Did you know? Special #7 - Input Assignment - Infinite Possibilities

After all the innovations of the last few days we'll have a look at some scenarios in this Did you know? edition, which can now be realized with the new Input Assignment, the new Softdesk, a MIDI controller as well as DMX-In or the Streamdeck:

  • Example 1: Several functions combined in a connectionset using the example of the Speedmaster
  • Example 2: Fader as brightness control with start-stop function incl. simple feedback
  • Example 3: Flashing button and text feedback on the status of a cuelist
  • Example 4: Selection of devices for direct control in the programmer

At this point it should be said directly: All connection sets shown below can only be assembled in this form directly in the graph view. It is generally recommended to combine connection sets as functionally as possible. This makes them easier to edit and copy. On the other hand, this increases traceability.

Example 1

Baseline situation

You use one or more Speedmasters to control the beat of a cuelist. In addition to tapping the beat with a key on the keyboard, you also want to assign other Speedmaster functions to keys, such as doubling or halving the BPM value. It should also be possible to synchronize the beat signal.

Realization

What do we need?

Speedmaster, keyboard input


How is the Connectionset assembled?

First drag the Q key in normal mode (i. e. no shift or control key pressed) onto the Learn-Input of the Speedmaster 1. A new connection set is created, which you open in the graph view. Here you add the other keyboard inputs via drag 'n' drop that would be there: space bar and from the numeric keypad + (Add) and - (Subtract), respectively. The best way to see the result is to look at the screenshot.


Example 2

Baseline situation

You want to start and stop a cuelist for example for the front light with a fader of your MIDI controller or via DMX-In and simultaneously adjust the intensity live during the show with your connected DMX console (or MIDI controller). At the same time the softdesk should show you which value you have set via the slider of your DMX console and whether the cuelist was started.

Realization

What do we need?

DMX-In, cuelist, slider and signal lamp in softdesk


How is the connectionset assembled?

The best way to start at this point is to drag any DMX in channel to the input intensity of the cuelist. Then you switch to the graph view. Here you can see that DMXControl 3 has already installed another node automatically. What do you mean? DMX-In has a value range from 0 to 255, while the intensity input of the cuelist only accepts values between 0 and 10, i. e. 0% to 1000%. However, we do not yet like this automatically set conversion, as we only want to control the brightness in the range from 0% to 100%. To do this, open the properties of the rule of three and change the value for Output max from 10 to 1. However, with these settings you can only control the brightness until now. The cuelist itself is not yet started or stopped.

For this you need two additional binary switches. You put the first binary switch between the DMX input and the Go of the cuelist node. The binary switch still must be completely configured. The value range for the input is between 0 and 255, for the output between 0 and 1 as preset. In order to set the output value to 1 early, the value for the switch boarders (i. e. the switching limit) must be shifted very far downwards. In this case you set the DMX value to 5. To stop the cuelist you need the second binary switch, which you position and connect between the output of the first binary switch and the stop input of the cuelist node. This second binary switch is used to set the stop input to 1 to terminate the cuelist. To do this, turn the value range for the output over.

Now we continue with the assembly of the connection set on the right side of the cuelist node. Drag ‘n’ drop to insert the correct slider and signal lamp from your previously created softdesk. But you don't yet connect it to the cuelist node. At this point you also need a rule of three node, which you can find via the context menu in the logic category. So that your slider now also shows the correct value from the range between 0% and 100%, in this second Rule of Three you change the value for Output max to 100. You leave the other values, especially the value for Input Max, as the nodes output values between 0 and 1 for controllable inputs and outputs in most cases. Finally, connect the signal lamp directly to the output for the status of the cuelist. Because the output data already has the correct format, you don't need to add any additional logic nodes. Now your second connectionset should look exactly like on the following screenshot.


Example 3

Baseline situation

You used a cuelist to build yourself a blackout effect. As soon as you activate it in different ways, you want to be able to see this directly by flashing the corresponding button in the softdesk. At the same time, this should also be reported back to the softdesk by means of a text.

Realization

What do we need?

Button and label in softdesk, cuelist


How is the connectionset assembled?

At this point you must already set two settings in the softdesk for the corresponding button so that the connectionset, especially the feedback, works as described. The button in question must be a toggle button and the passthrough must be activated so that the button also changes its status if you start or stop the linked cuelist in another way.

Now it continues in the Input Assignment where you create this third connection set by dragging the button from the Input tree onto the Go of the cuelist in the Output tree. If this action was successful, you switch to the graph view. In addition to the label and the slider, which you now add both from the output tree, you need some more nodes to convert the data to be exchanged.

