Tried out theatre lighting at home

A few weeks ago I posted about trying theatrical lighting in the house (see here).  The longer term plan is to build some lighting into a balustrade, but in the short term I looked to use four lights to do a small disco for Kat and her friends.  There seemed to be little info on the web about using the lights I did, and the controller I used.  So, for future searchers, here’s some tips :-

I bought a Stairville DJ-X 16 DMX controller since it had sound driven chasing – amazing at only 58 quid :

I thought that with 16 channels, it would be OK for 4 RGB lights.  It turns out that each light uses 5 DMX channels, but that is still OK, since channel 1 on one light can overlap with channel 5 on the next, with both left at zero all the time.  So, the lights are addressed at channels 1,5,9 and 13.  This allows all three colour channels on each of four lights to fit into the 16 DMX channels that the controller has.  This works well, though there is a restriction – it turns out that only the first eight channels are variable – the last 8 are just on and off.  This feels like an irritating limitation, since it prevents smooth fades, and I’d have been better off with one of the more advanced controller such as the Stairville DMX-master 1 (still only 83 quid).  At the time I coudn’t see if it had audio triggered chases, but it has an audio jack on the back, so I guess it does.

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