Sunday, 14 July 2013 15:20

Arduino communicate with Vixen Lighting Control Software

Aarduino communicate with Vixen
Vixen is a free and popular light show creator software. With a PC and some hardware, anyone can have a professional-looking lighting display synchronized to music.
The latest version is Vixen3, the most attractive feature is supported for preview. Compare to Vixen2, Vixen3 is a bit difficult to use & lack of some features in Vixen2. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
This tutorial is based on Vixen2, please download Vixen2 and install it to your computer. Prior to Vixen2, you must have install Microsot.NET Framework 2.0 in your computer.


The Arduino Mega is connect to the computer and upload with the following sketch. I'm using Arduino Mega becasue it has 12 PWM output and many digital output. However it is very easy to modify the code to use with Arduino UNO or other Arduino compatible devices. 

Starting Vixen

  • Click on Sequence>New event sequence>Vixen standard sequence from Vixen menu
  • Click on Next button when New Sequence Wizard appear
  • Click on Next button to use 100 milliseconds for Event Period
  • Click on Next button for Profile
  • Enter the channels to match your controller. I'm using 16 for my case. Click on Next button after entering channels
  • Click on Setup Plugins button to setup Vixen plugin as shown in figure below

Sequence Plugin Mapping

  • My Arduino uses serial communication. Double click Generic serial from Available Plugins to activate Serial Plugin
  • In the same windows, click on Generic serial from Plugins in Use
  • Pugin Setup button should enable, click on it to setup the COM port
Com port settings
  • Select the correct COM port and Baud rate for your Arduino. Click OK button to close the Setup window
  • Click Next button after setting up Plugin
  • Click on Next button to skip Audio and Extent Patterns
  • Enter the length of the Sequence Time, default is 1 minute
  • Click on Create It button & give it a name for the sequence, click on Save button to save the sequence
  • You should see a similar screen as shown in figure below
Vixen Main Screen

Using Vixen

  1. Select the channel (you can select multiple channels) and Sequence Time that you want to show the light effects.
  2. Figure below is an example to select channel 1 to channel 10 and 2 seconds of sequence
  3. Having select the channel & time sequece, click on the effect icon in order to place the effects to the grid box
  4. Repeat step 3 fo fill in effect for other channel & Time Sequece
  5. Clickk on Play/Pause/Stop icon to start light show (here is Arduino LED show)
Using Vixen

Synchronise audio

  • Click on Add Audio icon to popup Event Sequence Aduio window
  • Synchronise audio
  • Click on Assign Aduio button to assign an aduio file (MP3) to this project
  • Select Aduio device for audio output
  • Click on OK button to close the Event Sequence Audio window
  • Event Sequence Aduio

Now you can design light effect according to the audio signal


More PWM outputs

The TLC5940 is a 16 channel PWM unit with 12 bit duty cycle control (0 - 4095), 6 bit current limit control (0 - 63), and a daisy chainable serial interface.
Read 39272 times Last modified on Sunday, 12 June 2016 11:05
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