Skip to main content


So I have run a Magic 260 for a long time and while it's a great board, I need more MIDI functionality. Unless things have changed (which I really hope is the case) then you only have 48 scenes and 12 shows that can be triggered via midi in the 260. I NEED MORE!! haha. Basically I run a metronome live with backing tracks and I want to start midi triggering the lights via a Midi track in Ableton Live.

I have been looking at the DMX Operator Pro and it looks great (I wish I could do software live but it isn't a possibility right now). I dug through the manual, but I have some questions:

1) The controller is set up via two different sides but I want to make sure I can change scenes/chases on the par side and intelligent side independently. Is this the case? Also, is this the case on the midi side of it as well?

2) How fast will the Operator Pro Respond to MIDI? With the way MIDI is setup on that, there will be a lot of MIDI commands with the switching pages and choosing a scene/chase. So if I sent lets say three notes in rapid succession (let say page select, par scene select, and moving light chase) will it respond correctly? If I triggered 3 scenes in rapid succession (like .2 seconds each) would this work or muck it up?

3) Is there an error in the manual about the moving light section? In the MIDI chart from the manual it list note numbers 23-24 as fixture page 1-12, but there isn't a moving light page!! The question becomes was the first line supposed to read Moving Light Page 1-12 or is there really only 8 scenes and 8 chases you can choose via midi? Should fixture be replaced with "moving light"

4) How would the operator pro do responding to say midi chords. Will it take multiple MIDI notes at once?

I know that was very long and there were a lot of questions so thanks!!

Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

Thanks John. I wish I could step up to the showdesigner, but at that point, I would just get the 1024FC and have the timeline ability.

Basically, I am only running 8 channels of pars, 4 scanners, and 4-6 LED PARS's so both the software and the showdesigner 1 are way overkill for as little as I have. Plus, fundage is pretty low.

So I guess we are back to the 3 questions:

Can you select par scenes/chases independent to moving light scene/chases? Can they be selected this way with MIDI as well? (manual doesn't state one way or another whether you can do this)

How fast does the board respond to Midi?

Are all 96 moving light scenes selectable via MIDI? This goes back to wondering if there was a typo in the manual from my previous post.

Thanks again

I have read that it the Mydmx software doesn't like to run in the background (let me know if that isn't true). We are triggering from Ableton Live and we have a live operator who is running that (contains harmonies, background guitar parts, etc). That brings up another point, can you trigger from a software program to the MyDMX on the SAME computer? I would hate to have to get another laptop just to run the lighting rig when we already have a Magic 260 or if the DMX Op Pro would fit out needs. Plus, if the computer ever went down, we could still manual trigger lights with the DMX OP Pro.

Jingles, how easy is it to trigger via MIDI in the MyDMX and how many Midi triggers can I have? Obviously, I can do way more intricate scenes with the MyDMX than I could with the Op pro-moving scenes and what not.

I don't know, I guess I am a bit lost. I just want to be able to have a MIDI track in Ableton that can trigger the lights to move without spending 1K+ on the 1024FC or the showdesigner. There has to be something that does that.
I've been asked to jump since I did a LOT of testing with MyDMX and MIDI and had documentable and repeatable results.

Issue 1: Does MyDMX respond to MIDI triggers? Yes, it does. This has been resolved and in the latest version, you can use MIDI triggering, so we can just move forward from that.

Issue 2: How easy is it to trigger MyDMX? Well, it really depends. Overall, the answer is yes, since most people are going to use MIDI NOTE ON commands for triggering scenes. Once a triggers are learned, you're ready to put them into production.

Issue 3: How many MIDI triggers can you have? How many do you need? Assuming we limit ourselves to 128 note notes, and 16 MIDI channels via a single MIDI channel bank, that's 2048. Is that enough? It's probably more than enough.

Now, your idea of having a DMX console/controller as back-up in case MyDMX ever tanks on you, that's a wise idea. I had a show a while ago where MyDMX just went and crapped on me. Under the gun, I failed over to my DMX Operator. So, it's definately good to have a back-up.

Now, the complexities of running MyDMX and a MIDI sequencer on the same machine with an objective of triggering MyDMX(and running your sequence being another objective):

I don't recommend this, but it CAN be done. I highly recommend a MIDI interface that supports multiple banks of MIDI channels. A very basic MIDI interfance that supports this is the M-Audio MIDISPORT 2X2. I mention this one because I have it. It is a 2-bank MIDI interface(A and B banks, for 32 MIDI channels total). However, any MIDI interface can work, provided you accept the limitations you may impose upon yourself going with something that only has one bank of MIDI channels, such as wiht my M-Audio Firewire 410 audio interface that has one MIDI IN and one MIDI out. Some features I like about the MIDISPort 2X2 is that is's small, USB Bus powered, yellow so it won't get lost, and all metal construction.

Now, I'm using different software. This isn't a matter of "better", it's a matter of "that's what I got", and what I got is Sonar Home Studio 6 for my MIDI sequencing, which I can also use with audio tracks. You should have high familiarity with your sequencing platform of choice.

So, if you need to use a track for your MIDI triggers to feed to MyDMX, by all means do so, use as many as you may need. I'm unfamiliar with Ableton Live, so I don't know how it's configured. You'll need to assign the MIDI output to a DEDICATED MIDI output. This is why it is so essential to have a MIDI interface with multiple out ports. You'll need to take a short MIDI cable from that dedicated OUT, to an UNUSED input(any). You also want to set Ableton Live to NOT listen to any incoming MIDI input because it may cause a MIDI loop which will lock up your sequencer.

MyDMX does not support software bridging, so it doesn't act as a device on the MIDI chain. MyDMX merely "listens" to all the inputs for the triggers and then responds to them as programmed.

