Joe de Max

Central Control 4 Now Available!

Today we are excited to announce the release of Central Control Version 4, an update the pushes Central Control forward once more. It features both new Central Control exclusives as well as new modules and also some important quality of life improvements.


Connect

Central Control Connect allows for ultra low latency video monitoring of sources in resolutions of up to 4K, supporting both internal video sources such as the teleprompter and production clocks, as well as NDI Sources. The stream is accessed via a web browser making it possible to view it on almost any device – laptops, tablets, phones, smart TVs and even VR Headsets. Central Control Connect also levarages the GPU to ensure minimal resource usage!


X-Keys Improvements

Central Control now supports the usage of multiple of the same type of X-Keys, simply by setting the unit IDs uniquely. Further more, there are 3 new modules for new X-Keys on the modular series.


Magewell

Central Control 4 has new modules for Magewell’s new Director Mini, allowing easy control over camera switching, graphics as well as audio, complete with VU meters and scribble strips when using the Behringer X-Touch. There’s also a module for the Magewell ProConvert decoder, allowing easy selection of video sources. 


Central Control API

Still in testing, the Central Control API allows users to do almost anything you can do in the main user interface from a simple to use HTTP API. This is useful for scenarios where you wish to script the mapping of your controllers on a show to show basis. Full API documentation is provided via Swagger.

Central Control 4 is a free upgrade for all existing Central Control 4 customers and is available right now!


Change List

NEW:
Central Control Connect – ultra low latency monitoring of both NDI and internal video sources from a web browser in resolutions of up to 4K!
BETA – Central Control Mapping API – Full API for mapping. Ideal for automating mapping without having to use the UI.
Device Console – monitor control events, executed commands and triggers!
Flash Message feature in Teleprompter


New Devices:
Magewell Director Mini
Magewell ProConvert
Bitfocus Companion 3
Panasonic CGI PTZ Control
X-Keys XBK16x6
X-Keys XBA Jog Shuttle
X-Keys XBA-Fader
TYST TY500HD
TYST Replay 580


Improvements:

Central Control update to .NET 7
Central Control and all associated applications updated to .NET 7!
Video outputs (such as Teleprompter, Production Clocks) can now have multiple outputs.
Disable checkbox in Device Mapping UI – easily globally disable a control and all commands.
Use multiple of the same X-Keys device (By changing the Unit ID in MacroWorks)
Added Record and Stream commands to OBS Module
Teleprompter now has right to left text support


Bug fixes:
Fixed audio control for ATEM audio mixer on non Fairlight models
Resolume Receive/Transmit ports were swapped
Fixed bug where teleprompter would keep scrolling into the vast nothingness of space after the script had finished

Automating An Entire Top Of Show Sequence with vMix, PTZ cameras, Lighting and more using Central Control’s Timeline Based Flex Macros

In the ever-evolving landscape of video production, technology continues to offer exciting solutions to streamline complex tasks. One such innovation is Central Control’s Flex Macros feature, a game-changer that revolutionizes the way one-person bands and technical directors (TDs) tackle intricate production sequences. With Flex Macros, what once seemed like a daunting challenge becomes a breeze, thanks to its intuitive timeline-based approach borrowed from the world of Non-Linear Editing (NLE).

 

The One-Man Band Dilemma

Solo TDs often face a unique set of challenges when orchestrating complex video productions. Juggling multiple tasks such as camera switching, graphics overlays, and audio adjustments can be overwhelming, especially when timing and precision are critical. Without an extra set of hands to assist, achieving a seamless production can feel like an impossible feat.

 

Introducing Flex Macros

Central Control’s Flex Macros steps in as the ultimate ally for solo operators, simplifying the orchestration of intricate production sequences. What makes Flex Macros truly exceptional is its timeline interface, which draws inspiration from the familiar world of NLE. Instead of laboriously stacking commands and adding delays, users can create, edit, and execute macros effortlessly by dragging and dropping actions onto the timeline.

 

Key Features of Flex Macros

  1. Intuitive Drag-and-Drop: The core of Flex Macros’ functionality lies in its user-friendly interface. By dragging and dropping actions onto the timeline, TDs can effortlessly build complex macros without the need for intricate scripting.
  2. Precise Timing Control: Flex Macros provides granular control over the timing of each action. Users can specify when a particular action should start or end, ensuring perfect synchronization between different production elements.
  3. Seamless Integration: Central Control’s Flex Macros seamlessly integrates with various production equipment and software, making it compatible with a wide range of setups. This is possible thanks to the 
  4. Error Reduction: The visual timeline approach significantly reduces the chances of human error, ensuring a flawless production every time.
  5. Versatility: Whether it’s managing live events, streaming, or recording, Flex Macros adapts to various production scenarios, making it an invaluable tool for solo operators.

