Getting started with the DMX dimmer

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Things you will need

  • A laptop with TouchDesigner installed
  • The ENTTEC USB to DMX adapter (with it's corresponding USB cable)
  • A DMX cable that goes from the adapter to the dimmer
  • This TouchDesigner file

DMX in 5 bulletpoints

  • DMX is a protocol to control all kinds of stage equipment, from smoke machines to robot lights.
  • DMX is a standard used world-wide, if you master DMX you can go to any theatre or club in the world, plug your laptop and control most of the equipment there.
  • A DMX signal is composed of channels and universes. Each Universe has 512 channels, and each channel can carry one number between 0 and 255. Channels can be used to carry information. For example, imagine we have a DMX light with RGB LEDs, many of these lights use 4 channels. One channel for RED, one for GREEN and one for BLUE and a fourth channel for INTENSITY. So a DMX data stream to make that light bright pink would look something like 255 0 255 255.
  • All DMX devices let you configure which channel they start on, so if you set your light to start on DMX channel 5, and it uses 4 DMX channels for itself, then the channel numbers for the light would be 5, 6, 7 and 8 for R, G, B and INTENSITY respectively.
  • One of the original purposes of the internet was to host manuals for DMX devices in PDF. ;) So if you have a DMX device in your hand, it's very likely that you can find the manual (with the channel usage details) if you google for it.

Rigging your setup


Understanding the dimmer

The lab's dimmer uses 4 channels.

DMX from software

The example TouchDesigner sketch