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Tracks Demo


michael.farney
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michael.farney

Here's a short tracks demo. It's not meant to be a tutorial but instead introduces one way tracks can be used. This is a fake sequence I created using the tapper in a few minutes, so the sequence is rough. I did the whole video in one shot ad lib, so it's not perfectly organized and the sound quality isn't great. The audio and video started getting out of sync due to using free screen capture software, so I cut in the animations for the worst offenders. All in all, it didn't turn out too bad. Here are few notes on tracks:


  • Each track must contain at least one channel, but it could contain any number of channels or even all your channels. For this demo, all of my channels are in all of the tracks.
  • Each track has unique grid timing in this demo. Note that you can have identical timing on each track if desired.
  • There are many different ways to use and organize tracks. This demo illustrates one possible use.

You can watch the video:
Low Res: http://pc.lightoramasequences.com/tracks/TracksDemoSmall.wmv 8 meg
High Res: http://pc.lightoramasequences.com/tracks/TracksDemoLarge.wmv 20 meg

Download the sequence used in the demo (Save as LMS extension!):
http://pc.lightoramasequences.com/tracks/TrackExample2.lms

Audio:
http://pc.lightoramasequences.com/tracks/Leroy%20Anderson-Boston%20Pops-Sleigh%20Ride1.mp3

I hope you find this demo useful!

Michael

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Thanks. Very nice demo !

I had been thinking previously that you would only have certain channels into each track ... meaning only the channels that are using the timings in that track ... but I noticed you basically had all the channels in all the tracks. Is the the preferrable or easier way to go about it? It seems like you can mix and match better this way, as you have every channel in every track ... so if you wanted a set of channels to switch from melody to trumpet and then back again ... you could do it pretty easily.

Do you typically start with a single track, load in your configuration (all tracks) ... and then copy the entire thing to a bunch of new tracks ... and then start nailing down the timing for the various tracks?

I'm just trying to determine what the procedure is, generally, to get to where you were in this demo.

I am definately understanding the track timings a lot better after viewing your demo.

Scott

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michael.farney

taybrynn wrote:

Thanks. Very nice demo !

I had been thinking previously that you would only have certain channels into each track ... meaning only the channels that are using the timings in that track ... but I noticed you basically had all the channels in all the tracks. Is the the preferrable or easier way to go about it? It seems like you can mix and match better this way, as you have every channel in every track ... so if you wanted a set of channels to switch from melody to trumpet and then back again ... you could do it pretty easily.

Do you typically start with a single track, load in your configuration (all tracks) ... and then copy the entire thing to a bunch of new tracks ... and then start nailing down the timing for the various tracks?

I'm just trying to determine what the procedure is, generally, to get to where you were in this demo.

I am definately understanding the track timings a lot better after viewing your demo.

Scott


The funny thing is, my S2 sequences for 2008 don't have the tracks setup correctly because I didn't know how to use them when I started experimenting! ;) So, that's why I had to start with a new demo.

You can organize the tracks any way you want. For me, it makes the most sense to put all the channels on each track. On songs where I'm doing a lot of colors the same, I'd probably group the tracks as green channels, red channels, blue channels, etc. On songs where I'm doing a lot of geographic stuff, I might group the tracks house, bushes, yard. Since you can have (unlimited?) tracks, you could set up tracks in all these manners. You could have the beat track, trumpet track, and melody track along with the red track, green track, and blue track along with the house track, bushes track, and yard track. So, the key is to think about what organization is going to fit your display and your sequencing style the best.

Now to answer your question:
If you are trying to "mimic" what occured on the video, here are the basic steps:
1. Get all your channels and animation imported into a S2 sequence with one track.
2. Name the track (beat track, trumpet track, etc.) I named mine sleigh bells.
3. Run the tapper and tap all the sleigh bell notes.
4. Duplicate this track. - (I didn't duplicate the timings.)
5. Name this track trumpet.
6. Run the tapper and tap all the trumpet notes. Apply this to the trumpet track.
7. Duplicate the trumpet track (without timings) and name it melody.
8. Run the tapper and tap the melody. Apply these taps to the melody track.
9. Duplicate the melody track (without timings) and name it background.
10. Run the tapper and tap the "background" noises. Apply these taps.

So, the key is to duplicate the tracks if you desire to follow the process in the video. Of course, the process would be very different if you only had certain channels in each track.
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Thanks for that demo, you have helped this newbie more than you can imagine.

I started sequencing last week and got freaked out when I tried to use tracks because I had no idea what they were. I can see how this will make things MUCH easier. I was subdividing cells where needed, but didn't like that it was splitting up the entire column. This is going to be invaluable.

I think I am going to add the song used in your demo to my show as well. Every year on Thanksgiving night, I put up and decorate my Christmas tree with my wife and daughters. We listen to the same CD every year while doing this and this happens to be one of our favorite songs on it.

Thanks!

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Ok, I've already started playing with tracks and have a question.

Is it only possible to switch tracks via the scroll bar on the right? I am wondering if it's possible to have all the tracks show up as tabs up at the top of the screen where it shows the track name. It would be much easier to click on a tab to switch tracks as opposed to scrolling down.

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michael.farney

caimakale wrote:

Ok, I've already started playing with tracks and have a question.

Is it only possible to switch tracks via the scroll bar on the right? I am wondering if it's possible to have all the tracks show up as tabs up at the top of the screen where it shows the track name. It would be much easier to click on a tab to switch tracks as opposed to scrolling down.

Yes, you can do this! When you click on a tab, you have the option to hide it. So, if you hide all the tabs, it's close to the behavior you're looking for. We don't have a true one click ability for switching. However, you can click the tab, and then click show. So, it takes two clicks, not one.
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I see how that works, it will make things a little easier, but not as easy as clicking visible tabs to switch.

I guess I have just been spoiled by tabbed browsing using firefox. Do you know if this has been suggested to Dan already? I highly doubt I am the first to think of tabbed track browsing. If not, I will shoot an email to him, hopefully it's not to late to add things to S2.

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michael.farney

caimakale wrote:

I see how that works, it will make things a little easier, but not as easy as clicking visible tabs to switch.

I guess I have just been spoiled by tabbed browsing using firefox. Do you know if this has been suggested to Dan already? I highly doubt I am the first to think of tabbed track browsing. If not, I will shoot an email to him, hopefully it's not to late to add things to S2.


The more people that email wishlist@lightorama.com with that feature request, the more likely it is to be in S2 or a future enhancement. Dan mentioned in a previous thread they use this email to measure how many people want which features and prioritize accordingly.

http://lightorama.mywowbb.com/forum72/16070.html
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Email sent. I really hope to see this show up in a future version. It would make sequencing soooo much quicker.

You would be able to use the tracks as demonstrated here, or use them to setup various show elements (one tab for mini trees, one tab for the mega tree, one tab for roof lights, etc..). Either way, it would make sequencing so much quicker by clicking on a tab to switch to whatever it is you want.

Again, great demo, it will help tons!

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I like the tab idea. I agree that changing tracks with the tab key would be an improvement. Maybe just keep the second scroll bar and also have the tab as the other way to do it.

It might also be nice also have S2 remember where you were in the last track and position you at the same point (channel + visible time range) when you switch to another track. So if you were on channel 100 on track 4 ... and the visible screen was showing between 00:45 and 00:55 ... when you switch to track 3, your still at channel 100 (not channel 1) and the same visible screen time range.

It seems like one huge inefficiency now is having to return to 'where you were' after switching tracks. This essentially discourages from using tracks as often as you might otherwise, as it becomes a navigational hassle and ineffeciency.

Right now each track retains where you were last, but for me working of 5 different spots concurrently is less common than working in the same region of the song, and then switching track to pick more appropriate timings via different tracks. It might be useful to have two modes (like the paste modes) ... one being like it is currently (retain track positioning per track) ... and one being 'sync tracks locations'. I'd personally prefer the latter almost all the time.

Last night, I started a new sequence and duplicated the first track to 3 other tracks.

I used the beat wizard on all tracks ...

By using the beat wizard and setting it to 1/4, 1/2, 1x(default), 2x and 8x ... I created whole, half, 1/4, 1/8 and 1/16 note timing tracks. And then these tracks all relate to each other nicely ... but you get the same musical flexibility that would if you were writing a real musical score.

Then I simply sequenced to the track the best fit what was occuring musically.

I could still see needing to add a tapper track or two, but the song I was doing really seemed to be covered using the whole,1/4,1/8 and 1/16 note tracks.

Bottom, just a few minutes of watching this video really opening my mind to the possibilities ... and I'm loving it.

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taybrynn wrote:


I had been thinking previously that you would only have certain channels into each track ... meaning only the channels that are using the timings in that track ... but I noticed you basically had all the channels in all the tracks. Is the the preferrable or easier way to go about it?

I am starting with tracks and so far just really use it for arches and mini-trees were I want to ensure even timing marks. It certainly is easier to duplicate to new track instead of moving each channel.

On my wish list that was submitted for consideration was the ability to select a channel, or multiple channels. That way you could apply an effect, erase an effect, copy and paste an effect to an entire channel or groups of channels. Simple left click on channel marker would highlight the whole channel. Using shift and cntr to select groups, etc. If you need to modify the channel settings, make it an option on the right click.
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  • 3 weeks later...
George Simmons

Michael,

Thanks for the how-to regarding the use of tracks. LOR is definitely the coolest club I've ever joined, largely because of folks like you who don't mind nursing newbies.

I think I'm starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. One of my greatest challenges has been trying to keep straight in my head all those marks I've made in various timing channels.

Up until now, meaning pre-LOR2, with each song, I've created individual sequences (using .05 timing) for my various lighting features/animation schemes. Not only did it seem easier to break things into smaller chunks, but I also wanted to see the animation in more detail. My plan was to cut and paste the channels of these separate sequences into one "master" sequence. Can I still do this? Will the software treat these pastes the same as a different track or will it foul things up?

Using your example, after you finish sequencing a song with various timings - sleigh bells, trumpet, melody, etc. - do you then delete all but one track or do you keep them all? (I'm presuming the presence of multiple tracks doesn't adversely affect the playback.)

I appreciate your help. Please don't hesitate to share any suggestions. Thanks.

George Simmons

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JimCanfield

[snip]

Using your example, after you finish sequencing a song with various timings - sleigh bells, trumpet, melody, etc. - do you then delete all but one track or do you keep them all? (I'm presuming the presence of multiple tracks doesn't adversely affect the playback.)


Good question. I have just left my different tracks as is. It does not seem to affect the playback all.
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michael.farney

I would say the same. In two years when you edit the piece for a new layout, you'll wish you still have all that track information.

I can't answer your question from personal experience yet. I only have one S2 piece, and it has the tracks botched pretty badly (because it was my first try and I had no idea what tracks were at the time.) I think I would just leave the tracks in place to make way for future editing. I change my layout significantly each year, so I'm always reworking old sequences. Keeping tracks should not cause any performance issues.

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JimCanfield

I also thought about going back in a month to tweak it and if the tracks were gone than it would make tweaking it quite difficult.

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