Jump to content

Event Intervals in a Sequence


BryanLeggo
 Share

Recommended Posts

Someone who just saw one of my sequences wanted it it set-up in 5's. I didn't know what this meant at first but I'm guessing that it refers to events the number of events per second. Since the LOR software makes it easy to do events that are subdivisions of the 100th of a second, I get how it's easy to do this IF you're making every event length the same. If every event is the same size then it's easy to repeat chase patterns and so on. On the other hand, I think maybe that's why a lot of videos of the sequences I see really aren't precisiely timed to the beats of the music. Wizard of Winter is typical. Usually when I see it, it's not truly in synch with the music because the event lengths are identical.

Okay, so music usualy works in 2's, 4's or 8's so my question is do most of you create seqeunces where event lengths are identical or do you create events that are subdivided in 2's according to the actual beats of the music?

Of course, it's easy to divide seconds into 4ths with a 0.25 interval length but that misses the point of precisely following the music (except MIDI) doesn't follow patterns like that. Musicians aren't that precise - and thank goodness they aren't - it's called being musically expressive.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Personally, I rely heavily on the Beat Wizard. (It isn't always exact, especially in the beginning of a song, but it's a helluva lot better than I'd ever be with the tapper, and very few people can spot the miscues.) Then it's a simple matter to subdivide the timings into however many sections, 4,7,8, etc that I want for a particular element of the display. I've found that using set timings, .1, .05, etc, is much more difficult for me to work with.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I rarely use the beat wizard (several issues) and I never, EVER use the generic "x events per second" or "0.05 second events" or similar for the reason you mentioned - Music never falls on timings like that. Ever (with the rare exception that it was done like that on purpose).

I count out beats of the music and use the "subdivide timings" feature of S2 to put the subdivisions where they actually belong. Sometimes I'll subdivide based on how many beats are actually between too events I've manually placed, and other times I'll subdivide it based on how many channels I need to cycle through during that period. It all depends on what I'm trying to do.

You can use tons of equally spaced small events, but when you copy and paste things you're either out of sync very quickly, or you spend *way* too much time compensating with tiny offsets to keep things in check. ...or you *don't* take that time and you get sloppy sequences (the end of the famous WiW video is a prime example).

I think it usually comes down to how much understanding of music people have. If people are aware of rhythms, beats, and time signatures, they are more likely to divide their timings out more logically. Those who aren't so musically adept or more likely to just rough it out with generic timings.

...of course, I found the subdivide timings feature of the old version of the software not to work in any useful manner, and perhaps as more folks move to S2 we'll see it getting more use and more folks moving to event timing based on the music and not the clock.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm still using LOR 1 so I don't have the Beat Wizard or Channels. Anyway, I'm not having any real trouble synchronizing and keeping my beats or their subdivisions. It just takes a little extra work and time but at least the events mimic the music and aren't an artificial subdivision of 5.

I was just curious because it made me wonder if people are actually designing their light displays around groups of 5 -which I wouldn't do just because it's more convenient to make sequences structured that way. 16 mini-trees match most music a lot better than 15 would, after all.

Not that you asked but what I do is use the Tapper to crete event lines, then shift everything left by about 0.08 or so and then fill in every other event just to make it easy to see the beats. Then I drag the lines within each musical "measure" to be more or less equally sized (while not deviating the beat itself much) and then subdivide by 2's or 4's measure by measure as necessary. This is the most tedious part - I wish the software had an old-fashioned "macro" function that would allow quick repetition of a series of key strokes.

Occasionally I'll divide a measure into 3's if the music happens to be feature triplets at that point. And yes, undertstanding basic musical notation and rhythms is a huge help, especially since I create 2 channels for just about every musical instrument and plot out even the minor events.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

RiscIt wrote:

... I think it usually comes down to how much understanding of music people have. If people are aware of rhythms, beats, and time signatures, they are more likely to divide their timings out more logically. Those who aren't so musically adept or more likely to just rough it out with generic timings.

I think that's probably the whole point of LOR developing the Beat Wizard in the first place - to give those of us who AREN'T musically gifted a fighting chance. Perhaps y'all who are capable of dividing your "timings out more logically" look down your nose on the Beat Wizard and those who use it, but many of the rest of us see it as a Godsend. I've seen a lot of videos over the past couple of years, and I'll compare my 2008 Newbie efforts (relying on the Beat Wizard) to most of what's out there.

Bryan,

My first piece of advice would be for you to upgrade to S2. Regardless of how musically inclined you may or may not be, almost everything you want to do will be easier, more precise and a lot quicker in S2. You might also discover that it has a feature or two that you find yourself wishing you had right now...

George
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Technically I need to upgrade to LOR 1 first. But that's $100 that I could be spending on liquor.



