M A R T I N L I G H T I N G D I R E C T O R Performer-activated show control system USER MANUAL Version 1.1...
Martin Professional A/S, Denmark by APR inc. GAMS Core Tracking technology is licensed non-exclusively to Martin Professional A/S by APR. Martin Lighting Director is a trademark of Martin Professional A/S. Other product names mentioned may be trademarks or registered trademarks of other companies.
Martin World Wide Web site at www.martin.dk/mld/ Side note: This manual can be retrieved in electronic form from the Martin web site. You will need Adobe acrobat reader software to view it. MLD manual 1.1...
Chapter 1 of this manual discusses hardware and software installation for a PC computer. If you have purchased the MLD pre-installed by your Martin dealer then you can skip this chapter. Chapter 2 shows you how to calibrate and configure the system in your performance or rehearsal space.
What is the Martin Lighting Director? The Martin Lighting Director is a 3D tracking system for lighting and show control. It uses unique, patented technology to determine the 3D position of up to four “trackers” in a performance area. The MLD offers unprecedented lighting automation features while integrating seamlessly into your existing control system: —...
How does the Martin Lighting Director work? The MLD system uses a proprietary tracking system developed by APR inc. of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The tracking is done by firing ultrasonic pulses from four speakers in the corners of the stage and measuring the “time of flight” between each speaker's pulse emission and the pulse detection by the tracker microphone.
What’s included with the MLD package? The following items comprise the Martin Lighting Director package (order # 920901): 1 MLD software 3.5” diskette 1 Manual 1 MLD hardware card with cable to connect to the external box 1 MLD rackmount external box with universal power supply 4 Ultrasonic speakers with mounting brackets and 4 x 20 m cables 1 Standard power supply cable for the MLD external box I.
(the standard MLD package comes with one) b) look at the example on Appendix H, and c) consult the Martin web site for late-breaking instructions and case studies on how to modify radios www.martin.dk/mld/ System Requirements The Martin Lighting Director runs on a dedicated PC compatible computer.
CHAPTER 1 - PC Installation If the Martin Lighting Director card and software have been pre-installed onto your PC you may skip this chapter. IMPORTANT NOTE: this chapter assumes that you are familiar with certain basic terminology and methods required when installing new hardware and software on a PC.
SOFTWARE INSTALLATION The MLD software comes on a single 3.5" high density (1.44 MB) disk and runs under MS-DOS. This manual covers software version 1.1. You may want to check the Martin website at www.martin.dk/mld/ for upgrades and maintenance releases.
system. You are ready to go! (Please see the “Manual Installation” section below if you would like to see a detailed discussions of all the modifications). Installer options There are four options available in the installer program: 1) Install from: a:\ Allows you to specify in which drive and in which directory the software is.
- mld.lod firmware support file for mld.exe - mldmic.lod firmware support file for mld.exe - vesa.dat graphics support file for install.exe - testvesa.exe support file for install.exe - dmxtest.exe dmx lighting board emulator program - dmxmon.exe dmx monitor program - dmx.dat graphics support file for dmxtest and dmxmon 2) In your config.sys file, look for a line that says files=xx, where xx is a number.
Run the MLD software from Windows 95 To run the MLD software look for the file called MLD.EXE and double click on its icon. A warning message will appear, saying the program is in DOS mode and that to continue all the other programs need to be closed. Click YES to continue. The MLD will load and the main editor screen should appear.
CHAPTER 2 - System Calibration The Martin Lighting Director uses four ultrasonic emitters as a reference frame to find wireless trackers on the stage. The following is a step by step guide for setting up the emitters; experienced users will find that the calibration will take them less than 30 minutes.
2. Mount your speakers Mount the four speakers on the corners of the stage by clamping them to trussing, static props, walls or the ceiling. Make sure the speakers are mounted on static structures so the frame of reference for tracking does not vary after calibration. Set up the speakers so they are about the same height above the floor, ideally between 5 and 9 m (16 and 30 feet) high.
