Lighting Console Layout for Live Music

When it comes time to lay your lighting console out for live music, where do you put various cues? What cues should you even program? In this video, David goes into this and more!

Lighting console layouts for live music can mean any number of setups from churches to bands, to DJs, etc. While not all events that we typically work with in lighting are live events, many are.


One of the first things to tackle with your layout is organizing what you lay out where and when. This will depend on what you have on your console, how many faders, buttons, and other such things.

On most given consoles you will find that they are ten fader consoles.

Intensity Faders

One of the first things to prioritize is your intensity faders for your groups of lights. You will have your key front light on the people. You will typically use one or two faders for control over this.

Blinder Lights

Next you will focus your attention on whatever your blinder light is. Next comes your spots, washes, and beams if you have them.

You will most likely find that most of your faders will be going to control intensities so to give yourself more to work with it is important to consider whether or not you really need variable control over each light you are working with as you go along.


Making use of your faders to control your effects is usually a convenient idea. Using a couple for color effects, or movement effects to control speed will likely be beneficial for you. This will usually be size, or speed based.

Not On Faders

Because you are usually working with a limited number of faders it is a great idea to decide what you actually need on them and what you don’t. You will find that you do not need to put hazers on them but rather keep those to button control.


When you have a small console page changes can get a bit complicated. This is because if you have a fader active from a previous page once you switch pages it will stick on and cause you to have to move the fader in order to use it.

It can be easiest to keep changing pages to a minimum when using faders, but if you find that you want or need to, taking the intensity faders and making them the same on every page, as well as doing minimal alterations to your effects can help simplify things a bit for you.

Button Grid

Things like colors, moving light position combos, different positions on your lights, gobos, etc., should all be things added to your grid of buttons. A great idea with these buttons is to make the last button of every row a “clear” button that allows you to clear out the rest of the row when you need to.

Another key button is to include a master “stop all effects” in case the need arises during your show.


The biggest thing when you are running things to live music is to keep your setup in the fewest number of pages as possible to keep things simple and straight forward so that your reaction times can be quick and efficient as needed. The other aspect to pay most attention to keep the entire setup simple. Simplicity will give you the easiest control ability for your entire show and keep everything running seamlessly.

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