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Software decisions - What to use?


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I have LOR S4 Adv. and one 16ch 120v controller on a e1.31 to DMX bridge.  I have 3 "other guy" controllers with a total capacity of 28,560 channels (9500+ pixels) and approximate total of, for 2016, 4,600 pixels on multiple props.  Pixel count could go up to as high as 5,000 (depending how I finish some other props).  I am not sequencing to music (I lost enough hair last year with Sequencer).  My physical location does not lend itself to sequenced music - busy county road.  One driver caused a wreck last year in front of my house.  Sync'd Music is not on the menu.

Reading some more on what I need to get some reasonable control over the pixels, many questions come to mind.  So if anyone reading this has the time or experience to offer, that would be greatly appreciated.

Here is what I would like to try and do.  Make some animation sequences - lots of blinky flashy.  I am okay with using Sequencer for allot of this.  Plenty of FLOODS and STROBES to play with.

Some things I want to do are simple.  However to "SEE" what I am doing - well, that is something that I have not been able to accomplish on my computer - Visualizer does not care to work for me, including the "ENCLOSED" demo.  I wasted enough time on trying to get it to work properly.

THIS YEAR: I do have the 1200 pixel banner in front of me.  So I can get some "WHAT IF'S" answered by seeing what it does.  Yeah, still working through the cob webs too.

I want to group all the pixels for the banner and only have to set ONE channel of RGB - have not discovered if it applies to all channels, that would be a plus.  I am looking at this action later on today.  It would be INSANE to program EACH PIXEL - WOW!

I have many, in LOR terms, CCRs across the gutters and under the eaves and on props.  I have a 18' mega tree 1024 pixels, this year making it a half circle.  I have a 1200 pixel banner, several in house designed "11 bar" fans - 1 with dumb RGB/DMX and 3 with smart pixels.

The banner would do some words, pictures and Christmas sort of display.  I would LIKE to have the mega tree do colors, go all blinky flashy with random colors, all white twinkle and act as a real time Frequency Graphic Display - for some music.  So - What I am thinking is this.  I am considering some additional software to help me "DESIGN" something that looks OK.  The masses around here would appreciate it.

Now - getting the Pixel Editor upgrade is OKAY.  I see I can do quite a few things but on a PIXEL LEVEL?  I feel it would take me at least a year to get something working - I played around with the demo version last year.

Super Star is where the complexity comes in.  SS would only be needed for two props, 2024 pixels (6072 channels).  It would be nice to use some music as a starting point and edit some other effects into it as it is needed.  The text abilities are interesting as I have used that successfully with some OTHER software - it is not geared towards props but does some real great video, effects and JPEG rendering.  So the OTHER guy is out as many of us in this wonderful hobby try to keep expenses at a minimum. 

The issue is using SSS with "THE OTHER HARDWARE" AND having to get a large enough version to handle ALL the channels or just for the ones I need.  That flexibility is something I have not found confirming information on.  The OTHER thought is to switch between the two props keeping the total channels to a max of 3600.  That scheme would fit perfectly into what I have in mind without breaking the bank.  Nope, no deep pockets here!

So I am considering what to do.  WS2812 pixels have a color depth 8x8x8 or 512 bits.  These are the pixels I use.  I can cut and re-arrange them any way I need.  This flexibility is important for my designs.

IF SuperStar can help operate the pixels I have and fit into the two props I need it to without going all out and almost waging war (the missus is a bean counter) - I am considering the upgrade.

Sure, I have looked at some other software options ...mostly CRASH AND BURN or short of a TRAIN WRECK or requiring a PhD in physics.  I.E. real steep learning curve.

In other areas:  I have one dedicated network and a older server running Win 7 to run the show.  I use e1.31 to DMX bridges to handle 4 universes and have a capacity of 59 universes.  At 48% of capacity but could hit 50% this year.

Thanks for your time and any insight,





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Both LOR and xLights you don't need to worry about controlling each pixel. You just put an effect on the prop and the program does the rest. same as a matrix, eg; in xLights use the text effect, write your text and voila (well almost :) ).

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