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Amie

Using LOR for a stage production

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I was asked to design a lighting sequence for 8 trees behind a stage to a song played at the end of an outdoor community play...no big deal. I have a showtime minidirector, so I figured I would add a switch that could be hit when it was time for the song to play. The mini-director would just have to be hooked into the sound system.

Come to find out, they also want a few other things throughout the middle of the show, ie. the trees in the back to 'flicker for just a second' when a person says a certain line in the script, or have a certain tree's trunk light up when an actor is talking about the growth of the tree, then make the tree 'grow' as he talks.

This is a little more complicated than just a song and it is dependent on the script. Can someone help me implement this? I can have a laptop connected instead of the mini-director, but I still don't know how I would do it.
Thanks,
Amie

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If only 3 effects, the mini-director can handle 3 input triggers. Just make your sequences, music or silent, and assign the triggers

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If more than three effects, however, here is what I suggest:

Get a laptop and run the entire thing from your computer.
Figure out what they need and re-name them the CUE numbers they give you.

Because most of them are non-musical animation, open them all up in the sequence editor

Then, when you're on headset, they'll say "ready cue XX," that's when you right click and hover the "play" button (the play single, not play all).

Then the stage manager will call the cue and you hit play.

Just keep your computer muted incase you make a mistake until the musical number (don't want a Windows "DONG" to go off during the show).

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You can also use triggers with a laptop. If you had more than one controller. you get 3 inputs per controller. There is one of the director cards that will do as many as 6 inputs.

Chuck

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cmoore60 wrote:

You can also use triggers with a laptop. If you had more than one controller. you get 3 inputs per controller.

This is only true for some of the controllers...you only get two inputs on the CTB16PC and CTB16K.




yhst-1552586516070_2152_225

yhst-1552586516070_2156_605663trans_1x1.gifyhst-1552586516070_2156_627307

Connect up to 3 inputs to your CTB16 based controller. Use of inputs requires version 2.1.2 or higher of the Light-O-Rama S2 Software Suite.

Will work with any CTB16 based controller which has a 18 pin header. This includes later models of CTB16D, CTB16K, CTB16KD, CTB16PC, LOR1600W, LOR1602W and LOR1602MP3.

Check that your contorller has the 18 pin header (to the right of where the CAT5 cables plug in).

Provides connections for +5, +10, Gnd and 3 Inputs. Input-1 cannot be used on CTB16PC and CTB16K.

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jimswinder wrote:

cmoore60 wrote:
You can also use triggers with a laptop. If you had more than one controller. you get 3 inputs per controller.

This is only true for some of the controllers...you only get two inputs on the CTB16PC and CTB16K.




yhst-1552586516070_2152_225

yhst-1552586516070_2156_605663trans_1x1.gifyhst-1552586516070_2156_627307

Connect up to 3 inputs to your CTB16 based controller. Use of inputs requires version 2.1.2 or higher of the Light-O-Rama S2 Software Suite.

Will work with any CTB16 based controller which has a 18 pin header. This includes later models of CTB16D, CTB16K, CTB16KD, CTB16PC, LOR1600W, LOR1602W and LOR1602MP3.

Check that your contorller has the 18 pin header (to the right of where the CAT5 cables plug in).

Provides connections for +5, +10, Gnd and 3 Inputs. Input-1 cannot be used on CTB16PC and CTB16K.



Ah yes, but you get 6 inputs with a mp3 director/player!

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Okay, this is awesome information, you guys have given me a lot to work with. I didn't realize that the controller themselves accepted inputs. Plus, I didn't know that I could run the show from my laptop either. That may be the most simple option. Thanks for the advice about the sound, I'll mute the computer tones as well.

This is when I really wish that LOR would put a PAUSE feature in their Sequence Editor play utility. I am going to have to figure out how to keep one section of lights on from the first cue, as it goes into the next. Can you play 2 shows at once?

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Amie wrote:

This is when I really wish that LOR would put a PAUSE feature in their Sequence Editor play utility. I am going to have to figure out how to keep one section of lights on from the first cue, as it goes into the next. Can you play 2 shows at once?

You can pause the Editor by using the space bar...if you highlight the first cell, you can then start and stop using the space bar.

Nope...can't play two show simultaneously...

but you can load more than one show...

