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Is it true?


swampman8
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This is gonna be my first year. I had a question about how to setup my lights. I have heard that you need to do everything in fours. I am planning on having four mini trees to start but some of my other displays may be in threes. I am starting with just a 16 channel controller. Thanks guys for your help.

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no...not true...

I do every element in four colors (Red, Green, Blue, White), but that is just my preference...

others do just Red, Green and White

Bottom line...you gotta do what YOU like and enjoy, because you are going to be looking and working with it 11-1/2 months out of the year...

at the very least... :P

just remember to have fun!!!

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jim is right have fun 2011 was my first year click on the link under my name check my videos let me know what ya think

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Welcome to the insantity!

16 channels does not mean you have 16 display items. It doesn't mean anything except you control 16 different circuits.

The best thing to do is draw out your house, draw out what you have and add what you want. After you decide what you have and where you want it start to think about what items you will control alone and what will be powered along with something else. something like every time you light up the bush under the dining room window, you also light up the deer under the tree.

The most important thing is to plan and ask questions.

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I'll pile on. 2011 was also my first year. Since I wanted to start smaller and limit my investment, I bought the channel count I could afford (translation: what my wife would let me buy). Then, I laid out my setup to take best advantage of those channels. And I stayed away from things like multiple colors (red, green, white, etc) on a single element so as not to use up too many of my precious channels. :)

For this year, the wife is totally bought in, so we're making a big leap from 64 channels to 208. Right now, have 199 drawn into the plan. I'm sure I can come up with another element to put me over the 200 mark.

Good luck. And most importantly, do wha you think looks good. If you like it, everyone else will too.

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A lot of the songs used for displays have a time signature of 4/4, I believe that's why folks tend to do display elements in 4's. Makes it a little easier to sequence.

On that note; my arches have 7 segments , fan has 7 segments, and 6 side lights on spiral tree. It would have been easier to sequence in multiples of 4, but that's the look I wanted.

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Brian Mitchell

With all the timing grids available now it really doesn't matter how many segments or items you have. You can still keep them all "on beat"
Once you get the basic beat with the beat wizard, you can subdivide each beat into 4, 5, 6, 7, or however many sections you want for your elements. And you can switch between timing grids easily.

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ainsworth wrote:

A lot of the songs used for displays have a time signature of 4/4, I believe that's why folks tend to do display elements in 4's. Makes it a little easier to sequence.

On that note; my arches have 7 segments , fan has 7 segments, and 6 side lights on spiral tree. It would have been easier to sequence in multiples of 4, but that's the look I wanted.


I agree with the above, especially if this is your first year. You may find it easier to keep things in beat if you are in multiples of 4. As others mentioned, it can be done with any number but depending on your skill level it is something to consider. Perhaps you can try doing a sequence that has 4 mini trees in it and three other items in it. See how easy it is for you to sequnce three items with the beat as compared to four.
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I prefer to keep elements in 4, 8 or 16. Makes sequencing to 4/4 time much easier.

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ainsworth wrote:

A lot of the songs used for displays have a time signature of 4/4.

It's a little less this year, but my display has always had a lot of thing is 3's. Some of that was because that's they way I bought it from the after Christmas sales (3 wireframe gift boxes, 3 mini trees on top of the van), then I started doing other things in 3's (Red, Green, Blue on the left, middle, and right bushes).

Sequencing songs in 4/4 with things in 3's is easy: Left, Middle, Right, Middle, repeat.

My mega arch has 9 segments.
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Linda McDonald

Interesting thread. I've always made all my display elements in odd numbers, probably because I know that it is standard to follow when arranging home decor accessories. Never gave a thought that most music has a time signature of 4/4.

I'm a much better home decorator than I am a LOR sequencer and know very little about music (I can't even carry a tune). But it makes so much sense now that I have always was short a beat before getting to the top of my firestick. I got around this by fading up and using the chase tool take the lights up the firestick.

I'll have to do some thinking about this before we start building our new display elements this summer. I just looked through my designs and every single one of them had an odd number of channels assigned to them.

