MIDI to DMX
Available on backorder
Are you looking for a cheap DMX to USB solution? Are you a little scared to learn a new piece of software to control your stage lights? Is your setup complicated and want to streamline it. We felt the same way here at ArcAttack. We’ve wanted to add a way to control our lights using a USB DMX controller. Some DMX USB devices were okay, but we found the software was clunky. To avoid another layer of software we researched straight midi to DMX. We looked into midi to DMX Arduino projects and found them lacking. Because of this, we decided to make our own midi to DMX converter.
Here is a clip of it in action.
Our midi to dmx interface doesn’t require any third-party software. We built it with the musician in mind. Using any DAW with midi, you can have your lights up and running in no time. When you plug in the device, it will detect as a standard midi device. From here, each note corresponds to a channel in your dmx universe. For example, midi note 60(middle C) will activate dmx channel 60. The midi channel selects which mode you’re in. Below is a brief overview of the modes.
Midi Channel 1
This is the default On/Off mode. In this mode pressing a note will turn that dmx channel on. Releasing the note will turn it off. You can control brightness by velocity. Pressing middle C at velocity 65 will turn the light on to 50% brightness. Pressing middle C at velocity 127 will turn the light on to 100% brightness.
This mode is the quick and dirty easy mode. You can take the lead from the track, copy it to your dmx midi device and you’re done! You could take your drum track and add an arpeggiator as well. This mode is great for static scenes. In Ableton, you can make multiple clips. This makes it easy to scene with a push of a button.
Midi Channel 2
This mode fades from one brightness to another. In this mode pressing a note will start a timer. When you release the note, the light will fade for the duration that you pressed it. Press C at velocity 65 for one second and release. This fades the light to 50% brightness in one second. Press C again for 5 seconds at velocity 127 and release. Now, It will fade from 50% brightness to 100% over 5 seconds. In this mode, you need to offset your midi to account for timing.
Mode 2 offers an advantage over most USB dmx interfaces. Most dmx software you can program fades based on time. If you want to change the fade, you need to alter the scene or make a new one. In this mode, the fades are tied to the note length. To change the fade time, either change the note length or the tempo. This is great for DJs. In Ableton, you can make tempo-based scenes and reuse them multiple times.
We recommend this mode for moving lights. Imagine having a perfect light movement to your songs with little programming.
Midi Channel 3
This mode fades from a set brightness to zero. In this mode pressing a note will start a timer. When you release the note, the light will fade out for the duration that it’s pressed.
Press C for 5 seconds at velocity 127 and release. It will fade from 100% brightness to off over 5 seconds. Like channel 2, this is note length dependent. To change the fade time, either change the note length or the tempo. This is good for quick rhythmic fades or slow fades. As before, remember to offset your midi.
Midi Channel 4
This mode fades from zero to a set brightness. In this mode pressing a note will start a timer. As a result of releasing the note, the light will fade up for the duration that it’s pressed.
Press C for 5 seconds at velocity 127
and release. It will fade from off to 100% brightness over 5 seconds. Like channel 2, this is note length dependent. To change the fade time, either change the note length or the tempo. This is good for quick rhythmic fade-outs or slow fades. As before, remember to offset your midi. Therefore this mode is great as a drum track follower.
As of right now, there are only 4 modes. Since this is an open-source project, we will add new modes. If you’re a decent programmer, you can make your own modes as well! Just remember to share what you make with the community.
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