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Firing Lighting Commands with MIDI

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Top 500 Contributor
Posts 17
JCody Posted: 09-18-2008 12:03 PM

In our productions we use Sonar 7 for music and sound fx cues. We have been using an Express console which recognizes midi program changes and fires the lighting cues (midi program changes) from Sonar. It's worked flawlessly. We recently purchased an ION in hopes that we could do something similar using midi time code instead of midi program changes (which ION doesn't do). Much to our dismay, when using midi time code, there is a one to two second delay when starting a sound cue. Once it locks in, it works fine. But If I want to automate a show, I can't have a light cue start at the same time as a sound cue with one command due to the midi time code delay at the start of the sound cue. We love using Sonar in our setup, but currrently have to continue using our Express console until we find a solution. Sonar sends midi program changes, note on and off, and Midi Machine Control. Does anyone out there have a solution to our dilemna, short of getting SFX or something similar?  We really like Sonar. We automate a lot and it makes for flawless tech.

I read in another post that if there were enough requests, they would implement standard midi into a future software update. Count this post as a request. The way it was set up in the Express Console worked great.

Thanks

Cody

Top 75 Contributor
Posts 161

Hi,

Regarding Midi Timecode (and also SMPTE timecode) it is pretty normal to have a few seconds of "pre-roll" before any events need to execute. This is to make sure all the devices have time to sync. This is normal practice with Timecode. I can imagine that if you start generating timecode when the sound cue plays, most machines recieving the timecode will not have time to catch up and execute their cues, not just Ion. Timecode is meant to run for a longer period and make sure all devices are in sync.

From your description I get the feeling that Timecode is not the best way for you to trigger the Ion. Something like Midi notes, Midi Machine Control, Program Changes or Midi Show Control would probably be better suited for you. As you know, Ion does not currently support Midi notes, Program Changes or  Midi Machine Control. However, Ion does support Midi Show Control. You could use MSC to trigger cues, macros or submasters on the Ion. If Sonar can send MSC commands (that are basically System Exclusive messages), then you could use that.

Does this help? 

Oskar 

Top 25 Contributor
Posts 417

Hi Cody,

 In version 1.4.2 due out in early Oct 2008 we have added the ability to select the "sync-up" time in setup, so that the two-second delay can be totally eliminated.  Timecode signals vary a lot in noise, and the longer times are only necessary when we are receiving a lot of erroneous data.  In testing, we found that most applications could dial the time down to zero and it worked perfectly.

 

Ann Foster

Senior Software Engineer II / Eos Team Lead

Electronic Theatre Controls, Inc.

Top 500 Contributor
Posts 17

Hello Ann,

That indeed is good news! Looking forward to 1.4.2  

 

Thanks

Cody

Top 500 Contributor
Posts 17

Hi Ann,

You mentioned in the earlier post that in1.4.2 in setup you could dial the "sync-up" time to zero. All I've found in setup is under "Resync Frames" in the "Show Control" section. Am I on the right page? And it was defaulted to 2. I can change it to 1 but it does not allow 0. Tell me what I'm doing wrong.

Thanks

Cody

Top 500 Contributor
Posts 17
Just figured it out with the help key. Thanks for this feature!
Top 25 Contributor
Posts 417

Hi Cody,

Yes you are in the right place.  If you pull up the help message for "Resync Frames" it will give a short explanation, but basically what this setting does is to set the number of valid frames that must be received before accepting the data and acting on it, therefore 1 is the smallest number that can be entered.  The default setting has been changed from previous versions to 2, which will cause a delay of one frame time (1/30th second) plus the time needed to execute the command.  If you can get by with executing on the first frame, then great, go for it.

 Ann

 

 

Ann Foster

Senior Software Engineer II / Eos Team Lead

Electronic Theatre Controls, Inc.

Top 25 Contributor
Posts 417

How funny, your response came in while I was typing mine, but I didn't see it until I got done posting - apparently we both had the same idea!

Ann

Ann Foster

Senior Software Engineer II / Eos Team Lead

Electronic Theatre Controls, Inc.

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