What’s Different About VenueMagic?

VenueMagic is not your typical lighting control software package.  It’s a revolutionary new approach to DMX light show design that is quite different from anything else out there.   VenueMagic DJ Edition is a powerful show control software product with features and capabilities that focus on creating an increased appeal in the DJ lighting market.   At ESG, we recognize that the lighting control software industry has been slow to respond to the specific needs of the DJ market.  Whereas available products do provide the user with varying levels of power and flexibility, their approach to show design continues to be directed more towards experienced lighting engineers, rather than to DJ’s.   Typical lighting control software is designed to mimic traditional hardware-based lighting controllers.  Each fixture channel is assigned a slider control.  Each slider is adjusted to the desired position and then a time is assigned.  This is called a step.  Other parameters allow you to set the transitions between steps as smooth fades or instantaneous jumps. A sequence of one or more steps creates a scene.  Individual scenes can be attached to triggers, such as clicking on a button, pressing a key on the keyboard, or a message from a MIDI controller, which will cause the scene to be executed.   More sophisticated and higher-priced software may allow you to line-up scenes, or blocks, on a timeline to help synchronize it to music or to other blocks.   This “time-step entry” approach to programming light shows has several disadvantages:   First, using this method, shows must be carefully laid-out in advance on cue sheets, often second by second, before programming can even begin.  This is especially true when precise synchronization to music or other events is desired.  This approach may work for large-scale concerts and theater, but your average DJ is not going to take the time to do this.  For this reason, many DJs become disenchanted with synchronized lighting control before they even start into it.   Another disadvantage to the time-step entry approach is that it is difficult to make changes, especially to timing.  Quite often, doing something as simple as shifting the timing of one cue can involve going back and redoing dozens of steps in a scene.   Unless you have had many years of experience in doing light shows time-step entry is tedious, time-consuming and often frustrating.  And there is little tolerance for mistakes.  DJ’s are artists, and they think like artists, while the time-step entry approach is really more suited to the mindset of engineers.   Many of the disadvantages of time-step entry are addressed by high-end software-based systems costing thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars.  However such capabilities have always been well out of reach to typical DJ’s and other lighting specialists.  That is, until now.   VenueMagic makes the experience of light show design far more enjoyable by shortening the gap between dream and reality.   VenueMagic abandons the time-step entry approach altogether.  Instead it uses a more intuitive, timeline-based approach similar to that used by popular audio-editing software such as Cubase, Pro Tools, and Ableton Live.   Creating a light show using VenueMagic begins with a timeline.  A timeline can contain as many tracks as you like where you can drag over audio clips, lamp effect clips and events.   Audio clips can be moved and sized, and you can also apply envelopes to control volume, pan, echo, reverb and other audio effects.  This allows you to put your audio mix together right in VenueMagic.  This is great if you want to mix-in additional sound effects or other audio clips on top of your music.  In most cases, there’s no need to create a mix-down in advance with other audio-editing software.   Lighting effect clips let you control fixture channels the same way you would control audio envelopes.  Precisely synchronizing lighting effects with music is simple because it’s all on the screen in front of you.  The powerful envelope editor feature gives you even more precise control.   There is also a library of pre-programmed chaser sequences and other special lighting effects that you can simply drag and drop onto the timeline.  These effects can even distinguish between dimmer, RGB, gobo, color, motion, and other fixture channel types and will automatically select the appropriate channels to control in your fixture.   One of the powerful and unique features of VenueMagic is the ability to blend multiple lighting effects onto the same fixture channel.  This opens the door to some amazing effects and capabilities.   We believe that VenueMagic’s unique approach to light show design has many advantages:

  • • The graphical timeline makes it easier to see what is going on in the scene as a whole.
  • • Synchronization of lighting effects to music and other audio clips is much easier.
  • • Changes in the show are easier to make.
  • • Light show designers spend less time with the technical details and more time being creative.
  • • Built-in library of chaser sequences and special lighting effects makes show creation much faster.
  • • Similarities with popular audio editors significantly reduce the learning curve, especially for DJ’s.

VenueMagic includes many additional features that were designed to give it greater appeal in the DJ market.

  • • Full-featured Playlist.
  • • Programmable cue buttons for triggering timelines.
  • • Programmable sliders for controlling lamp and audio levels.
  • • Auto-beat detection and synching.
  • • Beat tapper for real-time manual synchronization of chaser sequences.
  • • MIDI input for triggering timelines and controlling lamp and audio levels.
  • • MIDI output for signaling external controllers.
  • • Channel routing for controlling and adjusting DMX light levels directly with anyMIDI controller.
  • • Channel grouping to allow multiple fixtures to be controlled together simultaneously.
  • • 2-D Show preview window.
  • • Custom chaser sequence design tool.
  • And many other features…

VenueMagic DJ Edition has a suggested retail price of $399.  This price includes:

  • • The VenueMagic 2.0 DJ Edition Software CD
  • • USB DMX interface hardware
  • • Serial cable

The software CD also includes a full user’s manual and nearly an hour of video tutorials that will get users up to speed building sophisticated lightshows in no time.   No other lighting control software on the market offers so many advanced features and capabilities at such a low price.   VenueMagic.  DMX lighting control redefined.

Don Nolan

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