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  1. Ron Boyd

    For the new folks

    To all the new lighting enthusiasts, Welcome. I'm not one to stir the pot by any means, but I have to here. Been reading a bunch of posts of folks just now ordering their equipment. Now before I say what I want to say, I started my first year in June with 32 channels, and that was all. It is possible to achieve a show in 4 months if you don't bite off more than you can chew. I started my 2nd year in January, when my lights came down. I started this year's show in November of last year when my show went live. That being said, there is a lot more to this hobby than just ordering a couple of controllers and slapping together a show. If you want your show to be something you're proud of, it takes time and effort on your part. There are a lot of folks that are a lot of help and have a lot of knowledge on these forums. BUT, remember, these folks including myself are getting down to crunch time very soon, so the help you ask for may be slim. I'm sure I speak for a lot of folks when I say, I'm behind in my show as to where I wanted to be at this time. I know my involvement in helping folks is getting ready to dwindle so I can finish up building and testing my elements. Sequencing can take 2-20 hours for a song, some even 2-10 hours per minute. Elements take time to design, gather materials and actually build. Most light vendors have already had their sales this year. There are a lot of resources for sequences out there, but you still have to take time to tweak them to your display. So with all that said, don't get discouraged if you just starting, but keep a realistic goal. Don't expect to put together a show that includes E1.31, DMX, Pixels, RGB, and 112 channels or more. If you're wanting to start a show like that, I suggest you wait til next year. A lot of us are going to be scarce in the next few weeks and months leading up to showtime. Just some friendly advice. Again welcome and good luck with your shows this year. Edit by Dan Baldwin owner of Light O Rama. This is good advice. It is never too late to get started but as stated starting small and growing every year is the way most people develop their displays. We have over 100 sequences available in the sequence store which makes setting up a display pretty easy. There are instructions on how to setup the lights to best match the sequences. Even if you make your own sequences you still have plenty of time but you do need to get started. There are plenty of people who will have time to answer questions in the forums, Watch the video tutorials about getting started as that will help you ask better questions. We have a help desk that has many full time employees monitoring it and of course we have phone support. Best of luck to newbies and as always we really appreciate the help that people in the forums provide to newbies every year.
  2. Go ahead - talk all you want. But do it elsewhere. I ordered a couple of RGB floods this afternoon, and 34 minutes after I received an email confirming the order I received another email telling me that the product has shipped. Now some people might say that's an awfully long time to wait. But heck - at my age, I've waited longer than that for a bowel movement. When a company can get their business finished, including the paperwork, quicker than I can at home, well, let's just say my hat's off to them.
  3. Guest

    KISS Method

    You saw an amazing video on the internet where someone's home was synchronized to the lights. Is it cool or what? Now... you want to do the same thing. If you haven't already started hanging lights, sequencing, etc, you're pretty much hosed this year. That's right, this is not a plug and play option. Those are sold at your local home improvement store. But, if you want to expand beyond the capability of that unit, you've found the right place. First, research these forums by using a Google search or browse many topics in each of the forums. There's plenty of information to read here and your answer will be posted 99.9% of the time. Second, know what you're buying. If you didn't do the first thing, then you won't know what you're buying. Third, asking for help will get a polite answer easier than begging or demanding one. They're users that's been with LOR since day one. They know the equipment inside and out. Fourth, it's about having fun. If you take a sequence from a person that's offering them up for free. A kind gesture goes a long ways. Finally, the KISS method. Keep it simple stupid. The AC controllers in a weather proof enclosure really don't need to be inside a building, garage, or home. It's much easier to place the unit next to the lights without running a million extension cords hundreds of feet long. Plus, it's better to purchase everything after the season where huge discounts are offered. Keeping these things in mind will yield a cool display and a knowledgeable decorator.
  4. Hello everyone, I wanted to give back to this great community that this forum has. I am actually getting pretty good at Papagayo and am able to sequence using faces to a song in under 4 hours. So if you have any sequences out there that you would like to add signing faces too, send them my way and I will try to get it done before xmas and or Halloween. I will not share your sequence with anyone except for the singing face tracks, but I would like to be able to incorporate your sequence in to my show. I still haven't mastered LOR, and I need more songs for this year. Look at my signature below every post I have and you will find my email, and a link to download sequences and a link to upload your sequence. You will have to email me directly for information on what Audio I used. Again this is completely free, I am just asking that I be able to incorporate your sequence into my show. Here is a list of what I have so far. Halloween sequences: Addams Family Beetlejuice Creep (clean version) By Scala Love this song and has light sequence Grim Grinning Ghosts by bare naked ladies Ghost Busters Twilight Zone the original TV version Wubbzy halloween Montage mix Halloween Bring Me To Life Light em Up by Fall Out Boys (Very cool song) I want Candy by Bow Wow Wow Live and Let Die by Paul Mcartney Nightmare by Avenged Sevenfold O fortuna Radioactive Running with the Devil by Van Halen This is Halloween Tubular Hell by Van Helsing (lead singer of Twisted Sister) Wytches Brew Christmas Sequences: Amazing Grace techno Christmas Time Is Here Again Charlie Brown christmas coca cola Holidays are coming by Julie Sangers Drummer Boy by The Tokens Its the most wonderful Time Of The Year by Andy Williams Jingle Bell Rock by Randy Travis Music Box Dancer techno Rudolph by Alan Jackson Too Many Christmas Decorations Guy by Real Men Of Genius commercial Lights by Ellie Golding Silent Night by Sinead O'conner (edited shortened.) Last Christmas by Wham 12 Days of christmas by SNC Straight No Chasers Santa And I Know It (Parody of Sexy and I know it) mixed with original song. Miscellaneous sequences: What The Fox Says by Yvis (popular song) Blurred Lines Sandstorm Vs. Gigi Ill fly With You. Starships Happy Holidays Still to come: Toy Sack 12 beers of Christmas by bob and doug mckenzie Joy to the World Grinch old and Jim Carrey version and many more. Please remember you may have to nag a little and remind me of songs you want done, I have a lot on my plate with my show and all that is going on in my life and I misplace emails and requests often. I am working as fast as I can. Matt A.K.A. Matt's Faces [Admin Edit at request of OP - 12/05/2013]
  5. jstorms

    Drone Recommendations

    If you have the means, I highly recommend...
  6. This was an idea sprung on me by the wife Sunday, Drew out the idea Monday, picked up the Coro and wood Tuesday, frames and glue Wednesday, drawn and holes poked on Thursday, done on Friday. Just need to make some cords and hook it up and test it. It's a 5 channel face to go along with the song "in summer" from frozen. When she has an idea to add stuff and will so the sequencing for it, I'll build it immediately, pleases her and she don't ask about other stuff I'm working on lol
  7. George Simmons

    What's the one great idea you'd share with a Newbie?

    Don't get it in your head that it's a good idea to trim a bush after stringing lights in it.
  8. Some have arches, others have fire sticks (Bellagio Fountains), and a few with starbursts. I decided to combine all of them into one package. I posted a blog about them on my website here.
  9. In the spirit of paying it forward, I have taken sequences from other users and modified for my 32 channel system. Some are good, some are ok in my opinion. I am just learning how to do this. But since so many offered me help to get started, here are my 32 channel sequences to share https://onedrive.live.com/redir?resid=A06E47B36B96F0D6%21106 Tom
  10. I've jumped ship several times and spent a lot of time in several other sequencers from LSP to HLS and nutcracker. All have their pros and cons but for me LOR is still where I do the root of all my sequencing. I have not been shy in the past about crashes, or show lag, or memory leaks or any other issues I’ve had with LOR that is for sure lol. While I have no idea what LOR has planned I can offer how I personally have managed large channel counts for the last couple years using LOR. While some of the things many of us have done seem like work arounds (and frankly are) I’ve been looking at them lately more like plugins than workarounds. (it makes me feel better) If you want to run crazy effects in video or photo editing software you need plugins so in my eyes there is no difference for those of us with large channel counts we need "plugins" to. While I wish those features or "plugins" were part of the original software package the reality is most great plugins are designed by 3rd parties anyway. While we are all waiting to see what the next release will bring in LOR here is how I currently manage large channels Use at your own risk and I take zero responsibility if you burn your house down or drive off a cliff, this is just how I do things........... 1: Install the 4gb patch. Once you double click on the patch select the highlighted file seen below and that's it. Don't forget this needs to be done after any update to LOR or it’s overwritten. It is a lifesaver and will prevent crashes on large copy/paste operations. http://ntcore.com/4gb_patch.php 2: Use vegomatic to add channels to your sequences. Right clicking and adding universes manually then converting them to rgb is painful and will make you want to punch your pc screen. Let vego do it for you. First export your current channel config from LOR. Then open vego and tell it how many RGB channels and how you want them sorted by universe etc. Then click the export tab in vego and click "set starting config" this will be your original channel layout you exported from LOR. Lastly click "export LCC combine" and now there is a channel config .LCC file created with all your old LOR channels and all your new RGB channels already grouped named and converted to RGB. This entire process can literally be faster than adding and converting just one single universe to RGB within the LOR sequence editor manually. 3: Organize your groups. Put groups of elements inside large groups. A mega tree for example may have each string in a group so now put all those groups in one large group called Mega tree. Use keyboard shortcuts to expand and collapse the groups. SHIFT click on the groups + or - will open both the main group and all groups with in it. This works for collapsing groups as well. CTRL SHIFT click on the groups + or - will expand all individual RGB channels within a group. 4: Saving sucks right! Couple things that will speed it up tremendously........ :If there are any files open on the clipboard right click and remove them before saving. You are saving those clipboard files along with your sequence and if they came from nutcracker they are beats. : Turn off auto undo recording or in the latest release of LOR 3.11.2 at least minimize the amount of undo actions you are using. This will also improve response time of the sequence editor. I turn mine off as soon as I open the sequence editor. : Also in the latest release of LOR 3.11.2 you can now disable the sequence editor creating a compressed sequence on each and every save. The only time you will ever need those compressed sequences is before you run your show. Turn this off via the Export Compressed option in the Saving Preferences menu during the year while sequencing and before show time turn it back on and resave each sequence