More MIDI, please

There are some other new features in the LAS 6.1, one is an addition in two places to simplify the use of MIDI sources for Masters and Triggers in the Programmer. It is a learning function which listens to a MIDI channel and recognizes channels and channel values. Not that complex, but very helpful.

MIDI for Masters

MIDI control for Masters

MIDI control for Masters

Either in the Master’s context menu (right mouse click) or in the Master’s properties dialog (Grand and Versatile Masters) there is a Learn entry or button. For Masters, only MIDI Control Changes are recognized, and they are only possible for Masters, not for Faders. Simply click the Learn button or select Learn from the context menu, move or turn the control knob or fader on a MIDI keyboard or MIDI console and the right channel  parameters get inserted as MIDI source for this Master.

There is an additional checkbox in the dialog for feedback. Feedback means that in case of a change of this Master in the Programmer (and even in the Action Pad!) the Programmer sends out MIDI control changes to the physical MIDI source to reflect the change on the fader. Perfect for MIDI consoles with motor faders.

Now MIDI for Triggers

MIDI Learn for Triggers

MIDI Learn for Triggers

Using MIDI notes from a keyboard as Triggers in the Programmer is not new. But this gets much easier with the MIDI Learn button in the definition dialog for the Trigger. Open the Trigger list, add a trigger and press MIDI Learn. Now use a key on the connected MIDI keyboard or a button on a MIDI keypad and the note will be used as MIDI value to trigger the Action. Define the proper Action and you’re done.

Famous last words

When ever using MIDI sources, do not forget to insert a MIDI driver in the Device Manager of the Programmer. Open the Device Manager, choose to add a driver and use the Generic MIDI driver for MIDI cards or USB-to-MIDI adapters. The configuration of the MIDI device usually gets done by an automatic Windows driver update.

Autotext and RDM

One of the most helpful features in the Programmer is Autotext. But what is Autotext?

An ancient feature

Autotext was implemented in a rather early version of the Programmer and realizes access to internal data and parameters of the Programmer. This can be system time and date, astronomical times like sunset or twilight, even network parameters, cuelist parameters or Versatile Master names and values. The most prominent use of Autotext  is in the Action Pad. In a textfield, for example, use the expression <nicetime %X> and the Programmer will substitute this expression with the systemtime. <master 1 name> will show the name of the Versatile Master #1. A complete list of Autotext parameters can be found in the LAS Advanced System Manual, for free download from the Traxon or e:cue website.

The next big step

With LAS 6.1 it is possible now to access the RDM subsystem of the Programmer as Autotext. In this way you can show fixture data like lamp lifetime, up-time and all other RDM values and parameters in the Action Pad. And these are not static values, but updated all the time while the fixture runs RDM communication. The best way to see this is to watch the RDM timestamp of a fixture. To insert RDM Autotext in a textfield is very simple, because there is an interactive method to do this. You can, but you must not create the Autotext by hand.

Autotext sources

Autotext sources

In the Action Pad create a textfield. Double-click the created field or select Properties from the element’s context menu (right mouse button). The properties dialog has a button for Autotext. Clicking the button, a subselection gets displayed where you can choose the Autotext source. Here you can see the many sources to Autotext. For RDM select RDM and Create RDM Autotext. The RDM Autotext dialog opens.

RDM parameter dialog

RDM parameter dialog

In the RDM dialog you now can select the fixture and subdevice, as well as what sensor or parameter will be used. Click the varoius areas in the dialog to define the Autotext source from the RDM vaue stream, the click OK.

This will insert the proper Autotext definition in the textfield of the Action Pad.

Do not forget to enable Autotext substitution for the field in the element properties of the field. Otherwise you will only see the Autotext definition instead of the real value.

Action Pad and RDM

Action Pad and RDM

That’s all. You now have dynamic, realtime RDM data in your Action Pad page.

A complete description of RDM and Autotext is in the LAS Advanced System Manual for the LAS 6.1, available in the product page for the LAS in the Traxon website, and a complete description of the LAS as LAS System Manual (after release of LAS 6.1, of course).