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Qlab and simple DMX lighting best 'simple' option


tomcoultas

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Hi,

 

Im new so if this has been discussed 1000 times I'm sorry. I'm sadly leaving the great "PC Stage" software behind - I loved it as it could cue lighting, audio, images and video from the one program - great for a school. However, I find it too problematic projecting video at the right size for my school's drama space, in fact I spend 4 hours re-sizing a video to get it nearly right. As you can guess I'm not very technical for a drama teacher but I try my best. I have been advised to invest in Qlab for sound and video and to trigger lighting through DMX lighting software. then only problem is all the software I see is very complex and I'm after something simple that can create presets and chases but has maybe 60 channels (chromakinetics 24 channels are not enough for my LED lights) Is there a simple solution here? I only want to use MAC or PC (not both) I have a lighting desk.

 

Please keep simple DMX lighting software in mind

 

About my theatre set up:

 

* Small black box theatre located in a school

 

* DMX lighting set up.

 

* Rear projected cyclorama, single screen

 

* Want to run shows with video (one screen), audio (in stereo) and images asbackdrops.

 

* We will make audio in adobe audition, videos in movie maker or premiereelements, images in Photoshop (or just use jpegs)

 

Any advice would be appreciated.<br style="mso-special-character: line-break;">

 

Tom<br style="mso-special-character: line-break;">

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What is your existing lighting desk? :)

 

If it supports MIDI to advance cues, qlab does support MIDI Output with the appropriate interface

As the OP says, he uses the excellent PCStage software which controls lighting, sound, video etc.

I use it for lighting and sound, not used it for video yet.

PCStage can output Midi so if Qlab can accept Midi in then it might be a solution.

Tom

Welcome to the forum.

Are you saying you are trying to resize video using PCStage?

PCStage will control playback of video, sound, lighting etc but it will not edit video, sound files etc.

You need a video editing program to edit/ resize your video.

Cheers

Gerry

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Im new so if this has been discussed 1000 times I'm sorry. I'm sadly leaving the great "PC Stage" software behind - I loved it as it could cue lighting, audio, images and video from the one program - great for a school. However, I find it too problematic projecting video at the right size for my school's drama space, in fact I spend 4 hours re-sizing a video to get it nearly right. As you can guess I'm not very technical for a drama teacher but I try my best. I have been advised to invest in Qlab for sound and video and to trigger lighting through DMX lighting software. then only problem is all the software I see is very complex and I'm after something simple that can create presets and chases but has maybe 60 channels (chromakinetics 24 channels are not enough for my LED lights) Is there a simple solution here? I only want to use MAC or PC (not both) I have a lighting desk.

 

Hi, Tom, welcome.

 

Can you just clarify - do you use a DMX dongle with PCStage to control your lighting directly, or do you have a seperate, dedicated lighting desk? And if so, what make and model?

 

 

 

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Can you just clarify - do you use a DMX dongle with PCStage to control your lighting directly, or do you have a seperate, dedicated lighting desk? And if so, what make and model?

PCStage uses a DMX interface, Dongle, to output DMX to the dimmers etc.

Cheers

Gerry

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Can you just clarify - do you use a DMX dongle with PCStage to control your lighting directly, or do you have a seperate, dedicated lighting desk? And if so, what make and model?

PCStage uses a DMX interface, Dongle, to output DMX to the dimmers etc.

Cheers

Gerry

 

I appreciate that, Gerry, but (for me) the statement " I only want to use MAC or PC (not both) I have a lighting desk." is causing me a little confusion. It sounds like there is a separate lighting desk (possible in addition to any control that PCStage is spitting out) and if moving away from PCStage (which is the impression I get from the OP's original posting) then presumably the new software will need to be able to control this.

Or am I completely confused?

EDIT to fix formatting.

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I appreciate that, Gerry, but (for me) the statement " I only want to use MAC or PC (not both) I have a lighting desk." is causing me a little confusion. It sounds like there is a separate lighting desk (possible in addition to any control that PCStage is spitting out) and if moving away from PCStage (which is the impression I get from the OP's original posting) then presumably the new software will need to be able to control this.

Or am I completely confused?

 

OK I can see why you are confussed.

PCStage is a stand alone software system that controls stage lighting etc.

