Onyx Video Training Tutorials

Onyx Video Training Tutorials

Want to learn Onyx, but don’t know where to begin?  Here, I’ve put together my best Onyx video resources in one place so that you can learn!  Let’s dive in:

Installing ONYX

If you haven’t already you want to start by installing the software. Just visit the Obsidian Controls Website and click “Downloads” or you can go directly to the Downloads Page here.

Before downloading, you want to be sure that you have the latest Windows Updates installed, this will help avoid any issues with the download.

Onyx Download

Once everything is updated, go to back to the Obsidian Download Page click to install the Full Onyx Package.

When the File is downloaded, double-click to open, and just follow the download prompts from there.

Completing the Onyx Download

Some systems may have a Security Prompt asking you to verify if you want the program installed. You’ll want to Allow these to continue the Install.

Once the setup is completed you will have a pop-up window titled Onyx Prerequisites Setup Completed Successfully.

Now, all of the Drivers have been downloaded your computer will prompt to Download the Onyx Program. Click Yes to Continue.

When everything is unpacked, click to agree to the License Agreement and click Next. The next prompt will be a checkbox if you had issues installing the program on that computer previously. If it is not, just click Next.

The program will Install and may take a few minutes to do so. When completed you will have the option to Open Onyx for the first time.

Launching Your First ONYX Show

Once you’ve installed ONYX, you’re ready to launch your first show.

Once you’ve launched ONYX, you’ll have a couple of different options available on the main screen. Such as New, Load, Join, and after the first time of loading ONYX, Continue.

In this scenario, you’re going to click “New”. A screen will pop up that will allow you to name the new show and then you can click “OK”. From there, ONYX will load up and you’ll be directed to the main dashboard as pictured below.

On the top left corner, you’ll see a screen and ONYX. To note this will lead you to the main menu so that you can set your different options, load shows, add fixtures, etc. But we’ll get to that later!

For now, you’ll notice the many options along side the left screen as well as the bottom Bank that will be all of your main presets once you create them.

In this next video, we’ll dive in more how to get started with your fixtures and creating presets.


When you first begin using ONYX there will be a blank canvas as you have not patched in any lights. This will help you get started with the patching wizard.

To get started click the ONYX menu in the Top Left Corner pulling up different options, select “Patch”.

In the lower left corner, select “Commands”, then “New Fixture”, and the patching wizard will come up.  First, you’ll want to select the brand of your fixture, and when done click “Auto Patch”.

Next, you’ll need to add a title and select the numberof lights you are patching. You will have the option to Auto-populate the Start ID, Universe, etc but you can modify these individually by clicking “Auto Off”. When done, just click “Auto Patch”.

Once you patch in your new lights, you should see them populate in the main patching window.

Creating Your 2D Plan

Once you’ve added your fixtures you can start creating a 2D Plan. This is optional of course but it’s a great tool to use when you’re starting with ONYX and anticipating using Dylos in the near future.

Located on the left sidebar select “2D Plan” . How you choose to layout the 2D plan is entirely up to you. To get started with building your 2D plan, click “Live” located on the top menu bar. This will put the program in edit mode.

On Top Bar you’ll have multiple options including add, click “Add”. You can then add your fixtures. Then, you have the option to add them in a line, square, circle, etc. After selecting your options click “Place Fixtures” and select the area on the screen that you want them placed.

You also have the option to add the Fixtures to the 2D Plan individually. If you want to line these up perfectly just use your mouse to select the fixtures and then located on the Top Bar is an option, Align, where you can have the Fixtures arranged.

Seeing it Live

Once you are done setting up the 2D plan you can leave the edit mode by selecting the “Edit” located on the Top Left Corner. This will show the fixtures Live.

Creating and Using Groups

Groups are a simple and effective way to select different fixtures on your Stage. Groups can be created for any variation of lights you choose to set up.

To get started with creating your first group, go to the left sidebar and select “Fixtures & Presets”. Select the lights you want to group, press “Record”, and select “Group” below the listed fixtures. Then, just select a group box, title the group name, and click “Enter”.

