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George Simmons

Sequencing Tips, Tricks and Secrets

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For 2010, I found that I could use the VU wizard to create some very effective VU type display elements for my voice introduction. see



I used Audacity to record the voice and then later added some background music again using Audacity. To create the VU patterns, I created a new musical sequence with the voice track only and 8 dummy channels. I then ran the VU wizard several times. At each run, I told it to create new timing marks and turn on a channel, in my case channels 1 to 8.

I firstly experimented with the level settings (slider marker in peak threshold setting). For the highest threshold, I set this so that there were marks created only a few times during the recording. For the lowest threshold, I experimented so that the levels were on during most of the voice passage. I noted these settings and then divided the range into the number of VU levels I wanted to use. It was then just a matter of running the wizard the required number of times to ctrate the timing marks, each time changing the channel number to turn on.

Once this was completed, it was a simple matter to copy the timing grid from this sequence to the sequence with all my display channels; and then to copy the turned on channels to those required for the show. I used the VU voice patterns on my arches, and the poles and stars of my firework stars.

I then repeated this VU exercise (ie creating a new dummy sequence with timing grid and channel turn on) with the original music track that I used as a background, (ie before adding the music to the voice track). I applied the music track VU patterns to the mini-trees around the fenceline.

This whole process produced a very complicated looking timing grid, but was very quick and easy to do. If you wanted to, it would be easy to do a similar exercise on a soundtrack separating the left and right channels.

Hope others may find this useful

Regards Geoff

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Geoff Harvey wrote:

For 2010, I found that I could use the VU wizard to create some very effective VU type display elements for my voice introduction. see


I used Audacity to record the voice and then later added some background music again using Audacity. To create the VU patterns, I created a new musical sequence with the voice track only and 8 dummy channels. I then ran the VU wizard several times. At each run, I told it to create new timing marks and turn on a channel, in my case channels 1 to 8.

I firstly experimented with the level settings (slider marker in peak threshold setting). For the highest threshold, I set this so that there were marks created only a few times during the recording. For the lowest threshold, I experimented so that the levels were on during most of the voice passage. I noted these settings and then divided the range into the number of VU levels I wanted to use. It was then just a matter of running the wizard the required number of times to ctrate the timing marks, each time changing the channel number to turn on.

Once this was completed, it was a simple matter to copy the timing grid from this sequence to the sequence with all my display channels; and then to copy the turned on channels to those required for the show. I used the VU voice patterns on my arches, and the poles and stars of my firework stars.

I then repeated this VU exercise (ie creating a new dummy sequence with timing grid and channel turn on) with the original music track that I used as a background, (ie before adding the music to the voice track). I applied the music track VU patterns to the mini-trees around the fenceline.

This whole process produced a very complicated looking timing grid, but was very quick and easy to do. If you wanted to, it would be easy to do a similar exercise on a soundtrack separating the left and right channels.

Hope others may find this useful

Regards Geoff
Geoff,
I'm trying to make sense of what you are teaching us, but I don't think I get it. Maybe I just need more time sequencing to understand.
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CKSedg wrote:

Geoff,
I'm trying to make sense of what you are teaching us, but I don't think I get it. Maybe I just need more time sequencing to understand.


Maybe by attaching the first section of the dummy sequences as produced directly from the VU wizard, things may becone a little clearer. From these 2 sequences. all I did was merge the two audio files in Audacity and then copy the timebases from these 2 dummy sequences to my Intro sequence with all the correct light channels in place; and then copy each group of channels th the display channels I wanted to respond in the VU pattern.

Hope this makes it clearer - Geoff




Attached files 238849=13028-VU Dummy Sequence - Voice A

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Yes, thanks. I think I understand now. I've received so many tips on this forum---I appreciate all of you who are willing to share!

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LOR Bob just "turned me on" to this in another thread I had started...

Sub-sequences!!

I had never seen it mentioned in this forum before, but if it works like I hope it will
(I am going to try it out tonight), this could be what I was looking for as a "management tool" for my hundreds of channels (if not thousands with the new RGB CCB's).

More info on sub-sequences is located here:

http://www.lightorama.com/help/index.html?subsequences.htm

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jimswinder wrote:

LOR Bob just "turned me on" to this in another thread I had started...

Sub-sequences!!

I had never seen it mentioned in this forum before, but if it works like I hope it will
(I am going to try it out tonight), this could be what I was looking for as a "management tool" for my hundreds of channels (if not thousands with the new RGB CCB's).

