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A musical show cued completely by MIDI?

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Hi all,

Like all of us, I am trying to make the most of the time being stuck indoors, and adjusting to this new temporary way of life.

I have finally dived into linking FLX to Capture 2020 (all be it the free trial version) (KB Ref: http://support.zero88.com/988883201) and I have had good success in getting things working.  Side note: you can download a version of the ‘Dockhouse’ venue for Capture 2020 from the Capture website which works flawlessly with the FLX showfiles.

I managed to create a blank Capture file and added in a few generic fixtures and got these controlled directly from Phantom ZerOS!

After considering this a win, I have also looked into using Show Cue System (SCS) to produce MIDI Show Control (MSC) cues (Side note: SCS Professional at a minimum required) and how this integrates and controls ZerOS (KB Ref: http://support.zero88.com/990063141).

Unfortunately my USB to MIDI device is currently stuck at the back of a storage unit so I am unable to physically test the link between SCS and FLX yet, but initial results from SCS also look positive.

The local junior drama group I support are performing Addams Family (postponed until December) and this will have musical backing tracks rather than a live band. As always in local am-dram, there is never enough technical crew, so it is likely I will be running both LX and sound.

To save myself juggling through both LX and sound cues I thought it is within the realms of possibility that I could pre-program the majority of the show and command the FLX completely via SCS. Using the backing tracks I can program MSC cues to trigger throughout the song on exactly the right beats all in SCS. For LX cues that are not within a musical number I am thinking I may either add additional MSC cues or have a local ‘GO’ button at the sound desk.

I think Addams Family is a great show and I want to try and get a fantastic looking show by not compromising on LX cues if I have to run both LX and sound.

Has anyone ever attempted anything similar in a musical setting, or any reasons why you wouldn’t recommend this at all – apart from it being a massive time sponge to pre-program!

Appreciate all thoughts,


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Hi Alex,

All sounds good.

If SCS can output MIDI Timecode (MTC), I think I'd be tempted to use this for the songs instead of MSC. That way in SCS you could play your track, and simultaneously start the Time Code output to the FLX.

On FLX, for each song you could have a separate playback, containing all the lighting states required for that song. In each cue's settings, you can then put the MTC time stamp this cue needs to run at. That way a single press of the spae bar in SCS, runs the song and all lighting states. The best way to do this, is start each song at a new hour. Therefore track one outputs timecode at 1:00:00:00, song two at 2:00:00:00 and so on.

For the rest of the production, as you say I would use MSC, as you can then tap your space bar on your laptop to trigger sound and lighting cues.

Hope this helps, if you have any questions let me know.


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Thanks for the advice Edward, I've had a look into assigning the MTC on cues - this looks promising. Is there a deafult way to record a cue with the Trigger set to MIDI?

My only thought I cant quite work out right now is if I cue all of track 1, and I have a few LX cues between track 1 and track 2, where is it best placed to have these cues? Would it still be on PB1, or onto the Master PB and cue with MSC? I understand MSC can only trigger the master PB? 

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Hi Alex,

2 hours ago, scottydog75 said:

 Is there a deafult way to record a cue with the Trigger set to MIDI?

Currently there is no way of customising cue setting defaults. This is logged as a future software enhancement. You should find using the arrow keys along with the enter button will help you to get into a rhythm and speed up setting many cues. 

2 hours ago, scottydog75 said:

Would it still be on PB1, or onto the Master PB and cue with MSC? I understand MSC can only trigger the master PB? 

Yes I’d still keep the lighting states between tracks on the master playback and trigger with MSC if it was me, and just keep tracks on playbacks with MTC.

Hope this helps,


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