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Suggestion for how to start sequencing


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Just thought I'd throw out a few sequencing concepts I've found to be really, really helpful to some of the newbies out there. For those of us that have been doing this awhile, unfortunately most of us learned the tricks on our own.

The biggest thing I've found is establishing a 'beat' pattern that works for your particular show. Most people use the tapper wizard, beat wizard or VU wizard to get some initial timing events, only to get hopelessly lost when they try to start actually filling in show content. Everything gets all 'mucked' up.

So, here's a suggestion on how to get started:

1. If the song has a nice beat to it, you might use the Beat Wizard or VU wizard to add timing events to the song. If not, you'll have to use the Tapper wizard. Simply add one tap per beat. As an example, if the song is nice 4/4 timing, just tap out 4 beats per measure along with the song. Please, please resist the urge to simply break your song into even increments throughout! You'll be frustrated to no end trying to get the timing right.

2. In addition to the channels you define for your display, also create a channel called 'beat', or something like that. This will be your reference line. Before you go any further, alternately turn on and off the 'beat' channel for the first couple of beats of the song (just four beats will do). This is so we can see where the actual beats are once we divide up all the timing.

3. The resulting timing from step one will be WAY too spaced out to do you any good, assuming your display has any complexity at all. You need to divide these timings into smaller elements so you can implement 'cool' effects.

4. Now, figure out the needs of your display. For instance, you might have leaping arches with 8 channels, and it'd be nice if they can dance back and forth to the beat. In that case, you'd probably want to divide the timings from step 1 into 8 even units. On the other hand, you might have a mega tree with 64 channels. Dividing each time into 64 subunits is unmanageable. In this case, divide the timings into 8 or 16 equal sections. Note that you probably don't want to make your resultant timings less than .02 seconds apiece, since it will do no good.

5. Now simply highlight the entire song, and divide the timings into these equal spacing determined in step 4.

6. Go back to the beat channel, and you'll notice that the two 'ON' sequences now span your 8 or 16 (or whatever) events you've now created per beat. Turn OFF all but the first two events of each beat.

7. Highlight the first couple of beats of the beat channel, and copy and paste them throughout the entire song.

8. Then, copy the beat track to another track. Move this track up to the top.

Now, you have a nice line at the top of your display that indicates where each beat is, and you've divided each beat into exactly 8, 16 (or whatever you chose), so your arches, trees and other features become quite easy to synchronize.

Note that it doesn't matter that your timings vary slightly throughout the song. Each beat will be right on time, and everything should sync up perfectly.

Spend time on this part..... Don't just leap in trying to mess with all the channels without establishing a nice baseline beat.

Hope this helps.


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I agree. Get the beat down first. It makes everything easier.

One tool I use alot after using the Tapper is to highlight a series (four or five at most) of beats and use the tool to evenly space the beats. I think you get this option when you right click on the mouse. This cleans up where you mis-hit a beat with the tapper.

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I've watched the videos too and it still makes no sense. You write it for newbies yet explain it like we know what you're going on about.

Tapper is very basic and prone to errors. i'd have thought there'd be no need for that, surely theres a way from the software to get the beat off the music, especially at the price it is.

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Tapper is very basic and prone to errors.

There are many different methods people employ to sequence their music. Personally, I'm a fan of the tapper, and use it for nearly all of my sequences.

There are those out there who do not use the tapper, and simply create a timing grid of .05 (or some other timing) and program that way.

The point I'm after is that each person is different, and will have their own style of sequencing. It's really a matter of sitting down with the software and figuring out which one works for you.
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