4. Connect the trackers' radio receivers a) If you are using modified Samson wireless microphone systems from Martin: Using the supplied male to male 1/4” phono jack cable(s), the output of each tracker’s radio receiver should be plugged into one of the four female 1/4" (6.35 mm) jacks on the MLD box.
12V DC current 100mA each. If you are using modified Samson wireless microphone systems from Martin (or if your radio receivers can be powered by 12V DC 100mA) connect each receiver to any of the four DC power plugs using the supplied cable, —a red status light should come on to indicate it is ready for operation.
6. Prepare your tracker(s) The MLD tracker is a modified wireless microphone that detects the ultrasonic pulses and sends radio signals back to the MLD system. It consists of the following parts: mini XLR plug power and mute ultrasonic microphone radio transmitter 1 1 1 0 0 0...
Figure 7 - Speaker Test screen. Clicking on the icons generates audible tones from the speakers. 8. Calibrate your speakers The MLD must know the precise 3D location of the four speakers with respect to the origin; this is called “calibrating the speakers”. First, choose the units that the MLD will use, centimetres or inches, by clicking in the appropriate radio button in the “Set-up”...
AUTOMATIC CALIBRATION is the most common method for setting up the tracking system. This method entails measuring the distances, in centimeters (or inches, if those are the units that have been selected), between the five gaffer-tape stage- markings and then using the tracker to correlate those distances to actual speaker positions.
The five stage markings will not appear on your editor window because the program hides them as it knows that they are default values that do not correspond to your real markings, since no tracker measurements were made. Side note: by pressing the editor’s “Options” button, you may view these default calibration points and set a different “interactive perimeter”.
exactly that height over the markings b) press the “Use Automatic” button so that the calculated values appear for speaker positions in the Manual Irregular fields, c) add the number 150 (which is 1.5 m) to each of the z values, and d) Press the “Use Manual Irregular” button to use the new values.
CHAPTER 3 - Light and Media Set-up In this chapter you will learn how to define and calibrate lighting fixtures and other media for use with the MLD. The system is very flexible and it is designed to work in a wide variety of configurations which we will review here.
Figure 13 - Dream configuration: MLD completely interconnected to Martin Case boards. Here the MLD and the Martin CASE board are interconnected so that they have complete bi-directional communication. Apart from both the CASE and the MLD controlling directly the fixtures connected to the DMX splitter, the MLD may also Page 30 MLD manual 1.1...
Figure 14 - MLD connected directly to the Martin 3032 controller Here the MLD is hooked up to the Martin 3032 control system using the Martin DMX remote interface. The MLD DMX signal is “split” so that the 3032 reacts to certain commands in predetermined channels while letting “go through”...
1 1 1 0 0 0 MLD - PC MLD box Light 1 Light 2 MIDI DMX 512 card card DMX cable 26-pin cable to other lights controlled by MLD and console DMX cables to other lights (not controlled by MLD except MIDI MIDI cables by MIDI cue...
BASIC LIGHT DEFINITION The MLD system needs to know specific information about the lights that you will be controlling. To enter this information choose “Set-up” in the main screen of the MLD software and click on the “Lighting Set-up” option. Figure 16 - Lighting Set-up screen To define a light, first click on one of the 64 buttons grouped in the “Lights Available”...
Side note: If the chosen fixture is a moving light then the light definition box will show a section labelled “Follow-spot data”, as shown in the previous figure; otherwise, this section will not appear. At any point you may click on the “light model” option to go to the fixture library and choose a different light model.
AUTOMATED FOLLOWSPOT CALIBRATION If the light that you are defining will be used as an automated followspot, you need to do a followspot calibration. The MLD needs to know the exact position and orientation of the light that you want to convert into a followspot. You may enter this information manually, but this can be a tedious procedure, particularly if your fixture is difficult to reach or if you have several fixtures to measure.
upstage mark calibration pt 1 stage left mark stage right mark calibration pt. 4 calibration pt. 3 centre stage mark downstage mark calibration pt.2 Figure 20 - Speaker calibration markings being used to calibrate followspots Or ii) define new lighting calibration points. Mark the vertices of a large square or rectangle with some gaffer tape on the stage floor.