  • Logic: Binary Switch, Timer, Logic, Delay
  • Converter: HSV to Colour

The second binary switch is the only node from the logic category that does its work on the input side of the cuelist node. All other nodes are linked as shown in the screenshot on the output page of the cuelist node. The only output used is the one for the value state - directly with four links. Since, as already mentioned elsewhere, some outputs also provide their data in different formats, the integration of the label is manageable. This will henceforth reflect the status of the cuelist in plain text.

The middle route, consisting of the logic nodes timer, logic and rule of three as well as the converter node HSV to colour, is responsible for the flashing of the button. When the cuelist is started, the timer is also activated, so that in this case it flashes with a frequency of 1,000 ms. So that the button is always coloured dark blue when the cuelist is stopped, the Logic Node, which is configured as And, follows. The rule of three node passes values between 0.5 and 1 to the HSV to colour node through the corresponding configuration of the output side. The HSV to colour node uses these values to generate the colours 0;0;128 (a dark blue) and 0;0;255 (blue) alternately.

The third route is the signal path via the delay node directly to the button. This way is used to ensure that the button always takes on its correct status, regardless of whether it is pressed directly in the softdesk or the cuelist is started or stopped on another way. Currently a delay of 50ms is set for the signal. However, this value can also be selected larger if required. The reason for the delay is that the input of a button cannot process simultaneous value changes for colour and status (pressed or not pressed) now. With a targeted signal delay, this fact can be circumvented accordingly.


Example 4

Baseline situation

Your light setup contains several moving heads, with which you may have to spontaneously set a previously not pre-programmed position in scene during the show. At the same time, you want to be able to determine both the colour and the brightness live. However, since the devices can change during the show in the next event location, you want to create a flexible solution here, where you ideally do not have to make any adjustments in the background during the move.

Realization

What do we need?

Softdesk with buttons, slider, position-control and label, programmer


How is the connectionset assembled?

This fourth and most extensive connectionset can be assembled best completely manually. Here you use the entry Add empty connectionset, which can be found in the menu to the button Connectionset. In addition to the buttons, sliders, position controls or colour bars created in the softdesk for this connection set, you need the following nodes here:

  • Logic: Counter, Delay, Output Selector, RS Flip Flop, Rule of Three
  • Converter: Split, Format, HSV to Colour
  • Wrapper: Device, Programmer

Let's start with the route to select the device using the device forward / device back buttons. The basis for this type of selection is the device number, which you can assign yourself. In this case the devices in the project have device numbers 2101 to 2108. These values are the minimum and maximum values to be entered in the counter. Since the following device node only activates whole numbers, the increment and decrement steps are set to 1. Overflow is activated so that you can jump directly from 2108 to 2101 and vice versa.

The button select device activates the control of the selected device. This is equivalent to the action you would normally perform manually with the mouse in the stage view. By pressing the button, the output selector lets the device number present at the input pass in parallel and the programmer addresses the correct device. The upstream delay with a delay time of 250ms is, so to speak, a data buffer that leaves the last selected Device Number until the processing of the status via the feedback is completed. Otherwise, other devices could also be addressed for a short time.

The route to the label Device Info 2 contains a format node. This combines the two text modules of the output vendor and model at the device node into one text. The node is configured with {0} {1} under the Format entry in the properties of the node.

At the programmer node the inputs for intensity, pan, tilt and zoom are similar. All four inputs are preceded by a rule of three node, since these inputs only accept a value range between 0 and 1. On the input side of the rule of three, the value ranges are adapted to the respective conditions. The pics for dimmer and zoom send values between 0 and 100, the position control gives values between -72 and 72. Here you also must use the split node to split the position into pan and tilt parts.

For the shutter input of the programmer you cannot use a toggle botton in this case, because the programmer node does not give any feedback for this. Therefore, the corresponding softdesk contains two separate buttons to open and close the shutter, which you connect to an RS flip-flop.

If you have positioned and connected all these nodes, your connectionset should correspond to the following screenshot.


Example 5

Since all the above-mentioned examples may not be completely comprehensible in theory, here is the fifth example: the completed project with the softdesk and above all the connectionsets of the above mentioned examples. If you answer yes to the prompt when you open the project to load the last used window layout, all relevant windows are already open. At this point: have fun trying it out!


Demo Project:

Schon Gewusst #25.7 - Input Assignment.zip


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