DMX Control: In Planning System, Look to IP, Wireless As Options

With the DMX protocol, there are so many possibilities, ranging from controlling video servers to your effect devices, and much more.

DMX Control: In Planning System, Look to IP, Wireless As Options
The DMXcat by City Theatrical, left, allows you to plug into your network anywhere in the chain and serve as a remote control for devices via Bluetooth using your cellphone. For smaller, simpler applications the “go to” product is the City Theatrical Show Baby 6 Wireless DMX, right.
DMX Control: In Planning System, Look to IP, Wireless As Options
The DMXcat by City Theatrical, left, allows you to plug into your network anywhere in the chain and serve as a remote control for devices via Bluetooth using your cellphone. For smaller, simpler applications the “go to” product is the City Theatrical Show Baby 6 Wireless DMX, right.

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Let’s address control in the booth. According to Summit Integrated Systems, the console they endorse most for simple applications is the Jands Vista, and for more robust applications, a console from MA Lighting. Both consoles are solid, but you would need to demo them and see how they would work with and for your teams. The goal here is not to create a workflow that is difficult or turn to a console that is not well known. It’s difficult to get training from industry professionals, if you pick a control unit that isn’t commonly used or known.

The next item you need in your tool kit is an intermediary control system. One really cool device is DMXcat by City Theatrical. This product allows you to plug into your network anywhere in the chain and serve as a remote control for devices via Bluetooth using your cellphone. With such a tool, it allows you to walk around on stage and see the issues. It really puts you in between the console and the light, and allows for better testing.

Another item to add to your toolkit are DMX testers. I talked to E2i Design to discuss this last line of testing and defense. They recommended Goddard Designs, Lil’DMXter or NuDelta Digital DXT. Each of these have decent features and having one of them in your toolkit is essential for troubleshooting DMX issues.

The last item on the testing side of DMX is Remote Device Management (RDM). DMX is a one-way protocol. RDM sits on top of the DMX and, in simple terms, it allows for the device to talk back. It cuts down on troubleshooting. Systems with RDM allow you to quickly determine an issue, because the device is reporting back the problem. Not everything has RDM, and you can’t totally rely on that for testing.

How are you able to use DMX Control?

There are so many possibilities. It can control video servers, allowing you to match your lighting colors to your video walls. It can control your effect devices and much more. One interesting development I have seen is the ability to use DMX in a wireless fashion. Of course, wired is more reliable, but some applications, like hard to reach places or quick stage strikes, would benefit from wireless.


More About David Leuschner
David Leuschner currently serves as the Executive Director of Digital Great Commission Ministries, a nonprofit that has a mission to utilize technology to reach the entire world for Jesus Christ. David has been in the tech industry for more than 20 years and has always had a passion for the church. From 2006 to 2017 he served on the Senior Team as the Senior Director of Technology and Technical Arts at Gateway Church. He provided oversight for all of the Technology and Live Production areas. Gateway Church is located in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex and is one of the largest churches in America. While at Gateway, David guided and directed more than 700 volunteers, part-time and full-time staff in a mission to facilitate several hundred events a month among all venues. Before coming to work at Gateway Church, David started volunteering in a local Church at the age of 11. He progressed to working high level events that included working with President George H W Bush, U.S. Diplomat Alan Lee Keyes, Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, ABC News, Steven Curtis Chapman, Newsboys and many other major artists. David has been married to his beautiful wife Nicole for 12 years and they love their 10-year-old son Justin. Visit www.audiovideolighting.com to find out how David Leuschner can help your church. You can also follow him on Twitter and Instagram: @davidleuschner
Get in Touch: information@digitalgreatcommission.org    More by David Leuschner

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Worship Facilities Magazine, March-April 2018
The March-April 2018 issue of Worship Facilities Magazine offers articles about how to prepare, prevent and respond to church violence, a look into what church management software can do for your church community, and a piece on how a once popular nightclub venue was transitioned to become Shoreline Church's new home.


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