For cool lights on the dance floor, DMX is primarily used by DJs to provide those lighting effects. DJs surely love using it because apart from their music, the lighting is also what brings people together and groove. So for every DJ out there, this is another thing that they should put their focus on because a well handled lighting will surely allow you to take control of the crowd.
Before the LED lights and moving fixtures, analog protocols were used by DJs to provide intensity on the dance floor. The way these systems work is by sending a DC voltage signal that ranges from 0 volts to 10 volts and were commonly referred to as 0 to 10 volt systems.
Despite analog systems bringing smooth fading and stage lighting control, they still carry a few drawbacks. The first one is that a separate set of wires are needed for every dimming channel in the system as well as a common neutral wire. As for large lighting systems, they will require heavy duty multi-channel snakes that run along from the console to the dimmer racks.
The second drawback about the analog system is that the controls were very limited, there were only a few submasters and it almost has no programming features. The manufacturers also don’t always agree on the connectors so this makes the consoles from another manufacturer not be able to connect to another manufacturer’s dimmer.
But today, DMX512 is now used to control the dimmers, moving lights, LED fixtures, haze and fog machines, and even special effects such as the confetti launchers. Since the DMX protocol doesn’t have any error connection, it is not ideal to use them to control pyro or any stage equipment that can cause a hazard if it is triggered accidentally.
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Whenever someone hires a DJ, one of the questions that probably come into their mind is “why it is ideal to have DJ lighting effects?” The answer to that is no one will like dancing to music with plain white walls and simple bright lights. It literally feels like your dancing in a hospital! Also, a dark or foggy atmosphere can be counter-productive as well since this wouldn’t let anybody know who they’re dancing with.
In order to create a great dancing atmosphere then lighting effects must be established in the dance floor. This is something that DJs would love to have in their performance because they can see the crowd having a really good time.
Another thing that lighting can do is that it can also control the mood of the crowd apart from music. DJs really love to do this every time they play music because they understand that humans are very visual creatures and reinforcing effective lighting can provide just that. Of course, controlling the way the light moves is the key thing here and it is important for every DJ to know how to handle it.
Mobile DJs understand that the use of lighting effects will provide them an edge over those DJs who do not. DJs who go to weddings and other corporate events know that proper lighting is the key to acquiring high profile jobs. As for club DJs, particularly if they score a residency early on, stay away from learning more about proper lighting and they will simply let the VJ take care of it.
But then let’s be honest that not all clubs and bars, especially the small ones, have a VJ. They possibly just hired a light guy to install the lights along with some other programs that can be easily operated by turning it on and sometimes on autorun. But even if there is a VJ who handles this then surely knowing about proper lighting will give you an edge over the other DJs.