Old Engineer, New to DMX

I'm new here on the forum and this is my first post.  I'm a 58 year old engineer.

So, I'm new to DMX control... sort of.  I just "inherited" a couple of jobs that involve ADJ lighting (mostly), in a Rave-ish environment at a chain of high-end exercise facilities  I was doing concert tours back when DMX took over for AMX which took over for analog.  But being a FOH sound engineer at the time, I didn't "bother" myself with such trivialities as that was the lighting guy's job.  So, now I'm knee deep in this new job and looking to educate myself.

What I'm working with- Lightkey, 30ish  ADJ fixtures (soon to be more), a handful of other manufacturer fixtures, some of which are quite old it seems.  The room was originally set up by someone who obviously didn't think through lumen levels, throw distance, area coverage, fixture placement or any other of the engineering that one should have considered.  I've since moved fixtures and "made it work" without a complete disassembly and rewire of the room's lights.  I've learned Lightkey to a point (installed by my predecessor) and set up various cues and what not.

I'm now at a point where I need to understand a few things before I can take it farther and this is where I expert advice.

Drivers - I need to wrap my head around the drivers and how the channels are utilized.  For instance, on a basic RGB fixture, it takes 3 channels.  Simple enough.  But still, you can dim those three channel lights that only have RGB.  How does that work without a 4th dimmer channel?  Many fixtures have more channels and one may be a dimmer channel, but yet fixtures with only 3 RGB can still be dimmed.  That is just one of the MANY questions I have on drivers and channels on fixtures.  I don't feel I can truly design cues, sequences, etc., until I truly understand the drivers and how the work with the fixtures.  I've got a couple of old light fixtures I need to "limit" their brightness range and understanding the drivers I feel is key to this, so I can do it at the driver level so it can't be overridden by an operator.

Software - Lightkey was chosen.  Seems OK and very flexible, but I am no expert.  I'm sure the debate on software controllers rages, so let's not turn this thread into a debate on software.  However, if there is some serious limitation on Lightkey, I'd certainly like to know about that.

That's enough for now.  Thanks!

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