Lighting/hardware API for lighting systems?

Questions and discussion about building and using Max for Live devices
Post Reply
Hull
Posts: 96
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2010 2:33 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD
Contact:

Lighting/hardware API for lighting systems?

Post by Hull » Mon Nov 21, 2011 4:48 pm

Hello.

I'm thinking about putting together a lighting kit to take on the road with me. I'm wondering if there is some kind of common, lighting API that will integrate qith Live so I can cue lighting effects with the music?

Any pointers is appreciated.

Thanks!
Hull
Dymaxion Groove Records
http://dymaxion.fm

Metaphreaq
Posts: 58
Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2006 6:04 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD
Contact:

Re: Lighting/hardware API for lighting systems?

Post by Metaphreaq » Mon Nov 21, 2011 5:37 pm

Used something like this with vvvv, but never max

http://www.nullmedium.de/dev/dmxusbpro/

Hull
Posts: 96
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2010 2:33 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD
Contact:

Re: Lighting/hardware API for lighting systems?

Post by Hull » Fri Nov 25, 2011 2:00 pm

Nice, thanks! Looks like that DMX format is a standard for lighting.

Thanks again.

H
Hull
Dymaxion Groove Records
http://dymaxion.fm

Metaphreaq
Posts: 58
Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2006 6:04 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD
Contact:

Re: Lighting/hardware API for lighting systems?

Post by Metaphreaq » Fri Dec 02, 2011 2:18 pm

Good luck!

aradder
Posts: 24
Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:39 pm

Re: Lighting/hardware API for lighting systems?

Post by aradder » Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:56 am

DMX controllers are pretty expensive. I'm currently working on building a 4-channel color organ ($30 kit + $5 enclosure) that powers 4 AC outlets depending on the presence of a certain level of sound in 4 different frequency bands. The plan is to set Analog up with a polyphonic sine wave patch so I can find safe note values for each of the 4 frequency ranges. Then I can program light patterns with MIDI for four different light devices, and route the signal from Analog to its own separate output that goes straight to the color organ's line in. So far I ordered some LED accent strips and a length of EL-wire that's powered by AC. I am still on the lookout for ideas for my third and fourth lights. (May just do two more colors of EL-wire though). I hope to have this up and running within a few weeks, and I can post details if it works to plan. The nice thing about this setup is that you don't need to buy programmable lights. Just lights that use standard AC power plugs, will turn on instantly, and will not fail if turned on and of rapidly for an hour or so :)

Machinate
Posts: 11646
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2004 2:15 pm
Location: Denmark
Contact:

Re: Lighting/hardware API for lighting systems?

Post by Machinate » Mon Jan 02, 2012 8:50 am

The nullmedium object and the dmx usb pro from entte are totally the way to go.
I've run 300 channel dmx installs off a single one at a really high frame rate.

The kicker these days is that led lights are so incredibly cheap, you can get a great looking rig for just a few hundred euro.

@aradder that seems quite convoluted. Why not an arduino and some relays instead? That seems a lot more stable.
mbp 2.66, osx 10.6.8, 8GB ram.

irrelevance
Posts: 463
Joined: Tue May 20, 2008 7:31 pm

Re: Lighting/hardware API for lighting systems?

Post by irrelevance » Mon Jan 02, 2012 7:51 pm

Anyone used this patch successfully?

http://maxforlive.com/library/device.php?id=486

@aradder Intersting solution will you post progress?

@Machinate The Arduino looks interesting and might be something I would use in the interim while learning to construct my own I/O board with pic control thanks!

Machinate
Posts: 11646
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2004 2:15 pm
Location: Denmark
Contact:

Re: Lighting/hardware API for lighting systems?

Post by Machinate » Tue Jan 03, 2012 8:45 am

irrelevance wrote:@Machinate The Arduino looks interesting and might be something I would use in the interim while learning to construct my own I/O board with pic control thanks!
yeah, in my opinion there is generally no need to construct one's own pcbs if it can be done with an arduino, really. Unless you need more I/O than an arduino mega, or more speed than say a teensy.

