Visualization Software

Do I need to have a dongle present to run WYSIWIG or Capture, etc. to run a visualizer on the same machine? I want to build shows for my church at home, without being present, and be able to learn and create new effects in my spare time.

Also, any recommendations for which software to use on a mac (same machine running Vista) would be appreciated.


I do not believe so. From everything I understand, Vista is fully functional (with the exception of the 10ish second blackout every 5ish minutes) without a license dongle. So I would think you would be able to do this. However, to be fair, I have never tried it as I do not have or use any visualization software.

Personally, I learned a lot about effects from using the built-in visualization in the fixture chooser. So I would just say that you don’t necessarily have to buy and use an expensive visualizer to learn more and practice using Vista. Also, for relatively cheap you can get some cheap DMX lights off eBay and a little ArtNet box and practice on real fixtures. That’s how I got started as well. It’s kind of a fun challenge to create a show using a minimal number of fixtures.

But yes, visualizers can be awesome and there are plenty of people out there who have used them with Vista. Someone like @jack.moorhouse or @Robert_Price could give you additional information when it comes to setting up and using a visualizer with Vista.


A 2nd vote for learning FX with the fixture chooser. Granted I got my first run through on FX with another company’s software (ETC Nomad).

I’m in a similar situation where I volunteer to do lighting at a church and build show files at home. The church I volunteer at uses color and intensity FX. For programming things at home, no dongle is needed, you just have to be aware of the DMX blackout that happens without a license.

The problem with doing it on the same machine in macOS is that Vista doesn’t seem to send out sACN or ArtNet to the loopback interface (lo0,

I’ve been successful using the one laptop, connected to both Wi-Fi and Ethernet on the same network (so two different interfaces and IP addresses being utilized).

Johnny7420 what are you using to do WYSIWYG.

We use Capture. I export as a presentation and send it out to my volunteers. They’re able to open it on their computers at home and program. Without a dongle, you get a blackout for 10 seconds every 5 minutes or so. It’s not a big deal, and it’s super convenient to program from home. Configuring Capture takes a little bit of time/dedication, but once it’s set up, it’s insane.

Edit: Oh geeze… Just realized that I’m 8 months late to this party.