More info on sub-sequences is located here:

http://www.lightorama.com/help/index.html?subsequences.htm

Did I miss something? Where's the tip, trick, or secret here to help newbies sequence? The whole point of this thread is for people to share the things they've learned and use.
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Guest Don Gillespie

Another trick I use is when I am copying and pasting I enlarge my sequence grid by spreading it out using the arrows at the top that way I can make sure when I paste it goes to the right cell, seems to work for me.

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great info keep it commin, i think the beat wizard is the way to go for me also, thanks George, and once i get the timming movements down and tracks figured out will be ready to go.

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George had asked me to post this on drawing a spiral tree in the visualizer.
I am also attaching my 16 channel spiral sequence which I posted in another topic.

As for drawing your own what I did was take a picture of my spiral, strand by strand and then loaded each picture of a strand as the background image, drew the lights then loaded the next one, etc. (this will be time consuming but makes a world of difference in sequencing).
One suggestion I have if you do that is to use a different color each time you draw one of the strands (all the dots start to run together), once done you can then change them all to the same color.
If you have a video of a spiral tree you like you could download it's video and screen capture each strand and do the same thing I did above.
I hope this makes sense.

Here is a short video of the spiral in the visualizer


and here's a short video of the actual trees in the display




Attached files spiral sample 16 channels updated.las

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George Simmons wrote:

The BW works best with songs that have a strong, steady beat. Occasionally, especially with songs that change tempo after the first couple of verses (or stanzas or whatever the hell they are), the timing marks that the BW places during the first half-minute or so of the song might need to be moved slightly to line up better with the waveform. In freeform timing grids, which I think are the only ones you can make with the BW, you can move timing marks whenever you want to. (Go to: EDIT > TIMINGS > LOCK TIMINGS and either check or uncheck this option. If it was initially locked, be sure to relock it after you’re finished so you don’t wind up dragging timing marks to places where you don’t want them.)




Well George, very nice tutorial, but not to bust your chops.:)

But to share some added info, you ARE NOT limited to a "freeform" timing grid when using the Beat Wizard (or any of the Wizards), YOU CAN use a FIXED TIMING GRID.

I use a Fixed TG of 0.15 on all my sequences, and I use the Beat, Tapper and VU Wizards with these same FIXED Timing Grids without any issues whatsoever.

They all work just fine with FIXED or FREEFORM Timing Grids.

At least in the LOR Suite 2.9.4 version they do!:cool:

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To use beat wizard you must have basic plus license or higher. If you use it with a lower grade license nothing you sequence will be saved. beat wizard is great if the song is consistant throughout. If the beat changes you will have to break the song up into segments as the changes happen. I personally use beat wizard, Tapper and waveform for different parts of every song. To start from scratch beat wizard helps to get the basic timing. I use it for eve's, Icicles and commom things. Tapper for vocals and waveform for fills.
Also highlight a timeframe and insert multible timings for fast stuff like arches and chases to begin and end on the beat.
Thats the great thing about all of this..The exact same layout and song is personal to your taste as long as it is fun most people won't notice!!!!!
Have FUN and welcome to the maddness!!!!

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Thanks for the save, Orville - you are correct. And before interchangeable timing grids were invented I believe that would have been the only way to achieve a fixed timing grid after the sequence had been created.

The Beat Wizard follows the music and a fixed timing grid follows the clock. They're two separate things. I'm not sure I understand why a person would be going to the Beat Wizard in the first place if what they wanted to do was to use a fixed timing grid.

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George Simmons wrote:

Thanks for the save, Orville - you are correct. And before interchangeable timing grids were invented I believe that would have been the only way to achieve a fixed timing grid after the sequence had been created.

The Beat Wizard follows the music and a fixed timing grid follows the clock. They're two separate things. I'm not sure I understand why a person would be going to the Beat Wizard in the first place if what they wanted to do was to use a fixed timing grid.



Ahh, then LET ME EXPLAIN that George.

Even though the Timing grid may follow the clock and be FIXED, the Beat Wizard is still a viable option when using one. Why? Because even though the timing grid may be fixed, it still lays down a beat track, it doesn't fill the block completely and a little clean up after using it IS REQUIRED. I just go back and "fill in the blocks" or move any that may be slightly off where it should be.