I offered to contribute to the dmax lib, but got no reply, so I'll be assuming that it's closed off, which made me lose interest. I've got "fixture" objects for max for a number of different led bar types, and I suspect I'll keep building on that for the time being.
mbp 2.66, osx 10.6.8, 8GB ram.

gavspav
Posts: 337
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2005 12:43 am

Re: Lighting/hardware API for lighting systems?

Post by gavspav » Tue Jan 03, 2012 10:44 am

I've been experimenting with M4L/Arduino to drive flexible led strips and pixels.
Its nice to be able to write midi lighting patterns and convert this midi data to Serial and have Arduino convert this to light!

Also using http://cycling74.com/toolbox/imp-dmx-dmx-for-max/ to take data from lighting control software and combine it with data generated from Live.

I just worked on a lighting installation in Harrow Town Centre where I connected my Ableton based semi-automatic djing table, The Beat Jigsaw, with an interactive flower garden. Good fun!

irrelevance
Posts: 463
Joined: Tue May 20, 2008 7:31 pm

Re: Lighting/hardware API for lighting systems?

Post by irrelevance » Tue Jan 03, 2012 10:49 am

Shame the developer didn't get back to you, maybe they are frantically patching in their laboratory! :P I haven't used dmx before so at this stage I can't evaluate the patch. I would like to implement dmx into my prototype that I'm in the early stages of. It's an led lightbox for a fibre optic installation which will need pwm control. It's not gonna be a mass production item so I'm really pleased that you highlighted the arduino solution. :)

deHaan
Posts: 282
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2009 7:22 pm
Location: Denmark - Århus
Contact:

Re: Lighting/hardware API for lighting systems?

Post by deHaan » Tue Jan 03, 2012 10:55 am

I built this 8-channel sound controlled light show. Pretty simple, but it works for me.

Image

http://forum.ableton.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=129941
Check out my band Silent People's new single here:
http://silentpeople.dk

Image

aradder
Posts: 24
Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:39 pm

Re: Lighting/hardware API for lighting systems?

Post by aradder » Wed Jan 04, 2012 5:03 am

deHaan, what is that, exactly? Can you explain it a bit? Also, I have no programming background so M4L and Arduino are out of the question. Plus I'm interested in having the color organ just for hooking up while listening to mood music at home anyway. I will be back when I make any progress on this idea.

aradder
Posts: 24
Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:39 pm

Re: Lighting/hardware API for lighting systems?

Post by aradder » Mon Feb 13, 2012 4:05 pm

So I built a color organ kit, and it does indeed make your lamps flash with the music. Pick out some cool lamps, and you have a pretty responsive and musical sound-controlled light source. However, the frequency response of the 4 channels is not exact enough to do what I was thinking. Currently looking at a US income tax refund from this past year, so I'm planning on taking the plunge into DMX and ordering an Obey 40 controller and two Chauvet Colorstrip Minis. The controller accepts MIDI note input, so I can program scenes/chases on the controller and then trigger them via my Live set. Spendy for me, but integrated, synced lighting is something I've wanted to have for a long time. I'll still be using the color organ on stage though, powering 4 Ikea "HOLMO" floor lanterns with the paper shades painted a couple of simple colors and some LED accent strips (Simple white DIODER strips also from Ikea) mounted inside them (velcroed to the center posts as "visual anchors" for when the lamps aren't lit).

Machinate
Posts: 11646
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2004 2:15 pm
Location: Denmark
Contact:

Re: Lighting/hardware API for lighting systems?

Post by Machinate » Mon Feb 13, 2012 10:21 pm

@aradder: Taking the plunge into dmx is a LOT of fun, but man... Don't buy the obey40 - hell, don't buy a dmx controller at all! - and don't buy the colorstrip minis either.

Controller: You don't need it. You need something that will let your computer control dmx; guess what? Google about for solutions that work with serial communication - there are many. We use enttec USB Pros, which cost about the same as that obey box, but let you control everything directly over serial from inside max. And I know that there are other options now, that I hope others will contribute to this thread.

And the chauvet lights? they have 8 individual lights, but only 4 channels? wtf?

No, you seem like a tinkerer... right? So what about something like this?
http://www.aliexpress.com/product-gs/43 ... alers.html

Add some kick-ass LEDs, and you could build somethin brighter than those two together for like 100 dollars. And it'll be your own.
mbp 2.66, osx 10.6.8, 8GB ram.

Post Reply