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LOR2 vs Aurora 1.0


richardh
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I am always excited when new software/hardware comes out. All this hardware and software are tools that we use to to accomplish one thing. Make a killer looking Christmas Display. I will use any tools necessary to accomplish this goal from any company.

When spectrum came out, I bought it since there was not a demo and thought it might be a better tool than LOR1. I was wrong and pretty much just wasted my money.

LOR2 came out and had some awesome features and it made my job a lot easier of creating sequences. The tool was greatly improved and I took advantage of it. There are some things that I wish they added to LOR2 or changed the behavior of it but I have been VERY satisfied with it.

Well I just downloaded the Aurora 1.0 Demo and I was going to write a long review of it but there was so much missing that it is not worth the time. I became quickly frustrated with the program and saw that it lacked the basic things that I personally use to even make it usable and it is very hard on the eyes.

There are a few things that I liked about using Aurora that are better than LOR2.

The Visual Waveform
They did a pretty good job with this. The "Spectrogram" is really cool. It makes it much easier to see the beats in the music compared to just using the standard Waveform. The "Music Note" thing is really interesting and could be useful for a few things. It allows you to select a musical note such as "F4" and will show a waveform based on that note. So thumbs up in this department.

Animation Window
I really like how they made it so you can just draw lines over your house. All drawings are in Vector format so you can easily move them and scale them. Also you can draw lines over other lines so it is easy to "paint" multiple colors over the same object. Thumbs Up.

I know that LOR2 can now use the Holiday Lights Designer Program now so you can get all fancy pants with your animation, but I really don't need it and would like to see LOR2 improve their animation window.

Ok, so those are cool features but they defiantly are not deal makers/breakers.

Here are just a few of things I found frustrating with Aurora.
You can't move from cell to cell with the keyboard. You have to use the mouse which was the same problem that spectrum had. I like to chase stuff and it is very easy in LOR to pound out a chase sequence with the keyboard. You just have your fade or whatever in your clipboard and hit a few arrow keys and press Control-V (to paste) and do the same thing over and over real fast to make arches leap or whatever your trying to do. Aurora asks you how you want to paste your Data every single time you paste. You have to use the mouse and hit dialog boxes which slows you down A LOT. LOR2 makes it a menu item so it does not ask you every single time.

One thing I absolutely can not live without is that LOR allows you to select an area with the selection tool and you can Press D to ramp down, U to ramp up etc.

There is a ton of other stuff and this is sorta turning into a review so will not bother to write anymore.

I will just say that LOR2 is a much easier tool to use and has many features that I feel are REQUIRED that Aurora does not have.

I know that this is the first version of Aurora and maybe future versions may have some cool features and add some much needed basic features.

My tool will still be LOR2 for now.

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Hey Richard...great to see you posting again!!

I have been following all the issues that the D-light users are facing now that Darryl basically said they are no longer using Spectrum. I also followed the growth of Aurora and know they put a lot of time into it. Your review was great and really makes me believe that I am set with LOR. They seem to have it all. Like you I use a ton of shortcuts and keyboard commands, and without I think the sequencing would take even longer then it already does.

Not to steal the thread, but how is the display going so far this year? Anything change with where you are going to do it? I know you moved the display someplace else, so how is it all going?

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I have to say I was excited when I saw the release of Aurora. Anything that can cut down sequencing time is a bonus.
I am currently averaging 10 hours per minute for 368 channels.

The first couple of times I tried the Aurora demo I had a hard time. Then I realised I have my mouse buttons reversed, but not all of the commands are reversed in the sequence editor. You can select a tool with the Right Click, but to click on a cell I had to use the Left Click. That was sure confusing!!!

Anyway, I loved the the animation window. However I was quickly turned off when I couldn't move the animation to my second monitor. I keep one monitor for sequence editor, the second for the animation so I can view both at the same time.
Not in Aurora.

Also not having a scroll bar for up/ down or the time line is a huge blunder. I think that they have some great ideas, but when it comes to the big items, they are still behind.

Scott

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Great comments Richard. I've heard about the same things from others on Aurora.

Like you, I love the concept of using the musical notes (from the waveform) to determine sequence timings. I think that sounds very powerful.

IMHO, the S2 animation window is much improved over LOR I, but could benefit from having simple line drawing capabilities and multi-color support. I also think having tabs to show different parts of the display would be useful the larger displays or multi-home setups. I'm afraid that they might use the HLD as an excuse to leave the current animator 'as is' ... but I hope not. Most people don't want to buy HLD on top of LOR software, IMHO.

