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Q Light Controller: A Free and Cross-Platform Solution for Lighting Effects


Download Q Light Controller: A Free and Cross-Platform Software to Control Lighting Systems




If you are looking for a software that can help you control DMX or analog lighting systems like moving heads, dimmers, scanners, and other effects, you might want to check out Q Light Controller. Q Light Controller is a free and cross-platform software that aims to replace expensive and somewhat limited hardware lighting desks with free software. In this article, we will show you what Q Light Controller is, how to download and install it, how to use it, and some tips and tricks to get the most out of it.




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What is Q Light Controller?




Q Light Controller is a fork of the great QLC project written by Heikki Junnila that aims to continue the QLC development and to introduce new features. The primary goal is to bring QLC+ at the level of other lighting control commercial softwares. Q Light Controller runs on Linux, Windows (7+), macOS (10.7+), and the Raspberry Pi.


Features and benefits of Q Light Controller




Q Light Controller has many features and benefits that make it a powerful and versatile software for lighting control. Some of them are:



  • It controls an arbitrary number of universes, 512 DMX channels each



  • It has a fixture editor to create and customize fixtures



  • It has 1200+ ready made fixtures



  • It has web access for remote control



  • It has input/output plugins to support a wide variety of hardware and software



  • It has MIDI input/output and feedbacks (for devices with motorized faders)



  • It has MIDI support of notes, control change, program change, and beat clock



  • It has a virtual console to get the best while performing live shows



  • It has quick access to 850+ gobos, color presets, RGB values, thanks to the click and go technology



  • It has a simple desk for manual DMX channels control



  • It has a multitrack show editor for offline desk programming



  • It has audio input/output support



  • It can import/export fixtures list and channels groups



  • It can remap fixtures



  • It has ArtNet and E1.31 native input/output plugin



  • It has OSC input/output/feedback plugin



  • It supports DMX4ALL StageProfi and FX5 DMX USB



  • It can dump DMX values into scenes/chasers



  • It has a look & feel based on the humanity icon theme



How to download and install Q Light Controller




To download Q Light Controller, you can visit its official website [here](^i^) or its SourceForge page [here](^ii^). You can choose the version that suits your operating system and download the installer or the zip file. To install Q Light Controller, you can follow these steps:



  • If you downloaded the installer, run it and follow the instructions on the screen. If you downloaded the zip file, extract it to a folder of your choice.If you are using Windows, you can run the qlcplus.exe file from the folder. If you are using Linux, you can run the qlcplus binary file from the terminal. If you are using macOS, you can run the Q Light Controller Plus.app file from the folder.



  • Enjoy Q Light Controller!



How to use Q Light Controller




Q Light Controller has a user-friendly and intuitive interface that allows you to control your lighting systems with ease. Here are some of the main features and how to use them:


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Setting up your lighting devices and universes




Before you can start controlling your lights, you need to set up your lighting devices and universes. A universe is a group of 512 DMX channels that can be assigned to different devices. You can have as many universes as your hardware and software allow. To set up your devices and universes, you can follow these steps:



  • Go to the menu bar and click on Inputs/Outputs. This will open a new window where you can see all the available input/output plugins and their parameters.



  • Select the plugin that corresponds to your hardware or software interface. For example, if you are using a USB DMX adapter, you might want to select the DMX USB Output plugin. If you are using ArtNet or E1.31, you might want to select the ArtNet or E1.31 plugin.



  • Click on the Configure button to set up the plugin settings. For example, if you are using the DMX USB Output plugin, you might want to select the device model, the serial number, and the firmware version.



  • Assign the plugin to a universe by dragging and dropping it to the desired universe slot. You can also assign multiple plugins to the same universe if you want to use them simultaneously.



  • Repeat these steps for each device and universe you want to use.



Creating and editing fixtures




A fixture is a representation of a lighting device that has one or more channels that control its functions. For example, a dimmer might have one channel that controls its intensity, while a moving head might have several channels that control its pan, tilt, color, gobo, etc. To create and edit fixtures, you can follow these steps:



  • Go to the menu bar and click on Fixture Editor. This will open a new window where you can see all the existing fixtures and create new ones.



  • To create a new fixture, click on the New button. This will open a wizard that will guide you through the process of creating a fixture.



  • Enter the basic information of your fixture, such as its manufacturer, model, type, mode, and channels.



