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Using Tracks?


Tom B.
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How are you using Tracks in your sequences?

Do you separate your items ... like Mega or Z-Trees on to different tracks?

or

Do you separate musical parts ... i.e., trumpets vs. rythym section?

or

Do you have an alternate method?

Thanks

T.

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Glad you started this topic; I'm still trying to get my head around Tracks.

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P-E:

Okay, here's my current method on using Tracks (although I'm sure there are refinements to come).


  1. Create a Track with "All the Channels" in it.
  2. Lay down the basic beat of the song ... I used the tapper ... didn't trust the Beat Wizard or the VU Meter
  3. Name Track One - Basic Beat ...
  4. Then did refinements using Wave Form
  5. Also decided what parts of the display would generally follow the basic beat -- in my case, the Roof Line (4 channel chase)
  6. Then DUPLICATE that track ... name it Specialty Work #1
  7. Copy all previous timing from Track #1
  8. Now On Track #2 ... begin doing your specialty sequencing ... I tend to work on a specific part of the display at one time ... let's Say the Z-Tree (24 Channels - 3 colors/8 slices)
  9. Add Events as necessary
  10. At this point I will determine as to whether I should remove "Extraneous Events" or Start work on a Different section of the display ... on the same track.
  11. This decision may be based on whether the timing on Track #2 is useful in another area.
  12. This may also be where a track may only encompass a few seconds of the show
  13. I'll keep you posted.

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Trust the beat wizard luke....

I had started a sequence yesterday AM and put about 2 hours into it, getting the beat down, and a few tracks.

I upgraded, then started from scratch for the same sequence, using the beat wizard.

Seriously, it felt like it magically captured the beat. Got further in 1/2 hour than the originaly two.

Obvisouly, it can't possibly capture everything, but it's left me with good feelings :)

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How do tracks work with the animation view? It looks like each track would have to be painted separately in the animation view. Is that correct? If so, it kind of renders using tracks and viewing animations problematic for things like multi-color megatrees, which we already have to "stripe" because you can't have two colors on the same spot on the animation grid...

Am I missing something? I haven't really played with tracks much yet.

-Tim

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Tracks and the animation:

There is still a single animation per sequence.

You can draw in it using channels from any or all of the tracks.

You can still only assign a single channel per cell. The drawing is not layered per track; whatever channel is associated with a cell is what will always show up for that cell, no matter what track (or tracks) it is in.

The "Drawing" section's channel dropdown list shows all channels from all tracks. If a channel is duplicated into more than one track, it will be listed separately for each track it's in, although the effect of drawing with any particular copy of it will be exactly the same.

We probably should change it so that there are two dropdown boxes instead of one: "Track" and "Channel", with the latter populated only with the channels in the selected track. Of course, you'll still be able to select (and draw with) channels from multiple tracks in the same animation.

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Ah, that makes sense. I think it's doing what I would want it to then. I'll have to experiment...

Thanks!

-Tim

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Update:

Current feeling about tracks:


  • It will be much like using multiple spreadsheets in a Excel Workbook ... with common data through-out.
  • I also feel the skill at using them will grow (like most skills) with use.
  • At present, I'm working with Duplicates, then removing channels that will not be used with a specific set of events. I'd have to say though, it is pretty clunky for me to do this at the moment ... and I'm hoping that inspiration and shear practice will make it more natural to decide when to add a track.


It would be nice to be able to remove several Tracks, or copy several Track at one time ... but, once again, this may not be much of a concern once I figure out the extent of the track feature.

T.

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Now I'm confused -- what Bob and Jeff say seems to contradict one another.

So let me ask again: Is there a way to do the following:

Lets assume I have a channel on my mega-tree-- let's call it Channel 1. Channel 1 appears in several tracks, because I sometimes want it blinking to the beat, I sometimes want it doing very fast, .05 second chases, and I sometimes want it pulsing to the vocals.

Is there a way I can paint "channel 1" in the animation view, so that it will "light up" no matter which track causes it to light up?

That was the essence of my original question...

-Tim

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Tim Fischer wrote:

Is there a way I can paint "channel 1" in the animation view, so that it will "light up" no matter which track causes it to light up?

There really is no such thing as "which track causes it to light up". It's the same channel in all tracks - really the same. It only has one set of effects, no matter how many tracks it's in.

You can have used different tracks to have inserted effects into it, based on the different timings in the different tracks, but there's only that one solitary channel, no matter how many tracks it's in. So, you see all of the effects that you added via all of the tracks in every view of the channel, no matter what track you're looking at.

