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Full Version: Can CQC be used for controlling theatrical lighting and special effects
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I am in the process of learning CQC for controlling my HT/HA so I have a basic understanding of it's capabilities. I was interested in finding out if anyone has adapted this package for other uses like controlling theatrical/stage lighting, special effects equipment like smoke generators, strobe lighting, etc. In the stage lighting/sound market there are standard protocols like DMX-512.

Regards,

billmac
I don't think any has done this but it should be doable with the right equipment and a little CML coding.
that's what I'm thinking.
bmackrell Wrote:I am in the process of learning CQC for controlling my HT/HA so I have a basic understanding of it's capabilities. I was interested in finding out if anyone has adapted this package for other uses like controlling theatrical/stage lighting, special effects equipment like smoke generators, strobe lighting, etc. In the stage lighting/sound market there are standard protocols like DMX-512.

Regards,

billmac

Obviously there are no DMX drivers for CQC currently, but there may exist PC interfaces that could be controlled with a driver (if you wrote one).

It would be a challenge to make a lighting control interface that was general purpose enough to be useful in a theater setting, just for starters. I'm thinking of what it would take to implement an X-Y scene setup, cue stack, soft patching, etc. You might be able to get some mileage out of the audio capabilities of CQC for doing music and sound effect cues but it would be a challenge to do it cleanly and in a manner foolproof enough for theater.

I have a strong technical theater/stagecraft background (I actually wrote a book on it 10 years ago), I'm a professional hardware/firmware/software developer, and have been using CQC for almost 2 years. I think I have a grasp of what's involved and can fairly say that it would be a challenge, and at the end of the day not necessarily produce a system that was worth all the effort. It's not to say that it's impossible, but again, a lot of work for something that would probably not quite fit at the end of the day.

I actually developed a couple of versions of an automated audio control system (custom hardware and software, specifically for theater sound) around the same time frame I wrote the book.. Fun stuff, I miss it quite a bit (except for the stresses of trying to debug stuff during live theater productions!).
It's not really designed to have super-low latency, it's more designed to be flexible and be highly networkable. So that would be an issue as well. As indicated, a lot of it is in the front end to design the scenes very flexibly. That would probably be way more work than creating a simple pluggable interface to control the hardware.
How about DMX stuff in a home theater environment? Specifically I am thinking of potentially adding some theater lights and or laser in my game room as part of my HT/game room remodel.

In other words, in a 'small scale' environment would using CQC be an acceptable solution?
I'm sure that would be doable. You'd have to come up with some way to define the lighting schemes, some sort of file or something, and read that in. Or just hard code it into a CML macro or something. If you want something that can go on controlling them over time, it would have to be a driver.
I have seen rs232 - dmx interfaces - they are appearing a lot with RGB controllers. If someone wrote a driver I am sure the RGB side of things wold appeals to a lot of CQC users

Mick
Dean Roddey Wrote:It's not really designed to have super-low latency, it's more designed to be flexible and be highly networkable. So that would be an issue as well. As indicated, a lot of it is in the front end to design the scenes very flexibly. That would probably be way more work than creating a simple pluggable interface to control the hardware.

For my particular application there really isn't any need for low-latencies. I'm looking for a way to integrate lighting scenes, control special effects devices and audio (multi-zone) for ambiance. this is not so much a theatrical venue but more of an entertainment venue like an indoor paintball/airsoft facility. We are also looking to integrate in a digital camera management system (http://www.broadware.com) and would like one single control interface.

billmac
I am looking for a way to control RGB leds. DMX led controler seems to be the only way. Any thoughts?
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