• Home
  • |
  • Articles
  • |
  • It’s the day for Q+A – DMX Basics, Onyx Configuration and More!

 June 18

by LearnStageLighting.com

Learn Stage Lighting Podcast Episode # 70

This week on the podcast is our Q+A Tuesday and we will be answering your questions! Today, we have a little bit of everything from DMX Basics to ONYX, and much more!

If you have a question you would like to share be sure to submit it here: Contact Form and there will be an option to allow you to leave your voice message.

This week I am on my way to Gearfest 2019 which is a cool trade show that focuses on the music industry as well as lighting. I’ll be heading up there to hang out with the crew from ENTTEC.

Main Segment (1:30)

Mike (1:32): I’m a retired old codger who wants to set up his living room like a disco, at least a bit! I’ve bought a mirror ball, a motor, and a DMX light, but I don’t know whether the light is right for it. I was thinking of something smaller, but the shop didn’t have anything else.

What I think I need to know is:
1. What DMX controller should I buy?
2. Will microphone cables do to hook up the light?
3. What’s a good position to set up the light so it strikes the mirror ball?

All of these answers really depends on how you want your lights to look and what you want to do.

With a DMX Controller, I think you really just need something simple that can handle a couple of lights and change colors. For that I recommend this CHAUVET DJ LED Lighting (OBEY4).

For the light you have, it looks like you have a 3 channel LED Par which will work with the controller I mentioned. What you’re looking for is more of a pin spotlight. I recommend looking at this ADJ Pinspot Unit.

You were wondering about the microphone cables. I highly recommend going with DMX cables instead but if you’re just looking to hook up one or two lights then the microphone cables may work.

For the position of light I would suggest positioning the point of the light right at the ball to light up the ceiling. If you’re looking for more of a floor coverage then just tilt the down a bit to shift if to the floor.

Axel (7:02): I’m working on setting up onyx on my laptop with all the patches and cuelists of my work computer which is MPC still, the transition has been flawless. except when I try and set up some fixtures on the 2d viewer I can’t seem to place any fixture it just gets stuck on draw a line to place fixtures, yet no matter what I do I can’t seem to place any fixtures at all.

What I would recommend with most issues with ONYX on a PC is to make sure your Windows is completely up to date. Then, I would re-install the latest version of ONYX on your computer and see if that will do it.

If that doesn’t work then there is a program or an app that is conflicting with the ONYX program. In that case, back up your computer first and then go to the Windows 10 center and reset the PC have it wipe everything and start with a clean slate.

Worla (10:00): Hi there, thanks so much for answering my last question. I just have a quick follow up question, please. In the video, you made mention of using a DMX splitter which can make a console take more fixtures than it’s capacity. I want to know the numbers, for example, a 512dmx console can take 32 fixtures. Can with the help splitter make it take up to say 64?

We’re really talking about two very different things when we’re discussing 32 fixtures and 512 channels. So, it’s best to look at this from 2 different lenses.

The 32 fixture limit is really about how far can the DMX signal run before it gets too weak to continue on. That number does fluctuate and really depends on what fixtures are being used. The number of fixtures can be as low as 16 or even as high as 50 fixtures. It really just depends on what you are working with and your DMX signal.

Now, when it comes to the number of fixtures you are setting up on your console that depends on the number of channels you available on your console. If you are working with a white light that just takes 1 channel then you could have 512 white lights for your console. But if you are working with a 3 channel light then you can only have 170 of those lights.

As you move into more complex lights and moving lights they can take up a lot more channels. With DMX splitters you are really using it to keep the DMX signal strong as it goes through all of your lights. You can assign lights to the same channel but you won’t have individual control. There is a lot you can do with channels but I hope that helps you understand a little more on how that works.

Terry (14:15): First, just wanted to let you know that your videos and tutorials are outstanding and extremely helpful. I’m struggling to find information on whether LED strips used on stage as individual vertical stands could be controlled wirelessly from DMXIS software running through logic pro? We would like to have several LED strips connected to vertical stands on stage during a live performance but not have to worry about all the cabling to tether them together and save on setup time etc. We would like to run all this through our playback rig with DMXIS/logic pro. Is this possible and if so what products would we need to accomplish this setup? 

It sounds like you have an LED strip light that takes DMX directly. But you want to run this wirelessly. This is simple and definitely achievable.

You just have to get a wireless DMX setup. I have an article about this and walks you through a few options on how to do this:

The Complete Guide to Running Data to Your Lights Wirelessly

I generally don’t recommend these but I’ve heard from others that as long as you keep the distance short there shouldn’t be any issues. Donner Wireless Transmitter & Receiver

As for how to set it up it’s just as simple as running DMX to DMX. You just plug in the transmitter at the end of a daisy chain or a DMX splitter and then pair it with the receiver.

Closing (19:07)

On July 1st I am planning on launching the Patreon for the podcast and the Youtube channel. I am very excited and want to keep everything going for Learn Stage Lighting.

With Learn Stage Lighting Labs I pour everything into it but I understand that it’s not for everyone. So, with that, I want to keep the posts, podcast, and my YouTube going which is why I am switching to the Patreon.

I will see you guys back in 2 weeks with another Q+A Tuesday!

share this

Related Posts

How working on large stages is easier and harder than small stages

What Software Should I Use to Control LED Pixels?

3 Types of Console Setups for ANY Size Venue