Important notes – in order for Beamz software applications to run properly:
- Windows XP users must be running service pack 2 and have .NET 2.0 Framework installed
(click here to get .NET 2.0)
- Windows Vista users must be running service pack 2 and then must install all the important updates recommended by Microsoft.
Q. Some of the beams are playing by themselves. What should I do?
A. Beamz Player Model C4 users: Connect the Beamz to your computer and load a song. The dashboard will display the laser beams “red” if ready to communicate properly with the hardware. If a laser is displayed as “black”, make sure the unit is on a flat level surface. If the unit is on a flat surface and you continue to have a “black” laser displayed that means there is an issue with the laser and/or laser sensor that is not field serviceable. Call technical support at 888.724.7380 to process an RMA and we’ll send you a replacement unit. Customers outside the US and Canada should contact the dealer that the Beamz unit was purchased from to process a return.
Beamz Model C6 users: This may happen if the arms of the beams are not firmly connected to the base. Disconnect your Beamz from your computer, remove the arms and then reinsert into the base. Now reconnect your Beamz back to your computer. If the problem remains, contact technical support to process an RMA and we’ll send you a replacement unit. Customers outside the US and Canada should contact the dealer that the Beamz unit was purchased from to process a return.
Q. The lasers on my Beamz unit aren’t lighting up.
A. First, start by making sure your Beamz Player or Beamz Studio software is open and running with a song loaded; the laser beams in the Beamz hardware will only be active when a Beamz song is loaded in the software and the software dashboard is displaying the lasers as “red” on screen – “red” lasers on the software dashboard means the song loaded is ready to be play. Second, make sure the power button on the dashboard has not been set to off (for the model C6, the power button is displayed in the lower left area of the screen; for the model C4, the power button is displayed in the lower right area of the dashboard).
Now connect your Beamz unit to your computer and confirm that the USB cable connection to the computer and the Beamz unit is not loose. If the Beamz unit lasers light up for a few seconds and then go off, or they do not come up at all, the device driver may not be installed properly. In Windows go to your device manager and check the status of the Beamz Interactive Controller; if not displayed as “ready”, reinstall the driver. You don’t need the installation disk to do this – direct your Windows operating system to browse your computer to the C:Program Files/Beamz folder or to the C:Program Files (x86)/Beamz folder to search for the device driver.
If the device driver is installed properly and the lasers do not come on, call technical support at 888.724.7380 to process an RMA and we’ll send you a replacement unit. Customers outside the US and Canada should contact the dealer that the Beamz unit was purchased from to process a return.
*Model C6 (6 beam model, grey) users: Make sure your Beamz unit is on a flat, stable, level surface and the controller arms are securely inserted into the Beamz base.
Q. How can I use the Beamz with a Mac computer?
A. The Beamz Player and Beamz Studio software applications are PC-based applications. To use the Beamz with a MAC computer you’ll need to use the Boot Camp software utility from Apple or third party virtualization software such as VMware Fusion.
Q. My Beamz Player Model C4 is not working and when the unit is connected to the computer all of the laser beams are displayed as white. What does this mean?
A. If this happens while using the Beamz in normal indoor lighting conditions, all “white” laser beams in the software dashboard means there is loose wiring between the laser beam and the sensors. This unfortunately happens if a unit was handled improperly somewhere in the shipping process. Call technical support at 888.724.7380 to process an RMA and we’ll send you a replacement unit. Customers outside the US and Canada should contact the dealer that the Beamz unit was purchased from to process a return.
Q. When I try to open the Beamz software I get a “cannot initialize error” message from Windows. What should I do?
A. This is an error encountered by XP users with systems running .NET v1.1 Framework. Beamz software applications require that Microsoft .NET 2.0 Framework or later is installed on your computer. Go to the Microsoft web site and download .NET 2.0 for XP – it is a free download – click here. Once installed your Beamz application will open and work accordingly.
Q. How do I add Beamz songs to the Beamz music library that I purchased and downloaded from the Beamz web site?
A. Each song purchased from the Beamz web site is delivered in an installer execution file; double click on each installer to add the song to your Beamz music library. During the installation process you will be asked to confirm the installation location on your computer. If you have chosen to move your Beamz music library to a location other than the default location, make sure that the installation destination folder is correct and that your Beams software is looking to that folder for songs. This is controlled in Tools, Options within the Beamz software.
Q. I just installed a song that I downloaded from the Beamz web site and it is not available in my master playlist.
A. First, make sure the song was installed into the same folder where your other Beamz songs are stored. If the Beamz software is open, close the application, then re-open the Beamz application and the song should be available in your master list. If the song still does not appear in your master song list, close the Beamz software application and restart your computer.
Q. The ShadowBeamz interactive music game won’t open or isn’t working properly. What should I do?
A. The ShadowBeamz game requires that Adobe Flash Player is installed on your computer. Go to www.adobe.com to download and install the latest version of Adobe Flash Player.
Q. I am using the Beamz with a laptop computer and the power for my Beamz unit is shutting down between playing songs.
A. The Beamz draws its’ power from the laptop via a USB port. When you are running a laptop on battery power the laptop manages power consumption through power management settings to maximize battery life. Some laptop models have default power management settings to disable (i.e. turn off) USB ports after a specified time of inactivity. Simply unplugging and reinserting the USB cable to the laptop will restore power to the Beamz. You may also change the power management settings of your laptop to not disable inactive USB ports.
