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RalphEachus@aol.com

Advise on next LOR Purchase

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Any help/Advise would be most appreciated.  I am newly "infected" and purchased a LOR 1602 starter unit about 2 years ago.  Not surprisingly, I am ready for a second controller and have gotten a bit lost on deciding on which to choose.  A bit about my situation... I am in Florida (So lots of sun/heat and rain..luckily no snow to deal with). I have a single story house that LOR does a great job but I am looking at adding maybe arches or singing trees/pumpkins this year.  I have a pretty clear out of the way path to run the connector cable.

Any thoughts on which unit would be best to use as a slave?  I want maximum abilities obviously and I can see adding a third unit in the next year or two.

(I prefer to get new from the site...sadly I seem to have missed the sale.  Or do you think buying used is safe?)

Additionally, the basic software that came with the package does not seem to have the feature to create my own show to a MP3 that I pick.

I know you can have it load the song and then you go tweak the lights as desired.  so.. second question..

Which software do you recommend for this?  

 

Any help/advise input would be VERY much appreciated.

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Posted (edited)

Since I have a bunch of singing faces and produce the singing face sequences, I am biased and say the community loves the singing faces. No other prop matrix, ccr tree gets the attention as the singing faces.

You don't say what version of software you purchased, if you could fill out your profile.

S4 is what I use but if just starting out perhaps the Beta S5 would be something to delve into just to prevent a learning curve later on.

One thing to consider is, singing faces will eat up your controller channels. One face will take 7-8 channels depending on if you use an outline. That means to have 4 singing faces you would need 2 - 16 channel controllers.

CTB16's would be my suggestion for regular incandescent and LED lights. (ease of use) you can use your computer to run your show.

You can sequence to any mp3 so I am not sure by your statement "the basic software that came with the package does not seem to have the feature to create my own show to a MP3 that I pick. "

Buy new when possible. There will be another sale end of summer, in the meantime you can learn how to sequence". Time is running out though.

No matter what your decision there are a few of us that share our work. As indicated above I produce and share (for free) singing face sequences.

I am sure you will get a lot of different answers because we all do things a different way.

Best of luck

JR

 

*** Edit*** If you decide to start out with S4 I can assist you getting things set up as far as sequencing and some tips. 

Edited by dibblejr

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Posted (edited)

Thanks JR.

I purchased the pro series 16 package that comes with basic software.

This one... http://store.lightorama.com/ba16chpa.html

You are correct.  I DO like the faces and I understand they eat up channels so while I am planning on one additional box...I see more in the future.

I am using all LED lights in my display except for a few of the blow molds that I have not converted to LED as yet.

I was thinking about experimenting trying to use chloroplast and spelling out words too.

The software I believe is superstar sequencer. I found some videos on it and there is a "tab" for it In my software but I can't use it.  I imagine because it's the basic software version.  

The example they just loaded the song and it filled in the blocks for the high/low etc.  You had a basic frame work to then tweak it to your display. 

License Status

Summary

Your license covers the latest version, 5.0.*. There is no reason to renew your license at this time.

Details

LOR Feature Level: Basic
SuperStar Feature Level: Demo
Max Version: 5.0.*

Just wondering if it is worth the upgrade or there is a better program to use out there.  I tried to sequence one song myself from scratch and 30 second of the song and 5 hours later I decided it was a lost cause.

 

 

Edited by RalphEachus@aol.com

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A Basic license only allows you to use two Unit ID's so essentially two basic controllers. I would highly recommend an Advanced license at the minimum for any LOR user, this allows unlimited controllers.

You can compare license levels and what they allow you to do here:

http://www1.lightorama.com/sequencing-suite-levels/

SuperStar is a seperate program which you must purchase seperately.

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I agree with what's been said.  Upgrade to advanced to get all the tools, especially the beat wizard.  There is definitely a learning curve to sequencing and it will go faster.  Best to get some shared sequences and see how others do it to learn tricks.  Funny, 5 hours for 30 seconds sounds about right but then I have about 300 channels.

The CTB16PC's are probably best for you at this point.

