Engine Lighting & my custom project - almost done!

Heyo, everyone. I’ve been here for a while as ‘regular DJ’ doing my club and mobile business as a side-job. So far, so good, and I love the peepz here in the forum. But there is ‘one more thing’ I’ve been working on for two years now. It’s related with SoundSwitch, quite unique, and quite complex. Core facts: 6kg/12lbs of weight, 196 LEDs (12x static, 184x SPI/DMX) over 250 custom 3D-printed parts, tons of cables, screws and glue, uncounted hours of work. I hope you gonna appreciate it, once I release the first videos. For now, have this small teaser to give you a basic idea:

Since the beginning of my concept, two years ago, I had Denon DJ and SoundSwitch in mind, as I love their strong standalone focus. The Live 4 forms the perfect companion, since it is highly mobile and even runs on a 12V powerbank. But due to the custom nature of my beast, I had no chance to test it, before most of the stuff was assembled. I assumed it would work as it should. Today, I gave the whole system my first test-runs with EngineLighting. You can imagine my tension, ouh! And… while it does operate as it should - phew - I ran into some issues, which give me some concern. Hence, I ask for some reassuring advice so I can tackle those video mixsets.

What I observed so far:

  • The software is still a bit unreliable. It becomes unstable, once all of my individual 92 pixels are expanded (laggy scrolling). It improves again, once I close some folders. Overall, programming individual sequences is (still) a huge pain. Too much scrolling and manual clicking. I needed a full hour for just one track - and that’s without moving head stuff going on. Some essentials like copy-pasting between different tracks (with identical # of sub-pixels) doesn’t work, the playhead marker, select box and drops in the waveform are hard to see (too much blue color), you can’t create, save and drag&drop your own custom sequences, the existing chases make my LEDs look quite ‘harsh’ (lacks smoothing option), Auto Loops can’t be combined with scripting tracks (like drag&drop 16/32 sequences into track regions), there is no option to open and collapse all track solders at once or to reduce the vertical track size (less scrolling), I miss something like snap cursor/selection to the next beat/bar, and most critical of all, grouped tracks don’t indicate if there are sequences on sub-tracks (like a zebra-pattern), so you always have to open/close the folders, and I have quite many of them… in short, I have to rely on Autoloops first and trigger them myself as I perform. So please guys, work on the software - there is so much potential and many things are rather small quality-of-life improvements.

Now to my test-run on the Live 4:

  • Fader behavior seemed totally erratic at first (lights suddenly stopped), until I found out that crossfader operation and smooth blends are (still) not supported. It was requested at the end of 2021 - maybe @Matthew.W or @Liam can give us an update here. Because as for now, the blends are very harsh for smooth mixing. And overall, I would like to see an option for smooth blends of 1/2/4 beats between different autoloops as well (just talking about RGB values, not complex stuff like gobos/movers/etc).

  • The whole lightshow lags massively when changing the track (doesn’t matter which deck) with the track skip buttons quickly. Same for some menu operations.

  • Autoloops seem to change randomly, even if I pick one pattern manually and select ‘repeat’. In general, do they depend on the track region (intro, drop) or just phrases? It seems as if I can’t lock them - they don’t remain lit up in the GUI when I select one.

  • Autoloops should be locked not only to the beats but also bars, at least this is what I expected. However, at times, neither of both seem to be the case. For example, imagine four light pixels labeled as ABCD, then instead of 1A-2B-3C-4D they become offset 1D-2A-3B-4C. In addition, I can re-trigger them whenever I want, even offbeat (and then they remain offbeat). Is this a quantize based behavior? Because I need to 100% rely on a tight lightshow.

  • Override buttons for Strobe and White should be next to each other, so both can be engaged at once with two fingers = white strobe overlay.

  • As already mentioned in the software part, but also discussed here, a decay option for more smooth LED transition and fades, would be nice. Chases across LED stripes for examples are too jumpy. Instead of going like this [ ooooo9oooo → ] it should offer a smoothing option like this [ ooo369oooo → ] or like this [ ooo36963oo → ]. I suggest separate options for certain types (auto/manual/loops), groups, and the all-white override button (which could turn it into a wonderful bulb/halogen-like blinder effect!). As for some effects like strobes, you still want/need that harsh LED effect.

Now, before I proceed with preparing my remaining autoloop slots, I just want to make 100% sure, which of these listed points…

a) are a matter of wrong settings on my side

b) are on the current bugfix / request roadmap

c) will/can not be solved and require workarounds

As there is no proper documentation, e.g. what does “smooth playhead” mean, it might be possible that I’ve simply overseen some setup details. Maybe a SSwitch veteran can assist me here. I would also happily share my experience and suggestions in a video session, especially for pixel-multicell workflows and GUI improvement mockups, if a team member is interested - PM me. Thanks, and have a great weekend!


Just here to say how great your project is and the hard work involved will look fantastic.

@Liam is a SoundSwitch god and will be able to help clarify and guide you with some of these points. He’s open to suggestions and can help build new bits into SoundSwitch when new workflows can be identified. I’ve yet to have a problem both he and the team there have yet to fix (or at least work around).