Leveraging Linear Clips for Audio Control

One of the standout features of Central Control’s Flex Macros is its ability to use linear clips to set values over time. This feature is particularly useful for audio control, such as adjusting the levels on music beds during a live production. With linear clips, TDs can precisely control the volume of music beds, gradually fading them in or out to match the mood of the event.

 

Imagine seamlessly transitioning from a speaker’s voice to background music as a presenter wraps up their speech. With Flex Macros, you can create a linear clip that gradually increases the audio fader level over a specific duration, ensuring a smooth and professional transition. This level of control enhances the overall production quality, making it ideal for a wide range of applications, from virtual events to talk shows.

 

And the concept also extends beyond audio control. In addition to linear clips, button press clips can be used to hold down a virtual button for a desired duration, ideal for creating effects such as a subtle zoom push in on a PTZ camera after the title sequence.

 

Flex Macros in Action

Imagine effortlessly switching between multiple camera angles, overlaying graphics and lower-thirds, adjusting audio levels, and executing other intricate tasks with just a single button press. With Flex Macros, it’s not a distant dream but a reality. Solo TDs can now focus on delivering a top-tier production without being bogged down by the technical intricacies.

 

Conclusion

Central Control’s Flex Macros feature is a true game-changer for solo operators in the world of video production. By harnessing the intuitive timeline interface borrowed from NLE, it empowers one-person bands and TDs to execute complex production sequences with ease. As the industry continues to evolve, innovations like Flex Macros enable content creators to push boundaries and deliver captivating productions, even when flying solo.

 

Demonstration

As promised in the beginning, let’s take a look at how we can create a one button top of show sequence with Flex Macros, automating everything from camera switching, graphics, music fades, lighting presets and PTZ moves with ease.

 

 

 

NDI Teleprompter! Outputting the Central Control Teleprompter to NDI.

Are you using Central Control for your productions? Did you know that it comes with a built-in software teleprompter module that you can output using NDI? With Central Control and NDI, you can easily send your teleprompter output to different devices or systems, like an iPad or a production system. Here’s how:

  1. First, set the resolution of your teleprompter module in Central Control tomatch the device or system you want to output to. For example,if you’re sending theoutput to an iPad with a 4:3 display, set the resolution to 1024×768.
  2. Now let’s add an NDI out module to your Central Control project. Don’t worry about the device parameters for the NDI output module in this case, since the video rendering settings are being defined by the teleprompter module.
  3. Central Control is a modular application so now we must actually connect the teleprompter module to the NDI Output module. To do this, connect the teleprompter module with the NDI output module by clicking the “Controls” button on the Teleprompter module. Choose the NDI output module as your target and add the “Send to NDI” command to the “Prompter Output” control.
  4. Now, let’s start your teleprompter playing and open your desired NDI output device or system, like the Sienna NDI monitor app on your iPad. In the list of sources, you should see the Central Control system with the name you assigned to the teleprompter module. Select the source and you should now see the output of your teleprompter on the device or system you chose.

That’s it! Central Control makes it easy to output your teleprompter using NDI, giving you the freedom to use it with different devices and systems.

Central Control 3 Now available

Today we are excited to announce the release of Central Control Version 3, an exciting update to Central Control that no video professional will want to be without. Central Control 3 includes many new features, device modules and usability improvements that will be appreciated by existing Central Control users and new users alike.

 

New UI

The main window interface has been redesigned from the ground up. All devices in a project are now shown in a grid layout. It’s now possibly to see at a glance which devices are either on or off. The control and

 trigger buttons now also blink to show a control event or trigger respectively.

 

Teleprompter

The Central Control Teleprompter provides a full prompter solution right inside Central Control. Scripts are created and edited using either Microsoft Word or Google Docs, so users don’t need to learn any new software. When the script is changed, Central Control will automatically update it for you.  By enclosing a line in asterisks, an action line will be created that will be shown in red on the prompter. These action lines can easily be converted to triggers in Central Control which can be used to automate video playback, control graphics and even automate the teleprompter itself. The output of the teleprompter can be sent to a fullscreen output and NDI simultaneously. Finally, the teleprompter can be controlled with any control surface in Central Control.

