How to define a channel for combined dimmer/strobe


I have a couple of fixtures that map dimmer and strobe speed control onto the one channel, like this:

0 - 199 Dimmer
200 - 250 Strobe (slow > fast)
251 - 255 Full Brightness

So I want the “volume modulation” definition for dimmer to only drive that channel from 0-199. And ideally a separate modulation for the Strobe speed.

I haven’t quite fully grasped yet how the modulation section of the fixture def all ties in with the attributes so I’m a bit unsure how to proceed. I’ve looked through the factory fixture defs for something like that but haven’t found it if it’s there…


Currently the best way to handle a slot-based channel with multiple continuous ranges for different properties is by creating a custom M4L device for it.

Here is an example Effect device based on the channel layout you posted:
Combined Slots Effect.amxd (226.9 KB)

Place the device after a Beam Instrument device that chooses the tag assigned to the relevant fixture, then select the modulation mapped to the channel in question. The Dimmer / Strobe Rate dials will only be active when their corresponding slot is selected:

You will need a dedicated device for every such channel. To help with adapting this example to other channels like this, I added some comments that you can see if you Edit-open the device:

Make sure to quit Max after you are done editing, otherwise the Beam application won’t be able to communicate to the devices.

If you instead prefer to work with an Instrument device directly, you can use this example (uses the shutterstrobe modulation keyword):
Combined Slots Instrument.amxd (360.6 KB)

Important note: when using these kinds of devices that internally work with DMX values, the modulation for such a channel should not have any Ranges applied in the Beam’s Patch Editor, to ensure that the Beam modulation values between 0. and 1. are correctly mapped back to the DMX values between 0 and 255.

If you are not familiar with Max for Live, we are happy to help. In the future we would like to support this functionality without a need for a custom device.

Let me know if this works for you.

P.S.: sometimes you only need one part of such a channel’s range. In that case you don’t need a custom device and you can:

  • set a Range to the modulation in Patch Editor (see Beam Support | Showsync)
  • group a Generic Beam device into an Instrument Rack, macro map the parameter controlling the channel and limit the range of the parameter

Thanks for that excellent response. I already figured out that I can use the Range parameter to limit output but this is much more flexible. Now, it’s only been about 5 years since I attempted a Max patch… lets see if i have better luck figuring it out this time :wink: