An update:- We got the 2 Gigabars about 3 weeks ago, and they are brilliant! The band members weren’t too sure to start with (not more technology!), but as soon as we tried it, they liked it. Even during the rehearsals the lights add a bit of excitement. The singer gets a spotlight on him all evening so he’s happy!
Thank you everyone on this thread for steering me in the right direction. I thought I’d take the opportunity to describe the setup in case it gives anyone inspiration.
As well as the DMXIS, I also got a DSPLIT to give me 4 DMX outputs. I run a 10 metre IEC power, audio and DMX snake from my 4u rack to each of the 2 main powered speaker and then split the power at the speakers to go to the lighting bar.
I can use a 3rd DMX output for the panel lights we have around the drums.
I’ve also repurposed one of these to quickly set all the faders when making new presets.
It has 9 faders so 3 lots of RGB controls.
I’ve used BOME to modify the midi from this controller so that the 0 to 127 values map to one of 5 values. 0, 25%, 50%, 75% 100% in DMXIS for consistency.
I have grouped presets within DMXIS by whether they are “static” or “sequences”. Sequences switch between 2 or more presets every few bars.
I have a few standard sequences set up - eg GreenRed which has the front of the stage green, and the back red, and then smoothly fades to the opposite every 4 bars. Others are BlueWhite or RedYellow. I’ll add to these as I get time.
I also have some standard “solo” presets for Keys, Drums, and even the guitar player (if he behaves himself!) which dim the lighting except for the person who is soloing.
To start with I set up all my songs to use either one of the standard sequences. This gives me moving lighting across our setlist without too much effort.
I also have a standard “in between songs” preset which stops the seqence, dims the band lighting a little, but keeps the white light on our singer/frontman. The lights on the singer are consistently white all the way through.
I also have a “before set” preset for before we come on.
Each preset or sequence I create is reusable within other songs.
I can then add custom presets for particular songs. For example, my MOTU interface also runs the band live and monitor mixer, so I have access to all the indiviudal audio channels. We don’t amplify the kick and snare drums, but they are miced for recording, and now lighting! I’ve created separate aux audio sends from the Kick and Snare drum mics and brought them into C3. I can then enable that audio route into DMXIS for a single rack state. That gives me a way of having the kick drum flash the lights up to full white using a rack state. Same with the snare drum - for example for the intro to Jailhouse Rock. Our drummer likes this!
I have DMXIS in a “lighting” rack. Within C3, I trigger the DMXIS presets by sending MIDI notes from bindings on each rack state.
I have each scene or sequence as a rack state within a Lighting rack. The bindings are then triggered on Rack state load.
These MIDI notes going to DMIXIS change for each rack state which is why “target” is enabled as a state behaviour on the binding.
The VST automation enables the “autorun” for the sequences and disables it for the static presets.
The DMXIS plugin takes the tempo from C3’s metronome. This is how it knows to switch the sequence after 4 bars. I’ve set the tempo in C3 against each song. We don’t play using backing tracks, but I’ve found that as long as we play at roughly the same speed the lighting changes match up fairly well over a verse. I do have a “next lighting preset state” on a footpedal switch so if the sync does drift then I can reset it mid song.
Normally, in a song I have a “pre” song state which loads up the default “in between songs” lighting preset
Then I have a binding within the song to move to the next “start song” state when I play the 1st note of the song - this obviously changes for each song. This next song state will change the lighting rack preset which will put us into the song sequence, and off we go. I do have to trigger the song start manually if I’m not playing to begin with.
Within the song if I have different song states for verses, or choruses then it is really simple to change the lighting rack state for that part of the song.
I’ve had some stability issues with the DMXIS plugin - where having the plugin GUI open and switching between presets has caused C3 to completely hang and require a restart. @Brad has been very supportive in helping to isolate the problem to the plugin itself, and the plugin developer is apparently looking at the issue.
This all means that we get a customised lighting show synced up to the music which is fully automated with almost no extra work from me on stage regardless of the setlist order. The VST automation in C3 along with the DMXIS features themeselves are very powerful.
Phew, that was a longer post than I expected!