Has anyone used U track 24 to trigger automated lighting?

Home Page Forums Cymatic Audio Forum uTrack 24 Has anyone used U track 24 to trigger automated lighting?

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    David Rockower

    I just purchased the u track 24 to be the core of a live playback rig. Ive created around 60 backing tracks in either Sonar Platinum or Pro Tools. I would like to evolve a light show as well, and simply use a midi channel in the utrack to connect.

    If you have done this, can you elaborate on your equipment choices? I’ve considered the work pro lightshark ls-1 Core, however am open to any good suggestions.



    Not exactly the same but i’m using it to send a midi start note to trigger live visuals in QLab. Works a treat!


    Yes. I do! I use utrack24 to trigger song effect presets, lightning scenes, harmonizer and guitarr effect unit. i use Widelight for dmx lightning.

    Jeroen Schlaman

    Yes, I do.
    Producing tracks and Midi in Logic Pro X.
    QuickDMX for DMX lighting control which is triggered by the Midi coming from the uTrack24.
    Works like a charm!


    I am planning to do so and already did some research on this topic. You basically have three ways of doing so:

    1. using a laptop with a midi modem and a dmx modem. This will be your best choice if you don’t mind a laptop on stage. there are lots of options for the software.

    Laptop-less it becomes somewhat harder

    2. use a cheap dmx controller hardware for around 100 bucks with midi in. You can then trigger scenes, which is a fixed light setup like a color. Fades and Animations are possible but very limited because you have to build them youself by making a lot of scenes and switching these via midi. But these controllers can only store like 240 scenes or so, so thats the limitation.

    3. use a DMX recorder hardware which can be triggered via midi. These can record a dmx stream like a video. You can then trigger the playback of these in the same way you would trigger a sample playback in an external sampler via midi. You will still need a software to produce a dmx stream to record, but this is done at home, pre-show.

    You might find this thread useful, it’s in german unfortunately, but just looking up the gear JTRebel mentions might be helpful.


    If you are making progress with this I would be glad to read about it here!

    Stevic MacKay

    We absolutely do this in Twelve Foot Ninja. Timecode can be one of the tracks sent from the UTrack (it’s just a weird .wav file). Unfortunately I can’t elaborate because our FOH and Lighting Tech sorted it out but we’re automating 2 x Helix Racks, SPDX Drum Sampler and Lights all from the U-Track. It’s a beast of a thing! Good luck man!


    Thanks Stevic for the great tip. I looked up a live video and what you guys do with this is amazing..really inspiring and adding to the experience.

    Lucy Smith


    Sorry to jump on the back of this thread but it seemed to be the most relevant as to what I want to achieve! 🙂

    I want to be able to run my lights from the MIDI on the uTrack. I can program the MIDI commands in Logic Pro X alongside my audio to get this in sync.

    I want to know the easiest software and hardware (if needed) to do so as I only have basic lighting knowledge and I don’t want to carry around a laptop.

    My lighting show isn’t very big, 8 colour changing LEDS, 4 moving heads, 2 blinders.

    I want to get the uTrack to send the MIDI commands to but I don’t know what lighting hardware I need to get this from MIDI to DMX? Any help or ideas would be much appreciated.


    Andy Power

    Did you ever find out what equipment you need for MIDI to DMX? I’m also wanting to control the lights via the UTrack 24

    Jeroen Schlaman

    I use QuickDMX software with it’s USB->DMX interface.
    You can create scenes and chases in the software and link that to a button. Each button can be MIDI triggered. When the button is triggered the respective scene or chase will start and will sent DMX through the USB->DMX interface to the fixtures.
    I control 6 moving heads, 4 pars, smoke jets, 4 led bars and sparkular fireworks with it all automatically and in-sync.

    QuickDMX also has a build-in 3D viewer so you can setup your lighting setup and program everything using this viewer so you don’t have to build up our complete rig each and every time.

    James Tangman

    How can I get my hands on a Widelight MIDI?

    Ivan Seuckens

    @ Grant saying ‘Not exactly the same but i’m using it to send a midi start note to trigger live visuals in QLab. Works a treat!’.

    Hey Grant, how do you get the video in synch with the backing track in Qlab?

    When I load the backing track in DaVinci and export the visuals based on that track, they just don’t synch up. Even though the midi file starts at point zero along with the audio.


    Michell Nielsen

    Hahah “Its just some weird .wav file”

    SMPTE is a linear timecode that is essentially a soundclip of any desired lenght. It consists of unique high frequencies throughout the duration of the clip, that your lighting console or software is listening to.
    Then you record your lighting show on the console, on top of the incoming SMPTE file, so basically you are creating a backingtrack for lights specifically. The TC file has to be alligned to the musical backingtrack for the cues to match, because the lights are triggered in time stamps no matter the sound.
    Also, when alligning a SMPTE file to your backingtrack, the TC file has to preroll 2-3 seconds before the actual backing track, to make sure the console recognizes it in time. It’s not too important to make an postroll, but just keep 2-3 seconds before and after, then you should be safe.

    A SMPTE file has different key values.
    It has to be in the same sound resolution as whatever sound you’re outputting from your backingtrack device. So say your backingtrack device is set to be in 44,1khz – the SMOTE file has to be 44,1khz.

    Then you need to figure out if you want it 8 or 16 bit.

    On the lighting end, you need to know how many frames the TC file should be in. to mention a few, it could be EBU 24fps, 29,97ndf (no drop frame) or 30fps.

    And finally you have to decide if you want unige TC’s for each of your backingtracks, or one single TC for the set duration.

    What happens on a show, is that you would pan this SMPTE file to Left OR right, and output a mono audio signal from your backingtrack device. This can also be done from the monitor desk before sending to FOH.
    The reason you do this, is that you have to isolate this TC file audiowise, as a TC file sounds like shit, so you dont want that on top of your music for the audience, or your foldbacks.

    For preprogramming shows with an LD, he would want you to record your set in your rehearsal space, with master L/R panned to one side, and the smpte panned to the opposite. In this way, he can feed the lighting desk or software with TC, and take the other side to a studio monitor or whatever to just here the music while recording the show.

    Final note, beware that the SMPTE file has to output at a high volume for the console to register the incomming TC.


    I saw that this post gets some attention again, so I would like to contribute the solution we settled for finally. I was looking for something laptop-less, cheap and reliable. The best solution for us was to get one of these small devices:


    I create the midi file in logic by actually programming every value as a note-on command. So there are lots of these, it’s a busy midi file. Then the utrack plays these directly to the converter which provides the dmx output. Programming was hard in the beginning, but you get used to it.

    It is somewhat limited what you can do with this. It is not really suited to control a full lighting setup. I ended up using only dmx channels 1-21, otherwise the midi was not fast enough and the light show began to lag as the midi was buffered. But that’s enough to do some nice things with lights on stage, it works great for us.

    If you want to do more I now think the best way is to get a portable but powerful lighting console like the Avolites Titan Mobile. You can then program scenes on this and use midi to trigger these scenes. From a technical point of view this is way better that the direct converter thing we use. One great advantage is that the scene programming can be done by a lighting engineer. Also he may translate the scenes to the fixtures actually available on the venue. This is a lot of hard work, but there are no limitations in what you can achieve by doing it this way. However, this is much more expensive and takes more space.

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