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Tracks whats the big deal?


Michael Bryant
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Michael Bryant

I have been trying to get a handle on what LOR2 Tracks are. Correct me if I'm wrong.
Tracks are the same as LOR1 Channels except Tracks, (another word for Channels)
can have different timings. If this is the case, why is everyone so wild about them?
I have always used timing of .02 for fast songs and .05 for slow songs and can hit the
beat marks just fine. Maybe someone could straighten me out.
Thanks Michael

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Michael, I am still learning all the uses for tracks, but here is the big thing about tracks for me. It allows you to group select channels together; this is especially useful if you are trying to sequence many channels. You could put all your mini trees on one track, all your shrubs and trees on a different track, a yard or roof grid into a track, etc. This way, when you try to sequence, you don't have to scroll through 200 or more channels trying to find one item. If you sequence by musical instrument, say the sound of the drum or bells, all the items that you want to control during that sound can be placed in a new track so that they are easily accessible in one place for you. I had 160 channels last year and the use of tracks to group items drastically reduced the amount of time it took to sequence the program. Don't think I would have finished in time if the tracks had not been available.

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Michael Bryant

Denny wrote:

Michael, I am still learning all the uses for tracks, but here is the big thing about tracks for me. It allows you to group select channels together; this is especially useful if you are trying to sequence many channels. You could put all your mini trees on one track, all your shrubs and trees on a different track, a yard or roof grid into a track, etc. This way, when you try to sequence, you don't have to scroll through 200 or more channels trying to find one item. If you sequence by musical instrument, say the sound of the drum or bells, all the items that you want to control during that sound can be placed in a new track so that they are easily accessible in one place for you. I had 160 channels last year and the use of tracks to group items drastically reduced the amount of time it took to sequence the program. Don't think I would have finished in time if the tracks had not been available.


Thanks Denny, but I still must be missing the point. I already have my mini trees grouped together with channels from LOR1, and for every track you still need a LOR box channel, so whats the difference if it's called a track or channel? I believe someone said there was a video tutorial coming out on Tracks, can't be to soon for me. I have read the LOR2 Help, and been sitting back reading what others are saying on the forum about tracks, but still have no clue. Maybe my light bulb will come on soon, I hope.

Thanks Michael
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Michael Bryant wrote:

Thanks Denny, but I still must be missing the point. I already have my mini trees grouped together with channels from LOR1, and for every track you still need a LOR box channel, so whats the difference if it's called a track or channel? I believe someone said there was a video tutorial coming out on Tracks, can't be to soon for me. I have read the LOR2 Help, and been sitting back reading what others are saying on the forum about tracks, but still have no clue. Maybe my light bulb will come on soon, I hope.

Thanks Michael


Tracks and Channels are two different animals. When you set up your sequence, you insert all the channels into that sequence. Now, during your sequencing, you decide for some reason that you want to view or work with only a specific group of channels, so you create a new track. Automatically, your original sequence (where you initially inserted all the channels) becomes Track 1 -- like a master with all your channels included. The new track that you created becomes Track 2. You now copy or insert only the channels from Track 1 (the master) into this new Track 2 that you want to work with. You can use this new Track 2 to do a subsequence, you can use timings that are different than those in the master track 1, etc. Whatever changes you make in either Track 1 or Track 2 are automatically entered into the other Track.

Maybe the easiest way to try to explain it is to say that a Track is a collection of channels, not another name for the individual channels. A Track allows you to work with a select number of channels for whatever reason. You can have the same channel assigned to as many Tracks as you want, i.e., Channel 1 can be assigned to Tracks 1, 2, 4, 8, etc.
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michael.farney

Here's the short answer: With all the new tools available in S2, your method has become outdated and very inefficient. (I can get away with saying that because 2006 and 2007 I used your exact method for all my sequences!) I can't recommend enough you use the tools of S2 to your advantage.

