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Lost in Sarajevo... HELP!


oohyahla
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Hi everyone! I'm a newbie... here and with light shows. From where I come from to work(Saudi Arabia), it was illegal to greet anybody Merry Xmas much less celebrate it. So, after I got here, I'm raring to have a grand Christmas Light Show and celebrate my newfound freedom - and possibly win next year's Xmas Decor contest. I tried to put a light show using Gemmy's 12 channels but it looked like a joke with the lights not sycnhronizing with the music. I felt so embarrassed I seldom turned my lights on. Anyway, I'm thinking about using "Tim Thompson's(accoustic guitar free hand guitar champrion) music for next year's show and would like to hold a contest here for the best sequence for Tim's music and offer some kind of a prize or something. Is it a good idea? Sorry, I talk too much for a newbie.

Anyway, hereunder is my letter to this forum's admin I hope you could answer some of my questions. Please bear with my grammar. Thanks in advance!

Thanks! I am very interested in your software and light controller but feel so lost. I've seen videos of your products on youtube and am planning to have a light show next year. Based on my short research, I think I'm going to go for the 64 channels. It's my belief that I could have more sophisticated show using 64 channels compared to 32. I think that there's a big difference between 64 and 32 when running TSO's Mad Russian or Christmas in Sarajevo. Could you confirm that you have a different sequence for 32 and 64? Thanks. I need some help too as to how to calculate the maximum amps I could use for every channel, if I could use extention wires, if I could plug the controller to a main socket or need an electrician to do it. Also, I would like to know if you have true plug-and-play system currently available or to be released before next year's christmas.

My fear too is about the software. I would like to know if I have to program the sequence each and every note in the music. Does the software have the capability to read a certain music and automatically write down the 'track' sort of a wizard and allow me to assign each note to a channel and make some modifications? I know that you sell sequences too but would like to know if it could be modified by you to fit my design(based on the decors, lights I have)?

Also, could I possibly send you my design(were it shows where the mega tree, cones, and other items are at) so you could suggest to me how many channels I need and where to plug each item to a channel and what sequence to use?

Could you offer me advice as to what lights and how many lights do I need to make a mega tree? Or any advice similar to this?

I'm starting this early because I want my show grandious and possibly win the city's next year's contest. I've already bought a lot of christmas decors and my garage is full. But, I would like to know where should I start. But first, I would like to know the answer to my few questions first.

Thank you so much for your patience.

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Welcome to the forum!


Though not an expert, I will offer my experience when I started with LOR:

I think I'm going to go for the 64 channels. It's my belief that I could have more sophisticated show using 64 channels compared to 32. That is not a bad starting place. I would start with 32, 48 or 64.


Could you confirm that you have a different sequence for 32 and 64? LOR sells some sequences. Theirs are either 16, or 32 channels the last time I checked. You can also find examples of sequences on www.LORSequences.com of various size (16 channels and up).

Thanks. I need some help too as to how to calculate the maximum amps I could use for every channel, You measure the amp load of the lights you are going to plug into the channel and add them up for the controller. If you have access to an AMP meter or a "Kill-A-Watt" meter, that is one way to measure. Another way is to look at the amp rating of each strand (probably printed on the box of lights or on the tag attached near the plug) and use that rating.

if I could use extention wires, if I could plug the controller to a main socket or need an electrician to do it. You could do it yourself.



My fear too is about the software. I would like to know if I have to program the sequence each and every note in the music. Does the software have the capability to read a certain music and automatically write down the 'track' sort of a wizard and allow me to assign each note to a channel and make some modifications? I know that you sell sequences too but would like to know if it could be modified by you to fit my design(based on the decors, lights I have)?

If you are unsure about how to program, I would experiment with the software. If that is too much for you, then look at sequences on LORSequences.com. If that is too much, then you can probably find people that will sequence for you if you ask them really nicely or you can pay them to do it for you.

The software is not too hard to learn to operate.



--

I did not answer all your questions, as there are others here that are probably more qualified than me.

