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Tracks whats the big deal?

Michael Bryant

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Robin wrote:

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:

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

I have no problem understanding the use and benefits of tracks but I think your post might be a little misleading to those still struggling with the definition. You state that tracks will save you money in cords and set-up time. How do you come to this conclusion? If you want to control the lights aound the each of the 10 individual windows in your example, you will have to run a cord from each window to a controller - 10 extension cords, 10 channels. The use of tracks doesn't change this in any way.

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I can definately see why tracks are a good thing.

The main thing I'm realizing is that each track really has its own timings.

So even though you can still do this LOR I style, meaning in 1 track ... it seems cleaner to create your various timings as individual tracks ... and then group items into these tracks, based on what you want doing what during the song.

I'm especially curious about how you handle 200,300,400 channels ... but do people just import their configuration into the first track and then move them into various tracks from there (for each sequence) ?

I've been doing that, but it seems cumbersome. Am I doing it wrong, or just complaining about all the work that is unavoidable?

I would be nice to store my configuration in track groups, or track sensitive configurations ... and then assign the timings to those tracks as I see fit. I could see how you might want multiple configurations, just to the same items, don't always have to be on the same timings always.

So I could start a new musicial sequence by selecting a 5 track configuration ... and it would bring in my channels, already grouped into 5 tracks ... but no timings assigned yet.

I know this is a simplistic way to do things ... and as Bob said, you can copy channels to other tracks to use different timings (but to me, thats kind of nice, but on an 'as needed' basis only). To me, copying things around is cool, but could become confusing and a snarl in a hurry. I don't know how guys here deal with 400 channels ... I'm buried under only 64 channels!

unrelated note: I recall seeing that setup here where someone had two 22" monitors that pivot to a vertical orientation ... that looks like a sweet way to run LOR II ... lots of visible channels, but still never gonna get 400 on the screen ... maybe 64 or 80 ...

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Michael Bryant wrote:

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

I created a tutorial using the beat wizard in a new thread. ;)

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Michael Bryant

Well Guys after reading all these posts several times, my light bulb finally came on.
Now I believe I know what tracks are. The name tracks and reference to timing always
being associated to them, was throwing me off. A better name for tracks for me would
have been Folders, or Channel Folders. And these Folders can have copies of your
original sequence channel setup, with the same timing or not. Tracks are for organizing
or grouping your channels for easier access, with the additional option of being able to
assign a different timing than you had before. This post may light someone's bulb too.
If I'm still in the dark, and still have tracks all wrong, someone tell me before I mislead
others down the wrong road.
Thanks to all of you guys,

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Glad you see the light. Tracks as used here directly mimics tracks that are used in most audio and video editing software. think of stereo sound, two tracks. They play together to give you stereo. For surround sound, 6/7 tracks that all play at the same time. Tracks are a little different in that audio/video editors typcially only have one element in each track (video, text, audio track, etc). In LOR land, you start out with all your elements in one track but can break it down from there. Tracks are all interelated by mean of the timeline. Folders, on the other hand, are more geared toward organizing. You keep music in folders. You keep sequences in folders. You can have subfolders. But folders are not meant to 'work' with each other. There are no common elements of a folder to tie them together.

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Here's one good use I found for tracks. I have a song with a good beat, so I used the Beat Wizard on track one to set the timing events. The song has singing, and I wanted to flash my lighted buck for one voice and the doe on another. So I put them (the doe and buck) into a "Voices" channel and used the tapper to make them "sing". The voices go on 1/2, 1/4, and 1/8 beats, so I didn't want to snap them to the nearest beat, and I didn't want new timing events to be added to the "Beat" track. After I used the tapper wizard on the "Voices" track, I cleared all the timings on that track, and then went and cleaned it up.

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I think the flexibility (of tracks) is great. But its also a complicating factor after awhile ... as you can easily forget which channels were using which tracks after a while.

I also think moving between tracks = navigation hassles, as mentioned before. Being able to hold your current position (in the timeline) when moving between tracks would be very helpful. Being able to remember what channel range you were looking at ... and retaining then after switching tracks, also useful. I just think we have tracks implemented, but don't have the polish out yet ... this would be one of those 'polish' items.

It might be nice to be able to have some way to know which channels are using which tracks. Maybe the names on the left could be bolded if that channel was using within the track.

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