QLC+ features tour

2.11.2014


Fixtures


In QLC+ the representation of a lighting device is called "fixture" (other softwares call them "personalities")
QLC+ comes already with a library of around 400 ready-made fixtures of several makers that you can add to your projects with a few clicks.
When adding fixtures, you can decide their address, the universe they belong to, their mode, their quantity and the DMX address gap between multiple fixtures.

Fixture editor


In case a fixture is not present in the QLC+ fixtures library, a complete editor to create new fixtures is bundles together with QLC+.
The QLC+ Fixture Editor is a powerful application to create a fixture of the type you desire (Color changer, Laser, Moving head, Smoke, Scanner, etc..), all the modes described in the product manual and all the capabilities of each channel.
In this way, using a fixture in QLC+ is very easy and intuitive.

RGB Panels


QLC+ has a dedicated panel to rapidly create the necessary elements to work with RGB panels.
With just a few clicks, QLC+ will create the fixtures representing your RGB panel either composed by RGB strips or LED bars. Once a panel is represented, it is very easy to start adding animations with the RGB Matrix functionality.

Fixture groups


Fixtures can be grouped together following the desired logical scheme (for example by universe, by stage area, by meaning, etc..)
QLC+ can represent a fixture group as a grid where each cell represent a fixture's head.
In QLC+ a head corresponds to an actual light source. For example LED bars can have multiple heads.
Fixture groups are the perfect basis to work with the RGB Matrix functionality and easily animate your lights saving you precious time and giving you the maximum flexibility during a live show.

Channel groups


Channel groups are another important tool that QLC+ offers to increase the productivity during the deisgn phase of a light show.
They represent a group of DMX channels either of the same or different functionality and expose a single slider to control them all. So for example if you have 30 RGB moving heads and you want to set them all to blue, it will take just one click with channel groups.
Channel groups can also be controlled with an external controller like a MIDI or a DMX device so you're not even forced to use the mouse.

Input and Output


QLC+ supports a wide variety of input/output interfaces of several vendors. The standard implementation of USB-DMX, MIDI, ArtNet, E1.31, OSC, HID or even SPI, allows you to choose the best option to control your light shows.
QLC+ supports an arbitrary number of DMX universes and each universe can have one input, one output and one feedback line, in case your external controller has motorized faders or backlight-capable buttons.
An input controller can also be associated to an input profile, to have a mnemonic meaning of each signal detected by QLC+.

Functions


The heart of a light show in QLC+ is composed by "Functions".
Functions represent either static scenes, animations, groups of functions or multimedia elements.
Here's a brief overview of each type of function:
  • Scene: it's a 1-to-1 representation of the DMX values of the desired channels. A Scene can have its own fade-in and fade-out time
  • Chaser: it's a sequential order of functions reproduced one after each other. The playback order can be decided and each step can have a default, common or specific fade-in, fade-out or hold time
  • Sequence: it's similar to Chaser with the difference that it is bound to a Scene function. All the steps of a Sequence represent the channel values of the bound Scene
  • EFX: a powerful tool dedicated to moving heads and scanners, to make movement animations. A number of presets get you started in no time
  • RGB Matrix: a tool dedicated to create colorful animations based on fixture groups. It supports a number of JavaScript based presets, bitmap animations or audio capture based visual effects
  • Audio: represents the playback of an audio file with the possibility to set a fade-in and fade-out time
  • Collection: it's a function to group multiple functions. When a Collection is started, all the grouped funcions are started at once
  • Script: a QLC+ scripting tool to automate a sequence of actions and achieve an infinite number of functionalities
To increase the design speed, functions can be organized in folders nad subfolders so when a big number of functions have been created, it will be faster to find and edit them.

Function Editors


Each QLC+ function has a dedicated editor that allows to visually create and tune a function.
Editors implement functionalities such as copy/paste, time tuning through a dedicated dialog, color settings, preset selection, resources loading, and many more.
Most of the function editors give the possibility to test the function right away and they usually give a graphics preview of the animation or the preset selected.

Function Wizard


QLC+ includes a powerful function wizard that can help users to quicky create functions without the need to go thtough a manual process that sometimes can take several minutes.
In just three steps, the wizard will guide you from fixtures to functions, and from functions to virtual console widgets.
All you need to do is to check the elements you'll need from the list of proposed functions and widgets.

Simple Desk


For those users coming from traditional DMX consoles, QLC+ includes a panel called "Simple Desk".
Basically it tries to reproduce what you can find on traditional consoles, but with a few more functionalities.
Each DMX channel has a visual representation to be easily identified. It is possible to display channels as pages or by fixture.
There's a dedicated section for cues playback where users can record DMX channels and save them for quick recall.
In this panel, channel groups can be used as well to speed up the creation of a cue.

