What is a Channel?
Remembering the address of an individual light can be difficult.
A channel is a way to refer to a fixture with a meaningful number.
Well, often we plug in a conventional fixture to the dimmer that is nearby, not the dimmer with the number that is easy to remember.
For example, if we have three lights for the front of the stage, plugged into dimmer 7, dimmer 11, and dimmer 2; it would be easier to call them channel 1, channel 2, and channel 3. I can remember that.
Or if you have fixtures that use multiple addresses, rarely are the sequence of addresses in a memorable pattern or offset by a convenient amount.
For example, each front light has a corresponding backlight, an LED with red, green, and blue; and these lights are address 57, address 60, and address 63. This sequence isn’t as chaotic, but the offset of three addresses is difficult to remember, so we would call them Channel 11, Channel 12, and Channel 13. Once again, much easier to remember.
You’ll also notice that in this example, the channel numbers mirror one another in location and purpose.
1 and 11 are for stage right.
2 and 12 for center stage.
3 and 13 for stage left.
** A channel is then a way to label the fixtures in a memorable manner. **
I like to then create magic sheets or cheat sheets. These are little maps of where each channel is placed on stage. I’ll often then split them up into systems, or groups of lights with similar purposes; front lights, back lights, etc. Now you know where all your brushes are, which makes painting the stage with light a lot easier.