Onyx Video Training Tutorials – Learn Stage Lighting .com

Onyx Video Training Tutorials

Want to learn Onyx, but don’t know where to begin?  Here, I’ve put together my best Onyx video resources in one place so that you can learn!  Let’s dive in:

Installing ONYX

If you haven’t already you want to start by installing the software. Just visit the Obsidian Control Website and click “Downloads” or you can go directly to the Downloads Page here.

Before downloading, you want to be sure that you have the latest Windows Updates installed, this will help avoid any issues with the download.

Onyx Download

Once everything is updated, go to back to the Obsidian Download Page click to install the Full Onyx Package.

When the File is downloaded, double-click to open, and just follow the download prompts from there.

Completing the Onyx Download

Some systems may have a Security Prompt asking you to verify if you want the program installed. You’ll want to Allow these to continue the Install.

Once the Set up is completed you will have a pop-up window titled Onyx Prerequisites Setup Completed Successfully.

Now, all of the Drivers have been downloaded your computer will prompt to Download the Onyx Program. Click Yes to Continue.

When everything is unpacked, click to agree to the License Agreement and click Next. The next prompt will be a checkbox if you had issues installing the program on that computer previously. If it is not, just click Next.

The program will Install and may take a few minutes to do so. When completed you will have the option to Open Onyx for the first time.

Launching Your First ONYX Show

Once you have Onyx loaded and opened you will have a couple of options on the Launch Screen.

The options on the Launch Screen are a “New Show”, “Load an Existing Show”, “Join an X-Net Show”, or “Continue to Last Show”. Since this is the first time using the program you will not be able to use the “Continue” option until you launch, load, or join a show.

To Create a New Show

You can start by clicking New Show, a prompt will come up asking you to confirm, click yes. Name the New Show and Press Enter.

Userface Layout

When you start with a New Show you will see the main user interface for Onyx. When it loads the first thing you will see is the main Onyx Window. On the left-hand sidebar, you will see your commands and cues.

Across the top bar, you will see ONYX and the Main Menu Options.

Located on the right-hand sidebar you will see your Encoder Wheels.

On the bottom of the screen, you will have your Command Bar and where you can control your Fixtures Attributes.

Lastly, on the bottom right-hand corner you will have your Main Playback Faders.

Patching with ONYX

When you first start ONYX it’s a blank screen. None of the fixtures are patched and the console doesn’t have the addresses.

Getting Started

To get started click ONYX in the Top Left Corner pulling up the main menu. In the Main Menu select Patch.

In the Lower Left Corner, select Commands, then New Fixture, and the New Fixture Window will come up.  First, you’ll want to select the brand of your Fixture and when done click Auto Patch.

Next, you’ll need to add a Title and select the amount. You will have the option to Auto-populate the Start ID, Universe, etc but you can modify these individually by clicking “Auto Off”. When done, just click “Auto Patch”.

Creating Your 2D Plan

Once you’ve added your fixtures you can start creating a 2D Plan. This is optional of course but it’s a great tool to use when you’re starting with ONYX.

Located on the Left Side Bar select 2D Plan and a new Screen should come up. You’ll start by adding Fixtures which is also located on the Left Side Bar. Just Select Fixture Center and you can add the fixtures individually or in a Group.

On Top Bar you’ll have an option, Add. Click that to begin adding the Fixtures you want to use. You then have the option to add them in a line, square, circle, etc. After selecting your options click Place Fixtures and select the area on the screen that you want them placed.

You also have the option to add the Fixtures to the 2D Plan individually. If you want to line these up perfectly just use your mouse to select the fixtures and then located on the Top Bar is an option, Align, where you can have the Fixtures arranged.

Adding Groups

Adding Group Fixtures to the 2D Plan is very easy as well as helpful. Click Add on the Top Bar, click Groups, and select the Group of Fixtures you want to add to your 2D Plan.

Seeing it Live

Once you are done adding the Fixtures you can leave the Edit Mode by selecting the Edit Pencil located on the Top Left Corner. This will show the fixtures Live.