If you have seen my Cool to Be a Witch 2.0 Sneak Peek video, the Beat Wizard was used to help lay the foundation for that song, then I go back and clean (or tweak) it up. I actually used the VU wizard for the vocals and then, again go back and clean it up so that it flows smoothly at the right time, so that a blowmold or wire frame character appears to be singing the words. I use the tapper wizard to set the bell tones up for the 7 channel red bells used in my displays. And all this using a FIXED Timing Grid of 0.15. I

If you haven't seen the vid, check it out here:

http://forums.lightorama.com/forum83/26411.html

All done using the Beat, VU and Tapper Wizards, then cleaned up to get the results in the video.

So yes, even though I *use* a *FIXED* Timing Grid, the Beat Wizard still helps a lot to lay down a beat track or a track in any channel, even using a SLOWER or FASTER BEAT still works perfectly using a FIXED Timing Grid.

And I use these wizards all the time when creating or doing a new sequence. The key is knowing how to use the wizards under any situation and tweaking the sequence after using them. I use the highlight music timeline and spacebar to stop/start the sequence to tweak each area and channel as I go to try and get it spot on. The above mentioned vidoe is the result of using all those techniques and many, many hours of intensive tweaking to get it just right.

And I've even tweaked the sequence a lot more since that sequence version was shot for the video.

BTW: Learn anything this go around George?:P


EDIT: Added the Cool to Be a Witch Video here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ib1xSqtI4xo&feature=player_embedded&hl=en&fs=1

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Beat Wizard DEFAULT Settings: normal 4 beat setting - this many beats 4 - offset 0 (Fixed grid 0.15)

Attached files 244615=13314-Beat Wizard Default Beat.JP

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Beat Wizard - Speed 2X - This many beats 2 - offset 0

Attached files 244616=13315-Beat Wizard - 2x Beat - thi

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These are CLOSE UP Results from the Beat Wizard of three channels laid down.

NOTE the blocks DO NOT FILL in the entire grid block! This is using a FIXED timing Grid of 0.15.


And this is what I have to "clean up" to either fill in or remove areas that I did not want a light to be on or off at.

Hope the photo's help to explain better what I am doing.


NOTE: When cleaning this up, you just can't fill a portion of the block, it's all or nothing. And that is what I do, fill in the blocks or empty those out I don't want.


Attached files 244619=13317-Beat Wizard - Close Up Resu

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Here's my sequencing secret. When my wife asks me what I'm doing I tell her I'm working. She sees what looks like a spreadsheet and leaves me alone :D

That my big tip.

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Topic: Beat Wizard; slower tempos

The way I use slower tempos is with big elements like the Robin Wheel. I have a file where I have built the different patterns for the Wheel, and have the patterns saved with timing marks at the beginning and end of the sequence only, so the pattern is in 1 cell.

In the song I want a pattern to complete once every 4 beats (for example). Using the beat wizard I create a grid 4x slower. Then I copy and paste the Wheel pattern in. Now the Wheel completes the pattern once every 4 beats.

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Clay, I am in George's camp on this one.

I have use both fixed and variable (freeform) grids.

If I am sequencing a section that needs to follow the beat, I use a freeform grid, with the timing marks being generated either by the beat wizard, or tapper if there are a lot of tempo changes.

For those that can't tap for their life, you can still use the beat wizard in songs with varying tempos, by using a new beat wizard for each section of the song that has a different tempo. (ie use the beat wizard from 0 to 32 seconds, if that is where the tempo changes, and then apply it again from 32 seconds to the next tempo change, etc.)

Once I have the timings from the beat wizard/tapper in place, I subdivide them, down to my usual .05 second timing range (that's approximate, as it depends on the timing marks laid down - it may be .03, .04, or .06 seconds for that matter.

There is no need to spend time cleaning anything up, as all the timings are precisely where I want them.

If I used a fixed grid, which is more a mathematical than musical design, I would have additional work to do.

Greg

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George Simmons wrote:

I know a Beat Wizard tutorial (and probably more than one) has been done before but I don’t remember by whom. So until someone posts a link to that which I can’t recall,
8< snip- >8

Does this ring a bell George?

Found it when another person was asking about the Beat Wizard and was actually searching for this particular thread and found this one, it was posted on Sunday Feb 17th, 2008 at 04:04. This one has video tutorials as well.

Go to this thread: Beat Wizard Demo by Michael Farney:

http://forums.lightorama.com/view_topic.php?id=16195&forum_id=72&highlight=Beat+Wizard

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