To start with please make sure that your DMX controller has enough channels to support the DMX modes of your fixtures. Some lights have say 21 DMX Channels and people try to use them on desks that only have 16 Channels per fixture! Ok... so, here is a simple 4 fixture DMX setup with a DMX controller. So first of all you need to decide what order you want your lights to be in from 1-4 (or however many fixtures you want to add).

How do I connect the DMX cables?

Start with fixture 1 and come out of the DMX desk with the first DMX cable and go into this fixture, then create a loop using the DMX in/outs on the other fixtures to create the chain. Note: the last fixture does not have to plug back in to the desk.

Once the loop is in place go along your fixtures and using their manuals set the DMX address and channel mode you want them to be on. In the manuals under the DMX section will be all the DMX modes the unit will run on. Select one that best suits what you need to get out of the fixture. To set the addresses, start with the first fixture in the loop and set this to channel 1. On most fixtures this should display as D001 on the unit.

Now to set the channel of the next fixture you need to know how many channels your DMX controller has. Let’s say the controller has 16 channels then your next fixture will be on channel 17 (as the first fixture was on channel 1 so 1+16 = 17) and each address number will then be set by adding 16 so fixture 3 will be 33 (1+16+16) and fixture 4 will be 49 (1+16+16+16).

What about setting the DMX controller?

Once all these channels have been set you are ready to use the desk. First check the desk has a blackout button, usually this is activated when the desk is turned on; if this is the case deselect this before continuing. On the desk will be fixture number buttons. Start with fixture 1 which corresponds to which ever light is on address 1. Using the manual, locate the DMX guide which will tell you what channel (slider / fader) on the desk corresponds to which function the fixture will carry out.

DMX Quick Setup Steps:

  1. Plug first fixture into desk
  2. Create a chain with your other fixtures
  3. Set the DMX Mode and Address on each fixture
  4. Switch desk on
  5. Deselect “Blackout” (If applicable)
  6. Select a fixture number on the desk
  7. Move the faders to correspond with the DMX functions of the unit