Can I download and use MagicQ on my computer for free?

Yes, MagicQ PC, MagicQ Mac and MagicQ Linux are available from the downloads page of our web site and can be used to run live shows free of charge. All 64 universes are fully enabled for output. (via network Artnet, sACN, Pathport Net)

Why does the MagicQ software say "demo mode" in the title bar. Where can I get the full version?

The MagicQ software that says "demo mode" is the full version of MagicQ software. If you connect a MagicQ wing or MagicQ interface (not MagicDMX), "demo mode" is no longer shown in the title bar.


What MagicQ features are unavailable without a connected MagicQ Wing or MagicQ interface?

MagicQ software supports full show control and output regardless of whether a MagicQ Wing or MagicQ interface is connected. A few features are only available when a MagicQ Wing or MagicQ interface is connected (not MagicDMX) – these include scheduled events, full screen Execute Window, remote control, audio input, and triggering from DMX inputs. For full details see the installation instructions.

Why are you giving away the MagicQ software free of charge?

The MagicQ software is a powerful lighting control program and a great advertisement for our MagicQ consoles. We believe that there is no reason to charge for this software. Many users of our free MagicQ PC or Mac software go on to use our MagicQ Wings and MagicQ consoles..

Will you always give the MagicQ software away free of charge?

We have no plans to charge for the MagicQ software, now or in the future.

Will the MagicQ software continue to be supported?

The MagicQ software allows users to run shows from their own PC or Macs and to pre-program shows for their MagicQ consoles.- it is therefore will be fully supported. MagicQ for Windows, Mac and Linux is compiled from the same source code that runs on the console thus ensuring it tracks exactly the functionality of the consoles. Support effort will be prioritised towards customers who have purchased MagicQ consoles, MagicQ wings, or specific support packages.


Can I use MagicQ PC and MagicQ consoles with a visualiser?

Yes.  MagicQ includes a visualiser - just download the latest MagicQ software for Windows, Mac or Linux, run it and select Visualiser, View Vis from the menu bar to open the visualiser window.

MagicQ outputs ArtNet over Ethernet, which can be inputted directly into many 3rd party visualisers. MagicQ PC and MagicQ consoles have in-built support for Capture's CITP protocol ( and WYSIWYG's Auto Focus and Auto Patch.

Can I run MagicQ and the visualiser on the same PC / Mac?

Yes - MagicQ software for Windows, Mac and Linux includes a visualiser as part of the one application - select Visualiser, View Vis from the menu bar to open the visualiser window. 


Can I use MagicQ PC with other visualisers?

You can run MagicQ PC and Capture / WYSIWYG on the same PC. There are visualiser files on our downloads page with a standard show that you can use for free.


DMX output

How do I output DMX from MagicQ PC?

MagicQ software supports many different DMX interfaces including MagicQ Wings, MagicQ Dual DMX Interfaces, ArtNet I, II and III, Pathport and ACN devices via network, low cost MagicDMX interfaces and some 3rd party DMX interfaces.

Which 3rd party DMX interfaces are supported?

ChamSys recommends MagicDMX as the best and most reliable low cost DMX solution.

For users who already have a 3rd party DMX interface, MagicQ software has support for Enttec Pro (also DMX King Pro Interface), Digital Enlightenment, Peperoni, DMX4ALL, Velleman and Nicholaudie devices. You may need to download the drivers from the appropriate vendor before they will work with MagicQ.  Note that on OSX and Linux the number of 3rd party interfaces supported is reduced.  ChamSys does not guarantee support for these 3rd party devices and may not support them in future versions of the software. For driver issues with 3rd party DMX Interfaces please contact the manufacturer of your interface for hardware/driver support. 


MagicQ on Windows

Can I use MagicQ with Microsoft Windows 7 / Windows 8 / Windows 10 operating system?


MagicQ runs fine on Windows 7,Windows 8 and Windows 10.

 Note that Windows 7, 8 and 10 has User Authentication which may cause your show / head files to be stored in c:\users\username\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Program Files\ChamSys Ltd\MagicQ PC\show instead of c:\Program Files\ChamSys Ltd\MagicQ PC\show.

