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So, I'm sitting here goofing around with MyDMX. I won't go into the miriade of things making me angry, both with MyDMX and outside of MyDMX.

Jingles and I have both said "stop asking for a blackout and make your own". This is good advise, but I found out is is NOT perfect advise.

Discovering that the HTP/LTP settings let you over-ride scene values, this can cause YOU grief and problems, so be warned. While your nifty BLACKOUT scene may in fact have your channels all set to default to ZERO values, if you are using a blackou scene, and you have over-ridden some values for whatever reason, those values will NOT be altered when you invoke your blackout scene.

I've been ripping pretty hard on MyDMX lately. This is something of a complaint, but more of a warning to the functionality of MyDMX so others don't get screwed, or rather frustrate the hell out of yourselves during a show.

In my case, I have a few channels that I have set for HTP/LTP that make no difference, such as gobo wheels and color wheels. My flaw in logic comes from my follow spots, which I want full control over EXCEPT in a blackout situation, so I have both those channels set for either HTP or LTP for their dimmer and color wheel channels. When I invoke my blackout scene(s), these will unfortunately NOT be over-ridden.

This isn't a flaw in MyDMX. The only way to avoid this issue is to do one of three things:

1: Make a read dedicated blackout scene, but this must be made as SCENE 1 of every "show" and not only can NOT be overridden, but also can not be copied and duplicated. But this is going to provide some programming work by the MyDMX team. It is rather clear that the MyDMX developers aren't going to integrate this. Plus, I think this may cause some problems to existing shows of integrating a new BLACKOUT master-override scene. The possibility of it tweaking a show is a hazard to be made aware of. As much as this is a much needed feature, it may be too much of a risk for MyDMX to want to implement. I think they should as many other companies have done similar type things(not entertainment type software though) of forcing something necessary into a user file WITHOUT causing problems. But I've also seen problems as well.

2: Pay Attention to what you're doing in your shows and scene programming and lighting design. While this is good practice in general, it becomes more critical with an application such as MyDMX, which has unfortunately seen the blackout as an over-sight that is for the most part easily resolved by the end user. Make sure you can deal with any problems quickly and easily.

3: Have a MIDI controller handy and properly programmed for your environment. I'm not going to dictate anything, but I will say that I'm having good results with the Korg nanoKONTROL, which is cheap, seems and feels durable and is easy to use. It has buttons, knobs and faders and is in 4 "scenes", which basically quadruples the capability of the little control surface. There are more capable and better contorllers. Considering I could be using a JLCooper CS 102 and that's over 15 times the cost of a Korg Nano and only supports 8 faders and 8 knobs for convenience as far as MyDMX is concerned(I think it could support more, i'm too lazy to read my manual), the nanoKontrol fits in my laptop bag easier.

Know what you're getting into and be aware.

In my case, my worse case situation is my spotlights stay ON, which may or may NOT be an issue depending on what is going on, but does prevent my blackouts from providing true blackout. And I go to my Korg nanoKontrol, Scene 1, Faders 8 and 9 and I can pull down 9(dimmer) and address the situation. For the most part, this isn't a problem as my spots are already accounted for.

But, should this mean HTP and LTP should be removed? Oh hell no! Think about this, if I had a handy charge of color values, I could make a ton less scenes. People who want to turn on and off a strobe can do so without altering whatever else they have going on. People who need to add or take away something have it made. Need a puff of fog? Hit that channel. Need spots but didn't add them? There ya go! Mood moves ya? Move something back and make it happen.

The advantages clearly outweigh the disadvantages. But the disadvantages could be very stressfull and frustrating live when you're not able to fully focus on this issue or not paying attention.

In this case, I'll take the good with the bad. I'd like a dedicated "no override all values zero true Blackout" button.

ALSO, DO play with your Auto/HTP/LTP settings to get what you need. NOT all my planning has worked out, and I've had to make changes. Don't take it for granted you've got it right. DO use that 3D visualizer, it's there to help.
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Ok, Chris, I must be missing something on the blackout issue. I created a nice fade to black scene and an instant blackout. Then I went in and tried adding a couple of spots and used the HTP/LTP assignments as you described. Since I was able to change the HTP/LTP on the fly, both blackout scenes worked fine. I started the show, brought up spots, then blacked out and faded to black from other scenes, then went back and did the same thing while resetting the HTP/LTP to keep the spots up. It seemed to work fine for me.

I'm bringing this up because, obviously, I'm trying to push this system to failure to find every possible crunch I might experience at a show. As I've said, I'll be running the show from my midi pedal, so I have concerns in the same area, though we don't use follow spots unless I have the manpower.
Best to "battle test" your system now than find out at show time, but, as with any computer-based syste, don't take advantage of what you think may be a stable system because they CAN and WILL fail.

But are you using a MIDI controller that has channel control via knob or fader?

That's what I'm doing. I have my BLACKOUT scene, and I have used both HTP and LPT on te spot dimmer channels and they ain't going off when and where I need them to.

If LTP is "lowest takes priority", then can't get any value lower than ZERO and they should be going off. I could understand if it was HTP(highest takes priority), but I'm not seeing it either.

I'm trying to double check my work though. It is entirely possible I'm making a mistake.
The midi pedal I've got is very generic. 10 switches, plus bank up/down, for something like 80 patches total, two expression pedals that, I'm told (but haven't seen), can send fader type control via midi. Haven't tried that one yet, since the Elation board doesn't have automation. I thought they could only control wah or volume, but those would just be "notes" as well, right?

I think what your experiencing with the HTP/LTP switches is that they may only BE selectable via mouse or touch screen. Is there a midi command that can set them to the right selection? If so, as in my case, I would have to have several blackout scenes with those selections transmitted during scene change, then a default "post" blackout scene to reset everything before continuing. Sound complicated enough? That's why I'm not a midi guy... makes my head hurt thinking in those terms.
Best wrap your head around MIDI. I am verse in it. I was working on a project to move MIDI over WAN connections in real-time)(bi-directional) to help musicians collaborate in studio environments. MIDI wouldn't survive the Async/Sync/Async conversion, regardless of speed or technology.

Back to the point. You're not using a controller that has the features that mine has.

Here's what I did: I assigned one spot HTP, and the other LTP in my "work" scene. My Work scene is a scene I don't give a crap about and mess with. Useful for testing. That's all it's for. I then hit "-" to get to my blackout scene and both spots stay put while the rest do cut out.

What I did is in EDIT mode, I right-mouse clicked to LEARN MIDI then hit the fader I wanted to use, and MyDMX picked it up.

It's almost like if you over-ride, it stays over-ridden until you zero it. This is an acceptable compromise at the moment. Even using the mouse to move 1 fader, I had the same results. This DOES make sense, bt it's not perfect in the case of blackouts and other ways I work, but mainly blackout.

What I have to keep in mind is that if I over-ride something, I have to "undo" that, which I see as being managable.

One thing I do see as handy is I can now assign a bank to my "high tech FX" and the DJ's who are going to want to have some light control can now simply bring up stuff when they want to and not disrupt what I am doing for the "regular" show I am working on for them. I think they'll like this. They had direct control over THEIR lights in January but now they are using mine.. I just need to leave a little controller handy for them with a tape label and they'll be good to go. I'll just have to make a generic Hi-Tech FX profile that is either ZERO or 255 values. I don't see that being a big deal either.

Still, a true blackout option would be highly desirable.

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