Q. I get an error that says “All pipe instances are busy.”
A. If you close and restart the software too fast, you will get an error that says “all pipe instances are busy”. Just click OK and the software will continue to load, but the Beamz unit will not come on. The software must be closed again and restarted.
Q. The laser beams are on, but when I touch a beam nothing happens. What should I do?
Assuming that your software and hardware have been installed properly and the Beamz was working before just fine, it is likely that one or more of the laser beam sensors are being flooded by an external light source. Lighting conditions that could “flood” the sensor include: bright direct sunlight, fluorescent lighting, grey skies during an overcast day or end of day glows from sunsets.
The new Beamz Player model C4 software features condition code functionality. When the lasers are shown as “red” on display, they are ready. If the lasers are “white” that means that specific laser beam sensor is being flooded by an external light source. Move the unit around; the software rechecks the environment every second for changes in lighting.
Product Usage Questions
Q. Are the lasers dangerous?
A. The lasers used in the Beamz interactive music system are very safe. The beam emits a class 2 laser, which is the same class as the lasers used in grocery store scanners. Laser pointers sold in stores for cat toys are five times stronger than the lasers used in the Beamz. To ensure the safety of all Beamz players, the product has successfully met all safety standards after undergoing testing by a professional laser compliance consulting service which helps companies meet national and international standards.
Q. Why is there no sound coming from Beamz?
A. Check that your computer is not on mute and that the volume levels are appropriate.
Q. What is the recommended minimum experience for the Beamz players?
A. The Beamz can literally be played by anyone regardless of age or experience. You do not need to know how to read music and no training is required. As with all products, young children should be supervised. However, don’t be fooled by its simplicity. The Beamz can also be used by experienced musicians who wish to perform and record their performances.
Q. Can I play the Beamz Model C6 without the hardware attached?
A. Yes, you can trigger the Beamz instruments by using the computer mouse and the virtual Beamz pictured on your computer. You may also use the A, S, D, F, G, H, J, K keys (A = beam 1, S = beam 2, D = beam 3, F = beam 4, G = beam 5, H = beam 6, J = swap sounds, K = rhythm on/off).
Q. I noticed the top-hit songs are called “Jams”. What is a “Jam”?
A. The Beamz composers have taken top-hit songs from popular artists and have created an interactive version or remake in the style of the original artist. By remaking and editing the original music into an interactive format, Beamz players can “jam” to these familiar songs, by pulling in a variety of music clips and sounds at the players’ discretion. This is the beauty of interactive music. Each player creates their own signature to playing a popular song.
Q. When playing the Beamz, does the placement of your hand affect the sound that you create?
A. The sound is generated by the touch. So the amount of time you place your hand in front of a beam will determine the amount of sound you will produce from that beam’s designated instrument or sound effect. The placement of your hand from left or right doesn’t change the sound. It is the placement of your hand through the beam that impacts the production of sound.
Q. How can I use my own MIDI, WAV and/or MP3 files in Beamz songs and/or assign my music files to play with specific beams?
A. Beamz Studio software enables users to edit any Beamz song or to create new interactive songs with your own MIDI, WAV and/or MP3 files. Beamz Studio software is included with the Beamz Player DJ & Pro Audio Edition (model C4-BSB) and Beamz Pro (model C6-Pro) skus. It is also available to purchase separately.
Q. Can I change the positioning of the instruments assigned to the Beamz in a specific song?
Yes. In the Beamz player software users may edit the beam assignment of the instruments, adjust volume settings for each instrument and modify the overall tempo of the rhythm.
Q. May I use the Beamz with a USB hub?
A. For best performance, connect the Beamz unit directly into a USB port on your computer. Connecting the Beamz to a USB hub may cause latency in music playback; moreover, performance may vary with different USB hub products from different manufacturers. Using a USB hub will not damage your Beamz product, so try if you are short of USB ports on your computer and decide for yourself if you can hear any difference by not directly connecting to the computer.
Q. The Beamz songs are taking a long time to load. What I can do?
A. The Beamz software applications require at least 1GB of RAM. If you experiencing slow song “load” times (the lasers within a song on the dashboard will display “grey” as a song is loaded), close all other applications you are not using to free up RAM on your computer. Important note: all Beamz songs are different sizes, with some songs exceeding 150MB – that is why some will load faster than others.
Q. Is the Beamz a MIDI controller that I may use with DJ, DAW and/or lighting applications?
A. With the Beamz DJ software, the Beamz Player Model C4 may be used as an interactive laser controller. The Beamz DJ software provides the ability to configure and control up to 54 triggers via MIDI and keystroke mapping. More information is available in the DJ section of the web site. This software is not available for use with the Beamz C6 models (the 6 beam grey hardware).
Q. How does the Beamz Studio software work and how do you use it?
A. The Beamz Studio software includes a comprehensive tutorial file detailing how to edit and create interactive songs using your own MIDI, WAV and MP3 files. This file is available on the documentation page in the support area os the Beamz web site – http://thebeamz.com/support/documentation/ – and video tutorials are posted on the tutorials page – http://thebeamz.com/support/tutorials/.