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Thread: Help choosing the right software/DAC system

  1. #1
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    Default Help choosing the right software/DAC system

    Hi All,

    Apologies up front if some of this post rehashes things many might have already posted information about but I am hoping to obtain some advice concerning the specifics of my requirements for show software/hardware.

    First, as mentioned in my introduction thread, I am very much an experimenter with qualifications and many years experience in electronics so I'm very much into DIY.

    My interest in lasers goes back to the mid 80s and has been rekindled lately with the lowered costs of higher powered lasers thanks to the increases in performance of LEDs and laser diodes.
    I have a few lasers here with my main one being a 1 watt, analog modulated RGB which I am building into a DIY projector. I have two pairs of scanners on the way (a 40K pair with one not working which I hope to be able to repair and a 20K pair fully working) along with the amps/drivers and a show card with ILDA input.
    I also have a Casio M140 projector (what is the reason I see people censoring the word Casio on PL?) on the way which I plan to use for the laser diodes which I will use for various ideas. One of those ideas includes an outdoor projector for graphics/messages/animations that I'd like to project onto a large screen possibly on a boat on a river. I also plan to design some projection systems for my electronic music studio (old school, Tangerine Dream/Jean Michel Jarre style). Three of those ideas include a laser drum kit based on Roland V-Drums systems, a laser harp and laser projections based on triggered events from my hardware analog sequencers and synthesizers.

    One totally different potential application is to use some of those blue diodes to make an engraving system to etch lettering and panel labels in black anodized aluminium for some of my DIY electronics. This is only a vague idea at this point and I will probably just get my designs etched professionally.

    Given all that, I have been looking into various light show systems and the main ones I am contemplating are:

    1. Pangolin QuickShow (with FB3)
    2. Innolasers LSX
    3. JM Lasers Dynamics
    4. Spaghetti

    I am heavily leaning in favour of QuickShow at present and have contacted them and received a very prompt reply from Justin Perry.

    For the sake of more information about my requirements, here's an extract from my email reply to Justin's reply to me:

    One thing I am particularly interested in is converting video to outlines and raster scans (I am an AVPA corporate accredited video producer) but it looks like that isn't possible with QuickShow. Is there a way to achieve that without requiring the initial outlay for Beyond?
    On a similar note, is it possible to convert bitmap images to outlines for use in QuickShow?
    Does the upgrade path from QuickShow to Beyond require different hardware?

    Lastly for now, in order to add extra scanners to a QuickShow setup, I assume extra FB3s would be required. Is that correct? If so, is it acceptable to run them from a USB hub? The main system I am planning to run QuickShow from is my Sony Vaio Duo11 tablet (dual core i5 3317 CPU) running Windows 8 which has two USB3 ports (one connected to a four port USB3 hub). I also run a fairly high end RME audio interface on this system along with my main studio recording software and it is rock solid.
    I've just been looking at LaserCam. Is it possible to integrate that with QuickShow (maybe import the ILDA output from LaserCam Pro to QuickShow?) to add video capabilities to my shows?

    Thanks in advance guys.

  2. #2
    swamidog's Avatar
    swamidog is online now Jr. Woodchuckington Janitor III, Esq.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaserDoc View Post
    Hi All,

    Apologies up front if some of this post rehashes things many might have already posted information about but I am hoping to obtain some advice concerning the specifics of my requirements for show software/hardware.

    First, as mentioned in my introduction thread, I am very much an experimenter with qualifications and many years experience in electronics so I'm very much into DIY.