Once you have the group created you have the option re-name it by just selecting the group, change the name, and click “Enter”.

Creating and Using Presets

Creating Presets or Palettes are another vital tool when setting up for your show. Presets allow you to later come back and update your show with ease.

To get started, go to the Group Presets screen and select the group of lights or even individual lights you want to start with. Next, using the bottom menu bar you can select one of the available attributes Intensity, Pan Tilt, Color, Gobos, Beam, or Beam FX.

Once you have set your first preset, just select a tile, name the preset, and click “Enter”.

Connecting to the Capture Demo File

Before diving into effects I want to get you started with the free demo of Capture. You can download it here: Capture Demo File.

Download the “ONYX Training File Capture.zip”. Unzip the files needed you can use .app files if you’re working with a MAC or use the .exe if you’re using Windows. You’ll then be able to launch the Capture demo file.

Once you download Capture using your console go to “ONYX” in the top left corner. Click “Main Menu” and then go to the “EtherDMX”. On the bottom of the screen you’ll see multiple options, click “sACN”.

Select “ON” and with the universes from and to, just set them on 1 and 3. Once you’re done with the settings, click “Apply”.

Back to the Capture demo, click “Windows” and then click “Universes”. Select your first universe and use the drop-down under “External Universes” to select your Art-net or sACN.

From there you should be able to use the Capture demo to visualize your lights with ONYX. If needed you may have to reboot Capture or ONYX to help the programs recognize each other.

Cues and Cuelists

Setting up cues is very similar to what we have done when setting up groups and presets.

To get started select the individual lights or group of lights, using the Command Key Pad, you can adjust the Parameters (Intensity, Color, Beam), click “Record”, ad press the “Playback” on the bottom of the screen.

Here you can title it and select the Cuelist Type. If you would like to add more to the list just repeat the process.

Cuelist Playback

When done assigning cues, be sure to click “Clear” twice on the command keypad. To review the cuelist you can just select it and press “Play“.

Other Way to Create Cuelists

There are other ways to create a Cuelist. On the top Left bar select the Screen Icon and then click Playback. From there you can click Playback Buttons and record your cues.

Another way is to go back to the Top Left bar and select Screen Icon and then click DJ. Then you would click the M-Touch and M-Play Screen.

Cuelist Types

In ONYX you have 6 Types of Cuelists. Below are the Types and different functions.

Cuelists –  When using the fader your intensity level will go up and down. Other Parameters will not change.

Submasters – If the intensity is set at full this will not change. The difference is the LTP & HTP. You can read more here: What is HTP? What is LTP? Why Should I Care?

Chase – Allows you to build in as many cues as you want and then using the beat button you can set the speed for how fast you want the cues to be gone through.

Inhibitive – This is a backwards submaster as it subtracts from the look on the stage. It scales back the intensity but you have to set the intensity to full when using this option.

Override – This is a higher priority output and always wins. It crossfades all of the parameters.

Timecode – Allows you to timecode a show and follow a specific timing.

Working with FX Part 1

To get started with effects, you can select any individual lights or even a group of lights. Bring up the attributes, select a parameter (Intensity, Pan Tilt, etc) and then click “FX”. You’ll see many different effect options that you’ll be able to do with the lights.

If you’re using the Capture visualizer, any changes made to the lights will display in the visualizer.

Working with Your Parameters

In the parameter screen when you select “Intensity” and “FX” you can see in the box above it’ll list the movement on intensity. Setting the movement and speed you can see the changes take effect in your visualizer.

Once you set the movements and speed you then need to set up the offset. To do this, go back to your parameter screen and select “FX Timing”. There you can set your wave and step. You can see the changes take place in the visualizer.

Saving Your Effects

Saving your changes is the same as setting a Group, Cuelist, and anything else in your Console. Pop up your command keypad, click “Record”, and where you want to save it.

My personal preference is saving the effects to the Override instead of the Cuelist. Be sure to test it out and see what works for you.

