To patch fixtures into your console, you will need to go to "Add Fixtures". Add Fixtures can be accessed by tapping the Setup key, and choosing "Add Fixtures" from the left hand side. Add Fixtures gives you access to ZerOS Library, the list of available fixtures in the console.
It may be useful to first collate all the information you need, such as the fixtures, addresses and modes, prior to commencing the patch on ZerOS, as incorrectly entered data can result in the rig being unusable, and could lead to hours of troubleshooting.
If you have prepared your show using visualisation software, you will be able to export your patch list to have with you next to the console.
Within Add Fixtures are three columns - the fixture manufacturer, fixture model, and the fixture's mode. These can be used to choose the fixture you need to patch.
The first option in the list of manufacturers is "Generic". This contains generic profiles for single channel fixtures, and LED PARs with various different LED emitter combinations. If you are using a simple LED PAR, and cannot find it in the library, try using one of the profiles under Generic to see if they match. There are also Generic multicell fixtures available too, for controlling simple LED battens.
If you just need to patch single dimmer channels into your console, simply tap Next >, as Dimmer will be preselected.
If you see fixtures displayed in red, this means this fixture is not in the library format, and so is either from a custom fixture file, from a legacy show file, from RigSync, or from an ASCII show file.
After choosing your fixture's manufacturer & model, you will then need to use the third column to choose the fixture's mode. It is important that the mode set here matches the mode set on the fixture - if in doubt, consult the fixture’s operating manual for details.
After the fixture's mode name, will be the number of channels or "DMX footprint" of that fixture, displayed in brackets.
Bottom right of Add Fixtures, will be the parameter list, showing you the parameters of the currently selected fixture.
Once you have found your fixture, click Next >
After choosing your fixture, you can now state how many of these fixtures you would like to patch, and the fixture number the first fixture will use.
The fixture number, is the fader number you use to control the fixture, and on FLX, also the number you use to select that fixture with syntax commands.
By default, a quantity of 1 will be prepopulated, and the next available free fixture number will be shown.
- On FLX, there is no fixture limit, and instead you are limited by the number of universes licensed on your console. To find the current number of universes you are licensed for, tap Setup -> Upgrade. Fixtures can be numbered between 1 - 9,999.
- On FLX S24, you are limited to 48 fixtures, numbered 1 - 48.
- On FLX S48, you are limited to 96 fixtures, numbered 1 - 96.
If you wish, rather than using the number pad to define the quantity of fixtures, and which fixture number they start at, you can instead use the Channel buttons. Ensure your faders are in "Channels" function, and you will then be able to tap the channel buttons of the faders you wish these fixtures to be controlled by. If you want to patch a sequential range, press and hold the first fixture number, and tap the last. For example, pressing and holding channel button 13, and tapping channel button 24, will tell my console I want 12 fixtures, starting at fixture number 13.
The DMX address will be prepopulated with the next free DMX address that your fixture is able to use.
You will also be able to choose which DMX universe these fixtures are patched onto. You are able to patch fixtures onto 64 universes, so long as the total number of used channels doesn't exceed what your console is licensed for.
Tapping the "Universe Preview" button at the top, will show you the universe you are currently patching onto, with the block of fixtures you are patching displayed in blue, free channels displayed in white, and used channels in grey. You can use the universe preview to drag your block of fixtures around the universe, and as you do so the DMX address field will update. If you try and drag the fixtures into the used channels, they will go red, and jump back to the next available address when you let go.
To change which DMX universe you are patching onto, tap the DMX Universe button. On FLX, you can also type "x.y" into the First DMX address field, where x is your universe number, and y if your address number. So for example 2.51 would input address 51 on universe 2.
The last field available is Patch Offset. This will only be shown if you are patching more than 1 fixture. By default, when you have a quantity of 2 or more, the console will assign the fixture's start addresses sequentially, one after the other. So for example if you had two 6 channel fixtures, starting at address 101, the console will be assign those with start addresses of 101, and 107.
However, choosing a custom offset, will allow you to add spaces in between your fixtures. This is very common if you want to make your start addresses much easier to remember, for example, addressing your fixtures as 101, 121, 141, 161 etc. After inputting a custom offset, you will see this take affect in the Universe Preview.
So in our example of two 6 channel fixtures starting at 101, I may choose to put an offset of 10, to give these DMX start addresses of 101, and 111. When configuring a custom offset, you will also get two sequences, especially useful if you like to address your fixtures ending with a "1", or a "0".
Once you have filled in the information, you can click Finish, and the console will patch these fixtures into your show. You will then be taken to the Fixture Schedule, with your newly patched fixtures shown. The fixtures should now have moved to their “Home” positions. You can repeat the Add Fixtures process for every group of fixtures you have.
If you are patching a fixture for the first time, and you have RigSync enabled, you will receive a pop-up after clicking Finish (pictured). This will ask you whether you would like to leave RigSync enabled, so that it will continue to keep RDM fixtures synchronised with your console, or whether you would like to disable RigSync so that you can continue patching your console manually.
You will not receive this message again, however you can enable/disable RigSync at any point by tapping Setup -> Universes, and use the RigSync options under Remote Device Management.