Chapter 51. System Management

51.1. Starting Up

On PC and Mac systems click on the MagicQ application icon. On MagicQ console systems hold the power button on for 1 second.

On first start up an introductory window is displayed on the screen. You are prompted to choose demo shows or to continue the last show. It is possible to turn this option off so that MagicQ automatically starts into the last show.

When MagicQ starts up it loads the last show file that was saved – either a file explicitly saved by you, or the last backup file it automatically saved.

51.2. Shutting Down

To shut MagicQ down, press the QUIT soft button in the Setup Window. When asked for confirmation, select yes. MagicQ consoles automatically power off when the shutdown sequence is complete.


On MagicQ consoles the console must be shut down correctly to avoid damage to their storage media. Removing power to the console when it is running may cause problems with the file system. Normally this will only result in a subsequent slow start-up whilst the system repairs the disk – however in certain circumstances the file system may become corrupted. If you always follow the instructions for shutting down you will have no problems.


For situations where users regularly just disconnect the power from the console rather than shutting it down correctly it is possible to force a fast shut down on power fail. If the empty file "fast_power_fail.txt" is placed in the main MagicQ folder (up one from the show folder) then when power is lost the console will only wait 10 seconds for a user cancel before auto shutting down. This will help to avoid the battery going flat and the potential damage to the file system.

51.3. Saving Shows

When you are programming a show the show is stored in memory. In order to store your show on the disk you need to press the SAVE SHOW soft button in the Setup Window.

Whilst programming, you should regularly save your show, so that if the unexpected happens and the power fails your show data is not lost. You can chose any filename. The console will automatically set the file extension to .shw.

By default, MagicQ saves a backup of your show to disk shortly after you make changes – you will see it show "AutoS" in the Status Display. It uses the same show name but with the file extension .sbk.

It is a good idea to save your show to different file names so that you have various points you can back-track to if things go wrong. For example, save the show as myshow-patch.shw after you have patched and then as myshow-final.shw after you have finished programming.

When you shut down MagicQ through the QUIT soft button in the Setup Window, it automatically saves a backup copy of your show with a .sbk extension. When you subsequently restart MagicQ this file will be re-loaded. This ensures that MagicQ starts up as it was when the QUIT soft button was pressed.

The Setup Window indicates when the show has not been saved (or autosaved) for over 10 minutes.

MagicQ consoles have a large hard disk to enable storage of a virtually infinite number of shows.

51.3.1. Show file name auto increment

MagicQ supports auto incrementing show file names. To start an auto incrementing show file, save a show file with the last part of the name set as _001. When you next press SAVE SHOW, MagicQ will suggest saving to _002. Press ENTER to accept, or edit the name to save to a different name.

Note that in order to avoid accidentally saving to incrementing files, all 3 digits must be present - _1 or _10 is not supported. When the number _999 is reached MagicQ will not auto increment and will request a new name.

Please note that over use of the auto increment feature will lead to high disk usage. It is important to clear out old versions once the show is finished.

To delete all old revisions of the current show file, go to File Manager, and press SHIFT and REMOVE OLD REVS. This will remove all revisions of the current show file that have a lower revision number. It will not remove the current show file.

51.4. Backing up to an external system

It is a good idea to back up your show to an external system. This ensures that should the unexpected happen you can transfer your show to another console. In a touring environment where the console is being moved every day we recommend you back up your show to an external system before moving the console.

You can either backup by transferring files over network or via USB memory stick. To backup to USB memory stick, first insert a USB memory stick into the USB slot in the front or the back of the console then press the BACKUP TO USB soft button in the Setup Window.

The USB memory stick should be formatted for a standard Windows file system (FAT32) – they generally come like this. This enables the memory stick to be used in both the console and standard PCs running Windows.

51.5. Loading Shows

You can load a show that you have previously saved using the LOAD SHOW soft button in the Setup Window. If you load a new show it will erase any existing programming. The console will prompt you for confirmation.

Be careful to choose which type of show file you want to load – the .shw files are the ones you saved, whilst the .sbk ones are auto backups.

