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Number Of Songs Per Show

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for those that have been doing this a while. what's the number of songs you put in a show?

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It can depend on a number of things

1. Amount of viewers:

Some people choose to have shorter shows if they have a lot of viewers

2: Time Available:

Sequencing takes time, it can depend on how much time you have available to sequence

3. Personal Preference:

What feels right to you

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I do three shows each evening. Early one is mostly Christmas music, geared towards kids. Second one is a mix of Christmas and non-christmas music, geared towards all audiences. The third show of the evening is mostly non-Christmas music geared towards adults. Each show has between 20 and 30 songs and they loop during their alloted time of evening. Altogether, I'm working with a little over 170 minutes of music for this year.

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@FuntobeWith

Wow, running your show from Dec 1st to Jan 15th, thats a LONG time!

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This will be my first year. I've got 27 songs sequenced and ready to run. I think that's enough although I could do more now I think I'll possibly wait till next year as I might get into CCR's and CCP's, in which case, I'll have to re-do all of them. My first run will have it holding for a switch input from whatever child gets picked to push the button. Following the first show, I'll swap in the almost same show, taking out the switch and the THX robot intro. My intention is to do the first light up the day after Thanksgiving, running to 10Pm then shutting down. As for January, I think I'll shut down on January 1st.

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Opinions will certainly vary, but I've found that editing songs down to about 2 minutes each (or less) works very well.

We also keep our show to about 5-6 songs (about 10-12 min total) with a 90 second static display between. We tend to have a fair amount of traffic so there are nights that we have to cut it shorter so I generally have a 3 and 4 song show pre-built so that we can switch over as needed.

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This is my third year, but I think the best piece of advice is first determining how populated your house is. Your location is going to play more into your show length than anything else. I will say this, I get thousands of people to come by my house each year, and I have only seen on rare occasions where an individual car will set at watch the entire show. Most people are just driving home from work and they will stop and watch a few songs. Now, when it gets closer to THE BIG WEEK, you will notice more people staying longer. This is about the time I have to extend the show to run a little later (which isn't a big deal because most of your neighbors are off from work so the increased traffic isn't as big of a deal).

My first year I had 10 songs, but last year I dropped it down to six and I never had one person ask why I didn't do more. All in all I kept the show about a half hour long and it was great! It's just a balance you'll have to find. I hope this helps.

Joshua

This will be my first year. I've got 27 songs sequenced and ready to run. I think that's enough although I could do more now I think I'll possibly wait till next year as I might get into CCR's and CCP's, in which case, I'll have to re-do all of them. My first run will have it holding for a switch input from whatever child gets picked to push the button. Following the first show, I'll swap in the almost same show, taking out the switch and the THX robot intro. My intention is to do the first light up the day after Thanksgiving, running to 10Pm then shutting down. As for January, I think I'll shut down on January 1st.

God bless you Sir! I do not know how you found time to program 27 songs! Impressive!

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Well i am down a Dead End Street, in an area that currently has almost nothing for light Shows and so far All i hyave done is 4th of July and I started in Febuary Coming up with a Layout and an Hour's worth of Seqence's 22 Songs just for the 4th of July I find sequencing easier than i thought it would be "But that could be only becouse i am only sequencing 16 channel's," But I also got my Neighbors into Picking songs and adding them to the sequenced list I have and this is only my first year with LOR controller, and plan on adding 2 more in the coming months

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A lot of us just do a "radio station with Christmas lights". Just like a radio station, cars drop in when they can, and leave when they feel they've seen enough or have to go for time reasons. This keeps the traffic moving consistently, and allws me to program as much (or as little) music as I choose, without worrying about "total show length".

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We do theme nights each night of the week:

Monday: Christmas Classics- 9 songs

Tuesday: Modern Classics- 8 songs

Wednesday: Rock N Roll Christmas- 9 songs

Thursday: Country Christmas- 10 songs

Friday: Movie Night at the Corner- 17 songs

Saturday and Sunday: Mash Up of Songs from the Week +6 "weekend only" songs

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@FuntobeWith

Wow, running your show from Dec 1st to Jan 15th, thats a LONG time!

We do the same thing!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Each year we have added more and more songs...I look at it from the opposite of others: I get a lot of "repeaters"...people who just stop by, walk by or whatever...I like the idea that they have a lot of songs to choose from. I do try to balance the total run time of the show so that it ends at a predictable interval...30 mins first year...1 hour the second...90 mins the third...and so on...