New  installations of MagicQ automatically store show data in the c:\users\Documents folders.  From MagicQ toolbar select Tools, Change File Location.

When trying to connect to a MagicQ console or another computer on the network it may be necessary to modify Vista security policy. The issue is that MagicQ and other systems do not use the same authentication protocol that Windows uses by default. The solution is to modify the security settings in Windows (using secpol.msc or editing the registry) to change the policy from "NTLMv2 Only" to "LM and NTLM - use NTLMv2 if negotiated".


What PC do I need to run MagicQ PC?

MagicQ PC is best used on a PC with Pentium or higher processor, 128MB memory, 1024 by 768 at 16bit colour.

Can I run a touch screen with MagicQ PC?

Yes, if you have a touch-screen that controls the mouse then it will work.

My MagicQ USB wing periodically disconnects and restarts - how do I fix this?

This is generally caused by Windows shutting down the USB ports when it incorrectly thinks they are idle. In Windows, click on Control Panel, System, Device Manager and scroll to the bottom to get a list of the USB devices. For each USB Root Hub click on Properties, Power Management and make sure that the option "Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power" is NOT selected.

MagicQ does not store my settings after a restart - it forgets the number of universes, IP address or DMX I/O settings.

This is generally due to MagicQ not having the permissions to access the folders where it stores this data.  Check permissions and try to run MagicQ as administrator.



MagicQ on Mac

Can I use MagicQ on my Mac?

Yes. MagicQ is supported on Intel Macs.

MagicQ Wings and MagicQ USB interfaces are all supported on the Mac versions. Some third party interfaces are not supported on Mac – please see the installation notes for details.


Can I output DMX with MagicQ Mac?

Yes. MagicQ Mac supports DMX output through MagicQ Wings, MagicQ DMX Interfaces, ArtNet, Pathport, and some 3rd party interfaces.

Can I use a MagicQ Wing with my Mac?

Yes, MagicQ Wings can be used with MagicQ Mac.  Note that on MagicQ Mac the Wings must be connected to the Mac before the MagicQ application is started.

I get error-1 when trying to install MagicQ Mac

Some users running Leopard (10.5) can have difficultly installing MagicQ Mac. If you get an error message saying you cannot install the file, giving you the error code -1, open the package using the "Show Package Contents" option.

MagicQ on Linux

Can I run MagicQ on Linux?

Yes. There is a Linux version. This should work on any version of Linux – we have tested using Ubuntu and Debian.

Can I output DMX with MagicQ Linux?

Yes. MagicQ Linux support DMX output through MagicQ Wings, MagicQ DMX Interfaces, ArtNet, Pathport, and some 3rd party interfaces.


Can I use a MagicQ Wing with Linux?

Yes, MagicQ Wings can be used with Linux.


I've downloaded MagicQ Linux but it won't connect to a MagicQ Wing?

Make sure the libusb driver is not installed.

Can I use MagicQ on Linux 64bit processors?

MagicQ will run on Linux 64bit systems, but you must install a 32bit kernel.



Which universe is MagicDMX assigned to?

MagicDMX is always assigned to Universe 1.  You can test other universes by setting the Copy field in Setup, View DMX I/O.

Can more than one MagicDMX interface be used on a MagicQ system?

No, only one MagicDMX is supported per system.

Can a MagicDMX interface be used together with MagicQ Wings and Interfaces on a MagicQ system?

No, MagicDMX is designed to be used as a stand alone test system.

Can MagicDMX be used on Mac and Linux?

Yes. MagicDMX is supported under Mac OS X 10.5+ and Linux.

Does MagicDMX require an external power supply?

No. MagicDMX is powered directly from your USB port.

What happens with the MagicDMX Basic when the 5 hours has expired?

MagicQ gives warnings when the time is nearly expired. When the time expires the MagicDMX will set all DMX values to zero, and will then stop transmitting. The MagicDMX must be unplugged and then replugged, and MagicQ software restarted in order to restart DMX output from the interface.

Why is the MagicDMX Basic time restricted?