When MagicQ saves a show file it saves the show data, the show settings and the console settings. By default when a show is loaded, only the show data and settings are loaded – the console settings are not loaded – so the console settings are not affected.

To force loading of the console settings from a show file, hold SHIFT and press LOAD SHOW+CON. A list of Load Options is shown enabling the user to choose which console settings they wish to load.

Console Settings

  • Wing Settings
  • Remote Settings
  • Mode Settings
  • Network Settings
  • Media Server Settings
  • MIDI SMPTE Settings
  • Port Settings
  • Multi Console Settings
  • Hardware Settings

Selecting all the options loads the complete console settings and show settings – enabling the complete cloning of a console. Note that the console settings include the network settings and IP address – so if 2 cloned consoles are used on the same network then the IP address should be manually set to different addresses.

Any show created on a MagicQ or QuickQ console can be loaded, but you need to be aware of the number of universes in the show. If the show uses more universes than configured on the console/PC you are loading on then the data for the heads on the excess universes will not be loaded. See Loading a show onto a smaller console.

From v1.8.7.6 MagicQ PC supports up to 256 universes - set the number of universes required in Setup, View DMX I/O. SET UNIVERSES before loading the show. Note that the more universes are set, the more memory is required on the PC - so for older PC/Macs we recommend limiting the number of universes to those required.

51.6. Erasing

To erase the entire show from memory, go to the Setup Window and press the NEW SHOW (was ERASE SHOW) soft button. You will be asked to confirm by selecting YES. You will then be asked for which initial mode you want the console to be set up for, Normal, Theatre Non Track, Theatre Tracking or Hog II Warp. If in doubt, select Normal.

Erasing a show clears all patching, all programming and all palettes. It does not clear console settings such as the configuration of the DMX outputs or the calibration of the touch screen.

51.7. Show extras file

In order to allow MagicQ shows with additional media such as icon snapshots, image files and audio files to be transferred onto other MagicQ systems, MagicQ uses a separate show extras file with the extension ".xhw". If a show contains extra data such as icon snapshots, image files or audio files, then when the show file is saved using SAVE SHOW or SAVE TO USB, the show extras file is saved at the same time.

The show extras file contains only the icon snapshot data, image files and audio files used in your show - it does not contain the main programming of your show. If you wish to use your show on a different system then you need to copy both the ".shw" and ".xhw" files to the new system. When loading a new show MagicQ automatically checks for the presence of a ".xhw" file and extracts the required media from that file into the relevant folders on the MagicQ system.

The show extras file is not saved during auto saves and is only loaded (extracted) when the user loads an existing show using LOAD SHOW.

If the show file contains a lot of audio files, or particularly large audio files, then the generation of the show extras file can sometimes take some time to process. In this situation, smaller compressed audio files can be used as MagicQ supports both lossy and lossless audio codecs, or alternatively the automatic generation of the show extras file can be disabled by changing Setup, View Settings, Extras file create mode to Manual. If the show extras file is needed, then this can be generated by pressing Shift + SAVE EXTRAS in the Setup window.

51.8. Import and Export of Show Data and Show Merging

MagicQ supports advanced features for merging shows together, taking selections from particular shows and adding them to other shows.

A selection of Heads, Cues, Cue Stacks or Pages can be exported from a show file to a new file. Only the show data that uses those selected Heads, Cues, Cue Stacks or Pages is present in the new show file. The new show file can then be merged into other show files, with MagicQ repatching the data as required.

51.8.1. Exporting Shows

Press SHIFT and SAVE SHOW (EXPORT SHOW) to export part of the current show. Only the currently selected heads are exported. All groups, palettes, cues and cue stacks that contain one or more of the selected heads are exported – but only with the data from the selected heads.

If no heads are selected then MagicQ looks for items that are selected in the Page, Stack Store, and Cue Store windows. Use SHIFT + the cursor keys to select items in these windows. Complete pages can be exported using the Page Window, complete Cue Stacks (including the Cues they use) from the Cue Stack Store or individual Cues from the Cue Store.