If you are looking at doing coro, Marty Slack has a great how to on his website.  www.christmasutah.com

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Posted (edited)

Have purchased used and used equipment can last you for many years, when I started my very first controller was a used CTB16PC, worked for me for many years and then sold it, still going strong after 3+ years of use and it had been used for numerous years outside in the Florida sun, rain and heat before I got it.  I'm in Florida the Orlando area.  And as I started programming lights, before I even got past my first year, I had to upgrade to Advanced License, why?  Because I ended up with 5 controllers and an DC-MP3 Director unit to run my shows.  I couldn't do with less, and even then I had to double up on some lights and other criteria in my display.

 

Currently I'm still using an older version of the LOR suite, but hoping to upgrade to the newest version and highest level before the end of this year if things go well.

 

But currently what I have serves my purpose, but hoping to add quite a few RGB CCB's/CCP's within the next month or so and these I will be buying used.   So far used equipment has been very reliable that I've purchased, sometimes I buy new if and when I can, but sometimes you can get really good deals on used LOR equipment.   Just make sure the seller has been around the forums for awhile.  If less than a year, it may or may not be a good deal, just ask if anyone has ever bought from them and how the transaction went, if they checks out others have purchased and had no issues, you should be good to go with the purchase.

Best of luck to you in the crazy, addictive hobby of ours.

 

p.s. forgot to mention, JR says singing faces are channel eaters, well, Arches are also channel hogs, I have 4 coro arches I bought when I first got into this hobby, but the company no longer makes them, and mine are set for 3 channels each arch, so that equals 12 channels on one controller for my particular set up.   Larger arches made from PVC usually take even more channels than that, depending on how you set the light strands up on those types.

 

Edited by Orville

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Posted (edited)

Ive been decorating for 25 years but I'm on my third year with Lor software and controllers. I have the advanced license. Started with 16 channel controller the first year with basic plus software. But quickly upgraded my license level. Last year I Moved up to 4 of the 16 channel controllers with 3 on my display and the 4th on the neighbor's house using the wireless easy light linkers. This year I am building a singing snowman, shooting / exploding stars on a pole (4 channels up pole and 3 on the star) and adding a total of 3 cmb24's that I built as well as the plug and show 8 RGB flood light kit. It is definitely an addiction. I am planning to get into pixels next year. One step at a time for me. But the journey is worth it to me. I learn something new every week here. Just don't have the budget to go crazy. Took me four years to finalize my upgrade to all LED light. But I'm glad that I did. No more tripping the breakers or overheated wires. We've got just over 50,000 lights total.

 

By the way my first year a 4 minute song took me a week to create. You can always take as much or as little time as you want on your sequences but the more you do them the faster you will get. I like to take my time and sometimes can do two in a day but some songs I will intentionally take a week on so I can make sure I make them the way I want them. I'm not as good as many of the others who sequence but some of my stuff turns out the way I want it to which to me is better than some of the others. But sequencing is more of personal preference.... Best advice I can give is  don't rush... Just take take your time and make them how you want them. More involved things take a little longer but when you see it in the end and the families who see it smiling faces will make it all worth it. There are a lot of people on here that share sequences and you can copy and paste certain things from thiers and build off of it to fit your display.

Edited by GriswoldStyle

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When I first started a couple of years ago I started with the advanced license. I knew my controllers would reproduce like rabbits so I did not want to be limited. As far as sequencing goes, I spend on average 15 to 18 hours per song. I feel the sequence should show some artistic ability. Unless you run a commercial display the CTB16PC residential controllers are all you need. I try to add a new element  each year and at least 2 to 3 new songs. Keep your display enjoyable to you. If it becomes more like a job than a hobby then it is time to take a break one season and bring back the joy. Welcome to the insanity, addiction, or hobby.

Tom

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I'm going to start by echoing what the others have said, make the jump to either Advanced (recommended) or Pro license level.  If you don't need the added features now, you will some day - even if to just try it out.

