The Lighting Patch Editor

The Lighting Patch Editor, found in Workspace Settings, is divided into two tabs: Patch and Definitions.

The Patch Tab

The Patch tab allows you to view and edit the instruments and light groups in the workspace.

Light Patch

New Instrument ⌘N. Add an instrument to the workspace.

New Group ⌘G. Add a light group to the workspace.

Delete Selected ⌘⌫. Delete the selected instrument(s) and/or light groups(s) from the workspace.

Listen on MIDI channel. This lets you restrict the MIDI channel that QLab will use for incoming MIDI control of the Light Dashboard and the Levels tab of Light cues.

Send MIDI feedback. If you choose a MIDI output here, QLab will send MIDI feedback for any instrument or group which has a MIDI control assigned to it. This is needed for motorized MIDI fader controllers to follow along with QLab.

Channel. This is the MIDI channel that QLab will use to send MIDI feedback. It can be the same or different as the listening channel, although most MIDI setups will generally use the same channel.

The Patch Table

All instruments and light groups in the workspace are listed here, sorted alphabetically by name. You can click on the right-pointing disclosure triangle to reveal the parameters for each instrument, or the instruments contained in each light group.

Name. Names must be unique within a workspace, and can contain letters, numbers, and spaces only.

Address(es). This column displays the DMX address or addresses for the instrument. You can double click to edit the address. If the instrument requires multiple addresses, enter only the starting address. Although multiple instruments cannot be assigned to the same address, QLab will allow you to enter an address which is already used. Instruments with conflicting addresses will be highlighted in red, and those instruments will not work until the conflict is solved. Without an applicable license installed, any instruments using more than the freely allowed 16 addresses will also be hilighted in red.

Addresses must be unique per universe, per device.

Note. For your notational pleasure.

You can right-click (or control-click or two-finger-click) on the column headings to show several more columns which are hidden by default:

Definition. Shows the instrument definition for the instrument. Click on the definition icon to choose a different instrument definition.

Groups. Lists the light groups that the instrument belongs to, not including the default "all" light group, which all instruments always belong to.

Net, Sub-Net, and Universe. See Device below.

DMX addressing is limited to 512 addresses per universe, and the first universe is numbered 0. Art-Net additionally allows 128 nets, each containing 16 sub-nets. Each sub-net contains 16 universes. So, the first 512 addresses in a lighting system are all part of universe 0, which is part of sub-net 0, which is part of net 0. Since sixteen universes contain 8,192 addresses, you likely will not need to worry about sub-net or net unless you have a very complex show.

Beneath the patch table is a sort of mini-inspector that shows details of the selected instrument or light group.

Name, Note, and Definition are all duplicate, alternative views for the same information listed in the patch table. You can view and change each of these properties in both places.

Device. Starting with QLab 4.1, you can use both Art-net and USB DMX devices to communicate with lighting equipment. Each individual instrument can be assigned to either the Art-net network or to an individual USB DMX device.

If you assign the instrument to Art-net, QLab will display Universe, Sub-Net, and Net fields for you to specify. These fields should correspond with the configuration of the Art-net node that the instrument is connected to.

If you assign the instrument to USB, QLab will display a drop-down menu of available USB DMX devices. If the device has more than one universe, a text field will also be displayed. Note that the first universe of a device is always universe 0.

If you select "None", the instrument will remain un-patched.

MIDI. You can assign a Note On, Note Off, Program Change, or Control Change message to an instrument or light group to use a MIDI controller (or MIDI software) to control that instrument or light group's default parameter. You can also click Capture to have QLab listen for an incoming MIDI message and assign it automatically.

Add to Group... Clicking this button will display a pop-up of all light groups in the workspace, and allow you add the selected instrument(s) and/or light group(s) to a light group. Light groups can indeed contain other light groups.

Below the button is a list of the light groups that the selected instrument(s) and/or light group(s) belong to.

The Definitions Tab

The Definitions tab lists every light definition used by at least one instrument in the workspace. Definitions are copied into the workspace from the Light Library when that definition is chosen in the patch. If all the instruments using a particular definition are deleted from the workspace, however, the definition remains in the workspace until manually removed.

Light Definitons

Filter. Type here to temporarily filter the list of definitions by name, to make it easier to find what you're looking for.

Definition List. Definitions are listed by name and manufacturer. Selecting a definition allows you to view and edit its details to the right of the window.

Create a new instrument definition in the workspace.

Duplicate the selected definition within the workspace.

Delete the selected definition from the workspace. QLab will not permit you to delete a definition that is currently being used.

Instrument definitions must include a unique name, a manufacturer, and at least one parameter.

Click to add a parameter, and to delete the last parameter. Click on for a parameter to view its details:

Default. A definition can optionally have a default parameter, which is the parameter that will respond to commands that do not specify a parameter.

Use Percentage. DMX values range from 0 to 255. Check this box to have QLab express the parameter in terms of a percentage scale.

16-bit. Some lighting instruments and accessories use two DMX addresses for a single parameter to allow much more precise control; two DMX addresses allows for a range of 0 to 65,535. Check this box to assign the parameter to use two address together as a single 16-bit address.

Home. Set the home position for the parameter. For dimmers, that's usually 0%, meaning off. For irises it's typically 100%, meaning open. For moving mirrors it can often be 50%, meaning center.

Save to library. If the definition does not exist in QLab's global Light Library, you can click here to add it.

Update from library. If the definition in the workspace has the same name as a definition in the global Light Library, but different parameters, you can click here to update the workspace's definition to match the global one.

The Patch Menu

When the Lighting Patch Editor is active, the Tools menu becomes the Patch menu, containing tools for working with the lighting patch:

Unpatch All. Remove the DMX address assignment for all instruments in the workspace. Needless to say, the instruments will need to have DMX addresses reassigned before they can be used.

Unpatch Selected. Remove the DMX address assignment for the instruments currently selected in the patch list.

Auto-patch All. Automatically assign DMX addresses to all instruments in the workspace. QLab starts with the first instrument in the patch, assigning DMX address 1 in the first universe (universe 0) to the first parameter, and moving sequentially through to the last parameter of the last instrument. This will overwrite any existing DMX assignments, but will not alter instrument names, definitions, light group assignments, or any other attributes.

Auto-patch Selected Automatically assign DMX addresses to the instruments currently selected in the patch list. QLab will start with the first available DMX address and work up from there.