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MIDI Show Control

A MIDI signal can be connected to your console using 5 pin DIN connectors, inserted into the MIDI Input port. There is also a MIDI Thru port, which can be used for daisy chaining other MIDI devices in your system. ZerOS does not support MIDI over USB protocols, and therefore to connect to software packages you may need a USB to MIDI interface box. 

The Zero 88 team use the MOTU FastLane USB MIDI interface for testing and demonstrations using QLab.

The MIDI Show Control (MSC) protocol is a suite of messages that can be used to trigger lighting cues. The MSC source is often a computer software package, with a USB to MIDI interface. MSC can be used to trigger the lighting in sync with other media (such as sound & video).

MIDI Show Control messages consist of a "Q_List" and Q_Number" ID. Therefore a Q_List 0, Q_Number 2 message, will be triggering cue 2 on the Master Playback.

If the received MSC message has a blank Q_List ID, ZerOS will trigger cues on the currently viewed playback.

Action commands supported by ZerOS are:

  • GO - Go will trigger the cue number defined in the MSC message. If no cue number is defined, the next cue in the playback will be trigger using its fade time.
  • STOP - Stop will pause the defined playback.
  • LOAD - Allows you to choose the next cue, without going to it.
  • ALL_OFF - Blackout
  • RESTORE - Turn Blackout off (opposite of All_Off).
  • RESET - Go to cue 0.


To enable MIDI Show Control, go into Setup, and enable MIDI Show Control. You can then define the MIDI Device ID, which by default will be 0. The MSC source can "tag" a MSC message with a Device ID, so that only the device with the defined ID in the MIDI daisy chain will listen to the message - a little bit like a DMX address in a DMX daisy chain.

If you choose a Device ID of 127, ZerOS will listen to all Device IDs.

Watch the quick video for an introduction to MIDI Show Control.