You mentioned SuperStar in an earlier post.  So I'm going to go into that and Pixel Editor a bit.  SuperStar is an extra cost add on to the LOR programming suite, although it installs along with the rest of the S4 suite.  You can do anything you want with the SuperStar software without buying a license for it EXCEPT export your sequence to Sequence Editor (which means you can't control lights without buying a SuperStar license).  Licenses are based on the number of channels, so you can start small and work up as the number of channels increases.  Currently I have a 12,000 channel SuperStar license.  For your 32 or 48 channels, there is likely very little reason to use SuperStar.  In my case, my first Christmas show was almost 1900 channels - centered around a 12 x 50 pixel tree.  I have used SuperStar essentially exclusively ever since 2012.  Personally I love SuperStar.  It does have a learning curve, but once learned, it is very powerful.

Pixel Editor is an integral part of the LOR software suite, but requires a Pro level license to use it.  For all practical purposes, unless you are sequencing a matrix of some variety, Pixel Editor has little or no benefit.

A note about S5 (currently in Beta).  The descriptions I gave above refer to the S4 programming suite.  With S5, there are a couple changes.  In S5, you must have a SuperStar license to use SuperStar when using SuperStar by way of the S5 Sequencer, however if you directly open SuperStar, the same license requirement exists as in S4.  Also in S5, Pixel Editor is no longer a separate program, but built into the S5 Sequencer.  It does still require a Pro level license to use it.

 

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2 hours ago, k6ccc said:

I'm going to start by echoing what the others have said, make the jump to either Advanced (recommended) or Pro license level.  If you don't need the added features now, you will some day - even if to just try it out.

You mentioned SuperStar in an earlier post.  So I'm going to go into that and Pixel Editor a bit.  SuperStar is an extra cost add on to the LOR programming suite, although it installs along with the rest of the S4 suite.  You can do anything you want with the SuperStar software without buying a license for it EXCEPT export your sequence to Sequence Editor (which means you can't control lights without buying a SuperStar license).  Licenses are based on the number of channels, so you can start small and work up as the number of channels increases.  Currently I have a 12,000 channel SuperStar license.  For your 32 or 48 channels, there is likely very little reason to use SuperStar.  In my case, my first Christmas show was almost 1900 channels - centered around a 12 x 50 pixel tree.  I have used SuperStar essentially exclusively ever since 2012.  Personally I love SuperStar.  It does have a learning curve, but once learned, it is very powerful.

Pixel Editor is an integral part of the LOR software suite, but requires a Pro level license to use it.  For all practical purposes, unless you are sequencing a matrix of some variety, Pixel Editor has little or no benefit.

A note about S5 (currently in Beta).  The descriptions I gave above refer to the S4 programming suite.  With S5, there are a couple changes.  In S5, you must have a SuperStar license to use SuperStar when using SuperStar by way of the S5 Sequencer, however if you directly open SuperStar, the same license requirement exists as in S4.  Also in S5, Pixel Editor is no longer a separate program, but built into the S5 Sequencer.  It does still require a Pro level license to use it.

 

Jim,   Since I'm starting to get into RGB now,  I'm very curious to know what's the difference between the LOR Pixel Editor and Superstar?  

I've looked at the SuperStar software and have a slight idea what it does and can do, but don't have a license for it, so haven't really done much with it.  

I thought the LOR Pixel Editor would be something similar or at least very close to what the SuperStar software does.  

Since I'm still using an older version, 3.8.2 of LOR software suite, my version doesn't have the Pixel Editor, but when I upgrade, of which I hope I'll be able to do within the next month or so, I plan on getting the Pro license level.   And since I don't have the Pixel Editor I haven't seen or been able to play around with it {I presume it's like SuperStar and has a demo option in the newer LOR Software Suite, that is, until you get the license that supports it to make it fully functional?}. 

So I'd like to know more about what the LOR Pixel Editor is actually best used for,  as well as does it have any features that are anything similar or close to what SuperStar has or can do?

Thanks for any help/info on the comparison of the two and which would be better to use.{probably user preference, depending on how similar these two programs are?}

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What controllers to buy will largely depend on the types of lights you use for singing face/tress. 

