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Help synching lights with beat

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Help synching lights with beat

Postby hoangnganvy1993 » Sun Oct 14, 2018 3:04 am

Hi, I just bought a couple of LED strips that have a built in mic to use with sound activation mode. We are a 4 piece metal band that runs our own sound and plays in pool halls. I've found it difficult with my old lights (4 color LED) to match the sensitivity. The only variation we get is slow blinking when the band stops, and fast bilking when we play.

I'm actually thinking about running a kick and snare mix to an ear bud, and then fasten the ear bud directly to the mic port with some sound absorbing material around it. When I play at home with just the drums, the lights work just perfect, so clearly it can pick up the individual hits. It's when it gets hit with a wall of sound that it just can't distinguish where the beat is.

Anyone have any better ideas? I really wish they would make trigger activated lights, but I've not found any beyond home made set ups with individual LEDs.

Thanks!
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Re: Help synching lights with beat

Postby BJG145 » Sun Oct 14, 2018 12:53 pm

I guess you'd be looking at DMX to take it to the next level; I never got deeply into it myself though.

https://www.thomann.de/gb/enttec_dmxis_ ... cubase.htm

Some kind of trigger->MIDI->DMX route.

You could also look at lighting units that take an external audio input like this one, and feed it from a send on the kick...(again, never tried it myself).

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/stomplight-dmx-pro
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Re: Help synching lights with beat

Postby Wonks » Sun Oct 14, 2018 1:13 pm

However, a) to use DMX you need lights with DMX control and a lot of the very low-cost flashing lights don't have it and b) even if it does have DMX. you are often limited in the amount of adjustment you can do, and simple DMX controllers often only have the ability /built-in protocols to attach their own make of lighting fixtures.

It may help if the OP could name the two products they are using, or provide links to the online spec sheets for the products.
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Re: Help synching lights with beat

Postby Dr R » Sun Oct 14, 2018 2:19 pm

I think it's worth trying the cheap 'n' cheerful solution suggested in the original post. The device can trigger OK, but not with a full band in flight, so see if you can increase the signal to noise ratio at zero cost. If it works, then you can make it a bit more robust for future gigs. If not then it's time to explore more sophisticated options.
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Re: Help synching lights with beat

Postby Wonks » Sun Oct 14, 2018 5:27 pm

I'm not sure an ear bud would be loud enough. It's fine stuck in your ear, but you loose all the bass response in free air, plus a lot of volume. But maybe the earpiece of a closed-back headphone might do it, and then the headphone construction should keep out the unwanted band noise.
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Re: Help synching lights with beat

Postby blinddrew » Sun Oct 14, 2018 6:44 pm

What Wonks said. ^^^
Closed back ear piece or the speaker from an old computer speaker/grot-box. Assuming that the lights don't have any kind of audio input socket?
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Re: Help synching lights with beat

Postby MarkPAman » Mon Oct 15, 2018 10:05 am

I'd imagine the microphone inside to be very small, omnidirectional, and probably mounted on a board somewhere near the port, but no necessarily that close to it, as I suspect the port on most of these things exists because customers expect to see one, rather than because they actually make any difference. So, stopping unwanted sounds getting to it would be pretty well impossible.

Best low price DMX controller I know of for sound to light function is Behringer's LC2412, which has an audio input jack (TS), and can have different combinations of outputs react to bass, mid, treble & quiet. Or in a standard chase mode, a foot switch can be used to advance the steps, which I guess could be a micro switch in the kick pedal or something.

These regularly turn up on eBay for not much at all. Not a very intuitive beast to use though - be prepared to spent quite a lot of time with the manual setting it up!
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Re: Help synching lights with beat

Postby AlecSp » Mon Oct 15, 2018 2:24 pm

MarkPAman wrote:Best low price DMX controller I know of for sound to light function is Behringer's LC2412, which has an audio input jack (TS), and can have different combinations of outputs react to bass, mid, treble & quiet. Or in a standard chase mode, a foot switch can be used to advance the steps, which I guess could be a micro switch in the kick pedal or something.
These and all of the other generic (Botex, Showtec 2412 or 4824 desks have an audio input with a sensitivity control, used to step through chases. I've found that sending just kick to them works an absolute treat.

Or, back to your device. Such a shame if there's no audio input. Depending on your electronics capability, could you add one?
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Re: Help synching lights with beat

Postby MarkPAman » Tue Oct 16, 2018 9:28 am

While you are correct that most of the generic controllers will do that, the Behringer one is a different beast, and generally better altogether provided one does not intend to run movers. I believe it is their own design, and not sold with any other badge on it. The Bass - mid - high - pause thing can be very effective, and is really quite unusual these days.
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