Figure 21 - Pointing the light to the calibration points using the MLD controller Or ii) Use your DMX console. If you have a DMX console connected to the MLD you may find it easier to point the light at the calibration points by using the console’s trackball, touchpad, tablet, joystick or sliders rather than using the MLD controller.
Side note: nothing will happen if you select fixtures for calibration that cannot be used as followspots or that have not been pointed to the four light calibration points. Press the “Calibrate selected lights” button to let the Martin Lighting Director calculate the three-dimensional position and orientation of all your selected lights. If you are calibrating many lights this process may take several seconds to compute.
2. MANUAL SET-UP If for some reason automatic calibration of followspot fixtures is not possible, you may directly enter the data for each fixture by physically measuring its position and orientation in relation to the centre of your stage. This information can be entered in the "Manual"...
upstage ROTATION Lighting fixture shown from above Direction of 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 (bird's eye view). positive motion 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 At this position the rotation is zero 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0...
upstage ROTATION 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 Direction of Lighting fixture positive motion 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 shown from above 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 (bird's eye view). 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 At this position the rotation is zero...
Side note: for finer remote control options see the “map control” section in chapter 5. MIDI If you have installed a MIDI card and would like to enable the Martin Lighting Director to have MIDI control, simply choose “Set-up” from the main screen and click on the “MIDI enabled”...
Side note: you may enable MIDI functionality even if you do not have a MIDI card installed. This was done to allow you to design maps that later could be used with a card. IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are planning to use MIDI with the MLD we recommend running the software from MS-DOS because Windows may interfere with normal operation.
BACKING UP YOUR SETTINGS Once you have set up and calibrated your tracking system, light configuration and other media, it is advisable to make a back-up copy of the file “mld.cfg” which can be found in the “mld” directory in MS-DOS. In the unlikely event that the mld.cfg file gets corrupted (for example after a system crash or power outage) you may replace it with the back-up copy rather than having to recalibrate everything.
CHAPTER 4 - Automated followspot Quick Start The Martin Lighting Director features powerful software that lets you define sophisticated automated behaviour for intelligent lights and media. The software is described in detail in the next chapter. This chapter concerns only a very specific task: to enable automated follow spot functionality so that moving lights lock onto designated performers.
Here are the necessary steps to have the MLD control pan and tilt for a number of lights to follow two performers, all of the other DMX channels being controlled by a lighting board: 1. Install your hardware and software as described in chapter 1. 2.
CHAPTER 5 - Layer Media The Martin Lighting Director software lets you define relationships between the position and velocity of the performer(s) being tracked by the system and media such as lighting, music or other audiovisual equipment. Using the MLD software you can specify when, where, how and what will happen when your performers move in predefined areas of the stage.
you move the mouse pointer towards stage left the first coordinate display shows positive values, while if you move the mouse pointer towards stage right it shows negative values. Similarly, as you move your mouse pointer towards upstage the second coordinate display shows positive values, while if you move it towards downstage it shows negative values.
LAYERS (WHERE?) The first thing to do when trying to define media behaviour is to tell the Martin Lighting Director where you would like the definition to be applicable. This is done by drawing regions in a layer in the map editor. Often it is desirable to have a single behaviour be enabled over the entire stage, as in the examples in chapter 4.
To zoom out, you select the “zoom-out” tool, represented by a magnifying glass with a minus sign and click on the editor: this will zoom out incrementally one step with every mouse click. Side note: double clicking the “zoom-in” tool will force the editor to zoom exactly to the area delimited by the interactive perimeter, which is the area where tracking will take place.
