Chapter 7. Patching

7.1. Patching on MagicQ

MagicQ considers DMX and console channels to be the same and therefore there is no need for complex patching to be carried out before the console can be used. MagicQ allows access to all DMX channels on all DMX universes supported on the console. Each channel can be controlled and programmed independently.

Each head can be allocated a head number for recall using the keypad and a name for identification. However to save time, MagicQ will automatically allocate numbers and names according to head types.

7.2. Getting started with patching

MagicQ supports comprehensive patching facilities for allocating dimmers and intelligent heads to DMX channels. Patching can be carried out at any time and has an immediate effect.

Press the PATCH button to open the Patch Window. The Patch Window has four views, VIEW HEADS, VIEW CHANS, VIEW DMX and VIEW VIS.

VIEW HEADS is used to patch heads, name and number then and set and gel colour.

VIEW CHANS is used to carry out operations on individual DMX channels, such as testing the channel and setting inverts.

VIEW DMX is used when patching more than one DMX channel to a MagicQ Head.

VIEW VIS is used for setting up and modifying visualiser heads in the MagicVis visualiser.

7.3. Patching a Head or Dimmer

MagicQ supports a large library of heads. MagicQ treats dimmers just like any other head - they just happen to have a single channel. Dimmers use the "Generic Dimmer" personality.


Choose the head you wish to patch by pressing the CHOOSE HEAD soft button. The Window will change to give you a list of heads. Select a head by pressing the touch screen. Alternatively scroll around the Window using the cursor keys, and press ENTER when the cursor is over the correct head.

Once you have chosen a head you will be returned to the Patch Window. Press the PATCH IT soft button to patch the head, and you will be prompted for an address to patch the head to.

Press ENTER to patch to the next free address – the title bar shows the next free address that a head of the chosen type can be patched. If you wish to patch multiple heads at fixed offsets e.g. four Martin Mac500s at DMX channels 1,21,41,61 then enter 4/20.


To patch a head at a specific address use @. For example to patch 10 dimmers at DMX address 20 key in 10@20. To patch to the 2nd universe use 10@2-20. To patch at the first free address on a universe other than the first universe use +, e.g. for the second universe use 10@+2-1.

If this is the first patch you have patched then MagicQ will prompt you whether to add the head into the visualiser. Pressing yes will create a visualiser head within the show file, so that you can see the head in the MagicQ visualiser.

To patch more heads, just repeat the above process.

To patch a dimmer, simply press CHOOSE DIM/MEDIA, select Generic Dimmer, and then patch one or more dimmers as above.

In the Patch Window all the fields coloured yellow can be configured. To modify a field, first move the cursor to the field, then input the new value using the keypad and keyboard, and finally press ENTER.

In this way you can modify DMX address, head number, head name and gel for each of your patched heads.

7.4. Head Names and Head Numbers

Press the VIEW HEADS soft button to check the heads you have patched, and to name and number them as you wish. In the Patch Window all the light coloured fields can be configured. To modify a field, first move the cursor to the field, then input the new value using the keypad and keyboard, and finally press ENTER.

Multiple head names and numbers can be set at the same time by using SHIFT and the cursor keys to select multiple items. Turning on test mode using the TEST HEAD soft button makes it easy to view each head / dimmer in turn.

By default the VIEW HEADS view is sorted by head number. If you are setting head numbers by entering each head number individually then you may find it easier if the view is sorted by DMX. Press the SORT soft button and select BY DMX. Note that the sort also affects the order in the Intensities Window, the Programmer Window and the Group Window.

7.4.1. Head Names

Head names are used to identify the Dimmer or Head. We recommend that you set the head name based on its location (e.g. front wash / back truss SL). It is not necessary to name intelligent heads according to their product name (e.g. Mac500) as this is already stored in the head.


7.4.2. Head Numbers

Head numbers are used in various displays to indicate which heads are being operated on. Head numbers can also be used for selecting heads and setting intensities directly from the keypad.

By default MagicQ numbers in the order that they are patched starting from 1.

If you expect to be selecting heads using the keypad then we recommend you use unique head numbers for each head. MagicQ uses unique numbers by default. You can modify head numbers manually so that they are more meaningful to your rig. Alternatively you can use one of the in-built renumber algorithms.

MagicQ supports the multiple elements of a multi element head all having the same head number and then use of the dot (.) operator to select individual heads.

7.4.3. Renumbering Head Numbers

Pressing RENUM HEAD NOS and selecting BEST FIT causes MagicQ to use an intelligent algorithm to allocate heads starting with numbers that you can easily recall. For example, if you patch 4 MAC500s and 4 HPEs then when you renumber using BEST FIT it will number the MAC500s from 1 to 4 and the HPEs from 11 to 14.

If you would rather work with DMX channel numbers, then press the RENUM HEAD NOS soft button and select BY DMX. This will configure the head number for all patched heads to be the DMX channel address of the head. You can then select heads and set intensities using the DMX channel numbers.

Selecting HEADS (ALL START 1) sets the head numbers so that for each head the numbers start from 1 - this is the default option. Selecting BY NAME sets the head numbers so that they use head name, gel and type to order the heads.

7.4.4. Patching to specific Head numbers

It is possible to patch direct to a specific head number using the * operator.

For example:

10 @ 7 – 2 * 201

This will patch 10 heads at channel 2 on Universe 7 starting at head number 201.

7.5. Gel name and number

For dimmers you may wish to configure the gel name or number. This makes programming easier – enabling MagicQ to auto program cues for you.

The gel field uses gel numbers. For Lee colours enter the gel number directly (e.g. 181 for Lee 181). For Rosco colours enter the gel number preceded by dot (e.g. .14 for Rosco 14). For no colour enter 0. If you would prefer to use colour names rather than gel numbers then simply enter the colour name. MagicQ knows standard colour names.

7.6. Col Tags

It is possible to assign a Col Tag to each head. Col Tags from the Patch are used in other windows if Setup, View Settings, Windows, Col tags is set to "Patch".

7.7. Generating auto groups

MagicQ automatically generates groups for each of the different heads patched – e.g. "All Dimmers", "All Mac500".

MagicQ is also capable of generating groups based on gel colours and head names. Press the AUTO GROUPS soft button in the VIEW HEADS view of the Patch Window and then select Dimmers and/or Heads.

When Dimmers are selected MagicQ will examine all dimmers patched and generate a group for each different gel colour and a group for each different head name.

When Heads is selected MagicQ will generate a group for each different head type that has heads with a distinct head name. Thus if you have named some of your Mac500s "front" and some of them "back" it will generate a "Mac500 front" group and a "Mac500 back" group.

7.8. Auto Palettes

When patching heads, MagicQ creates Palettes based on the Palettes stored in the Personality - typically the 10 basic colours. MagicQ also creates Palettes based on the main Gobo ranges for any Ranges in the Personality that have Auto Pal set. If the personality does not have any gobo ranges with the Auto Pal option set, then MagicQ now generates gobo palettes based on all the gobos set with Range Type of Fixed, Index or Rotate.

From MagicQ also automatically generates beam palettes for shutter, gobo rotation, iris and zoom attributes. Beam palettes for gobo rotation contain both Rotate 1 and Rotate 2 attributes if present in the head.

Auto palette generation can be turned on and off and customised in the Patch Window, View Heads, soft button X. When set to All, all auto groups and auto palettes are generated. It is possible to individually select generation of groups, intensity, position, colour, gobos, rotate, iris, shutter, and zoom.

7.9. Heads with multiple elements

MagicQ supports heads that have multiple attributes of one type – e.g. more than one dimmer or more than one red, green or blue channel.

The dot (.) syntax is used to access the sub elements. Individual elements can be selected using the dot (.) operator. For example to select the 1st element only, enter .1 NEXT HEAD or .1 @@. This sub selects only the 1st element. Pressing ALL returns the selection to all elements.

MagicQ heads can be written to support one of two methods for supporting multiple attributes of the same type - the newer way is "Duplicated Heads" whilst the older way uses "Multi Elements Heads".

7.9.1. Duplicated Heads

Duplicated Heads treats the head as a single head but with attributes that appear multiple times in the personality.

When using the head, the duplicated elements by default are treated as one element - so the 2nd, 3rd and 4th elements just copy the programming from the 1st element. This ensures that the Head is simple to use and appears to act as if it only had a single element.

When locating, selecting palettes and using soft buttons or encoders on attribute parameters only the first element is made active in the programmer and therefore only the first element is recorded into Cues. When the Cues are played back then MagicQ copies the calculated values from the 1st element to the other elements.

When a sub selection is active on a Duplicated Head then the specific elements will be made active in the Programmer and subsequently recorded into Cues. When the Cues are played back MagicQ uses the programming from the Cue for elements that have been recorded in to the Cue, only copying for elements that have not been recorded.

All elements can be selected if you wish to apply split times across all elements or to include all elements in a FX. Select all elements using the syntax .> @@

Palettes values are by default created for the first element. When a sub selection is in operation MagicQ will use the value in the Palette for the first element if there is no specific palette entry for the element selected - this avoids the need for creating separate palette information for each element. When a Palette is updated it will update Cues that use that Palette from the sub element if it exists in the Palette - otherwise it will use the data from the 1st element - ensuring that the Cue gets updated as expected.

Note that Duplicated heads operate slightly differently to normal heads when splitting elements between different playbacks or the programmer. The playback that has the first element active controls all the other elements. If that playback has only the 1st element active in it then all elements will output the same regardless of whether other elements are active on other playbacks. Similarly if the programmer only has the 1st element active in it then all elements will output the same regardless of whether other elements are active on any playbacks.

7.9.2. Multi Element Heads

Multi Element Heads treats the head as multiple different heads each patched automatically to adjacent addresses.

Multi element heads are patched in exactly the same way as normal heads, but MagicQ shows a * next to the DMX address to indicate that it is a multi element head.

MagicQ recognises three kinds of multi element heads – those which simply have a repeated element, those that have a main element followed by a repeated element and those that have repeated elements followed by a main element.

When multi element heads are patched MagicQ generates the "All" group which contains both the main and repeated elements. MagicQ will also generate separate groups for the main "Mn" part and the repeated "Ele" part.

Multi element heads can have a separate head number for each element in the head – so that when patching several of these heads, the head numbers will increase by more than one per head. Alternatively all the elements can be set to the same head number.

When all the elements are set to the same head number the separate elements of the head can also be sub selected using the dot operator from the keypad – for example for head 2 you can select 2.4 to sub select the 4th element.

