How to Easily and Accurately Control DMX Lighting Gear From Your Existing MIDI Equipment
Kick that grumpy lighting guy to the curb while retaining complete creative control.
It’s a question we hear nearly every week. “We’re in a band. We use a sequencer for backing tracks and to send ‘click’ to the drummer. We’d like to control our lighting equipment from the sequencer as well. That way, the light show for each song will be exactly synchronized with our music, and no important cues will be missed. Can you help?”
Or perhaps, “We’re designing an art installation. Every time someone jumps on these larger-than-life piano keys we’ve built, we need a different stage light to flash in sync. Can you help?
Fortunately, the answer is a very definite ‘yes’ to all of these questions.
The DecaBox Protocol Bridge with MIDI to DMX firmware easily, quickly and accurately converts MIDI note and CC messages into DMX channel values. This makes it very, very easy to program a light show from within MIDI software and hardware, or even drive lights in real time from a keyboard or drum kit.
It’s been used all over the world, for many years now, by artists, musicians, lighting designers and other creative people. The next few pages describe how the system works, and show how to quickly begin using this hardware as part of your next production.
Follow these instructions to get up and running quickly. Each step is described in detail in the following pages:
- Set the DecaBox to the correct MIDI channel.
- Set the DMX equipment to a known start address. Note that the right LED on the DecaBox is illuminated, signifying that DMX data is being generated. Check your receiving equipment - it may also contain an LED indicator to confirm data being present.
- Use the ‘MIDI Monitor’ function on the DecaBox to confirm valid data is being received. The left LED on the DecaBox will flicker as MIDI data is received.
- Exit ‘MIDI Monitor’ and drive the lighting equipment directly, using any combination of Note On / Note Off / Midi Patch Change / MIDI Continuous Controller messages.
Note: connected DMX equipment will not respond in monitor mode. The DecaBox is only displaying incoming data. To resume MIDI to DMX conversion, use the left pushbutton to 'ESC' from monitoring mode.