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Ted W

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Newbie with less than 3 months to go and stuck. I got $500 in Christmas lights from last years after Christmas sale, I bought 5 You build controllers, 3 are working, 2 need to be sent back to LOR, and the software. I have the controllers running the light sets, I can "tap" the rhythym, but what a hassle. Where do I go next, what "Manual" / Guide makes all this easier?



Need help please:shock:

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Welcome to the insanity Ted!
try using the beat wizard to create custom timing grids. you can have multiple grids and switch in and out of them at any time.
Also, have you downloaded any other people's sequences? A great way to start is to copy from others until you get the hang of it.

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This is my first year as well. My advice would be to simply keep playing with the sequencing software until it become second nature. As for timing out the beats, I usually will use the tapper at 1/2 speed and tap out any beats I want to sequence. I usually have a couple of "blank" channels that I use for the different beats in the song.

Although some people tap out the entire beat for a song before sequencing, I'm much too impatient for that and usually sequence a song in sections starting from the beginning to end.

Other pieces of advice I've learned on here:
1: make sure, if using an mp3, the bit rate is constant
2: Use copy and paste whenever you can. This is probably the single most important thing.
3: When sequencing, I almost always have the playback option set at "visible screen" Doing this helps you listen to the same small piece of music multiple times so you can make adjustments. (Another VERY important tip)

Other than than, just play around. You'll get the hang of it and will be surprised how quickly you'll end up being able to sequence songs.

NOTE: I don't use the beat wizard b/c I sequenced all of my songs prior to purchasing the software. Although some people apparently swear by the beat wizard, my experience is that the learning curve is steep in order to use it correctly.

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marsh28 wrote:

Although some people apparently swear by the beat wizard, my experience is that the learning curve is steep in order to use it correctly.

Sounds like my cue...

I'm one of those who swear by the Beat Wizard. (On a scale of 1-10 my Tapping skills are somewhere lower than zero.) I honestly don't understand the difficulties people have with it - it takes about 15 seconds to use it to place a timing mark for every beat in an entire average song. What I do with a new sequence is create freeform timing grid for the beat and then one for 2x, 3x, 4x, 6x, 7x, 8x, and 9x the beat. (I use all these for the various elements in my display.) This process takes about three minutes total and then I have all the timing grids I'll need.

I, too, recommend fooling around with the software until you know what everything does - ESPECIALLY the keyboard shortcuts. Knowing them, even just the half dozen or so most often used things - on, off, fade up, fade down, fill, twinkle, shimmer - will speed up your sequencing by a factor of about ten as compared to using just the mouse.
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Ted Workman wrote:

Newbie with less than 3 months to go and stuck. I got $500 in Christmas lights from last years after Christmas sale, I bought 5 You build controllers, 3 are working, 2 need to be sent back to LOR, and the software. I have the controllers running the light sets, I can "tap" the rhythym, but what a hassle. Where do I go next, what "Manual" / Guide makes all this easier?



Need help please:shock:


welcome Ted.newbie here as well. The guys have given you great info.My advice is to make a plan of what you want to do with the lights. I wanted to make all my new stuff more than one channel for more flexibility. For me it would have been hard to make arches mini trees and a mega tree while incorporating all my existing display. I decided to just make new props,so just mini trees arches and a mega tree will be controlled with lor. for me this made it simple to make a animation to watch in the visualizer and I am now 90 percent ready for showtime:D

one more thing just have fun,this is a fun hobby
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This is my second year and I am still not a pro at the software. Sequencing from scratch takes forever. I used other peoples sequences for the timings and then just move things around and add here or there to match my layout. I did all 8 of my songs last year myself, but am doing almost 20 this year. Only about half of those are originals by me. This includes updating last years sequences for the new channels and new items for this year. There are a lot of sites out there that have free sequences that you can download. Good luck and have fun!!

