The Chauvet Obey 40 is a really popular and basic DMX lighting console.
If you’ve sat down at one, however, you’ll know that it’s not the most intuitive lighting desk ever. Have no fear! In the videos below, I show you all the basics that you need in order to thrive on the Obey 40!
Chauvet Obey 40 101
How to Record Scenes on the Obey 40
How to Record Chases on the Obey 40
What is DMX Polarity?
Last but not least, I explain that weird “DMX polarity” switch that you see on the back of the Obey 40, and what in the world it does!
Can’t Watch Right Now? Read the Transcripts Below:
Introduction To The Chauvet Obey 40
Hey guys, this is David from Learn Stage Lighting .com.
Today, I want to run you through the basic overview of the Chauvet Obey 40 console.
This console here is one that I really like for people who are just getting started with some basic lighting. Maybe you’re lighting for your band or a basic church setup, basic dance setup, or DJ.
You just really need some basic control of twelve unique fixtures, which are over here, and to be able to create some basic scenes and maybe some chases and play them back.
One of the things I like about the Obey 40 is you’re able to control twelve different fixtures and they’re up to sixteen channels each. You only got eight faders so that means there’s two pages, but there is a very nice helpful indicator light that goes back and forth there.
Programming is really cool because you can select different fixtures, brings things up on the faders, and then hit record and put it in a scene.
You can also then take these scenes, and there’s eight of them, and many banks – I believe up to ninety-nine different banks, also known as a lot!
You can have a whole lot of different scenes programmed for different songs with your lighting rig in there and play them back. One of the caveats to that is that unfortunately this console doesn’t play scenes back with fades so I click to a scene here, other scene, third scene. There’s no fade time. It’s just an instant bump transition. That’s part of the give or take because this is a very inexpensive console but it’s a really great value for the money.
In the chases, which are programmed, you can go – there’s six of them you can program.
They don’t come in banks I don’t believe. You can put them into an auto-play mode and now all of a sudden play them through. You’ve got to deselect this and it’ll play through my chase right there.
I’ve got to get these settings because … There we go. It was going very slow but you can slow down the fade time a little. Get some cool stuff going on there as it fades between the different scenes I’ve programmed.
Plus, another feature I like about this console, it has an easy to access blackout button. Hit that, boom, blackout, come back in, ready with the music.
You can always just turn the scenes on and chases on or off like that. Turn scenes on or off. You can always blackout at the end of your show. Hope that makes sense.
Hope that’s an interesting overview and helps you maybe understand if it’s the right desk for you. It’s very easy to use. Pretty simple. Once you learn and understand the ropes, it’s a really great way to control a small band or a church lighting rig.
How to Record Scenes on the Obey 40
Hey, guys, it’s David Henry from Learn Stage Lighting .com, and today, I want to show you how to record scenes into the Chauvet Obey 40 controller.
Scenes are these 8 buttons you have at the top of your console, and they’re to recall anything … You know, you set up a look with your lights, and then you record that scene in these buttons.
The first thing we’re going to do … Actually, I need to start with a blank slate, not where I was, and enter program mode.
To do that, we press the button labeled ‘Program’ and hold it in for a few seconds. You’re going to see this LED indicator flashing right here. You should be able to see it on the camera. That indicates that you are now in program mode.
Now, I’ve got 2 fixtures today. Select our first fixture. Dial in some red. We’ll deselect that fixture and then select our second fixture.
You saw there the red kind of flashed up because you should always clear your faders when you deselect one fixture and go to another so that they’re all starting at 0 because even if the fader’s up … We’ll bring that fader up.
We’ll switch to fixture 2. I had it selected there before, but if I hadn’t selected it before, it wouldn’t have come up with anything, and then the second I grabbed this, it would have turned on abruptly, so we always turn the faders down. It just helps clean up your programming.
We’ll make that a nice greenish yellow. That’s our first scene. What we want to do is we want to now hit the ‘Add MIDI/Add’ button, which is in the function. Just got to press it quick.
Then we want to press our first scene. Now, you probably saw the display there. It flashed, and some of the indicators flashed on the console. That’s a good sign. That’s the console’s way of telling you that it took the programming.
Now, we’ll clear our faders, clear out that red on the first light. We’ll make another scene.
We’ll make the scene all blue. Once again, ‘Add,’ go to scene 2. The lights flashed. We’re good. Bring it down. Boom. Scene 3. We’ll make this one a cyan. Then we’ll make that one a yellow. ‘Add,’ ‘scene 3.’ Boom. Now we’ll clear things out. Clear everybody out.
We’ll make our fourth scene, sure, we’ll make it all white, both the fixtures.
This will be an ‘Add’ fourth scene. That’s done. Clear that.
Now, to exit program mode and get back into playback, we just hold down ‘Program’ again like we did to get into it. Now, the flickering light is now not on program, but it’s on blackout, which means we got to press the ‘Blackout’ key to get into playback mode, at which point we can press our scenes, deselect our fixtures here, press our scenes, and they play back, so you can just select them, any order, go to them.
Label these on your console so you know what they are.
Then you notice, see there? I pressed scene 5. We didn’t record anything there, so the lights go to blank, and that’s important to know.
Also, if you’ve got a scene up, you can go to blackout. You can select another scene. You can come back in that other scene. That’s just an option you can do there.
How to Record Chases on the Obey 40
It’s David from Learn Stage Lighting .com.
Today, I want to show you how to record chases on the Chauvet Obey 40 Controller.
If you haven’t watched our first video, you can see a link below, on how to record scenes into the Chauvet Obey 40, and those are the buttons up here.
The scenes are very important, because that’s how we build our chases from scenes. That’s just how this controller works, and that’s important to hit that step first, record some scenes and you can pull some stuff up like this, and then we can get the chases.