7.10. Inverting and Swapping

In VIEW HEADS you can invert the pan and tilt channels of moving heads and also swap the pan and tilt channels. Pressing ENTER in the appropriate field changes the field value.

Individual channels can also be inverted in VIEW CHANS if required.

7.11. Pan and Tilt Offsets

To add a Pan or Tilt offset then enter the offset in degrees in the Pan offset or Tilt offset in the Patch Window. The offset affects all programmed values.

7.12. Applying Offsets using Update

MagicQ supports a quick method of applying an offset to channels such as a pan or tilt offset, or an offset on a colour scroll.

To apply an offset, playback the Cues and then override only the parameters you wish to offset in the programmer. Then press the Update button. The Update options have been modified to include an extra option "Patch Offset". Selecting this option applies a permanent offset to the channel in the Patch rather than modifying the individual Palettes and Cues.

To remove the offset go to Patch, View Chans and remove the offset from the appropriate channels.

Offsets apply only to LTP channels, not to HTP (Intensity) channels.

The Outputs window shows channels with offsets in green colour.

The Patch window shows offsets applied to Pan and Tilt in the Pan Offset and Tilt Offset field.

7.13. Minimum and Maximum levels

You can set minimum and maximum levels for each patched channel from the VIEW CHANS view. This is useful for setting pre-heat on dimmers or for limiting output values of certain lamps where power is tight.

The minimum and maximum levels have absolute over-ride over all other playback and programming. Master faders and the DBO button do not affect the minimum and maximum levels.

Minimum levels can be useful to force a minimum light level on a stage, for example during a changeover.

7.13.1. Limits and Offset.

It is possible to set limits and offsets on channels using the Limit and Offset dimmer curves.

Limit enables a minimum and a maximum level to be set for the channel whilst retaining the normal linear dimming curve. When dimmer curve is set to "Limit" the channel has a linear curve from the minimum value up to the maximum value. This is different to the just setting the minimum or maximum values which causes the values to clip at the minimum or maximum values.

Offset enables an offset value to be applied to a channel – this can be useful if a moving light is not calibrated correctly or it has been moved. When dimmer curve is set to "Offset" then the minimum value specifies the offset to be applied. When a channel value exceed 255 then it wraps back to 0.

Offsets can be applied to 16bit channels by setting both the high and low channels to Offset or Offset No Wrap and setting minimum values for both channels - MagicQ combines the two values as the complete offset value.

7.14. Dimmer curves

MagicQ supports 10 user dimmer curves that can be selected in the Patch Window, View Chans view.

User dimmer curves are specified in files of format csv (comma separated variable) with filename dimmercurveuser1.csv, dimercurveuser2.csv etc… stored in the show/heads folder.

The files consist of 256 lines each with a value between 0 and 255. These files can be generated in a spreadsheet (e.g. Microsoft Excel) and saved as csv format.


From v1.6.0.7 dimmer curves can have 16bit values (0..66535) instead of just (0..255). If any value in the user dimmer curve file is over 255 then 16bit is assumed.

User dimmer curves are not stored into the show or settings files. Each MagicQ system that uses user dimmer curves must have the curves stored in the show/heads folder.

In the CSV file the line after the last line of data (the 257th line) can hold a name for the curve which is then displayed in MagicQ. The name has a maximum of 15 characters.

Dimmer curve files are read on startup of MagicQ – so you will need to reset MagicQ for new curves to be loaded.

7.15. Testing channels

To test channels in VIEW CHANS press the TEST CHANS soft button to enter test mode. In this mode the channel which the cursor is on is set to the level configured on the TEST CHANS encoder. Use the cursor keys to move through different channels. Test mode remains active until the TEST CHANS soft button is pressed again.

Channel testing works for both patched and unpatched channels. Note that for channels patched as LTP, the level of the Grand Master does not affect the channel level and after test is turned off the channel remains at the test level. LTP channels can be set to zero by pressing CTRL CLEAR.


You can also test channels by moving to the appropriate channel and pressing the TEST SELECT CHANS soft button. The channel will be set to the level of the Grand Master fader. Pressing TEST SELECT CHANS soft button again returns the channel to zero. You can test multiple channels by using SHIFT and the cursor keys to select multiple channels and then pressing the TEST SELECT CHANS soft button. Channels that are in test mode are highlighted in red.

Pressing Soft Button A (NEXT UNI or PREV UNI) soft button moves you up or down the window to the first channel of the next or previous universe.

7.16. Changing the DMX address of heads

Heads (including Dimmers) can be moved to different DMX addresses as required. When they are moved all the programming and palettes associated with them also moves to the new channels. In Patch, VIEW HEADS simply edit the DMX field with a new address.

If you try and move to a location where there are already channels patched then MagicQ will prompt whether you wish to continue and move the already patched channels aside. If you confirm YES the already patched channels will be moved to the next free locations. If you confirm NO then no move will be performed.

Multiple heads can be moved at a time using SHIFT and the cursor keys. When making a change to multiple heads the change defaults to an absolute change – the first head will be moved to the specified address and the next heads to the addresses immediately following. To make a relative change enter a / after the new address - i.e. to move 4 heads from 1-1 to 2-1, but keeping the relative DMX offsets between the heads, enter 2-1/. You can also specify an explicit offset to use, just like when patching e.g. 2-1/20.

