Newcomer for Beam No output

Beginner for Beam for Max:
I connected a Showtec NET ⅔ 2 port DMX Ethernet node to my Mac. I altered the TCP/IP accordingly. I tried all samples and introductions, but never get an output, nor can I understand which object is the output object? cream.core? beam.output? Since I cannot make it run, I am totally confused and I know Max very well, like with MIDIOUT you double click the object and find the list of possible outputs, but there is nothing in bed. Please help.
I want to connect generic LED strips, so not industrial lightings like PARs or Eurolites or whatever. But I need 2 universes with altogether just 512 channels, and so far I can’t even get 1 channel to light up. Any advice for me?

Many thanks

Hi @HPK,

Thanks for getting in touch!

beam.core is a sort of “global management” object that lets you specify your lighting configuration (fixture patch and inputs/outputs - see more about this below). Think of it as a lighting equivalent to the Max’s Audio Status window.

beam.output is an object you can use to route lighting signals from Beam for Max’s objects such as beam.tag, beam.catch~ and beam.matrix to beam.core. Its equivalent in the MSP world would be dac~.

There is also the beam.dmxio, which allows you to send raw DMX data, as a (simpler, but arguably less flexible) alternative to fixture-oriented approach offered by the objects mentioned above. If you choose to go this way, you still need to specify your output configuration using beam.core, as described below.

A lighting configuration consists of:

Fixture patch

This is something you use to specify the fixtures you are working with, and the DMX addresses these fixtures are expecting to receive DMX data at. This is also where you assign tags to fixtures - a tag is a keyword you use to refer to a group of fixtures in your Max patch.

You can set a fixture patch by sending a dict prepended by set_patch to beam.core (see the help file), or by using the beam.patcheditor abstraction (also found at Extras > Beam for Max > Beam for Max - Patch Editor), which internally uses a beam.core:

The screenshot above is how a fixture patch for controlling a 10-cell RGB LED strip could look like. Note that the fixtures have the LED Strip tag assigned to them.

In order for Beam for Max to know about the capabilities of the lights you are adding to the fixture patch (e.g. that the 1st DMX channel controls red, 2nd green, 3rd blue), there needs to be a corresponding fixture description file, known as a fixture profile, in your Max Search Path.
While you can create your own fixture profiles, Beam for Max already features a few fixture profiles for some common fixtures.

You are working with LED strips, which usually consist of a number of 3-channel RGB or 4-channel RGBW lighting cells. For those you can use the Generic RGB or Generic RGBW profiles. Add as many of the fixtures as your LED strip has cells.

I/O configuration

This is where you specify the inputs and outputs that Beam universes will be received from/output to. You can set this by sending a dict prepended with set_io to beam.core (see the help file), or by using the beam.ioeditor abstraction (also found at Extras > Beam for Max > Beam for Max - IO Editor), which internally uses a beam.core:

In the screenshot above we are instructing Beam for Max to route the source Beam universe 1 (as specified in the fixture patch earlier) to the target Art-Net universe 0 of the connected Art-Net Node.

If your network configuration is correct, you should see your Art-Net node appear when you press Plus in the I/O Editor:


If not, please check that your network interface has an IP address in the same range as your Art-Net node (2.x.x.x or 10.x.x.x), as well as a matching subnet mask (most commonly


If you have set all of the above, you should be able to turn your lights by sending dim 1.0 to a beam.tag object (with the argument being the tag you have assigned to your fixtures), connected to the beam.output. You can monitor output DMX data using beam.monitor:

If you are still encountering issues, please provide more details about your setup, such as what kind of pixel controller you are using and the channel configuration of the LEDs.

Dear Luca, as much as I appreciate your immediate and deep response, but it does not explain how to do it. Ok, I am sorry, I use Max in many ways, but so far never used the dict objects. So I tried now to use the Patch Editor. I open it from Extras/Beam for Max and that’s it. How do I get any information into that window, I tried many things, it does not accept anything. How do you get messages into the beam-windows. Please give me an example, what do I have to do. I clicked it, left mouse/right mouse, I tried the letter n. I have no idea how to get into it. Please tell me how this is supposed to go.

Besides that I have a request: I understand that you believe that the software will be used in dark theatres, so your Typo is grey on black and small. Almost impossible to read, is there a way to make it brighter, so that one can also read it on a normal day at daytime?

Many thanks for your advice

Maybe you can give me an example for my purposes. I have approx 256 LED-strips in cw/ww so each of them needs 2 channels, How do I get this information into the Patch Editor for at least one pair of cw/ww LED strip?

Many thanks

Me again, I just realised when I open the help file “Setting up” and go to tab “3 - Patch Editor” I can click on on the bang button and nothing happens. The window stays balck. Only when I click into the black window, I get a dark blue line with a black text. Is this the intention? And only one line I click on is visible. Is this the way it is supposed to be? Guessing what is listed? And the type is black on dark blue, almost not readable, WHY? Even in a dark theatre the text could be white, one would not disturb others. Every light console emits more light than that. Please explain and let me know how to make it reradable = meaning make the letters at least white. Under the column "fixtures it is even worse: black letters on dark grey. How is one supposed to use this?

Sorry, I do not understand

Hi @HPK,

Here is a fixture profile for a single CW/WW LED cell: CW WW LED cell - 2ch.sbf
Place it into your Max 8/Packages/Beam for Max/misc/profiles folder (or anywhere within your Max Search Path) and restart Max.

Ensure the I/O settings are set as described in my post above and please watch this video that demonstrates creating a fixture patch and controlling a 256-pixel CW/WW strip:

Choose the highest quality and adjust the playback speed if necessary.

Also, thanks for sharing your experience regarding readability. As far as the text color goes, when it comes to Beam for Max GUI patches, most of them should have white text on black/dark grey background, could you please provide some screenshots to double-check that the patches are displayed correctly? What version of Max and which OS are you using?

E.g., this is how the Setting up patch should look like after pressing the bang button: