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How to program DMX lights for beginners

Views: 12     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2023-10-05      Origin: Site


How to program DMX lights for beginners

Demystifying DMX Programming: A Beginner's Guide

Welcome to a comprehensive guide on DMX and DMX programming, tailored for beginners. In this tutorial, we will unravel the complexities of DMX, exploring the fundamental concepts and techniques necessary to master this essential aspect of stage lighting.

Understanding DMX Setup

DMX, short for Digital Multiplex, serves as the industry standard for controlling lighting equipment and special effects. At its core lies the DMX controller, the device responsible for communicating with fixtures through XLR cables, akin to microphone cables. These controllers transmit signals to lights, dictating their colors and functions.

During the setup phase, lights are connected in a daisy chain configuration using DMX cables. Each fixture possesses an input and an output, allowing for a seamless connection between them. The starting address assigned to each fixture determines the specific DMX channel used by the controller to communicate with the fixture. For instance, a fixture with a starting address of DMX channel 17 will respond to channels 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, and 22.

Programming Basic Scenes

Let's consider a scenario where we have a basic RGB lamp as our fixture, featuring channels for red, green, blue, and additional functions like strobing.

1. Setting Up Colors: To create a scene, specific colors are chosen for the fixture. For example, to emit a red light, the red channel is set to maximum, while the green and blue channels are set to minimum.

2. Programming Scenes: Once the desired color is achieved, it can be programmed as a scene. Scenes serve as predefined looks for the lights, allowing users to switch between different colors effortlessly.

3. Expanding to Multiple Fixtures: For more intricate setups involving multiple fixtures, each fixture should have its starting address configured correctly to match the controller's channels. Various colors can then be programmed for each fixture and saved as distinct scenes.

Creating Chases

A chase entails a sequence of scenes played in a specific order. Here's a step-by-step guide on creating a chase:

1. Programming Scenes: Begin by programming the individual scenes you wish to include in your chase.

2. Setting Up the Chase: Access the chase function on your controller and select the scenes you've programmed in the desired order. These scenes will play sequentially as part of the chase.

3. Adjusting Speed and Fade Time: To add depth to your lighting effects, you can control the speed of the transitions between scenes and the fade time, determining how quickly the lights change from one scene to the next.


In summary, DMX programming involves understanding your fixtures, configuring their starting addresses, creating scenes with specific colors, and organizing these scenes into chases for dynamic lighting displays. This tutorial has provided a foundation for grasping the basics of DMX, empowering you to experiment, learn, and craft captivating light shows for various events and stage performances. Happy programming!

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