7.17. Patching a Head to multiple DMX addresses

The View DMX view in the Patch Window enables multiple DMX channels to be easily assigned to one head. Up to 5 additional DMX channels can be set up for each Head in addition to the main DMX address. Remove additional channels by pressing REMOVE and selecting the additional channel fields or by typing "u" (unpatch) instead of a DMX address.


7.18. Unpatching a Head from a DMX address

It is possible to "unpatch" a head – i.e. to remove the association between the programmed data and a DMX address. The programmed data for the head is maintained and the head can subsequently be patched to a new DMX address. To unpatch a head move the cursor to the first DMX field in View DMX view and press REMOVE, or type "u".

7.19. Patching scrollers

There are two ways to patch scrollers – the first method is to patch the dimmer and scroller separately – then the dimmer and scroller will operate independently. Use the "generic dimmer" personality for the dimmer and the "generic scroller" personality for the scroller.

MagicQ has enhanced support for scrollers, so that the colour scroll channel can be tied up with the dimmer channel in one head.


To use this support, patch a Generic Scroller With Dim. This will appear in the View Heads with the DMX address marked as "virtual" and any DMX address you specified when you patched it will be ignored. Change to the View DMX view and specify in the appropriate DMX columns the DMX address of the dimmer and the scroller.

The Generic Scroller With Dim is set up as a "Virtual" personality – i.e. the channels in the personality can be patched to any location on MagicQ – unlike normal personalities where the channels are sequential from the DMX start address. In the View DMX view, the DMX address fields are used to specify the addresses for each channel in the virtual personality – up to a maximum of 5 channels. (For normal personalities these fields are used to specify multiple heads patched to one head.)

7.20. Editing Heads

You can modify the Head or create a new head in the Head Editor. Choose the head you wish to edit and then press the EDIT HEAD soft button.

To quickly choose a head that you have already patched move the cursor to the head in the Patch Window, hold SHIFT and press CHOOSE HEAD.

To quickly edit a head that you have already patched move the cursor to the head in the Patch Window, hold SHIFT and press EDIT HEAD.

7.21. Cloning (Adding extra heads / dimmers to a programmed show)

Cloning enables a show programmed with a certain number of heads to be expanded to use more of the same head type without having to reprogram all of the show.

For example, if you have a show programmed with 4 Maverick Spots` and you want to add 4 more Maverick Spots, then you can clone the 4 programmed Maverick Spots. All the Cues, Cue Stacks, Groups and Palettes that have the original 4 Maverick Spots will now have the additional 4 Maverick Spots as well.

By cloning heads in this way you have a quick and easy approach to expanding your show. You can then programme some new Cues and Cue Stacks that use the new and old heads individually.

To Clone heads

Enter the Patch Window and choose the view heads view. Select the heads you wish to clone using SHIFT and the cursor keys. Note a new cloned head is created for each of the selected heads. e.g. selecting 4 heads when cloning will patch 4 more heads each cloned to one of the 4 selected heads.

Then press the CLONE HEAD soft button.

Cloned heads are patched on the next free universe/channel in MagicQ, these can then be re addressed as needed.

There are several options when cloning heads. It is possible to choose whether both Palettes and Cues are cloned or just Palettes.

It is also possible to specify that FX are split when the heads are cloned, so that the new heads are part of a different FX from the original FX. This function should be used with care when cloning multiple heads in order to avoid fragmenting the F X too much.

7.21.1. Copy Head Programming

If you patch new heads into a show, without cloning it is still possible to then copy programming from other heads to the new heads. To copy programmed data from one head to another press the SHIFT + COPY HEAD PRG soft button in the HEAD VIEW, then select the source head followed by the destination head.

Any programming for the destination Heads is first removed, before the new data from the source Heads is coped to the destination Heads.

All the Cues, Cue Stacks, Groups and Palettes that contain the source head will be updated to include the destination head.

From v1.9.1.0 it is possible to copy between different Head types. It is also possible to copy head programming using keypad syntax with Head nos or Groups to make it easier to copy entire programming from several Heads to several other Heads. To copy both from and to multiple heads use the same method as for copying heads in the Programmer or in Cues, but in the Copy Options select COPY HEAD PROG.

To copy all programming from Heads 1 to 4 to Heads 10 to 20 use


To copy all programming from Group 1 to Group 2 use


Alternatively select Groups from within the Group window.

7.21.2. Patch Channel Copy

Another way to expand existing shows is to patch the new heads and dimmers but then in the Patch window to set a real time channel copy from another already programmed channel. The value of the channel will always be that of the already programmed channel. Any programming of the newly patched channel will be ignored. To set up real time copies, edit the Merge and From Chan columns in the View Chans view of the Patch Window. Press ENTER in the Merge column to change it to "Copy" and then set the From Chan column.

7.22. Morphing Heads (Changing Head type)

It is possible to morph one head type into another head type. The system will copy the programming from the old head type to the new head type. The system takes into account the different pan and tilt ranges of the heads when copying pan and tilt data.

As no two heads are exactly the same, the programming will not create exactly the same looks as with the original heads. A closer representation will be obtained by morphing a spot into a spot compared to a spot into a wash light.

If the new head types have more channels than the original head types then MagicQ morphs the heads but leaves them unpatched – the user must then repatch the heads at a suitable location.

In the Patch Window, choose the new head type, then move the cursor to the head to change or select a block of heads using SHIFT and the cursor keys. Press the MORPH HEAD soft button and confirm that the action is what is required.