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Fantastic...all these tricks I never knew. Thanks everyone for your help!

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I am close to having this figured out. I have my sequences all programmed, I have LOR installed on a laptop and connected to the LOR boxes. I can get the lights working using the hardware utility, so I know that I am connected. But when I play a sequence in the LOR Sequence Editor, it doesn't light up the lights. Is there a trick to having the Sequence Editor control the show? I've always just used the Schedule Editor.

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Do you have "control lights" in the play menu checked?

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First, you can only have one application "controlling" the communications port on the computer or the controller. Check to make sure Hardware Utility or Control Panel aren't active and have the comm port in use. In this case the only LOR software that should be running or accessing the comm port for LOR should be Sequence Editor. In Sequence Editor make sure that you have told Sequence Editor to actually control the lights and LOR controller(s).... goto Play menu and make sure Control Lights is checked.

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In addition. When you constructed your sequence. Did you assign the software channels to the hardware channels?

Never hurts to cover all the bases.

Chuck

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Again, you guys have come through for me, thank you! I didn't know that I couldn't have the Control Panel running, I thought I had to. It was the only thing keeping the light blinking on the controller, UNTIL I toggled the 'Control Lights' in the Sequence Editor. This stuff is written down somewhere, right?

I've learned more this week than I have in the past 5 years. Maybe I can advance out of the beginner's arena in the new few years and move into the 'know just enough to be dangerous' stage.



Okay....one FINAL thing, I hope. The pause. It isn't going to work because when I hit the space bar to pause, the lights go out completely until I hit the space bar again. I need them to stay on.

Here's the situation...in the play, the person is talking about a tree. He talks about the roots, then the trunk and then the branches and leaves. When he talks about the roots, the roots lights up. When he talks about the trunk, the trunk lights up, and the roots stay on. When he talks about the branches and leaves, they turn on, while the roots and trunk stay on.

This would be a pretty simple concept if they were simply hooked up to a regular stage production on-off switch, but they aren't. Plus, since the tree is a major part of a song in the show, the branches are composed of 24 channels, trunk has 6 channels and roots have 6 channels.

The sequence is easy enough to write, it is the execution that is the issue. I am going to play around with triggers today, now that everything else working, and see if there is something that can work there.

I am sure you are getting tired of me, but any advice is appreciated. Thank you so much for getting me through this, I never would have made it this far without your help.

Here's the sequence that I programmed for the main song, if anyone is bored and curious what I'm working on. The main tree will be on stage, the large trees are about 100 feet tall and surround the stage. It still needs some tweeking. I used Twinkle when I should have used Shimmer, stuff like that.



ShineOn LOR Video

ShineOn.html

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Amie wrote:


Okay....one FINAL thing, I hope. The pause. It isn't going to work because when I hit the space bar to pause, the lights go out completely until I hit the space bar again. I need them to stay on.

The sequence is easy enough to write, it is the execution that is the issue. I am going to play around with triggers today, now that everything else working, and see if there is something that can work there.

I am sure you are getting tired of me, but any advice is appreciated. Thank you so much for getting me through this, I never would have made it this far without your help.

I think you answered your own question...sounds like Triggers are your answer...IF you only need 2 or 3 triggers...since that is all you can have PER controller (depending on your controller) as stated earlier...

and we'll never get tired of questions...least I won't!!

unless you take my job of asking the same ones over and over and over again!! lol

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Yes, I agree, I think triggers are my only option. Too bad I don't have any on my boards. I guess I need to have LOR overnight the CTB16 for me?

Almost all of my controllers are CTB16PC's and most, I think are V2.

I have the Showtime Mini Director with MP3, but could I have that plugged in as well as the computer? I know it was designed to be a standalone. I still need to be able to control the tree with the computer so I can start the song with the Sequence Editor.

Have a mentioned that I can't wait until this is over?

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Amie wrote:

Have a mentioned that I can't wait until this is over?

Ahhh...but once you have figured out triggers, then you will want to incorporate them into your Christmas display...

It is NEVER over....

the fat Lady NEVER sings in the mighty and sacred halls of LOR...

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jimswinder wrote:

Ahhh...but once you have figured out triggers, then you will want to incorporate them into your Christmas display...

