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Did first display for 2015, here's my follow up


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I wanted to post a newb followup from my earlier posts.  So mid-November I purchased the basic starter package here with the intent to try my hand at some basic sequencing and putting lights on my tree inside.  I went with only using 5 channels as that was how many strings I already had.  I ran everything off my laptop, and used a little iPhone FM transmitter to broadcast on the home stereo.  Basically I wanted to put together a proof of concept for how things worked together with an eye toward a larger display in future.


I think it was a success!  I learned a lot; I ended up having 7 songs and hand sequenced 4 of them.  As I went through I learned to slow the song down which helped a lot.  I had mixed results with the beat wizard.  At the end I ran out of time so the last few songs I just did a basic VU meter "equalizer" effect.  


Here's a playlist I put together of videos of my presentation. It was a lot of fun:



After it all, my wife is actually on board with a bigger house-sized display for next year, complete with a larger FM transmitter that people can drive by and view.  


I also had some follow up questions:

* What about copyright or licensing for songs? Do people do that?  There were a couple of other local outdoor displays that seemed to have a less mainstream playlist.  I wondered if that was due to personal taste or if, since it is some sort of public "broadcast" there were rules or something?  I assumed that home displays, even ones on a limited FM broadcast fell under the radar somewhat.


* Quality of LED lights? Get them cheap at big box stores or something like HolidayLEDs.com?  I've been getting things there because way back when I started getting LED strings they didn't flicker like the ones I got at the store, but theirs are more expensive and I had a string on my tree this year where half the string died up to the transformer thing on it.  If I'm looking at getting a bunch more strings for next year, will the cheaper ones work ? What does everyone else do?  And do you get a number of spare strings or something in case one dies?


* Any tips for recording? I assumed that I wanted the room fully dark when I recorded, but that seemed to create some sort of seizure effect.  I think I got better quality when there was a little ambient light, and it's probably different when recording outdoor lights.  And it was on my cell phone.  But how do you usually record the light shows?


* Is there a small (8 channel?) controller for use indoors?  I'm game to put together an outdoor display, and the controller I got this year handles 16 channels.  But it was pretty cool having the indoor tree run a show, too; the kids loved it and kept wanting to "see the singing tree".  It'd be nice to do that again, but another 16-channel controller is overkill and expensive.  Is there a smaller one available that would be more appropriate or do I need to look into building my own?


All in all, a great experience and I'm looking forward to next year...probably gotta get started now!


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LOR sell a 4 channel controller. You could buy two for 8 channels, but I think that ends up costing more than the 16 channel.


You could only use 4 channels for your tree next year, or 4 channels and a DMX dimmer pack.

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Copyright or licensing of songs has been discussed on the forum here for a very long time.   Don't recall the actual thread header, but The Demented Elf checked into this and for what we do, no copyright or licensing should be needed.    If you google "music or song copyright or licensing rules", it should list some of the forum threads here where you can read a lot on this subject.   It's been covered to death here.

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I am in the UK so I should have a license. Also I shouldn't broadcast on FM either.

You shouldn't need to worry, I know that

If you were a public place such as a park, you would need one, and also have to be careful with religion. The other day I read a quote on the internet that read "who put all this Jesus stuff in my commercialism holiday?".

Lol. I hope they were joking.

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