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Strobe light control

Discussion in 'Audio, Video & Home Theater' started by anonymous6366, Feb 14, 2013.

  1. anonymous6366

    anonymous6366

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    So my frat is having this part on saturday and we have a nice strobe light and mixer: behringer pro mixer dx 1000. We wanted to have the mixer connected to the strobe because I'm pretty sure that it can but I can't figure out how to make it work.
    What I tried was the 1/4" "light" output on the back of the mixer to the 1/4" controller in on the strobe. Maybe I just don't know how to tell the mixer to output a signal a strobe understands?

    Anyway anyone with experience with pro dj equipment should help me out :)

    Thanks in advance!
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2013
  2. anonymous6366

    anonymous6366

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    no one out there knows? party is tonight and I kinda want to have the stobe for it haha
  3. sneekypeet

    sneekypeet Unpaid Babysitter Staff Member

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    I just grabbed the pdf and read the instructions. Seems the light needs to have sound to light capability as well, but if your does, it says to adjust the mixer until it works. Too little and the light may not flash or be dim, too much and the light will stay on. I also assume you had music playing during this testing?
  4. anonymous6366

    anonymous6366

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    i think it has the sound to light? I mean its got the 1/4" audio in for it. And yeah music was going during the testing is there something that needs to be turned on/up you think?
  5. sneekypeet

    sneekypeet Unpaid Babysitter Staff Member

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    This is all I found and was going by...

    9.3 Sound-to-light
    A mono audio output [60] is provided for connection to lighting controllers with a sound-to-light facility. Connection is via a standard 1/4" jack on the back panel. Sensitivity is conveniently adjustable from the DX1000 by the LIGHT LEVEL knob [40] to the left of the bargraph meters. Too high, and the lights will stay on, too low and they won’t flash at all. Adjust LIGHT LEVEL until lights flash in time with the music.
  6. McSteel

    McSteel

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    Basic principle says you have an amplifier that takes, say, 1-5 mV signals of the non-amplified music and boosts it up to 30, 50, 100V, whatever - depending on the gain you set it to. If your light comes on at it's most dimmed at ~50V and achieves full brightness at ~120V, then that's your working dynamic range. You'd then want to map 1mV of music to 50V of light, and 5 mV of music to 120V of light.

    The kicker is, it would probably be too much to ask of the mixer to actually deliver power to the lights, so instead, it will pass on an amplified control signal (of the order of 1-5 V) to the lights, where it will be interpreted by the strobe's controller and translated into working voltage levels (50-120V).

    Now, regarding translation of this theory into practice, I'm afraid it's beyond my knowledge at the moment. Look for a "gain" setting related to lights, and start from there...

    ## EDIT ##

    sneekypeet Posted after I started my reply... The "LIGHT LEVEL" he mentions is the "gain" setting that I'm referring to. Assuming that the output range of the mixer's "Sound-to-light" is withing the expected input range of the strobe controller, it's all a matter of manually finding the right amount of gain for the strobe to turn on and off at the correct music level. Just fiddle with the mixer a bit, I don't really see how it could do any harm.
  7. anonymous6366

    anonymous6366

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    I looked and its a remote in, im guessing its not the same then. Is there any other way I could get it to work you think?
  8. 1freedude

    1freedude

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    does it have a built in mic?
  9. McSteel

    McSteel

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    Perhaps you could split off the audio output with a Y-splitter, and run one of the outputs straight to the strobe. That's provided that the strobe's signal input is capable of handling the (pre-)amplified signal coming out of the mixer.

    As to how you'd actually control the output/input levels, well, you'd be stuck with volume control on the mixer itself. If you put an amp after the mixer, and before the speakers, you can volume up/down the music there, leaving the split-off signal from the mixer going into the strobe undisturbed.

    A hackjob for sure, but it just might work.
  10. anonymous6366

    anonymous6366

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    no unfortunately not...

    ok, we dont have 3.5 to 1/4 converters though only the other way around. and the amps are after the mixer so i guess i could conect it directly to that?
  11. McSteel

    McSteel

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    Doesn't matter, use 2x 1/4 -> 3.5 connectors and a male <-> male 3.5 cable. Yes, it should be alright if the amps are after the mixer (as they should be). The signal going to the mixer will be pre-amped, but shouldn't leave the single digit voltages... It should work fine. Just find the right output level.
  12. anonymous6366

    anonymous6366

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    oh i misunderstood you we have an actual 1/4" audio cable now, so you think it should just get plugged into the light effect out or whatever?
  13. McSteel

    McSteel

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    Right, I see some crude mspaint visuals are in order...

    [​IMG]

    If you can't get the "sound-to-light" output to work, you can try the above.
    Outside of those two options, I'm out of ideas.
  14. anonymous6366

    anonymous6366

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    we don't have any sort of controller for it is the problem, only the mixer itself..
  15. McSteel

    McSteel

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    Then you need an amplifier that will boost the audio output voltage range (which is of the order of one volt) to the strobe light's working voltage range (one to two orders of magnitude above that, depending on the lamp(s), 50, 100, 200V?). That's assuming your lights aren't LED-based. You could, in theory, use a guitar amp for that, if you'd turn it to the required level.
  16. anonymous6366

    anonymous6366

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    oh well we had fun at the party no strobe, whatever haha ill have to try to get it working for the next one though!
  17. ste2425

    ste2425

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    is it dmx controllable? the strobes ive worked that had sound to light capability had to be configured to use it. however if it is dmx then get your self a little lightning controller cheap ones can be had that turns it on and off. bigger ones can adjust strobe speed etc. Some allow for presets and have sound to light built in plus then you can control any lantern with a dmx input. dmx is a 5 pin xlr, cheaper models use a standard 3 pin xlr. to be truthful the extra two pins arn't used by most desk's. were meant to be for return info from things like moving heads for lamp temperature, running hours etc

    ranging from this
    http://www.pmtonline.co.uk/stagg-4-channel-dmx-light-controller.html

    to this [​IMG] thats quite old now though

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