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George Simmons wrote:

I'm one of those who swear by the Beat Wizard.  (On a scale of 1-10 my Tapping skills are somewhere lower than zero.)  I honestly don't understand the difficulties people have with it - it takes about 15 seconds to use it to place a timing mark for every beat in an entire average song.  What I do with a new sequence is create freeform timing grid for the beat and then one for 2x, 3x, 4x, 6x, 7x, 8x, and 9x the beat.  (I use all these for the various elements in my display.)  This process takes about three minutes total and then I have all the timing grids I'll need.   

I, too, recommend fooling around with the software until you know what everything does - ESPECIALLY the keyboard shortcuts.  Knowing them, even just the half dozen or so most often used things - on, off, fade up, fade down, fill, twinkle, shimmer - will speed up your sequencing by a factor of about ten as compared to using just the mouse.


AGREE!! I started out this year manually entering in each and every timing mark for beats and it took FOREVER!!!
Once I got the hang of the beat wizard my sequences became much easier and faster! Even if you have to modify each timing mark ever so slightly, it seems to me to be WAY better! I also subdivided quite a few sections if I needed special effects (mega tree spins, arches, etc).....

Just plan on dedicating A LOT of time, and HAVE FUN!!!
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One personal observation of the Beat Wizard for you.

Songs that change time signature in the middle of a song (or more than once) tend to be harder for the Beat Wizard to work with.

Why? I don't know. Just something I've noticed over the years.

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imawlkr2 wrote:

Sequencing from scratch takes forever.

Here's what I do to make it faster.
  1. Start with a Christmas dance music (or House Music) song. Search for "Christmas Dance Party" on amazon.com or iTunes.
  2. Run the Beat Wizard. It works perfectly with the four-on-the-floor beat that is found in dance or disco music. Tell the Wizard to add a timing mark for every beat.
  3. Pick an element of the display to be the "Beat." Create a "Fade Down" event for that element on the first beat of the song.
  4. Copy this event, and then "Paste Multiple..." and paste to the end of the song. Make sure you use "Paste by Cell"

Congratulations! You have just finished the most important part of a "Dancing Christmas Lights" sequence. Now that you have the basic part done, copy that beat to a few other channels, turn it off during the beat dropouts, add fade ins and fade outs on other parts of the display that have "slower elements", etc.

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Don wrote:

One personal observation of the Beat Wizard for you.

Songs that change time signature in the middle of a song (or more than once) tend to be harder for the Beat Wizard to work with.

Why? I don't know. Just something I've noticed over the years.


If you know when the beat changes, you can tell the beat wizard to limit it's work to a section of the song with the same beat. It takes some work to pin down when the transitions happen, but after that you run the beat wizard once for each section of the song.
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Here is a tip I picked up at the "Jumpstart Traing Class". The Beat Wizard is more accurate if you use it on portions of the song. For instance, I listen to the the song and eyeball the intro section. It may be from 0 to :25.0 so I select that time signature and apply the Beat wizard to it. Once I have completed that section I move on to the next.
When the Beat Wizard window comes up, choose "Just Part of the Song" type in your start and stop times and hit update. Viola

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Steven wrote:

imawlkr2 wrote:
Sequencing from scratch takes forever.

Here's what I do to make it faster.

  1. Start with a Christmas dance music (or House Music) song. Search for "Christmas Dance Party" on amazon.com or iTunes.
  2. Run the Beat Wizard. It works perfectly with the four-on-the-floor beat that is found in dance or disco music. Tell the Wizard to add a timing mark for every beat.

  3. Pick an element of the display to be the "Beat." Create a "Fade Down" event for that element on the first beat of the song.
  4. Copy this event, and then "Paste Multiple..." and paste to the end of the song. Make sure you use "Paste by Cell"

Congratulations! You have just finished the most important part of a "Dancing Christmas Lights" sequence. Now that you have the basic part done, copy that beat to a few other channels, turn it off during the beat dropouts, add fade ins and fade outs on other parts of the display that have "slower elements", etc.

Steven thanks for th info The paste by cell to the end of the song is great.that will make vocals soo much easier
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Thanks, I am working on it. I do not understand how to get the lights ona tree to run in sequence, or reverse, but working it. Lot's of friendly help here from all of you

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