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- Why has MIDI never "made it" into the light business (instead of DMX512)?
Professionnals always complain about the lack of speed of MIDI for light applications. But it's wrong. It's the "MIDI light show control" that has be very badly written: long messages (4, 5 ,6 MIDI bytes, even much more!), not real time, "sys ex" messages, etc… It has to be used with dedicated software (very few exists…) or dedicated hardware (none exists!). And "program changes" is a too limited option. Some other tentatives made use of "MIDI note on/off" messages, including velocity for switching and/or dimming purposes. But it's a very poor solution too: it is nearly impossible to create a "fade" (lots of "legato" notes with a different velocity for each…) and it is often necessary to maintain a "note on" message (= "light on") for a very long time. Enters the Logiq-Electronics simple and elegant solution: the MLD4500 responds both to "note on/off" messages (including velocity, for "flash" effects) AND simultaneously to "continuous controller" messages ("CC") ON THE SAME LIGHT CHANNEL. When a "note on" message is received, the velocity value is applied as a "dimming value", bypassing the "CC" value. When the note is released, the "CC" value is automatically restored. The beauty of this system is that "CC" messages only require two bytes of MIDI for each value, and it's always sent in real time. And with 128 notes and 128 CC for each of the 16 MIDI channels, that's a potential of 2048 individual light channels (4 times the DMX512 capacity!!!).
- Is the MLD4500 difficult to program?
Not at all! There are exactly 6 knobs. "1" to "4", wich serve also as a direct on/off control for each light channel, plus "shift = controller", and "shift = note" for the programmation. Example: push on the "controller" knob and "1" to "4", next, move any MIDI controller: programmation done! Push on the "note" knob and "1" to "4", and play a note: programmation done! Repeat for each light channel. And, of course, you only need to do this once: memory is not volatile, programmtion is done for years if you wish so!
- Why "only" 4 x 500 watts of power?
Look at a "dichrolight"! (No, don't do it: your eyes will suffer!). This is already a lot of light! And 4 x 500 watts is enough to drive all current "PAR" lamps (PAR20, 30, 56, 64…), except one kind (the 1000 watts PAR64). The MLD4500 was first conceived as a low power dimmer pack, for all those new "BT" lamps (PAR36, MR16, etc…). But it very soon appeared that it was possible to control much more power. Except for one thing: CE regulations… The MLD could easily have more power (4 x 1000 watts or even more) but then the connections would have to be changed. And the price too… But wait: who knows what the future will be?!
- Why "only" 4 channels?
The idea was to put the MLD on the same tie as the lamps. And we usually put not more than 4 "PAR" on one tie, isn't it? But a 8 channels version is very easy to implement… once again: who knows what the future will be?!
- Why "non standard" output connectors?
What's a standard anyway…? You'll find those connectors in every computer shops around the planet. And it allows to reduce the dimensions of the box. That's why.
- What controller can I use?
ANYTHING that has a MIDI output on it!!! Though you would preferably choose "something" that uses MIDI controllers also, not only notes. Example: sequencers (hardware or software), keyboards, workstations, groove boxes, digital mixers, MIDI dedicated command surfaces (like those from Peavey, Kenton, etc…). Since the MLD responds to any MIDI channel for each light channel (even a different one for the "note" messages and the "CC" messsages if that's what you want!), the possibilities are endless. And you even don't have to know which channel or CC command will be used: just move what you happens to have under your fingers when you program it!!!