I will expand on this a little. One of the biggest advantages for me is the abilitiy to have different timing marks in different tracks. Let's use your example and say you have .05 timing throughout the entire piece. That's great -- and you can probably hit every beat just fine. Now, let's say you've just started this sequence and it's blank. How do you know where the beat marks are??? You don't. I presume you play visible screen and do the entire song by hand (hours of work.) So instead of all that work, you can have one track called beat track. If you set it up using the tapper or beat wizard, you now have every timing mark a beat. (If the beat is steady for the whole song and doesn't change, the beat wizard will insert your beat marks literally in less than a minute. No tapping, musical knowledge, or music ear needed.) So, you don't have to draw it in over a ton of 0.05 timing marks one beat at a time. Since every cell is now a beat in your track, you know exactly where the beats are without drawing them. You just saved the hours of drawing them by hand and have every beat in front of you--all this was accomplished in less than one minute using the beat wizard. Now that you have all the beats, spent another 5-10 minutes sequencing what you want your channels to do with these beats. So, you just finished ALL the beat sequencing for the entire song in 10-15 minutes. (How long does it take with 0.05 timing?)

Now say your song has a cool trumpet part you want to use. You can repeat the same process! You don't have keep playing visible screen and try to find the right 0.05 mark for each start and end. Just create a new track. Insert the timing marks by your favorite method, and now you have a track where each cell is a trumpet note. No need to spend hours finding every note by hand. Without drawing in any trumpet notes yet, you know exactly where each note is--because each cell is a note. Since the timing marks for the beat (track 1) aren't there, it's not confusing. Now say you have a 3rd and 4th element you're also working with -- make it tracks 3 and 4.

(OK, so this makes it sound perfect. It does take a little time to learn how to use the beat wizard and subdivide timings to the best advantage for your sequencing style. But once you do, you'll get the results above.)

The main advantage is you don't have to find any notes, beats, or anything like that if you setup the tracks correctly. On a blank sequence, if I asked you where the first beat was after the one minute mark, you'd have to scroll out, play the visible screen, and plot the beat. Then you'd play it again to make sure it's right, and make adjustments if necessary. If you used a track, you'd scroll out and click the first cell after the one minute mark. You've now turned on that channel for first beat after one minute. No visible screen, no finding by hand. With tracks, there's no more finding notes or beats - you just start sequencing. It really helps eliminate the worst and most tedious part of sequencing.

I used your method with LOR1 (works very well). It is just very inefficient compared to the tools we now have in S2.

Learn the beat wizard and subdivide timings. Learn them well!!! These two tools alone can hit every beat, every note, every time. The days of finding the notes yourself are gone.

Edit: Please note this is how I use tracks. Tracks are so versatile you can mold them into many different creative uses. Try it out, and start using them to your best advantage, however it may be.

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There has been a lot of talk about doing a Tracks Demo Video... Tim Fischer and I keep meaning to... really, we do...

In a nutshell, the way to think of tracks is as different timing grids.

You can have channels duplicated in many different tracks.

What I do is generally have 3 tracks for most songs all divided up by the beat wizard. One has the timing at the BPM of the song, the second has the timing at BPMx2 and the third is BPMx4.

I find those resolutions allow me to do almost everything I want.

Hopefully that made sense. Here's a quick screen shot of three tracks with .02 timings, BPM & BPMx2

tracks.jpg

Cheers,
Charlie

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I'm afraid I have to agree with Michael Bryant. I don't get it yet. I haven't seen the big advantage. My LOR I method was to use .02 timings across the whole sequence. I have all my channels imported with 20 "extra" channels at the top. These will be broken up to "beat", "cool Trumpet", "vocal" and so on.

Then I use the tapper wizard to play the whole song and tap out each of the instruments and place those timings on each of the "extra" channels above. This is the Marty Slack method I was taught years ago and is used by many.

Seems very similar to the way that Michael Farney says he does with LOR 2 and tracks. I just don't see how LOR 2 saves "hours and hours" of work.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not hating. I'm excited to get into LOR 2 and their are some new features that will be nice. I like having the abilty for different timings on the tracks. I like the spacebar play feature. But saving hours and hours? I still think I'm missing something...

J.

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Jeremy Wiles wrote:

I just don't see how LOR 2 saves "hours and hours" of work.

Have you tried it?

Remove the part about
Then I use the tapper wizard to play the whole song and tap out each of the instruments and place those timings on each of the "extra" channels above

That's the time savings. Maybe it's not "hours and hours" saved, but it sure is a lot.