So, what you're doing earlier is SENDING out MIDI trigger data, and then bringing it back into the MIDI interface. This presents the triggers as true triggers, and that is how MyDMX works, by responding to actual MIDI events, not internal sequencer data.

Is this making any sense? I mean, I got this to work.

MyDMX MUST be the application operating in the foreground. This will NOT work if MyDMX is operating in the background. You will need to program a blank measure or two for each sequenced song to leave yourself ample time to switch applications to get MyDMX to the front.

I still have the PDF I made documenting my efforts, so you should contact me via my web site if you want it.

My honest suggestion:
In a show, reliability matters. Ideally, two low-end laptops should be able to handle this task properly and with less problems and greater reliability. One would be sequencing, the other MyDMX. Wiht decent laptops able to be had for under $400 for a reputable brand name, cost doesn't become as much of an issue, but yes, it is a cost. You would also need to have 2 MIDI interfaces, which shouldn't cost that much either because now you can buy reall inexpensive ones, at least a really inexpensive one for MyDMX.

I could go on endlessly about possible problems of 2 computers. Both could fail, leaving you stranded. Of course, one computer doing both can fail and leave you equally boned.

If I HAD to do this(and it may become true sooner than I may like to want to think), I'd do it two computers. My MacBook Pro running XP Home or 10.5.4 with Pro Tools as my sequencer since I'd need more horsepower. This funky Dell D410 would be my MyDMX platform under XP Pro. Put the Firewire 410 on the Macbook Pro, put the MIDISPORT 2X2 on the Dell, link up via a short MIDI cable and it's good to go. Rock solid, reliable and in case of MyDMX failure, there's the DMX Operator nearby and quickly able to be patched in.

Hope this helps.
thanks everyone.

I am going to really dig deep into the mydmx software tonight. I am fairly familiar with the compuware software so I hope it isn't to different.

I would still like to have a couple questions answered about the operator pro though:

Can you independently choose par scenes/chases from moving light scenes/chases? Is this the case with MIDI as well? If so, doesn't that give you thousands of combinations to choose from via simple midi notes? i.e. this par scene with this moving light scene (granted, it will take several scenes to get any amount of movement).

Realistically, how well does the DMX OP Pro respond to midi? How many scenes can I trigger per second? 2? 5? etc...

Can you access all 96 moving light scenes via midi? This goes back to the question if there was an error in the manual

Chris: Thanks so much for the info. We are running ableton Live in "cells" The verses, choruses, bridge etc all have there on "chunk" inside ableton. Our live guy is triggering by hand so we can still be a band. If we get off the metronome, it's easy to get back on. That would be a lot of switching between background and foreground so it looks like it will have to be another computer.

Jingles: For the won't run in the background section, I found one forum at ADJ that had it, but I thought I read it somewhere else as well

thanks again everyone!

I use the DMX Operator Pro with Midi trigger. It works great. I am actually trying to run a local band R n R show using a Guitar Pedal, but don't know if they actual have programmable Midi send notes to foot buttons (like a Midi keyboard.). Anyone know?

23-34 FIXTURE PAGE 1-12
35-50 PAR PAGE 1-16
67-72 PAR SCENE 1-6
73-78 PAR CHASE 1-6
Originally posted by jingles:
let me double check all this for you and get back to you tommorrow. I want to be positive before I give you the go ahead for all these features.

Hi Jingles. Do i absolutely need to use a plug-in like MyDMX with my DAW to trigger the DMX? I'm runnng Cubase 5 and trying to send midi notes to Elation DMX OPerator Pro. Doesn't work right now. HELP!!
Great thx. You wouldn't happen to know anything about Cubase would you? My keyboard is able to trigger the DMX OpPro, and Cubase triggers my keyboard to play those same notes, but i can't trigger the DMX using Cubase for some reason.

I did notice cubase and my keyboard only go down to C-2, and the OpPro apparently needs octave C-3 to select a fixture page. Maybe Cubase needs to choose a fixture page before it can trigger a fixture or scene? I can still trigger scenes/chases with my keyboard by pressing the appropriate key though....

Please HELP!!
What MIDI interface are you using? What is the chain? Interface to controller direct or are you doing the MIDI IN/Thru chain? THRU passes the INPUT right back OUT untouched. MIDI OUT from the keyboard/controller is for sending of locally generated instructions. Sorry if I'm repeating elementary stuff. This is for the benefit of others.

Without a signal sniffer that is checking for specific packets or say a specific channel(you'd need a second MIDI interface and MIDIOX to do this on the cheap, which is fine, it works fantastic and what I'd do myself), it's hard to say what is or isn't going on. Looping back a cable can get the same task done IF you're really paying attention, otherwise you can cause yourself a world of hurt and crash your computer FAST. Just check your routing and you're good.

First, I'd say let's trim the crap. Mute all unnecessary channels or solo the channel you need. I like plugging in a simple MIDI signal tester. It just lights to show "yeah, there's something there", but you've tested the cable so you know the hardware is good, but is your signal flowing?
I'm using Focusrite Saffire Pro40 as the interface. The chain is Cubase5 - Pro 40 - DMX. Program midi notes on a midi channel in Cubase, which should trigger thr DMX. The keyboard isn't in the loop at all, but i tested to see if Cubase/Saffire was sending any midi signal at all by running the midi cable into my keyboard instead of the DMX. All the midi notes played on the keyboard, so Cubase is sending something, but the DMX doesn't recognize it.

Is it possible to send midi that works on my keyboard, but doesn't trigger the DMX Op PRO? Also, i can trigger the DMX with my keyboard. Is it possible my keyboard sends a slightly different mid signal than Cubase??

Forgive me if these are idiotic questions, but i'm out of ideas.

Add Reply

Link copied to your clipboard.