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question related to controlling my light rig using Ableton

Posted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:58 am
by pinkola
Hi guys, I have a bit of a headache controlling my lights from Ableton and hope to get some help.

I use an Enttec Dmxis USB to DMX box. I automate my lights in sync with the click track in Ableton.

This works all great with the lights behind us. Those are set to fade out at the end of the song. Then a new Ableton project is loaded (I use one project per song for a variety of reasons and have no way around this, long story...). The lights start from a blacked out situation and fade in as the song requires.Therefore, the lights behind the band are always blacked out between the songs.

I have, however, a problem with the white lights in front of the stage, which I would also like to leave on between the songs (except on some special occasions when I would also want to black out or flash the front lights for some creative effects). The problem is that after the next song is loaded, and regardless that the automated sliders are all the way up for RGB to give me white, until the song is effectively started, the lights black out (a few seconds after the loading completes). This is of course not OK, because it's at that moment that our singer talks to the crowd.

Because DMX lights do not change colors unless they receive a specific control signal, I really believe that the problem is that once the new set is loaded, there is some "reset all to zero" message going out. That happens regardless whether the DMX control channel is in speaker on or off mode. What seems to confirm this is that every time a new ableton live set is loaded, the Dmxis VST plugin shows an error message temporarily, saying that the hardware is not connected, and the lights usually go black after the hardware is found after about 3-5 seconds.

I have found a workaround, which is to not use the VST plugin at all, but teach the standalone Dmxis app to control change (CC) messages, and create MIDI clips within Ableton using those CC commands to control the lights. But it would be a bit of a shame not to use the nice little Dmxis plugin, and I would need to go through hell to recreate all of my existing light shows now in MIDI clips format (as trash what I have already done using the VST plugin). Right now, I have a strong feeling that somehow getting rid of the initial hardware disconnect problem could solve this.

Can you help?

Thanks in advance.