51.8.2. Merging / Importing Shows

Select SHIFT + IMPORT SHOW to merge or import a show. MagicQ gives you a simple menu of Entire Show, Palettes, Show Structure or Advanced.

Entire Show loads the entire show as separate heads, i.e. adding the loaded show to the existing show.

Palettes allows just palettes to be loaded from the imported show file. There are further options for choosing just some head types and whether to load Positions, Colours and Beams.

Show Structure loads the show with the Groups, Palettes, FX library, Cues and Cue Stacks but without the Patch or any programming in the Cues.

51.8.3. Advanced Merging

With Advanced Merging the imported data can be specified, including Settings, Patch, Palettes, FX Library, Cues, Cue Stacks, Playbacks, Grids, Curves are Vis data.

Settings includes show settings, layouts, key macros and automations.

Additionally you can determine how the data is merged into the current show data.

If the Merge Heads option is selected then MagicQ merges programmed data from the new file into the heads that match in the original show.

If the Merge Heads is not selected then MagicQ adds the channels to the new show. Channels from the imported show keep their DMX address unless they clash with channels in the original show – in which case they are moved to the first free location.

If the Merge Palettes option is selected then any Palettes at the same Palette ID with the same name are merged together. If the Palettes at a particular ID do not match names, or the Palette is not programmed in the original show then the new Palette is added.

If the Merge Cues option is selected then any Cues at the same Cue ID in the Cue Store with the same name are merged together. If the Cues at a particular Cue ID do not match names, or the Cue is not programmed in the original show then the new Cue is added.

If the Merge Pages option is selected then Playback assignments are kept on the same Page as they were in the imported show – but they may be moved onto higher Playbacks (e.g. Playback wings) on the same page if the same playbacks are used.

It is also possible to load the data for only selected head types from the imported show file - the optiosn are All, Chosen or None.

All merges all Heads from the file. Chosen opens a list of the Head Types in the file.

None is similar to the Show Structure option in the main merge menu except that it gives more control on the items that are loaded. When using None, Import Patch should not be selected.

51.8.4. Merging in part of another show file

If you wish to merge in only specific items, such as Cues, Cue Stacks or Palettes, or just selected heads then you can use Setup, SHIFT + IMPORT SHOW and select Advanced as above.

If you wish to merge in only some Cues, Cues Stacks or Pages then you must first create another show file with only these items before importing it into your current show file.

  • Save your current show file to a name different to the import show file.
  • Open the import show file and cursor select the items in the Page, Stack Store or Cue Store windows you wish to export.
  • Press SHIFT + EXPORT SHOW to export the show to a new file name - e.g. partial.shw.
  • Reload your original show file.
  • Import the partial show file using SHIFT + IMPORT SHOW and selecting ENTIRE SHOW.

51.8.5. Merging different versions of the same show

To merge two versions of a show together select Advanced and then Merge Heads.

MagicQ will merge in Cues and Cue Stacks from the selected show file that are different to the Cues and Cue Stacks in the original show. Note that for this to work you should ensure that the Cues and Cue Stacks that are different in the two show files have different names.

The heads must be the same type in both versions - it is not possible to merge between different head types. If the two versions you wish to merge have different head types then you must first morph the heads in one of the versions to be the same as the other.

51.8.6. Importing Cues from a different version of the same show

To import a newer version of a Cue from another show file go to Cue Stack Window and press SHIFT IMPORT CUE or to the Cue Store Window and cursor select one or more Cues and press the IMPORT CUE soft button.

Import Cue gives options of choosing only selected heads and whether to merge into or replace the Cue in the existing show file.

Only the selected Cues will be imported from the new show file. The Cues must exist (at the same QId in the Cue Store) and have the same name in the import file.

Note that if you want to add new Cues that are not in the current show file then you must use Setup, Import Show and then select Import Cues only.

51.8.7. USITT ASCII file import

MagicQ supports import of dimmer patch, group, cue level and timing information from USITT ASCII files. In the Patch Window, View Chans, Import USITT.

