How to Automate Lighting for a Live Show with LightKey – Featuring We Three

Can you run a lighting show with 100% automation as a gigging band? Great question, and one a lot of lighting professionals are curious about! In this video, We Three and David collaborate to show you how to make a very dynamic show happen in LightKey!

If you are a band, a church, or other small venue about to put on a live show, you might be wondering how to sync up your show with your lighting and what the best options are as far as getting everything to run smoothly and on time.

Up until now there have been two solid choices for live show lighting automation. The first being DMX or the second being LightKey. They both have their pros and cons but if you are just starting out, LightKey is a really great option to explore.

LightKey Setup

A lot of times people using LightKey in Ableton will build out their live tap with just a few basic looks and then will simply fire one lighting button or one scene at a time. This basic method works perfectly fine, but if you are looking to add a little more flare to your show you can go about things a different way and get some beautiful results.

It can be a little confusing to add multiple tracks to use in your live show but it’s definitely not an insurmountable task and it is certainly worth the little bit of extra effort.


Setting up your lighting program to be able to control and trigger fades on a case by case basis is possible through Ableton! The best way to do this when you are figuring out how to automate your show is to work on this in the program that you are most comfortable with using.

Whether you are using LightKey with Ableton or some other live program, you can get the same basic effects. You just have to go with what works best for you and your show and what you are used to.

LightKey Benefits

If you are a band and you are looking to trigger your live show with lighting then LightKey is a really great way to do it. What it allows you to have the option of doing is to either bring in one scene at a time, two scenes at a time, or multiple. It also gives you fader controls if you so desire.

Ultimately you get an end result of different lighting going at different times in different scenes, all working together seamlessly. Everything will look highly organized and be automated with ease. It really gives you a professional and intricate looking show without too much extra effort.


Using LightKey, you can easily manage your lighting and have everything working together time wise with very little effort. It gives you the ability to put on an awesome, dynamic show that is always on time because you trigger it out of your backing tracks.


At the end of the day, when you are a lighting professional, you want to have a show that is as dynamic and as fascinating as possible while having it look incredibly professional and run smoothly. That is what we are here to help you accomplish!

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