LED Performance / Stage lighting

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felix
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LED Performance / Stage lighting

Post by felix » Sun Oct 12, 2008 3:45 pm

I'm looking for some info about stage/performance lighting based on LEDs.

For example, I'd like to see something where an LED (or array of LEDs) can be triggered by a note-on midi message on each of 16 channels. Like I could plug the MIDI out of the machinedrum into the controller and an LED will fire off with each drum trigger.

I'm thinking maybe I could DIY something with an arduino? I would be cool to have control over the form factor of the lighting and it's placement.
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dkcg
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Post by dkcg » Sun Oct 12, 2008 3:58 pm

You might search on processing.org too. That sounds right up it's alley, you need a monome felix. get on the list for the 256, i think there's a list for the big one, and weekley auctions too on their site. you know you want it. :)

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Post by felix » Sun Oct 12, 2008 4:19 pm

Thanks, I'll check that out.

I'd love a monome 64 to dabble with. It would be really cool if the Monome itself was programmable so that you didn't have to use a computer. Obviously all the cool sample based stuff wouldn't be possible, but it would be fun to have as a standalone sequencer box. Kinda like cellsDS, but a monome.
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Post by thermionicjunky » Sun Oct 12, 2008 4:36 pm

I'm using a J-Omega MIDI to parallel interface for a different kind of project.
http://www.j-omega.co.uk/mtp7.html
http://www.j-omega.co.uk/mtp8.html

There are also Doepfer kits, but they didn't seem to be as good a value, at least not for my use.

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Post by wetterberg » Sun Oct 12, 2008 4:47 pm

first of all, dkcg is leading you astray ;)

First of all, I *highly* recommend going into a small DMX rig, for a number of reasons - the main one being the current flood of low-price easily integratable units in a wide array of form factors.

I have a rig of 6 LED pars and 3 really nice LED bars:
http://www.musicstore.de/en_EN/GBP/Euro ... 003942-000
Image

Now, I have an Enttec usb->midi converter, which goes through maxMSP.

I found something a bit cooler:
http://www.interstellar.com/products.html
- cool bit about that one:

Code: Select all

Eight external inputs (any mix of 0-5V analog, potentiometer, logic level, contact closure) allow interfacing to many other systems or even just a bank of potentiometers/sliders.
- which means that after a bit of attenuation you can basically plug your machinedrum outputs directly in here and it can control up to 512 lighting channels.

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Post by wetterberg » Sun Oct 12, 2008 4:48 pm

also, I believe the midi input functionality of a lot of the cheaper dmx mixers would be cool too, and very inexpensive, too:

http://www.thomann.de/gb/stairville_djx ... roller.htm
- that one is just 69 euro...

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Post by felix » Sun Oct 12, 2008 9:55 pm

The J-Omega sounds/looks pretty interesting.

I should elaborate on what I'm thinking of. In the (hopefully) near future I'll be performing with the machinedrum and a small portable modular. The machinedrum will be providing percussion as well as triggering (via audio outs, not midi) and audio processing of the modular.

I'd like to give the audience a little something interesting to look at. I always enjoy watching LEDs on the modular and the machinedrum light up so I figured that would be simple enough. The less programming of lighting routines, the better.

Size is a consideration too as I imagine most of the places I'll be in will likely be small coffee shops, galleries, or other small performance places where shit like that goes down. I might just make a small light "platform" that the MD + Modular can sit on top of, therefore lighting up the bottom of the gear, similar to the ground effects you see on cars.

Along that train of thought...might it be simpler to have the LEDs respond to audio rather than MIDI?
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Post by parasitk » Mon Oct 13, 2008 12:36 am

I just recently finished programming lights for a friend's band. Due to the lack of devices that offer direct DMX control via MIDI in the USA we went with an Enttec USB Pro, with a simple Max patch to translate MIDI (fed from Digital Performer) to DMX. We used American DJ MegaPixel LED bars.

Might be overkill for what you want, but maybe it'll spark ideas, so...

Linkage:

ADJ MegaPixel LED bar

Enttec DMX USB Pro

Enttec external for Max

I could also send you the little MIDI-DMX app I made in Max if you'd like. It's kinda dumb but it works, and it'll run standalone - this is for Mac OS X though.

Finally some video of the lights in action: http://vimeo.com/album/36330

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Post by wetterberg » Mon Oct 13, 2008 9:49 am

felix wrote:Along that train of thought...might it be simpler to have the LEDs respond to audio rather than MIDI?
very much so, I reckon - that's why I recommended the interstellar unit - hook up your audio and any dmx light to this. Basically set and forget, no computer needed (well, you may need it for initial programming, but it's set and forget)

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Post by felix » Mon Oct 13, 2008 12:41 pm

DOh, I totally missed the interstellar link! :party:
dress yourself for the public. you now must exit your home and acquire a dental mirror and lubrication!
i recommend a hat, or a helmet. if a helmet, ensure that it is both convincing and unbiased. -citizen mori
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Post by dkcg » Mon Oct 13, 2008 2:05 pm

Man did I overcomplicate things. :lol:

I forgot about DMX. Some great info Wetterberg.

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Post by parasitk » Mon Oct 13, 2008 2:30 pm

I looked into DMX controller boards with "MIDI Input" but all they seemed to offer is triggering pre-made scenes. I wanted full control over a lights DMX functions. We also decided that a light board (w/ faders and all that) wasn't necessary since the computer was controlling everything.

But using the Enttec box you could have a Max patch that translates audio frequency or amplitude to DMX, you're not limited to just MIDI control.

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Post by wetterberg » Mon Oct 13, 2008 2:41 pm

parasitk wrote:But using the Enttec box you could have a Max patch that translates audio frequency or amplitude to DMX, you're not limited to just MIDI control.
oh definitely - *if* you can commit to involving a computer - perhaps an unused old laptop? - then you can go to totally new places with your rig.

here's my lil' one - 3 stacked lights, as above, maxMSP(+jitter) and an enttec - responding to low/mid/high of a simple audio track, a remix of mine:
[video][/video]

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Post by parasitk » Mon Oct 13, 2008 3:05 pm

Yeah, I've seen this! Cool. And yeah involving a laptop opens up many doors.

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