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Author Topic: Question on a DMX Controller - What do I need  (Read 609 times)

Dave Williamson

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Question on a DMX Controller - What do I need
« on: May 09, 2024, 11:14:08 AM »

Greetings !
I am new and know almost nothing about stage lighting (other that it is cool)
I just bought some light. The seller said the were analog Par 56 lights. I bought to of them.
Just need to get them hooked up and have no idea.
All I really need is to have different color lights and be able to dim them.
I was told that I need a DMX Controller. I looked, and would like to buy a Chauvet brand.
I would like to get one unit to run all (10) lights.
What exactly do I need ???
Thanks for your answer in Advance.
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Lee Douglas

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Re: Question on a DMX Controller - What do I need
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2024, 11:55:32 AM »

What are the model number of the fixtures you intend to control with your DMX controller?  Every fixture needs a certain amount of DMX channels to control it.  Some have options for different numbers of channels depending on how much control you need.
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Jeff Lelko

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Re: Question on a DMX Controller - What do I need
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2024, 02:33:27 PM »

Hi Dave,

If these are indeed analog (halogen) Par 56s then you'll need some dimmer packs in addition to a DMX controller.  Most dimmers aimed at the weekend warrior are 4 channels each, meaning that you'll need three dimmer packs to control 10 lights.  Others are 6 channel, meaning that you'd only need two.

The appropriate controller for you will depend on what you want to accomplish with your lighting.  Simple control such as on/off/dim is easy.  Building chases or synchronization to music will require something different.  Hope this helps!
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Scott Hofmann

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Re: Question on a DMX Controller - What do I need
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2024, 04:23:38 PM »

Dave-
I really hope you got those PAR56 halogen lights dirt cheap, because none of the major manufacturers make the lamps (bulbs) any more.
By the time you buy dimmer packs, and gel, and spare lamps either NOS or bad import versions, you will have quite a bit invested.
If you can return them, I advise doing so and instead spending the money to buy cheap LED PAR fixtures. Then you will only need a DMX controller and some DMX cables. You will be able to create any color instead of having fixed gel colors, not worry about replacing lamps, lose all the heat, and have a much more flexible system!
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Scott Hofmann

Tim Weaver

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Re: Question on a DMX Controller - What do I need
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2024, 05:06:37 PM »

Two of these and one of these.


That will get you 8 different controllable channels which you can plug your 10 lights into. It's about the cheapest way to do it.  Don't forget some kind of lighting tree/tripod to hang the lights from.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2024, 05:10:29 PM by Tim Weaver »
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Don T. Williams

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Re: Question on a DMX Controller - What do I need
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2024, 05:28:22 PM »

Scott is correct.  If these are PAR 56 cans with incandescent lamps, just chalk up the loss to inexperience.  Buy LED RGB or RGBA or RGBW instruments and a simple 4 channel DMX controller.  You will end up with what you desire without wasting money on dimmer packs (which still need a DMX controller).  Color mixing LED lights are the only way to go at this time.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2024, 04:39:08 PM by Don T. Williams »
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Brian Jojade

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Re: Question on a DMX Controller - What do I need
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2024, 05:49:56 PM »

Yep, as everyone else mentioned, using 'analog' lights isn't worth it today.  They need 10X the power of LEDs and can be gelled to a single color only.

LEDs are cheap and easy.  A quick search on Amazon found a kit of 8 lights AND a DMX controller for $250.  Granted, the lights aren't going to be great at that price, but it's an awesome cheap starting point.  You can use that same controller for better lights as you grow.

A 'good' LED par is going to start around $75 each, with the "professional" level stuff 10x that.
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Brian Jojade

John Schalk

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Re: Question on a DMX Controller - What do I need
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2024, 09:51:18 AM »

Greetings !
I am new and know almost nothing about stage lighting (other that it is cool)
I would like to get one unit to run all (10) lights.
What exactly do I need ???
If you're really brand new to stage lighting then I recommend that you spend some time on YouTube to learn about the basic concepts.  One channel that I like for this is called Learn Stage Lighting.  He has dozens of playlists on a wide range of lighting topics including a DMX 101 playlist as well as some for beginning lighting for DJs or Bands.

https://www.youtube.com/@LearnStageLighting/playlists
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Question on a DMX Controller - What do I need
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2024, 09:51:18 AM »


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