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How to keep track of all your channels while sequencing?


Klayfish
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I'm encountering a new challenge as I continue to add channels and am seeking the wisdom of the group.  When I had 16 channels my first year, it was easy to keep track of all my channels in the S3 program as they all fit on one screen.  So when I played a section I could see all the channels working.  Last year I had 32.  A little harder, as I had to scroll down a little, but still managable.  You see where I'm going with this by now, I'm sure... B)   Now that I'm trying to program for 48 channels, I'm finding it really hard to manage them all. 

 

For example, I'm using the same songs I sequenced last year, just trying to incorporate my new channels into it and make it all work together.  Let's say I'm trying to see what channels 1-4 on controller 1 are doing in a given section of song.  That's the top of the screen.  If I want to coordinate channels 12-16 on controller 3 with it, that's the bottom of the screen.  Then maybe 7 seconds later I want to coordinate 4-7 on controller 1 with 9-11 on controller 3.  You get the picture.  How do you organize it so you can visually see what's going on?  Sure, I can...and do...highlight a section and then play it with the visualizer running.  That helps a lot, so I can really see what it looks like.  But I also like to see in S3 what channels are turning on/off, etc...so that I can get it all coordinated.

 

I hope I'm explaining it right, but I think you get the jist of it.  Those of you with lots of channels, how do you manage seeing what all the channels are doing?

Edited by Klayfish
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From what you describe to me, sounds like you want to watch all those channels at the same time, which what I do and may not be the best or easiest route is this, I will move the channels that I want to correlate with each other where I can see them on the screen at the same time {I have a channel config file for my sequences, but NOT the test sequence}.

 

So I move the channels around to bank them together that I want to verify are all working as I want them, I save this as TEST_{enter name of song} and save.

 

When I finish that area, I'll save it as above, i.e. TEST_GARGOYLES.lms

 

Now I'll bank the next set of channels so I can sequence or see that they are also correlated with other channels that may correlate with those items, then save it again with the same TEST_GARGOYLE.lms name.

 

Once I have completed the TEST_{song name}.lms file, I'll create a new musical sequence with my channel config for whatever I'm doing, example: 48_Channel_Halloween_2014.lcc, which would be imported into the new musical sequence.

 

Then I copy and paste from the TEST_{song name} sequence to the actual working sequence, as the TEST sequence has already been sequenced, verified everything is as I want it.

 

This is just the method that works best for me, I also use tracks, but when first creating a new sequence with 48 channels I will do the above and just copy and paste as said into the new sequence.

 

Too me, that's been the easiest way for me to see what channels are doing what if they are spread out in the channel config.

 

Hope this makes sense to you.   If not, send me a PM with any questions and I'll try to explain it in more detail if needed.

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There are 4 buttons on the file menu bar that look like double arrows. 2 facing each other and 2 facing away from each other. One set is for horizontal and the other is for vertical spacing of the grid. That and as mentioned above, Tracks and Groups. It's the only way to sequence in S3.

Edited by Ron Boyd
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Orv - if your method works for you, go for it.

 

But creating groups is just so much simpler and easier to work with.  I can't say for certain, but I'll bet one of the reasons groups were invented was so people didn't have to try all the kinds of convoluted confusion you recommended.

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My first track is my master track it has all the channels in it. Then I have separate tracks where I copied the channels to based on where they are in the display. It also gives me the ability to put them in different orders eg. My mini trees I can have them in tree order (mini tree 1 green mini tree 1 red mini tree 2 green etc....) then on a different track I have it set up where the colors are separate (mini tree 1 green mini 2 green etc...)

Edited by TitusCarnathan
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Orv - if your method works for you, go for it.

But creating groups is just so much simpler and easier to work with. I can't say for certain, but I'll bet one of the reasons groups were invented was so people didn't have to try all the kinds of convoluted confusion you recommended.