Cheers,
Charlie
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Jeremy Wiles wrote:

I'm afraid I have to agree with Michael Bryant. I don't get it yet. I haven't seen the big advantage. My LOR I method was to use .02 timings across the whole sequence. I have all my channels imported with 20 "extra" channels at the top. These will be broken up to "beat", "cool Trumpet", "vocal" and so on.

Then I use the tapper wizard to play the whole song and tap out each of the instruments and place those timings on each of the "extra" channels above. This is the Marty Slack method I was taught years ago and is used by many.

I might not be understanding entirely, but if you're doing it the same way as you did in LOR I, then you're not "placing those timings on the extra channels".

You're likely placing effects on those extra channels - like you're saying "turn the Cool Trumpet channel on from 37.3 to 37.7". But you have a whole bunch of timings - 37.3, 37.32, 37.34, 37.36, ..., 37.68, 37.7. And all of these timings are on all of your channels.

I'm pointing out this difference between "effects" and "timings" not to pick a nit, but because it's an important distinction for what I'm about to describe.

Later, you want to make your lights on a real channel do something based on that cool trumpet. What do you do? I don't know, but I'm guessing you do something like scroll up to the top of the sequence, see that the "Cool Trumpet" is on from 37.3 to 37.7, scroll back down to the real channel, and make it fade up (or whatever) from 37.3 to 37.7.

With LOR II, you can instead do the following:

Make a track, entitled "Cool Trumpet". Use the Tapper Wizard (or whatever) just like you do today, but on that track, without previously giving it a whole bunch of 0.02 timings. That track winds up with a timing at 37.3 and a timing at 37.7, and that's it.

Now, when you want to do something in a channel based on that cool trumpet, you make sure that channel is in that track, and then just make that one cell from 37.3 to 37.7 fade up (or whatever).

No more scrolling around to see what timings correspond to the cool trumpet, because that track has exactly and only the timings that correspond to the cool trumpet.

For any one single change (e.g. turning on a channel from 37.3 to 37.7), this obviously isn't going to speed things up drastically. But over many changes, taken in aggregate, I think that it will.

I'm not sure how clear this explanation is, and I apologize if I misinterpreted your description of how you currently do it, but in any case, I hope this helps.
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bob wrote:

Jeremy Wiles wrote:
I'm afraid I have to agree with Michael Bryant. I don't get it yet. I haven't seen the big advantage. My LOR I method was to use .02 timings across the whole sequence. I have all my channels imported with 20 "extra" channels at the top. These will be broken up to "beat", "cool Trumpet", "vocal" and so on.

Then I use the tapper wizard to play the whole song and tap out each of the instruments and place those timings on each of the "extra" channels above. This is the Marty Slack method I was taught years ago and is used by many.

I might not be understanding entirely, but if you're doing it the same way as you did in LOR I, then you're not "placing those timings on the extra channels".

You're likely placing effects on those extra channels - like you're saying "turn the Cool Trumpet channel on from 37.3 to 37.7". But you have a whole bunch of timings - 37.3, 37.32, 37.34, 37.36, ..., 37.68, 37.7. And all of these timings are on all of your channels.

Later, you want to make your lights on a real channel do something based on that cool trumpet. What do you do? I don't know, but I'm guessing you do something like scroll up to the top of the sequence, see that the "Cool Trumpet" is on from 37.3 to 37.7, scroll back down to the real channel, and make it fade up (or whatever) from 37.3 to 37.7.



My bad. That is correct. I am placing effects on those channels. For a brief turn on, just so I can see the marks.

Using your example, if it's a cool trumpet from 37.3 to 38.7 then I usually want to do something with several channels. Like chase mini trees from one side to the other. Which is why in LOR 1 I have fixed grids, so that I can do that. If I only had those 2 timings I would only be able to do 2 effects during that time.

Your explination is good. And I appreciate your reply. I really need to spend more time with the software. Probably unfair for me to "speculate" on it saving or not saving me time. I need to just dig in. I can't quite wrap my head around it yet...

Thanks,

J.
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michael.farney

Jeremy Wiles wrote:

[snip]
Seems very similar to the way that Michael Farney says he does with LOR 2 and tracks. I just don't see how LOR 2 saves "hours and hours" of work.




Yup, you are exactly right. You won't see hours and hours and savings in your case, and you hold a very solid argument. The main track advantage for you would be having the timings for each instrument separated out per track. As Bob pointed out, you probably look at the trumpet timings in your trumpet channel or just copy and paste. The track eliminates the need for your trumpet channel and it eliminates the need for copy paste. Big savings? Not really... Some find is really useful because your beat timings are separate from your "cool trumpet" which is separate from the vocals. So it simplifies the grid. This is huge for high channel count displays where the copy paste method means scrolling through 200 channels every time we want to find the beat mark. So, it will definitely simplify your grid, although I don't think if it's simplier in your head.

In my case for LOR1, using the tapper to snap the timings to the existing grid wasn't precise enough. So, I would literally play the visible screen, stop and mark beat one. Play the visible screen, stop, mark beat two. Play visible screen, stop, mark beat 3. It did literally takes hours to make one beat channel or one "cool trumpet" channel. So, this is where some of us see great savings.


In your case for S2, I think your biggest saving may be in the beat wizard. For most songs, the beat wizard will mark the beats much faster and with more accuracy than your tapping. You won't have to move many if any gridlines. For your instruments, the tapper may still be your fastest choice if you are happy with the results.

It looks likes like some sequencing styles aren't going to see a huge speed boost with S2. I think we're getting lost comparing apples to oranges because sequencing styles vary so much.
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Jeremy Wiles wrote:

Using your example, if it's a cool trumpet from 37.3 to 38.7 then I usually want to do something with several channels. Like chase mini trees from one side to the other. Which is why in LOR 1 I have fixed grids, so that I can do that. If I only had those 2 timings I would only be able to do 2 effects during that time.

You can do this by having another track with an entirely different set of timings, but the same channels.

When you want to do something corresponding to the cool trumpet, you would use the copies of the channels that are in the track that has timings corresponding to the cool trumpet.

When you want to do a fast chase on those same channels, you would use the copies of the channels in the track that has the bazillion rapid timings.

Both changes will show up in both tracks, automatically. So you still see exactly what the channels will be doing, just by looking at one copy of them (i.e. in any one of the tracks). It's just (probably) easier to make the two different changes in the two different tracks.
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I have found tracks useful for a totally different reason, grouping channels together. I have house lights, trees, mini trees, arches, other items. I also use a lot of different color lights also. So I have different tracks to sort out different scenarios I might use during a song. I have a track called mini trees, I have tracks called multi color, blue, red and green, I have a track called trees. I have found this very useful when I want to sequence a particular part of a song and want to use only the blue lights or red lights, another part of the song I want to use only trees. I go to that track instead of trying to find the channels amongst the 128 channels I have.

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I only insert timings in time with the song.

I use NO set grid, and tap out the song so that it has a grid of 16'th notes.

At no point in my sequencing have I ever had a need to have a timing that did NOT match the music.

I can see if you have .02 or .05 timings that you would have the need for this, but I have yet to find it useful. Charlie has an interesting post, but for me, it easier to just select 4 cells for a 1/4 note rather than have things spread out in different places.

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pixeldigger wrote:

Charlie has an interesting post...

Oh God bless you, I was ready to give up. :)

Cheers!
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Push Eject wrote:

pixeldigger wrote:
Charlie has an interesting post...

Oh God bless you, I was ready to give up. :)

Cheers!

I think part of the difference is that you and I are musicians (at least I used to be a wanna be musician...our group never made it past the "school play and friends paty" gigs)

I think in musical notes and movements when sequencing, rather than instruments.
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Michael Bryant

Hi Michael Farney thanks for your reply, and sorry for posting and showing up so late.
My misstake was forgetting it's Valetines day, which my wife refreshed my memory.
I'm still not sure Tracks is, or is not for me. I have no musical background so I'm
tickled pink with only one beat track which I copy and paste through out the sequence
to guide me to the beat mark locations. And if there is an extra trumpet notes other than
the beats, I just do my best to put them in the right spot. For the time savings with the
Beat Wizard and VU Wizard I haven't had much luck with either. I find both to miss some
beats, and some beats to be slightly off the mark. For the 3/4 or 4/4 timing, I have not
found a song yet that was constant to that beat through out the entire song. Bottom line,
I have to go back anyway and make adjustments to all the automatic beat features, which
is why I'm not that much better off than I was with only the tap wizard. Don't get me wrong,
I'm not stubborn to change. I love a lot of the changes to S2, and I'm sure there are some
good ones I haven't found yet, maybe these Tracks are one of them. If only I could find
an application that they would benefit me. From what I see here over a hundred people
viewed this post but only a few of you had info to share. This tells me I'm not the only one
who doesn't get theTracks concept.
Thanks Guys for your help. Michael

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Michael Bryant

Push Eject wrote:

There has been a lot of talk about doing a Tracks Demo Video... Tim Fischer and I keep meaning to... really, we do...