MagicQ does not support import of non dimmer parameters or more complex heads as this is manufacturer specific and not specified in the USITT ASCII format. We will be happy to investigate whether we can add import from the format of your console.

Note that when importing USITT files with both patch and cues, MagicQ expects the PATCH section of the USITT file to be before the CUE section. A few consoles write the PATCH section at the end of the USITT file - for these cases it is necessary to edit the USITT file before importing, to move all the PATCH commands before the CUE Commands.

51.8.8. Importing Patch

A patch can be imported into a show to change the DMX addresses of the patched Heads. MagicQ matches the Head Nos and repatches to the new DMX addresses.

First create a .csv file of the required patch. This can be created from another show file by loading the show, and then in Patch, View Chans press EXPORT HEADS. This will create a .csv file in the show folder of the patch.

Load the show file to repatch. Then in Patch, View Chans press IMPORT HEADS, select the .csv file, and select Readdress.

Note that the Head Numbers must match in the .csv file to the show file.

51.8.9. MVR file import

MagicQ supports importing patch and fixture position information from My Virtual Rig (MVR) files. Currently, importing scene objects is not supported.

To import an MVR file, open the file manager (see below), and select the MVR file to import. The heads in the file will be added to the current show’s patch. GDTF files contained within the MVR file may be imported; MagicQ will default to using it’s own head files for a fixture if they are available. See the section on importing GDTF files for more information.

51.9. Saving and Loading Settings

You can save your favourite show settings to a file. Settings include the options from the Setup Window, the defaults from the Cue Stack Window, the Layouts you have recorded and keyboard macros.

Once you have become familiar with the console, it is a good idea to save your preferred settings to a file so that then when you start a new show you can load your settings in.

51.10. File Manager

You can organise you show files using File Manager in the Setup Window. File Manager supports renaming, moving, copying and deleting of files.

All show files are located in the show directory. The show directory has sub directories for fx, heads and icons.

File manager can operate on both the internal hard disk and external USB memory sticks. To copy a file to the USB stick:

Select HARD DRIVE soft button.

Press COPY and then select the file you wish to copy.

Select USB DRIVE soft button

Select the "." entry.

Moving is done in a similar way using the MOVE action button. Renaming and deleting use the NAME and REMOVE action buttons respectively.

It is also possible to load shows, settings, icons and new software by clicking on items in the File Manager window.

51.11. Transferring files over network

The console supports remote file system access over the network. Files can be accessed whilst the console is running and outputting Art-Net thus allowing, for instance, users to set up automatic show back-ups to an external server.

Connect the console to the PC or Mac using a network cable.

Configure the IP addresses of the PC / Mac and the console so that they are all on the same IP sub-net. For instance if the console is set to IP address, subnet mask then set the host system to IP address subnet mask

You can force Windows to find the console by using Search and searching for a computer – enter the IP address of the console.

On a Mac connect using Finder and selecting the console.

Log in as user magicq with password magicq.

On some Windows systems you may need to create a user account magicq with password magicq to enable Windows to connect to the console.

You can then transfer files between the host and the console. Show files, personality files, FX files and Patch files can all be transferred in this way.

If you have problems putting files onto the console then try pressing the Set Rem Access soft button in the File Manager window.

51.12. Storage of MagicQ user files on PC/Mac

MagicQ now has an option to change where the user data files are stored.

Older installations of MagicQ stored show, head, log and other user data files in the Application folder. Windows and OSX now make it difficult for users to access the Application folder - either forcing files into a Virtual Stores or preventing write access.

This data can now be stored in the User Documents folder which is fully accessible. It is possible to revert back to using the Application folder at any time.

From the top toolbar select Tools, Change Files Location.

51.13. Reports

MagicQ supports printing of the contents of any window to a printer or a pdf file. On PC/Mac select File, Print Window. For spreadsheet views, MagicQ defaults to selecting the most commonly used columns from the window in order that they fit easily on a printed page width. It is possible to modify the column selection as required.

