RS-232 Control Box
USB Control Box
Ethernet Control Box
MIDI / RS422 Expander
MIDI / DMX512 Control Box
Preferred range of use:
The MIDI / DMX512 Control Box is designed to control a DMX512 lighting bus by means of MIDI channel messages as well as with SysEx commands. It can be operated as a DMX transmitter and as a DMX receiver simultaneously.
The merge feature combines the DMX receiver with the transmitter: data received at DMX IN may be multiplexed channel by channel with MIDI controlled DMX levels to be retransmitted at DMX OUT.
A set of methods is provided, to transmit the most used MIDI channel messages as well as arbitrary user programmed strings from MIDI OUT - triggered by specific levels at DMX IN.
The MIDI / DMX512 Control Box is equiped with a MIDI IN connector and a MIDI OUT connector.
Selection of different MIDI channels and modes of operation is performed by a rotary switch at the front panel:
- At positions 0 to 7 and F the box is operated as a DMX transmitter, -receiver and -merger (multiplexer). Control is done by MIDI channel messages, according to the available controller equipment preferably by NOTE ON, CONTROL CHANGE, PROGRAM CHANGE or POLY KEY PRESSURE commands.
- As an alternative, the MIDI / DMX512 Box can be controlled by a simple ASCII text based syntax, which is embedded into SysEx frames. MIDI channel messages and SysEx commands may be mixed arbitrarily.
- If the level at DMX IN changes by more than a defined theshold, automatically MIDI channel messages or SysEX strings may be triggered and transmitted at MIDI OUT - to be configured individually for any DMX channel.
- Differing from this, positions 8 to C activate different possibilities to generate a broad range of MIDI NOTE ON, CONTROL CHANGE, PROGRAM CHANGE, CHANNEL PRESSURE and PITCH CHANGE messages from the received signal at DMX IN.
- Furthermore, all rotary switch positions, except D, provide a feature to send arbitrary user preprogrammed strings from MIDI OUT - triggered by specific levels at DMX IN, channels 500 to 512.
- When the rotary switch is in position D, the box bidirectionally converts the MIDI signals to RS-422 and vice versa. With 2 MIDI/DMX Control Boxes MIDI signals can be transferred safely up to 1000 m. Wiring is done with standard DMX cables. For exclusive and permanent use of this mode, we recommend the MIDI/RS-422 Expander instead.
- While the rotary switch is in position E, the box has the same functions as in positions 0 to 7 and F. But now the command interface is set to plain ASCII commands (with or without SysEx frame). At delivery/default the baud rate is adjusted to MIDI (31250 baud). Semi-automatic readjustment to any PC standard baud rate plus MIDI Standard is provided. With aid of a simple adaptor MIDI to RS-232 this will simplify some work of programming and configuration.
Activity and mode of operation is monitored with a red/green dual colour LED.
The most essential features of control:
- Any DMX channel 1 to 512 can be set to any level with resolution of 8 bit by sending a single NOTE ON or POLY KEY PRESSURE message. Up to 4 MIDI channels have to be reserved. By use of a pair of 2 CONTROL CHANGE messages, it takes only one MIDI channel to control any DMX channel with 8 bit resolution.
- Additionally, combined settings of RGB colors of 3 subsequent DMX channels are made with simple CONTROL CHANGE or SysEx commands.
- The features described below are operated by PROGRAM CHANGE and CONTROL CHANGE messages. For optimum fitness to user available controller equipment the effective command functions of CONTROL CHANGE and POLY KEY PRESSURE are interchangeable.
- For any DMX channel a fade process can be executed automatically, duration programmable up to 31.9 seconds. This diminuishes the expense to design complex control sequences and the data traffic on the MIDI cable. Any number of fade processes can be active simultaneously on all DMX channels. When a new preset (=lighting scene) is loaded, a soft fade is performed from the actual scene into the new one.
- By means of the flexibly configurable chaser feature sequences of presets (=permanently stored lighting scenes) are sent to DMX OUT in a cyclic manner. Soft transitions between sceenes are possible. With the flash feature all DMX channels are pushed to a defined level for a short period of time.
- The timing of fader, chaser and flash is set in a 1/8 seconds raster and is controlled by an internal clock. Alternatively the timing cycle is synchronized by a MIDI clock signal supplied at MIDI IN. In this case the timing is set in a 16teenth note (semiquaver) raster, which is identical with 1/8 seconds at 120BPM.
