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John_Schlick

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About John_Schlick

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  • Location
    Seattle, Washington, USA
  • Interests
    Lighting (Duh), writing articles on the music business
  1. Jerky Fixture Movement

    my bad. I'm going to follow up my own post.... It's the 16 bit fixtures that I have problems with. The 8 bit fixtures are very smooth. (when I said, 8 bit jerky, I meant, 8 bit, NOT jerkey!) I do have problems with the encoders on various frogs being not sensitive to very slow movement, and then going too fast when I go fast with them, so I attribute this movement issue to the algorithm for handeling 16 bit control channels. And, maybe I'm responding to a different issue. What I see isn't really "jerkey" (where the fixture moves a bit, stops and then moves more, say as I crossfade from one position pallete to another... what I see is that the fixture as I run it on the encoder wheels, doesn't move far enough when I move the wheel slowly, and then, boom, when I run the wheel just slightly more agressively, the fixture is at the end of the range for that parameter.... John.
  2. Using SMPTE

    the new 9.2 software has a timecode setup in the desk setup menus. I've looked thru the manual to figure out how to use this, but there is no documentation. Does the board read SMTPE time code sent to the desk via the audio input jack on the back? If so, how do I display that information (say on the monitor), and how do I attach timecode information to a queue in memory so that the desk can trigger it when the time rolls by. It looks to me like the stub of a featureset thats not implememted yet, but it's something that I want on the desk. also, I'd love to have memories be able to be RELATIVE to a specific timecode index. In other words, a song starts at 2:14.03 in the set, I'd like memory 13 to start THERE. I'd like memory 14 to trigger at memory 13 + 3.04 seconds and memory memory 15 to trigger at 10.12 seconds. The reason for this is that songs remain the same structurally, but they get moved around the set from tour to tour, and I'd like to be able to program the song once, and then only change the starting queue for each tour. In any case, the question is: what does the timecode setup do? (since it's not documented anywhere that I've been able to find.) John.
  3. Fatfrog Crash

    I was programming a frog for a generic set of queues cause the board was to live in a venue. I copied a number of memories from one to the next to the next. I was then transferring those memories to the submasters (cause thats where they were going to be accessed, as they were all chases, and yes they were identical, but my plan was to modify parameters like color and gobo off the original...) As I did a transfer with time (on every desk I've used, I have to hit this key very hard to get it to "take", I'd then hit the page up or down key to get to the page to copy to, then the submaster I wanted, and when I hit OK. About every 5 or 6 queues or so the desk would crash, but that was AFTER it had transferred the memory to the submaster. I started going to the page of submasters before hitting transfer with time, and it happened far less frequently. I've also had one other desk (running 9.2) crash under these circumstances (well, I can't remember EXACTLY, but it was very similar and since it was an isolated incident, I'm going from memory as to what I was doing. It's only because I was doing a lot of the transfer with time of a memory to a submaster that I noticed it. Hope this helps get you to the right code sextion to diagnose things. John.
  4. Jerky Fixture Movement

    I'd like to second the jerky fixture movement. I see it on 16 bit fixtures with the desk. when I run those same fixtures with a hog, it's very smooth movement. When I run 8 bit fixtures with the desk, it's jerky again. I suspect that whats happening is that the encoders seem to have an accelleration calculation built in so that if you move the encoder wheel fast, the fixtures move more quickly. (in other words, a 1/4 inch travel at very high speed on the encoder seems to move the fixture all the way from 0-0 to 255-255. This accelleration appears to be very very touchy. This is a big disadvantage when doing focus every day... Yes, I'm running version 9.2, yes I have good DMX cables. John.
  5. Allow fixture swapping.

    There are two different thoughts going on here... First, let me take the quote... a desk at this level. Um, the guys that I work for bought this desk in order to be able to go out and do a club tour with a reasonable number of instruments. In the club tour environment, there are many many things that come up that any desk ought to be able to handle. Swapping out fixtures is one of them. I've seen you refer to this sort of dialogue in other posts on here. Let me tell you what I encountered on the road. I had house people in a number of clubs tell me that (and I quote from the house of blues orlando) "I've used that desk and it looks like some computer geek designed it without knowing what people really want. It's just a toy." OUCH. Thats not the reputation that you want out there is it? If you don't put in decent features, people will move on to the leprecaun LPX-24 as your competition in the same price range... What I'm saying is that this is a feature that will SELL this desk to touring professionals, if you make it easy to take over a system in someone elses club and do YOUR show then it will become a desk of choice instead of people grudgingly using this desk for that application. "A Desk at this level" is a bad phrase to use. There are others out there building desks, many in the same price range. WHY NOT give the best functionality and be the leader. If you look at the software industry, the people that learned from the leaders, and offered the fatures of the leaders at a lower price now dominate certain markers (specifically in the animation world, but also in the cad world). This is not a "well, we'll have to charge you what they charge for an MA" (which I saw in another post), this is a customer service, and leadership issue. Now, lets move on and talk about the underlying desk data structure. I have a BS in computer science, so I know how I'd have made it do what you make it do, but I'm probably wrong if I think that thats actually the way that you did it. So, at the point that I build a queue, you have 48 conventional channels, and 12 automated fixtures. IF the automated fixture is pointing to a color pallete, then it should store ONLY a pointer to that pallete, not any real dmx OR channel information. for you to make the comment about data structures, I HAVE to assume that you store a pointer to the pallete for EACH dmx channel in the pallete. BUT, if thats the case, then you use more memory for each queue. (admittedly, it might be faster to process since there is one fewer levels of indirection to process in the update sysle.) Now, there is the fact that the fixtures dmx channels can vary wildly in terms of it's first channel being in the position pallete, and the second being color and the third, etc(from fixture type to fixture type)... so you obviously have some kind of marker in there for each channel telling it what to look up in the pallete information, right? but it's a marker. So, what I'm saying, is that you get to blank the pallete when I swap out the fixture. thats totally fair game. But in the cueue, you leave the marker that says fixture 4 is using the 3rd color pallete for this queue. THEN, I go in and rebuild the pallete for those colors and once the pallete is rebuilt, all the queues will work. John.
  6. Fat frog needs more fixtures.