 

3/8" rope light which many use that provide for smooth lines, comes in 120v incadescent and led versions.   So a CTB16 would be an option.   120v mini, m5 and m6 led strings could be used on this controller. 

 

The 12V CMB24d could be used for single color or dumb 12mm nodes and rectangle modules.  For single color (not rgb), a cmb24d would handle 24 cannels or 3 faces with a few left over channles. 

 

A few people are starting to use smart pixel 12mm  nodes for faces and this would require a pixel controller (ie sand devices, falcon, etc..) While this would provide a lot of flexibilty with  string segment colors, would advice not to get to color/flashy crazey with pixels for faces.  I'm planning on switching from rope to smart pixels for faces down the road but many b e be able to simplify connections and to go from warm whitge to daylight or coll white to better matter the rest of my led display.

 

Used ctp16's are getting to be a better used value as people upgrade to pixels.   Remember, now matter how need used quipment is, it's not warentied by LOR. 

 

Any other contgrollers such as cmb24d and pixel controllers, I would buy news.  They aren't as common and seem to be overprices, compared to new price. 

 

I have jack-o-lantgern type faces and also use them for Christmas with a few stocking hats added.   Another reason for switching to pixel nodes will be that I would uses a more generic type of faces and not so halloweeny. 

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Orville, I used the S4 Pixel Editor for my display last year and using S5 for this years display. I am happy with the effects you can get in S5.

I am running (6) AC 16pt controllers, (3) CMB24D's for dumb RGB, (1) Pixcon16 and (1) Pixie4.

I have never used Superstar, so I have do idea what it can do.

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34 minutes ago, Vince4xmas said:

Orville, I used the S4 Pixel Editor for my display last year and using S5 for this years display. I am happy with the effects you can get in S5.

I am running (6) AC 16pt controllers, (3) CMB24D's for dumb RGB, (1) Pixcon16 and (1) Pixie4.

I have never used Superstar, so I have do idea what it can do.

Thanks Vince. 

Hoping to upgrade to S5, PRO license by end of July or early August if all goes as planned.  

If the member on here still has all the LOR CCD RGB items, in July, those are going to be my first purchase before the software upgrade, as I can use them in my current LOR suite, but do want to upgrade to the newer RGB LOR software suite as soon as I can do so.  I have one CCD device of 2 strands of 50 bulbs{100 RGB pixels} I've been sequencing and that is thanks to dibblejr, and that definitely sold me on taking all the others the other member has to offer for sale on here. 

Just have to get the funds for them, and with a little more good fortune, I should be able to get everything about the 2nd or 3rd week of July.  Already told them I'd take all the RGB CCD items, but if someone offered before I can get the cash, they can go ahead and sell them.  Really hoping they'll still have them when I have the money, as I'd really love to add RGB lighting to my Christmas Display this year, that'd really make display stand out this year!

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Orville,

Note that I am using S4 terminology except as noted.  Both SuperStar and Pixel Editor are ways that make sequencing large number of pixels far easier.  For a truth in opinion statement - I love SuperStar and substantially dislike Pixel Editor.

SuperStar makes it easy to sequence almost anything.  It will equally well sequence a large matrix right down to a single light.  There is a substantial level of control that you have with SuperStar.  If you can imagine it, you can do it with SuperStar.

Pixel Editor gives you a collection of effects that you can use on pixel arrays.  As the name implies, it is designed for large pixel arrays and is very limited on what it can do with single lights or strings.  Although there are lots of options for the collection of pre-canned effects, if you want to do something else, you are pretty much out of luck.  There was some talk about creating your own effects, I don't know if that has happened.  If it is, it would only be in S5.

Pixel Editor is likely easier to learn, but more limited in what you can do.  Note that when I first played with Pixel Editor several years ago during the S4 beta, I spent months trying to figure out the workflow process.  Maybe it's a right brain vs left brain issue, but I could create cool effects in the effects generator, but could not figure out how to apply the effect to a chunk of time - and no one could tell me in a way that made sense.  Finally did a remote session with Matt and sort of got it figured out.  It still seems backwards to me, but I can do it now.