Defining layer heights By default, when you draw a layer you tell the Martin Lighting Director that you want media behaviour to be applicable over the defined area at all heights. Occasionally, it is desirable for the layer to be disabled at a particular height. This can be done by pressing the “Layer Height”...
DEFINING MEDIA ASSIGNMENTS (WHAT?) Once you have designed a layer, you will define what you want to happen in that layer. Click on the “Layer Media” option on the main screen. The screen that appears shows two areas: one for Light and one for MIDI control. This light and MIDI control is applicable only for the layer selected (highlighted with a red box) at the time that you clicked on the Layer Media button.
Figure 30 - Light control screen AUTOMATED FOLLOWSPOT CONTROL Setting automated follow spot functionality is quite easy. Simply choose the lighting fixture that you would like to become a followspot and click on its “Light Control” box. This will bring up the lighting control screen. Click on the “make followspot” button to enable that light to follow your performer in the area that you defined for the current layer.
on the name of the parameter the box becomes deselected and the control of that parameter of that light will revert to the lighting console. When you are finished designing a static look, the lighting parameter boxes that will be controlled by the MLD will be highlighted in red;...
DYNAMIC CONTROL Light assignment screens have an area called “Dynamic light control”. Inside this area are buttons specifying all the DMX parameters that can be controlled by the MLD in real-time. If you want, for example, to change the dimmer value of your light gradually as your performer moves on the stage you will select the “dimmer”...
DEFINING LAYER MEDIA BEHAVIOUR (HOW?) If you have chosen to do dynamic control of lighting parameters, the “Layer Media Behaviour” area at the bottom of the “Layer Media” screen lets the MLD know how you would like the parameters controlled. First, decide in which dimension you would like to establish a relationship.
Figure 33 - Bell shaped dynamic control curve. The DMX channel will start at zero at stage right and then increase to a maximum of 255 at the centre of the stage and then come back down gradually to zero at stage left.
pointer over the curve and pressing the right mouse button. On the floating window that appears you may draw the curve point by point. To exit the zooming function click outside the floating window. If you want to draw straight lines instead of curves you select a starting point by double clicking with the left mouse button and then select a finishing point for the line by pressing the left mouse button.
Figure 36 - Dynamic control curve applies to all regions in a single layer. IMPORTANT NOTE: the outlines in the graphical editor will always represent the area that can be see in the map editor. This means that they will be zoomed in or out according to what you have selected in the main screen.
You may click on the “flip” button to invert your curve and on “copy” to load a curve that you already designed for a different layer. Press OK to accept your curve or cancel to ignore the data. As you return to the edit media screen please remember that there can only be one behaviour curve per layer.
Map. A map is the fundamental file format for the Martin Lighting Director. You may save maps by clicking on the “save map” option and choosing a file name and a directory (the current directory for the MLD is set by default).
Figure 37 - Map remote control triggers for loading and unloading a map. “follow2” would have a single layer made-up of a region covering the whole stage, with the 30 fixtures set to be followspots and tracker 2 selected. In the “Map Control”...
Map notes You may add notes to your current map by pressing on the "Map Notes" button. Here you may want to store information such as your map control triggers, what cues the map is associated to, which performer will wear each tracker, what each layer is for, your lighting base channels, and so on.
CHAPTER 6 - Real-time mode Real-time mode allows the Martin Lighting Director to track performers on stage and to send and receive data according to the behaviours programmed in the map editor. To enter real-time mode simply click on the “Real Time” option on the main MLD screen.
• If all the boxes are red: the tracker is not receiving pulses from any speaker. Make sure the tracker has a fresh battery, is “on” with mute “off” and that it is enabled. Ensure the MLD external box and the tracker radio receiver are “on”. Go to tracker calibration in the set-up screen to choose an ideal radio receiver volume.
