Last Updated on March 25 by Monty Python
Setting up DJ lights and controlling them in a live event are two separate things. Controlling the DJ lights requires quite a lot of experience and know-how of the type of lighting equipment that you have. If you are a novice DJ then it will take some time to get used to the controlling of the lights.
Even if you are an experienced DJ but new with a specific DJ light set then again you will take your sweet time before becoming comfortable in operating it. This is where this guide will be very helpful especially for the entry-level DJs with lights. You will get to know all about that how such lights could be operated or controlled.
Table of Contents
What is DMX?
DMX is known as the standard for digital communication networks. These are used commonly by DJs for controlling not only the stage lighting but their effects as well. This DMX with its software could be used by DJs to communicate with the lights. You need to have the DMX controller that is compatible with the DJ lights you have. The DMX controllers look quite similar to the audio mixer with which the DJs are quite familiar. Learn more about how to set up dj lights. It is connected with the DJ lights through daisy-chained cables. The DMX controller is also the one that allows DJs to have full control of the individual lights.
How DMX Works
Every light fixture that is compatible with the DMX system gets assigned with a unique ID or an address to identify it. It could employ as many channels to operate the lighting functions as is required. Each lighting fixture ideally has a unique address for the DMX. On the other hand, every lighting fixture that is assigned with the same ID or address would react the same to the given commands through the DMX.
There is an input and output for every DMX fixture which enables DJs to daisy-chain the DMX connection right from one lighting fixture to the next in line. The DJs need to ensure that they provide a unique address to the fixture for ensuring individual control.
The Universe concept suggests that you could control up to 512 different functions as there is a scope of 512 different channels to control. But, the output cable is only one so this leads to quite small control consoles of the DMX.
A few of these control panels also come with a footprint that is much smaller than a standard size laptop, but, they could still control a maximum of 512 channels of light with all the possible effects including smoke generation. If your job demands you to have channels over 512 then you will be required to have a second set of the universe.
A console or a lighting console is the one that you will need for controlling your fixtures. It is also the one that will allow you to get on top of all the capabilities of the board which would tell that what you could do. The DMX Universe as discussed above has the capacity of 512 functions, but this could not be supported by all the consoles available. In most cases, the smaller consoled would usually have a limit somewhere in the range of 5 to 12 fixtures along with a smaller number of channels for every fixture. Therefore, DJs need to plan accordingly while keeping this aspect of the console in mind.
Apart from the conventional DMX controller discussed above for operating the DJ lights, the same could also be done wirelessly. Many innovative DJ lights come with a wireless footswitch for controlling the lights along with all the effects as well. Those busy DJs who like to have more freedom and flexibility with the controlling of the DJ lights could look for the one that could be remotely controlled. Such wirelessly controlled lights could be operated by DJs from any corner of the venue or hall while being in the legitimate range. This feature is highly desirable for its ease of control and allowing the DJs not to be in a close approximation of the lights all the time during the event.
Controlling the DJ lights by novice DJs requires some time to master. One of the standards followed within the DJ fraternity is to control the equipment through the DMX controller. It is the most economical method where you need to have the software which is compatible with the DJ light that you want to operate to control. Apart from this, the most innovative and versatile method to control DJ lights is through a wireless remote control or a footswitch. The wirelessly remote-controlled lights are the need of the hour for DJs as they are simpler, convenient, and highly productive.