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Show Length


GalenInTn
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This is going to be my first year with LOR, and I was wondering about my show length. What is a good length for music and transitions? I've got 6 songs ready and wanting to do more (maybe have 20?), but I'm not sure what is going to work best. Any ideas?

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Welcome to the forum.

A lot of this is going to depend on how your show grows.

Depending on the size of your display, the first year or two might not get too much traffic until word of mouth get's out there. As such, I would not worry about how many songs and transitions. Just keep sequencing and adding when complete.

When your show grows to the point of having traffic issues, you may want to consider show sets. This will provide a turnover of your viewers.

A big change I made was to shorten my songs. My display is not that big and there is just not that much stuff to look at for a 3+ minute song. Cutting them down to ~ 2 minutes allows the guests to see more sequences. Of course this means you have to have a larger inventory.

20 songs is very ambitious. I would go for quality over quantity.

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Thanks, I hadn't thought of it like that. It makes alot of sense.

I'm going with 16 channels this year. I don't know how far or big I'll go. I don't see it getting to a very large display, but you never know!

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This will be my 5th year with LOR - and every year I've made changes based on "lessons learned" the previous year.

"My" display includes my house and the house on each side of me - total frontage is about 200' for the three homes, and we're on a narrow residential street. Our community is popular during the holidays so there's a lot of people in the area but I don't advertise my display in any way. It's basically "discovered" or by word of mouth because I don't want to create traffic issues for my neighbors. So far we're all good on that.

My goal is for people to enjoy a show - enough that they leave feeling more uplifted. I don't want them to get antsy ("will this ever end") and I want them to think they've seen the whole thing and they're not going to miss something by leaving. And I don't want to drive my neighbors insane with the same songs over and over. I tend to do the usual holiday favorites, but enjoy tossing in something "offbeat." Nothing off-color (we're heavily kid friendly). And I am aware of the very strong feelings about religion and the "reason for the season" - which I leave to everyone to decide for themselves. But as far as my display goes, it is very neutral because I am most comfortable with that approach. And I really like TSO and Wizards of Winter but I have a hard time seeing it over and over. Thus, I've accumulated a lot of items to consider. Which has led me to this year's scheme:

My "main showtime" is 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

A few minutes before 6 p.m. is a 10-second THX theater sound bite and Wizards of Winter (the only time it plays for the night).

The rest of my songs are all packaged in one hour blocks. First in a block is something unexpected (like Bob Rivers' Toy Sack) followed by four songs which play in rotation, each is 2.5 to 3 minutes in length. Thus, if you stay for 10 minutes you'll start to hear something you've heard before and will move along.

I have multiple one-hour blocks. Monday will play blocks A, B, C, D. Tuesday will be B, C, D, E. Thursday will be C, D, E, F. You get the idea. This works well for people who walk past at roughly the same time each night (dog walkers, joggers, etc.) because they'll have a different set of 4 songs each night of the week.

Wednesday is an exception - it's the slowest night in terms of visitors and I tell people "in the know" to come on Wednesdays and the songs play through from beginning to end without repeating.

10 p.m. is the end, and my last song of the night is scheduled for 10 which is Auld Lang Syne and then all the lights fade to about 20% and remain on until 11.

So ... we'll how it goes and what changes will be needed next year. My hope is that the overall scheme works well and the only thing needed will be some additional one-hour programming blocks.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I do the same thing Rick does. Something different every night and on Friday and Saturday the ALL play, almost 2 hours. I ran from Thanksgiving night til Jan 2nd, and te only problem I had was 2 power outages during that time. This was also my firat year with LOR (had the Mr Christmas 2 years before that with FM broadcast)

I am only 16 channels, and even with that I had a great show. Lots of traffic every night in my small town. Its time to start thingking about Halloween again. I had singing pumpkins last year. Got the controller just in time for Halloween. I used 10 pumpkins and only 6 songs and it was good also.

I would like to do a 4th of July some year too I think. You woud think after 22 years in the military I could come up with a good theme/show, but I am stumped.

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2008 was my first year also, so my experience might not be valid for ensuing years. I had 35 songs done (although to be fair, I didn't use two or three of them because I didn't like how they looked in life-size view and one had some type of intermittent issue that I never did find the cause) Based on ideas I got from others, I set up two two-hour shows with the early show more Christmas-oriented and the later show more rock-oriented. In both shows, I inserted all the songs and then added repeats of the ones we (and the viewers) liked the most

I thought the traffic was pretty heavy for our small city, but compared to others who had lines of cars waiting, etc, it wasn't anything like that. We had at least three or four cars out front at almost all times. Some would stay for just a few minutes and others would be there for an hour or longer.

No doubt this year will be busier, so I might have to shorten the shows to facilitate turnover, but until it becomes an issue I'm not gonna worry about it. At this point I find it flattering rather than bothersome when people sit out front for a half hour or longer.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am working on a summer time 4th of july show. Summer time patriotic songs and sequences


When you shorten up your songs how to do you decide where to cut the shows off? Just listen for a good point to end it? I am still trying to compile a music list for the show. I have made a possible list of 350 songs and I am now trying to whittle it down to something that is workable. I figure that I will use several songs from classical, Country and Rock. If I shorten the songs down to 1 min I will cut my programming down considerably on a 32 channel show. This will also allow for quicker turnover.

Great ideas and input here. Last Christmas was my first show and I was just trying to figure things out on a 16 channel system. Now I have a little bit better understanding of things and I am ready to expand my shows and have some real fun. I have purchased a second 16 channel system and I am now thinking that I need another 16 channel system yet.

Doing a show in July it is daylight until 10 PM. So I am only planning on a 1 hour show each night. Where I live we have a state holiday on July 24 so I am going to have the show up for 21 days with a 1 hour nightly show.

I am going to recreate some effects to look like fireworks with the songs so I hope to have some fun with this. I have the hardware and software. Why not use it and I hope others will enjoy the show.

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