Copyright 2009 by Glenn Meader
A simple 24 channel memory console designed for conventional stage lighting. Only with the Enttec USB DMX Pro interface. (www.enttec.com). Available for Windows and Macintosh OSX.
If this software is providing you benefit, please make a donation to support further development (and get the latest version) at:
Many menu items have short-cut keys to allow you to use the keyboard instead of clicking with the mouse. Also the keyboard is always active for giving commands. (see Command Line, below)
Open Show Open and load a show file into the Cuelist. Will overwrite anything currently in the Cuelist and Patch (without warning). When you restart miniStageConsole, the last file saved will be automatically opened.
Save Show Saves the current contents of the Cuelist and Patch in the current disk .shw file. This will fail if there is no current disk file. The current disk file is the one you last loaded or Saved As.
Save As -- Save the contents of the Cuelist and Patch into a disk file name and folder that you choose.
Whenever you make any change to a show, the show is automatically saved in another file called BACKUP.shw You may open this file if an accident happens to your computer or regular .shw file.
Config Set up the Enttec DMX USB Pro device. Choose the serial (COM) port that the device is connected to. This setting is saved and will be remembered the next time you run miniStageConsole. The Enttec VCOM virtual serial (COM) port driver must be properly installed so that when the DMX USB Pro is plugged in to a USB port, the OS detects it as a serial port. In the figure above, there are two serial ports on the system, one of which is called “usbserial-191” and is connected to the Enttec DMX USB Pro. On Windows, the names of the serial ports are Com1 thru Com15. You may have to determine which is assigned to the Enttec by looking for a port that disappears from the list when you unplug it from the USB port and start miniStageConsole again.
Config MIDI -- Enable MIDI, set the MIDI input and output ports and assign MIDI commands to StageConsole functions. (See MIDI below for details)
Patch – Assign DMX channels to fader channels (softpatch). A Patch window shows a list of faders and the DMX channels assigned to each. A fader may have one or more DMX channels that it outputs to. Enter multiple DMX channels separated by commas. A DMX channel may only be controlled by one fader.
The One to One button resets the patch to the default so that fader 1 outputs to DMX channel, fader 2 outputs to DMX channel 2, and so on.
The patch info is stored in the .shw file along with the cues.
Go Same as the Go button (shortcut is Command-G on mac or Ctrl-G on Windows)
Record Saves the current levels of the faders into a cue. A dialog appears that you can enter a cue number, a cue name and a fade time. Cue numbers may contain decimals. Cue names may not contain commas. Follow is the number of seconds to wait after this cue has faded in, until automatically fading into the next scene. Whenever a cue is recorded, a snapshot of the show is saved in a file called "BACKUP.shw" in the folder where miniStageConsole is installed.
Delete Delete the current cue (highlighted in the Cue List)
Live Live mode. Switch so that the faders mimic the levels that are in the Live scene (currently being output to DMX.) Moving faders immediately changes the DMX output when in Live mode.
Blind Blind mode. Switch so that the faders mimic the levels that are in the Blind scene. Moving faders when in Blind mode does not affect the immediate DMX output. The Blind scene contains the levels of the next scene that will be crossfaded into.
About displays author and contact info
Help displays help document
Select Live or Blind mode. (Same as Faders menu Live and Blind) switches faders to show either the Live or Blind scene.
Moves all faders to Full or 0 level.
Move fader sliders to set levels. If in Live mode, DMX output will be immediately affected. If in Blind mode, the levels in the Blind scene will be set.
The crossfader dissolves between scenes/cues. It does not work exactly like a conventional crossfader.
The top of the X fader is always the Blind scene. The name of the cue loaded into Blind is shown above the X fader.
The bottom of the X fader is always the Live scene. The name of the cue loaded into Live is shown below the X fader.
Moving the crossfader up, manually dissolves from Live to Blind. Once you get to the top, you can load the next cue by pressing the [Load Next] button and the X fader will jump to the bottom to be ready to crossfade again into the new Blind scene.
Automatically moves the X fader using the fade time. The fade time countdown (seconds and tenths) is shown just above the Go button. When the fade time has elapsed, the X fader jumps to the bottom and the next cue is loaded into Blind, ready to Go into the next cue.
Pause halts an in progress timed crossfade. The button will now be labelled "Stop". Press the Go button again to continue the crossfade. Pressing Stop will force the cue to immediately end.
Crossfades to the previous number cue.
Loads the next cue into Blind and resets the Xfader to be ready to crossfade into that cue.
Loads the previous cue into Blind so you can crossfade into it.
Master control over all live levels.
Brings all faders to zero, remembering their levels. Click again to restore faders to remembered levels.
The command line displays keyboard commands as they are entered. Commands are case-insensitive. These are the keyboard commands:
<channel number(s)> @ <level> [enter key]
Sets fader(s) to a level.
(synonyms for the @ key are: a and * asterisk on numeric keypad)
A single channel number (between 1 and 24) may be entered, or you may enter a range separated by a slash, like this: 4/12 to select channels 4 thru 12.
Levels can be any number from 1 to 100 or F for full.
If a level is entered as only one digit, it is multiplied by 10, unless preceeded by a zero digit.
The last selected channels and level are remembered, so you don’t have to enter them on a subsequent command.
5@8 [enter] – sets channel 5 to 80%
12*25 [enter] – sets channel 12 to 25%
15/20af [enter] – sets channels 15 thru 20 to 100%
22a04 [enter] – sets channel 22 to 4%
a5 [enter] – sets remembered channels to 50%
4/18a [enter] – sets channels 4 thru 18 to the remembered level
<fade time> T
Overrides the fade time. You can use a decimal for tenths of a second.