+1000 for using groups!! Edited by LightsinMaine
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I knew there was a really simple answer.  But since I've always only had a small number of channels, I've never needed to figure it out.  I'm happy to have this "problem" :lol: .  I'll have to play around with groups and tracks and find the best way to put it to use for me.  A follow up question on groups.  The groups "hide" all the channels, so when I play a section I can't really see if that group is chasing, spinning, fading, etc...  When you're trying to coordinate all your groups together, do you just unbundle the groups one at a time and play the section of song to see what that group is doing?  Or am I concerning myself too much with trying to coordinate all the channels??  I guess that's just a personal decision but if you've already got a song sequenced and then add new channels the following year, do you then try to coordinate them with everything you already have?  I think the word I'm looking for here is choreography.  When I had 16 channels, it was easy because they were only on 2 props.  Now that I'm going to have multiple props, how do you choreograph it all?  Or do you?  Some of the stuff I see you guys do blows my mind.

Edited by Klayfish
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Sounds to me like you are watching the SE to see if your channels are chasing , spinning or fading. You need to watch the Visualizer to see if the props are moving the way you want them and then make the adjustment in the SE.

Edited by EARLE W. TALLEY
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Sounds to me like you are watching the SE to see if your channels are chasing , spinning or fading. You need to watch the Visualizer to see if the props are moving the way you want them and then make the adjustment in the SE.

 

Earle,

Actually a majority of time, I do use the Visualizer.  But the reason I posted this is sometimes as a "quick and dirty" view I'll use SE.  One of these years I should find a way to set up multiple screens for my computer, but using my laptop I have only one screen.  It's a pain to toggle back and forth quickly between SE and Visualizer.  So sometimes I'll just get the jist of it in SE.

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A follow up question on groups.  The groups "hide" all the channels, so when I play a section I can't really see if that group is chasing, spinning, fading, etc...  When you're trying to coordinate all your groups together, do you just unbundle the groups one at a time and play the section of song to see what that group is doing?  Or am I concerning myself too much with trying to coordinate all the channels??  I guess that's just a personal decision but if you've already got a song sequenced and then add new channels the following year, do you then try to coordinate them with everything you already have?  I think the word I'm looking for here is choreography.  When I had 16 channels, it was easy because they were only on 2 props.  Now that I'm going to have multiple props, how do you choreograph it all?  Or do you?  Some of the stuff I see you guys do blows my mind.

If you click on the + sign to the left of the group name it will expand the channels in that group. Like wise, if the group is expanded, clicking on the - sign will collapse the group.

I personally feel that choreography is one of the big differences (second only to nailing the timings) between watchable displays and non-watchable displays. IMO choreography is an absolute must for any serious display. Can you imagine how my display, for instance, would look if all the dozens of elements weren't choreographed? Some people can do it in their head. I can't. I need to watch the visualizer (or the animation tool - whichever you use) to sequence and to insure that everything does indeed work together. There are some things that all the "mindblowing" displays share in common and choreographing everything to work together is definitely one of those things.

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Also in Visualizer, "options", you can check the "enable" box under the "com/ref" tab so that it will always force visualizer to the front when you play a sequence or portion thereof.  so if you have visualizer in simulation mode and are working in SE, when you play, visualizer window will automatically pop up. I re-size the visualizer window so that when it pops up it overlays the SE window and I can at least see both, the few channels I am working on in SE and actually what the lights are doing in visualizer

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My way is in no way shape or form either "convoluted" or "confusing", the OP asked how folks did it, I gave my method.   No reason to get condescending about MY way of doing things.

 

Others can do what and how they want to do it, and I'll do it the way it has worked for me since I started in this hobby.  it works for me, I explained it as definitively as I could to make sense, and it does, again, nothing confusing or convoluted about it.  But seems some ALWAYS want to make any post I make detrimental or pointless.    But do as you will, I have helped a LOT of folks here and have gotten many PM's for helping them.   So all the naysayers can say what they want about me or my posts, there are a lot of folks on here that know differently.   And that's all I'm saying about that.

 

@scubado: I'll give you the answer about my avatar in a PM.  My avatar may just be far too "convoluted" & "confusing" to some around here to even understand or comprehend what it is, if I divulge what it is in the open forum.   So I'll let you in on it via PM.

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