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PC based lighting control

This is a short pointer to some of the available PC based lighting console systems. Most of the software products have a trial available, so I recommend you download several, and spend some time trying to do the sorts of things that you want to do with them. A word of warning: you will find that lighting control packages do different things in different ways, so there will be a learning curve involved, and the more capable the package the bigger the learning curve will be. But do persever, it will be worth it!

Any additions or corrections to this page would be welcomed using the form at the bottom of the page.

schwartzpeter free lighting board

Schwartzpeter is designed for theatre and dance, and for the use of traditionnal lighting ( dimmer oriented)

-Schwartzpeter manipulates 120 channels in %
- Its using the Poloneese syntax
-Times IN/OUT/Delay , autogos, title editing per memory
- Crossfade with Go, mouse, manually thruth midi
- Electronic Patch, up to 512 dimmers adresses, 7 predefined dimmer laws, 7 customable dimmer laws
-OnStage/Preset toggling for blind recording
-6 subs masters, 1 masterfor subs
- 10 groups
- 10 Fx/chasers of 30 steps max. with IN/WAIT/OUT assignables to 4 mastersFx
- Flash on channels, subs and fx
- Freeze and Copy-Paste functions
-Import ASCII / Export ASCII
-Chasers and Midi Out automations in the playlist
-Midi Out for other softwares remoting
-special lighting modules ( morse, trichromy, shadow groups for BCF2000, pipeline)

-Schwartzpeter enables physical talking with:
-MIDI enables communication with keyboard midikeyboard,bcr midi control surfaces etc
-Midi Loop Back for motorized sliders control surfaces
-midi server for distant communications with other apps
-dmx server ( pipeline module) allows to manipulate the 120 channels from vvvv, pd, or max
-dmx IN with Enttec PRO, thruth little_mouse extension, dmx IN and OUT simultaneous with dmxusb.com, dmx512-online.net
Interface:up to 9 interface ( ENTTEC SOUNDLIGHT SUNLITE ARTNET...)
Cost:depends of the interface, from 60 Euros to 260 euros

OnStage Performer 4201

RS-232/USB/Stand-alone to DMX512 converter/controller. Programmable from any computer with an RS-232 port, can run in stand-alone mode with contact closure inputs. PC lighting software available (some free), Mac software soon.
Interface:It is an interface
Cost:320 USD


PCStage combines specialist software and an interface unit to allow a standard PC to work as a fully featured lighting control system aimed at theatre and multimedia applications.

The system emphasises ease of use, but offers many advanced lighting and audio features, including any number of simultaneous cues and crossfades, and supports a full 512 output channels of DMX, expandable to 3 universes for 1536 channels of control

Also available is PCStage Lite, offering a low cost 36 channel interface which using the same host software as the rest of the range gives exceptional value for the smaller venue.

PCStage in addition to being a lighting controller also offers full multi-channel sound playback capability, MIDI integration, show control, including MTC and MSC protocols, TCP/IP network integration and much more.

Sadly, the website describes an out of date version of the software.
Interface:Specific interface
Cost:250 UKP per 512 channels, lite 36 channel version available


LightFactory provides the ability to create exciting and dynamic shows with unprecedented level of control over your lighting environment. Regardless of your requirements LightFactory\'s advanced features make it at home in any lighting situation. From stage shows to museum displays, LightFactory does it all.

The latest version of LightFactory is available for immediate and free download from www.lifact.com. LightFactory is free to download and use however a registration code is required to communicate with DMX hardware. First time installations will also run the full version, including DMX output for 12 hours of continuous runtime.
Interface:Most USB, and Ethermet based DMX
Cost:$250 - $1999


LimeLight is a powerful, easy to use software based lighting control system.

Suitable both for theatre and on-the-fly busking applications limeLight is quick and easy to program whilst still offering a wide range of features.

Interface:Our own, 2 universe

DMX-Dongle II (Dongle II)

The DMX-Dongle II is a high specification DMX512 Receiver - Transmitter It connects to the Printer port of any PC compatible computer. The DMX-Dongle is supplied with both Windows and DOS software packages.

Windows User Software

The Windows software is called DMX-Workshop. DMX-Workshop provides access to all the power of the DMX-Dongle II and also all Art-Net Ethernet devices.

All DMX512 header codes can be received.

The detail screen provides all the protocol timing data along with a log of frames received and any errors detected.

DMX-Workshop also provides an Oscilloscope display of channels levels, full screen mimic and MIDI data analysis.

Display and analysis of new DMX512-A features such as Text Packets and System Information Packets is also provided.
Interface:It is an interface
Cost:245UKP plus software


The current version of prolight is aimed at theatrical lighting. It provides an integrated PC based lighting desk, a CAD lighting design package and documentation tools. It has been used successfully to light a number of shows. A demo beta can be downloaded from the above web link. Please contact me if interested.
Interface:Prolight USB interface, may provide support for others soon
Cost:Currently only demo available, price will be less than $500US

To see the old page which lists some more systems, click here

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