51.14. Status Window

There is a status window in the Setup Window, View System. This shows data associated with the console and with the currently loaded show. This includes show size, data used, last saved times.

The status window also shows all the MagicQ consoles on the network, and all the Art-Net devices on the network.

51.15. Backup Archives

By default the console stores an archive of the show files for every quarter of an hour of the day, and for every day of the week. This enables the user to revert to a previous copy of their show.

Archive files are only made when the console auto saves. If auto saves are disabled then no archive files will be generated. If the console is set to "auto save on changes" then archive files will only be stored when changes are made. To revert to an archived file press SHIFT and LOAD SHOW in the Setup Window.

Archive files are stored in a special directory that should not be modified by the user. When the user re-loads an archived backup file, the backup file is restored into the standard show directory.

Archive files have the name "backup0530.sbk" to indicate the show file that was recorded just before 5.30am. Daily files are also stored – "backupfri.sbk" indicates the show file that was recorded at the start of Friday. Archive files are overwritten every 24 hours, except for the daily files which are overwritten every 7 days.

51.16. Using shows on different MagicQ products and show versions

In general MagicQ show files are backwards and forwards compatible so you can load any show into any version of software. Loading shows created and modified on newer software versions into older software versions may result in some features not being supported or not working exactly as expected.

MQ500M supports 256 universes, MQ500 support 64 or 200 universes. MQ250M supports 64 universes expandable to 128. MQ80 supports 48 universes. MQ70 supports 24 universes expandable to 48 and the MQ50 supports 6 universes.

From July 2020 MagicQ PC / Mac and Linux software supports up to 256 universes for previsualisation (only 64 for output).

51.16.1. Loading a show onto a smaller console

Note that the limit of number of universes/channels refers to both patched and unpatched channels - i.e. any heads that have programming within the console. Therefore unpatched heads in a show still take up channels from the total number of universes supported on the console - MagicQ just allocates them to unused addresses.

VDIM channels are unpatched channels and therefore may also be above the universe limit of the smaller console.

The number of universes used by a show is reported in Setup, View System, View Status on the Show Data tab, Highest Universe.

Unpatched channels can be forced onto lower universes by temporarily patching them and then unpatching them. For example, set the unpatched heads to +1-1. This will patch them onto the first free channels starting from Universe 1. Then unpatch the channels again.

If you try to load a show with more channels used than the MagicQ console supports then it will ignore any channels above the number of supported universes and will save the show using a default show name rather than the original show name to avoid the ignored heads being removed from the original show file.

We recommend that when loading a show into a console with less universes the show should first be reduced to the number of universes used by the smaller console. For example when transferring a show from a MQ100 Pro 2014 to a MQ60 the show should first be reduced to 12 universes. This show can be reduced on the Pro 2014 or using MagicQ on a PC or Mac.

Note that unpatched heads may affect the highest universe depending on which universe they were last used and how many heads you have in your show. Either remove unpatched heads or repatch them down to a universe below the total number of universes.

51.16.2. Configuring number of Universes

To change the number of configured universes go to Setup Window and VIEW DMX I/O and select "SET NUM UNIVERSES" soft button. It is necessary to restart MagicQ before the changes take effect.

Show files are compatible – except that it is not possible to fully load a show using more universes than the console is set to. So, if a show has with channels patched to universes 13 is loaded in a 12 universe console then any heads on the 13th universe will not be loaded.

Current consoles


Number of Universes

QuickQ 10


QuickQ 20


QuickQ 30





24, (option to 48)




64 (option to 128)


64 (option to 200)



MagicQ PC, Mac, Linux

256 previs, 64 output

Old consoles


Number of Universes



MQ60, Old MQ70


MQ100 Pro-E


MQ100 Pro 2010


MQ100 Pro 2014


ChamSys does not guarantee performance if consoles are set to support higher numbers of universes than the hardware supports.

51.17. MagicQ Profiles

MagicQ supports different profiles – a profile is the entire set-up of the console including the console specific settings (like IP address, media settings etc…) and the show file.

Profiles enables the console to be used to control different venues with easy swapping between venues.