In a nutshell, the way to think of tracks is as different timing grids.

You can have channels duplicated in many different tracks.

What I do is generally have 3 tracks for most songs all divided up by the beat wizard. One has the timing at the BPM of the song, the second has the timing at BPMx2 and the third is BPMx4.

I find those resolutions allow me to do almost everything I want.

Hopefully that made sense. Here's a quick screen shot of three tracks with .02 timings, BPM & BPMx2

tracks.jpg

Cheers,
Charlie

Hi Charlie,

Hope you can manage to do that Tracks Demo Video, I'm sure there are lots of others beside myself who could learn something from a Video. Maybe you can answer my question, are Tracks just Channels with another name, because they have different timing divisions, and if they didn't would they be Channel? Since I don't know what a Tracks definition is, my question may not make any sense to you. Your example above shows me allot, but whats the difference if I were for example use say .05 timing through out my whole sequence, and when I need .2 sec just highlight 4 blocks as we have in the past? Your example may be cleaner looking, but a second is a second no matter how you divide it up.
Michael
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Good questions.

Tracks are not channels... they, kind of, CONTAIN channels. Maybe instead of "tracks" they should be called "timing grids".

whats the difference if I were for example use say .05 timing through out my whole sequence, and when I need .2 sec just highlight 4 blocks as we have in the past?

Absolutely nothing is different. Imagine, though, that you do huge color blocks of change during a chorus of a song and they're always on a different set of channels.

That's a lot of selecting when you could just have a track of "4 x Slower than BPM" and click one cell on and off!

The truth is either way will yield a good result, it just comes down what makes the most sense for you.

I will say that I started off NOT liking tracks and now I cannot live without them (although I want to see them implemented differently).

Cheers!
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Michael Bryant

Denny wrote:

Michael Bryant wrote:
Thanks Denny, but I still must be missing the point. I already have my mini trees grouped together with channels from LOR1, and for every track you still need a LOR box channel, so whats the difference if it's called a track or channel? I believe someone said there was a video tutorial coming out on Tracks, can't be to soon for me. I have read the LOR2 Help, and been sitting back reading what others are saying on the forum about tracks, but still have no clue. Maybe my light bulb will come on soon, I hope.

Thanks Michael


Tracks and Channels are two different animals. When you set up your sequence, you insert all the channels into that sequence. Now, during your sequencing, you decide for some reason that you want to view or work with only a specific group of channels, so you create a new track. Automatically, your original sequence (where you initially inserted all the channels) becomes Track 1 -- like a master with all your channels included. The new track that you created becomes Track 2. You now copy or insert only the channels from Track 1 (the master) into this new Track 2 that you want to work with. You can use this new Track 2 to do a subsequence, you can use timings that are different than those in the master track 1, etc. Whatever changes you make in either Track 1 or Track 2 are automatically entered into the other Track.

Maybe the easiest way to try to explain it is to say that a Track is a collection of channels, not another name for the individual channels. A Track allows you to work with a select number of channels for whatever reason. You can have the same channel assigned to as many Tracks as you want, i.e., Channel 1 can be assigned to Tracks 1, 2, 4, 8, etc.


Denny after reading your post a second time, I think I have a vague idea of what Tracks are. Kinda dense on my part , but now maybe the help files will make more sence to me.

