Visual Productions forum

General => General => Topic started by: Adam on August 18, 2022, 12:28:44 AM

Title: Inspiration needed - how to make a MIDI light switch
Post by: Adam on August 18, 2022, 12:28:44 AM
I use CueLux mostly for theatre lighting, frequently an on-stage character will do something like turn a light switch on, often using a real switch that is not connected to anything.  Getting the timing right and watching the actors finger on the switch is often really difficult and often results in less than perfect timing so I've been trying to think of a way to make the 'fake' light switch trigger a CueLux cue or go button via MIDI.

Has anyone done anything like this before?  What hardware did you use?  Any tips on how I could achieve this?
Title: Re: Inspiration needed - how to make a MIDI light switch
Post by: Julien Levaufre on August 18, 2022, 10:36:25 AM
Hi Adam,
I understand your problem, sadly I don't think there is any midi controller that would look like a normal switch. ;D
The easiest way would be to buy a cheap midi controller, desolder one button and connect your switch to the button connectors. The problem with this solution is that you still need to connect the midi controller to cuelux, and usb connections usually do not like going more than a few meters.

The good news is that I have an other solution to propose you, but hardware will be a little bit more expensive. :)

We have a piece of hardware called Cuecore2. It can be used as a 2 universes DMX interface for Cuelux pro, and it connects to the computer via ethernet ( ethernet connection limit is 100m!). But it also has physical inputs, that means you can connect your switch on it, and this will create a trigger in cuelux pro. Then you can use this trigger to control anything you like in the software.

I hope this will help you,
Enjoy ;)
Title: Re: Inspiration needed - how to make a MIDI light switch
Post by: Adam on August 19, 2022, 02:20:30 AM
Thanks for the tips Julien, unfortunately I only have a CueLux standard licence and I doubt I'm going to get funding to upgrade (we are a tiny little not-for-profit theatre).  Messing about with a cheap midi controller as you suggested is as far as my thinking has taken me also.  I think I can solve the USB problem with a USB over CAT5 Balun.

As I'm writing this I realise that I don't need to extend the USB cable to my Cuelux computer, all I need to do is extend the light switch cable to the biobox.  right, can anyone suggest a cheap and readily available midi controller suitable for butchering?
Title: Re: Inspiration needed - how to make a MIDI light switch
Post by: Julien Levaufre on August 19, 2022, 10:53:18 AM
Yes I understand that my solution was quite expensive, I just wanted to give you the cleanest way to do it! :D
Having a quick look on internet, I found this midi keyboard Miditech Garagekey mini that seems to be the cheapest solution. But I am sure you can find cheaper find second hand products.
And if the midi controller you fond is not in the midi map library of Cuelux do not worry you can easily create it yourself, as we provide the MIDI API for it and it will be just one button to patch!

The usb to ethernet extender could be a solution, I think it may be better than extending the cable of the switch as it will be low voltage not done for long distance it can easily catch disturbance on the way and then the behaviour of the system could be quite erratic!

I hope this will help you,
Enjoy ;)