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Why I'm returning my RB-DMX1

I love the idea of Rekordbox Lighting - imagine rocking up to a show with a USB key, plugging it in and having all the club lights sync up to your music. Not having to pay a lighting guy's flights hotels and fee to pantomime the venues lights along with your set.

I have a low pressure gig coming up next month so I decided to give Rekordbox’s lighting functionality a shot. After 3 days of extensive testing the RB-DMX1, I’ve decided that it has a-lot of potential but I’m going to be returning it and waiting until the Rekordbox developers get their act together.

Here’s a list of things I'd like fixed before re-purchasing:

1. THE SOFTWARE:

a) Building custom automations is slow and clunky

To get any decent looking results need to custom animate each song, which is fine, but the automation system leaves a-lot to be desired - developers should take a cue from Ableton’s automation and it’s ease of use. Having the ability to zoom out a-lot further would help with copying big chunks across the track structure.

b) Custom automations don’t propagate across newly added fixtures:

When you custom automate a track in “Macro Editor”, it should be by fixture type (Par Light 1, Strobe, etc..) not by the exact fixture model. Here’s the reason:

Say you’ve built custom animations for 100 songs, and everything is syncing up perfectly on your home lighting rig. You show up to a nightclub and they don’t have the exact Par Light you tested with at home, but they have a similar one. You would then have to copy over automations on 100+ tracks before your show in order to make it work… this is impossible. If custom automations were done by fixture type, you could then just change the model of Par Light in your fixture library and everything would be fine.  This would be so easy to fix, probably 5 lines of code - I’m really surprised the developers let that one slip

This is the main reason why I wont be touring with the RB-DMX1.

c) Software is Laggy and Slow

I have a fast computer and the lighting section runs as if it was on an old windows 95 machine… stutters around the screen and when you click play it doesn’t register half the time.

d) No shortcuts?

Simply pressing spacebar to play would be be a good start - and so easy to implement, lazy programming.

e) Updates

At first I thought maybe this was released this in beta, with the intent to use customers as beta testers? But I’ve seen that the lighting software side hasn’t been updated since launch, which makes me think they might not even intend to proceed with development.

 

2. THE HARDWARE:

a) RB-DMX1 shouldn’t require a computer for performances.

The industry standard dj setup is 2 x CDJ2000s a DJM900 mixer and NO COMPUTER. The CDJ’s and DJM have enough processing power to read and send the automation data through their USB ports to the RB-DMX1.

DJ’s should be able to prepare their lighting in Rekordbox and export the tracks to USB with lighting automations included (maybe the lighting automations could be in .JSON files in a separate folder on the USB).

Adding some rudimentary control of the lighting/fixtures on the CDJ menus would be logical. This could be a bit tricky to implement but is 100% possible, and would give Rekordbox a competitive edge against SoundSwitch.

 

b) It could be way smaller:

It’s not big, but at this size it should at least include a 5-pin DMX port as-well. See “uDMX” or “ENTTEC Open DMX USB” for size comparison. Maybe one day they could just build it into the DJM-900, it’s essentially just an XLR out.

All in all, I think the Rekordbox dev team could make this 100 times better with just a few lines of code, but lack of updates and general sloppiness makes me think they don’t really care about it so I can’t in this moment recommend the RB-DMX1. 

I could be wrong though, I remember the Rekordbox software was garbage when the first CDJ2000s were released and now it runs well - I'm rooting for Rekordbox lighting!!

 

Alan Brinsmead

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Thanks for your feedback and sorry it did not meet your needs & expectations.

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