Simple DMX, like in the official TE video

Hi y’all,

I’m interested in getting the OP-Z to control regular looking light bulbs, like in the official Teenage Engineering video: OP-Z dmx lights - YouTube

Of course, that video doesn’t show how the connection was made. I understand I’ll need a Kingston Nucleum USB Hub and an Enttec DMXUSB Pro. Comments in the video from TE suggest these are just regular light bulbs. How are they connected to the Enttec? This portion of the equation really remains a mystery to me, as most DMX lights that I find on Amazon are hopelessly cheesy looking for what I’m doing (ambient with classical style piano). The LED strips / bars aren’t my thing either. Anyone have ideas on simple / classy DMX with the OP-Z?

Edit, I think I figured it out. They’re using a “4-channel dimmer pack”, such as the Chauvet. Unfortunately, these things seems to be built like a tank (kind of at odds with the idea of OP-Z as super portable), and only do 4-channels without any option to do color control down the road. At least now I know! :slight_smile:

man, i never got along with DMX.
your method will work good. but DMX is an old protocol and is that way because its has evolved to control large stages with many different controls and set ups going on at the same time. so to use it correctly with op-z you need bunch of large, expensive, power hungry adapters just to turn on the light bulb. maybe its an overkill for this ? you can get a 2$ high voltage relay and stick your cv cable into it, it will do the trick.
I think its a shame that in 20201, we have smart cars, smart home automation systems, but for music it that old chunky DMX.
… DMX is practically like MIDI, is has channels and triggering CC’s . can some one please make a small bluetooth midi to DMX connector :pray:

I went down this rabbit hole last year.

If I remember correctly you need a DMX enabled dimmer for the lights to talk to the Entecc adapter. I spent a lot of time shopping for gear that runs LED strips and none of it is remotely turnkey. The DJ junk you see on Amazon is not especially home friendly and IMO won’t get you the sort of personal light show experience I wanted. There are DMX enabled gradient RGB tubes in some videos, but then you’re looking at professional cinema gear and…yeah. You still need to program everything even if you find or build a light setup you like.

Ultimately I returned the Entecc and settled on a pack of Nanoleaf panels. I might get a little projector for the iPad to run videopaks onto a wall also. It’s not DMX but this setup works without me pursuing a degree in show production.

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Thanks for both your responses. Yes, I expected this process to be more elegant, and am excited to see how music lighting develops in the years to come — it seems far more complicated and clunky than buying and implementing audio equipment. Cheers!

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I’ve been toying with getting some Nanoleaf panels. Do you have them connected at all to your music setup or are they just for ambiance?

The nanoleaf rhythm bundles come with a dongle that has a mic and you can also plug in a 1/8" plug, which is what I did. There are audio-responsive scenes in the nanoleaf app, but I also use them with my Hue lights for normal stuff and ambience. I just wish they went on sale more often!

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Hi All - I’m really interested in hearing about the experiences you’ve had.

Interested - because my little company, Think Radio ( https://thinkrad.io) is developing very compact, very lightweight, rechargeable-battery powered event lighting.

Pre-Covid I was concentrating on the live event sector - but the last year has made me pivot development towards the home/semi-pro live-streaming/you-tube market.

From what I understand that you’re looking for (and not finding) is stuff on the scale of TE products - to produce more ambient/immersive lighting effects - and without the techno-geekery of setting-up and programming/controlling it that come with existing DMX lighting controllers?

If you’re willing - I’d be very interested in hearing your thought on what you really want - and how important one feature is relative to another?

  • Dom
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i was into developing the same thing, i have hired people on fiver to code and design pcb. and i did make some progress. how ever after countless testing, experimenting and prototyping, i fell into a philosophical void.
i have categorized in 2 ways.
1 ) is to transmit data to a controller that does (stuff)
(op-z)—(ios)—(controller)—(led lights*)
pros:
easy to engineer.
cons: its not versatile enough to be an artistic tool. it feels like a synth with only one sound.
there are infinite types of things you want to control and every one wants an unique looking set up. your controller has to reinterpret midi into light intensity, color, position on matrix, motion of servos and actuators, has to be able to handle higher voltage if needed, play polyphonies, aftertouch, pitch-bend, velocities…
if you make a controller that does only one or two of these things than it would be very limiting.(unless you want to perform same thing for ever) so you have to design many different devices that can do all these type of things… so it now you have many different devices and controllers and it becomes as bulky as original DMX setup. so than DMX becomes actually a better investment.

2 ) is to transmit dmx wirelessly from op-z (true your iphone) into wireless dmx controller.
like this:
image
(op-z)—(ios)—(your controller)—(wireless dmx controller)
pros
you can control already existing gear with midi from op-z (or any other midi device). DMX lights, actuators, fog-machines…
it has to come with BLE app that lets you reconfigure your midi into functions you like to use.
cons
you have to develop a complex app that lets you customize a lot of stuff. you need to find engineers that are on KORG and Rolland level to make this work perfect.

so to answer your question: we want everything, in a simple package.

Hi, and thanks for your response, FunkyJunky.

The approach I’m taking right now is to prototype the software interface from MIDI (and analogue audio) to DMX using Cycling’74 Max. It will be freeware, and it’ll work with any DMX lights.

Once I’m out of the prototyping phase, I’ll build a VST plug-in with Juce.
Again, it will be freeware, and work with any DMX lights.

My hardware wireless lighting controller already supports all common interfaces, DMX, DMX-over-USB, ArtNet and sACN/e1.31 (i.e it also interfaces with all common lighting control systems).

However I’m now grasping the importance of lighting control software that isn’t based on traditional lighting desks, or their software equivalents - and the “engineers” approach to things.

My current thinking is along the lines of generating synaesthesia-like immersive lighting experiences, with intuitive controls - that much more closely resemble the thinking/practice/creativity/training of musicians.

i have a huge admiration for your work :pray:
i hope to try it out some day !