Bryan,

My first piece of advice would be for you to upgrade to S2. Regardless of how musically inclined you may or may not be, almost everything you want to do will be easier, more precise and a lot quicker in S2. You might also discover that it has a feature or two that you find yourself wishing you had right now...

George

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I start out at 0.05 second intervals and then (using the tapper wizard) tell the lights to turn on/off.

Since you are not using LOR2, this is the easiest way.

If you do upgrade to LOR2 and use the beat wizard, be aware that if the music has a change in rhythm, your timing could be off. i have found this to be the case in a couple of songs that I was doing this year and last year.

If I had relied on the beat wizard by itself, I would have been wrong. Trust your ear. Listen to it at half speed to nail the timing of the beats, etc.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Perhaps y'all who are capable of dividing your "timings out more logically" look down your nose on the Beat Wizard and those who use it


Please don't assume I'm looking down my nose @ anyone, other than people shorter than me.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting topic. Something I know very little about. However, I do know that it is Wizards IN Winter!

Now for the subject matter at hand. I use 0.05 seconds for my main track. Of course I am sure you all know that if need be you can move a timing mark just about anywhere. Not quite on the mark at 0.05 then no problem move it to 0.03 and you are all set. However, I will pretty much bet that none of your eyes can tell the difference between 0.01 and 0.02 seconds. Personally if it is that close for me then heck with it.

What most people have not mentioned is tracks and how you use them. I like mostly fast upbeat songs. So I may use the trees or the house as the main beat. Then I kick it up a notch, or two or three. Bottom line it is your display and honestly if you hit all your marks great. If you don't and have done the best you can then that is great too. We can all do a little better and we have all done a lot worse. I am not critical of someone's sequences in public. I may think it to myself but I never say anything cause I know mime pretty much suck.

Oh and if any of you go to my website just keep in mind that all the New Years Eve songs were done in three hours or less and pretty much just to have some fun with my tree and test some patterns. Considering a minute of the normal Christmas show can take up to 10 hours you will understand.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest wbottomley

Good point.

With 480 channels in 2009, precision is NOT one of my priorities. If I get it close, then so be it.

People can spend way too much time getting a sequence perfect that no one but you will notice. I learned this the second year and decided to say, "Heck with it."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You know when you get to a larger display in terms of distance and items it is best to try and layer. By that I mean you pay attention to detail on certain details that you want to feature of a certain song.

The rest of the items you can layer, i.e. fades etc.

The eyes will go to the feature elements and the rest fill in the total picture.

A good example would be a coro project that sings. Now you want the visitor's eyes to focus on the actual project and it has to be dead on. You reduce the light around that project and thus the eyes will focus on that area. But the rest of the place cannot be dark so you use beats, fades, chases to fill in. Thus the entire display is working together to get the right effect yet detail is not need in the entire display.

Having said that it still take over 10 hours a minute.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

RiscIt wrote:

Is there some some reason ya'll think I've said something to protray myself as some elitist pric? I don't know what tone ya'll are reading my messages with, but it's not the tone they were written with.


Typical Maine sense of entitlement and superiority. And yes, that's a joke. (emoticons, people --- :/ )

Anyway, some people will notice it when lights aren't quite in synch and some won't but I definitely notice and it bugs it me when I'm responsible for it. I think a lot of people who don't explicitly notice it still probably get this vague sense that something is a little "off" - in a purely visceral way. That may or may not affect their enjoyment of it but in the end it's a free show and they're still getting a bargain.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mountainwxman wrote:

Good point.

With 480 channels in 2009, precision is NOT one of my priorities. If I get it close, then so be it.

People can spend way too much time getting a sequence perfect that no one but you will notice. I learned this the second year and decided to say, "Heck with it."


It seems like the precision only nned apply to the beat track and key spots and events in the music. I'd think that all those extra channels are just cut and pasted into spots based on those timings (assuming they aren't soft waves of lights and so on).
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

I'm still new to this, but I find the beat wizard to be a great help. Then I will choose perhaps 4x timings to the main beat. Fortunately, most of the music we sequence has 4 or 8 beats to the measure. I also find displaying the waveform of the music to be of immense help. You can sync to the beat very easily this way.

It's true that musicians get ahead of and behind the beat (even on purpose). But with 4x timings one of them is truly close enough. I don't see the need to delete unused timings. They don't cost anything (other than visual clutter in the sequence editor.)

I also look at the sheet music to help me. Once you get a few measures of timing down you're probably good for the whole song. I can usually see the first few measures for free online without having to pay for anything. :-)

Given the way music is mastered I have also found that reducing the volume (use your favorite audio editor) can make the waveform much more readable. You can switch back to the original wave file when you are through editing.

I find editing the sound track with a sound editor to be essential, especially if you are using a purchased or downloaded sequence. It's easy. I don't use it but Audacity is free. The sorts of things I do routinely are to adjust when a song begins and ends in order to get it to match a downloaded sequence.

Just some of my own tips ...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...