Disclaimer: What you see above is purely a design mockup, heavily inspired by Capo, and will likely change drastically.

LightShift is an idea of mine that is still in the conceptual phase. Most traditional lighting consoles used today are cue-based, meaning that lighting is programmed by recording many (often hundreds) of preset lighting looks called cues, which are then faded between and advanced through in order to fit the designer’s needs and the action of the show. While this works great for theater, it is completely unintuitive for programming lighting to fit with music. Even the more advanced modern lighting consoles still use complicated, unintuitive interfaces and cue- or tracking-based systems for controlling lighting levels.

The idea behind LightShift is that the most intuitive interface for programming lighting to music is one that relates changes in lighting directly to the music, second by second; that is, directly in a timeline along with the music. This would allow lighting designers (and beginners alike) to easily sync lighting “events” to key moments in the music, layer extremely complex lighting effects by placing lighting blocks in multiple lighting “tracks” on the timeline, easily save specific lighting effects for use later, and easily sync the music and lighting on playback. Not only is this interface a natural fit for designing lighting to music, but it’s also extremely familiar to anyone who’s used video or audio editing software before. Such a system would even allow the designer to “scrub” through their lighting and audio, playing back the lighting (and audio) at variable speed or repeatedly skipping back to a certain section to fine-tune the lighting.

Currently I only have the user interface mockup and design concepts. My hope is I will at some point have enough free time to learn the programming skills necessary to actually create this. My tentative plan is to use C++ and Qt, along with a custom GUI, to make it as cross-platform as possible. It will likely support the Entec Pro USB-to-DMX interface to begin with, with other interface support to follow if there is demand.