Thanks much

Michael
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michael.farney

Michael Bryant wrote:

Hi Michael Farney thanks for your reply, and sorry for posting and showing up so late.
My misstake was forgetting it's Valetines day, which my wife refreshed my memory.
I'm still not sure Tracks is, or is not for me. I have no musical background so I'm
tickled pink with only one beat track which I copy and paste through out the sequence
to guide me to the beat mark locations. And if there is an extra trumpet notes other than
the beats, I just do my best to put them in the right spot. For the time savings with the
Beat Wizard and VU Wizard I haven't had much luck with either. I find both to miss some
beats, and some beats to be slightly off the mark. For the 3/4 or 4/4 timing, I have not
found a song yet that was constant to that beat through out the entire song. Bottom line,
I have to go back anyway and make adjustments to all the automatic beat features, which
is why I'm not that much better off than I was with only the tap wizard. Don't get me wrong,
I'm not stubborn to change. I love a lot of the changes to S2, and I'm sure there are some
good ones I haven't found yet, maybe these Tracks are one of them. If only I could find
an application that they would benefit me. From what I see here over a hundred people
viewed this post but only a few of you had info to share. This tells me I'm not the only one
who doesn't get theTracks concept.
Thanks Guys for your help. Michael


It took me a little bit of time to learn how to use the beat wizard effectively because a lot of songs do have tempo changes. The beat wizard performs flawlessly when you select a time range where the tempo doesn't change. So if your song has a slow part, then fast part, then slow, you'd just enter the time ranges separately and apply the beat separately. Here are a few tips I have learned over time to get the beat wizard to be more coorperative:


  • Never include any section with that is actively changing tempo. If you have a song where there is a small slow down for 2 beats, but the rest of the song is at tempo, it will mess up. Enter the time up to the 2 slow beats and apply that timing, then enter the time after the 2 beats to the end. Any part of a song that slows down or speeds up even for just a moment confuses the heck out the beat wizard. (It will mess up timing marks all over the place, not just at the 2 beats with the change.)
  • Always start your time at a strong beat. Since a lot of songs do have a tempo change or an introduction that isn't standard, we have to run the beat wizard several times. Let's say the next range of steady tempo is 1:32 until 2:25. Start by plugging in these two values to the tempo wizard. Now, when you play it, you notice that 1:32 is actually in the middle of the beat, and the real beats are at 1:30:99 and 1:33:42. The beat wizard likes to assume that you are starting on a beat, so starting at 1:32 (right in the middle of the beat) tends to confuse it. It will get back on track eventually, but the first couple or not first many beat marks it inserts will be wrong. So, set the start time to 1:30:99 or 1:32:42, but NOT 1:32. Always start as close to an actual beat as you can.
  • Some music that doesn't have strong drum beats the beat wizard just can't do well. If you play around with the start and end time (even though you aren't using the real start/end time, but picking more random values), I find I can usually fool the wizard into picking the correct beats.

Once you learn its quirks, it's a really effective tool that saves you time. However, sometimes you do have to fall back to the tapper.

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Dennis Cherry

As someone new to programing I am having a problem just staring out sequencing the first song. Just using 16 channels and figuring out what each channel will do is mind boggling too.

I have looked at doing my first sone, which has a moderate beat, and still have not found the method that works for me.

Now reading the comments above you give me some other options to try in S2.

I think the tracks with groups might be what will work for me. The 1/16 beat timing also is interesting.

Just have to figure out how many more channels I need and what each one will do.

Keep up the good input.

Dennis

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Michael Bryant

michael.farney wrote:

Michael Bryant wrote:
Hi Michael Farney thanks for your reply, and sorry for posting and showing up so late.
My misstake was forgetting it's Valetines day, which my wife refreshed my memory.
I'm still not sure Tracks is, or is not for me. I have no musical background so I'm
tickled pink with only one beat track which I copy and paste through out the sequence
to guide me to the beat mark locations. And if there is an extra trumpet notes other than
the beats, I just do my best to put them in the right spot. For the time savings with the
Beat Wizard and VU Wizard I haven't had much luck with either. I find both to miss some
beats, and some beats to be slightly off the mark. For the 3/4 or 4/4 timing, I have not
found a song yet that was constant to that beat through out the entire song. Bottom line,
I have to go back anyway and make adjustments to all the automatic beat features, which
is why I'm not that much better off than I was with only the tap wizard. Don't get me wrong,
I'm not stubborn to change. I love a lot of the changes to S2, and I'm sure there are some
good ones I haven't found yet, maybe these Tracks are one of them. If only I could find
an application that they would benefit me. From what I see here over a hundred people
viewed this post but only a few of you had info to share. This tells me I'm not the only one
who doesn't get theTracks concept.
Thanks Guys for your help. Michael


