MIDI Implementation

Hello Clement,

First off thank you for the awesome job you are doing with this app, the grid is lovely and we hope to see an extension soon.

Writing in the name of some mates as well as buyers of both versions, we would like to know how is the situation with the MIDI implementation feature that we thought was going to be released for the second version (after reading a comment talking about it in this forum*). It’s a really important (crucial I would say) feature to use in our shows and other lighting apps are using it already (however these apps don’t have the so important Ableton Link feature).

Looking forward to seeing this feature in Photon and knowing about its progress.


(* Can photon be controlled by DMX? )

Hi @Surt0n
Thank you for this little word of encouragement, it’s very nice!

We are completing version 2.1 which aims to add compatibility with Philips Hue lights. This version was more complex than expected and took a little longer, but it will be released in a week. The management of MIDI is massively requested by the community, we will add this feature in version 2.2, that will be our priority, we promise!
Just out of curiosity, in what area do you use the application? Music band, theater, cinema production ?
Thank you very much for supporting Photon and for your feedback, we will do our best to ensure that it can fully meet your expectations.


Thank you for the quick reply.

Definitely the Philips Hue Lights will allow the app to get more mainstream, but the MIDI implementation will make us to just use your app to go without others.

Personally I use it in several fields.

In theater, I am just using it when I am directing lights (in that way I avoid wearing intercom). For little shows where it’s not necessary big programming, the Ableton Live feature is great to launch lights avoiding Qlab, but I can’t expose to launch a show with an iPad screen since I need to match perfectly the actor’s actions as you know. With a MIDI controller, I would feel confident enough to play it with your app. Same with little corporative events.

Another good use case is for little Dj parties (not more than 300 people), where 1 universe is enough (however if you extend the grid, it would be great to add more universes like other apps are doing). Matching the effects with the bpm is a great tool, but without a MIDI controller it’s a mess (fingers sweating, dust, and so on), because we need to switch the scene or effect JUST when the song structure changes. Therefore the Ableton Link feature is a great idea but not possible to implement in a semi-professional way.

So at the moment, I am switching between your app and other apps, depending on the need, but mainly using others because the first step is more comfortable. Regarding this first step, the “Light Control” area should have smaller controls to fit more in the screen (this would improve drastically the programming workflow.

For example, splitting the screen into 2 parts, the upper one placing 4 circular faders by each fader that you have currently. And keeping the “Presets & Sequences” area exactly as you have now. Also keeping the option to narrow or wide each with the scroller (taking part of the complimentary area) and the possibility to scroll inside each area. But basically, we need to be able to see at least 18 circular faders in half screen (here the 8x8 grid that I suggest for the “Live” area is not necessary). Being scrolling to fade the areas when you have more than just 3 fixture features, kills the workflow in my humble opinion. Even I woul place the master fader plus blackout function next to the project’s tittle if possible, to get more space below.

A solution for the circular faders would be to make them like the smaller squares in the Dashboard, where to change the level you have to push+hold+slide up/down. And when you want to get inside the submenu to change the fixture parameters, doing it with a quick push or double push. This would be wonderful.

However, the grid idea of the dashboard is a great feature that we are willing to use with MIDI. This feature will be perfect when you can scroll down to have more controls. And to make it even more perfect, consider that the majority of MIDI controllers are designed for an 8x8 grid.

Your grid is 10x6. This is a problem when MIDI is implemented because it requires an exercise of mental abstraction to relocate the controls (what you see on the screen it’s not what you see on the MIDI controller). So when there is a problem, it’s more difficult to fix it. Please consider this because it looks like a minor thing, but it’s very important to consider the standard distribution to live performances. And if you could make your grid to follow the grid of Ableton (this means, being able to create infinite grid boxes, and matching their triggering with the trigger of the same boxes in Ableton in the same location)… that just would be mindblowing. Imagine all the Ableton live performers, setting up different scenes in strategic triggers along with their project, creating in this way a music+light performance designed and triggered by the same person (however I recognize this feature would be for a minority).