Digging Deeper

If you would like more In-Depth Training using the ONYX Software I have a brand new Action Plan called ONYX for the Complete Newbie available at Learn Stage Lighting Labs. There you will have access to Video Tutorials and Checklists showing you how to set up and use ONYX to its full potential.

Setting Up Groups

Groups are a simple and effective way to select different fixtures on your Stage.

Creating Groups

If you already grouped some of your Lights as shown in the video you will just select the group of lights in the 2D Section. Then, on the Left Side Bar just select “Group-Presets”. In the Group-Presets Screen in lower right-hand corner select your Command Key Pad, Press Record, and select the Group you want to record it too.

If you are using a console or M-Touch you’ll have a Record Key to select instead.

Once you have the Group selected and assigned you have the option name it by just selecting the Group then pressing Enter.

To continue to name other Groups just click Clear in the Command Key and repeat the process. If you need to rename a Group simply select the group, rename, and hit Enter.

Other Grouping Tools

Creating and managing groups is an extremely powerful tool. In the ONYX Software, you have many other options.


In the 2D Plan screen select the Grouping Option located on the Top Bar. There you will see many types of Modes. Such as Every, Block, Divide, etc.

Using this feature you will have the option to use the Encoder Wheel to apply any changes you want to.

To save these just select the group, go to “Group Presets”, click the Command Key Pad, and “Record”.

Group Presets

Using the Command Key Pad you have the option to Move, Copy, or Delete any Groups saved.

Creating Presets

Creating Presets or Pallets are another vital tool when setting up for your show. Presets allow you to later come back and update your show with ease.

Setting Up Presets

To get started go to the Group Presets screen and select the Group you want to start with. Next, select the Encoder Wheel, set the Intensity where you want it, and then Select Record.

When setting Colors, bring up your parameter, select color, and you can bring out the side panel and use the Color Wheel. When done press Record.

Cues and Cuelists

Setting up Cues

Setting up cues is very similar to what we have done previously in this video series. Select the group of lights, using the Command Key Pad you can adjust the Parameters (Intensity, Color), click Record, ad press the Playback on the bottom of the Screen.

Here you can title it and select the Cuelist Type. If you would like to add more to the list just repeat the process.

Cuelist Playback

When done assigning Cues, be sure to click Clear twice on the Command Key Pad. To review the Cuelist you can just select it and Press Play.

Other Way to Create Cuelists

There are other ways to create a Cuelist. On the top Left bar select the Screen Icon and then click Playback. From there you can click Playback Buttons and record your cues.

Another way is to go back to the Top Left bar and select Screen Icon and then click DJ. Then you would click the M-Touch and M-Play Screen.

Cuelist Types

In ONYX you have 6 Types of Cuelists. Below are the Types and different functions.

Cuelists –  When using the Fader your Intensity Level will go up and down. Other Parameters will not change.

Submasters – If the Intensity is set at Full this will not change. The difference is the LTP & HTP. You can read more here: What is HTP? What is LTP? Why Should I Care?

Chase – Allows you to build in as many Cues as you want and then using the Beat Button you can set the speed for how fast you want the cues to be gone through.

Inhibitive – This is a Backwards Submaster as it subtracts from the look on the stage. t scales back the Intensity but you have to set the Intensity to Full when using this option.

Override – This is a Higher Priority Output and always wins. It crossfades all of the Parameters.

TimecodeAllows you to Timecode a show and follow a specific timing.

Connecting to the Capture Demo File

How to Connect the Demo File

Before diving into Effects I want to get you started with Free Demo of Capture. You can download it here: Capture Demo File.

Once you download Capture using your console go to ONYX in the Top Left Corner. Click Load Show, it’ll go to your ONYX Folder, Click Samples, and then click ONYX Training.

After you’ve got the ONYX Training loaded, go to your Capture Demo, click Windows, click Universes, and just make sure that the Universes have attached themselves.