The MagicDMX is a very low cost interface designed to enable our users to evaluate MagicQ software with real lighting fixtures. However, the MagicDMX Full interface is not restricted.


Can MagicDMX be used with any other lighting software?

No, not at this time.

Does this mean that MagicQ is now going to be dongle protected?

No. MagicQ is still available to download for free as before and has the same functionality whether it has a MagicDMX interface plugged in or not.

Does MagicDMX unlock any MagicQ software features?

No, unlocking of features is only available with MagicQ Dual DMX Interfaces, MagicQ Audio Interfaces, MagicQ MIDI/SMPTE interfaces and MagicQ Wings.

Can MagicDMX Full be used to output DMX and input DMX at the same time?

No. There is only one XLR connector, so it can only support either Output or Input.

Does the MagicDMX Full interface support RDM?

No. The MagicDMX Full interface only supports output or input of one universe of DMX at once.

What protection does the MagicDMX have against damage from high voltages?

MagicDMX has electrical protection for normal usage. MagicDMX is not isolated and cannot protect your computer from damage caused by major electrical faults. Users requiring full optical isolation should consider the MagicQ Twin DMX Interface, the MagicQ 3 Universe Ethernet Interface or any of the MagicQ Wing products which all have full optical isolation.

MagicQ Consoles

What operating system do MagicQ consoles use?


Are shows interchangeable between MagicQ consoles?

Shows are fully interchangeable between MagicQ Consoles and between MagicQ Consoles and the MagicQ PC / Mac. Any show programmed on one Console can be played back on another Console or on MagicQ PC / Mac.

How long does the UPS in the MagicQ consoles last?

When fully charged the UPS lasts for approximately 10 to 15 minutes.

How many screens do MagicQ consoles support?

MagicQ consoles have a large touchscreen on the console. In addition, MagicQ Pro 2014 and MagicQ MQ80 consoles support an external monitor up to 1920x1080 resolution which may be a touch screen.

Video and Media

Can MagicQ control video and media servers?

Yes, MagicQ is ideally suited to controlling video and can control Catalyst, Hippotizer, Arkaos, Pandoras Box, Radlite, Maxcedia, MediaMaster, MBox and other media servers. With 8 encoders each automatically electronically labelled controlling multiple attribute video systems is easy. When connected to most media servers the thumbnails can be displayed on the touch screen to enable fast selection of media clips. The powerful FX engine, huge Palette storage capability, and super fast access to recorded Cues and Palettes enables the ultimate in playback of video effects.

Can I use MagicQ and Arkaos on the same PC / Mac?

Yes, MagicQ and Arkaos will work together on the same PC or Mac.

Does MagicQ support MIDI and SMPTE time-code?

MIDI and SMPTE time-code is supported through the ChamSys MIDI/Timecode Interface which can be connected via USB to MagicQ PC and MagicQ consoles.

Does MagicQ support audio input?

Advanced sound triggering is supported through the ChamSys Audio Interface which can be connected via USB to MagicQ PC and MagicQ consoles. This enables 7 channel triggering of levels, chase speeds, and chase bumps.

MagicQ PC/Mac also supports audio through PC or Mac sound cards when connected to a MagicQ Wing or MagicQ Interface.

Can I remote control MagicQ?

MagicQ supports Serial, MIDI and Ethernet protocols for remote control. The protocol is published in the manual. In addition, MagicQ PC can be used to remote control any MagicQ PC system or MagicQ console over the network.

Can I use wireless remote control with MagicQ?

Yes, MagicQ supports remote control over Ethernet which can be wired or wireless. Note that on MagicQ PC/Mac you need to be connected to a MagicQ USB Wing or MagicQ Interface (not MagicDMX) for this feature to be enabled.


I work in a theatre - is MagicQ suited to this sort of environment?

Yes, MagicQ is designed to be equally suited to touring, theatre, TV and theme park environments. Full Cue Stack and separate Cue timing on every channel capabilities make MagicQ at home running fully structured or unstructured shows. And of course the console supports Move When Dark, Inhibit Masters, Manual cross fading and Rem Dim.