To record chases we get back into program mode like scenes.
You hold that Program key, till the LED is flickering by the word program on the LCD. Then we select the chase we want to record, I’m going to choose 3 because I’ve got something in 1 and 2 but you’ve got 6 options here.
You press that key and you bring it to the scene you want to see first, that’s the first step of the chase. Then you press the Midi/Add button, for add, then you see a flicker there. Then scene 2, add it, scene 3, add it. You could do this in any order you want.
Assuming we did everything right, which I think we did, we get out of program mode, hit that Blackout button.
Now we can press our chase there. The chase is not playing back yet, it’s on the first step because we got to hit this auto key to get the chase started. Now you see it going through steps. You can see it’s just flashing through, that’s because it’s getting its timing right now, off of these faders.
The first fader we’ve got is speed and that’s how fast it goes through the different steps. You can see right now it’s 1.34 seconds, so every about 1 and a half seconds, it changes steps. This fader ranges from one second all the way to 10 minutes, and it shows you on display what you’ve selected.
Our other one, is fade time. What we do with that, is that’s how long the fade is.
Before we just saw snap changes, now we’ve made it a one-second fade. You can see we’re at the one second RS speed but then our fade is where we’re at, one second. Every second, it goes to the next key and fades for a second.
That goes all the way from zero seconds to 30 seconds. Here I’ve put it at 30 seconds and you can probably barely see it moving. Here we go slowly if you watch the one over here on the left, it’s slowly changing. Let’s speed that up 6 seconds and we’ll just be going through.
The other way you can play back chase, is you can press tap-sync. While we’re in this auto speed mode, that’s easy to do by just pressing tapping it in.
You can see the way that I’ve tapped with my finger, is now playing back on the lights and you can always grab control it again with the faders, and that’s going to give you fader control.
Those are the two main options for playing back chases, and I hope you enjoyed it, I hope this helps. Click the link below to once again see that first video if you missed it. Thanks!
What is DMX Polarity?
Hi Guys – Welcome back! It is Thursday, which means time for Learn Stage Lighting Q&A. I want to answer one that I’ve gotten a few times here on the blog, via email.
Just people looking at their console, having a question, saying, “What does the switch mean that says “DMX polarity”, and what do I do with it?”
Here I’ve got Chauvet Obey 40. Pretty popular little desk, and on the back here there’s a switch that’s labeled “DMX polarity select”.
It’s got two different ways. One way is with pin 2 data plus, and the other way is with pin 3 being the data plus, which is the standard, I’m pretty sure.
This is a switch that you’re likely never going to touch, which is good. If something’s not working you can try it. It may have gotten accidentally flipped.
What it is is, going back to the start … Not the start of lighting, that’s a long time ago, but back in the 80’s and 90’s Martin had a lot of fixtures, both aimed at the professional market and the DJ market, and they may have not been the only one who wired their DMX in backwards polarity.
Why did they do that?
The best explanation I’ve heard and can think is that they want you to buy their stuff. Their console to work with their lights. It’s very simple to change the wiring.
You just have as little barrel adapter that switches the wiring, or a console like this, the Obey 40 or others, you just have that polarity switch that you flip, and then all of a sudden everything is right with the world.
That’s all that switch does. You don’t have to worry about it, but if you’ve got an old Martin light, for example, that’s not working, try flipping that switch.
Again, if you want to use that Martin light with other lights, that don’t have the polarity switched, you’d need to get an adapter anyways.
That’s pretty simple. Hope that helps you and definitely, guys, send in your Q and A’s.
Keep sending them in to me.
We’ve started this series now. Being going on for a month or two, and love hearing from you guys and gathering up your questions to record a whole bunch more Q and A’s. I’ll see you guys there, and just keep sending it in. I love to hear it.
[…] big question remained and that was how I was going to control the lights. For this I looked at the Chauvet Obey consoles, but finally concluded I was better off sticking with my existing DMXIS software and controlling it […]
Thank you for your video series.
My DMX controller is the Chauvet Obey40
I would like to ask how I switch from one fixture to controlling another without the first fixture shutting off?
I am running 3 fixtures at the moment and everytime I switch fixtures and use the sliders or Scenes the first fixture shuts down.
The switching between fixtures method does not seem to be covered in the manual or online. Can you help?
Thank you Tony
I’ve not run into this problem before – make sure you watch the videos and read the instructions carefully. Hopefully that clears things up for you!
Hi David, with the Obey 40, I’m thinking of using a Midi sequencer track from Logic Pro and the Midi out of my USB/Midi interface to create a sequence and use midi notes to control the Obey 40 with two daisy chained 4 channel DMX AC dimmers. 2 questions before we spend $ – if DMX dimmers are daisy chained, can I control them independently to have 8 total channels operated separately from the Obey 40? Next, assuming I’m using Midi, I understand that Midi only toggles between scenes or chases on the Obey 40. If I have 8 channels (8 separate lights) and set each light on/off as a separate scene in the first bank and various combinations of lights in the succeeding banks, what happens if two midi notes happen together? Would the obey 40 turn on all lights that correspond to both of the scenes? Or would it pick 1 scene and ignore the second midi note? Basically does Obey 40 have midi polyphony? I ask because I will control the sequence track with a digital piano and have lights playing as I play piano. But what happens if I play chords? Just one scene? Thanks for any guidance you could provide. Ideally (and it doesn’t sound like the Obey 40 is my prime candidate) – I’d like to be able to have individual lights light up to various midi notes and turn off when I release them. Is their any controller that does this?
In reviewing the users guide for programming a chase, it says to press Midi/Add twice, but you demo pressing it once:
4. Press.The lights showin Bank15.
5. Press2times.The LCD display and fixture button LEDs flash to indicate a successful operation.
Which is correct? Thanks