Synthe-FX blows my mind. The company has recently released two different products that exploit DMX via Art-Net to turn your Mac into a media server and your iPhone/iPod Touch into a full-featured lighting control console.
Their new app Luminair gives you a full DMX universe of advanced control straight from your iPhone or iPod Touch. Just download Luminair from the app store for a hundred bucks (pricey for an app, but worth it) and plug an Airport Express (or other Wi-Fi router) into an Art-Net DMX interface (like Enttec’s ODE), and you have the lightest and smallest console out there. Luminair has a brilliant and refined user-Interface, with powerful touch-optimized controls throughout the app. Some of the highlights include wide fader controls, large trigger buttons, RGB and CMY color pickers, XY controls with accelerometer support, and easy touch-based channel assignment. You can even snap pictures of your cues, then use a Cover Flow interface to select the cue visually during playback. Use the aptly named companion application LCompanion on your Mac to build profiles and transfer images and data to your Luminair-enabled mobile device. It even packs WYSIWYG support, enabling you to create looks in Cast Software’s application for upload to Luminair.
On the Mac front, Synthe-FX’s Pixelnode plug-in (a free download!) for Quartz Composer allows you to use an Art-Net interface to control Quartz patches with DMX input. With a little tinkering in Quartz Composer, you can custom create media playback engines with absolute show specificity for outputting full HD content to the display of your choice. You can even use the tool to create and control iTunes visualizers, so not only can you control attributes through DMX, but the visuals will pulse and respond to the music as well. And, of course, as Synthe-FX puts it: “Pixelnode is the perfect companion to Luminair.”
I’m looking forward to experimenting with Pixelnode in combination with Qlab’s ability to apply a Quartz renderer to video cues. I also cannot wait to see what Synthe-FX comes up with for the iPad.