I also wish that the 'simulate night' checkbox setting could be remembered between sessions, instead of having to check it every time I re-open it.

Scott

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Ponddude wrote:

Hey Richard...great to see you posting again!!

I have been following all the issues that the D-light users are facing now that Darryl basically said they are no longer using Spectrum. I also followed the growth of Aurora and know they put a lot of time into it. Your review was great and really makes me believe that I am set with LOR. They seem to have it all. Like you I use a ton of shortcuts and keyboard commands, and without I think the sequencing would take even longer then it already does.

Not to steal the thread, but how is the display going so far this year? Anything change with where you are going to do it? I know you moved the display someplace else, so how is it all going?


The best thing to do is download Aurora and see if it works for you. I am sure they did put a lot of work into it but seems like it has a long way to go to get up to par with LOR2.

Not sure if I am doing the display this year. I think I will be doing it at a friends house but not as big as it was at my house.

-Richard
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I agree with Richard about Aurora, I also downloaded the demo, got frustrated with the 15 min. usage then shut down and reopen, I also would like to see better options in S2 like Aurora in the animation window, like the idea to select arches, trees, draw lights on house was easier than S2, if you do not have HLD. I do have the new version of the HLD, but really do not like the idea to buy a second party software just to get the animation part. Aurora may one day be a strong software to sequence with. I know Dan is busy and maybe one day he will add this to S2, so we will not have to purchase a second software and just work with one piece of software.

Ben

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I think S2 needs a grouping mechanism besides using tracks. I think tags could be used to perform very flexible grouping in a very simple way. For ideas, the LOR developers and Dan should visit the web site called wesabe dot com. That kind of tagging inside S2 could be amazing, IMHO.

What you would (optionally) do is assign any number of tags to each channel. Tags would just be words or phases that you associate with the channel. Each channel can have between zero and say 100 (or unlimited) tags associated with it.

Then, for example, you would be type in a tag (i.e. "mini tree") ... and then your current track sequencing window would only show the channels with mini tree tags on them. Unlimited tags per channel would be possible. You would click on a checkbox to toggle the tag filtering on/off as desired. I could also be hidden.

So say I tag all channels with white lights with the tag "white" ... then when I type "white" into the tag search window, I can now sequence all the channels with white lights very easily. You could see how cool it would be to create meta data tags about things that make sense to YOU and then use it both for sequencing and/or viewing ease. I could also see the creation of a new track based on the a tag search ... so create a new track based on "white" and "led lights".

Now say I want to pull up all the lights with the meta tag "mega tree1" ... now mega tree1 is easy to bring up and sequence. Say if you defined 3 mega trees like this, then a tag search for just "mega tree" would return them all ... whereas a search on "mega tree1" would return just the one.

I would see this tagging and also tag search & filter capability could also be cool to use from within the animation window as well.

I think tagging could solve organizational issues as well as make it easier to sequence groups of items ... and basically have unlimited possibilities and customizations possible.

IMHO, If S2 only introduced tagging, tag searches and animation enhancements ... it would be a huge step forward.

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I like that idea of Tags; that would definitely make a sequence easier and faster to do.

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Well, I agree w/ everything everyone has said here... however, I did take D-Light up on the 75% off offer... just to protect my investment in Spectrum...

Like Richard, I purchased Spectrum when it first came out (purchased LOR first) and was somewhat disappointed with performance and capability (compared to the LOR software, and especially S2)...

I also downloaded Aurora 1.0 and played w/it some... not sure I will ever use it completely, but for the price, its worth it just to see where it may go in the future... just my 2 cents...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Dan Dameron wrote:

Well, I agree w/ everything everyone has said here... however, I did take D-Light up on the 75% off offer... just to protect my investment in Spectrum...

Like Richard, I purchased Spectrum when it first came out (purchased LOR first) and was somewhat disappointed with performance and capability (compared to the LOR software, and especially S2)...

I also downloaded Aurora 1.0 and played w/it some... not sure I will ever use it completely, but for the price, its worth it just to see where it may go in the future... just my 2 cents...




:(I agree with you on that, I purchased it just to protect my investment but I must say I am disappointed with D-Light since when I purchased spectrum 1 he told me that version 2 was coming out shortly and I would get the upgrade for free and that never happened! (This is based on a telephone conversation I had with him not based on an assumption.)

:DAt least the LOR camp has come through with their promise and we have gotten LOR2 as a free upgrade! Not to mention that the LOR software is much better and more reliable! Hats Off to Light-O-Rama for their customer service and excellent hardware and software!
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