Working with FX – Part 1

Setting Parameters Not Related to Movement

To get started we’re going to go to the Grou Presets and select the groups you want to work with. Then open up your Parameter Window and select the Parameter you want to work with. In the video, we start with Intensity.

Once you make the change on the Parameter Screen you should be able to see the change in your Visualizer.

In the Parameter Screen, you have two columns. The first is your Base Parameters which is what your lights can do. The second column is your Effects Parameters which is how you can manipulate and use those effects.

Working with Your Parameters

In the Parameter screen when you select Intensity and Effects you can see in the box above it’ll list the movement on Intensity. Setting the Movement and Speed you can see the changes take effect in your visualizer.

Once you set the movements and speed you then need to set up the Offset. To do this, go back to your Parameter Screen and select FX Timing. There you can set you Wave and Step. You can see the changes take place in the Visualizer.

Saving Your Effects

Saving your changes is the same as setting a Group, Cuelist, and anything else in your Console. Pop up your Command Key Pad, click Record, and where you want to save it.

My personal preference is saving the Effects to the Override instead of the Cuelist. Be sure to test it out and see what works for you.

As you set up your Effects and Colors you can also use the 2D Plan to see what Lights are doing what.

Working with FX – Part 2

In this section, we’re going to focus more on the Pan and Tilt Effects.

Just as you did previously be sure to select the Group of Lights. Then open your Parameter Control and select Pan Tilt and the FX (Effects). In this screen, you will see a different option Swing Pan and Swing Tilt. In ONYX Pan and Tilt work together by Default.

If you do not like the Pan/Tilt Default you can switch this off by clicking the Setting and Turn Off P/T Combo.

By using the Visualizer with ONYX you can see the effects and movements taking place. When you have the settings you want, always be sure to pull up the Command Key Pad and Record it.

Introduction to DyLOS

When starting with DyLOS you need to be sure to download the latest verson of ONYX, version 4.4 or higher. Then, you’ll need to download the DyLOS Factory Content Package. This isn’t a small download and can take a while to complete.

Importing the Content

To get started with the DyLOS, you’ll need to import the factory content oackage. To do this, click “ONYX” on the top left corner, then click “Menu” located under the console & show settings.

From there select “Load/Save” on the left sidebar, click “Settings”, and then click “Import DyLOS Content”.

ONYX Training Tutorial

From there you will select the DyLOS factory content package and upload it to ONYX. From there, you should be able to see the new DyLOS options on the main screen of ONYX.

Working with DyLOS

From the main screen, you will see on the sidebar 3 new menus after uploading DyLOS. You should see the Zone Layer, Zone Parameters, and the 2D version.

ONYX Training Tutorial

In the “Library” portion you will see that factory content that was uploaded for DyLOS. This will give you some design and options to work with.

To get started and working with DyLOS, just click “DyLOS” on the main sidebar and from there you can select which menu you want to work with. In this vide tutorial, I used the “Stage” menu. When you select your menu this will pull up in the middle of ONYX the different parameters, effects, and delays that you can use in the show.

When you select a parameter or effect, you will see this come up in the assigned zone, source, effect 1, and effect 2. With some parameters you may need to increase the intensity for it to be more visible on the stage.

ONYX Training Tutorial

Using Mask

There’s also a Mask section and using this option you can set different parameters and effects for designated zones. Such as, selecting “Effect 1 Media Mask” you can insert an image or logo. The image or logo will then be placed on top of the original parametr or source that you selected.

A Powerful Tool

As you dive into using DyLOS, you will see that not only is there so many different effects and parameters that you can use but DyLOS was also designed to work smoothly side by side with your lights.

Just as you would use parameters when designing your lights, you’ll notice that a DyLOS menu is available inside of your parameter menus. This makes everything much easier of you are designing a show on the fly.

ONYX Training Tutorial

Saving your look  with DyLOS is the same as you would saving a cue or preset inside of ONYX. Also, when working with DyLOS, you’ll need to clear from time to time. To do this just select the “Brush Icon” and you can either clear the whole zone or just certain parts of the zone.