Can I have separate fade in and fade out crossfaders?

Yes, it is possible through a Setup option to set PB9 and PB10 as separate fade in and fade out crossfade masters.

Can I patch and repatch using a traditional theatre syntax?

Yes, through the Theatre Patch syntax.

Other Consoles

I am a Hog user, can I use MagicQ?

Yes, MagicQ supports much of the key syntax found on Hog and other similar moving light consoles. MagicQ supports tracking and non-tracking modes – the tracking mode being similar to that used on a Hog. The Hog Windows are very similar to the MagicQ Windows. Our download site contains a conversion guide written by a Hog User.

I have only ever used Avolies consoles. Can I use MagicQ?

Yes, MagicQ consoles have a lot more functionality than Avo consoles, but in their simplest mode they perform in a similar way to Avo consoles. Patching a show is simple, and memories and chases can be recorded direct onto playbacks and replayed. MagicQ has the advantage of a large touch screen to enable selection of groups, heads, palettes and other information direct from the screen.

I am a Strand user, can I use MagicQ?

Yes, MagicQ supports many of the often used functions by Strand Users including keypad control of lights, comprehensive output displays, and even the Rem Dim function.

Can I load my Hog / Strand shows into MagicQ?

The Hog / Strand show formats are proprietary and therefore it is not possible to load these shows directly – however it is possible to capture Palettes and Cues (not FX) from other consoles using the DMX Capture features of MagicQ.

Personalities and Settings

How often is the personality library updated?

The personality library is updated periodically as new heads become available. The most current version of the personality library can be found on our download site. Should a personality not be available then new personalities can be easily created on MagicQ using the in-built personality editor.

What do I do if the personality I want is not in the library?

The personality library currently contains over 13000 different personalities for you to use, however if there is a fixture which is not included, we will happily create a personality file for you. You can also use in the in-built personality editor to create your own heads. To request a personality please go to our bugtracker site.

Can I personalise my personalities and settings?

Yes, you can store and recall personalities and settings specific to different operators - enabling different operators to customise the console to their personal preferences. Keyboard macros can be used to record and replay your favourite key sequences.

Can I load custom gobos into the personalities?

Yes, the personality editor allows you to select any gobos from the built in library. In addition it is now possible to load in your own icons from jpeg and bmp files.

Software Upgrade

Is there a charge for software upgrades?

No, ChamSys believes that software updates should be free. Software updates are available free from our web site. Users may obtain beta versions via our bugtracker site.

Can I run old shows on new software?

Yes, MagicQ is designed so that you can load MagicQ shows into any version of MagicQ software, older or newer. Note that when running new shows on old software, newer features may not be available.

Will upgrading my MagicQ software affect my show files?

No, MagicQ software upgrades do not affect your show files or your settings. Upgrading will reload the personality and icon libraries – so if you have made changes to personalities or icons we recommend you save them to different names from the standard library names.

MagicQ Wings


Can I use a MagicQ Playback wing with the MagicQ PC software?

Yes. The MagicQ Playback wing can be used with MagicQ consoles or with MagicQ PC software – it is not necessary to have a PC Wing, Mini Wing or Maxi Wing for this work.  This is also true for MagicQ Extra Wing and MagicQ Execute Wing.

Can I use a MagicQ PC Wing or MagicQ Mini Wing as extension faders for my MagicQ PC system?

MagicQ software supports only one MagicQ Mini Wing, PC Wing or Maxi Wing connected – these are designed to control the main playbacks 1 to 10, which are legended at the bottom of the screen. Extra faders can be added using up to 8 separate MagicQ Playback Wings or MagicQ Extra Wings, which have LCD displays to legend the playbacks.

Can I use a separate DMX console to trigger MagicQ PC?

Yes, MagicQ supports ArtNet and Pathport inputs on all universes and using a DMX to ArtNet converter it is possible to trigger Playbacks 1 to 10. This functionality is only supported when connected to a MagicQ Wing or MagicQ Interface.

Can I use MagicQ Wings to control software other than MagicQ?

Not at the moment.