The GUI lights for the autoloops have never latched on. I have raised this before (when it first released for Engine OS devices) but assumed it was meant to be this way as it’s not been addressed. Having those latch would be better to know the current autoloop that playing and it’s something I’ve wanted to raise again and you’ve reminded me.

The chase needing a few more brightness fading could be possible. I’m not 100% on this but I’ll have a look. You described it welly well with the number method. You can set the base level and by bringing that up doesn’t turn all the lights off but having more tailored options will be great for your situation.

I’m going to watch how this develops as you’re in safe hands with this. The guys will definitely help, what with it being a unique project and one that I’m sure they’ll like to help support.


Thank you for your encouraging and nice reply, I really appreciate it @MrWilks

I’ve gotten the impression over the last two years that only 3-4 people are actually working on SS (if that’s true, then all the more respect to Liam) and most of the resources have been put into EngineDJ itself, comparing the speed of updates. Apart from autoscript for autoloops, nothing worth mentioning has come for quite a while, and even that is only of limited benefit. Tbh, I would rather have a more mature SS than half-baked stems in EngineDJ. But that’s just my opinion and I get that they need to take care of the majority of their target audience. Maybe I can spark more interest in SS with my project, though!

Indeed, I would love to get involved in points-of-improvements sessions for SoundSwitch, provide the team with inspiration and valuable insights, especially from a more performance orientated workflow with many manual overrides and pseudo-layering (I do that via intensity groups btw), rather than the typical mobile/event venues. I did a first video-mix test yesterday and will share some short snippets with commentary asap, then you should get a perfect idea about what I have in mind and the issues I still encounter. Would be great if we can improve SS together :handshake:


Heck, this… or should I say you? look absolutely rad. What a stunning and regal design. I bet it’s quite a challenge to wear this huge thing, mix tracks and control your lights via the small touchscreen at the same time. Mad respect and fingers crossed that things gonna work out as you desire, please keep us posted on the progress.

Wouldn’t the Control One be an appealing option for you? For a more direct override control.

I think Soundswitch is not the major Product feature for the Enginge Ecosystemen hence the resources are going more to Stems. The power of SS did not catch up with many DJs. Lighting is still not a major thing. Think about all the people who let there light on DMX Auto and just want flickering lights in every color. Also the questions that come in here are way less of the SS site.

Also the SS team sits in New Zealand and inmusic mostly in US and UK. Resource allocation is therefore, on the human site, litle bit more tricky.

SS is in this state not really conceptet with the mind of pixelmapping, therefore maybe the lack in the software. Your SPI DMX light have probably 3 chanells with RGB → therefore all the DMX adresses are really used. While a moving head can have 14 DMX parameters from which most are not utitlized as much.

I dont know if you have more than one light show/event currently implemented. Maybe it helps to remove all shows and just have one

SoundSwitch is developed by a different team to the Engine OS team. SoundSwitch are NZ and a lot of the Engine OS team are too (inMusic opened a tech development department over there a few years ago).

Having a smaller team working with SoundSwitch means you get a more personal service and a connection with the guys that others don’t usually match.

@Solaris Thank you very much! It’s quite a feat indeed, but it’s fun - and that’s what all should be about in the end, for everyone. As for the C1, yes I have considered it, and it would provide me some goodies. But also has limitations. I have to decide eventually.

:green_circle: Hardware buttons and dials for much more tactile feedback

:green_circle: Access overrides, autoloops and the slider at the same time

:green_circle: Frees up the Live 4 main display (right now I only mix being in the lighting pane all the time, so no real-time waveforms or labeled cue points, kinda oldschool but fun)

:green_circle: Two DMX outputs (my mask has one circuit, but there is an option for a second, external one with UV spots, with mirrored universes I wouldn’t need an Y-splitter)

:red_circle: Requires extra space and kinda diminishes my ultra-mobile approach

:red_circle: Autoloops are not labeled, just color-coded (not a biggie I think)

:red_circle: Most critical: I can only access one intensity group at once

@Maximilian_Bernreuth Not 100% sure what you mean with show/event, but I use SS only for this project. I will setup multiple venues, as little ‘hack’ to get more autoloop banks (one venue for Deep House with 32 softer chases, one for Techno with 32 more aggressive ones, etc.), but the involved fixtures / LED stripes remain identical. And yes, 3 RGB channels, LC8808B SPI-chipsets.

@MrWilks That is a good point, fingers crossed things gonna work out :v:

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Yes I mean the driftetest venues. Maybe you could try to increase performance with just one venue.

Not sure how this would affect performance. I only load up one venue per mixset anyway. One venue has 32 autoloops. These are what I use + some variation with color hue, strobe/blinder overlays, UV spots and the 4 intensity groups for layering. With improvements to the SS GUI, I will shift to full manual scripting. But for my complex pixel-stripe based setup, it takes far too long.

By the way, I already shared this with the dev team, but why not with you guys as well:

Some of these had already been suggested or mentioned (here or on Youtube), with these things getting fixed + faster scrolling + improved stability, manual scripting should become a breeze.


Ive not looked at this thread before, this is craziness in a good way :slight_smile: awesome project.

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