This is actually a very important point regarding tracks: To get them to work properly, make sure that you copy channels to different tracks (or duplicate tracks). Do not simply set two different channels in two different tracks to have the same physical characteristics (such as unit ID and circuit ID). Doing that will cause the two different channels to compete for control over the same physical circuit, and probably won't have the result that you're hoping for. It would be as if (in LOR I) you played two sequences simultaneously, and both of them were trying to control the same string of lights.

Please let me know if this is not clear, or does not answer your question.

Thanks.
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It might be clearer if you try it out with a little sequence:

Create a new animation, with a single channel, 1/4 second timings.

Duplicate it to a new track, using 1/10 second timings.

Using the first track, turn on 1.00 - 1.25. You will see that this time range is simultaneously turned on in the second track as well, even though the second track doesn't have any timings lining up with 1.25.

Using the second track, turn off 1.10 - 1.20. Again, this will also take effect in the first track, even though the first track doesn't have any timings at either of those times.

Open the animator, and draw something. Click play.

The thing that you draw should light up at 1.00, turn off at 1.10, turn back on at 1.20, and turn back off at 1.25.

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Tim,

From my limited exposure. You would draw the channel in your example in the animation window just like you always did. I know that if you have a channel defined in multiple tracks it will list in the animation window setup one time. My wife is using track such as Track one she ran the beat wizard and working with timng marks created by the wizard. Track two she ran the VU wizard and copied channels into track two that she wishs to use there.

Basically, reading Bob's comments that is what he was saying.

Chuck

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If I understand this correctly, all the tracks are being 'played' simultaneously? Kind of like an orchestra...every instrument in the orchestra has sheet music to the same song, but different notes may be played simultaneously throughout the song to makeup the final song. At other times they may play in unison.

You've just created a way to breakup the large displays into smaller sections, right? It sounds pretty awesome to me.

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OK I have been playing with tracks too.... Warning be sure to follow the directions on how to "Copy" channels to multiple tracks... If you are not careful you will have a mess on your hands.

So far the best use of tracks for me is the ability to have multiple beats in a song... If you listen there are lots of rythmes in a song.... Like doing Row Row your boat in school... Each person is their own "Track"... In the past it was hard to keep up with these... Now Track 1 is all my channels at a basic say 1 tenth beats... Track 2 is the drum beat... Then track 3 is say a trumpit's beat....

Also I have setup 3 tracks with the VU meter.... One focuses on getting the low volume stuff.... Track 2 the mids and track 3 the high volume beats.... You now have high mid and lows to work with....

Just my 2 cents worth...

Mel

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When you are playing the sequence and watching the animation (checking for errors), is there anyway that you can set it to only play certain tracks? (Just when you are working on a song.)

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Thanks again. I really haven't had time to play with this yet -- My concentration right now is getting the display up. I'll be hitting the sequencing very hard later this week, partially in LOR II.

-Tim

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I haven't tried it yet, but I see one simple but valuable use for tracks.. I am working on a set of 8 four color (red, green, blue, clear) mini trees. In theory, it looks like I can have one track that has the 32 channels ordered by tree, then color, another track that is by color then by tree, and other tracks are by tree, but only contain pairs of colors as desired... I could also create a track laid out with the tree order as 1,5,2,6,3,7,4,8, or 1,8,2,7,3,6,4,5, where the first one would be great for sequencing with the left half being a copy of the right half, and the second layout for having the left and right half mirror each other..

- Kevin

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Hi All,

Robin: Okay, it is 6:18am as I start the day (devoted to sequencing) ... and I read your last comment ... and now I'm grinning (even chuckled outloud).

As for the Tracks:


  • I have a feeling that each song will generate it own set of needs for Tracks
  • One song, which I will start today, has several layers of singing that I want to sync to. This I "think" will be facilitated by using different Tracks, and then using the Tapper to "tap out" the events for each layer of words.
  • Last night, though, I did add a track specifically to remove my regular beats and add a whole bunch of 1/10ths to a small segment. If I had done this using LORI, I would have needed to all the programming that had been done on the channels that were not going to use the 1/10ths. This time, only one track has been adjusted.


Happy sequencing,

T.

PS: Show is up and ready ... aside from some things that I want to put out only on the last day. (I'm tired and soar a little, but glad it is done.)

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Hopefully someone who has been playing with this for a while will see this question and reply...

How does export import of channel configuration work when using tracks? I have more then 200 channels and keeping them consistent with all my sequences is critical to me. So my concern is that I would need to keep the tracks consistent across all my sequences to still use the import and export feature correctly.

