Controlling DMXIS using MIDI

This page explains how to use MIDI to control DMXIS – either the DMXIS standalone, or the DMXIS plug-in running inside a host program (e.g. Logic, Cubase, Ableton Live….)

Note – you can freely mix MIDI control with manual control (via mouse/touchscreen), footswitch control (via the 1/4″ socket on the DMXIS hardware) and host automation (if using the DMXIS plug-in). For example, you could use a standard footswitch to advance through your presets, while using a MIDI controller to manually fire your smoke machine and audience blinders.


Some examples… MIDI Learn lets you use your MIDI controller to:

  • control single or multiple light levels;
  • control the pan/tilt of a moving head light
  • activate a smoke machine;
  • control audience blinders;
  • advance through DMXIS banks/presets from a single MIDI button;

To associate a fader, dial or other DMXIS control with an external MIDI keyboard, right-click on the control and select Learn.

Associate dmxis control with external midi keyboard

When you see the MIDI LEARN message appear, move any controller or key on your MIDI keyboard.

Midi learn

Now, that DMXIS control can be remote-controlled from your MIDI keyboard. DMXIS can respond to MIDI CC messages, NRPN messages and Note On / Note Off messages

Any MIDI Learn associations in the current show will be remembered when you quit DMXIS. The same associations are also shared between the DMXIS standalone program and the DMXIS plugins.

To clear all existing MIDI Learn associations, use the Show > Clear MIDI Assignments… menu option.

A note on MIDI resolution

MIDI CC and Note messages have a resolution of 7 bits, (0-127). The resolution of a single DMX channel is 8 bits (0-255). Therefore, if you control DMXIS using MIDI CCs or Notes, you will not get the full resolution available. This could manifest itself as jerky movements of scanners & moving heads, for example. The solution (if available on your MIDI controller) is to use high resolution 14-bit MIDI NRPN messages to control DMXIS.

Bank/Preset control

DMXIS listens for “Note ON” messages on MIDI channels 15/16, and uses these to switch banks & presets. For example, sending MIDI Note 1 (i.e. the lowest MIDI note possible) on Channel 15 would load the 1st bank, and sending MIDI Note 6 on Channel 16 would load the 6th preset in the current bank.

Alternatively, you can switch banks/presets with CC #32 (Bank Change LSB) and Program Change MIDI messages (on any MIDI channel). Note that CC #0 (Bank Change MSB) messages are ignored.