As you set up your effects and colors you can also use the 2D Plan to see what lights are doing what.

Working with FX Part 2

In this video, we’re going to focus more on the Pan and Tilt effects.

Just as you did previously be sure to select the Group of Lights. Open your parameter control and select “Pan Tilt” and then “FX”. On this screen, you will see a different option swing pan and swing tilt. In ONYX, pan and tilt work together by default.

If you do not like the Pan/Tilt default you can switch this off by clicking the “Setting” and turn off P/T combo.

By using the visualizer with ONYX you can see the effects and movements taking place. When you have the settings you want, always be sure to pull up the command keypad and click “Record”.

Working with Screenviews

One of the great features with ONYX is the ability to customize your views any way you want.

With ONYX, the scroll wheel and tab key are very handy if you’re working with a computer.

A first example is on the main fixture screen. To scroll through the fixtures you can use the scroll wheel, the up and down arrows, or even use the center dot to scroll up or down. That is especially easy when using a mobile device.

To switch between menus, you can use the Tab key. You’ll notice that the options will be highlighted in gold as they are selected.

When using different screens such as the 2D Plan, you can set a specific zoom if needed. To do this, set the preferred zoom, “right-click” 2D Plan, select “Unlock & Edit”, and click “Save”. Or you can “right-click” 2D Plan again and click “Save”.

To adjust the views and style of the main screen, “right-click” ONYX in the top left corner. Select “Unlock Workspace” and click “Edit View”. Here you will be able to change your column layouts by adding or reducing the amount. You can even drag and drop different views. When you set the view as you wanted just click “Save” when done.

Introduction to DyLOS

When starting with DyLOS you need to be sure to download the latest verson of ONYX, version 4.4 or higher. Then, you’ll need to download the DyLOS Factory Content Package. This isn’t a small download and can take a while to complete.

Importing the Content

To get started with the DyLOS, you’ll need to import the factory content oackage. To do this, click “ONYX” on the top left corner, then click “Menu” located under the console & show settings.

From there select “Load/Save” on the left sidebar, click “Settings”, and then click “Import DyLOS Content”.

ONYX Training Tutorial

From there you will select the DyLOS factory content package and upload it to ONYX. From there, you should be able to see the new DyLOS options on the main screen of ONYX.

Working with DyLOS

From the main screen, you will see on the sidebar 3 new menus after uploading DyLOS. You should see the Zone Layer, Zone Parameters, and the 2D version.

ONYX Training Tutorial

In the “Library” portion you will see that factory content that was uploaded for DyLOS. This will give you some design and options to work with.

To get started and working with DyLOS, just click “DyLOS” on the main sidebar and from there you can select which menu you want to work with. In this vide tutorial, I used the “Stage” menu. When you select your menu this will pull up in the middle of ONYX the different parameters, effects, and delays that you can use in the show.

When you select a parameter or effect, you will see this come up in the assigned zone, source, effect 1, and effect 2. With some parameters you may need to increase the intensity for it to be more visible on the stage.

ONYX Training Tutorial

Using Mask

There’s also a Mask section and using this option you can set different parameters and effects for designated zones. Such as, selecting “Effect 1 Media Mask” you can insert an image or logo. The image or logo will then be placed on top of the original parametr or source that you selected.

A Powerful Tool

As you dive into using DyLOS, you will see that not only is there so many different effects and parameters that you can use but DyLOS was also designed to work smoothly side by side with your lights.

Just as you would use parameters when designing your lights, you’ll notice that a DyLOS menu is available inside of your parameter menus. This makes everything much easier of you are designing a show on the fly.

ONYX Training Tutorial

Saving your look  with DyLOS is the same as you would saving a cue or preset inside of ONYX. Also, when working with DyLOS, you’ll need to clear from time to time. To do this just select the “Brush Icon” and you can either clear the whole zone or just certain parts of the zone.