SETTING TRACKING PARAMETERS The real-time screen features interactive control of the following tracking parameters: Sample rate - This is the number of readings per second that the system is taking. A value of 24 is the maximum for a tracking area of 10 x 6 m (33 x 20 ft). Refer to chapter 8 for an in-depth discussion of sampling rate issues and a formula to calculate the maximum rate for your stage.
Mouse test If you want to test a map without actually having to use a tracker on the stage you can press the “Mouse test” button. This mode allows you to see a simulated tracker as a little dot on the editor. As you move the mouse on the map editor it controls the X and Y coordinates.
sets the same fixture to an iris value of 10 the fixture will only receive the latter instruction and the user will only see an iris of 10. This resolves possible DMX conflicts according to the “latest takes precedence” rule, also called “the last one wins”, which in the MLD real-time mode follows the sequence presented above.
Interface”, the protocol is now in use in a variety of non-musical devices such as lighting boards, voltage controllers, smoke machines, SMPTE-to-MIDI converters, etcetera. The Martin Lighting Director has built-in support for MIDI IN/OUT/THRU. The MLD software can recognize and utilize the Roland Mpu-401 card, the de facto standard MIDI card for the PC.
used because MIDI features sixteen channels that can be easily addressed as hexadecimal $0 to $F. Appendix C has a decimal to hexadecimal conversion table. Side note: in this manual a $ sign precedes all hexadecimal numbers so as to not confuse them with decimal numbers.
DYNAMIC CONTROL EXAMPLE Suppose what you wanted was for the performer to control the volume of MIDI channel 12 so that as he or she raised and lowered his or her arms the volume would increase and decrease accordingly. Again, the first thing to do is to click on the MIDI enabled box and look for the MIDI channel volume control command, which is: Bx yy zz where x is the channel number minus one from $0 to $F (decimal 0 to 15), yy is the...
LIST OF MIDI COMMANDS The first byte in a MIDI command is the command definition byte, also called status byte, which indicates what type of MIDI command it is; it must range between $80 and $FF hexadecimal (128 to 255 decimal). Most other bytes, called data bytes, can range only between 00 and $7F hexadecimal (0 to 127 decimal).
Undefined Part of MIDI time code F2 yy zz Song position yy=least significant, zz=most significant pointer F3 yy Song Select yy=song number F4 yy MLD tempo yy=tempo deviation ($00 to $7F, $40 is no change, control smaller than $40 slows tempo down, larger than $40 speeds tempo up) Undefined Tune request...
Layer defaults The radio buttons to the right of the MIDI enabling box are the “Layer Defaults” which have eight short cuts to common MIDI commands. When you press any of them the byte boxes will show appropriate hexadecimal values for that command, always for MIDI channel 1.
CHAPTER 8 - Tips to optimize system performance Chapter 2 presented the speaker positions for ideal MLD tracking. In real life it is sometimes impossible to set speakers on the corners of the stage, at the same height, and at right angles to each other, because movable trusses, large props, screens or curtains may block some speakers and deteriorate or stop tracking.
2. At any given point there should be at least 3 speakers with a clear line of sight to the tracker microphone. Three readings are needed to triangulate the tracker position in 3D. If the speakers are all placed on one side, or if the tracker is worn where it could be blocked from more than one speaker at a time the tracking will stop until it receives pulses from at least 3 speakers.
KEY FOR THE FOLLOWING DIAGRAMS: Speaker (number is height in metres) 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 Stage area 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 Interactive area 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 Speaker area IDEAL:...
SAMPLING RATE The MLD allows selection of a tracking sampling rate via the “Sampling rate” control in the real-time screen. The maximum recommended sampling rate is determined by the size of the tracking area and is dependent on room geometry. Generally, lower sampling rates result in more stable positioning readings (although one can trade this off somewhat by changing the number of samples averaged to stabilize readings at higher sampling rates).
In this short chapter there are a few exercises which might be useful to rehearse the broad range of effects and applications that are possible with the Martin Lighting Director, beyond simulating followspots. The examples are taken from real live situations.