It is possible to set the console to request profile selection on start-up. This is useful in a studio environment where MagicQ can control any one of several studios over Art-Net from a central control booth. When you start up the console you choose which studio to control.

Profiles have a similar effect to using LOAD SHOW + CONSOLE but with a simpler interface. We recommend to use LOAD SHOW + CONSOLE for general purpose moving between venues, and Profiles where multiple studios are controlled from one console.

Profiles are loaded and saved from the Setup Window – in View Settings, press SHIFT and LOAD PROFILE or SAVE PROFILE. Profiles are saved to .mpr files in the show folder – note that the profile does not contain the show data – it only references it – so if you are backing up you need to store both .shw files and .mpr files.

To enable profile selection on start up put an empty text file "selectprofile.txt" into the main MagicQ folder (MagicQ PC on MagicQ PC). On start-up the console will then request which profile you wish to use before it loads the show and enables the outputs.

51.18. User management

MagicQ supports user management. This enables users to be set up with restricted access. Users can be set up to have full access to all the console channels, or to a group of channels only, or to all channels except a group of channels. Users can be set so that they can only "Operate" or "Program" the console without options to change settings. Execute pages can be assigned to specific users.

Users can have passwords set for their accounts.

The current user is displayed and selected in Setup, Soft button C. Note that on MagicQ consoles the Set Time function previously on Soft button C has been moved to soft button D and Set Date to SHIFT and soft button D.

Users are managed in Setup, View System, View Users. When no users are configured the "Default" internal user is used and all MagicQ features are exactly as in previous versions.

Users are stored as show settings, not as console settings.

One of the Users in the User List can be set to be the Start User so that the console always start up into a restricted user. It can also be set so that the console starts locked and the user/password must be selected before the console can be accessed.

MagicQ provides a flashing warning "User" when a show is loaded with a User with restricted access.

Users apply to both Master and Slave consoles when using Net Sessions. On a Slave, selecting a User with reduced permissions will make that Slave only have access to the allowed channels. The Slave can control the output using Multi Prog Sel Chans, but is restricted to the allowed channels. There is a "User" option in the Multi Prog Sel Chans which sets the Slave to control the output of all the channels that it is allowed to.

51.18.1. Passwords

When passwords are set then changing users requires entry of the password.

To force user selection and password entry on startup, set up the Start User for one of the users to "Yes (locked)".

To lock the console open the Setup Window and pres soft button C, "User" and from the menu of users select the "Lock" option. The console will be locked and changes to show the Locked Screen. Any key press will return to the User selection where it is necessary to select a user and enter a password in order to unlock the console.

If Users with passwords are set, then when locking the console using the lock shortcut (hold CURSOR LEFT and CURSOR RIGHT and press CURSOR UP) will require selection of user and password entry to unlock.

Locking a console stops access to the console, but does not stop the operation of the console - the console continues running in the background with the current user. To leave a Net Session completely, go to Setup, View Settings, Multi Console and set the Net Session Mode to "None".

This also applies to loading shows so it is possible to protect show files by setting a User and Password within them, making it impossible to access the show file on a MagicQ console or MagicQ PC without first entering a valid password. When loading a show with user passwords set, if an incorrect password is entered then the show is not loaded.

If passwords have been set on a show file and then forgotten please contact ChamSys support.

51.18.2. User Types

When at least one "Super User" is created then the Default User is no longer accessible and user management is in full operation. Users with type "Super User" have full access to all console features and settings without restriction.

Users settings can only be edited when using the "Default" user or by a user with "Super User" permissions.

"Programmer" can record, remove and modify show data but can not change Users.

"Operator" cannot record anything or modify settings.

Users that are "Disabled" are ignored.

51.18.3. Start Options

One of the users in the list can be set to the Start User with the additional option of Locked or Unlocked.

When a console starts, a show is loaded, or a Slave connects to a Net Session with a show that has users configured then this user is automatically selected. This immediately determines what channels are blocked from the Output according to the selected user.

