Is ONYX useless for beatmatched live shows?!

Disclaimer : I’m fairly new to Onyx, I bought my NX Wing just a month ago. While this post might sound like a rant, it’s completely possible that I’m unaware of some features or tricks, so PLEASE give me any advice you have to solve this problem.

For the past two weeks I tried to program a showfile for a techno club, where the lights are controlled live without timecode. To me it seems like there is no way to create useful BPM matched animations. This is what I tried:

The elephant in the room – beat matched FX
With FX it’s so easy to quickly create cool looking animations, but not being able to link them to the global rate makes them entirely useless for live shows. This was already requested a lot here and I just CANNOT BELIEVE how this is a low priority feature for you to develop.

Chases with BPM multiplier / divider
Chases seem to be the only things in Onyx that can be controlled by the global rate or tap sync. Sure, simple animations like even/odd can be realized with chases. But let’s say I want a wave, that runs across 6 (or 11 or 330) fixtures once per beat. This is not possible without a custom timing multiplier / divider for each chase.

Macros in chases
Last, I hard-coded animations (like a wave) in a cuelist with fixed timings, with the idea to call this cuelist via a macro from a simple beat matched chase, just to find out that chases don’t support macros. Put in a cuelist and pressing GO to the beat had the desired effect, but I want that to happen automatically and isn’t that the exact purpose of a chase??

I don’t know the back-end of Onyx, but how hard can it be to implement these super basic features? Don’t get me wrong, I really want to like Onyx. To me, it has the best user interface and the hardware is also very nice. But if there is no way to beatmatch animations that go beyond a simple chase, I don’t know if I can use this console at all…


Hi Holgerzz,
I absolutely feel your pain. I really do. To my knowledge, that really is an area that is not greatly developed in Onyx so far.

The Macro in a chase feature is also something that I really miss. You could beat trigger custom animations and stuff. It would be so nice.
I was able to DIY myself a solution to this though. I created an external device that virtually presses the next button on a specific cuelist on a timecode or manual beat. That way, I turned the cuelist into a chase but kept the features of the cuelist (Macros!).
But I do agree that that is neither simple to implement nor easy to use for the average LD.

I don understand your feelings towards the system, especially after spending the money on a console too but I think the strengths of Onyx lie elsewhere. I am quite sure someone will post something on timing in Dylos. I personally have not penetrated out into dylos much and that is why I will not even attempt at making a recommendation here.
What I want to say: The programmers at O.C. are not lazy or ignorant, there are just dedicating their resources elsewhere. Onyx is a competitively priced console and thus, programmer time is a scarce resource. To what I have understood, the basic features are not further developed but rather replaced and extended with Dylos.

I would be interested to see people’s solutions too.



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short answer, YES.



Yeah so far it definitely feels like Onyx is more aimed towards simple shows or permanent installations. Running Onyx in a club is tough.

Check out Zyper. He is using a live playing technique for clubs too. He is literraly playing the lights.
Of course thats nothing to walk away from. It means constant involvement.

@holgerzz the beatmatch fx feature has literally been requested on the forum back in 2013.

And most famously re-requested in 2018

What I find so curious is that LUA workarounds through 3rd party software (ShowCockpit) can for some users solve this pain if they’re willing to pay extra and experiment with the feature, but the Onyx development team simple does not seem to find this important enough to add it.

I really appreciate all the cool new features, the improving stability and the potential of Dylos. I would have thought though that it would be clear by now what an enormous feature multiplier tap tempo and sync tempo for fx would be.

It would not only allow us to create fantastically magificant chases with a multitude of fixtues, it would also hugely improve animating fx with Dylos and help us easier scale those effects up when adding more fixtures to a show. With the new real-time beat detection I think we would be really close to a fully packaged, awesome featureset.

@Matthias I know everyone is really busy doing a great job, and you are possibly not the person who would single handedly agenda feature improvements, just please relieve us of this by now 10-year long pain.

Most importantly maybe if we got to understand the reasoning better for the wait, or maybe if there were good alternatives, we would no feel as if we were shouting into a void. We’ve been asking for this for 10 years now, and always there were higher priorities. I think you’d like us to feel taken seriously and that is achievable by doing the aforementioned. I think we could be sooo close now looking at the most recent beta. Please seal the deal!


Its abolutley dumb as hell and not talked about or documented anywhere. And there are no videos about it. And the devs will say that all the reasons people started using onyx were actually bugs.

And the devs will never answer your questions.

But you can “ENABLE MACROS” Under the CHASE menu by right clicking the playback.

And then yeah because for some reason the most basic feature of matching lights to music is not supported you have to make HUNDREDS OF CHASES for each tempo and variation and fill them with macros that point to the actual effect you want to run on a cue list…oh yeah and then macro release them all.

Its absolutely stupid and it feels like they are punishing people for picking this platform to learn on.

The fact that Macros are disabled by default in chases is almost as embarrassing as forgeting to mention that to your entire user base.

:wink: we also found it by accident…

I’m guessing that the core would require a complete rewrite and that the devolopers chose instead to focus on developing a new FX engine, Dylos, and then to rewrite the core. None of the basic functionality of M-Series appears to have changed dramatically in many years and I trust that there are good reasons for that. Perhaps the original author of the code is gone, IDK. The amount of raw code must be massive.

I’m very happy with where they put their energy, as I can now use Resolume NDI to send video into Dylos. Sure, I would like the Intensity FX to work over Dylos, but getting NDI is better than that. I’ve been able to use the FFT microphone settings in Resolume and then globally rotate & affect the saturation in Dylos, which is wonderful.

We all have limited resources, budgets and energy. These developers have been most generous with their time in helping people. I have noticed them helping countless people over the years. So there must be logistical reasons for their decisions.

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Wait so you thinks its more convenient to have to carry around an extra PC so that you can use video to set BPM than to be able to use the broken and usless BPM fader within the FX engine?

Not only does that enable the absolutley abysmal relationship between this software and actual LDs, it exposes you had someone who is crushinly out of touch with the day to day demands of working as an LD.

They keep shoving novelty after novelty down our throats instead of fixing the software or listening to their user base. And people like you come through willing to be abused, and deplatform the people trying to voice dissent just so you can feel like part of the conversation.

Just dont. This company is putting forth a laughable attempt at gaining market share and thinks its going to do that by ignoreing LD’s and saying “yeah but you can buy more and more of our gear to work around that”

You think anyone wants to spend 1000$ on a license to use resolume as a glorified metronome???

Busted ass software, jankey ass hardware, and a bad attitude from the devs is all your ever gonna find here. And they feed of off people like you coming through to say

“iTs gOoD eNoUgh”

They write software its their job to fix it .

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Sorry you feel its janky and busty $@# software.
Maybe you should consider if this platform is really the right choice for you as you don’t seem to enjoy it much at all.

So this thread is multiple years old but this is the first time that youre joining in Matthias (not with any help for the users) and that really just speaks to my point. You didnt join the conversation to answer any questions, you just came here as you often do to gaslight the customers.

And unfortunately for you this is the Onyx USERS forum not the Onyx LIKERS forum. Maybe you have to come to terms with the fact that alot of your users are dissatisfied and dont like the user experience.

Should everyone that has frustrations with your software leave the platform is that what you’re suggesting?