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Call me a dunce, but


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Hey everyone... I'm someone who has two years of LOR sequencing under my belt, and who has an IQ higher than the average bear, and I'm trying guys, I REALLY am... but... Other than using a track for a timing track to stick at the top, I am not understanding what I'd use them for. I have created about 14 tracks, one for each of the basic elements of my display, and about half way through sequencing my first "all LOR II" song, and I haven't used any track except the timing track, and that's just to vies the taps I've laid out with the tapper. I use .05 timing across the board, so maybe that's why I don't need alternate timings in other tracks??? I am getting frustrated trying to imagine a use for them, because I know some of you love tracks.

Also, I've found the waveform to be practically useless, and the beat and VU wizards to be totally useless. How are you guys using them to make yourself more productive???

Any guidance would be appreciated. Sequencing for 176 channels is slow going, and any help in shortening the coding cycle would be a huge benefit for me.

Thanks a lot.

D.T.

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TRACKS:

Imagine that you set the order of your sequence channel column up from the left of your yard to the right of your yard.

So, the first channel you would see would be the item on the farthest left, and the last channel would be the item on the farthest right.

Seems orderly and a good way to program your sequence.

Now lets imagine that you had multi colored mini trees (red, green, and white) that you set up in an oblong circle around your display.

Instead of having to scroll up and down the channel bar to get to #1 red, then #25 red across the yard, you can arrange the tracks to suit your programming preferences.

It may not seem like much of a big deal, but at 0.05 second intervals, that is a lot of scrolling you do not have to do anymore up and down the channel bar.

So, if you wanted to really blow out your song by going from red to green to white and all over again, you can shave minutes off your sequencing by setting up the tracks in the manner that is easiest for you to maneuver.

WAVE FORM:

The wave form can be very helpful because even if you have a great ear and a fast tapper finger, you will be off the beat from 0.05 to 0.10 seconds. By looking at the wave form, you can find the start of the note so that you will be dead on accurate with your lights.

Look at some of the songs you did before there was wave form and import them into LOR II. Then look at where you had stuff happening versus the wave form to see if you are dead on accurate.

It is also useful for determining where crescendos should be (more lights) or not.

BEAT WIZARD:

If you have a sequence with a steady beat where you want to have a set of lights alternating flashing with the beat, in lieu of going in there with the tapper wizard, tapping out the beat for the lights you want on, then having to either extend them to the end of the beat, or turn them off at the next beat, you can program the beat wizard to do this.

For example, if you have a song with 4 beats to the measure and you wanted lights a, b, and c to turn on at beats 1 and 3 (while turning off at beats 2 and 4), you would spend hours programming your song to do this.

And if you wanted lights d, e, and f to turn on at beats 2 and 4 (while turning off at beats 1 and 2), you would double the hours programming your songs.

With the beat wizard, you can do this in about 30 seconds. By importing it into your tracks, you saved yourself valuable hours in programming.

VU Wizard: I haven't played around with this one as much as I could have, so I will not be the best person to comment on this.

There are various ways to display your waves. Full peaks, half peaks, full mode, top mode or fold mode. If you have a song where you wanted to isolate peaks/modes, the VU is a way to do this. It is a good way to find out where to emphasize lights based on your programming tastes.

Hope this helps.

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Dale, great response.

D.T. Not to derail you, but LORSEQUENCES.com has some great tutorials on Tracks and the Wizards. I too am in almost your seat. I have at best one full year last year with LOR. My first year 2006, I got one song done, and not much else.

You say you have 176 channels. Something you may already know. As you ADD more channels, you will add time to your sequencing. It's a natural byproduct. I went from 48 channels in 2006 to 240 in 2007 and I haven't added them up yet for 2008, but it at 300 or better. I too am looking for a way to speed up my sequencing. I am afraid to tell you that my first full song I sequenced last year, was The House on Christmas Street, edited down to 2:20. I spent close to 60 hours getting that done. WAY too long, but I did get better but still take too long. I am looking to reduce my time as well.

