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bdwillie

Discovered I Like Tracks!!

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WOW do they make this easier!  Upgraded my license so I could have more than two...  This IS so addictive!!  After looking at a few sequences that were graciously shared with me that had multiple tracks that I couldn't use with basic plus, I plunged forward with the advanced level figuring it wouldn't hurt for later expansion.  That added a whole new level of ease at least for me!  I have grouped all my channels into tracks and LOVE the fact you can "roll them up" so you can just deal with one section at a time.  I know I know,  all yall seasoned veterans are chuckling:P.  So excited I just had to share!  We cannot wait to see the yard flashing and twinkling!  Now back at it!

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10 minutes ago, bdwillie said:

WOW do they make this easier!  Upgraded my license so I could have more than two...  This IS so addictive!!  After looking at a few sequences that were graciously shared with me that had multiple tracks that I couldn't use with basic plus, I plunged forward with the advanced level figuring it wouldn't hurt for later expansion.  That added a whole new level of ease at least for me!  I have grouped all my channels into tracks and LOVE the fact you can "roll them up" so you can just deal with one section at a time.  I know I know,  all yall seasoned veterans are chuckling:P.  So excited I just had to share!  We cannot wait to see the yard flashing and twinkling!  Now back at it!

WOW! getting that excited over tracks. Wonder what happens when you discover RGB and pixels.  :D

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LOL  Easily amused I am,  and might be a season or two till rgb and pixels:lol:  too much excitement at one time could be too much of a shock to the system!

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2 hours ago, George Simmons said:

If you think Tracks are fun, wait until you discover Groups!  They make Tracks look primitive by comparison.

I have always thought of groups as lesser to tracks. Both ave different uses though.

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The last year that I was doing my sequencing in Sequence Editor (2014), I had 17 tracks, many groups, and groups within groups.  Both groups and tracks have their purpose.

I no longer use tracks or groups since I only have one channel used in Sequence Editor - everything else is in an intensity file from SuperStar.

 

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I've been using tracks to isolate and reverse channels on chases and such and they are soooooo great to have.  I've got some tracks where I have multiple arrangements (groups) of channels so when I cut and paste, I can choose which way I want the chases to go.  It's like having a programming Maserati.

When I go back to Excel spreadsheets after all my programming is done, it'll be like riding a bicycle....   =OP

This is my first attempt at doing a light show like this, but it's getting to be more fun than work!

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I first started using tracks because in 2008 groups didn't yet exist.  When groups came out, I had something like 22 tracks in my sequences, and it had become totally unwieldy to work with.  Moving two tracks side by side (so to speak) for sequencing was a tedious process.  And scrambling the channels by forgetting to return the tracks to their EXACT order before saving and/or importing/exporting a .lcc was a nightmare. 

Switching to a "master track" sequence structure and creating groups in a second track saved my sanity and caused an abrupt increase in my sequencing quality and speed. 

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I've been using them just to keep my pea brain from forgetting to reset my channel order....

I'm lighting a tree, so my tracks would probably be a bit different from the landscape type of setup.  Basically, the tree is set up with 'rungs' of lights; e.g., rung 1 (on the bottom) has 16 circuits of red, 16 circuits of green, and 16 circuits of white LED strings. The 2nd rung is only 16 circuits of white LED's.  3rd & 5th rung is 12 ckts of red, green, & white.  4th rung is 12 ckts of white, etc.  (the total tree is 40' high and 24' dia. at the base, and has 185 circuits).

My base track is just channel order, starting with controller 01, ch 1 through controller 0A, ch 9.  Track 2 is my rung order.  I grouped the channels together on a rung (click on the channel and simply drag it to where you'd like it to be in relation to the other channels) so I could access the channels easily in a group (like when I would like to 'chase' all the red LED's on a rung from left to right).

The 3rd track is by color order, so all the white LED's are together, all the red LED's are together, etc.  Then I have one track that just deals with the channels for the (5) 3-color "star ornaments" on the tree so I can concentrate on just those channels.

Tracks are just an organizational tool for me.  Not sure if I'm using them 'correctly', but this is the way I do use them.  Think of it as a filing cabinet where you have a different drawers of file folders and each drawer has the same information as the others, but the information is sorted differently so you can find the information easily no matter how you want to search for it.

What I did when I started was to take a new blank sequence and just 'played with it' and all the tool tabs to see what everything did.  Once you're somewhat comfortable with how to use the editor, then grab a sequence from someone, make a copy of it (you REALLY want to make a copy, just in case), and play around with it a bit, changing little things and seeing how this all fits together.

Hopefully this didn't confuse you.  I'm fairly new to this myself, but it was easy once I started doing it this way and it kept me sane during my 10 hour programming bouts...

YMMV and good luck!  But be careful; this stuff IS addictive!

Edited by keyboards

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I didn't discover tracts/groups until my 2nd year when the dispaly really started expanding.  Definiately times, at least for me, that groups are better than tracts and vice-versa and in realily, will use both in a sequence config.

 

I ahve 4 singing faces that are in a tract with each faces then in it's own group. Many of my other element follow the same concept.

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I use both Groups and Tracks.  Groups for keeping track of multiple channels on a prop (i.e. 8 channels of a candy cane spinner) and Tracks for the different areas of my yard (i.e. front, side, back, etc.).  George wrote an excellent post some time back that really details how to setup multiple Tracks utilizing a Master Track so that you can import updated channel configurations without it messing everything up.  On my second year, I ended up re-working all of my first year sequencing to use multiple Tracks (which was a little bit of a PITA but I didn't have that many sequences either) and it's worked great ever since. 

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