Pixel Editor does take a Pro level license, which SuperStar does not (unless you use intensity files - I do), HOWEVER SuperStar requires a separate license, and the more channels, the more expensive it gets.  In my opinion, it's worth it.

A word about S5.  In S5, the Pixel Editor function is built into the S5 Sequencer as Motion effects (but does require a Pro license to use).  SuperStar is a little bit more integrated with the S5 Sequencer, but in my opinion, has a long way to go.  In the long run, it's likely going to force me to completely change the way I sequence going forward.  The change will cost me dozens or hundreds of hours of sequencing time.  For 2018, I am committed to using S5, but for the most part, I am just converting my S4 sequences and changing the number of pixels on my tree (going from 12 x 50 to 24 x 100 pixels).  I am replacing my two Tune To signs with a P10 and a P5 matrix that will be sequenced in Motion Efffects simply because of the channel counts.  As I said in an earlier post, I have a 12,000 channel SuperStar license, and the two matrixes are 18K and 36K channels.

Gotta run to a Doctor appointment...

 

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54 minutes ago, k6ccc said:

Orville,

Note that I am using S4 terminology except as noted.  Both SuperStar and Pixel Editor are ways that make sequencing large number of pixels far easier.  For a truth in opinion statement - I love SuperStar and substantially dislike Pixel Editor.

SuperStar makes it easy to sequence almost anything.  It will equally well sequence a large matrix right down to a single light.  There is a substantial level of control that you have with SuperStar.  If you can imagine it, you can do it with SuperStar.

Pixel Editor gives you a collection of effects that you can use on pixel arrays.  As the name implies, it is designed for large pixel arrays and is very limited on what it can do with single lights or strings.  Although there are lots of options for the collection of pre-canned effects, if you want to do something else, you are pretty much out of luck.  There was some talk about creating your own effects, I don't know if that has happened.  If it is, it would only be in S5.

Pixel Editor is likely easier to learn, but more limited in what you can do.  Note that when I first played with Pixel Editor several years ago during the S4 beta, I spent months trying to figure out the workflow process.  Maybe it's a right brain vs left brain issue, but I could create cool effects in the effects generator, but could not figure out how to apply the effect to a chunk of time - and no one could tell me in a way that made sense.  Finally did a remote session with Matt and sort of got it figured out.  It still seems backwards to me, but I can do it now.

Pixel Editor does take a Pro level license, which SuperStar does not (unless you use intensity files - I do), HOWEVER SuperStar requires a separate license, and the more channels, the more expensive it gets.  In my opinion, it's worth it.

A word about S5.  In S5, the Pixel Editor function is built into the S5 Sequencer as Motion effects (but does require a Pro license to use).  SuperStar is a little bit more integrated with the S5 Sequencer, but in my opinion, has a long way to go.  In the long run, it's likely going to force me to completely change the way I sequence going forward.  The change will cost me dozens or hundreds of hours of sequencing time.  For 2018, I am committed to using S5, but for the most part, I am just converting my S4 sequences and changing the number of pixels on my tree (going from 12 x 50 to 24 x 100 pixels).  I am replacing my two Tune To signs with a P10 and a P5 matrix that will be sequenced in Motion Efffects simply because of the channel counts.  As I said in an earlier post, I have a 12,000 channel SuperStar license, and the two matrixes are 18K and 36K channels.

Gotta run to a Doctor appointment...

 

Jim- hope all is well.

JR

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Yea JR, just routine toenail trimming and foot inspection.  As a diabetic, having a podiatrist trim your toenails and inspect your feet is a standard recommendation because foot problems are so common in diabetics.  Got a clean bill of foot health.

 

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10 minutes ago, k6ccc said:

Yea JR, just routine toenail trimming and foot inspection.  As a diabetic, having a podiatrist trim your toenails and inspect your feet is a standard recommendation because foot problems are so common in diabetics.  Got a clean bill of foot health.

 

I am there too. Luckily the VA does mine for free but it’s a drive.

JR

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