Starting your DMX experience – 7th in a series by Tyrone Blue

January 5, 2013 by Tyrone Blue

Scenes and Banks…

On this controller, you can save up to 240 scenes. There are 8 groups in 30 banks that total 240 scenes. You’ll discover that this is a LOT of available scenes to have many successful “shows”. By moving your fixtures between any of the 240 scenes, in ANY order, you’ll have lots and lots of available shows, each with a different look.
On this controller, you can run a show in one of two ways. First is to have an 8 step show by utilizing the scenes in “Auto” mode, by stepping through any of your 30 banks (with the use of the “Up” or “Down” bank buttons). The other way is to utilize the “chase” buttons over on the far right of the controller. The small window tells you what function/scene/bank/chase you are using. NOTE: you can also run in “Music” mode, but I don’t normally suggest it unless you are only using LED pars. Reason is: moving heads and many scanners can’t keep up with the beat of the music.

Your scenes are stored in banks, each one holding 8 scenes (total 240 scenes). In order to run a successful “show” you need to have at least 8 scenes saved. Each of the colored boxes inside the “piggy” represents one saved scene. I try to keep track of each scene, and where I stored it. This allows you to recall a desired scene later on.

Here’s what the banks look like from a different perspective:

Understanding the capacity of your particular controller, allows you to run MANY different shows.

Let’s program and run a show

With your fixture hooked to the controller with DMX cable (and a terminator – while not entirely necessary, a terminator does filter out interference and cable return signals). Push and hold the “Program” button until the small LED in the window lights up.

Now, push the “blackout” button so that the fixtures are receiving a signal. Depending on what fixture you have connected (assuming you have an address of “1”, you can now push “Scanner/Fixture” #1 button.

Let’s assume we are still using the LED Spot 150. By moving slider # one, you will see the head rotate on the “X” axis. This is called “PAN”. The “Y” axis is called “TILT”, and is on slider #two. Slider #three is the color and slider #four is the lamp/shutter. Be sure to increase the value on slider #five, which is the dimmer. I always tell new operators to turn on the lamp/shutter/dimmer first, so that you have an idea what is happening inside the fixture.

Place all of your sliders, so that your fixture is in a direction, color, gobo and light intensity that you are happy with. You are now ready to “Record” this “Scene” into memory. NOTE: in the next series, I’ll show you a diagram of how all of this works with your buttons, scenes and banks. We will place this “scene” into bank #1 – scene #1. To do this, make sure you check the display window and be sure you have bank #1 in the screen. Then hit the “rec” button, and push the scene #1 button. You have just recorded your first scene. Do this 7 more times with different variations of you fixtures.

As always – Stay tuned –

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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