Douglas Heriot

What is DMX?

DMX512 is a digital serial protocol used for controlling proffessional lighting systems. It sends 8–bit values (between 0–255) in 512 individual ‘channels’ up to around 44 times a second. Equipment such as dimmers, moving heads, and LED fixtures are daisy chained and configured with which DMX channels they should listen to for control of their individual parameters.

It is transmitted over cables with 5–pin XLR connectors, but often lower–end equipment will instead use non–standard 3–pin connectors, as only 3 are necessary. As high–quality DMX cable can be relatively expensive, it is becoming common to transmit DMX over ethernet protocols and only convert to traditional DMX closer to the fixtures (using equipment such as the Enttec ODE).

DMX Assistant is able to send DMX via the Art-Net protocol over ethernet from your computer to allow you to control these systems in a simple way when you don’t require or have access to a more full featured lighting console. DMX Assistant can also listen to all the Art-Net being broadcast around the network to help you understand what’s going on and how it all works.