After morphing heads your groups, palettes, and cues will be updated to reflect the new head types.

7.22.1. Morphing multi element heads

MagicQ supports full morphing between multi element heads to single element heads and from single element heads to multi element heads.

When morphing between multi element heads, if the new head has less elements than the original head then the excess elements in the original heads will be ignored. If the new head has more elements than the original head then the excess elements in the new head will be a repeat of the elements from the original head.

It is possible to morph from a Duplicated element head that is entirely made up of duplicated elements (no channels that are not multi element) to multiple non duplicated heads - e.g. to split a Duplicated 10 channel LED head into 10 separate RGB heads.

7.22.2. Morphing Heads with virtual dimmers

It is possible to morph between heads with inbuilt dimmers and heads with virtual dimmers. For example it is possible to morph a RGB head with an inbuilt dimmer to a RGB head with a virtual dimmer. It is also possible to morph back from a head with a virtual dimmer to one that has an inbuilt dimmer.

7.22.3. Morphing between CMY and colour wheel Heads

When morphing between heads with CMY/RGB and Colour Wheel to heads with only Colour Wheels, MagicQ now converts the CMY/RGB data to Col Wheel rather than trying to map between the Colour Wheels. This ensures that shows programmed with Cues using RGB palettes morph to Col Wheel palettes.

When morphing to heads with greater number of colour wheels or greater number of gobo wheels MagicQ now includes the extra colour or gobo wheels channels in Palettes and Cues where the colour wheels or gobo wheels were previously used. This enables easy updating of shows, for example when changing from heads with only 1 gobo wheel to heads with 2 gobo wheels.

7.23. Importing Heads

A quick way of patching heads is to import the heads from a file. MagicQ supports comma separated variable files (.csv) which can be from Visualisers like WYSIWYG and VectorWorks or generated manually from spread sheets and text editors.

In Patch, View Chans press the IMPORT HEADS soft button and select a file in .csv format. MagicQ auto detects the contents of the file recognising formats from Capture, WYSIWYG, VectorWorks, L8 and Depence.

MagicQ provides several import options:


Adds the heads to the patch. If DMX address is specified then will only add if that address is free - otherwise adds to next free address


Readdress the head with the specified head number to the specified DMX address

Morph, Readdress

First morphs the head with the specified head number to the new Head type and then readdresses to specified DMX address

Clone, Morph, Readdress

First clones the head with the specified head number, then morphs to the new Head type and then readdresses to specified DMX address

Vis only

Imports only the Vis data (XYZ position and rotation) for the head at the specified DMX address. If no DMX address is specified then it uses the head number to match

When patching heads if there is no DMX address specified MagicQ may not be able to patch them. If no DMX address is provided then MagicQ will check the head number to see whether there is a head already patched with that head number that matches the requested number of channels. If no match is found MagicQ will choose a spare DMX address to patch the head.

If a head is already allocated at the required DMX address then MagicQ will not patch a new head - however it will import Visualiser XYZ data if available.

If no head at the DMX address or head number is found then MagicQ will attempt to match the Head type provided.

In WYSIWYG the heads need to have an Address and Universe in the Fixture Properties dialog but there does not need to be any devices mapped in the device manager.

7.23.1. Supported column headings

MagicQ supports a large number of column headings and will attempt to detect the contents of the file - e.g. whether it has come from a specific Visualiser such as Capture, WYSIWYG, VectorWorks, or whether it is just a head list.

The column heading is the first row in the file, except in the case of Capture where the first rows are "Channel Report" - MagicQ skips these and expects the next row to be the column headings.

Column headings are case insensitive.

The file can be delimited by semicolons (;) instead of commas (,). MagicQ detects the first occurrence of either to choose which is the delimiter.

The column headings supported are:

Column HeadingMagicQ FunctionComment

Head no,Headno,Hdno,Headnum,Channel,Spot,Fixture ID

Head No

Head name,Hd name,Headname,Hdname,Purpose,Short Name


Universe,DMX Line


DMX,DMX no,DMXno,DMX num,DMX Address,DMX Channel,DMX Patch,Patch,Patch Address


Patch Address (may contain universe and channel)



Tries to match MagicQ manufacturer

Type,Head type,Headtype,Hd type,Hdtype,Fixture,Instrument Type

Head Type

Tries to match standard MagicQ names, Capture, Wyg names



Gel number - starting with L for Lee, R for Rosco. Otherwise MagicQ colour numbers

Pinv,P inv,Pan inv,Paninv,Pani,Pan i

P Inv

Tinv,T inv,Tilt inv,Tiltinv,Tilti,Tilt i

T Inv



Chans,Num chans,Numchans,# of Data Channels,Num channels,Channel Count

Num Of Chans

Used for checking type/mode

X,X Location,X Pos,X Position,Position X

X Pos

Y,Y Location,Y Pos,Y Position,Position Y

Y Pos

Note for Wyg/VectorWorks Y is treated as MagicQ Z Pos

Z,Z Location,Y Pos,Z Position,Position Z

Z Pos

Note for Wyg/VectorWorks Z is treated as MagicQ Y Pos

RotX,X Rotation,X Rot,Rotation X

X Rot

RotY,Y Rotation,Y Rot,Rotation Y

Y Rot

Note for Wyg/VectorWorks RotY is treated as MagicQ Z Rot

RotZ,Z Rotation,Z Rot,Rotation Z

Z Rot

Note for Wyg/VectorWorks RotZ is treated as MagicQ Y Rot

X, Y and Z position in MagicQ default to metres - this is the recommended values for import. When MagicQ imports from CSV it checks the range of X,Y and Z position values and then auto detects the scale. For example, if the positions where in millimetres - e.g. 7000,1000 - MagicQ would divide by 1000.

