Control DMX Lighting from Cantabile

Hi guys,
I’ve been looking at adding some automation to my simple lighting setup (just two cheap DMX party par bars,) so I searched the forum and found people recommending and using the DMXIS interface quite successfully with Cantabile, however when I looked up to buy one of these devices, I discovered they are no longer being manufactured.

My duo plays to backing tracks which use transport markers in Cantabile to load scenes and control FX on our digital mixer via MIDI, so I don’t see any major issue adding MIDI control messages for lighting fixtures. What device can I use to get these MIDI lighting cues out of Cantabile and into a device to output DMX signals?

FYI, I did buy a UDMX (USB to DMX) adapter cable a couple of years ago that uses programs like FreeStyler to control lighting, but I haven’t had time to actually install and use it. Is there a way to use this device with Cantabile 3?

I have been trying to do the same thing, your adaptor cable may work with qlc+, I write a midi track for the lights, then a small app called loopmidi to route the track to qlc+. The trick is using the midi learn function in qlc+ to setup your colors, I used a simple keyboard to do this and used those note assignments for the midi track.

You can also use the keyboard to play and record a midi track for your lights


Hi Lodzok1,
Thank you for responding and posting your experience. I’m surprised more people aren’t going for this level of production in their live shows.

Anyhow, it looks like my USB to DMX adapter isn’t working… I tried several things with it to no avail. However, I was able to achieve what I needed by using an old no name 192 channel DMX controller (these are everywhere on eBay & Amazon).

Because we are a duo playing with backing tracks, I essentially created Transport bindings for the various sections of each song. These bindings output specific MIDI notes that trigger my preprogrammed scenes on the DMX controller. Once you work out how to program scenes (not for the feint of heart on these Chinese consoles) the rest is pretty simple, however it does take a lot of time scrubbing though each song and picking out the time cues for the bindings.

Pitching in on this topic: I am currently in the process of building lighting into my Cantabile songs. I use a completely separate piece of software for designing and running my lighting - DMX Control is free and super-powerful. No need to fiddle with individual channel/parameter faders like in DMXIS, rather work with fixture groups, colors and effects; but it does take some learning how to deal with its features.

I use MIDI commands from Cantabile to select scenes in DMX Control. The MIDI input side is a bit of a cryptic hassle to set up in DMX Control, but once set up, it’s solid and just works. Happy to help if you choose to go that route.

I have a lighting rack in Cantabile with three sub-racks (floods, FoH and spots) that control different aspects of my lighting setup. Each of these sub-racks simply contains program changes triggered by rack state changes to select the correct scene in DMX Control. The lighting rack exports the selected rack states of all three subracks to the song, so by setting state behavior of the lighting rack to “exported state”, I can simply change the lighting by changing the song state. Easy to have different lighting for the intro, verse, chorus by stepping through song states.

The Floods and FoH racks have a couple of standardized light scenes, based on color and movement, e.g. “Static Red-Purple”, “Pulsing Rainbow” or “Fire Chaser”; the Spots rack activates “override” scenes that set specific fixtures in the FoH to static warm white, so I can have a steady light on a singer or soloist while the rest of the fixtures goes wild on a chaser.

I currently have DMX Control running on a separate laptop with USB DMX interfaces, connected to my Cantabile machine via rtpMIDI. This is mostly to reserve the CPU on my Cantabile machine purely for audio - my setups do get a little complex, and I want no audio dropouts due to having to deal with lights on the same machine. But depending on the CPU hunger of your Cantabile setup, you could also run DMX Control on your Cantabile machine and connect them via a virtual MIDI port. DMX Control isn’t really CPU-heavy.



I was using a Rockforce 384 with midi input at first, and it was OK but iam working on a one man idea so I wanted to make the rig as portable as I could so I got a
DMX open box made by enttec smaller than a cigarette pack. I also use a binding to blackout the lights at the end of the song and turn a scene on 2 seconds later.

I do something similar on a standalone PC for Video in Welsh Floyd. I have never found DMXIS to be CPU heavy, but certainly did not want video interfering with my audio, so that is definitely related to a standalone machine connected via RTP MIDI

One thing I found when connecting two computers is that just back to back with a cross over cable is not 100% reliable, so I put a small NetGear switch in my rack, and that makes it 100% solid.

Been digging more on lighting. Just throwing this out there. For those doing solo gigs or just small shows, the Express version of this software is all you need. It is timeline based

This is just one of the supported devices, of which there are many

For those doing more complicated shows

Since I am working on a solo gig using tracks, the Express version looks very much like ShowBuddy, and seems to operate in the same manner

For those who like to see as well as read, here is the youTube link for the series of short tutorial clips to get you going.

And lastly for the majority of the forum, here’s the manual

I’m still digging into this, but it looks promising. Just continuing the conversation regarding lighting


Wow. VENUEMAGIC Very fun one ! Different but very interesting.

I use quickshow by pangolin for lasers and it’s quite the same with that linear approach. Well, I think it’s worth the try. It’s just a question of time…

It’s like the cantabile of the dmx :grin:

Thanx for the share.

I looked at " dmx control " but found this a bit old fashioned… And I don’t speak german at all. Really liked the idea of groups.

I looked at Show Budy Active too that is the Dmxis brother. No groups… But good fx inside.

For now, all my stuff is made with Dmxis and works fine… Even of it’s not that easy as Quickshow to use.

I’d say, I’d like a programm like quickshow (linear) for dmx…with groups like ‘dmx control’ and fx like ‘SBA’ …

For the moment it’s compromises…

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DMXIS may be old (but so am I) and it has worked well for me for 10 years. No need to change whilst it still runs.

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About Dmxis, how to you organize the banks ? I read in a forum someone who makes banks by COLORS instead of songs. Not a bad idea, isn’t it ? So he has more presets…

I saw in the forum that there are macros in python langage too to make special things like copy and paste… Do you use some of these ? Any advice ?

I have an issue in C4, when I change a preset in my binding lines, all the other coming next are forgotten. I need to open each one that follows to reactivate… Did you experienced that too ?

I organise them by song. Each bank is a song. I am a pretty simple guy……

That’d what I’ve done too :slight_smile:

I’ve been using QLC+ to run DMX lighting for shows, and it’s pretty robust and flexible. It also supports a wide variety of DMX interfaces. With the OpenDMX from Enttec, you lose a bit of speed for DMX transmit rate. I’d recommend the Enttec DMX USB Pro(and a quick mag disconnect for the garbage mini-usb connector if you get the mk2).

You can spit MIDI out through a loopback to QLC+. I create all of our lighting cue lists and trigger them from specific CC/Notes, then advance through the cues with a separate specific CC(all easily mappable in QLC+). That save time on mapping out individual DMX channels for certain songs, as you can use built in EFX motions and RGB array animations.

Currently, I’m using a show file that maps out different behaviors for each fixture(positions, movements, colors, gobos, etc) to separate randomized cue lists which all share the same play/next cue trigger notes. By setting up a midi “cue track” for our media players, we’re able to run a synchronized dynamic show that follows our songs.

It’s way better than the flash-and-trash sound active/auto modes on lights, and significantly less time required to program out each song while keeping it spicy for the audience.