to create those compressed sequence for show playback. :Per the LOR Whats new page in 3.11.2 " When the Sequence Editor saves a sequence, it actually saves it to a temporary file first, and then attempts to reload that temporary file. Only if the load is successful will it actually overwrite the existing "real" sequence file with the newly saved temporary one. This is intended to minimize the potential for a save where something went wrong to cause the user to lose a good (earlier) save. This behavior is now optional, via the Verify Load option in the Saving Preferences menu. It is still recommended to have this behavior enabled, but if you work with very large sequences that take significant amounts of time to load and save, and are willing to take the risk of a corrupted save overwriting your previous good save file, you might want to turn it off in order to speed up saving." This will speed things up a lot and for me I rarely name a sequence the same thing more than once anyway so I'm not worried about overwriting a good save with a corrupt one. For example Wizards in Winter 1, Wizards in Winter 2, etc. 5: Using Superstar with LOR I won’t go into too much detail here as I don’t think this has gained that much popularity do to the initial price investment. However SS can be a huge benefit for you show. There is a limit on channels and because of this many users shy away from SS IMHO but even with a small SS license you can make it work for you. The resent addition of DMX keywords in SS has opened up a door for DMX and DIY users to get more bang for their buck. You can draw your pixels in the visualizer and map them with keywords that only SS uses to create DMX sequences. Keep in mind this renders the viz file you crated useless for anything other than SS so dont go adding keywords to your already done viz files you will destroy them, create new ones for SS use only. This will allow you to add the morphs across your display etc. More info on keywords can be found here. http://forums.lightorama.com/index.php?/topic/27887-superstar-and-dmx/ 6: Using nutcracker with LOR. Stop creating clipboard files from nutcracker and bringing them into LOR. This is the most taxing way to add nutcracker effects to your sequences and you will almost always forget to remove the clipboard files prior to saving the sequence making save time longer than it needs to be. I did it this way forever and was constantly frustrated with crashes and memory errors and long save times. The ideal way to add nutcracker effects is to complete your initial sequencing in LOR and then convert that LMS file to an xlights file. Open your newly created xlights sequence and add what you want in nutcracker. If your channel setup page is done correctly in xlights this will be a breeze. Of course you can add timings via audacity or use the ones Sean has provided in the xlights install directory or you can do like I do and have the original LOR sequence open on one screen and nutcracker open on another. Say in LOR my house is blue at 13.1 seconds in and I want me pixel trees to start spinning blue at 13.1 seconds in. I create a timing mark at 13.1 seconds pick blue and add the effect. Moving on to the next change in my LOR sequence etc. Inside nutcracker you can define your elements and add effects at any part of the sequence without overwriting what was already done in LOR. To do this when you have an element selected like a mega pixel tree you would just select “none” as the effect. Selecting none keeps the original sequencing from LOR intact. Doing it this way has several benefits: You could just save the seq file and schedule your shows with xlights. After all those that remember xlights was originally just a show player/scheduler to begin with and it plays shows back flawlessly. You can draw your shows elements in the preview tab and playback your LOR sequences whole once inside nutcracker without fixture limits. File size is a fraction of the size inside xlights VS an LMS file. You would never have to go back and create compressed sequences for the LOR scheduler show player. However it also has its disadvantages as well: The preview window is amazing at rgb but very limited with AC controllers. Making minor changes can be cumbersome. Every year I find a snowflake I fat fingerd and turned on when it wasn’t supposed to or something similar. There is no grid in xlights to simply open that sequence and turn said snowflake off. You would have to open the original LMS file, turn it off then convert to xlights again and add your effects. Or export from xlights to LOR and turn it off. Either way small changes are a pain. If I could request anything from LOR it would be the fixture limit of the visualizer lifted and show playback lag researched and fixed. I have no idea if a 64bit version would be the solution on those issues but those would be my #1 priority for 2014. Anyway those are my 6 tips to get the most performance out of current 3.11.2 LOR. Hope it helps someone while we are all waiting to see what comes next for LOR!
  11. Ron Boyd