7.23.2. WYSIWYG

WYSIWYG R38 can export the positions and rotations of fixtures so that they can be viewed in MagicVis.

The columns "# of Data Channels" and "Fixture Options" or the columns "Hookup" and "Circuit Name" must be present for MagicQ to detect it as a WYSIWYG file and import the patch correctly.

To get the rotation correct go to the Data→Spreadsheet view in WYSIWYG, then click on OPTIONS → View. In the View Options dialog select the Data Options tab and ensure that the RotX, RotY, and RotZ columns are checked. Click OK then select FILE → Export and select .CSV to export the data. The data can then be imported into MagicQ.

If the DMX Universes are named numerically (for example 1 or 21) then they will be assigned to that MagicQ universe.

MagicQ will automatically swap Y/Z positions and rotations when importing WYSIWYG files.

7.23.3. VectorWorks

VectorWorks can output csv files with all the fixture parameters.

The columns "Channel" and "Symbol Name" or "Vertical Focus Angle" must be present for MagicQ to detect it as a VectorWorks file and import the patch correctly.

The below table shows the exported column heads from VectorWorks required and their function within MagicQ

Vector works Column HeadingComment

Instrument Type

this should be fixture manufacturer followed by_name separated with an underscore e.g. "Clay Paky_GoldenScan3"

Num channels

the number of channels in the fixture


should be a number starting at 1 for the first universe


should be a number between 1 and 512 to indicate the DMX address within the universe


should be a number between 1 and 65356 to indicate head number


a text field that if present will be used as the Head Name in MagicQ

X Position

should be in metres - e.g. 1.1 represents 1.1 metres. MagicQ will attempt to scale if it detects large values - e.g. if the positions are in millimetres

Y Position

should be in metres - e.g. 1.1 represents 1.1 metres. MagicQ will attempt to scale if it detects large values - e.g. if the positions are in millimetres

Z Position

should be in metres - e.g. 1.1 represents 1.1 metres. MagicQ will attempt to scale if it detects large values - e.g. if the positions are in millimetres

X Rotation

should be in degrees

Y Rotation

should be in degrees

Z Rotation

should be in degrees

Where possible X,Y,Z position should be in metres - e.g. 1.1 represents 1.1 metres. MagicQ will attempt to scale if it detects large values - e.g. if the positions are in millimetres.

MagicQ will automatically swap Y/Z poitions and rotations when importing VectorWorks files.

To export from Vectorworks Vectorworks 2018 or later and MagicQ or later

  1. Set up Vectorworks Instruments: Check you have the "Number of Channels" field set to the mode you wish to use the fixture in (this can be done manually or for newer instruments via the "Mode" drop down menu )
  2. Set document preferences: to meters for shows under 100 metes wide, or centimeters for shows over 100 meters wide, MQ will automatically move the decimal when it detects shows over 100 meters making it 1.00 meters (if this step is skipped, patch and heads will still import but Vis positions will not be accurate)
  3. Assign individual Channel Numbers, universe, and address fields in Vectorworks: in the object info panel for each fixture. Channel number dictates the Head number when imported into MQ. if you use unit number for your head numbers in VW it’s best to use the find and modify tool to copy the unit number field to the channel field before exporting the instrument data (this can also be done after export in Excel)
  4. Export from Vectorworks: File>Export>Export Instrument Data, Select the "ALL" box in the top right to add all fields to the exported file, then choose Export and save the file.
  5. Import that file into excel: follow the import window that pops up to be sure the imported document is formatted correctly
  6. Edit Data if needed: in some cases, depending on instrument name, you may need to use the "Find/Replace" tool to edit the instrument type to correspond with the head file name in MQ , Example: if your VW file has Martin Axiom’s in it, listed as an Axiom, you will need to change the Instrument type in the spreadsheet to be "Martin_MacAxiomHybrid" or the console will not be able to match the fixture in the spreadsheet to the proper fixture in the library (Tip: for large rigs with a lot of fixture types, to save time, make all fixtures "Generic_Dimmer" then once you import the into MQ you can morph those dimmers to the proper fixture types)
  7. For countries that use comma as the decimal separator ensure Excel is set to use decimal places as "." not ",". Click File > Options, then in the Excel Options dialog, click Advanced from left pane, then in the right section, the Editing options group, uncheck Use system separator, then type decimal point into the Decimal separator box to instead of the decimal point, and type nothing for the Thousand separator box.
  8. Export from Excel; as a .CSV file, save to your show file or to a usb drive and copy it to your show folder on your console
  9. Import into MagicQ: in Patch, select "View Channels" and then "Import Heads" there will be some feedback in the CMD line to show it’s importing the heads,

7.23.4. Depence

It is possible to export fixtrue patch and XYZ from Depence and import them into MagicQ via csv format file.

The columns "Position on Stage" and "Fixture Library Revision" must be present for MagicQ to detect it as a Depence file and import the patch correctly. Depence XYZ positions are in centimetres so MagicQ scales to metres. Depence uses XYZ co-ordinates the same as MagicQ with Y vertical and Z front to back.

