Back in the day, the visual element of DJ lighting was traffic lights and a glitter ball. For some, this is still where it’s at. But a great many DJs ignored the draw of lighting, choosing instead to let their music do the talking. But we live in different times, where visuals are playing a key part on a DJ’s performance. Thankfully incorporating lighting into a modern DJ rig is becoming as simple as plugging in a USB box and linking that to a lighting rig. Enter Pioneer DJ’s RB-DMX1 interface, which via the joys of the newly released rekordbox 5.1 and DMX lighting control, you can now develop a serious light show right from your computer.
A lot of words follow, some of which will be new to many readers:
New Lighting mode coming to rekordboxTM, to be released in February –
Easily sync lights with music via RB-DMX1, a new dedicated DMX interface
18th January 2018: Following the release of rekordbox ver 5.1 on 18th January 2018, the next version of our music management application, rekordbox, will be available on 20th February 2018. The updated software will bring new features to rekordbox dj including Lighting mode, which enables you to easily sync lights with your music during a performance.
Using the advanced phrase analysis algorithm in rekordbox (ver 5.1), Lighting mode automatically creates exciting lighting sequences in sync with the tracks in your rekordbox library, drastically reducing pre-performance preparation time. The information generated in Lighting mode can be sent to any lighting fixture that supports DMX5121 via the RB-DMX1, a new dedicated DMX interface.
How to use Lighting mode
To control DMX512-supported lighting fixtures using rekordbox dj, you need the dedicated DMX interface, RB-DMX1.
The RB-DMX1 will be available from mid-February 2018 at an SRP of €399 including VAT. It comes with a bundled licence key for our professional DJ performance application rekordbox dj, worth €139.
1DMX512 is a communication protocol used for controlling stage lighting equipment.
KEY FEATURES OF REKORDBOX LIGHTING MODE
- Automatic creation of lighting patterns in sync with your music
The newly developed phrase analysis algorithm in rekordbox detects characteristics of each phrase in a track. Effective lighting patterns are then automatically created in perfect sync with the phrase information, minimising the time you need to prepare for a DJ and lighting performance.
- Macro Mapping feature for easily customising lighting patterns
Easily customise lighting patterns by simply selecting your favourite sequences from a wealth of pre-sets. Select patterns intuitively from thumbnail images that visualise the lighting fixture movement as well as the colours and tones of lighting patterns. You can quickly edit your lighting performance to match the atmosphere of the party and track requests.
- Macro Editor feature for intuitively editing lighting sequences
Fine-tune lighting patterns by checking track analysis information such as waveforms and beatgrid. While listening to the music, you can edit patterns manually using the intuitive GUI.
- Fixture Library for flexible lighting fixture configuration
Using the lighting fixture library from AtlaBase Ltd, Lighting mode supports DMX fixtures from a wide variety of manufacturers. Create and save multiple lighting fixture configurations using fixtures you’ve assigned in the rekordbox Fixture Library. Lighting patterns are automatically recreated for each fixture configuration, so you can easily change the configuration you want to use according to the size and purpose of the event and venue. The AtlaBase fixture library comprises more than 13,000 unique fixtures. In the unlikely event that you can’t find your fixture, simply post a request in Pioneer DJ forum and the fixture will be added within a few working days.
AtlaBase is the most complete database of lighting fixtures and other products in the entertainment industry.
The team behind AtlaBase comprises a group of professionals who’ve carefully added data on thousands of items from almost every manufacturer around the world. The company’s mission is Dedicated Library Development & Support.
Social Media: https://www.facebook.com/atlabase/
KEY FEATURES OF THE RB-DMX1
When connected to a PC/Mac using a USB cable, the RB-DMX1 can control a set of DMX512-supported lighting fixtures by converting information set in Lighting mode to DMX512 protocol.
- Compact, robust chassis
Take the RB-DMX1 out on the road with confidence. The unit is compact, portable and its seamless aluminium casing makes it highly robust, while the extended edges protect the terminals.
- Includes rekordbox dj licence
The RB-DMX1 comes with a bundled licence key for our professional DJ performance application rekordbox dj, so you can control digital tracks stored on your computer. Combining the RB-DMX1 and rekordbox dj’s Lighting mode, you can create lighting performances in perfect sync with your DJ performances.
DMX channels 1universe (512 ch) Input / Output terminals DMX output terminal XLR connector (3 pin) x 1 USB terminal B type x 1 Power Supply DC 5 V Rated current 500 mA Dimensions (W x D x H) 90.0 x 90.0 x 41.5 mm Unit weight 0.3 kg (0.65 lb) Accessories USB cable x 1
Operating instructions (Warranty) x 1
Licence key card (rekordbox dj) x 1
Compatible OS Mac macOS High Sierra 10.13 (Updated to the latest version)
macOS Sierra 10.12 (Updated to the latest version)
OS X 10.11, 10.10 (Updated to the latest version)
Windows Windows® 10, 8.1, 7 (the latest service pack) CPU Intel® processor Core™ i7, i5, i3
Intel® processor Core™ 2 Duo 2.0 GHz or above
Memory 4 GB or more of RAM
For those with short attention spans, check out the video:
Essentially, rekordbox now delivers full control over lighting rigs. It can be as simple as a couple of cans or spots, or some complex moving heads units, but as long as they can be addresses via DMX, you can use them with rekordbox.
What’s clever is that you can just plug them in and let rekordbox do the work. With v5.1 comes some complex audio analysis, so in theory you can get a solid show without having to do a thing. Imagine having an automated show where the lights build in time with your own audio build, then go dark in that second before the drop, and then all hell breaks loose when the drop hits — and you didn’t have to do a thing. That’s very cool.
You can of course get more in-depth and craft your show based on the rig that you use. Not all rigs are the same, and perhaps you wish to design and build a custom lighting setup that reflects your own style. A Deep House lighting set is likely to be more ambient than say a balls-out Dubstep one. So lighting and programming can differ for each style.
The RB-DMX1 comes bundled with a full rekordbox dj licence, so you can if you wish run rekordbox on your laptop only without a controller and just use your laptop to control the light show. The RB-DMX1 interface plugs into your laptop which in turn plugs into your DMX driven lighting system. But given that rekordbox is doing the auto grunt, you’d be better with a controller to provide a better DJ show.
Given the propensity for DJs to want to be the centre of attention, and largely failing to be exciting to look at, adding some lights of your own to a show is easier than ever. I’d prefer to see people forget that there’s a DJ there at all, and make it all about the experience. Given that you can add decent lights to your setup for tens of your local currency rather than thousands, you have little excuse to not bring added dimensions to your shows. And if you can use a big screen, why not chuck in the lyrics too? Your show will be as exciting as your wallet allows though.
The RB-DMX1 will set you back $399/€399/£359 and will be available in February. And for a change, the lighting features are built in to rekordbox 5.1 — no plus pack purchase required.