I publish a set list on our FB page and actually have it printed out and in a container in one of those water tight yard signs dealios for anyone to take that wants one...

Last year we had over 40 songs total sequenced....not counting the demented elf bumpers before, after and sprinkled throught the show...typically try to group the songs so that they make sense...kiddie ones for a 2-4 song set...bumper....2-4 classic songs...bumper.....2-3 modern....bumper...etc...this year will prob be a total run time of about 120 mins + or -...But again, this is just a prefence thing and even for a show that is running this long, you can really look at it more like a lot of little shows strung together...that is the beauty of using bumpers within the show....it gives it more of a production feel!

We also run a 24/7 "radio" station when the show isnt running...lots of bumpers and content sprinklled in talking abnout the show run times and such...have a library of about 400+ Xmas songs ripped onto the hard drive that randomly play.

Also the Show runs from the Friday after Thanksgiving through the first week of Jan....give or take a day depending on traffic and when I can begin tear down!

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My first year, I got pretty far just using the small coax attached ant that the transmitter came with...you could hear my station at least a street or two over...but over the past couple years it has decreased quite a bit to the point where you only get a really clear signal about 5 houses on either side of me...obviously for folk who have much larger viewing spaces that simply wouldnt do...

So this year I am hooking up a ground plane ant that is matched to my transmitting freq (courtesy of Dennis Cherry)..should help a ton! Havent hooked up yet to test but I am anxious to see how much of a boost I truly get!

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I also like the radio show idea. how far can u transmit? I cannot get far due to power lines but if i could get further I would try that.

Thanks for all the great ideas.

Am going off-topic replying to this but I hope no one minds

A lot of people use EDM fm transmitters which transmit a long distance especially if you use a jpole antenna.

To set up the radio show mOst decoraters use Zara Radio if you search for these on the forum you'll find out more and if you want more info just set up a new topic.

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Going on my 7th year, the first year we had 7 songs, we thought that 30 minute show would be sufficient and move our guest along. Well heck with that theory, we play 20 songs and the crowds seem to love it. We seem to manage our heavy turn out by getting the word out to park and walk in, also by using our outdoor sound system till 7:30 every night allows that to happen. I couldn't imagine playing one or two songs and acheiving the crowds that come out. Hundreds that come to the show has told us that it is a traditionto be here. Well no matter how many songs you do, in this line of pure family enertainment you can't go wrong! Only smiles of happy faces seem to show up! Go make somebodies day!

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As I mentioned earlier, I've sequenced 27 songs so far, for 96 channels, and for this year, I'm thinking that's plenty as its my first year out. I'm doing the EDM FM transmitter for the whole evening/show plus music to the yard for fo the first hour or so only, then the speakers get turned off. Since there's only one other family that does this in the entire area for many miles, they are well known and get tons of cars. This first year for me, very few know about this going to happen here but next year who knows. As for sequencing 27, I'm retired so I've got the time plus a ton of computer experience as well as programming. Takes me about 3 hours per song. How it's going to look when it really runs, I'm counting on the visualizer a lot and I think it'll be nice. This first effort though will be the hookups, testing and re-testing till first light-up as a show. If all turns out good, then possibly next year, I'll add CCR's and I really liked the idea of the snowglobe/video projection that the one person did on a farm....might have to do that myself.

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...most of the time if taken finding exactly each beat... Maybe I am trying to get too perfect.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record... it takes me about 15 seconds to find the beats for most songs. My secret is called the Beat Wizard. Follow the link in my sig and check out some of my videos and see what you think. Every song (except one) in my entire history has been done using the Beat Wizard. It ain't perfect, but the people watching the lights think it is.

As for getting too perfect, we're all our own worst critics. Once you realize how forgiving your audience is, your perspective will mellow.

Edited by George Simmons
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I have around 20 songs random playing ; no FM here so imagine the neighbors if I play only 2 songs 4 hours a day and for 30 days ...

