App running in the background


I just bought the Photon 2 app, and it looks really good. I set up a couple of scenes, made a sequence of them, all working nicely. Great work!

The reason I bought (512 channel version of) Photon, is that it was branded as working in the background. I interpret that as if I can change apps, or maybe even turn of iPad, and the lights will still be running. This, however, doesn’t work: As soon as I switch to another app, a light sequence stops, and within some seconds, the light turns off.

Are there some settings somewhere I need to change? In the Photon-app or in the ios settings?

Hi and welcome !
Did you active the « live mode » in the bottom right hand corner ? You must have a red blinking circle instead of blue (next to the BPM)

Was this question answered? Will Photon work in the background? This will be key to in my decision to purchase and use for my live band situation. Thanks.

Hi @mchrysoc !
Yes the app can run in the background. Once you bought the app, you have to select “Live Mode” in the beat tracker panel. I hope you will enjoy Photon, thank you for your support.

Thank you for the quick response. I have far fewer than 128 DMX addresses in my setup. Must I purchase the 512 DMX plan ($49) to get the “pro” capability or will the 128 DMX plan ($39) include everything?

Now, you can unlock the same features with the Pro or Starter version.
But in the future, some features will be able only on the Pro version (like the MIDI input for example).

OK, so I bought the Pro version, created an animated chase sequence across all my PARs, and ran it in Live Mode. When I send Photon to the background the sequence immediately freezes. When I bring it back to the foreground it starts again. You can see the video here: Photon Sequence Freezing when in background

Hi !
Yes this is normal, you have to active the Live Mode, the blue dot at the right bottom of the screen have to be red. Touch it to let appear a popup then active Live Mode. Now, Photon can be in background mode.

You are correct! I missed that. Thanks!

I am reassured! Glad I could help you :slight_smile:

Well, I spoke too soon. I just tested it again, confirmed LIVE MODE and indeed it freezes. Video link here: Video of Photo freezing in background during Live Mode

Hi ! Could you please send me a screenshot of your iPad settings for the Photon app ?

Moreover, can you verify if when you enable Live Mode the sound curve moved when you speak ?
The background mode can work only if the mic is recording (due to iOS specifications).

Ok. I think I figured it out. If you put Photon to the background WITHOUT enabling Live Mode the microphone input gets “stuck” and never changes again based on input volume or beat. As a result, even if you enable Live Mode after that the microphone never responds and the app freezes in the background every time.

However, if you shut down and restart Photon, and are careful to NEVER let the app go to the background unless it’s in Live Mode, then the application will run in the background without freezing. This seems a little touchy as your screen saver could drive the app to the background by mistake and Live Mode would then freeze in the background, unless you were aware enough to restart the app.

I am able to repeat this behavior without fail.

We just released a new version to fix your problem.
Can you try the behavior and tell me if it works better

I tried the new software and it fixes the issue. Although Photon freezes during a sequence if you move it to the background while NOT in Live Mode, if you switch to Live Mode it continues to work as expected in the background. Thanks!

In your release notes you mentioned an upgrade to the fixture database. Can you identify the changes / improvements? I’ve had to create a “custom slimpar 56” fixture to give me access to all the features and would be willing to delete and replace if your update fixes this. I have the details around this question here: Slimpar 56 DMX Assignment Question

Hi! I’m looking for a app to control my DMX lights that:

  1. Is non subscription based pricing
  2. Accept/listens to virtual midi messages from other iPad app (Loopy Pro DAW) on the same device.
  3. Can run in the background when trigger actions from midi messages even if sound input as mic is used by other apps.

Can’t find clear information about this matter, please help.



Hi André !

  1. Photon is not based on a subscription model. You have to pay a unique payment for the Starter (39$) or Pro version (59$ - discount). In your case you have to buy the Pro plan to use MIDI.
  2. Yes it accepts/listens to virtual midi messages from other iPad app on the same device
  3. Yes it is working in background, for the mic input I’m not sure. I have to try it. is it Loopy Pro DAW which uses the mic ?

Thanks! Loopy Pro uses my audio interface and I have plenty ins and outs there to my mic and guitar rig… I’m not sure how iOS works or if two apps can use audio at the same time. That said, I’m not using the internal mic on IPad just to be clear, but want to make sure that nothings interfere before I buy. The background mode is important to me. Audio controlled by mic input not so important since I will automate that on my pedalboard and send midi messages at the same time a song enters a new state in my live looping show. But as far as I understand there is no on/off switch for that and mic input need to be always on for background to work?

You are right. It is not possible to activate Photon just to try. If you want I can add you to the Photon Beta Testers. It will allow you to download an alternative full (beta) version of Photon just to try it. If it works you could buy it. I don’t have a better solution, send me your Apple Account email by private message if your are interested.

I hope it will work fine :crossed_fingers:

Hello! Any news or updates on this? I really want to invest in gear and this app if I know it will work in background together with Loopy Pro on the same device. Loopy can send midi and also Abelton link. I know a bunch of others in the Loopy community that also want to get going with automating lights when live performance with Loopy. Have you tried it with Loopy yet?