How Do Lighting Visualizers Work?

Just as a console wouldn’t program stage lighting on its own, using a visualizer won’t build your show on its own. In this post, we’re going to walk through a simple workflow of how to get started with a visualizer and suggestions on how to so.

Visualizers have come a long way in a short amount of time. Not only has the unit costs went down but there’s also the ability to add lasers, video, and led walls to your visualizers. Before we go more into that, let’s get started with the basics of setting up your console and visualizer.

Getting DMX to Your Visualizer

A question I often am asked is “Do you need a DMX box to connect your console to your visualizer?”. With most consoles and lighting software, that is no longer the case.

Since most lighting consoles and software output sACN and Art-Net, you are able to connect your console to your visualizer with a network cable: What are Art-Net and sACN?

All you need to verify is that your console and visualizer are both licensed for the amount of universes or fixtures that you need, and you’re good to go!

Building in Your Visualizer

Once you have your console and visualizer connected, it’s time to start building, but where do you get started? While this is optional, I highly recommend building out your stage or set first.

How Do Lighting Visualizers Work?

It’s very important to build the stage that your lights will be working in and be sure to add a couple of people to that stage so that you have an idea of how the lights will look on your band. If you’re able, it’s important to add the right dimensions of your stage in the visualizer. While this may seem tedious at first, you’ll be happy with the accuracy in the long run.

Each visualizer is different in regards to how the building process works. Generally, each visualizer will have a library of items to build your stage. If possible, when adding your lights, trusses, and so on be sure to as accurate as possible on where they are set up on the stage as well as in your visualizer.

Doing all of this beforehand will help give you a very realistic look that you can build within your visualizer and confidently know that’s how the show is going to look on your stage.

Bringing In Your Fixtures

Once you have your actual stage set up as well as the lighting placement, you’re ready to get started with bringing in your fixtures.

The cool piece in working with visualizers is that it’s no longer just focused on visualizing your lights. Now, you have the ability to add in lasers, LED walls, and even media. It’s such a powerful tool when designing and creating your complete show.

With all of these elements, you now have the capability to build your show on the visualizer and know that’s how it’s going to look in person.

Your next step is going to be bringing in your fixtures, lasers, and video. As mentioned earlier, it so important in the original setup to make sure the size and placement of your setup are accurate as possible. When you begin building your show and presets, all of this will play into how accurate your lighting will look in the visualizer and your stage.

Working with Multiple Venues or Shows

A great feature and tool for those that want to create multiple shows or venues is the ability to save multiple files as needed. If you are someone that will be designing shows for different clients or perhaps you are someone that works with multiple venues, you can simply create new shows as needed within your visualizer.

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