It is NEVER over....

the fat Lady NEVER sings in the mighty and sacred halls of LOR...


Well, yeah...that was implied. ;-) I am just a little nervous having over 1500 people sitting there, waiting for me to hit the right button. It's a one-time shot, then it's over.

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Amie wrote:

It's a one-time shot, then it's over.

sounds like my...well...never mind... :D

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I'd ask, but I am not sure I want to know.

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The show is finally over. I had more problems with LOR than I care to admit, but the most important part of the show finally worked. Over 2000 people in attendance, something I never want to do EVER again. If it is simply our christmas show and there are technical difficulties, we postpost the show for a night...no big deal.

So here are the problems I encountered, I would love to know what I did wrong.

Triggers: I called LOR and had Mary overnight 3 of the CTB16 Input Connectors. I tested one on a box connected to my laptop, just at my house. It worked great. But the triggers that I was using were only about one foot long. I then had to solder a 75' cable onto 4 of the triggers and a 4' cable onto 2 of them in order to reach where I was going to be sitting. The cable I used came from CAT5 line. Not CAT5e.

I didn't have time to test an individual box again because my husband had already taken the boxes and daisy changed them into the final system while I was still soldering the triggers.

When I got to the location, and plugged the triggers in and turned the Control Panel on, the triggers started turning on and rotating through in sequence, nonstop. This was without hitting the triggers at all. If I hit the triggers, nothing happened. I reprogrammed them in the LOR Show Editor, to make sure they were correct, but it continued doing the same thing. So, the triggers had to be side-lined.

Next option, was to run the show via the Sequence Editor. I had one musical sequence and 5 animation sequences. About 1 hour before the show started, I finally figured out that the animation sequences were the culprit as to why I couldn't keep the channels from changing. Every time I opened up an animation sequence to run it, when I opened the musical sequence, all of the channels would be zero'd out or wrong. I'd have to reassign all of the channels again. Over and Over again. I bet I did that 4-5 times within a 3 hour period yesterday. When I finally realized it was the animations causing the problem, I rebuilt them as musical sequences using 'silence'. That fixed the problem....just 15 minutes before the show started.

So...I get up to stretch my legs since I hadn't moved for hours from the chair I was sitting in. I had 10 minutes before the show started. I come back to my computer, and LOR has lost it's connection to the boxes. I close the sequence editor, and it hangs. I reboot, open the sequence editor, no connection. Reboot again...same thing. The play starts, I miss the first 5 animations sequences. I unplug everything to the computer and the box I have sitting next to me, and plug it all back in, then reboot again. Finally, the 3rd reboot is a charm, I get connected about 2 minutes before the final musical number, and it works. Everyone loves the lights and I feel like curling up in a fetal position and sleeping for a week.

After the play is over, they ask to the see the light show again. I start it up, it plays for about 10 seconds and then it stops. It was a 1-time show.

Any ideas why I had so many problems? Is there any issue with having a 75' ethernet cable between boxes? If the computer goes to sleep, is that what causes the issue with locking up the Sequence Editor? I couldn't even kill it from the task manager.

btw, thank you for helping me. If you guys hadn't told me how to run a show through the sequence editor, I wouldn't have been able to do anything.

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Hey Aimee...

Sorry you had so many problems...

wish I knew the why of your problems too...but I don't...hopefully someone smarter than me will though!!

and don't give up on triggers!!!

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Thanks Jim, I won't give up. I still want to figure out the why's, with respect to the triggers. I am going to test the boxes individually with the CAT5 lines on them, and see if they will work.

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Amie wrote:

Thanks Jim, I won't give up. I still want to figure out the why's, with respect to the triggers. I am going to test the boxes individually with the CAT5 lines on them, and see if they will work.

I myself just used SPT-2 wire...

but my 6 triggers were less than 15' from the controllers...

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Amie,

I am guessing that using the Cat5 wire for your triggers @ 75 feet distance caused to much voltage drop and therefore the system was seeing things as being triggered. This is only a guess.

My experience with triggers has been a short distance.

Another thing that comes to mind. did you use the exact same switch as you did in your test? Might have been possible to have trigggers configured in the software to be one condition (normally open, or normally closed) but yet you had them wired the opposite.

Chuck

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