Which DMX Hardware/Software for lighting control with GP?

Until now I was using a DMXis interface with GP, but it broke. Also, I don’t like the idea of using Emu which replaces the original DMXis software that is no longer maintained (see here Emu successor of the former DMXis plugin)

So I’m looking for an alternative and was thinking about this (MIDI control & very nice 3D viewer for preparing shows):

Does anyone have any experience with it? Or another product to recommend?

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No experience… although it “looks” good! feature wise and so…

Sorry, all my “adventures” with DMX always included a big desk or wings, lots of buttons and faders…

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Having worked as a lighting technician in the 90’s, Daslight was already and for a long time a reference in lighting software, a lot of people used this hardware, one of the best alternative to the big brands like Avab, Celco, MA Lighting, Adb,etc. It was much cheaper and just as effective.
I do not know if it is still the same today but the software was free and you needed a USB or Ethernet interface to convert data to DMX.

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What about free software like DMXControl or Freestyler?

http://www.freestylerdmx.be/

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Yes they are free too, the choice will depend on your preferences in terms of ergonomics and usage.
It’s the same as choosing a daw or a host plugin :wink:

Similarly the choice of which harware interface to buy will depend on your preferences and budget - from the simplest that just converts and sends data to the most complex that integrates processors and memories to store your programming and trigger scenes without the need for a computer or console.

Regarding Daslight, it is not free, the compatible hardware integrates the authorization. There is also a concurrent product called Sunlite which shares the same DMX hardware. And the most confusing to me is that Daslight, Sunlite and the DMX hardware are all from the same mother brand:

Do they plan to continue both Sunlite and Daslight? With the same energy? If it is not like Coca Cola and Pepsi Cola which software has the best perspective? :thinking:

Oh yes, I forgot about Sunlite, direct “competitor” of Daslight and both manufactured by Nicolaudie!
Unfortunately, both of them only work with their respective interfaces. But the softwares are free,
Whatever software (even free) you use, you will still have to buy an interface as I said before.
However many of the paid software can be used with different interfaces.

If I remember correctly (and if it still exists), only Freestyler, less elaborate than the others but very simple to use, worked on any interface and I seem to recall that in the theatre where I worked, some of the companies we hosted used Freestyler on an Enttec interface we had, basic but reliable and cheap.

Only if you buy the right DMX hardware. Otherwise, the price of Daslight is around 178€, but necessitates à compatible hardware. No idea if the Daslight hardware can be used with any other software.

The Daslight software is free to download, but requires a Daslight USB or Ethernet interface to be connected to convert the control data from the software to DMX which the lights can understand.
DVC FUN Retail price: 179€

I think I do not quite understand what you mean (sometimes foreign language confuse my brain).
When I read this, which is a copy/paste from the Daslight website, I understand that 179 € is the price of the interface, the software being supplied with it.
I do not think the software is for sale on its own as it is free and can only work with Daslight products.
Sorry again if I missed something or if we say the same thing.

If I am confused, it is that it is not that easy.

  • DVC FUN price 179€ or $219 with Daslight 4 “Express”, while for this specific hardware Daslight 4 “Full” lifetime license is $89

  • DVC GOLD price $549 with Daslight 4 “Full” included (Daslight 5 will be suported and available for free when it comes out) and price for Sunlite 3 license is $298.

No way to buy a Sunlite licence for a DVC hardware which however shares the same SUT license system with the Sunlite DMX hardware. But the opposite is not true for Sunlite DMX hardware on which you can add a Daslight license. => EDIT NOT TRUE

  • SUNLITE EC (basically the same hardware than the DVC GOLD) price $599 with ESA Pro 2 in the price (yet another software… even more confusing) and Sunlite 3 suite “Express”. Add $89 for Sunlite 3 “Full” and $178 for Daslight 4.

So we have now 3 software in the family: Daslight 4, Sunlite or ESA Pro 2
We also have two kind of DMX hardware : DVC e.g. DVC GOLD (EDIT; NOT TRUE compatible uniquely with Daslight) and SUNLITE e.g. SUNLITE-EC (compatible ESA Pro 2, Sunlite AND Daslight (?) ).

Confusing, confusing, confusing… :thinking: :nerd_face:

GrandMA is the industry standard DMX controller and they make a software only version but to get your hands on a desk is about the price of a car.

@David-san
I didn’t know your real needs on this kind of equipment but I’m starting to understand better what you’re saying and what Nicolaudie offers: indeed, if you need for example more than 128 channels or additional functions (i.e. MIDI) or ethernet connection, you must use at least the dvc Gold box which costs 449€.

You also told me that you can upgrade the software from Express to Full for 89€ but I couldn’t find any info about the differences between Express and Full except these few words quoted on Sunlite:

EXPRESS
If working under EXPRESS mode, Sunlite SUITE 3 does not allow the use of AUDIO/VIDEO, the sync with Midi Time Code nor the use of time triggers.
Having said that, the EXPRESS mode can be enough for most of the applications.

FULL
Time triggers, multimedia (AUDIO and VIDEO), Midi Time Code sync…Everything is available, you will not need to buy any extension to take benefit of the software power. The FULL mode can be required should you want to build a fully synchronized show.

