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Is there a way to slow these displays down?


Dave S
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 Thank you for the responses..Truely appreciated...And reaffirms my interest in LOR...And obviously any comments made are simply my own.

    But now I see that I can make a complex display that is soothing...But I also now appreciate even more the time,effort, and resources involved.

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I LOVE doing slow and beautiful. I have Andrea Boccelli singing White Christmas and Jackie Evancho doing Silent Night. Trouble is they are the least favorite selections among the people.

Ignorant unwashed masses LOL!

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  I guess that,s why I included the "my opinion" disclaimer...I will take the plunge soon...In the mean time I am reading,reading,reading.

    My main concern is my neighbors...I sure don,t want to torture them !!

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I do several songs that are slow or let's say, slower tempo for a more gentle display. I do "Believe" as heard in the video posted above and adding "Silent Night" this year. My slowest song is "Over the Rainbow" directly from the movie, Wizard of Oz and sung by Judy Garland. That was a difficult one as there is practically no beat. But, its a slow and easy song to listen too and watch. As stated already too, its all in the mind of the person doing the sequencing. I have a full range of songs going all the way to the one most all do, Wizards in Winter, which is very fast...but the grandkids and neighborhood kids love it! I try to "sequence to effect", if that makes any sense. I'm trying to conveigh a feeling rather than just blinking lights to anything and everything. I'm still just a beginner although this will be my second year and I'm constantly going back and tweaking the sequences to improve them plus adding more. Learning new effects, adding newer devices such as CCP's and so on, all come into play as you progress but it all comes back to what you wish to see, on your house.

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I don't think we need to use slow song as much as some need to consider sequencing less blinky flashy!  I think if you just converted some of these sequences so that the simple ON/OFF were now FADE UP or FADE DOWN, you would still keep the pop that people like to see but would make is look smoother and less anoying. 

 

The hole goal with going to computer controlled Christmas display is to CONTROL what the lights are doing, NOT immulate with a Mr. Christmas is doing after all.

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It's all about song selection, slower songs tend to lend themselves to long fades as stated above.  Most pop tunes require a bit of a "pop".  The great thing about this hobby is that it allows you to go whatever direction you choose.

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I love classic Christmas music, but I think it's harder to sequence slower songs. In addition, I've done this two years, and anything slow causes drive-offs every time. While the music is fine, people are there to see a light display, and slower songs just don't maintain a high level of interest for long.

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My nomination for post of the month!

The words of a master sequencer, in my opinion.   When I first started, it was all blinky,blinky.  Now four years later, I see the flow thing and am slowing down the blinks and going to a pattern and more fades.

  While some songs need the fast blinky think, have a mix of both.

 

     Holy crap!!  Did I just say George was a master???  I must now go back to slow fades and, nope, not going to say anything about my flow.  Off to sequencing land!

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I don't think we need to use slow song as much as some need to consider sequencing less blinky flashy! 

Guess I'm gonna look at my songs and see how 'blinky flashy' I am. Great comment though, puts things into perspective.

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My perfect idea of slow and smooth has still got to be George Simmons's   2012 Brian Damage/eclipse video....I know it's not Christmas  but wow it's smooth...IMO

Yes, George, like me, takes inanimate objects and makes them move with lights.  Yes this takes a lot of channels.  IMHO I do not like a display to have thousands of lights and 16 channels that blink like heck all over the place from one end of the property to the other where you need a warning about the use of strobes.  If all you have is 16 channels, build a 16 channel 1 color mega tree and add static light to other objects for now and add more as you grow over the years.

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Thanks for the kind words guys.   

 

It's worth noting that as your experience grows, as your display grows and as your prop count grows, it becomes increasingly easier to create a flow where all your elements work together, rather than everything doing it's own thing.  Smooth is another matter.  It depends a lot on your sequencing ability, and also just how you have your display set up.  For instance, if you have only one color scheme, and/or if you have only one color on the roof, or one string of lights up there, it's very difficult to do smooth when your options are mostly on/off.  I've found that one of the keys to "smooth", besides using fades often, is lateral motion.  Arches, mini trees and other types of chasing items that travel from side to side can go a long way toward accomplishing smooth.

 

I think what I respect the most are people who do such an amazing job with "only" 16 or 32 channels.  I wish I could do as good a job as some of those I've seen.  I had a client with 32 channels (actually 30 as he had a couple bad triacs - his own fault) who talked me into doing a couple sequences for him.  I've gotta say those are probably the two most difficult sequences I've ever done.  The client was happy with the results, but I never was.

 

Anyway, I had someone contact me asking for a link to the PF video Dusty recommended.  Vimeo seems to be having issues but I was able to find it and the link seems to work just fine.  Please let me know if it isn't.

 

https://vimeo.com/57293220

Edited by George Simmons
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Yes, George, like me, takes inanimate objects and makes them move with lights. Yes this takes a lot of channels. IMHO I do not like a display to have thousands of lights and 16 channels that blink like heck all over the place from one end of the property to the other where you need a warning about the use of strobes. If all you have is 16 channels, build a 16 channel 1 color mega tree and add static light to other objects for now and add more as you grow over the years.

Guess you would never like my display though I have 32 channels. Next year it will double. The sequences I have have the fades twinkle chase and shimmers which is what's on the sequencing editor, I mean, what else do they do? Don't have CCR's or any other of that fancy stuff so why do light show then have 90% of it be static? I have a rather large property where even when I had 18000 lights static it looked like 1000 lights. I could see your point on small houses, confined spaces, but spaced out and channeled properly I'm sure it wouldn't give anyone seizures. I know it would smooth out in years to come when we figure out how to do more, but I'm assuming you need all the fancy lights and stuff unless I'm missing something (which I could very well be).

Edited by mjdamico23
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