The Start User can be set to be "No", "Yes (Locked)" or "Yes (Unlocked)". When set to "Yes (Locked)" the user must be selected and password entered before accessing the console.

This also applies to loading shows so it is possible to protect show files by setting a User and Password within them, making it impossible to access the show file on a MagicQ console or MagicQ PC without first entering a valid password.

Note that in order to protect show files with user passwords from being opened on previous versions of software any show files created in or above that have user passwords can not be opened on software versions prior to The user passwords must be first removed in or above and then re-entered once the show is loaded in the older software version.

When using the 10Scene Remote app connecting to MagicQ with user passwords set (and no individual 10Scene zone passwords), version 1.5 of the app is required in order to use the automatic QR code to log onto the password protected zones. Older versions of the 10Scene Remote app will not be able to use the automatic QR logon, although manual entering of the password is supported on all versions.

51.18.4. Access to console channels

Users can be configured to have type of "Group Only". This allows access to only the channels in the specified Group.

Users can be configured to have type of "Exclude Group". This allows access to all channels except those in the specified Group.

Users with "Superuser" permissions have access to all channels. User with "Group Only" or "Exclude Groups" can only select heads from their allowed channels and can only record and edit Cues and Groups with their allowed channels. They can not record over, merge into or remove any Groups or Cues that contain disallowed channels.

If the option "Block Output" is set then Users with "Group Only" or "Exclude Groups" can not affect the output of heads outside of their allowed channels - these heads will remain at 0 intensity and default LTP values.

If a user is created as Include Group without a Group set then they will not have access to any channels - they must chose a new user (and enter a password if set) to get access to the channels.

51.19. Restricting Remote App Access

If the option to "Enable Remote App" is set to "Yes" (the default) then the app user has full access from the iOS/Android MagicQ Remote App. "Yes (Exec Only)" will only allow access to the Execute Window, this option can be used in installs (formerly called Install Mode). "No" will disable MagicQ access from the MagicQ Remote app.

51.19.1. User Settings

Users can be configured so that they automatically load user settings for that user when switching users. For each user in Setup, View System, View Wings, View Users, set the "Load Settings" field to "Yes".

When changing user the settings for the old user are saved and the settings for the new user are loaded.

When the Load Settings is set for a user, MagicQ stores the current layout and the programmer contents as well as the show settings. When changing to a different user their layout will be opened and the progammer contents included.

When changing users, MagicQ saves the current layout and programmer contents for the old user before loading the settings for the new user. MagicQ uses free layouts and free Cues to store the Layout and programer contents starting from the highest free Layout or Cue. The Layouts and Cues are named User X: YYYY where X is the user number and YYYY is the user name. MagicQ adds and removes these Layouts and Cues as required without any user interaction required.

The programmer contents contains all the information that would be recorded into a Cue including values, times and FX. Note that head selection and selection order is not saved into Cues and therefore is not saveed in the user settings.

When changing users there is a Logoff option. This logs the user off the console returning the console to the default user and locking the console. The Layout and programmer contents are automatically saved before logging out the user.

Software prior to v1.9.3.0 only stored settings, not Layouts or the programmer. In these versiosn the settings were stored in settings files named user_xxxxxx.set where user is the user name.

51.20. Security

Lighting consoles are designed to be used on private networks which are assumed to be secured. Where consoles are used remotely over the internet we recommend the use of secure network tunnels to protect the lighting network from access from the internet.

ChamSys explicitly denies any responsibility for security of MagicQ consoles or their use in safety critical roles. Users must assure themselves of the security of their networks - if in doubt ensure the WIFI options are disabled and do not connect to the console network ports.