DMX values (e.g. the Martin Case). After calibrating the MLD and fixtures, you can take the tracker and “put” the lights wherever you want on the stage, then capture pan and tilt with the console.
CHAPTER 10 - System maintenance TRACKER MAINTENANCE Every time you turn on a tracker its diagnostic LED will flash once, showing that power has been applied. During MLD operation, the LED may, from time to time, flash when it is close to any of the ultrasonic speakers. This indicates a strong pulse reception. This flashing, if it occurs at all, will not harm the tracker in any way.
Side note: there are no serviceable parts inside the tracker, please do not open the belt pack or the filter except for changing batteries. SPEAKER AND FIXTURE MAINTENANCE Once you have calibrated the MLD you do not need any further calibrations if you have set your speakers and fixtures in stable, fixed positions.
MLD tracker. So far, both UHF and VHF systems have been adapted successfully, from manufacturers such as Samson, Shure, Senheiser and Vega. Contact your Martin dealer for details or check www.martin.dk/mld/ What is the maximum area I can cover with one MLD system? •...
Check our web site http://www.martin.dk/mld/ for the latest releases of MLD fixture drivers. • Send us an email at email@example.com with the subject heading “mld wishlist”. What is the difference between the terminology “stage”, “interactive area” and “speaker area”? •...
APPENDIX B - MLD card jumper settings To prepare the MLD hardware card for installation on the user’s PC computer system, a memory address not already in use on the PC must be selected for the card. This address is selected by moving the dip switches on the MLD card. The dip switches can be located at the end of the card, on the side farthest away from the bracket that attaches the card to the chassis of the computer.
Martin 3032 DMX remote - 1 addressing mode Martin Case board in Slave Mode - 1 addressing mode Side note: connecting certain Martin fixtures to the MLD requires a special 5 pin to 3 pin cable. Please consult your fixture’s documentation for details.
APPENDIX E - Serial output format ASCII Data The MLD outputs a data record (45 bytes) in the following format: W, 5 chars, 5 chars, 5 chars, 5 chars, 5 chars, 5 chars, 5 chars, E Where W can be 1, 2, 3, 4 and identifies the tracker The 5 character packets correspond to: Pressure (or button), X pos, Y pos, Z pos, X vel, Y vel, and Z vel the packets are separated by an ASCII comma “,”.
PCT/CA95/00180 Hardware / Software The Martin Lighting Director (MLD) consists of an ISA card for a PC computer, an external “break-out” box, four ultrasonic speakers, one to four wireless trackers, one to four radio receivers, and MLD software. The system sends and receives MIDI data using an optional MIDI card, raw data via any serial port on the PC and DMX512 through the industry standard 5-pin DMX connectors on the MLD break-out box.
APPENDIX G - Troubleshooting Usually, when things do not work correctly with the Martin Lighting Director, the problem comes from one of three main sources: PC computer configuration problems, cabling problems, or power problems. The MLD software does not run •...
• Restart your computer. If you can replicate the bug that caused the crash please email the bug terminator at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include “MLD bug” in the subject heading of your email and relevant information on your system set-up. •...
• Avoid radio interference. Take the normal precautions in operating wireless systems: use different frequencies for each tracker and avoid using other radio equipment in those frequencies. To ensure that the tracker radio channels do not receive significant noise signals you may use the tracker calibration screen with the tracker OFF.
APPENDIX H - Modifying Wireless Mics to become trackers The MLD’s microphone assembly consists of a small ultrasonic microphone, a filter and a mini-XLR plug. Looking into the mini XLR connector that plugs into the radio we need: 1: Ground 2: Supply Voltage (around +9v) 3: Signal In Here we will use the Samson VLXTD wireless system as an example.
If the radio receiver in your modified wireless system outputs a mic-level signal, please make sure that the signal is amplified before it reaches the MLD. Please refer to the Martin website for information and case studies on the modification needed for other radios www.martin.dk/mld/ Page 100 MLD manual 1.1...