As far as I am aware, and I've been using PCStage for a number of years, you wouldn't use it, or need to use it, to control an external lighting desk.

I think more details are required from the OP as to what he has and as to what exactly he is trying to do.

As far as I am aware you can't edit video in PCStage.

Cheers

Gerry

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PCStage is a stand alone software system that controls stage lighting etc.

Yes, I got that bit. Completely.

 

As far as I am aware, and I've been using PCStage for a number of years, you wouldn't use it, or need to use it, to control an external lighting desk.

Probably not, hence why (in light of "I have a lighting desk".) I asked for more details.

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Regarding Alister's confusion, me too.

 

Gerry, perhaps you could save the evangelising of PCStage, op has said they are wanting to leave it behind, also they haven't been back to the topic to clarify.

 

I did indeed mean that if the op has a hardware lighting desk (as their post suggests) perhaps qlab can trigger cues on it via midi.

 

David :)

 

Another thought, I did a show a couple years ago where I ran AVD Multiplay (similar to qlab, runs on pc) and LightFactory v1 on the same machine, triggering lx cues via telnet and the loop back network adapter. I think you can do a similar thing with midi to loop it back to local software?

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Gerry, perhaps you could save the evangelising of PCStage, op has said they are wanting to leave it behind, also they haven't been back to the topic to clarify.

 

 

I didn't realise I was evangalising!

Just trying to understand the OP problem and pehaps help him find a solution.

It was he who said "I'm sadly leaving the great "PC Stage" software behind - I loved it as it could cue lighting, audio, images and video from the one program - great for a school."

Cheers

Gerry

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If PCStage is enough for everything OP does except video, and this were my problem, then what I'd do is run Screen Monkey on either the same or a different PC, and link the two together using MIDI, either with the MIDIYoke MIDI loopback device on the same PC, or a MIDI cable or virtual MIDI cable if on two PCs.

 

There are few real alternatives to PCStage, because of the integrated nature of what it does. ShowMagic AV is the one that springs to mind, but some people have terrible problems with it, and for others it works flawlessly. It also has a $2,500 price tag for the 512 channel edition.

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http://www.nienhaus-technik.com/shop/img/p/266-425-large.jpg

If PCStage is enough for everything OP does except video, and this were my problem, then what I'd do is run Screen Monkey on either the same or a different PC, and link the two together using MIDI, either with the MIDIYoke MIDI loopback device on the same PC, or a MIDI cable or virtual MIDI cable if on two PCs.

 

There are few real alternatives to PCStage, because of the integrated nature of what it does. ShowMagic AV is the one that springs to mind, but some people have terrible problems with it, and for others it works flawlessly. It also has a $2,500 price tag for the 512 channel edition.

 

HI EVERYONE!

 

thanks for your passionate replies. I didn't expect such replies and so quickly! I'm in Australia so I guess the time difference means you all wondering why I have not replied yet....

 

In answering the many questions:

 

  • I have a lighting desk avaliable. I don't use it with PC stage but I thought it useful to mention.
  • I don't resize video in PC stage - PC stage wont output video at the correct size for my theatre set up. I don't know why this is. I use premiere elements to resize the videos.
  • I am using video more and more and therefore need something that will output at the correct size for my data projector and screen (without re-sizing.) I thought I had it all worked out for one show, but it did not for the next.
  • My lighting desk has DMX output (or I could buy a new one)
  • Im happy for qlab to trigger either a desk OR software. But please understand I need simplicity otherwise I spend hours setting up show, when I want the students to do this themselves and learn how to do it. I could teach them PC stage in half and hour or so. But video is my problem.
  • My lighting desk is a LSC maxim A photo is inserted above.
  • Thanks again for the generally discussion from a not very technically minded teacher!

Tom

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If I'm right, that's a Maxim L and apparently it has MIDI as standard.However, it doesn't appear to understand MIDI Show Control, instead having its keys mapped to key down/up commands. I'm not familiar with that desk, but presumably it could be made to step through preset scenes by sending it note down/up sequences from some sort of control software.

 

We use SCS for sound and video cuing, and send MIDI commands between the lighting desk and sound computer (running SCS) to synchronize them. This is one possibility. Presumably Qlab could do the same, although I'm not familiar with it.

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