DMX Capture Lighting Cues

DMX Capture Lighting Cues are only available with SCS Professional Plus and higher license levels.


This feature enables you to create a Lighting Cue using DMX data captured from the selected Lighting Device. This enables you to reproduce in SCS a lighting cue originally created using a lighting board or other software.

To create a DMX Capture Lighting Cue, select 'DMX Capture' as the Entry Type. This will display a screen starting with this:

Clicking the button Capture DMX Snapshot will create a Lighting Cue based on the current DMX values of all 512 channels of the DMX universe associated with the selected Lighting Device.

Alternatively, clicking the button Start DMX Capture Sequence will initially record (internally) the current DMX values of all 512 channels of the DMX universe associated with the selected Lighting Device, and then continue recording (internally) any channel value changes that occur until you click Stop DMX Capture Sequence (which is the same button renamed). The Lighting Cue will then be built from the recorded data.

When DMX Capture Sequence is active, the display will look like this:

The text Capturing DMX will be display constantly until you click Stop DMX Capture Sequence. The orange indicator to the right flashes briefly whenever a DMX value change message from this Lighting Device is received. The indicator will remain displayed during something like a fade where DMX value change messages are received many times per second.

When you click Stop DMX Capture Sequence, the Lighting Cue DMX items will be created and the display will look something like this:

Displayed DMX Items that start with a number in square brackets, eg [10.1], are for DMX value changes that occur after the start of the capture sequence, where the number in square brackets is the time in seconds since the capture sequence was started. This is now referred to as the 'delay time'.

A similar display will occur after clicking Capture DMX Snapshot, but without any delay times as all channel values are based on a single snapshot in time.

Entries in DMX Items are based on the format originally developed for Lighting Cues - Pre SCS 11.8 but with the delay time feature added. Items that do not have a delay time are applied immediately the Lighting Cue is subsequently played (allowing also for fades if specified). When building the LTP (Latest Takes Precedence) list of values to be sent to all 512 channels, SCS initially sets all channels to 0. This does not necessarily mean that 0 will be sent to all channels initially, because an entry like "1@d123" will cause that initial value 0 to be replaced by the value 123 before it is sent to the device. But channels like 3-13, 15-20, etc will be set to 0 as there are no specific values set for those channels at the start.

Examples are as follows:

The item "1@d123" means that channel 1 is to be set to the DMX value 123. The "d" means that "123" is a DMX value. If the "d" were omitted, the number would have to be a percentage in the range 0-100.

The item "2@d91f2.5" means that channel 2 is to be faded (from 0) to the DMX value 91 over 2.5 seconds.

The item "[10.1]2@d156f4" means that after a delay time of 10.1 seconds, channel 2 is to be faded from it's current value to the DMX value 156 over 4 seconds.

The item "[10.1]21@d0" means that after a delay time of 10.1 seconds, channel 21 is to be immediately set to 0.

Important information regarding the DMX Capture Sequence process:

We cannot guarantee that recorded delay times precisely match the actual delay times of the original DMX value changes. There are two main reasons for this. Firstly, the timing is dependent on when the relevant API is called by SCS and also detects the change. Secondly, each 'Change of State' packet received from the API contains the changed values for up to 40 consecutive DMX channel numbers, starting from a channel number identified in that message. So there could be multiple 'Change of State' packets received for a single lighting change. These 'Change of State' packet will be received a few milliseconds apart.

SCS tries to be smart when building the DMX Items entries. SCS rounds each recorded delay time to the nearest 0.1 second so if there are multiple 'Change of State' packets for a single actual change, then SCS is likely to provide them all with the same 'adjusted' delay time. If you have some entries with slightly different delay times that you consider should be the same, you may edit the delay times in these entries.

Also, if SCS considers a sequence of value changes for a DMX channel to represent a fade, then it will create a single entry such as "2@91f2.5" instead of recording an entry for every individual 'Change of State' packet for that channel.

With DMX Capture, SCS does not try to match DMX channel numbers with fixture channels, and so does not try to identify which channels are 'fader' channels. Consequently, when a DMX Capture Lighting Cue is played, SCS does not apply the DMX Master fader setting to any channels.

It's important to remember that when a DMX Capture Lighting Cue is played, DMX values will be applied to all 512 channels in the DMX universe of that Lighting Device.

You can edit the DMX Items if you wish. See Lighting Cues - Pre SCS 11.8 for more information, as this format and the editing process is very similar.

You can also re-capture either a snapshot or a sequence. If you click on either of these capture buttons when there are currently DMX Items displayed, you will be warned that this will action replace the existing items and you will be asked if you wish to continue.