    LOR S3 update?

    Well this is one person that will not jump ship. I will continue to use LOR until it doesn't work for me, if that time ever comes.
  12. Premier

    What a RUSH!

    Wow, What a rush!!! I ordered 2 controllers during the summer sale and just got them all put together, plugged into the computer and just had to hook up lights to every plug I could and run a sequence! What a rush after programming all year to finally see all the LIGHTS BLINK!!! This is soo cool. Can't wait for the holiday season to start!
  13. George Simmons

    Yes, Yes, Yes, and YES!

    I wonder what the neighbors were thinking as I was prancing around the yard whooping and hollerin' like a school girl tonight? Sadly, none of them probably gave it a second glance... nor do I particularly give a rip what most of them think anyway... But the point is I pulled a DiMaggio tonight. A LOR DiMaggio, actually. No Marilyn, but oh just as sweet... Sharon and I have been connecting lights to controllers for almost the entire past week. We've got 56 various types of LOR controllers (DiMaggio, 56, get it?) in four networks spread over two yards. Tonight I finished connecting the networks, powered the controllers, and almost wet myself with joy! All 56 controllers showing solid red/green, sitting where I put them and doing exactly what they're told to do! No stragglers, no absenteeism, no sloughing, no over-achieving, no prima donnas - just controller after controller working as one for the greater good! All hands on deck the very first time out of drydock pitching a perfect game! Yes, I am indeed insufferably pleased with myself... batting 56 for 56 right out of the box and feeling pretty darn good about it! Bring on Thanksgiving - we're all set to go! Now, all I've gotta do is figure out what to do with all my extra time - never been done this early before.
  14. George Simmons

    Do people offer to donate to you? and how does that work?

    We've done a donation box every year. As far as using the funds to cover the costs of the display, I think that's the tackiest, most selfish and most disgraceful thing I've heard in a long time. If a person can't afford to do a display, then DON'T! We actively mention the donation box during most announcements and every penny donated goes to our local food shelf. Those who want to donate do, and those who don't want to donate don't. I've yet to hear any complaints about the donation box, but we've heard tons of praise. And quite frankly, if someone wants to drive away in a huff because they're offended, I say thanks for clearing that spot in the street for those waiting in line who WANT to be there. I'm unsure what "ramifications" or "proof" or what "paperwork and etc" dgrant refers to. Maybe things are different in the Ozarks than in Minnesota. We simply empty the box each night, count the proceeds - for nothing more than our own satisfaction - and then hand over the stash to the head of our local foodshelf every few days. I'm not sure how it could be any more simple. Note: We do buy, for the face value, any grocery gift cards that get donated because the food shelf can leverage 20 bucks much, much farther than they can a $20 dollar gift card. And I always buy the dollar coins people deposit because I like dollar coins.
  15. If you want a fascinating show, it requires 365 days of work. If that's too much, then you get what you get.
  16. TJ Hvasta

    Controllers For Rent?