My only advice. I HAD to spend a lot of time in S2 because I was asked to do a DMX/S2 presentation at the Pacific NW Mini. I invested a lot of time in going over ALL the S2 threads, help sites etc... I feel based on that research, I will decrease my sequence time, per se. I am adding more channels which will have an adverse affect.

I think the key with sequencing is efficiency. Leveraging all the tools to your advantage, but that means you have to understand how to apply them to your situation. Are you using the keyboard? There is a list of commands available on keystrokes that I did not use AT ALL last year. This year I am. Dales points on the Beat Wiz and Wave forms are key. I spent enourmous amounts of time trying to get the exact right timing, and extracting beats for certain elements. This year, the wizards will help me rough that out, and then refining will be quicker.

As you build sequences in S1 or S2. you will have patterns of items, that you can cut and paste. S2 is MUCH better at that, because you have the option now of doing it by cell or timing. WAY easier now than in S1.

Work with a display feature at a time. Sometimes I jump around, but try to stick with just the mega tree, or just my house, or just my arches till the end.

Also lastly, editing songs down (not sure if you do that or not), give you more songs in a show, and makes sequecing faster, because you eliminate parts that are redundant.

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Dale, Zman...

Thank you both SO much for your thoughtful replies. The way Dale explains it, one of the big advantages of tracks is that you can group items that are related to each other (a batch of mini trees, for example) together. That's great, but they are already grouped together in my primary (S1) track. There is no scrolling around to find anything, it's all right there. Same for the columns, the roof lights, the fence lights, the mega trees, the wreaths... No scrolling, cause it's all right there. In this instance, it seems that tracks are making up for poor planning in the channel layout department. I think I'm still scratching my head here. :D

The waveform sounds like a really useful tool. I think maybe I was expecting too much from it though. For example, I was working on snoopy and the red baron last night (a song that I think most of us know and can relate to). Between 50 and 52 seconds, there is a burst of gunfire. I want to be able to pick out each individual round firing. I challenge anyone to be able to pick out those peaks from any of the rest of the song that is playing at that moment using waveform. I count 10 by ear, but using the waveform, I'm not able to pick a single one. Again, maybe I'm expecting too much here. To me the waveform is just a squiggle, and there is no way to differentiate one peak from the next. They all look alike.

The Beat Wizard also sounds useful. I will give that another try and see if I can make the results come out the way I want them to. If at first you don't' succeed, keep in suckin' 'till you do succeed....

I do realize that the more channels you have, the longer it takes to sequence the music. I went from 64 channels and about 3 hours/minute 2 years ago to 176 channels and about 15 hours/minute last year. I do one section (group of lights) at a time and work through the whole song with it... then go back to the start, and add the next group of lights. Definitely the way to go. Not sure I understand why cut and pasting would be any different whether you do it by cell or by timing... I do all of my songs at .05 timings all the way through, so does it really make a difference?

Yes, I use a combination of mouse and keyboard shortcuts. They sure beat clicking all around. And yes, I have edited some of my songs down (but that's the weenie's way out :cool: !).

Guys, thanks again for all of your pointers. I feel a little less dunce-ish, and I plan to find those tutorials that Zman mentioned. See you all in 2008 with a bigger and better display.

D.T.

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Follow up for tracks:

In addition to grouping by category (Mini trees, mega trees, etc), lets say you wanted to have alternating flashing of one group or another - like half the mini trees and half the other on the bottom of the channels.

Again, instead of scrolling up and down, you organize them in the way you want so that it reduces the time you need to sequence.

It is not a result of poor planning, but allows you flexibility from one song to the next based on your programming preferences as they can be arranged differently per song. So instead of having a group of lights doing its own thing on the left of your yard, you can spread it out as you see fit.

And if what you are doing works for you, then by all means leave it be.

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Thanks again Dale. Here's another question... I spent a lot of time rearranging my tracks into a logical order last night. I right click on the track title bar, click move up, repeat ad nauseum. Is there an easier way to move the tracks around? There MUST be a way to move a track to a new position in the "stack" without going one step at a time.

You guys are the best. Thanks one more time.

D.T.

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DT,

Hmmm OK moving tracks around, outside of the LMB. The only way I know to do that is in an XML editor. Your sequence can be displayed and edited there. If you search this forum, and query XML you will see the info on how to do that. I had almost forgotten that that was there.