So for 268€ you will have for example the dvc FUN box with additional functions with the FULL software BUT still limited to 128 channels and other features specific to the dvc FUN, unless you also upgrade this box too :grimacing:

If your needs are limited you can also consider using Freestyler which is free and works fine with an Enttec Open DMX USB interface (about 75€) or Enttec DMX USB PRO MKII (about 180€) which has a MIDI connection.

My DMXis was almost enough for small stages and I had the opportunity to control a lighting truss with 10 PAR and 14 moving heads to do fancy stuffs without any problem. But, as I now have to replace my DMXis I also have the opportunity to go for something else. What could have been improved in DMXis software is the preparation of a show based on 3D display and that’s what mainly motivates the change for a different DMX software/hardware. The DVC Gold or the equivalent SUNLITE-EC seem to be a good compromise (I never used more than one single DMX universe for now, but with these new DMX hardware it is not a problem to extend them).

So, I now have to introduce another Nicolaudie entity: DMXSoft. In the following page, at the bottom-right, you will find information about possible software extensions for any “Nicolaudie” DMX hardware:

https://store.dmxsoft.com/en/?currency=USD&country=us

Here the DMX hardware/software solutions are detailed in terms of options prices and differences in capabilities, e.g. :

But, this doesn’t answer all my questions about the perspective of all these hardware/software marketed by what appears to be a single parent company. So, I would like to know if Nicolaudie has already chosen its champion, because I imagine that developing these software in parallel has a cost that could be reduced by merging these products. For me, learning to use a new software is time I’d rather save for playing music, so I better choose the right one right away.

I finished the DMXis adventure with an original software that is now discontinued and a perspective of a replacement software (still full of bugs, I tried it), that when it will be finalized, will require a monthly/yearly subscription. :confused:

This seems to be the entry level of the GrandMA3 world, but I don’t know if is enough to activate the license of the “free” “GrandMA3 on PC” software:

Maybe you could tell a little more about how you were or are willing to controlling your lights on stage. Firing time-automated shows may require different tools than changing scenes manually via a MIDI device. Programming lights for a 30 min set of self-made music will be different to preparing for a 6+ hour cover show. Lighting on or off stage positions will require some kind of abstraction from cues via templates/presets which DMXIS, for example, does not offer. Getting the requirements straight is the toughest which I’ve also spent hours of learning.

I personally use Obsidian/Elation Onyx (formerly Martin M-PC) in an older and free version which supports MIDI (their new licensing model sucks imho). It is a full-fledged lightimg software which works with both DMXIS hardware and ART-NET/sACN nodes (which btw I recommend you to buy - there are some cheap and rock-solid network devices out there which offer you 2 DMX universes without being proprietary). However, unlike you, I use Ableton as a backing track player in my live shows. Ableton fires MIDI notes based on song position which is delivered to Onyx via software “cable” (e.g., loopmidi), physical cable or wireless (e.g., BomeBox). Onyx then jumps one cue forward on a pre-programmed cuelist per song (just as you can do with DMXIS via MIDI Ch 15/16).

Although I currently use GP as Synth VST Host only, I think it could easily do Ableton’s job and replace it. Just depends on your setup and requirements.

The DMXis also goes the wrong direction regarding licensing, that’s why I had a look to Daslight or Sunlite. I don’t need much more than a DMXis with a 3D show viewer to prepare scenes that I can trigger using MIDI or OSC (Daslight 5 should also have the OSC support).

Have you already checked third-party tool integration for DMXIS? I can recommend Polar Capture which should work via (virtual) DMX in/out connections and I think they have a free student version (at least they used to have). You could also look into 3D Magic Easy View which comes for free with Open Source DMXControl iirc.

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Just to put a low cost solution out there, you could go for a DMX Art-Net/sACN Node as the DMX controller (uses ethernet, not USB), and control it with (free) Q-Light software. Q-Light allows you to create a virtual console which in turn is controllable via MIDI to select scenes (or direct control of fixtures)

I use a PC, so PC hosts Gigperformer and Q-Light, connect midi output from Gigperformer to QLight using a virtual midi cable, and send DMX info out over ethernet to the DMX node. I like this approach as my rig already includes ethernet for OSC control of my mixer, and this avoids another usb device - which can be problematic when re-assembling the rig at a gig and USB ports being renamed (on Windows)

Chauvet do a decent low cost Art-Net/sCAN adaptor at around £125.

Will be some effort creating and mapping the fixtures, virtual console and MIDI control - but think that’s true of setting up any DMX

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QLC+ is free and works with the low cost interfaces. It also supports artnet, OSC and MIDI control. I have used QLC+ and I believe it will integrate with GP4, although not something I have done personally.

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I’m using the ADJ DMX ‘Eliminator’ small console with GP4 with great success via it’s MIDI input. I just program this very small console for all the scenes and chases that I need then call them up via MIDI from GP4 (via IConnectivity mioXC USB/midi adapter). Every time I select the next song or part in the setlist, it calls up the correct corresponding lighting scene, sometimes up to 8 in a song for solos, etc.
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