    My interest in lasers goes back to the mid 80s and has been rekindled lately with the lowered costs of higher powered lasers thanks to the increases in performance of LEDs and laser diodes.
    I have a few lasers here with my main one being a 1 watt, analog modulated RGB which I am building into a DIY projector. I have two pairs of scanners on the way (a 40K pair with one not working which I hope to be able to repair and a 20K pair fully working) along with the amps/drivers and a show card with ILDA input.
    I also have a Casio M140 projector (what is the reason I see people censoring the word Casio on PL?) on the way which I plan to use for the laser diodes which I will use for various ideas. One of those ideas includes an outdoor projector for graphics/messages/animations that I'd like to project onto a large screen possibly on a boat on a river. I also plan to design some projection systems for my electronic music studio (old school, Tangerine Dream/Jean Michel Jarre style). Three of those ideas include a laser drum kit based on Roland V-Drums systems, a laser harp and laser projections based on triggered events from my hardware analog sequencers and synthesizers.

    One totally different potential application is to use some of those blue diodes to make an engraving system to etch lettering and panel labels in black anodized aluminium for some of my DIY electronics. This is only a vague idea at this point and I will probably just get my designs etched professionally.

    Given all that, I have been looking into various light show systems and the main ones I am contemplating are:

    1. Pangolin QuickShow (with FB3)
    2. Innolasers LSX
    3. JM Lasers Dynamics
    4. Spaghetti

    I am heavily leaning in favour of QuickShow at present and have contacted them and received a very prompt reply from Justin Perry.

    For the sake of more information about my requirements, here's an extract from my email reply to Justin's reply to me:



    I've just been looking at LaserCam. Is it possible to integrate that with QuickShow (maybe import the ILDA output from LaserCam Pro to QuickShow?) to add video capabilities to my shows?

    Thanks in advance guys.
    Lasercam will save ilda animations that can be imported into Quickshow. I recommend you go with Lasercam pro as it allows you to use windows on your monitor as virtual camers. This is very useful when converting quicktime or youtube movies into ilda sequences.

    Any bitmap to ILDA processor relies on good lighting/contrast and clearly defined edges.

    I do a little laser etching on the side. I might be able to help you out with your panels.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    the video sequences in this laser show were shot outside at white sands new mexico, processes in final cut pro studio, converted into ilda animation sequences, and then imported into LSX.

    https://youtu.be/ow_4Ke_GqTo
    suppose you're thinkin' about a plate o' shrimp. Suddenly someone'll say, like, plate, or shrimp, or plate o' shrimp out of the blue, no explanation. No point in lookin' for one, either. It's all part of a cosmic unconciousness.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Thanks heaps Swamidog.
    Quote Originally Posted by swamidog View Post
    Lasercam will save ilda animations that can be imported into Quickshow. I recommend you go with Lasercam pro as it allows you to use windows on your monitor as virtual camers. This is very useful when converting quicktime or youtube movies into ilda sequences.
    Perfect. Saves me having to fork out immediately for Beyond to obtain that capability.
    Quote Originally Posted by swamidog View Post
    Any bitmap to ILDA processor relies on good lighting/contrast and clearly defined edges.
    That's no problem here. Been using Photoshop now for around 20 years.
    Quote Originally Posted by swamidog View Post
    I do a little laser etching on the side. I might be able to help you out with your panels.

    Click image for larger version. 

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Views:	7 
Size:	176.1 KB 
ID:	46962
    Very nice job.
    Thanks for the offer with the panels.
    The current project I have on the go is a large analog sequencer of my own design and I'd like to create a panel that emulates the style of the classic 70s Moog Modular gear. The panel will be quite large with a whole bunch of knobs and switches with various scales/values and 16 Spectrol ten turn vernier drive pots.
    What sort of artwork files do you need? I'll probably be making the design in Photoshop mainly because I know it so well.
    Do you do drilling/punching as well? For smaller projects I just do that myself with a carefully guided cordless drill but I really want to make this one look as professional as possible and alignment will be a big part of achieving that look.
    Quote Originally Posted by swamidog View Post
    the video sequences in this laser show were shot outside at white sands new mexico, processes in final cut pro studio, converted into ilda animation sequences, and then imported into LSX.

    https://youtu.be/ow_4Ke_GqTo
    That's a very cool sequence! Very smooth too.

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