Outside of organizing your scenes in your display into tracks, another implementation is to musically break out your song into tracks. It used to be that people had dummy channels for Beat-Rythm-melody-percussion-change. Now you can use the tapper wizard or beat wizard to give you those timings and make tracks out of them to organize as well.

Keep in mind, you can have Channel 1 in multiple tracks, as many as you need. I have NO timing in my Track 1 (Default), then assign whatever timing I need in my tracks. I just have track 1 be my master channel listing. The only issue with having the same channel in a lot of tracks, is that you really need to keep track of it, which is what Track 1 is good for as well.

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Whats funny to me is how most people are using tracks for grouping and not so much for timing (as it was intended).

This shows how we all figure out how to make the most of what we are given, whether it was intended or not.

I'm liking tracks more and more ... but find it a crude grouping mechanism, but the only one available to us.

I particularly like using tracks for "wizard initiated" timings for various sections of the song. It seems like you can create some very customized stuff into different tracks without messing up the main (say .05 sec) track. You can also take the stuff you wizard into these tracks and then see the events on the .05 track and it helps you sync it in the main (.05 sec) track easier.

I mainly like the waveform because when playing the song back, it gives you a detailed read of the time when you show the waveform. So I play the song back and noticed where on the waveform a certain thing happen, the mouse over to that exact spot on the waveforma and observe the time it shows (doesn't show without it) ... and then I can go into any track at that same approx. time and add stuff.

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taybrynn wrote:

Whats funny to me is how most people are using tracks for grouping and not so much for timing (as it was intended).

This shows how we all figure out how to make the most of what we are given, whether it was intended or not.

I'm liking tracks more and more ... but find it a crude grouping mechanism, but the only one available to us.

I particularly like using tracks for "wizard initiated" timings for various sections of the song. It seems like you can create some very customized stuff into different tracks without messing up the main (say .05 sec) track. You can also take the stuff you wizard into these tracks and then see the events on the .05 track and it helps you sync it in the main (.05 sec) track easier.

I mainly like the waveform because when playing the song back, it gives you a detailed read of the time when you show the waveform. So I play the song back and noticed where on the waveform a certain thing happen, the mouse over to that exact spot on the waveforma and observe the time it shows (doesn't show without it) ... and then I can go into any track at that same approx. time and add stuff.


Scott, I use tracks MAINLY for the timing aspect. I actually leverage them both ways, but being able to break out the different beats and such is awesome.

When you all have the waveforms displayed, do you experience that the slider pan movement is not smooth, rather very choppy?

It would also be nice to just turn the waveform on for on track at a time instead of all of them.
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taybrynn wrote:

Whats funny to me is how most people are using tracks for grouping and not so much for timing (as it was intended).

Most users who started with version 1 are still stuck in the ".05 timing" rut.

That was the only way you could do it in version 1, but with S2 there is no reason to set equally spaced timing events. S2 introduced features such as:
  1. When you move, add, or delete a timing event, it doesn't change the channel events.
  2. You can now paste by cell or by time.
  3. The Beat and VU wizards.
  4. Multiple timings (tracks).

These features eliminate the need to make equally spaced .05 or .10 timings.

For most sequences, my first track is the "Beat" track. It has timing events created with the beat wizard. This makes things easy to do that would take a long time in S1. For instance, say you want a channel to "pulse" (fade down from 100% to 0%) on the first beat of every measure. In S1 you had to use the tapper wizard or scroll through the whole song looking at the waveform. In S2 you simple make one fade event, select and copy one measure (typically 4 cells for most songs, or 3 cells for 3/4 songs like What Child is This? or Carol of the Bells) set to "Paste by Cell" mode, and paste to the end of the sequence. Now your down beat is done.

But let's talk about tracks. Let's say you want to use the VU or tapper wizards to flash a wireframe animal to make it look like its singing along with the song. If you do that on the main (Beat) track you will have to restrict the singing to even beats or mess up the "one cell per beat" timing. The solution is to make a second track called "Voices" and do the VU/tapper there. As taybrynn said, this is the intended use for tracks.

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