It took me a little bit of time to learn how to use the beat wizard effectively because a lot of songs do have tempo changes. The beat wizard performs flawlessly when you select a time range where the tempo doesn't change. So if your song has a slow part, then fast part, then slow, you'd just enter the time ranges separately and apply the beat separately. Here are a few tips I have learned over time to get the beat wizard to be more coorperative:


  • Never include any section with that is actively changing tempo. If you have a song where there is a small slow down for 2 beats, but the rest of the song is at tempo, it will mess up. Enter the time up to the 2 slow beats and apply that timing, then enter the time after the 2 beats to the end. Any part of a song that slows down or speeds up even for just a moment confuses the heck out the beat wizard. (It will mess up timing marks all over the place, not just at the 2 beats with the change.)
  • Always start your time at a strong beat. Since a lot of songs do have a tempo change or an introduction that isn't standard, we have to run the beat wizard several times. Let's say the next range of steady tempo is 1:32 until 2:25. Start by plugging in these two values to the tempo wizard. Now, when you play it, you notice that 1:32 is actually in the middle of the beat, and the real beats are at 1:30:99 and 1:33:42. The beat wizard likes to assume that you are starting on a beat, so starting at 1:32 (right in the middle of the beat) tends to confuse it. It will get back on track eventually, but the first couple or not first many beat marks it inserts will be wrong. So, set the start time to 1:30:99 or 1:32:42, but NOT 1:32. Always start as close to an actual beat as you can.
  • Some music that doesn't have strong drum beats the beat wizard just can't do well. If you play around with the start and end time (even though you aren't using the real start/end time, but picking more random values), I find I can usually fool the wizard into picking the correct beats.

Once you learn its quirks, it's a really effective tool that saves you time. However, sometimes you do have to fall back to the tapper.



Hi Michael,
I see my problem was assuming the Beat Wizard was perfect and
didn't have any quirks. Thanks for the hint about Time Range option,
(using Just part of the song) at a time. I love a fast song shows but my
reaction time makes using the Tap Wizard very difficult, I can't even
type fast. I guess my best bet is to do a few seconds at a time with the
Beat Wizard on difficult songs. I think you have swayed me away from
the dreaded Tap Wizard. Not sure I understand your work around for
weak drum beat songs, but there are enough songs with strong drum
beats, so I will just avoid the others. This is another subject thats just
crying out for a demo video, anyone listening. Your post has helped
me out of a big rut I was in.
Thanks Michael
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Dennis Cherry wrote:

..... The 1/16 beat timing also is interesting.....

In case you've missed some of my other threads where I talk about this,
to get the timings of a song, I start with NO GRID, and use the tapper wizard.
..even being a drummer, tapping 1/8 or 1/16 notes for the whole song gets a bit hard, so I go for 1/2 notes.
Once you tap ot the 1/2 notes, you basically have 1 event for every other beat (assuming a 4/4 timing) I then seperate each event by inserting 7 multiple events into the event.
The only thing to look out for is, that LOR adds the remainder to the last event.
If this creates a strange timing, you may have to do a little manual editing, or go back and tap 1/4 notes instead of half notes.(thus reducing the area for error)
If the song changes tempo, thats OK, because you should have changed your tap tempo at the same time, thus making things smooth.

in the end, I have a grid of 16th note timings. 2 16s is an 8 4 16s is a quarter (or full beat) and I never end up wirh any extra event timings that don't go to the music.
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Well try thinking of it this way.

You have 10 windows with lights around them. Now you will not run cords from each window to a central controller because you also have bushes around your house that you want to animate. Then let's say you have some trees around your yard and of course if you are me you have over 400 wireframes.:shock:

Now create a track named Windows, another track named bushes an another named Trees. You can now set timings for each based on how you want them to look. You can work with just that track straight through the song till you are finished. Yet each set of items may be connected to four or five different controllers.

You will save time sequencing, time in set up and money in cords. Believe me it is so much faster than LOR.

My hope is when the final product is released that you will be able to take a group of channels and move them all at once to a track. Try moving 70 mini trees one at a time!:shock:

Oh one more thing. When you get over 400 channels you will love the tracks!!

Another thing is that I found the beat wizzard to be right on with the timing. I do kick it up two or three times the beat then it allows me to do off beat stuff too.

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