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.