Achieving both targets (Light Control and Live), could be drastically facilitated if you place everything (Wifi state, DMX Channels working, Upgrade feature, Light Control, Live, BPM, and title) in the same tab (the upper one). If you just put an icon with the comments pop-ups that you are already using, it’s enough. In that way will look very clean. If not, at least I would kill the tittle bar and place it in the upper bar, just in the middle of it. In my opinion, the tempo circles are not necessary since there is already the BPM one.

I hope this can help since I am promoting this app to my mates due to the Ableton Link feature (this opens a great range of possibilities in live events where synchro is a must). And will kill integrations like the Pioneer (and others) one (which forces you to program the lighting track by track, killing your performance freedom and the workflow). I can assure you that this feature, with the proper promotion, will become this app the first choice for a lot of theater operators, but especially for DJs (and will force the people to buy Ableton Live, so they should be the first company interested to help you with that).

I know that I came up with a bunch of changes, but the MIDI implementation is a priority imho. The distribution of the controls and UX would be a second-term priority.


Do you have a timeline for when Photon 2 version 2.2 with MIDI implementation will be available? Currently we control our entire stage lighting setup with a competing IOS product only because it has MIDI implementation & the MIDI foot control of light changes/scenes/moving heads is critical.

Do you have any opportunities for beta testing? I would be more than happy to test out any MIDI implementation you might be working on.


Midi implementation would be great for me too, I already have midi integrated into my concert rig, and controlling lights via midi would be great. I really like the way Photon looks and works, so I am really hoping to not have to move to another app.

Do you have any idea when this 2.2 will be released? I could also help out with beta testing, if there is a need for that.

We will try to release it at the end of the year, in December maybe. We will do our best !
Send me your apple account ID email by private message, I will add you to the beta testing campaign. Thank you for your help

Just found this app and bought the pro version. Great job with this and I think this has a promising future. We will start doing setups with all our lights and the app and then start using it live once you guys get the midi-implementation released. Really looking forward to it! Thanks!

Hi Jacob !
Thank you very much, we are working hard to make it user friendly, stable and powerful. Now we are working on an integrated documentation in the app. The next step will be MIDI !
What will be your Photon usage ?

That’s great! We’re an event company focused on live music. Me myself playing guitar and singing with my band in most of our events. Usually were 3 people on stage and and 1 person doing the sound and lighting. We’re in need of an fast setup and we’re already controlling sound from an iPad so when we found your and being able to control light with an iPad as well it was an no-brainer. Then we don’t need to have any cables running from stage to our soundguy.

Sometimes we’re also doing small acoustic shows with no soundguy present and that’s when having the midi implementation going to be absolutely fantastic to have. Being able to easily control different scenes and sequences from a foot pedal while performing is just what we’ve been looking for.

Documentation is great too! However I got the app running with my lights very easily so great job from you guys there in the user friendly part. So many other DMX-program are just really confusing.

Our DMX interface i an EZ kling and I can confirm this interface works great. Simply plug and play I’d say.

Thank you for a great program and I’m looking forward to get this started and implemented in our events. I would’t mind being a beta-tester for the midi implementation as well. :slight_smile:

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I would like to also voice my interest in MIDI integration!

I have a live band situation where we use the software OnSong (lead sheets, setlists) which has the ability to send MIDI commands during specific parts of the song (VERSE, CHORUS, SOLOS, etc.). It would be amazing to be able to trigger different Photon sequences/presets as the song progresses (2 spots during a solo, blackout during an extended silence, audience flood during sing-alongs, etc.). Thanks!

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How are you coming on MIDI implementation? Do you have any sort of realistic timeframe you can share with those of interested?

The latest beta releases have MIDI implementation competed. I am currently using it to trigger different presets and sequences from software that contains my lyrics and lead sheets. Ask for access to the beta version here: Photon2 MIDI Beta Testers

The latest beta has MIDI implementation but it’s still a work in progress. I’ve tested midi sequences with Cubasis and Multitracker. MIDI works if there is a gap in between midi events. Contiguous or overlapping midi events still has issues.

The implementation of MIDI inputs (triggers) in Photon is now complete and available in the latest version of Photon.

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