7.23.5. Creating a head list

To create a CSV file from Excel use Save As,Other Format, Comma Separated Variable (.csv).

The first row of the file indicates which columns are present in the file. The next rows of the file contain the data for each head.

Headno,Headname,Dmxno,Headtype,Gel,Pinv,Tinv,Swap 0001,Spots,1-001,Generic_Dimmer,No col,no,no,no 0002,Spots,1-002,Generic_Dimmer,No col,no,no,no 0003,Spots,1-003,Generic_Dimmer,No col,no,no,no 0004,Spots,1-004,Generic_Dimmer,No col,no,no,no 0005,Finger L,1-005,Generic_Dimmer,R59 Indigo,no,no,no 0006,Finger L,1-006,Generic_Dimmer,R312 Canary,no,no,no 0007,Finger L,1-007,Generic_Dimmer,R356 Middle Lavender,no,no,no 0008,Finger L,1-008,Generic_Dimmer,R27 Medium Red,no,no,no

7.24. Exporting Heads

MagicQ can export the contents of any window to CSV format and includes options to select which fields are exported. To export the Patch this way open the Patch Window, View Heads and from the toolbar select File and Print Window, select the required fields and then press Create CSV.

In older versions of MagicQ there was only the option to export with fixed column headings of Headno, Headname, Dmxno, Headtype, Gel, Pinv, Tinv, Swap. In Patch, View Chans press the EXPORT HEADS soft button. MagicQ asks for a file name and will save the file in the show folder.

7.25. VL5 type channels (split personalities)

MagicQ supports heads such as the Vari-lite VL5TM where the head functionality is split between different non-contiguous DMX addresses. For example when the fixture features an external dimmer that’s DMX address can be set independently.

The personality for the main channels in the head includes the extra channels. The extra channels are then patched separately and set to have their levels copied from the main channels.

When creating a VL5 type fixture, if the Dimmer channel has been named Dimmer dummy’ in the Head editor, 'view chans. When the fixture is patched, if a 2nd DMX field in the view dmx view of the Patch this 2nd address will be controlled by the main fixture dimmer.

For example for a VL5, patch the VL5 to the required DMX address for the main head. The in Patch, View DMX set the address of the real dimmer channel in the second DMX field.


7.26. Merging with DMX input

MagicQ supports comprehensive merging of data from each of the input and output universes. Any output channel can be set to output data from any received input channel, or to merge the two.

In addition channels can be configured so that they are passed through transparently unless MagicQ is controlling the channel from the programmer or a playback. This provides a powerful over-ride mode.

To set a channel to output data received as input from another channel set the Merge field to "Input" and the From field to the channel number you wish to get the data from.

You can easily set up a large number of channels by using SHIFT and the cursor keys to select multiple channels.

You can also set up a channel so that it outputs data from an input channel except when that channel is being controlled by a playback or the programmer. Set the Merge field to "Over".

To HTP merge the output with the received input use the "Merge" option.

The "Mult" option enables another channel on the console to control the level of the output of the channel- this is useful with RGB LED heads where you wish to make another channel control the overall level of the RGB.

The "Mul-In" option multiplies the received input with the calculated value for the channel. MagicQ can therefore be used as a DMX modifier to modify the level of individual or groups of channels.

It is possible to set multiple channels all to copy or multiply by one channel. Use SHIFT and the cursor keys to select all the required channels and enter <chan> / 0.

7.27. Customising Locate, Default, Highlight and Lowlight values

MagicQ allows the user to define the Locate, Default, Highlight and Lowlight values for each attribute of each patched heads.

The Locate values are the values that are used when the Locate button is pressed. The Default values are the values that are output when a channel is not in the programmer and no playback is controlling a channel. Note that the Setup Window option "Unused chans return to defaults" must be enabled for this mode of operation.

The Hightlight and Lowlight values are used when Highlight Mode is set to one of the Advanced modes.

By default, the Locate values and Default values are taken from the personality of the patched head – these typically put the position to centre, beam open, colour white and intensity at full.

These values can be re-programmed by creating a Cue that represents the desired Locate Values and/or a Cue that represents the desired Default Values. For Highlight and Lowlight create a Cue that represents the desired Highlight or Lowlight values.

Simply record a Cue into the Cue Store and then press the SET LOC CUE, SET DEF CUE, SET HIGHL CUE, SET LOWL CUE soft buttons. The Cue is indicated as Default, Locate, Highlight or Lowlight by a D, L,H or Lo after the Q number.


Only one Cue can be set for each type - however one cue can be set for more than one type – e.g. one Cue can be set for both the Default Cue and the Locate Cue.

It is not necessary to program all the different attributes into the Locate, Default, Highlight or Lowlight Cues. Simply program the values that you want to be different from normal operation. For instance to record a default position with all heads positioned towards FOH position, simply record a Cue with the FOH position data and press the SET DEF CUE soft button.

If you wish to change the Locate, Default, Highlight or Lowlight Cue then simply re-record the Cue. If you update Palettes used in the Cue, or modify the Cue directly from the Cue Window then you may need to reset the Cue in the Cue Store before the change takes place. Press the CLEAR DEF CUE and SET DEF CUE for the desired Cue.

7.28. Theatre Patch syntax

MagicQ supports a Theatre Patch option which changes the syntax used for patching to simplify patching (and re-patching) of large numbers of dimmers.

