Example: An RGB Stage Light
Every lighting equipment manufacturer sets up their equipment in a slightly different way. For this reason, it’s essential to consult the equipment manual during programming to determine the ‘DMX Channel Map’.
A very basic example would be an RGB stage light. It could be designed to run in several different modes:
- 3 channels. Three consecutive DMX channels drive red, green and blue. Super simple to operate.
- 4 channels. As above, but a fourth channel controls ‘master intensity.’ If this fourth channel is turned off, the fixture will appear unresponsive.
- 5+ channels. As above, but some fixtures include built-in effects such as sound activation, color cycling, strobing in various colors and at different speeds. The map for one of these systems might look like this:
To make this particular fixture work properly, DMX channel 4 must always be set to 100%. Without channel 4 being turned on, the fixture will appear unresponsive. If written on a musical staff, this would correspond to a whole note which lasts for many measures:
Then, other notes are added and removed, corresponding to different colors. In some cases, these may appear to be very ugly chords indeed.