I spent the last week developing a system for mapping DMX lighting based on MIDI automation and frequency content.
First, I made a consorted effort to get Martin’s Enttec DMX USB Pro working with the DMAX Max for Live Objects. The Enttec installers and documentation are set up to accommodate Window’s computers mostly and not necessarily easy to navigate for Mac users. The DMAX (Max for Live devices) require that you install Olaf Matthew’s dmxusbpro external and an additional driver.
dmxusbpro external – “In order to work with this object you have to install the Virtual Com Port driver for the interface. It will not work with the FTD2XX driver. The latest driver can be found at www.ftdichip.com/.”
Additionally, you will need to know your computer’s com port to run the dmxpro helpfile. On a Macintosh system, it should look something like: /dev/cu.usbserial-ENT3IHSX.
Unfortunately, I was only able to get the first 2 channels Red and Green to work. Despite the DMAX hub-monitor indicating that the other channels where receiving proper messages, these signal were not being transmitted to the lights. I’ve email David Butler (DMAX) to see if he has any suggestions.
Below is a video from what I was able to get working. Using one light, I was able to map a single drum loop and split audio frequency content. Red is for lows (Kick) and green (Snare) for mids/highs.
At this point, it’s difficult to say why the other channels aren’t functioning correctly with DMAX. Too many pieces to the puzzle…. Max externals, Max version compatibility, 5 to 3 pin cables, Max for Live devices, etc. With looming deadlines, I resorted back to using the DMX console and modified Matt Colling’s DMX Max Midi patches to work with all four lights inside Ableton Live. In the video below, I’ve daisy-chained and mapped three lights. Each respond to different frequency content based on audio signals, which are then mapped to control values.
My first impression is that the DMX MIDI devices, through the console, are more sluggish than the Enttec DMX Pro. This makes perfect sense as latency plays a huge factor in timing. The DMX Pro allows for direct connection to the lights, where as the console is need to work directly with sending MIDI and then translating those signals to DMX. For the mean time, I’ll continue working with the console as it’s proven to be the most reliable.
FYI… another option is to use the American DJ, myDMX 2.0. Cameron MacNair has written an informative blog about getting it up and running.