In this Chamsys MagicQ tutorial, we’ll explain how to patch lights, the first step in setting up any new show file. You’ll learn how to patch, name, address, and organize your fixtures, as well as filter the fixture list while patching.

Quick Answer: Start a new show, select a fixture to patch, specify details using the MagicQ syntax and repeat the process until all of your fixtures are patched. Numbering heads by type and assigning a universe to each location are great ways to help you stay organized.

How To Patch Lights In Chamsys MagicQ

Chamsys MQ80 Lighting Console

Time needed: 5 minutes.

  1. Start a new show
    Click “file” > “New show” > “Yes” (Erases current show from memory) > “Normal (live)”
  2. Select a fixture
    Press the PTCH key on the right of the screen to load the “View Heads” section of the patch page and click the “Choose Head” sub-menu.

    Select the fixture manufacturer > Fixture model  > Fixture mode.
  3. Patch the fixture
    The fixture will now appear highlighted on the patch page. Press “Patch It” on the options at the top of the display.

    The software will ask for additional details which are entered using specific syntax.
    Quantity @ Universe – Channel / Offset * Starting head number.

    Let’s say we have 8 heads on universe 1, starting on channel 1, with 10 channels between each fixture, and a starting head number of 101. We would use the following syntax.


    Hit “Enter” > Select “Yes” to auto-insert heads into the visualizer.

    Note, offset and starting head number are optional and can be left out if desired.
  4. Name your fixtures to help you identify them
    After patching the fixtures, you will now see them listed on the patch page. By default, the name of each fixture is set to the fixture model. We find it more helpful to name them something more location-specific as we may use the same fixture in multiple locations.

    Highlight the fixture names > Type in the new name > Hit enter.
  5. Repeat steps 2-4 for each fixture
    When you add new fixtures, MagicQ will filter the view to show only the new fixtures. On the left, you will see a “View Selected” button. Hit this to cycle through viewing the universe and viewing all fixtures.

    Tip: We assign head numbers in groups of 10 so that each fixture type is easily identifiable. See the below example.

    8 triple PAR lights – 101 to 108.
    4 moving lights – 111 to 114.
    2 spots – 121 to 122.
  6. Save your work
    Hit the “SETUP” key > Select “save show” > Name your show file > Hit enter > Hit “backup to USB” to create an external backup.

Patching Fixtures You Have Already Used

If you use the same fixture model in multiple locations, you can use a shortcut to find the fixture type without going through the whole list again.

Click “choose head” > Filter all (changes to Filter patched) > Select the fixture > Press “patch it” > Enter details using syntax.

H2 Saving Fixture Types For Fater Patching

If you own the console and create new shows on a regular basis, MagicQ has a helpful feature that allows you to store fixtures in a user filter.

  • To add a fixture to the user filter

    Click “choose head” > Select fixture manufacturer > Highlight desired fixture > Click “set/clear user.”
  • To access the user fixture filter

    Click “choose head” > Click “filter patched” to cycle through filtered views until you reach “filter user.”