Starting your DMX experience – 12th in a series by Tyrone Blue

March 1, 2013 by Tyrone Blue

Chase buttons are different than the scene buttons, in that, you can enter up to 240 scenes into each of the 6 chases, rather than only 8 in “Auto Mode” running the scenes and banks. In “Chase Mode”, you can enter as many or as few scenes into it to make it function. It programs the same as the scene buttons (your manual will tell you what buttons to push in what sequence). Once you complete the scenes you want on your chase, you can log out of “Program” and play your chases. If you wish to go back into program any of the chase buttons later, the program brings you back to the LAST scene you had programmed within that chase, which makes it simple to continue up to 240 scenes without recording over any scene (unless you choose to).

When programming a chase, keep the “time” and “fade” sliders in mind, so that you have enough time between scenes for your fixtures to move to the next step (scene). What will typically happen when the speed and fade are set wrong is this: A moving head or scanner may start into the next scene, and not finish going to the desired setting, when the next scene commands are started. If you had intended for your beam to land on a spot with a certain gobo or color, might not happen if timing is set too short.

When programming any chase button, you can pick any scene, stored in any bank, and enter it as many times as you want. With 240 available “slots” on each chase, you can really have a total of 1440 different appearances with your lights… that’s a LOT (and actually more if you mix/stack chases). I have one of my chase buttons set up with a strobe effect, and simply use one entry (all strobe).

The nice part of using the chase buttons is you can program only one scene, or all 240 scenes. Your “Tap/Sync” and “Fade” sliders work the same while in “Chase Mode”. Keep in mind, that some of the newer controllers allow you to use more than one chase button at a time (rather than only one with the older controllers). This would allow you to (for example) strobe pars with one chase button and color change and move you scanners or moving heads with another chase button. NOTE: Don’t forget to de-activate all of the buttons when going back to scenes and banks in “Auto” or “Sound” modes.

There is a simple way to “copy & paste” scenes or banks, for entering them into another bank. Again, if you understand everything to this point, you’ll understand the description in your manual.

MIDI While I don’t use this function, it is fully explained in your manual. If you’ve gotten this far with this series, and are getting acceptable results, you’ll have no problem using MIDI. Basically, it allows you to use a MIDI input (a keyboard for example) and trigger you lights with a key strike on the keyboard. Programming is a little different, and explained in the manual. 99% of working DJs don’t use this function, but will make running a show with lights easier for a musician playing a keyboard.

This folks, is the basic way to run your controller. There are a few other easy to understand instructions in your manual that allow you to (for example) delete scenes or banks… copy scenes or banks… etc.


Good Luck and I hope this helps you forge into the DMX world. Tyrone Blue


Tyrone Blue Tyrone Blue (12 Posts)

I am finishing up my 8th year as a club DJ at the local Resort nightclub ( I have been DJing for 24 years, with a special love/interest in high tech lighting. I teach DMX programming, both hardware, and software. I exclusively use ShowXpress, which I believe is the best DMX software on the planet! I believe I have a couple of years left to do this. I have a crew of 3 DJ’s, who do my “giging” at weddings and the nightclub.

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