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So far the most difficult song for me to do was "Over the Rainbow" from Judy Garland's Wizard of Oz and this was the actual recording from the movie. There's almost no beat at all. I also have found the beat wizard, sometimes works and sometimes not. Most of the time, I speed it up to 4x rate to capture a beat but if there's any lead-in sounds, then it gets all messed up so I resort to the tapper wizard. Yes, I spend about an hour a minute for 96 channels and I'm not just turning things on and off...flashing lights as such. There is a method to the madness...lol. I do heavily use the visualizer and hope that the results there are what I'm picturing in my head, when it comes to the real show. When this first year's show happens, I'll post videos and ask for opinions from the many experts here who will hopefully offer constructive advice so I can improve next year's show. At this moment, I think it looks pretty good, but I'm always going back and re-examining things. Change a little here and there.

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I find the beat wizard does ok with sections but will only find the overall beat not the individual beats of each sound. I also try to make my lights make sense with the song. not just blink. but you are right you are your own worst critic and that I am, lol. If it ain't perfect i am not happy.

You must be using smart strings. All mine do are blink to the music, but the crowds still like them.

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Guest Don Gillespie

Not trying to be a total dick here but after reading these two posts, I sat and laughed uncontrollably for about ten minutes. Have you ever seen any of George's videos? His display is a master's approach to synchronizing light to music. It's pure magic created by his genius. That's a conservative description of it. To suggest that his approach to sequencing would result in the lights not making sense, or just blinking... is the most hilarious thing I've read or seen in months!

You really live up to your username. You are quite a bit of fun.

Jeff

couldn't agree more with Jeff on this one I had the pleasure of meeting George in Clearwater in June and let me tell you about his display and how he does things, master piece is one word that comes to mind, the beat wizard is a great tool, and George's lights make a lot of sense, if you haven't watched his videos please do you could learn more from the videos than you can asking questions

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May I also add without offending anyone, If Georges display does not "make sense", then my dipslay has to be the dumbest thing people have ever seen, as far as I'm concerned, George is one the greatest sequencer's that I have seen. I am sure he has more talent in his little finger than I have in my whole body.

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At the risk of sounding like a broken record... it takes me about 15 seconds to find the beats for most songs. My secret is called the Beat Wizard. Follow the link in my sig and check out some of my videos and see what you think. Every song (except one) in my entire history has been done using the Beat Wizard. It ain't perfect, but the people watching the lights think it is.

As for getting too perfect, we're all our own worst critics. Once you realize how forgiving your audience is, your perspective will mellow.

Not trying to be a total dick here but after reading these two posts, I sat and laughed uncontrollably for about ten minutes. Have you ever seen any of George's videos? His display is a master's approach to synchronizing light to music. It's pure magic created by his genius. That's a conservative description of it. To suggest that his approach to sequencing would result in the lights not making sense, or just blinking... is the most hilarious thing I've read or seen in months!

You really live up to your username. You are quite a bit of fun.

Jeff

May I also add without offending anyone, If Georges display does not "make sense", then my dipslay has to be the dumbest thing people have ever seen, as far as I'm concerned, George is one the greatest sequencer's that I have seen. I am sure he has more talent in his little finger than I have in my whole body.

Ahh Jeff is right, multiquote is fun!

George has a display the rivals the best, if not the best in many categories. If he starts with beat wizard, I would assume he has an idea of what hes doing. Look at his display, the amount of play he gets on his website, views on youtube and so on. If Mr Simmons told me, or Jeff, or William, Pete, told me to start each sequence, load the song then punch myself in the throat to help see the beats better I would do it. The beat wizard does take some tinkering with some songs as in when and how to lay the actual marks down. From there you orgainze around those. I hope you are just missing the step where you sequence around the beats on your "beat" track to keep the lights and music N'Sync. <---- sorry had to do it.

Take a look at the best sequences out there, regardless it be Georges, Pets's, Kevin's (Cracker) as its hugely popular and now hes a vendor!, Richard Holdman, or my personal favorite show here Mike Coles "TinselTown", I would bet they all use the beat wizard to lay a starting track to follow. I wonder if Carson had a beat track?

Its a powerful tool but it doesnt create a sequence, it creates a starting point. Every tool in there has a purpose, you just have to figure out how it will benfit you. I started with the tapper wizard, till I was shown how to use the beat wizard. The tapper is now for lyrics or timing of musical notes.

Now on to the PM's to punch myself in the throat.

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I like what I saw with George's videos. Sure hope mine measure up but I know I can't be that extravegant this year...maybe more next year.

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George shared some of his "trade secrets" at the MN Mini last month, and even though I've been using LOR since 2003 I learned some cool tips. He definitely knows what he's doing.

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