DMXControl 3 already included an Input Assignment for the management and distribution of input signals from DMX-In, MIDI, keyboard and softdesk. But this old input assignment reached its limits in larger projects and in some projects it took over ten minutes to load the editing window, even on powerful computers. In addition, important functions were missing. Now it's all new and better. How the new Input Assignment is structured and how to use it is briefly introduced in this special.
The new Input Assignment
You can now access the new Input Assignment much faster by clicking on Input Assignment in the Windows menu. However, the old ways, such as going to the Project Settings folder in the Project Explorer and clicking on Input Assignment there, are still possible. As can be seen in the picture, the Input Assignment is divided into three parts, an Input Tree, an Output Tree and the Bank Area.
Connectionsets and Banks
In order to connect one or more inputs to one or more outputs and thus specify the reaction to certain input signals, a so-called connectionset is required in which the links between inputs and outputs are defined. Banks are the containers for connctionsets and can contain one or more such sets. A division into several banks is especially helpful if you want to trigger other actions during programming than during the live show. Every bank can be selectively switched on or off.
Connectionsets can be created in three ways. The first variant is based on the old Input Assignment. For this you simply have to drag and drop an input from the input tree onto an output from the output tree. Now a new connectionset is automatically created in the current bank and links are inserted into the connectionset (but more about this later). The second variant is to select the corresponding inputs or outputs in the input tree as well as in the output tree and click on Connectionsets => Add on the right side. Here, too, links are drawn automatically. If you want to create an empty connection set, this is possible via Connectionsets => Add Empty.
Adding Inputs / Outputs
Both inputs and outputs can be simply dragged and dropped onto a connectionset and added to this set. With this way, there is no automatic linking.
Creating, Deleting and Activating/Deactivating Banks
To create new banks, you simply have to add a new bank via the menu entry Bank => Add. In the same menu, banks can be deleted using the Delete entry. Banks can also be activated or deactivated in two ways: This can be done manually via the menu entry Bank => Active. The second way is via the output tree, where there are corresponding outputs for Activate and Deactivate for each bank. These can be inserted into connectionsets and then addressed via inputs.
Behind each connectionset there is actually a so-called graph, which stores the links between the inputs and outputs of the individual nodes and defines the behaviour. This can be displayed and changed by selecting a connectionset and clicking on Show Graph in the menu or double-clicking on a connectionset. Now the so-called nodes with their respective inputs and outputs and the links (the connecting lines) between them can be seen.
Create / Delete Links
Links between inputs and outputs can be created similar to the drag 'n' drop principle. To do this, simply click with the mouse on the port (the colored square at an input or output) with the left mouse button, keep the mouse button pressed, drag the now appearing link to another port and release the mouse button there. Input ports can only be connected to output ports, however, it does not matter whether the link is drawn from the input port or the output port.
To change or delete a link you have to select the link first. This is possible by clicking on the coloured square in the middle of the link. A selected link is displayed by the fact that all three squares of it turn red. Now the link can be changed by moving one of the endpoints to another port. To delete, simply press the Del key on the keyboard.
Nodes have different properties, including the displayed name or their processing behaviour. To adjust these properties, simply double-click on the corresponding node. Now the properties window opens, where the settings can be made.
Add special nodes
In some cases, an output port cannot be directly connected to an input port because the formats of their data differ. For this connection to work, a converter is required. These and some more nodes can be found by right-clicking in a free area of the graph window and clicking Add in the context menu that opens. There the nodes are arranged in three categories. The first category Converter includes nodes that convert one data type into another. Logic operators are nodes with which, for example, two inputs can be combined or rescaled. The nodes from the Wrapper category control the different functions in DMXControl 3 itself, such as a cuelist or a device group. Inputs or outputs can also be dragged and dropped into a graph as in the table view.
We hope this brief overview of how to use the Input Assignment will help you work with it and find your way into it. To show you this visually, Joseph has created a tutorial video as a test for us. Do you like it? What can we do better to improve our planed video tutorials? Post it in the comments of the video.