 

PTZ Control

Support is included for PTZ control using either VISCA protocol or NDI. As well as included modules for AIDA and PTZ Optics, there is a generic VISCA module to allow control of nearly any IP Visca compatible camera.  Optionally, it’s possible to select an NDI source to use for grabbing snapshots for presets, which can then be shown on Stream Deck buttons for easy recall of all your camera presets!

 

Command Delegator

The command delegator is the evolution of Central Control 2’s Command Splitter. Command Delegator allows for selection of up to 8 devices of the same type, which can then easily be controlled from a single set of controls without the need for time consuming mapping with layers. Device selection in the delegator is possible using both solo and toggle, allowing for dynamic control. The obvious application for this is controlling multiple PTZ cameras, but equally it can be used to control multiple vMix systems, HyperDecks or any other device in Central Control.

 

 

WebPanel

The Central Control WebPanel lets users create a custom web UI, adding widgets for buttons and faders that can then be mapped to any command in Central Control. The WebPanel supports multiple views that have their own set of widgets. By specific a parameter in the link, a user can be locked to a certain view in the WebPanel to restrict access to functionality. WebPanel allows for a fast and easy remote control solution from any browser, tablet or phone.

 

In addition to all these features, Central Control 3 also includes many new devices. For a full list see the Central Control website. Central Control 3 is available right now at $249 for the Elite version, $149 for Pro and $79 for Intro.

 

Full Change List:

New Devices:

Central Control Teleprompter (MS Word Version)

Central Control Teleprompter (Google Docs Version)

Central Control WebPanel (Trigger anything from any browser, iPhone, iPad etc)

Command Delegator Xbox 360 Controller Emulator (Use any controller in Central Control in your favourite games!)

Timer Device (4 timers with individually definable intervals to trigger commands)

Livestream Studio

Chamsys MagicQ (OSC)

NDI Camera Control

PTZ Optics VISCA

AIDA PTZ Control

Gnural LiveToAir

X-Keys XK14 T-Bar

Keyboard Input

 

Improvements:

Brand new main window UI with visual feedback for control and trigger input

NDI Framegrabber for PTZ Preset snapshots on Stream Deck Keys

Specify project file on startup with command line args

Specify run in tray using command line args

New TriCaster command for loading M/E preset

Massive performance improves in Device Mapping Window

New vMix command to display current list input on StreamDeck/Display

Added ATEM Stream/Record Commands

Added ATEM Set Transition Duration 

New splash screen to show load progress

Many more frame rates in NDI output device

Create Trigger(s) button for Rundown Clock and Teleprompter to allow faster creation of triggers

Get VU Meter command for vMix to show Master VU Meters on Stream Deck

Added support for Stream Deck Mini Rev2

LTC Input has much more headroom now

Updated NDI to 5.5

TYST Panel joysticks now work!

About window now shows product key

 

Bug fixes:

Blackmagic Videohub crash fixed when TCP message frames where split

Olly can now remove the modulator

LTC Input freewheel duration fixed. Now 5000 milliseconds.

 

 

Central Control 2 Avaliable now!

Central Control 2 is avaliable from today, with 12 new devices, loads of new features and countless improvements. Let’s take a look at some highlights!

Triggers
Triggers allow you to conditionally map commands based on events. Take for example a Blackmagic ATEM based setup that also had vMix being used for video playback. A trigger could be set up to make vMix auto roll when it was on program, and then another trigger could be setup to transition back to preview when the video finished playing.

Timecode Input
Timecode is used in live shows to synchronize lighting, video, effects and much more. Lighting consoles and media servers have always enjoyed support for this, however video switchers, audio mixers, Microsoft PowerPoint and even smart bulbs. have typically been left out.  No more. By combining the new LTC or MTC timecode device with the new triggers functionality, you can trigger events on any device in Central Control based on incoming timecode.

X32/X-Air support
Central Control 2 now provides support for the Behringer X32 and X-Air series of mixers. Ideal for adding a tactile control surface to one of the rack mixers. Alternatively you could use this in conjuction with triggers. For example – to automatically mute microphones when you roll a video in your show

Supersource Animator.
If you own a Blackmagic ATEM with SuperSource, you’ll know how powerful it is for compositing multibox shots. Central Control 2 allows you to leverage this functionality using what we call the SuperSource Animator. SuperSource Animator allows you to create presets by taking Snapshots of the current layout. You can then easily animate between these presets, with multiple transition effects to choose from. Better yet, when used with a StreamDeck it will even provide thumbnails of the presets of the buttons!