In situations where the network is not secure then we recommend ensuring that only the required network protocols are enabled in order to reduce the likelihood of unauthorised access. In particular the following options should be set:

51.20.1. Multi console settings

  • Enable remote control = No
  • Enable remote access = No
  • Net Session mode = None
  • Programmer Sync Mode = No Sync
  • Playback Sync Type = None
  • Show data sync type = None

51.20.2. Network settings

  • RDMNet IP address =
  • Ethernet remote protocol = None
  • Web server = None
  • Control net IP Address =
  • OSC Mode = None
  • Track rx = None
  • Track tx = None
  • OTP function = None
  • Custom TCPIP = None

51.20.3. WIFI settings

  • Wireless mode = Disabled
  • Android tethering support = No

51.20.4. DMX I/O settings

  • In Type should be set to None for all universes
  • Visualiser should be set to MagicVis for all universes

51.21. Saving Support files

If you encounter a problem in the operation of the console then please report it on the ChamSys bugtracker at and upload your show file and log files.

MagicQ stores log files in the log folder. Each log file corresponds to a session when MagicQ is started, runs and then is closed. If the console resets for any reason then the log file closes and a new log file is started. The file is named according to the time and date that MagicQ started, and the file modification date is the time that MagicQ closed.

For example, the file Tue_Dec_07_19_15_11_2021.log indicates MagicQ started at 7:19:15 on Dec 7th 2021. The file modification time will tell when MagicQ was closed.

If a console has reset then the important log file is the one opened (and named) prior to the time of the reset. If in doubt then provide all the log files from the day when the reset occurred.

It is easy to create and save to USB a single Support file to help ChamSys support and distributors to recreate and understand problems. This file includes the show file, the session log and the log files from the last seven days. In Setup, View System, View Status press the SAVE SUPPORT soft button.

This saves a file named into the log folder, where XXXXXXX is the date and time. A prompt is given to enable saving to a USB Stick. Alternatively in the MagicQ File Manager you can copy the file manually to a USB stick. On a PC system you can access the file directly from the log folder.

The older option SAVE TO LOG which saves just the session log file has been moved to SHIFT and SAVE LOG. This has been superceded by the SAVE SUPPORT function. The SAVE LOG creates a much smaller file so may still be useful in situations where it is not possible to transfer and upload larger files.

Log files are automatically deleted after 1 month to minimise disc usage.

51.22. Commands and Logs

The Help Window in addition to VIEW MANUALS also contains VIEW COMMANDS and VIEW LOGS. Press CTRL and HELP to open the Help Window directly in the VIEW COMMANDS / VIEW LOGS views.

VIEW COMMANDS shows the user commands and responses. Commands include those entered via the console buttons, the keypad and also those entered via the touch screens.

VIEW LOGS shows all the functions that are logged on the console into the log files including button presses, fader movements, encoder usage, touch screen presses and events generated internally or from external inputs. It also shows general system logs and errors.

Both views automatically update as the commands are entered and logs records are generated. The windows can be locked so they do not update using the LOCK soft button. The SEARCH, SEARCH FWD, and SHIFT + SEARCH BKWD soft buttons can be used to search for events.

In VIEW LOGS it is possible to filter the log records shown by log class. Press the FILTER CLASS soft button.

The Event class includes MIDI, MIDI SYSEX, MIDI OSC, ChamSys Remote Ethernet Protocol (CREP), Scheduled events and Automations.

Log records of the Event class are only generated when Extended Logging is set to Extended & Events. Events of this class can occur very frequently which could create very large log files. On systems with a lot of automated events we recommend only enabling Extended & Events during programming and when fault finding.

Set the Extended logging via the LOGGING TYPE soft button, or from the Setup Window, View Settings, Hardware tab.

On system start the commands and logs are the current commands and logs. Using soft button A the previous log files can be viewed to look at commands and logs from previous sessions - i.e. from before the current console start / reset. The title bar shows the file name of the current log file being viewed.

Press soft button B at any time to return to the current commands and logs.

On MagicQ PC it is possible to examine log files from other consoles. From the top toolbar under Tools, select Log Viewer. This opens a standard system file selection dialog box to enable selection of a log file from any folder on the PC/Mac. MagicQ opens the Help Window in the VIEWLOGS view showing that file. Use Next/Prev on soft button A to examine other files from within that same folder.

On system installs where the system is expected to run for many days, months or years the Help Window should be closed when not in use to prevent system degradation over time as the log files increase size.