DMX Monitor


During a live show, you might want to make sure the DMX values of certain channels are set as you expect. QLC+ includes a visual monitor that can display DMX values of each channel either organized by universe or by giving you a complete view of all your fixtures.
DMX values can be displayed as numbers or percentage values.

2D Preview Monitor


To give you an even better preview of you light show, QLC+ monitor can also be set in 2D preview mode.
This mode is the front view representation of a stage with the essential visual information that can give you the idea of how your light show looks like.
This tool is very useful when preparing a light show without the actual devices at hand.
It works in real time and all you need to do is to place your fixtures in the position where they will be placed on a stage.
This mode allows you also to set a background image to give you an even better view of the final result.

Show Manager


The Show Manager is a whole world inside QLC+. It targets those needs where users need to synchronize their lights with either an audio or video source.
It works like the most common multitrack sequencers (DAWs), thus giving you a visual representation of light sequences in a graphics multitrack view, allowing to drag lighting elements along a timeline.
The Show Manager supports almost all the QLC+ Functions and has a number of features to stretch, lock, align items, as well as to work on a BPM based timeline.

Virtual Console


The Virtual Console is the graphics space that actually allows you to control your light shows during live events.
It visually displays a number of so called widgets and aim to represent all the QLC+ Functions and their parameters that have been defined during the design phase.
It overcome the traditional fixed-layout consoles with the power of a software based engine, where you can add, colour, move and resize the widgets you need to achieve the best efficiency during live events.
Every widget is designed to be controlled with the mouse, with a touchscreen or with your favourite external controller, either MIDI, DMX, ArtNet, E1.31 or OSC.
With an external controller you will operate on your lights in the traditional way, with buttons and faders, but with the power of a flexible software engine running your show.
Following, a brief overview of each widget that can be added to the Virtual Console.


Button widget


The button widget is a fundamental element of a Virtual Console, as it represents the On/Off state of a Function, thus when your lights are lit or shut.
A button has a 1-to-1 connection with a Function and can be configured to be controlled either with an external controller button or with a key combination from an ordinary keyboard or equivalent device.
A button can also be configured to work in a toggle or a hold state. In the first case you'll have to press it twice to activate/deactivate it, while in the second case, it will be activated as long as you keep it pressed.
When right clicking a button in operate mode, it will display a menu to control the associated Function properties, such as the intensity.

Slider widget


The Slider widget is another simple, yet very powerful, element for your Virtual Console. It represents a fader (like those in traditional DMX consoles) but can be configured to cover very different behaviours depending on your needs.
  • Level mode: directly control the level of the specified DMX channels
  • Playback mode: controls the intensity of the associated QLC+ Function. When the slider value is 0 the Function is stopped, otherwise it runs at the desired intensity
  • Submaster mode: if a slider is placed into a Virtual Console Frame, it will control the Functions' intensity of the other widgets in the same Frame.
A Slider in level mode has an additional feature called Click & Go. This feature works on colour channels, RGB groups, colour macros and gobos. When activated, an additional button will be displayed at the bottom of the widget, allowing you to visually select the desired colour/macro with just one click.
A Slider can be adjusted with an external controller fader, either MIDI, DMX, ArtNet, E1.31 or OSC.


Cue List widget


The Cue List widget is the ideal representation of a QLC+ Chaser or, in other words, a pre-programmed sequence of scenes (Cues).
It is by far the most used widget in theatres, where the show must follow a pre-determined sequence of acts.
The widget allows manual control to play/stop the show and to go the the next or previous cue. Two additional faders can be also used to manually crossfade between cues when the timings on the stage require a manual intervention.


Frame widget


Frames are simply containers of other widgets. However, they offer a number of features that will help you to setup powerful Virtual Console when a lot of widgets are needed for a show.
In QLC+ there are two types of Frames: normal and solo frames.
Normal frames are ordinary containers, where multiple widgets can be activated at the same time, while in Solo frames, only one widget at the time can be activated. This means, for example, that when several buttons are placed in a Solo frame, clicking on a button will deactivate all the other active buttons, thus always keeping just one Function running.
Frames can be collapsed to save space or enabled/disabled to use the same external controls on different widgets in different frames.
Frames can also be configured in multi page mode and the switch from a page to another can be controlled by a key sequence or an external controller input.


XY Pad widget


The XY Pad widget is a widget dedicated to moving heads. It represents an area when you can move a cursor along the XY axes and control the position of a group of moving heads.
It gives the indication of the position in degrees and it also includes some additional controls to adjust the movements working area. For example if your moving heads are installed close to a ceiling, you can avoid them to point to blind spots.

Animation widget


The Animation widget is meant to be the ultimate solution to control light animations during live events. It is strictly bound to a RGB Matrix function, so it controls a pre-determined group of fixtures mapped during the deisgn phase.
It allows to control the master intensity of the animation, the start and end color, the loaded preset. It also allows composed shortcuts that can be associated to external controller buttons or faders.

...to be continued...many more features are yet to be described here...