I.e. If I want to use a track for my mini trees in a certain order in one sequence and a different order in another sequence will the export/import break my channel assigments?

I suppose the work around is to have the same tracks in all of my sequences but that seems like it could bloat rather quickly (i.e. 4 different versions of my mini tree tracks in all sequences). Any thoughts or input would be greatly appreciated.

Thank You,

Frank

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pHar wrote:

Hopefully someone who has been playing with this for a while will see this question and reply...

How does export import of channel configuration work when using tracks? I have more then 200 channels and keeping them consistent with all my sequences is critical to me. So my concern is that I would need to keep the tracks consistent across all my sequences to still use the import and export feature correctly.

I.e. If I want to use a track for my mini trees in a certain order in one sequence and a different order in another sequence will the export/import break my channel assigments?

I suppose the work around is to have the same tracks in all of my sequences but that seems like it could bloat rather quickly (i.e. 4 different versions of my mini tree tracks in all sequences). Any thoughts or input would be greatly appreciated.

Thank You,

Frank



Frank,

I make my starting track with all my channels and import my channel config...



I then make a track of one new channel.. Create the beat using any of the many new tools. I then "Copy" my tree channels to this new track..... Be sure to read how to do this... Do not select a row and copy/paste...



You will see the mapping for the trees in all the track windows you have copied the tree channels too... If you make a change in a tree channel it is reflected in the other locations (tracks) you have it in. So you now have 2 windows showing the trees.... I only have 32 channels so to me the tracks is mostly for keeping up with the different beats in a song....



For you instead of copying to the new tracks you may want to choose the "move" function. And use the tracks to organize your sequence....

I think if you start with your master channel track and move them from there you should be OK..... I just checked... If you import your channel configs into a sequence it is applied to the track at the top of the page. If you make for example 2 tracks with 16 channels and import the same channel config to each track I am unsure if you just screwed up or does the program see them as copies of each other??? I think it is a screw up....
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Wow, these tracks are fantastic! I love being able to split out the different parts. For example, I've got my mega tree in a track and I can define the beat to be different than other tracks. The only problem is knowing when to stop. So far, on one song, I've got about 7 tracks and I'm about 1/2 way through.

I'd really like to suggest that there be a way to view in the animation a single track that you are working on. In otherwords, be able to turn an entire track off or on.

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Ah the beauty of it. I had always found myself torn between setting timings on the beat (works best for percussion) and just setting 0.04 sec timings across the whole song (works best for voices). Now I can do both! For one track, I use the beat wizard and place all my percussion channels and for the another track, I use the 0.04 sec grid for the less beat-driven channels.

Also, when using the beat wizard, be sure to identify any time signature changes in your song and use the beat wizard separately for each section. I found the beat wizard is remarkable good, but not perfect.

Also, regarding the question of whether to wait to move to LORII? After checking it out I immediately moved all my sequences to LORII. I'll keep the LORI backups, but all new sequencing are done on II.

RO

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Melwelch,

You got me thinking so I made a couple of tracks and export the configuration. Opening up the exported file in a text editor I was able to see that the tracks are defined using a refrence to teh original channel in the master track so your approach is perfect.

So now I understand tracks very well. Unfortunatley the tracks are included in the import export functionality so you can not have different tracks in different sequences and move the channel configurations around at will. You will overwrite teh track configurations in the sequence you import to.

However; given the XML layout you could conceivably cut and paste the main body (the section between and at the bregining of the file) of the XML between exported channel configurations for each sequence. This way you do not overwrite the track configurations in eachsequence but you can keep your channels in sync.

NOTE: I AM NOT AN LOR DEVELOPER SO TRY THIS AT YOUR OWN RISK! back-up, back-up, back-up...

Frank

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Update -- Channel Usage:

I'm finding that I am making different channels to support specialized beats within the music.

Example:


  1. Track #1: The basic beat ... all the way through. Includes all Channels
  2. Track #2: Trumpet Line from current song, also includes all channels (duplicated first Track) ... essentially this is being used when I have elaborate sections in the music I want to follow precisely, with the confusion from other "events" or "beats"
  3. Track #3: Minute events in some sections ... this allows for chasing. i.e., for mini-trees. Again, duplicated track #1. But then in certain sections I divided some of the events from the basic beat into 4ths. This still kept to the music (4/4 time song) ... but allowed for finer sequencing.


Now, I find that I just back and forth between Tracks while sequencing the same item (i.e., the Z-Tree) depending upon when I need or want to mimic the timing I used earlier.

I know that may sound confusing ... but it seems to be speeding the sequencing.

T.

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