The second edition of my book, Show Networks and Control Systems, is now on sale at Amazon!
It was a huge amount of work getting it updated, and took several solid months of work. In the end, I made more than 11,000 changes (according to Acrobat PDF document compare).
- I went through every word more than once (for one pass, I actually had my phone read me the book while driving thousands of miles storm chasing) streamlined the overall text, and deleted some arcane or irrelevant references. The new edition is actually 18 pages shorter than the previous edition.
- I updated the standards and other references book-wide.
- In earlier editions, I was subtly advocating for moving away from rigid, inflexible control approaches and towards more interactive approaches. In the end, interactivity has not been widely accepted by the broader live show market, and so while all those technologies are still included in the book, I'm no longer pushing them.
- In addition, in recognition of the idea that these technologies across our industry have matured, I decided to replace the photos in the book. Moving lights today pretty much look like moving lights of 20 years ago, but manufacturers come and go, merge, and move on. So I feel like illustrations won’t date as quickly as photos, and this new edition features dozens of fantastic new illustrations by Aaron Bollinger.
- Chapter 1, Introduction: I added a section on the "Evolution of Entertainment Networking", and moved some sections to historical asides.
- Chapter 2, Lighting: I completely rewrote the general sections to reflect the market, I cut the detailed dimmer operation descriptions since it's not really relevant to control and is covered well by others, and rewrote the section to reflect the recent uptick in RDM adoption.
- Chapter 3, Lasers: I redid the entire section to reflect the creation of off the shelf laser projectors.
- Chapter 4, Audio: I updated everything to reflect the impact of audio networking.
- Chapter 5, Video:: I renamed from “Image Presentation” and updated to reflect changes in the market.
- Chapter 6, Stage Machinery: I updated to reflect changes in the way E-Stops are done and also newer standards. In addition, I added a section on Physical Computers (Arduino, Rasberry Pi)
- Chapter 7, Animatronics: I changed a lot of stuff here to reflect modern control approaches.
- Chapter 8, Fog, Smoke, Fire and Water, and Chapter 9 Pyro, and Chapter 10, Entertainment Control Basics: General updates to reflect the market.
- Chapter 11, Basic Inputs and Outputs: Renamed from "Electrical Control Systems Basics"to more accurately reflect the content, updated content to reflect current usage of sensors.
- Chapter 12, Numbering Systems: Probably the section with the least changes since math hasn't changed in the last five years. I expanded a few examples, and cut a couple others.
- Chapter 13, System Design Principles: Fixed a major typo that had been in the book for years that no one noticed! Updated all the principles to reflect modern practices, and also added a few sections.
- Chapter 14, Data Communication: General updates.
- Chapter 15, Point-to-Point Interfaces: Cut some obsolete sections, and streamlined and updated everything.
- Chapter 16, Networking Basics and Chapter 17, Show Networks, and : Put the content in context, did general updates, removed a couple sections, and moved some information to historical asides.
- Chapter 18, Advanced Show Network Topics: General updates, and added a section on Show Networking Best Practices to Chapter 18, “Advanced Show Network Topics”.
- Chapter 19, Digital MultipleX (DMX512-A), Chapter 20, Remote Device Management (RDM): Updated examples and streamlined everything, and updated the context of network-based distribution systems.
- Chapter 21, Architecture for Control Networks (ACN): Sadly, I updated this chapter to reflect the failure of "full" ACN in the market.
- Chapter 22, Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI), Chapter 23, MIDI Show Control (MSC), Chapter 24, MIDI Machine Control (MMC): General clean up for these now very-old standards.
- Chapter 25, SMPTE and MIDI Time Code (MTC): Updated to reflect modern usage and expanded the practical implementation section.
- Chapter 26, Open Sound Control (OSC): Updated with current implementation examples.
- Chapter 27, Other Control Approaches: I expanded the OCA section since it's now an AES standard, added a few standards, and updated the context of the other protocols and cut a couple obsolete sections.
- Chapter 28, Show Control: Updated the context and examples used to support my premise on show control. This was one of the most fun sections for me to write.
- Chapter 29, A Theatrical Thunderstorm, Chapter 30, Put on a Happy Face, Chapter 31, Ten-Pin Alley, Chapter 32, Comfortably Rich, Chapter 33, It’s an Itchy World after All: Updated, streamlined, and simplified to represent modern approaches.
So Do You Need to Buy the Update?
If you only have any of the first three editions of Control Systems for Live Entertainment (1994 - 2007), then yes, I think you absolutely need the new edition. The 2012 edition and renaming to Show Networks and Control Systems really was a massive expansion and reorganization, and reflected dramatic changes in the industry. This new edition takes that farther and I strongly recommend getting the new edition.
What about if you have the first edition of Show Networks and Control Systems (2012)? I think, against my own interests, that you probably don't need the new edition. I think there has been a stabilization and maturation of technology in our industry, and that's reflected in the new edition of the book. Doing this update, I really felt, for the first time since the 1990s, that there was no need to add or cut chapters. But of course if you want to buy it don't let me talk you out of it!
Get your copy on the link below!