March 12


Learn Stage Lighting Podcast

This week on the Podcast we have our Q+A Tuesday! Join us as we take questions from listeners just like you and help walk them through to the thought process of their situation.

If you’re new here and you’re not sure how or where to get started with your lighting be sure to take this Quiz and I will send you a Guide based on your answers to help get you pointed in the right direction.

How to Begin with Lighting Quiz

I’d also like to mention the sponsor of the show, Learn Stage Lighting Labs. If you like what you hear and you’ve enjoyed our videos I want to encourage you to check Learn Stage Lighting Labs. It’s everything we offer on the site and so much more.

It offers in-depth courses, step by step tutorials, forums, and access to myself as well as other members. If this is something you might be interested in be sure to check it out!

Main Segment (2:47)

Kel (3:00): I’ve been following a lot of your videos and have come across a question regarding assigning colors and latching to MIDI controller LED buttons while using D-Pro. I’m using an APC 40 MK2 switched in “Alternate Ableton Live Mode” and also have tried using an MPK Mini and using both controllers in D-Pro has led to the same problem. The assigned button on the MIDI controller latches on when triggered from the Show Control interface but not vice versa. LED button latching and assigning colors are key for organization and triggering in the live music performance that I’m programming, is there a workaround in D-Pro or, if not, what is a software that you would suggest that would allow assigning color and latching to MIDI controller buttons in software that talks to Enttec DMX pro devices? 

I know that for a fact you won’t be able to assign colors in D-Pro. In the latest version of D-Pro, if you go in Show Control and then Properties, there is a button for Momentary (flash). There is more on How to Get Started with D-Pro in this article.

Unfortunately, with D-Pro you won’t be able to do custom light control because that’s not what it’s designed to do. But I do recommend checking out Light Key which is for Mac users only. Another item I recommend is Elation’s Onyx, which runs on your PC and comes with 4 outputs. You can pair this up with Show Cockpit that will be able to do custom light setups. You can read more on Onyx and this program in the articles below.

How Do I Begin with Onyx?

How do I Use MIDI Hardware to Control My Lighting Console?

John (7:14): I’m planning on purchasing the DMXis software/hardware… I’ve been watching your DMXis Tutorials on YouTube and have learned a lot. Very informative. Thank you very much! My question for you may be an outdated one now where I’m not sure when the videos were posted and there may be a newer version of the software. Anyway…..In the video3 (Presets and Banks), you mentioned that the Banks would be pulled in and displayed alphabetically. Is this etched in stone? or would a user be able to pull them in as the same order as their gig song setlist? It would be inconvenient if it was always displayed alphabetically and a user would have to skip around to select. Otherwise one would have to rename the banks (songs) once they loaded them in so they would fall in line for the night.

In these videos, I had created them back in 2015. But now there have been some changes and you can reorder your banks as well as presets. Now, in your banks and presets window, you can just drag and rearrange.

Brad (8:22): Would you use the Elation M-Touch/M-Play products for theater production? If not, any other recommendations at similar price points? Thank you.

If you’ve listened for a while you know that I’m a big supporter of Elation’s Onyx and I do believe it would be great in a theater setting. But I do also belive the M-Touch and M-Play will work as well.

If you’re working with Dimmers but not as many moving lights and LED’s I would suggest going with the M-Play. But if you are using moving lights and LED’s then I would go with the M-Touch because it’s designed to work with those lights. I have a video available that goes a little more into the M-Touch and M-Play: M-Touch vs. M-Play: Which One is Right For Me?

Brian (10:56): I ran across your website last Sunday while trying to puzzle out some issues I am having with the light setup at my church.

Here’s a brief of the setup:
Blizzard Eclipse DMX Controller v2.46, with Blizzard Pipeline distributor.
8 Elation LED SixPar 300 fixtures
6 Chauvet LED light bars
6 Intimidator Wash Zoom 450 (just used as spots, not programming patterns or strobe)
~20 par can fixtures (incandescent) 

Basically, the issue seems to be with Blizzard’s software, which frequently deletes or replaces data in the cues, and won’t respond to some commands. Long and short is that the tech team is frustrated with the problems we are having and are open to replacing it with a new system. What I’m looking for is a recommendation for our setup. Most of the lighting setups are the same from week to week, just changing colors for the songs. We do host special events from time to time, but again, most of the setup is the same, with tweaks to the color scheme and position of the Intimidators. I have had past experience with an ETC Express board, but I like how easy a software controller is. At this point, we are just looking for options that won’t break the bank but will provide a little more programming ability, ease of use, and most importantly, stability.

The issues I’ve seen with Blizzard’s software is that it is buggy and does have issues. I have a couple of consoles that I am going to recommend.

How Do I Choose My First (or Next) Lighting Console?

The first is Elation’s Onyx software that you can download the software for free. The console comes with 4 universes of output. You may have to get a Node to go with it that are around $120 – $200.

Elation’s NX DMX

Beginning with Onyx Videos

How do I Begin with Onyx?

Onyx is a professional grade console so there will be a learning curve to the software. In Learn Stage Lighting Labs I have designed an action plan called Onyx for the Complete Newbie. It’s a great resource that helped students get a head start on using the Onyx software. So be sure to check it out!

For control with your moving lights and LED’s, I would recommend the M-Touch from Elation. It comes with 10 touch faders and a programming section on the side. Pair that up with a Touch Screen and this is what I use below.

Lastly, I would recommend checking out the Work Pro LightShark that is tablet based. Basically, you purchase a console either one that has 10 faders or one that is just the box and runs the software. The LightShark doesn’t come with a screen so you either work with a tablet or even a computer.

LightShark 1 Intro

What is the LightShark?

