Midi controlled stage lighting?

I have just started thinking that it would have been nice to own some stage lighting gear to make small gigs more atmospheric/visually interesting. But I have absolutely no knowledge about the subject.

What I have in mind is being able to control some lights via midi. Using the percussion keys on the Eigenharp, for instance. Or perhaps something even more interactive like having light intensity respond to breath and strip, etc. Another obvious use would be to sequence midi patterns on the Octatrack and use that. I know the OP-Z can sequence DMX lights, but I was hoping there were some kind of small, cheaper box that could convert DIN or/and USB midi to DMX around.

A bit off-topic for this forum, I guess, but since there are quite a lot of creative, technical people around I was hoping someone happened to know something about this.

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Don’t think is of topic at all… it’s another layer on expression…

Lights ARE very important and something I always have great care and attention thru out all this years I know my self :wink:

There many solutions and approaches, DMX is nowadays more “accessible” so to speak.
I think some applications even accept OSC as control and Art-Net (Modul8, Chamsys
As for interfaces I see many people use/talk about (on-the-not-so-expensve-side)…ENTTEC

Funny you mention OP-Z as I have one and already did use it with an old DMX ENTTEC I had around and its fun to interact with. Do you have an OP-Z?

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No, I don’t own an OP-Z… yet. It sure looks fun, but I try not to buy new gear all the time, and just stick to what I ‘need’. I would be very interested to get your opinion on it and some details on the DMX functionality, so I’ll probably ask you about various details soon. :slight_smile:

So far this looks like a potential choice for lights:

I also found this to go from midi to DMX without a computer: http://response-box.com/gear/decabox-midi-to-dmx-bridge/

…looks like exactly what I had in mind, but not exactly cheap. Perhaps a laptop and one of those entec usb things is the way to go instead. Too many options!

Sorry for late reply, I had a look at the links and got lost in the possibilities nowadays.

Both products look great, with the first (Gigbar) you could just use the foot pedal or sound-to-lights and forget for now DMX (thats one more layer of costs and “headaches”), after all lights are what matters the most!! (not on more protocol involved ahah we deal we so many already…)

OP-Z… yeah I was going to mention 3eee, sure I’ll have all this around and we can discuss this as a topic :wink:


I got together two T bars out of old mike boom stands I had, and bought about a dozen par can LED lights. plus UV led cans. Some are high powered. It was very cheap. Also you can download free software which you can use with an old laptop for example, and a cheap DMX interface…

I also bought a quite good Chauvet mixer, but it will only properly control Chauvet lights (which are neither cheap, or very inspiring) so that for me, was a lemon, which is now relegated to lighting my studio.

My present lights set internally to slow fades and sound to light, are very effective. (without a controller) and a hundred times better than no lights at all. Understanding DMX is not rocket science. You just have to grasp the basics, and then you’re off… Free software exists which (with an old laptop) you can use to map all lights you might buy now, and in the future, so you can just build up scenes and sets (and clock them from a sequencer say) and just continue building your show as you want 'cos it’s open ended. I got a couple of plastic lidded crates to store them and the DMX cables and mains, and they’re very light-weight.
LED parcans are getting so cheap now (e-bay for example) that you can build a surprisingly powerful system for next to nothing… (£200 for example, should get you a good system if you invest wisely.) and remember, software allows you to tailor and time stamp every move, strobe, fade, wash, blackout, etc. until it’s perfect.