  • Enter the advanced information of your fixture, such as its physical dimensions, bulb type, lens degrees, power consumption, etc.



  • Save your fixture by clicking on the Save button. You can also export your fixture as an XML file or import an existing fixture from an XML file.



  • To edit an existing fixture, select it from the list and click on the Edit button. This will open a window where you can modify any of the fixture parameters.



Using the virtual console




The virtual console is where you can control your lights in real time during a live show. It has various widgets that allow you to perform different actions, such as triggering scenes, chasers, functions, etc. To use the virtual console, you can follow these steps:



  • Go to the menu bar and click on Virtual Console. This will open a new window where you can see and edit your virtual console layout.



  • To add a widget to your virtual console, right-click on an empty space and select Add Widget. You can choose from different types of widgets, such as buttons, sliders, frames, labels, etc.



  • To edit a widget's properties, right-click on it and select Properties. You can change various settings of each widget, such as its name, size, position, appearance, function assignment, etc.



  • To move or resize a widget, click and drag it with your mouse. You can also use the arrow keys or the mouse wheel to fine-tune its position and size.



  • To delete a widget, right-click on it and select Delete.



  • To operate your virtual console during a live show, click on the Operate button on the top right corner of the window. This will switch to full screen mode and disable editing functions. You can then use your mouse or keyboard to interact with your widgets and control your lights.



Using the simple desk




The simple desk is a feature that allows you to control your DMX channels manually. It has a grid of faders that correspond to each channel of each universe. You can adjust the fader values with your mouse or keyboard and see the output on your lights. To use the simple desk, you can follow these steps:



  • Go to the menu bar and click on Simple Desk. This will open a new window where you can see and edit your simple desk layout.



  • To add a universe to your simple desk, click on the Add button on the top left corner of the window. You can choose from the existing universes or create a new one.



  • To remove a universe from your simple desk, click on the Remove button on the top left corner of the window. You can select the universe you want to remove or clear all universes.



  • To change the number of faders per row, use the slider on the top right corner of the window. You can have up to 64 faders per row.



  • To adjust the value of a fader, click and drag it with your mouse or use the arrow keys or the mouse wheel. You can also double-click on a fader to enter a value manually.



  • To reset the value of a fader, right-click on it and select Reset.



  • To save your simple desk layout, click on the Save button on the bottom right corner of the window. You can also load a previously saved layout by clicking on the Load button.



Using the show editor




The show editor is where you can create and edit multitrack shows that consist of scenes, chasers, functions, audio, and video files. You can arrange them in a timeline and synchronize them with music or other cues. To use the show editor, you can follow these steps:



  • Go to the menu bar and click on Show Editor. This will open a new window where you can see and edit your show tracks.



  • To add a track to your show, click on the Add Track button on the top left corner of the window. You can name your track and choose its type (scene, chaser, function, audio, or video).



  • To remove a track from your show, click on the Remove Track button on the top left corner of the window. You can select the track you want to remove or clear all tracks.



  • To add an item to a track, drag and drop it from the function manager or from your file explorer. You can also right-click on an empty space in a track and select Add Item.



  • To edit an item's properties, double-click on it or right-click on it and select Properties. You can change various settings of each item, such as its name, duration, start time, fade in/out, etc.



  • To move or resize an item, click and drag it with your mouse. You can also use the arrow keys or the mouse wheel to fine-tune its position and size.



  • To delete an item, right-click on it and select Delete.



  • To zoom in or out of your show timeline, use the slider on the bottom right corner of the window. You can also use the + and - keys or the mouse wheel.



  • To play or pause your show, click on the Play/Pause button on the bottom left corner of the window. You can also use the spacebar key.



  • To stop your show, click on the Stop button on the bottom left corner of the window. You can also use the Esc key.



  • To save your show file, click on the Save button on the top right corner of the window. You can also load a previously saved show file by clicking on the Load button.



Tips and tricks for Q Light Controller




Q Light Controller is a powerful and versatile software that can help you create amazing lighting shows. However, there are some tips and tricks that can make your experience even better. Here are some of them:


How to use web access for remote control




Q Light Controller has a web access feature that allows you to control your lights from any device that has a web browser and is connected to the same network as your computer. This can be useful for situations where you need to control your lights from a different location or angle, or where you want to give access to other users. To use web access, you can follow these steps:



  • Go to the menu bar and click on Web Access. This will open a new window where you can see and edit your web access settings.



