In this guide, we’ll show you how to get up and running with DMX lighting. You’ll learn what DMX is and how to configure your lighting rig. Follow the sections below to get started
What is DMX?
DMX (Digital Multiplex) is a standard for controlling lighting and fog machines. The signal is unidirectional, which means it only flows in one direction from the controller to the last light. In its most basic form, DMX is a light-control system similar to MIDI for keyboards and DAW controllers. To comprehend what DMX entails, you must first comprehend lighting modes, DMX channels, and DMX controllers.
Sound-active mode, 4-channel mode, 7-channel mode, and other DMX-compatible product modes will be available. The available modes will differ per device and will be outlined in the user manual for your equipment. If you put all of your DMX fixtures to sound-active or automated mode, you can connect them without requiring a controller. Because they’re all connected, they’ll be able to sync up and create an automatic light/effect show.
What is a DMX fixture?
A DMX Fixture is a light or a group of lights that has been assigned to one or more channels. The response of lights to DMX is determined by their DMX personality and beginning address. The number of channel modes accessible varies by fixture, so check the owner’s manual to discover what’s available.
The possible functionalities are determined by the channel mode (e.g., 3-channel, 7-channel). When a light is set to 4-channel mode, for example, it can only control the first four functions of the light fixture.
Use a basic personality to free up the amount of DMX channels on your DMX controller if you’re setting up a minimal lighting arrangement.
A Universe is a collection of 512 distinct channels in DMX. Each channel or channels has a data value of 0-255 and is assigned to govern distinct parameters (known as a personality) of the light, such as color, rotation, or strobe. Consider the data values as a fader on a mixer: the greater the value, the more intense the function.
Using a DMX terminator
DMX terminators are linked to the DMX output of the last fixture in your rig. These terminators prevent “shadow signal” from re-entering your lighting system. Your lights may flicker or cease working completely as a result of this “shadow signal.” Longer cable runs increase the chance of signal bouncing back, however even in modest setups, using a terminator is a wise idea.