Command Splitter
A common request is the ability to control multiple of the same device in a mirrored configuration. For example – mirrored vMix systems used for video playback. Previously in Central Control this meant having to map the same commands over and over again for each device being added. This was both time consuming and error prone. Now with the command splitter, you can pick a device as a source, and then split all the commands routed to it to up to 4 follower devices of the same type.

Rapid Control Mapping
Quick assign has been in Central Control from the beginning, and has allowed for really fast mapping of controllers. But we can do better! In Central Control 2, you can select multiple controls in the list, and right click to add commands. It will then map all of the selected controls for you, incrementing the relevant parameter as it goes along. Using this you can easily map a controller in minutes. You can also right click controls to copy/paste all of its commands, as well as deleting all commands assinged to a stack. It’s also now possible to clone layers in the device mapping window!

Editions
Central Control 2 will be available in 3 different tiers – Intro, Pro and Elite. Intro provides an entry level version for users just getting started. Pro provides unlimited devices per project and powerful features such as SuperSource Animator. Elite gives users advanced automation features such as Timecode Input, Triggers, Command Splitter and much more, as well as Elite tier devices such as those for Sienna Processing Engine.

The great news is that anyone who has already bought a copy of Central Control over the past year has automatically been upgraded to Pro at no extra cost. Upgrades between versions are possible at any time by simply visiting the Central Control website and paying the difference in price.

Full change list
Central Control Core:
!!! NEW !!!
Triggers. Conditionally map commands to events from other devices
FrameSource Control Type. 

New Devices:

Behringer X-Air/X32
Liminal ZoomOSC
Audivero Unity Client
Central Control – Command Splitter (Split commands to multiple devices).
Central Control – LTC Input
Central Control – MTC Input
Central Control – Timecode Monitor
Novation – LaunchKey Mk3
Obsidian – Onyx
Sienna – Processing Engine Vision Mixer
Sienna – Processing Engine Contribution Manager

Improvements:

High DPI support (yes!)
Big UI performance improvements.
Command multi assign. Select multiple controls and assign commands in one click.
Clone layers!
Voice Command device greatly improved
Device custom UIs are now no longer dialogs, meaning more than one can be open at once (Very useful for SuperSource animator)
Loads of new commands here and there
Many new commands
Improved OBS module
Licensing model more tolerant of systems that are not connected to the internet
ATEM SuperSource Animator Create presets for SuperSource then animate between them using a variety of effects

Bug Fixes:
Many!

Central Control 1.4 Now Avaliable

Today marks the release of a brand new version of Central Control, with 10 new devices and countless improvements. Let’s look at the highlights

Behringer X-Touch Family
Full support for the entire range of Behringer X-Touch MIDI controllers, with full support of the scribble strips, transport display and VU meters. Scribble strips can be set statically, or dynamically to show channel names and levels. VU meters can pull live audio levels from a TriCaster or vMix and the transport display can show DDR/Replay timecode.

Resolume Arena
The most popular VJ software ever. We got a lot of requests for this from users who were streaming DJ sets. Now you can control it from your favourite Central Control devices!

ShowCAD Artist
ShowCAD Artist is the industry standard lighting controller in nightclubs, and now you can control it from Central Control. StreamDeck Labels can also be dynamically set by the names of cues/cue lists.

Toggle Buttons
The toggle button device provides 32 pairs of virtual buttons. Each virtual button has an A and a B. Map the commands you want to execute on the first push to the A, and the ones you want to happen the second time to the B. You can now toggle between these two states.

System Device
The system device allows control of simple Windows functionality such as open and closing processes, focusing windows etc. It also has a “On Startup” button that is automatically fired when Central Control loads, perfect to use for automating the setup of your show (Especially when combined with the devices own commands and delays!)

