3 Things I Wish I Knew Before Using Elation’s ONYX

ONYX has become my favorite professional console. Elation’s Onyx was formerly known as Martin M-PC / M-Series and since the rebrand some amazing things have been happening.

Whether you’re new to using the software or you’ve been working with ONYX for a while I want to share with you 3 crucial pieces that I wish I had known before using ONYX. Not only will this help save you time it will help you understand better how the gears in the software run.

In my career I have had the opportunity to work with many professional grade consoles. When I was introduced to the Elation’s ONYX I was amazed and instantly knew that this was my most favorite professional grade software.

Since working with many different professional consoles I can normally pick up quickly how to work with a new console. But that still didn’t seem to change those certain details I wish I had known in the beginning!

Preview and Live Time

Every professional grade console has the “Blind” (preview) option, so what’s the difference? Located in the lower right corner you can utilize the “Menu”. In the menu, you can use the “Preview” function. When you use this feature it’ll put your console in Blind mode which is very standard for professional consoles.

Preview and Live Time

What makes this feature unique in ONYX is that you can fade in and fade out your programmer. This is especially powerful during a live show so that you can sneak something into the show.

To do this simply select a “Fixture”, add a parameter(s), click “rate”, set your live time, and click “Preview”. This will let it fade in at live time that was set. To turn this off then just go back to your “Menu”, click “Preview”, and click “Clear” twice.

Advanced “Load”

This feature is great for when you have a certain look on your stage that you want to save. In the “Menu” you click “Load” twice. Everything that is being output will be brought into the programmer.

From here you can make any changes that you want. You can even remove the parameters if you want to and save it as something new. This makes the feature extremely useful.

Where this advanced Load is really powerful is when I can load just certain things. For example I just want to load the magenta lights. I select magenta, then click “Load”, and all of the magenta lights are pulled in to the programmer.

You can use the Load to to load from a group, from a preset, or from everything and anything.

Everything is a Parameter

In a lot of consoles, parameters are usually defined as intensity, pan tilt, color, gobo, and beam. When it comes to effects in most consoles they have their own world or section.

When programming effects and assigning them to faders they are never teamed up with the usual parameters. But what I discovered in ONYX is that everything is considered a parameter. No matter what I am using in the programmer everything is saved as a parameter.


This took some time for me to adjust as I was so used to programming special faders for the delay effects, etc. But in ONYX those effects are treated as parameters.

Unlike other consoles, these tools are what makes ONYX so unique and powerful. If you would like to learn more about how to get started with ONYX be sure to check out this article for more information.

How Do I Begin with ONYX?

ONYX Video Training Tutorials

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