View Full Version : Moving to Software based DMX Control - External Wing?

08-13-2013, 12:22 PM
So, I've decided to ditch the Hardware DMX controller and move to Software Based.

More features, greater control, virtually unlimited scenes/shows, etc...

However, I can't see myself playing around with a trackpad having to click everything. Also, I prefer the hardware feel of a controller. Just like you can't be a good DJ with just a laptop, you need at least a controller with the software because it's just easier.

I'm not sure of which software I'm going with, although Blizzard's new Lucid DMX looks promising. Still need to try a few out.

Anyway, I've been looking at external wing controllers for DMX software, but I'm coming up short. Clearly the market is not as large as for DJ controllers.

Besides the Elation MidiCon, I don't see any other wing controllers around this price range. Are there any that I may have over looked? I know Enttec has some, but they are a bit pricy as well.

Alternatively, Can I just plug in like a joystick and use that? Would that work? Assign the buttons to specific scenes or shows, and bam! Or perhaps a computer based PTZ controller?



Ryan Ruel
08-13-2013, 12:47 PM
I think it's a pretty limited market segment, which is why we don't see the proliferation of purpose controller for DMX packages like we have seen for DJ'ing purposes. The number of units to be sold is just a fraction of what you would get for building a lighting controller.

The elation product is one for sure. In addition, you have Chamsys and High End Systems (HOG PC) wings, but those become VERY expensive (the HOG wings are like $6000).

Fortunately, with a proper DMX software package you can use any MIDI controller you want. The Behringer BCF-2000 comes to mind as a cheap fader controller, and a secondary controller you can use is a midi keyboard for triggering your cues. I don't think a joystick is necessary, they are kind of crude on the controllers I've used... and you would only really use them for programming... even then, you'll use macros for your movers and adjusting position is easy with a mouse.

I personally use ShowCad Artist 3. I programmed an interface for that on my iPad, using the Lemur app. It works well and is very solid.

08-13-2013, 01:31 PM
DMXIS is what I use. It's easy to learn yet you still get good results. It has MIDI compatibility so you can use whatever MIDI interface you want. I use it with my band, with an FCB1010 foot pedalboard as well.

TouchOSC lets you design an iPad interface.

08-13-2013, 06:49 PM
I primarily use TouchOSC for the simplicity of having my 8 main scenes right at my fingertips in a small package. I also have a MIDIcon controller when I need more than just the iPad.

08-13-2013, 07:40 PM
I've been using FreeStyler for about a year now and mapping keyboard keys works quite well for the relatively basic shows we do. It does support MIDI devices, however, so you could map something like an Akai APC40 to it.

Also, joysticks are overrated. They seem like a good idea at first but never work like you expect them to.