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Steps and scenes, many uses?

Well, I've been receiving calls from forum users here and there. I don't mind, so there's no complaint. It's been getting me to thinking recently, especially since I've been playing around wiht steps in a scene.

One of my first thoughts about steps in scenes came after my 3-day event at the Sac Horror Film Festival. MyDMX performed FLAWLESSLY for 3 full days, as did all my lights. I did need to tweak my Q-Spot 150's to reverse I think the pan setting to make it work properly with MyDMX. The ADJ profiles are not complete for the Q-Spot 150, but that's a trivial issue right now, since mine work solid with the change to the fixture.

My issue came about with doing color wash scenes with my 64 LED Pros, and then using the Q-Spot 150's as additional fill, either in matching color or white. What I didn't like was how the Q-spot 150 woul snap that shutter open, and then you could see the color wheel rotating as the head moved to position, which to me seemed a tad bit sloppy. Unfortunately, time did not permit me to make the changes I ideally needed.

What change would I need? Well, I'd prefer to do the following going forward: have the fixture MOVE to position, THEN open the shutter. How do I do this? Well, first, I'd make my scene the way I want it to look. Then, I'd copy that step and make that Step 2. Go back to Step 1, shut the shutter. Results: I fI time it right, should be absolute perfection.

Know what would be better? Ditching the Q-Spot 150's for an ADJ moving yoke fixture that supports DIMMING. But that isn't happening just yet! Maybe have an ADJ moving yoke that supports color changing via an internal LCD function. Just a goofy thought, but that may be more of an Elation line quality feature.

That's simple. Make the final scene, copy it to a second step, back up and then turn block the fixture to make a more clean finalized scene.

This is what got me to thinking. Many people want to do very simple things, many not necessarily time dependent. Many want a "song" with maybe a set of "mood lighting", say they go though a "spooky" set with blue, purple, orange, red, and maybe have each up for 45 seconds before doing a gentle fade to the next step or fades in the next step over 5-10 seconds.

It would seem that for some people, this might eb an ideal way to save on how many scenes they have available. For people doing a more fixed set or bands for example, they don't need a ton of scenes overall, and can let's say build a new scene per song. Or use scenes and steps with precise timing to help reduce MIDI trigger functions.

This isn't as practical for someone like me, who, with sound production being priority and lighting being an afterthought(but necessary feature), I don't have the option to use synced lights to music, but I can do some lighting sequences via scenes and steps to help me keep my hands off MyDMX and more onto the audio console faders where they need to be. I can quickly hit a blackout button or a "between songs white" scene and I can skate through a lot.

Then this brings up the question of how many steps can be in a scene? I know over 100 steps is possible, but is that even an issue? Worse case scenario is that a scene could be set to loop, helping make this less of an issue in case steps within a scene becomes an issue as well.

But, if a band wants tight sync, they can certainly time out the steps that they need and where, provided that the band is working with either pre-recorded backing tracks or a click track. With one scene with multiple steps in it, it can be easier for a band working with a sequencer or event something like ProTools at an event. While this may be an abstract concept at first and it is certainly easier to simply call a scene at a certain time rather than use a stopwatch or a calculator to figure out what is where and to trigger when, this just provides an easier option. It just depends on what the situation is.

If I was a band, I'd want my scenes to trigger from my sequencing package as it is easier. However, as a sound company, until I get a lighting director, I think I'm going to look at some long scenes with some hands off neat things to simplify things while delivering a decent light show for the bands I work with.

MyDMX sure has a lot of stuff and options if one doesn't think within traditional concepts.
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