    "Hello, my name is TJ, and I'm a LOR addict" "Hi TJ" "I started, my first year, with a single 16ch controller. The very first thing I did when I took it out of the box, was to go online and buy a second one.. Planning for what I was going to do with that one, I knew I was deep in trouble and over my head.. the only solution, was to buy two more... Within a week of that, I was up, all hours of the night.. roaming from rom to room, planning, drawing, plotting.. it was an addiction, plain and simple, with no way out.. My wife and childern tried an intervention.. "Dad, lets go to a movie, ok??" "NO, NO, no.. I am in control, I can stop anytime I want to!! But by then, they knew they were too late.. "Honey, cant you see, it's taken over my life, I cant stop.. it has to be BIGGER!!... BRIGHTER!! I need... I need more.. more.. extensions.. yes.. extensions.. I'll be right back.. going to HomeDepot.." Soon.. HD started hiding their extensions when they saw me in the lot.. "Code 12!, Code 12!" I heard the PA say, nice try guys, but I already knew what they were saying.. "ITS TJ!! QUICK, HIDE THE STUFF!!! They already knew me from my piratical store sweeps..they had learned NOT to ask, "Well, what are you trying to do?? ". Other shoppers would see that maniacal gleem in mah eye and quietly slink away, in fear.. (sinister music fades away) .. Now, I'm all better.. therapy worked wonders.. I have just the right balance of controllers (12), and meds, and I'm better now.. I did backslide a bit in January.. I ordered 12 rolls of 5M 5050 RGB ribbons on eBay (yeah, from China).. but the wife (tipped off by the State Dept) caught wind and embargoed it. So now, I sit at home on my days off, looking out the windows, quietly sequencing with what I have, an imagine I'm George Simmons artfully lighting up the town!!
  17. This is pretty much how I start doing every song. Gives me lots of timing options very quickly (about 10 minutes). I still have to take some time to make sure things are perfect, but it gives me a huge head start. This video shows how to: Look at what is inside a bare bones LMS fileTake advantage of advanced timing wizards in AudacityHow to manually convert Audacity timing grids (labels) and import them into Light-O-Rama timing gridsHow to automatically convert Audacity labels to LOR timing grids using a crude PERL script, that I don't support.How to use the Beat Wizard and the Tapper Wizard.Ends with a brief code walkthrough on the script.Links: Audacity Download:http://audacity.sourceforge.net/Queen Mary Vamp plugins for Audacity: http://www.nutcracker123.com/nutcracker/releases/Vamp_Plugin.exeLink to Audacity to LOR Script: (I provide no support for this): https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B95M-4jUDX5aSVVGMEJoQmpiUGM/viewActiveState PERL: http://www.activestate.com/activeperl

    My Sprial Tree Videos

    The complete video is here. http://vimeo.com/34318892 Earle
  19. George Simmons

    unplugging cat5

    The only INCORRECT way of unplugging cat5 that I know of is tripping over the cable...
  20. Hey everyone! I finally uploaded a sequence this morning of my second song of 7. I'm clearly not as good of a videographer as a musician, but here it is - with the instruments actually playing the notes this time
  21. In a central place in your display, by the street, mailbox, etc., place a 3 ring binder "guestbook" with sheets in it for your guests to sign and make comments. They will put very inspirational things on those pages that will amaze you about how meaningful your display is to them. These sheets can be read and cherished by you and your family all year long and will provide motivation during times when you might wonder if you want to do the display.... Hands down, it's one of the best parts of our display... Check out some of the best guestbook entried from our 2012 display... http://www.belardolights.com/2012reaction.html
  22. This is for all the new people. Enjoy the show.
  23. I would quit worrying about other people's display and worry about your own.
  24. I'm starting out as a middle age man (balding no less... ), working full time, wife and 3 kids, etc...so I fully understand what Surfing4Dough is saying. I started my research into this in July, and It's all I can do just to learn the very basics this year and try to get one song done. I just don't have the time, or skills yet, to do more. Even before I dove into this over the summer, I was always amazed at how people did this. I knew it wasn't a "plug and play" hobby, but didn't realize just how involved it was. I've very quickly developed an amazing amount of respect for those who manage to pull of shows, no matter how big or small. I'm at work right now, not my home computer, so I don't have my programming stuff here. And due to Hurricane Sandy, I have no internet at home. But as soon as I'm able to, I'll try to figure out how to post my first finished sequence here. I just finished it during the storm, and it's 16 channels. I actually need to go back and tweak it, as this was just my first pass at it. But I don't mind sharing "as is". I'm sure it looks really rough, and in several years I'll look back at it and say "Wow, what a newb I was". But for now, it's got me grinning ear to ear. If I get time to make another song before the holiday, or even half way through the season, I'll definitely do it (taking a lot of saved up vacation days). Otherwise, the rest of my 16 channel show will be borrowed/modified sequences. But no matter what, I'll be proud of it.
  25. Well first of all I don't think most 16 channel displays are ugly. Lots of people put a lot of time and thought into putting on their shows, and it is a little presumptuous of you to say this until you actually have your own show out there. I can tell you this, I would never criticize anybody else's display including yours. Most people starting out can only afford 16 or 32 channels. And there certainly is a learning curve to sequencing and it takes a lot of time and practice. I never try to compare my display to anyone else's. I simply want to encourage and congratulate anyone who puts effort into this form of entertainment.
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