How to Trigger Cues in Onyx Using Your Keyboard

If you’re working with ONYX and using a regular computer Keyboard you can still trigger your Cues. Here’s how!

This method is very similar to Hot Keys. All you have to do is hit CTLR + 1 and you will see your Playback 1 Light Up. Your Playbacks are laid out as 1 – 9 and 0 is 10.

For more information on how you can use your Keyboard with ONYX check out Obsidian’s Keyboard Shortcuts Reference.

How to Use the Onyx Remote

The ONYX Remote allows you to have access to your control through iOS from afar.

Configuring the Settings

First, you want to make sure that your remote and iOS device is set up with the same Network that your ONYX Console is.

In your ONYX Console click ONYX in the Top Left Corner, Menu, and under Network click Settings. Here you select the Connection which is either your Ethernet or Wifi.

On the right side of the screen you will see Options. Below Options, there will Remote. Toggle the Remote to On. As you toggle the remote on and off you will see the remote icon show up on the Connection. Click Apply when done.

On the right sidebar Menu select Remote. Be sure that the Network selected is toggled ON. Below the Network setting is the Remote’s Access Key. You will need this when connecting your iOS system.

Connecting Your iOS System

On your iOS System be sure that you are connected to the same connection that the ONYX Console is. Open you Obsidian App for ONYX. When it opens it will be checking for Devices.

Click the ONYX File and this will bring you to a Page to enter your Access Code. Once you enter the Code it will confirm.

Using the ONYX Remote

Once it’s loaded on your iOS System you will see a variety of options such as Fixtures, Presets, Parameters, etc.

When using and changing the effects always remember to Record.

Using Touch OSC with Onyx

**Note – As of Version 4.3 of Onyx, using OSC for playbacks has a slight, random delay for users who don’t have any attached Onyx key or playback surface (except the NX DMX).   Read more here.

That doesn’t diminish the fact that it’s still a VERY useful tool for both licensed and un-licesened setups!

Setting up your Touch OSC is somewhat similar to the Remote.

Configuring the Settings

In your console click ONYX in the Top Left Corner, Menu, and under Network, click Settings.

Choose your Network Connection and under Settings toggle OSC to On. Also, be sure to write down your IP Address.

Located on the Left Sidebar under Network select OSC. The Port will automatically be set, just leave this as is. In the connection make sure it is connected to the correct Network.

On the Bottom Bar select Devices. Select the First Device Box and Toggle it On. Then, you can Name it. Review the Settings and set as you wish.

Connecting the Tablet

On your Tablet pull up the Touch OSC App, go to Settings, then click OSC. On the very bottom, you should see the IP Address.

Go back to your Console and you can enter the IP Address in the Settings. The rest of the settings should be left at Default. When done just click Apply.

Back to your Tablet, you’ll need to update the Settings. On the top put in the IP Address of your ONYX. The incoming and outgoing Ports should match those on the ONYX Console. Press your back Button to Apply.

Now you need to get the Layout, which is Available Here: Layout Transfer. Once you get this downloaded you can go to Layout on your Tablet, Add from File, select from Downloads, select the Layout and Press Done. Then you should be able to see the Layout.

Using the Touch OSC

Back to the ONYX Console, you can click Update and then Apply. You should see the changes in your Touch OSC.

On the Touch OSC you will be able to see your Cues and Faders. At the top, you will be able to scroll through the pages and view your Playbacks. You will also have access to Download the Touch OSC Editor available.

Taking it to the Next Level:

Now you’ve gone through the basics of launching and getting your first show in Onyx – congratulations!

I truly hope these videos have helped you, and launch you into creating more with your lighting.  If you did enjoy these videos, you’ll also enjoy the rest of my complete guide to Onyx, known as “Onyx for the Complete Newbie”, and “Advanced Onyx”.

Inside these videos, you’ll gain not only the “how to”, but also the “what to do”, to make Onyx work for your specific type of lighting.

Sound good?  These complete guides are available inside Learn Stage Lighting Labs.  Learn more about Learn Stage Lighting Labs and join us here!

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