October 2016

Practically all the lighting fixtures in ADJ’s current range – and on the market in general – support DMX control. This allows all the effects and features offered by a unit to be fully utilized as well as for multiple fixtures to be synchronized into a larger coordinated lightshow. It’s what all large-scale concerts and events use, but many operators of smaller shows – such as mobile entertainers and gigging bands – find the idea of DMX control complicated and even confusing. Here at ADJ we’re all about making our users’ lives easier, which is why for this month’s Ask Alfred I want to tell you about a control solution that makes DMX accessible to absolutely anyone.

Released earlier this year, ADJ’s Airstream DMX Bridge is an innovative lighting control solution that offers completely wireless operation. It allows wireless control from an iPad or iPhone using an intuitive app as well as wireless connection to compatible ADJ WiFLY lighting fixtures. This means that a DMX lighting system can be setup in no time at all without the need for a single control cable.

But it’s not limited to use with WiFLY-compatible lighting fixtures, as the Airstream DMX Bridge unit is fitted with a 3-pin XLR output socket. This means that any regular DMX-compatible lighting fixture can be hooked up to the Bridge, which will then allow wireless control from an Apple device. It’s even possible to combine a mixture of wired and wireless fixtures into one synchronized lightshow. So, for example, you could position WiFLY pars around a room to provide up-lighting and connect them to the Airstream DMX Bridge wirelessly. You could then connect together a collection of dancefloor effect lights using XLR cables, wired directly to the Airstream DMX Bridge. This would mean that one iPad or iPhone could be used to program and control all the lights at once to create an impressive, room-filling, fully synchronized lightshow.

Thanks to its intuitive interface, setting up a lightshow with the Airstream DMX app is quick and easy, even for complete novices. Patching – telling the app which fixtures you are using – is simply a matter of selecting the type and quantity of lights you have from a list, the app will then tell you which DMX address to set on each of your fixtures.

Once your lightshow is setup, programming it is just as easy. The Airstream DMX app allows fixtures to be selected, their features to be manipulated, and the resulting ‘looks’ to be stored into Scenes and Shows for quick recall during an event. Programming complex shows is a breeze thanks to useful tools such as a Color Palette and an FX Generator. This powerful feature means that programming movements for moving heads or color chasing effects for wash lights takes absolutely no time at all.

The Airstream DMX app’s speed and ease of use also mean that making adjustments to a lightshow’s programming on the fly is no trouble at all. Want to match the look of your up-lighting to a wedding color scheme or a company’s corporate colors? No problem, simply select the fixtures, pop open the Color Palette and drag your finger around it until you find the perfect hue. Or maybe you want to spotlight a particular venue feature? Again, with the Airstream DMX app it’s easy. Selecting the right fixtures, setting up the Pan and Tilt angles and storing them in a Scene will take a matter of seconds!

The ADJ Airstream DMX Bridge, along with the Airstream DMX app, make DMX lighting control incredibly easy. So, if you’ve previously been worried that DMX programming is too complicated, this is definitely the product for you. With the Airstream DMX Bridge, impressive, choreographed lightshows can be created by absolutely anyone and played back instantly at exactly the right moment, all from a wireless tablet or phone.

If you’d like to know more about the Airstream DMX Bridge, ADJ Product Expert Arnoldo Offermann has created a series of tutorial videos that give a detailed insight into using the system: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLxXpR7a9HcIRapJX6Yo2HdnF0CZpkfq9K

Also, if you’d like to try out the ADJ Airstream DMX App before buying the Airstream DMX Bridge, it is available as free download from the Apple App Store here: https://itunes.apple.com/gd/app/airstream-dmx/id1032178432?mt=8

Finally, if you have a specific question, or would like to hear what other users think to the Airstream DMX Bridge, there is a dedicated user discussion group that can be found on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/airstreamdmx/

Alfred Gonzales is the national sales manager for ADJ USA