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Beam starts out with a small number of straightforward plug-ins. These devices will automatically be installed to your User Library.

Both instruments and effects allow you to control fixture group parameters. We tried to design devices so you can start using them without knowing all the ins and outs. But if you want more details first, jump over to Signal flow.

All of Beam's plugins can be recognized by their blue line(s) at the bottom of each device.

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Device types

Differences between instruments and effects

These are the significant differences between instruments and effects:

  • Instruments are used to introduce fixture groups in the track or chain, effects can only operate on the fixture groups introduced by instruments.
  • Instruments can receive notes for triggering (see patch list for assigning notes to fixtures).
  • An effect can operate on more than one fixture group, if it is on a group track or after an instrument rack.
  • Unlike instruments, effects included in Beam are normally not hard-wired to control specific parameters. Instead, they feature a dropdown that chooses which parameter to control.

Custom instruments

The instruments included in Beam by default form only the tip of the iceberg in terms of features that Beam can support. The modular Max for Live structure on which devices are based allows you to easily build your own instruments. By opening and editing an instruments in M4L, you are able to create a myriad of different approaches for special fixtures or specific scenarios. More about that in the Building plugins section.