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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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this is the posting ive been looking for, and to no surprise i find you two cats in the center of it.
rite now my concern is not with making my fixtures do the stadium wave or circles or any type of crazyness.
my concern is with simply making sense in a live situation and not looking sloppy, chris, your post on the shutter opening and showing the color wheel and using stepps to try and fix the sloppy appearance of that (thinking ouside the box) was helpful.

for the most part, at this point i will be using moving heads in special situations only, for 1 because adding fixtures increases set up/tear down and im not interested in that for just the general customer.
but im going to try and hone my skills on one particular band we run allot with because i know there set well. i look at it more as customizing a show rather than just having lights on. if thats the case just give me some pars and a scene setter 48 and im golden.

ok, what the hell is he talking about here? whats his point? herre is an example:
in my garage i set up 4 fixtures with 3 scenes. im doing a show for a poison tribute band ( try and hide your envy)
and i want to try a little intelligent lighting. so i pick the song "i wont forget you"
im sure im making this harder than needed but i want things to change on cue,
intro to song: heads move between 3 differant fixed points (scenes) in a slow fade of like 4 seconds with a hold time of 1 sec.
they seem to advance on "beat one" when they go. ( hope im making sense) and by the time the verse starts i simply stop them in their position during verses and activate the scene chase during chorus. adds a very dramatic element.. makes me smile. thats what lights do..
now, these are recorded songs and in real time,"live" the tempos will vary and i prefer to be spot on as i can...
so, i pick another song thats totally differant.."american life" by primus. fade times are differant a bit but i can compinsate by simply clicking the next scene in the sequence on cue with the beat. but that seems shotty since its a mouse and tab on the screen.. i know there are ways to shortcut that stuff to keys i think. but all in all when it comes to trying to be a bit elaborate, even if its with 3 simple scenes there is no such thing as hands off... but what would be the fun in that. i like to run lights.

i dont know what im trying to get across hear except being out of sinc worries me. i undertand fully there are no tap sync or sound activation here.. i wouldnt use sound activation any ways, i like to be more in control.
With regards to programing 'clean up' as I like to call it, there are a few ways to do it. The easiest way is a the Hog, it let's me do separate timing for every function a light has. For example, I can snap a shutter shut with a fade time of 0s and then have the fixture move and change color over however many seconds I want. Make another cue that follows that the first cue and opens up shutter once the light is set. Another way to do it if I want to see movement but not color change is fade the fixture out on the 1st cue, follow it into the 2nd cue which snap changes the color but fades the movement and have that follow into another cue with a delay of .5s for the color change that fades the light back up or snaps it on again. Since the Hog is tracking, it only changes the values I change in a cue. So dispute following into the 3rd cue, the fade on the movement continues since I didn't change pan and/or tilt values on the third cue. I love tracking.

Now for a cue only type desk, programing something like that takes a little more thought. My first cue would be a shutter shut, this would follow into a movement and color change which then follows into a the shutter opening back up again. Now if I want the movement to be seen but the color change to not be seen, first cue would snap the shutter shut/fade the light, followed by a snap color change which follows into a movement and fade up the light cue at the same time. The only issue with this, however, is the light won't be to full until the movement is complete since I don't have as much control over timing. I can get around this by changing the dimmer curve on the fixture to make it fade up faster (75% is full instead of 100% for example), but then have to keep that in mind for the rest of the show then.

I can also do something like this on say a Magic 260 since it has fade times and speed times (which are really follow times). It would just take me a while since there is a lot of paging over I have to do on that desk.

Syncing stuff to live is a royal pain. Unless you are touring with the band, you just have no idea what they are going to to and when they are going to do it. Major tours a rehearsed for a month or more before they go out. They know what the band is going to do and when they are going to do it. That is not to say there is no improvisation, Bruce Springsteen comes to mind. But normally there is something programed for those improvisations. Sometimes there isn't, and you just run on the fly. With rigs as big as that, people really aren't going to notice if something is off and likewise the designer/op probably knows the band well enough it is.

Track acts it is simple to sync things to. They have to do exactly like the track and keep on beat with the track. This is one of the reasons I love doing dance shows because it can be sync very easily since the dances don't have a choice but to do what the track is telling them to do. I am notorious for syncing shows to tracks via timing. Once I did a number called "Stomp to My Beat" (can find the track on YouTube) and sync a light change to each beat. The track also stopped at 2:09 fortunately. It was done with nothing but conventional lighting and some strobes. After the number, my one friend said to me, "Thanks for the seizure." So it can be synced without midi or time code, but you need to be touring with the band or on tracks. Otherwise, you are really just busking.
yea, as far as sync'n to live music and customizing a show, the fact that you would have to be with a touring band, or, exclusive to a show has been a reality since i first decided onto this endevour. we have had these droids and scanners for a few years just packed away. and i have just been to timid to start messin with them. but thats all changed now. i dont know how i am gonna approach it... i guesss im not looking at mydmx as a final solution,but more like spanish 101. as our company grows it needs to expand. while intelligent lighting isn't really necessary now. we all agree that it's a factor in the future. so really i look at this as a $300 (or however much is was) course to prepare for the next stepp a few years down the road. this is a great "course" for me. great support, user friendly and lotts of cool people to get info from. thanx SerraAva

Limits are limits where MyDmx is concerned, but keep reading the forums and you'll find your answers.

Don't think of the software as being intelligent, regardless of its' labeling. "There's no such thing as 'Plug and Play', there's only 'Plug... and Pray'."

As for your using intelligent lights, you might try building several scenes just for them with the different sweeps, strobes, color changes and combinations that you like.
Since you have so many scenes at your disposal via MyDmx, you can place these scenes near other scenes that they will work well with and just switch to them at the right places. On timings, the band is the key, but even adding sfx scenes at different speeds would cover that, especially if you group them properly.

I'm not lucky enough to have a Hog either, so I keep having to come up with easier ways of accomplishing my tasks. All in all, it makes you more efficient and when you know the limitations of the software, it's easier to figure out a way around them.
I agree from the standing of making a scene, then making copies of that scene for different colors. I find myself doing this quite a bit. It's really handy. Plus, with good organization, you can find things rather easily.

Also, I agree with the "Plug and Play", which has theoretically been good, with the Mac platform really capitalizing on this concept through strict hardware control. Plug and Pray? Yeah, heard that one before. I prefer "Hope and Pray", seems more accurate! The Korg Nano-series, as much as I have talked highly about them, is in the "Hope and Pray" category. It's just funky drivers that definately need an overhaul. Of course, MyDMX sometimes falls into this hope and pray category as well but lately it's been solid.

As far as a highly syncronized show, MyDMX or a single laptop is NOT the right solution, it's at least a 2-box solution. Or, this is a 2-computer/box solution until MyDMX gets more MIDI functionality. Otherwise, TroubleMaker's concept of properly ordering things, combined with human intervention via one way or another, would be the way to go. It won't be perfect, but it would most likely have passable results. I don't mean "passable" as in "well, it works and we get by", I mean passable as "yes, the results aren't always absolutely perfect, but we do find the results more than adequate and perfectly acceptable for what we're trying to accomplish.

This organization is just another way to think outside the box. It's ultimately not how I personally would do it, but it can result in more than just acceptable results. It comes down to the skill and talent of the lighting designer coordinating with the talent.

I did a big show that used a repeating 30-minute scene that has over 2000 steps. It got the job done, so let's just say the clients were happy. Was it good? Well, who is to say. I thought it was overly busy, but since it was for a rave, I guess it was good.

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