DMX-512 Recording

WATCHOUT can control individual lighting channels directly (see “DMX Output”). However, when using numerous lighting channels, or moving lights, a dedicated lighting console is generally required. To simplify your playback system, you can record the data from the console into WATCHOUT, then remove the console and use WATCHOUT to play back the lighting control. Assuming that you have a lighting console connected to your network using the Artnet protocol, you can record its programming by choosing “Add DMX512 Recording” on the Media menu.

DMX512 screen
Enter a file name for storing the recorded DMX512 data. Save this file in/under the folder containing the current show file. Specify the Artnet Universe number used by the lighting console. Only data sent on this universe will be recorded.
NOTE: If your lighting console doesn’t support Artnet directly, this requires a DMX512-to-Artnet adapter. See “DMX-512 Input” for more details.

Once you’ve added the “DMX512 Recording” to the Media window, proceed as follows:

  • Drag this new item from the Media window onto a timeline. Note that the cue says “To be recorded”, indicating that data will be recorded when the cue is run. Place this cue where you want the recording to start, and extend it to cover the duration of the recording.
  • Run the timeline along with the lighting console. You may simply start WATCHOUT and cue the console manually. Alternatively, use timecode to synchronize them.
  • As the timeline reaches the cue, recording commences, as indicated by the RECORDING text in the cue. Allow the timeline to run for the entire duration of the cue.
  • Once recording is complete, the RECORDING text in the cue disappears.
  • Disconnect the lighting console from the network, or switch it off.

Play the WATCHOUT timeline again. The recorded DMX512 data will now be played back by the cue. An Artnet-to-DMX512 adapter is required unless your fixtures/dimmers accept Artnet directly.

You can use the Fade tween track of the cue to modulate the intensity of the recorded channels, if desired.

NOTE: Do not use the Fade tween track if any recorded channels use 16-bit precision – often used by moving lights and similar devices.

If you make a mistake during the recording, or simply want to do another take, you can reset the recording to its initial state by double-clicking it in the Media window and selecting the “Re-record DMX512 File” checkbox. This dialog box also lets you play the recording back using a different Artnet universe than the one recorded.

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