Full change log

New Devices:
Behringer X-Touch
Resolume Arena
ShowCAD Artist
Novation LaunchPad X
Novation LaunchPad Mini Mk3
System
Toggle Buttons
Encoder Event Splitter
Vicreo Listener
XK68 Joystick
X-Touch Mini (MC Mode, this replaces the old device)

Improvements:
New “VU Meter” control type
StreamDeck – Multiline Text rendering
MIDI Devices now default to the right port
vMix – Get Tally State for StreamDeck key
Avaliable commands now sorted alphabetically
Loads of new commands everywhere.
TriCaster/VMC/Vectar – Delegation system for M/Es, PTZ and Media Players
StreamDeck Key control type is now “Display”
Get TriCaster and vMix playback timecode for Display controls
New set internal feedback command for setting feedback of controls from another control
Added previous and next layer commands
MIDI devices now reset feedback state when disabled
X-Touch encoders now have feedback
Feedback is now sent on it’s own thread (finally!)
New “Get Current Layer” command for StreamDeck Keys
Max layer count increased to 99!

Bug Fixes:
XK60 Device ID fixed
Fixed bug where StreamDeck bitmaps on layer 1 would break when adding a new layer
Fixed bug where gear would disappear on high DPI monitors
Fixed bug where click cancel on new project dialog would just do it anyway

 

Want to use X-Keys or MIDI devices with vMix AWS Instances? Central Control makes it happen!

Live streaming expert TJ Thompson of iMintMedia made a great video of how he uses Central Control to run his vMix instances running in AWS. He uses a combination of a X-Keys XKE-64 Jog T-Bar and Behringer X-Touch Compact to control not just one, but multiple vMix instances running in Amazon AWS. Check out this video to see how he used Central Control on a production last month.

 

 

CX Magazine review of Central Control

November’s edition of CX Magazine features a great review of Central Control by Simon Byrne. In the article simon details his use case for Central Control and also explores many of the other workflows supported, such as remote control of multiple vMix instances running in the cloud. Highlights include

There are lots of suitable devices such as MIDI controllers and the popular Elgato Stream Decks out there, but the challenge is to make them talk with other devices.

A superb solution is Joe de Max’s Central Control. Central Control is Windows only software that links up hardware controllers with other devices on the same machine and local network.

The powerful feature of Central Control is to connect to other IP networks, and more than one at a time. Recently I did an online job where I was running two copies of vMix on separate instances in the cloud with different IP addresses, plus an ATEM Studio HD switcher locally.

All of this was brought together onto a single Stream Deck XL which meant I had every input from the three locations all on a single, easy to read controller in front of me.

At only $50 USD, Central Control is an invaluable addition when combined with your favourite controllers.

Check out the full article here . By Simon Byrne. First Published in CX Magazine November 2020 www.cxnetwork.com.au.

 

Central Control 1.3 Now Avaliable!

It is with great excitement that I today share the news of the release of version 1.3 of Central Control. Head over the the download page to grab a copy. Highlights below the video!

PI Engineering X-Keys
One of the most requested control devices since the launch of Central Control has been PI Engineerin’s series of X-Keys keyboards. I am pleased to announced that the following models are now supported in Central Control:

XK24
XK80
XK124 Tbar
Xk64 Replay
Xke128

x_keys_xk_1719_rply_r_xke_64_replay_controller_1580225047_1537685

NewTek 3Play
Support for all modern (4800 or later) models of NewTek’s excellent 3Play instant replay servers. This allows OSC, StreamDeck, MIDI controllers (including faders) and of course X-Keys to be used to control the 3Play.

IrisDown Countdown Timer
Full control of IrisDown’s excellent countdown timer app. Furthermore, a “Timer Finished” control allows commands to be excuted once the timer reaches 0. 

Soundcraft Ui Series Mixer
Comprehensive mapping for mixer in Soundcraft’s Ui series. Including channel level faders, aux busses, mute, solo etc. Feedback also provided for use with motorised faders 

Delay and Order Commands
Command stacks can now have timed delays between commands. Also the ability to reorder commands in the list has been added

Full Change Log

New Devices:
NewTek 3Play
IrisDown Countdown Timer
IrisDown Show Control
PI Engineering XKeys – several models
Ramsun RMC7 vMix MIDI controller
Soundcraft Ui Series Mixers
Radio Button Feedback – Creates feedback (Useful for commands that don’t natively provide feedback)
Delay – add delays between executing commands

Improvements:
MIDI Output added to generic MIDI.
Reorder commands (Useful when using delays)
More Audio Commands for vMix
ATEM Execute Macro Command

Bug Fixes:
Fixed bug where losing connection to TriCaster would cause message thread to become blocked when using StreamDeck key previews
Fixed timing issue that stop feedback values being sent on startup