David (17:38): I have been given the task of changing the lights on our churches “Singing Christmas Tree” which is 40 ft at the bottom (half circle) and 30 ft high. It has 11 rows and holds up to 110 choir members. Currently the the lighting is single strands of 4 different color incandescent christmas lights, RGBW. They are currently run by a Road Hog 4 Controller. I would like to convert this to a net style fully addressable led lighting that we can attach to the modular greenery. You can see this Tree at . . . Hope you can help!

Last year, I dove in and created a LED Light Show on my house which led to a new project, Learn Christmas Lighting. I’ve been writing about working with pixels so be sure to check it out. Also, there are resources available about working with Pixels inside of Learn Stage Lighting Labs.

Basically, what you need is a lot of Pixels. There are multiple vendors for ordering Christmas lights through available. The one I’ve worked with is and there are other good companies such as

You’ll need to have LED’s, purchase some power supplies, pixel controllers, and then you’ll need to be able to control it. You can control them through your Road Hog controller and pair with ENTTEC’s ELM. Or if everything is running to the track you can use a program such as xLights or Vixen.

Yurii (20:21): I’m using Onyx PC free version and four universe art net node. I have a problem with programming time coded light show for one song. The point is that I don’t know how to connect SMPTE timecode from audio source to PC with Onyx software. Do I need only console with SMPTE input for resolving this issue? or there is any possibility to connect multitrack audio (with included SMPTE signal to my notebook) thru 3.5 input jack.

Unfortunately, I don’t have as much experience with timecode, but just enough to get me started. In the past, I’ve used LTC timecode so I’m going to share this article: What Equipment is Used for Generate LTC?

Robert (22:30): I have been receiving your emails for quite a while and am trying to figure out a simple way of syncing DMX with a music video clip. I currently have DMXIS and Ableton Live 9 lite but can’t get Ableton to recognize DMXIS as a plugin. Do you have any experience in this combination? Also, what would you suggest to achieve the DMX sync to music video clips?

My thoughts are is that you may have installed Ableton after you installed DMXIS and DMXIs isn’t in the Ableton folder. Or you haven’t pointed Ableton to the DMXIS plugin.

Go to the DMXIS user manual and find the plugin section. From there you can see where the plugin is supposed to be installed. Then, go to Ableton and try to find it.

Now to get music and video in sync you either have to get it to play in Ableton or you can use a program such as ShowBuddy Active.

In Show Buddy you can have the video play and use Ableton for the music.

Lee (25:16): Thanks for doing the videos about ShowBuddy Active! I haven’t found much help about this product online. I’m glad you are trying to figure it out. I have a question about using this in a live situation. If I am running a backing track, can I sync this program to the audio track to run the video? 

You can totally do this with Showbuddy. In Show Buddy you can have the video play and use a program similar Ableton for the music.

Connor (26:11): Hey! I have a question! When you daisy-chain (DMX) DJ lights together, can you daisy chain different sorts of lights into one and out the other? For example: From a Par into a Moving Head into a Lazer etc etc. Thank you!

Yes, you can do this. When you daisy chain via DMX it’s not that it goes in from one light and out to the next. It’s the signal goes past and everything connected just grabs on. If all of the devices are DMX it will work just fine.

Pauric (27:01): I would like to use a lighting visualizer and was wondering which integrates with sketch up best it is mostly for conference and stage design where I would like to then render out into concept images or short animations rather than photo realistic renders.

I am a big fan of Capture and I like it because it’s very easy to use and the price is good. After doing a quick Google search it is possible to integrate with Sketch Up.

So You Want a Lighting Visualizer

Sean (28:22): Hey man! I enjoy reading every article of yours I can! I’m looking for a lighting solution for front lighting of a 4 piece hard rock band in the least expensive way. Which lighting fixtures would you suggest using that would give me the best coverage for the price? Would something like the Chauvet PAR 64s possibly be bright enough from about 35-40 feet away? We’re not a very big act yet and play in small bar venues that don’t have any house lighting for the time being. Was hoping to keep it down to 3 or 4 DMX fixtures on a single stand that I can hoist up about 12ft. Any suggestions you could offer would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

I would say on the lowest level those Chauvet PAR 64s will work but it just depends what the lighting is like in the venue. If you need a brighter light then I would recommend the Slims.

Andy (29:54): It’s been a while now, but I have put your knowledge to good use! Yesterday I did a gig with my lighting rig, and attempted to use Touch OSC to control the fog machine. No Go! I couldn’t get the iPad to connect with DMXIS. The patches on DMXIS showed up on the iPad layout, but I couldn’t select anything on the iPad. The only thing that has changed since it was working last time is that I run my fixtures wirelessly from the DMXIS box now, instead of via cables. So, if you can help: 1/. Any ideas on why my iPads (2) (and iPhone 6 plus!) won’t change the patches on DMXIS? Is it a settings thing? 2/. Is using a wireless connection the cause?

When using Touch OSC and DMXIS it can be kind of finicky. But what you want to do is make sure that all of your settings are correct.

How to Use OSC with ENTTEC DMXIS

Then, inside of DMXIS you can type in a maximum of banks and presets you are using. Lastly, make sure you have a powerful wireless router. You can use apps to check the wireless space.

Closing (32:30)

If you’re new here and you’re not sure how or where to get started with your lighting be sure to take this Quiz and I will send you a Guide based on your answers to help get you pointed in the right direction.

How to Begin with Lighting Quiz

I’d also like to mention the sponsor of the show, Learn Stage Lighting Labs. If you like what you hear and you’ve enjoyed our videos I want to encourage you to check Learn Stage Lighting Labs. It’s everything we offer on the site and so much more.

In next week’s episode I have a guest, Kevin Ward who is a Church Tech Director and an award winning producer! We’re going to talk about lighting, volunteers, and more. Be sure to tune in!

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