- The cycle of DMX data packets can be set by command between 24 and 512 byte slots. If a DMX channel out of the active DMX cycle is adressed, the cycle length is readjusted automatically.
- The MIDI / DMX Control Box is able to simultaneously receive a signal at DMX IN and transmit a different signal via DMX OUT. The signal transmitted at DMX OUT can be set to several modes of operation:
--- transmission with DMX clock generated inside the box,
--- transmission externally snychronized with the received DMX signal and
--- receive operation while the signal received at DMX IN is looped to the DMX OUT connector. DMX levels may be read out via MIDI for analysis etc.
- The merge method can be set individually for each DMX channel. Following options are available:
--- user settings loaded via MIDI are transmitted at DMX OUT,
--- the sigal received at DMX IN is retransmitted at DMX OUT,
--- the less one , the greater one
--- or the last changed one of both is transmitted.
Please note that "merge" means slot-by-slot switching between both signal sources, not linear superposition.
- One MIDI message can poll the levels of 1 to 128 DMX slots of the recently received or transmitted DMX sequence via MIDI interface.
- Automatic state messages can be programmed individually for each DMX channel: If the received DMX signal on a sensitized channel has changed more than a programmable threshold, the present DMX level is reported automatically via MIDI interface.
Messages are sent in the same format, as they can be transmitted at later time. So, this feature is useful as a simple DMX recorder (but is quite limited due to the low data capacity of the MIDI channel).
- Messages containing freely programmable strings: If DMX channels 500 to 512 receive specific levels at DMX IN, user programmed strings are transmitted automatically from MIDI OUT (MIDI messages, any binary else, ASCII text, or all mixed).
This way max. 104 different strings with each up to 255 bytes may be stored permanently and are held available to be triggered by specific levels at DMX IN.
These can be used for control of MIDI equipment or PC-based installations with MIDI input.
In rotary switch position "E" the baud rate may be adjusted to any PC specific value. Then with a simple adaptor it is possible to control or configure external devices with RS-232 interface.
- The actual setting of the MIDI / DMX Control Box can be saved permanently as a preset (including transmit buffer, merge profile, thresholds for automatic messages and mode of operation). Up to 384 presets can be stored.
At power-on and after turn of the rotary switch preset no.0 is loaded.
During operation, any preset can be reloaded into the DMX transmit buffer with a CONTROL CHANGE, POLY KEY PRESSURE, a NOTE ON message or with a System-Exclusive command, depending on the system configuration. The transition from the previous lighting scene is performed with the actually selected fade time.
- Video jockey support: At rotary switch settings 8 to C the MIDI / DMX Control Box works differently as a special DMX receiver.
Rotary switch positions 8 and 9 are optimized to control the most essential VJ software by DMX input: 162 DMX channels at a time are permanently scanned and analysed.
The first 128 channels are interpreted digitally: pulling up a DMX channel causes a NOTE ON message, pulling it down releases a NOTE OFF message. The next 32 slots are evaluated as analog 7 bit CONTROL CHANGE messages, finally there is one slot for PROGRAM CHANGE and one slot for PITCH CHANGE (7 bit mode). This way effectively the complete operation of the most essential VJ software is possible via DMX input.
When the rotary switch is in positions A to C the box works similarily, but a broad spectrum of the most essential MIDI messages is extracted for general application.
equiped with standard conformant 5 pin XLR connectors (optionally available with 3 pin XLR or 8 pin detachable clamp):
The DMX transmitter as well as the DMX receiver is galvanically isolated from the control processor.
If the application demands a ground referenced DMX transmitter, the optoisolation can be bridged with an internal jumper.
An in-plug adaptor for 230V AC with "europlug" is delivered along with the DMX Control Box.
For special applications, other supplies with regulated or unregulated DC output can be used (min. current output 250 mA). The optimum supply voltage is 9 Volt, but up to 16 Volt are permitted (= typical output of a nonregulated 12V supply).
Rugged aluminum case.
Mechanical dimensions: Length ca. 9cm (incl. connectors), width 11,3 cm, height 3,1cm.
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* State of information October 2012. Right of technical modifications reserved.
* This description is for information only, no product specifications are assured in juridical sense.
* Trademarks and product names cited in this text are property of their respective owners.