Here on Learn Stage Lighting, it is my goal to feature and teach the very best in lighting consoles and software, and Onyx (formerly M-PC) has become one of my favorites.
Onyx is a professional-grade lighting software that runs on a PC or Onyx consoles.
If you’re new to lighting or new to a pro-grade console, there is a bit of a learning curve to get programming in Onyx.
Step 1: Download The Software and Learn
It probably seems obvious, but I’m going to say it anyways! – Downloading the software and getting it installed is the first step.
You can download the latest version of the software here, which runs on Windows: http://support.obsidiancontrol.com/
Before you install, make sure your computer is fully updated with all security updates!
Once you’ve gotten that taken care of, it’s time to begin learning. Here is a series of videos I created (and I few I didn’t) to teach you how to program Onyx (formerly M-PC) from the ground up.
Even if you’re used to professional-grade lighting consoles, I’d still suggest checking out the tutorials!
While Onyx is fairly intuitive, it also is different and unique from other consoles – and like anything, it will take some work to learn.
Step 2: Get DMX Output and a Control Surface
Get DMX Output
Getting DMX out of Onyx is one area where this software is quite generous.
You can get 1 Universe of “free” output with an ENTTEC interface – you don’t have a pay a dime to Elation/Obsidian to unlock your software.
Note: 3rd Party, “Enttec Compatible” interfaces are great, but sometimes output less-than-smooth DMX out of M-PC. Real Enttec interfaces are recognized by Onyx and give you smooth DMX.
Don’t have an interface yet? The M-DMX is the best mix of “easy to set up” and output per dollar.
Need more than 4 universes of DMX? There are a variety of ways to make that work, and you can check them out via this handy chart on the Onyx website!
If you choose to go this route, the most cost-effective options are the M-Touch and M-Play .
The M-Touch is a really cool USB-controller with 1 universe output that gives you both a powerful programmer section and playback faders and buttons. I do a full review on the M-Touch here!
The M-Play is based on the same technology as the M-Touch, and features 12 faders and 48 playback buttons, as well as 1 universe of DMX output. Yes, 48 buttons to program whatever you heart desires! (And my heart loves playback buttons!) (My review of the M-Play here)
On the more expensive end, you can get the M2PC, which gives you 4 universes of DMX output and unlocks 128 universes. It’s got the look and feel of a traditional lighting console, all in a compact size!
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