Confused about "patch by channel" and "patch by dimmer"

I'm trying to learning the patching. I have some dimmers and some DMX lights. So far I managed to control he dimmers using "Patch by dimmer". And for "Patch by channel", I do 1-to-1 patching (ie. Channel A 1 to DMX 1, and so on), but I do it because I don't actually understand why/what's that for.

So could anybody clarify what's the difference / usefulness of "Patch by channel"? I'm confused about the difference between these 2.


  • Do you have the ML board? There are huge differences between the SF and SFML versions.

    If it's the ML then patching dimmers is for single DMX "parameter" items like dimmers. By channel is for complex lights that have multiple parameters like RGB, strobe, pan, tilts and more. With them you need to have or create the "personality" that tells the console what all those parameters do. 

    If it's the basic console then the choice is about dimmer to channel or channel to dimmer. If you want more than one dimmer to be controlled by a fader then you select that channel and add the dimmer (DMX) numbers. If you just want to go down your list, then you might use the other order. Either way does the same thing. 

  • I have the ML board.

    From your explanation, seems like I'm on the right understanding about "Patch by dimmer". For my lights that have multiple parameters, right now I managed to do it using "Patch device", albeit this depends on the loaded/built-in personalities. So I'm still a bit loss about "Patch by channel" .. 

    Is it "OK" to say I don't need to care about this, as long as "Patch by dimmer" and "Patch by device" works?