2t – sets the fade time to 2 seconds.
1.5t – sets fade time to 1.5 seconds
<cue number> R – record cue with given number
[spacebar] – presses the Go button.
<cue number> G – go into cue number (with crossfade)
Same as for Fader window.
Same as File Save Show menu item. Writes show cues to disk.
Same as File Open Show menu item. Reads show cues from disk.
Same as Cues Record menu item. Saves current levels into a numbered and named cue. (BACKUP.shw file is updated)
Same as Delete Cue menu item. Removes the selected cue from the cue list..
Loads the selected (highlighted) cue (in the grid) into the Live Scene. DMX output is immediately affected. (same as double-clicking on cue number)
Loads the selected cue into the Blind scene. Useful for editing a cue without affecting the DMX output. The blind cue determines the cue you will crossfade into.
Loads the selected cue into the Blind scene, then crossfades into that cue. (same as keyboard command: <cue number> G)
Double-clicking on a cue number in the first column will load that cue into the faders (in either Live or Blind mode - see LIve/Blind buttons on fader window). This is useful in Live mode to quickly jump to view a scene. In Blind mode, the scene will be loaded, ready to be crossfaded into by clicking Go. This allows you to select any scene as the next cue to go into.
Click on grid cells to edit values. If you enter an invalid value, a zero will appear instead.
You cannot edit the cue number. To renumber, load the cue, save as a new cue and delete the old number cue.
Clicking on a cue number selects (highlights) the cue (then you can click a button to do something with the selected cue).
MIDI messages can be received that will cause miniStageConsole buttons to be "pushed" and on-screen faders to move. Also MIDI messages can simulate computer keyboard keypresses to give Command Line commands (see Command Line above). Incoming MIDI messages are displayed at the bottom left of the Fader window.
MIDI messages handled include Note and Controller. Any MIDI message that consists of 3 bytes will work. The first two bytes determine the MIDI channel and the MIDI command. The third byte is a value/level. Each byte is displayed as a two digit hexidecimal number. (StageConsole will ignore one byte or two byte MIDI messages such as Program Change).
You probably need a MIDI interface device installed and plugged into your computer. The name of this device will be known to miniStageConsole. Once you have selected the correct MIDI input port (Edit, Config MIDI menu), MIDI messages will be received. Your MIDI configuration will be remembered the next time you start miniStageConsole.
On the Mac, a "virtual destination", named MiniStageConsole, is always open to receive MIDI commands from other programs without having to use MIDI hardware. On Windows you have to use a utility program like MIDI Yoke to hook programs together with MIDI without using an interface and cables.
You must designate which MIDI command will trigger an action in the Config MIDI dialog box. The listbox shows all the actions that can be assigned to MIDI commands. Click on an action and you must enter five characters that are a MIDI command string. (a 2 digit Hex byte, a space and another 2 digit Hex byte). For example, the MIDI command string for Note 1 on channel 1 is "80 01". Another example: Controller 1 on channel 1 sends "B0 01". Hint:: view these codes at the bottom left of the Fader window as they are recieved.
You can use the Paste MIDI str button to paste in the last received MIDI command. This allows you to use your MIDI keyboard or control surface to send a MIDI command by pressing a key or moving a control and then simply click paste MIDI str to assign the MIDI command that was sent to the selected action.
|Go||Same as pressing the Go button or spacebar (third byte of the received MIDI command must be greater than zero)|
|Go <cue number>||runs the cue number given in the MIDI value (third byte of the MIDI command)|
|`Back||Same as pressing the Back button|
|Load Next||Same as pressing the Load Next button|
|Load Prev||Same as pressing the Load Next button|
|Blackout||Same as pressing the Blackout button|
|Full||Same as pressing the Full button|
|Out||Same as pressing the Out button|
|Live||Same as pressing the Live button|
|Blind||Same as pressing the Blind button|
|To Live||Same as pressing the To Live button|
|To Blind||Same as pressing theTo Blind button|
|Time <sec>||Sets the fade time to the number of seconds given in the MIDI value (third byte of the MIDI command)|
|Record <cue number>||Saves the cue using the cue number given in the MIDI value (third byte of the MIDI command)|
|0 to 9 . @ + - / F||Same as pressing these keys on the keyboard to enter commands (third byte of the MIDI command must be > than zero)|
|G||Go - runs the next cue. If numbers & decimal (see above) have been previously received, these designate the next cue to run|
|[enter]||Same as pressing the Enter key (third byte of the MIDI command must be greater than zero)|
|X fader||Sets the position of the crossfade slider. Position 0-127 given in the MIDI value (third byte of the MIDI command)|
|Grand Master||Sets the level of the Grand Master. Level 0-127 given in the MIDI value (third byte of the MIDI command)|
|Fader1 to Fader24||Sets the level of a fader. Level 0-127 given in the MIDI value (third byte of the MIDI command)|
MIDI values are the third byte of a MIDI message. MIDI values can only be 0 thru 127 (00 to 7F hexidecimal). In a MIDI Note command, the value is the velocity (any value that is greater than zero means the note is to be turned on). For any StageConsole action that is a button or keypress, the button will be "pushed" only if the received value is greater than zero. This is because miniStageConsole ignores Note On messages with a zero velocity that are commonly sent by controllers instead of Note Off messages.
To control the level of faders, usually a MIDI controller message (first hex character is a B) is used. The MIDI value will set the level of the fader.
In the Go <cue number> and Record <cue number> actions the MIDI value is the cue number (this only works on cue numbers 1 to 127 and with no decimal points).
There are free downloadable utilities for working with MIDI. These can help you get MIDI working with MiniStageConsole.