How to Trigger Cues in Onyx Using Your Keyboard

If you’re working with ONYX and using a regular computer Keyboard you can still trigger your Cues. Here’s how!

This method is very similar to Hot Keys. All you have to do is hit CTLR + 1 and you will see your Playback 1 Light Up. Your Playbacks are laid out as 1 – 9 and 0 is 10.

For more information on how you can use your Keyboard with ONYX check out Obsidian’s Keyboard Shortcuts Reference.

How to Use the Onyx Remote

The ONYX Remote allows you to have access to your control through iOS from afar.

Configuring the Settings

First, you want to make sure that your remote and iOS device is set up with the same Network that your ONYX Console is.

In your ONYX Console click ONYX in the Top Left Corner, Menu, and under Network click Settings. Here you select the Connection which is either your Ethernet or Wifi.

On the right side of the screen you will see Options. Below Options, there will Remote. Toggle the Remote to On. As you toggle the remote on and off you will see the remote icon show up on the Connection. Click Apply when done.

On the right sidebar Menu select Remote. Be sure that the Network selected is toggled ON. Below the Network setting is the Remote’s Access Key. You will need this when connecting your iOS system.

Connecting Your iOS System

On your iOS System be sure that you are connected to the same connection that the ONYX Console is. Open you Obsidian App for ONYX. When it opens it will be checking for Devices.

Click the ONYX File and this will bring you to a Page to enter your Access Code. Once you enter the Code it will confirm.

Using the ONYX Remote

Once it’s loaded on your iOS System you will see a variety of options such as Fixtures, Presets, Parameters, etc.

When using and changing the effects always remember to Record.

Using Touch OSC with Onyx

**Note – As of Version 4.3 of Onyx, using OSC for playbacks has a slight, random delay for users who don’t have any attached Onyx key or playback surface (except the NX DMX).   Read more here.

That doesn’t diminish the fact that it’s still a VERY useful tool for both licensed and un-licesened setups!

Setting up your Touch OSC is somewhat similar to the Remote.

Configuring the Settings

In your console click ONYX in the Top Left Corner, Menu, and under Network, click Settings.

Choose your Network Connection and under Settings toggle OSC to On. Also, be sure to write down your IP Address.

Located on the Left Sidebar under Network select OSC. The Port will automatically be set, just leave this as is. In the connection make sure it is connected to the correct Network.

On the Bottom Bar select Devices. Select the First Device Box and Toggle it On. Then, you can Name it. Review the Settings and set as you wish.

Connecting the Tablet

On your Tablet pull up the Touch OSC App, go to Settings, then click OSC. On the very bottom, you should see the IP Address.

Go back to your Console and you can enter the IP Address in the Settings. The rest of the settings should be left at Default. When done just click Apply.

Back to your Tablet, you’ll need to update the Settings. On the top put in the IP Address of your ONYX. The incoming and outgoing Ports should match those on the ONYX Console. Press your back Button to Apply.

Now you need to get the Layout, which is Available Here: Layout Transfer. Once you get this downloaded you can go to Layout on your Tablet, Add from File, select from Downloads, select the Layout and Press Done. Then you should be able to see the Layout.

Using the Touch OSC

Back to the ONYX Console, you can click Update and then Apply. You should see the changes in your Touch OSC.

On the Touch OSC you will be able to see your Cues and Faders. At the top, you will be able to scroll through the pages and view your Playbacks. You will also have access to Download the Touch OSC Editor available.

Taking it to the Next Level:

Now you’ve gone through the basics of launching and getting your first show in Onyx – congratulations!

I truly hope these videos have helped you, and launch you into creating more with your lighting.  If you did enjoy these videos, you’ll also enjoy the rest of my complete guide to Onyx, known as “Onyx for the Complete Newbie”, and “Advanced Onyx”.

Inside these videos, you’ll gain not only the “how to”, but also the “what to do”, to make Onyx work for your specific type of lighting.

Sound good?  These complete guides are available inside Learn Stage Lighting Labs.  Learn more about Learn Stage Lighting Labs and join us here!

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