But as a former "newbie", I can only say that it is not as hard as it looks, though it is time consuming.

I hope this helps.

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Thank you so much guys! Special thanks goes to Dale for the detailed explanations. I wasn't able to read your replies until today because I was busy shopping for Christmas stuffs(lights at Target, decors at Home Depot, Big Lots and Walmart). Bryan, I think that's my problem - I have a garage full of Christmas items but I don't have the final setup yet. But I'm pretty sure that I'd use the 64 channels, maybe more but not less. I'm thinking about using all of Tim Thompson's songs in my shows. He's an accoustic guitar artist and winner of the '04 Finger Style contest. I chose him because I want my show unique, solemn and classy. I might go for some TSO songs like Christmas in Sarajevo, Mad Russian and Sleigh Ride. As much as possible, I'd like to have a show that has variations and not just a loop of sequence. With Sarajevo, I'm planning to use some smoke machine at the start of the song, then explode some firecrackers at the end of it. Also, strobe lights is high on my list though I plan to use it sparingly. Currently, I'm shopping on ebay for white LED icycles and C6 LED lights. I bought 100x28 LED white and blue bulbs I plan to use as an accent. I will only use white and blue lights. After all the shopping is done, I will move on to buying the software and start experimenting(as Dale has suggested). As soon as I'm done designing my show(hopefully using the software), I will PM you Bryan about the sequences. Really, thank you so much for the offer - I appreciate it. I'm thinking to make the Sarajevo my masterpiece - even if I have to program the sequence from the starting note to the last. That's it guys! Thank you so much for your replies! Tell me about yourselves too so I may learn a lesson or two.

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Welcome to the forum!

There are a number of active newbies here - I being one. You'll find alot of great advice here on the forum.

I have had a modest static display for quite a few years - between 4,500 and 5,000 mini-lights (35 strings, and three mesh), 9 reindeer, a santa sleigh, and a 16 foot live christmas tree. All of my light strings are labled, and I hang them in the same spot every year. When I added a six channel controller for 2008 - I ended up needing an additional 35 extension cords. I'm planning on moving up to 32 channels in 2009 - which is why I have already began working on the display and putting together a list of materials to buy on sale.

My tip would be to inventory what lights you have, or plan to buy. Sketch out how the front of your house looks, then decide what lights and features will go where - and draw them in.

Now is where the work begins... You need to get a copy of the Light-O-Rama software so you can get hands on experience building a show. The first step would be to take your sketch from above and build an animation/channel configuration assigning lighting strings to channels. You can either download songs and adapt the channel configuration to your lighting, or you can program your own sequences.

Being a newbie - I am not aware of a way to assign a note to a channel to build a sequence. In S2 you can build a beat track from a song - then you have to program the rest of the show (or use tapper for different channels). I built a song sequence (sugar plum fairy) using version 1 of the software (it's a .zip file in my message titled Programming LOR) for a 16 channel controller.

I was happy with the animation sequencing - until I started working on my second song - Celtic Christmas. I decided I "needed" more channels for this song.

The two points I'm trying to make are:

1) Programming a song is not trivial, I have 20+ hours into sugar plum fairy and about 50 hours for Celtic Christmas. I'm not a perfectionist - but it does have to look good.

2) I'm comfortable with computers, programming, networks, and communications protocols. For 2008 a 6 channel pre-programmed controller (GE Mr Christmas) was cool. I decided to move up to a LOR 8 channel for 2009, based on my first song sequence I decided I needed 16 channels. Then I decided I needed either 24 of 32 channels while doing my second song sequence.

I subscribe to the principal of keeping it as simple as possible. I don't know if this makes sense - but since I started out with 8 channels, my display didn't work. So I added 8 more channels - now it rocked. Next song - 16 channels didn't work, now I'm going to 32 - so now I retro fit the first song to 32 channels.

If you plan your lighting, then get hands on programming - you will end up with the right number of channels and have fun making it all work.

SJ

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