The option is enabled in Setup,View Settings, Keypad, Keypad Syntax Theatre Patch. When this option is set to "yes" the keypad can be used to patch a dimmer or moving light directly to a DMX address and head number – e.g.

10 @ 2 – 5 will patch head number 10 to Universe 2 channel 5.

7.29. Virtual Dimmers

MagicQ enables LED and other heads with colour mixing but no dimmer channel to have an associated virtual dimmer. This allows the LED heads to be used as simple RGB heads with a dimmer. This development does not affect the internal pixel mapping (Bitmap FX) which already has a virtual dimmer.

To add a virtual dimmer channel for a LED head (i.e. a head without a dimmer) simply patch a generic dimmer and set the head number to the same head number as the LED head. The generic dimmer will then be shown with a ‘v’ after the head number to indicate the association with the LED head. The LED head will then appear with a dimmer in the Intensity, Group, Outputs and Programmer windows.

Note that virtual dimmers will only work if there are only 2 heads with the same head number – if there are more than 2 heads with the same head number then each head will be treated as a separate head.

When MagicQ assigns a virtual dimmer in this way, in the Cue Engine it takes the value of the RGB (CMY) attributes from the playbacks and programmer and then scales these values according to the value of the virtual dimmer channel.

Virtual Dimmers take effect at the Patch level rather than at the Programmer level. This means that the Output Window, View Heads will show the virtual levels on the RGB channels (i.e. the RGB levels before the virtual dimmer is applied).

The Outputs Window, View Chans, View DMX will show the actual levels output to the RGB channels (i.e. the level after the virtual dimmer is applied).

The full head can be selected using the head number. The title bar of the Group, Pos, Colour, Beam windows will show +v for each head with a virtual dimmer.

To always add virtual dimmers when patching set Auto VDIMs to on using Patch soft button E.

7.29.1. Quickly adding Virtual Dimmers to patched heads

It is possible to add virtual dimmers to a head in the Patch, View Heads view using a single action. Place the cursor on the head you wish to add a virtual dimmer for and then press SHIFT and ADD VDIM. You can use SHIFT or CTRL + the cursor keys to select multiple heads.

Virtual dimmers can only be added to heads that do not have an intensity channel. For heads with multiple RGB elements, a virtual dimmer will be made for each RGB element.

Virtual dimmers added in this way will appear unpatched. Note that virtual dimmers take up channels from the total channel count.

It is possible to hide the virtual dimmers from the Patch View using Setup, View Settings, Cue Storage, Hide Vdims. In this case the virtual dimmers are not shown as separate heads in the Patch View. Instead the head with the virtual dimmer shows a +v in the Head No field.

Virtual dimmers can be removed from a head by pressing SHIFT and REMOVE VDIM.

7.29.2. Heads always with virtual dimmers

It is possible to make heads that automatically patch a virtual dimmer. In the Head Editor, View General, Options there is an option "Virtual Dim". If this is set to "yes" and the head has no dimmer then a virtual dimmer is automatically patched for this head.

The MagicQ head library includes a mode of LED3chan with a virtual dimmer.

Note that Virtual Dimmer is distinct from Virtual Channels where all the channels of the head have separate DMX addresses.

7.30. Patch Head Filtering

In Patch, Choose Head it is possible to filter personalities by type, making it easier to find the personalities required. Filter options include All, Patched, Live, Club, Film/TV and User.

Patched enables users to see which heads are patched in the current show and to re choose them easily.


Users can tag heads that they use frequently so that they appear in the User filter. This could be used for example to include all heads in the stock of a rental company.

Heads can be tagged and untagged in both Choose Head, Simple View and Choose Head, Adv View. In Simple View you can tag all heads from a particular manufacturer, or all modes of a specific head. In Adv View you can tag individual modes of a head.

In Adv View the Tag column shows a "U" for all heads tagged as user.

MagicQ stores a file of all tagged heads in the heads folder called userheads.csv. It is possible to create or edit this file with a text editor/spreadsheet. The format is:

<manufacturer> , <short name> , <mode>

7.30.1. Duplicated elements operating independently

Duplicated heads can operate in a Duplicated or Independent Mode in the Patch, View Heads view - scroll to the right to find the "Independent" column. This is useful when you wish to record different elements into different playbacks and mix them together - the elements will operate as if they were separate heads. Independent mode is supported from v1.7.9.6.

When set to "Ind", all elements act independently. When selecting a complete head all elements are made active in the programmer and programmed into Cues. When selecting elements of a head using the dot (.) syntax only the selected elements are made active in the programmer and programmed into Cues. FX can operate across all elements either in sync or offset across the elements.

When set to "Dup", elements 2 and above are duplicated from element 1 when they are not explicitly in the programmer or active on a playback. This provides a simple programming mode where the head generally operates as a single element. FX can operate across all elements either in sync or offset across the elements. Using the dot (.) syntax different levels can be programmed for the different element into a single Cue.

The default for this field comes from the Head Editor where it is possible to set the "Independent" field per channel. When a head is patched, then MagicQ will use the defaults from the Head Editor for each channel - if one or more duplicated elements 2 or above is set as Independent in the personality then the head will show as Independent in the Patch View.

The setting in the Patch window overrides the setting in the Head Editor, enabling the option to be set differently per head. Users should change the option in the Patch not in the Head Editor.