  • Enable the web access by checking the Enable Web Access box.



  • Choose a port number for your web server. The default is 9999, but you can change it if you want.



  • Choose a username and password for your web access. This will prevent unauthorized users from accessing your lights.



  • Click on the Start button to start the web server.



  • On your device, open a web browser and enter the IP address and port number of your computer. For example, if your computer's IP address is 192.168.1.100 and your port number is 9999, you would enter http://192.168.1.100:9999 in your browser.



  • Enter your username and password when prompted.



  • You will see a web interface that mimics your virtual console layout. You can interact with the widgets and control your lights as if you were using the software.



How to use MIDI input/output and feedbacks




Q Light Controller has a MIDI input/output feature that allows you to use MIDI devices to control your lights or receive feedback from them. This can be useful for situations where you want to use a physical controller with knobs, faders, buttons, etc., or where you want to see the status of your lights on a device with motorized faders, LEDs, etc. To use MIDI input/output and feedbacks, you can follow these steps:



  • Go to the menu bar and click on Inputs/Outputs. This will open a new window where you can see all the available input/output plugins and their parameters.



  • Select the MIDI Input/Output plugin and click on the Configure button. This will open a new window where you can see and edit your MIDI settings.



  • Select the MIDI device that you want to use from the drop-down list. You can also refresh the list by clicking on the Refresh button.



  • Select the MIDI channel that you want to use from the drop-down list. The default is 1, but you can change it if you want.



  • Select the MIDI mode that you want to use from the drop-down list. You can choose from Note, Control Change, Program Change, or Beat Clock.



  • If you want to enable feedbacks, check the Enable Feedback box. This will send MIDI messages back to your device based on the status of your lights.



  • Click on the OK button to save your settings.



  • Assign the MIDI plugin to a universe by dragging and dropping it to the desired universe slot. You can also assign multiple plugins to the same universe if you want to use them simultaneously.



  • To map a MIDI message to a widget in your virtual console, right-click on the widget and select MIDI Learn. This will open a dialog box that asks you to press a key or move a knob or fader on your device. Once you do that, the widget will be mapped to that message.



  • To unmap a MIDI message from a widget in your virtual console, right-click on the widget and select Clear MIDI Input Assignment.



How to use OSC input/output/feedback plugin




Q Light Controller has an OSC input/output/feedback plugin that allows you to use OSC devices or applications to control your lights or receive feedback from them. OSC stands for Open Sound Control, which is a protocol for communication among computers, sound synthesizers, and other multimedia devices. To use OSC input/output/feedback plugin, you can follow these steps:



  • Go to the menu bar and click on Inputs/Outputs. This will open a new window where you can see all the available input/output plugins and their parameters.



  • Select the OSC Input/Output/Feedback plugin and click on the Configure button. This will open a new window where you can see and edit your OSC settings.



  • Select the OSC port that you want to use from the drop-down list. The default is 7700, but you can change it if you want.



  • If you want to enable feedbacks, check the Enable Feedback box. This will send OSC messages back to your device or application based on the status of your lights.



  • Click on the OK button to save your settings.



  • Assign the OSC plugin to a universe by dragging and dropping it to the desired universe slot. You can also assign multiple plugins to the same universe if you want to use them simultaneously.



  • To map an OSC message to a widget in your virtual console, right-click on the widget and select OSC Learn. This will open a dialog box that asks you to send an OSC message from your device or application. Once you do that, the widget will be mapped to that message.



  • To unmap an OSC message from a widget in your virtual console, right-click on the widget and select Clear OSC Input Assignment.



How to import/export fixtures list and channels groups




Q Light Controller has a feature that allows you to import or export your fixtures list and channels groups as XML files. This can be useful for situations where you want to share your fixtures or channels with other users or projects, or where you want to backup your data. To import or export fixtures list and channels groups, you can follow these steps:



  • Go to the menu bar and click on Fixture Editor. This will open a new window where you can see all the existing fixtures and create new ones.



  • To import a fixtures list or channels groups file, click on the Import button on the top right corner of the window. This will open a file browser where you can select the XML file that you want to import.



  • To export a fixtures list or channels groups file, click on the Export button on the top right corner of the window. This will open a file browser where you can choose the name and location of the XML file that you want to export.



Conclusion




Q Light Controller is a free and cross-platform software that can help you control DMX or analog lighting systems like moving heads, dimmers, scanners


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