some time and pick something that handles what you want to do *well* - and 'well' includes working in a way you, personally, are comfortable and efficient with.


After all, $50 more, $100 less, etc. are all irrelevant if you struggle using the gear you want and getting the results you need in the time frame typically available to you. So, to repeat the advice given above and in the FAQ - I'd strongly recommend that you try before you buy. Also, taken recommendations with a grain of salt. Every system, including all the ones I lumped together as "utter crap" above - has devoted fans.


Good Luck,


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