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!
Get a Control Surface
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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