Linda

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Glad to have you on board Swampman

I used 15 channels for each color in my spiral tree, that left me the last channel in the controller for the star. It looks great with any song beat. The chase button can split up any timing grid to fit your need.

I have found that the number of like elements matters most when you are using and modifying someone eases sequence. Lets ay you have 4 mini trees and the seq you are using has 6, then you have to get creative on over laying the extra 2 onto your now used 4. "Paste from Foreground" saves the day here.

If YOU smile when done then your count was right.

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I keep everything in groups of 4, 8, 16, 32. The big advantage I found doing that is each year you can change things up and not have to do a ton of re-sequencing.

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Linda McDonald wrote:

Interesting thread.
I'll have to do some thinking about this before we start building our new display elements this summer. I just looked through my designs and every single one of them had an odd number of channels assigned to them.

Linda


Linda - You might find it valuable to count beats in the music you regularly listen to for practise. Usually, every 16 beats, there is a change that may be identified with a drum flourish in popular music. Often this is a good time to make a change in your sequence such as color change or chase change.
I call a 16 beat peice of time a phrase. Popular music is usually configured like this:
Intro, Phrase, Phrase, Chorus, Phrase, Chorus, Phrase, Fade.
This may give you clues where to make sequence changes as well.
Hope this helps and isn't too confusing.
Russ
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ainsworth wrote:

A lot of the songs used for displays have a time signature of 4/4,

On the other hand, "Carol of the Bells", "Wish you a Merry Christmas", "What Child is This", and others have 3 beats per measure.
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Excellent point Steven. We wish you a merry Christmas changes verses every 24 beats

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Brian Mitchell wrote:

With all the timing grids available now it really doesn't matter how many segments or items you have. You can still keep them all "on beat"
Once you get the basic beat with the beat wizard, you can subdivide each beat into 4, 5, 6, 7, or however many sections you want for your elements. And you can switch between timing grids easily.


Being a musician for 34 years. This is correct. Chase works great. The difference now is do you want even or odd. The count has nothing to do with it anymore.
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To me, 4/4 time I choose 5 elements for it. Then the beat is always on 1 or 5, that might be the music person in me too. With that being said, I am adding 5 poles of 4 channels a piece, but then again this will be my 7th year doing this so it is a little easier once you do it a year or so. My first year I had 16 elements, 2 live trees, snowflakes, a row of 5 mini trees, row of 3 mini trees and icicles on the roof. It worked really well for me because the 5 in a row made sense to me and the 3 in a row works well too for songs like wizards and such. In the end though, it all depends on what you want to do. However, if you are only going to do 16 channels, I would not waste any on an item that has multiple channels on it, such as a 2 color mini tree, but that's just me.

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George Simmons

I have display elements that range from 2 to 24 channels. It used to be a PIA to sequence chases with some of them in some songs. I agree completely with Brian - now that multiple timing grids and the chase tool have been were invented it no longer matters how many elements there are. Make things the way YOU want them to look. And I'm on the side of having an odd number of elements on things like arches and poles. For me, I can do so much more than with having an even number.

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Linda McDonald wrote:

But it makes so much sense now that I have always was short a beat before getting to the top of my firestick. I got around this by fading up and using the chase tool take the lights up the firestick.

*hmmm...I guess I have never worried about that because if you put in timing beats per the beat wizard, Usually every timing mark is a beat...and if you have 7 segments in an arch, you just subdivide that timing mark by seven..and your arch matches the beat. If you have 5 segments, subdivide the timing mark by 5...and the fire-stick matches the beat...

I'll have to do some thinking about this before we start building our new display elements this summer. I just looked through my designs and every single one of them had an odd number of channels assigned to them.

Some of us think odd is better...especially for an arch because then you have a middle segment to either start from or end at if you want to change it up from just going from end to end...
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George Simmons

Uh, in the third sentence in the above post, immediately following the words "...chase tool have been" please ignore the word "were". That should not be there. Thank you.

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George Simmons

Uh, post #23 should read: in the third sentence of MY post above... Thank you.

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