How to Get Lights to Work With a Drum Beat

Get lights to react to a drum beat if you wish to do lighting for a party but don’t want to control them manually. A light working to the beat of a drum in a song is a common technique used for lighting at parties, because the speed of the movement of the light matches up with the speed of the song. Do this yourself by either getting a DMX software controller, a light with a “Sound-to-Light” mode or a physical DMX controller.


    • 1

      Use a light which has a “Sound Active” or “Sound-to-Light” mode to get the light to react to the drum beat of a song. You can set this mode in different ways, depending on the exact make and model of light you are using. The Equinox Firecracker is one such light, and you control it by one or more dip switches. Turn the switch under the number “9” on in order to set the light to “Sound Active” mode. This is located at the back of the unit, to the right hand side, similar to other light units.

    • 2

      Download a software DMX controller if you have lights that you can connect to your laptop or PC. Download a free program such as “DMX Control” to avoid paying for a program. Most programs like this allow you to both select a manual mode where you control the lights and a “Sound-to-Light” mode where you set the lights to react to the speed of the drum beat of the current song. DMX control even displays a graphical representation of your light setup to give you a better idea of how it looks. You can also set these programs to play pre-programmed effects shows to your music.

    • 3

      Set a DMX controller to react to the beat of the song. You can use DMX controllers, such as the Behringer Eurolight LC2412, to set lighting effects for large groups of lights. Use the unit’s “Sound-to-Light” mode to set the lights to react to the music. Look to the right hand side of the “B Memory” section on the LC2412 to find the “Sound-to-Light” section. Ensure that your music source is plugged into the controller using a “Line in” cable, and then press the “Sound to Light” button to set the lights to work to the beat. Connect the music using a 1/4 inch TS mono jack.

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