How Do I Begin With Onyx? – Learn Stage Lighting .com

How Do I Begin With Onyx?

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.

Because of that, we offer a variety of videos, a masterclass, webinars, and premium training to get you up to speed with Onyx as quickly as possible!

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:

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.

I also do monthly webinars on the basics of Onyx, and you can sign up for those here.

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

DMX stage lightingGetting 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.  

You can also get up to (4) total universes using Onyx/M-PC USB devices (such as M-DMX, M-Touch, M-Play, and NX2.) OR Art-Net and sACN (Here’s my guide on Art-Net and sACN  nodes).

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!

Get a Control SurfaceMartin M-Touch

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!

Learn Stage Lighting Labs Member Extras

Access the full action plans Onyx for the Complete Newbie” and “Advanced Onyx” and learn Onyx (formerly M-PC) from my step-by-step video tutorials + tips and tricks to get the most of out your show.

Check out “Professional Lighting Console Basics” to learn about how concepts like groups, presets and cues work together inside of a lighting console.  You’ll also learn how to program cool effects and run a show live!

Not a Labs Member?  Click Here to Learn More about Learn Stage Lighting Labs!

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