    the band I work for owns a fat frog. and they have maxed out the number of fixtures... By saying that you have developed new desks, ae you telling me that the processor inside can't handle additional fixtures? I can't beleive this, as the DMX protocol needs to get spit out for every channel, so it's got to be fast enough for that. are you telling me that the update for automated fixtures would slow down by processing those additional fixtures? I can't beleive that either as you already process 12 fixtures some of which can take as many as 24 dmx channels, so at that point you are handeling 260 channels of automation in your update cycle... Are you saying that if you upgrade this board that we won't buy a new one? thats probably true. And, as business, that is a statement that would make sense. So add this functionality to your software codebase, and charge for that upgrade. make it less than what we have to spend to sell this desk and buy the bigger one. In fact, I'd take the bet that there are those out there that have maxed the board, and want this. I'll make you a deal. I'll write the software for you for the upgrade, and you share profits on any sale of that version with me. (I'm assuming that you have a common codebase for your desks here, and that you use a programming language that allows you to enable and disable features at compile time via compilation directives. This way, we write it into the same source code and it just lives there thru all the other edits.) (In fact, if you have a common codebase, I'll bet that a few minor tweaks and a new compilation would give you this functionality on the fat frog.) Besides, in this day and age, with everyone buying as many fixtures as possible, you may want to allow for expansion of the OTHER desks as well...
  7. I want more preset pages as well... Yes I do!

    I read that topic thread yesterday. It dissolves into chase rates and movement effects. What I thought that I had to contribute was the idea of turning on the feature in super user mode(I like the idea that advanced features can be turned on or off, but are off by default so that new uesers to the desk don't have to cope with as much information all at once, and old users of the desk can customise it so that they don't have to "deal" with all the newfangled functionality), and the use of the f3 key as a bank swap option (f3+next or previous page moves to a new bank), and the utilization of the dot on the page LED as an indicator of the extra bank that you are now in. I was trying to offer a solution to the problem instead of just wailing that you need something new. Does the offering of a possible solution enhance when this suggested feature might get serious consideration instead of just sitting on the to-do list.
  8. Allow overpatching of DMX channels.

    I just read that string. He asked for the same thing I'm asking for and for much the same reasons. There is confusion over what is being asked for and a diversion over the fact that another desk didn't do it either. There is also a statement that the Frog doesn't do this, but no coherent discussion as to why not and what the merits are. Let me try again. I want to overpatch DMX channels. I want to patch dmx channel 53 to fader 6 and have that channel in use in one of the automated fixtures. I want to patch dmx channel 11 onto fader 13 and onto fader 23. I understand that this means that there are possible conflicts in processing that dmx channel for it's eventual output. You may either use HTP or LTP I don't care which for conflict resolution, but it would be a cooler feature if you ASKED me what to use for that channel at the time you detect that I'm overpatching it. Is there anything inherent in the desk that makes this impossible? (by the way I've written software for showlites for motor control systems, ran the alderham dimmer manufacturing operation for a few years, and have a degree in software engineering, so, if you want to get technical in your answers, please don't be afraid of leaving me in the dust. I'll also offer to do some of the work on your desk software if you like and don't have the development resources at your company right now... need a resume?) John.
  9. Live music Lighting Designer/Board Operator/Technician/Crewchief LOVE touring, Have valid Passport. Can program all manner of automation on any desk, in any size venue, and make it fit the band and the the needs of the specific show. Lived with a frog on tour in 1000 seat venues for several months. (full production bump package including 11 peices of automation, strobes, smoke, front floor trusses, floor par cans, power tie in, the works, EVERY show every day.) Currently have 1 ongoing nationally touring client, and loads of local (read unsigned) ones. Have relationships with multiple equipment vendors to make gear appear for any sized show, or can show up and run whats there. For me, lighting is about making the visual aspects of the show enhance what the band is doing onstage within the restrictions of the available equipment, budget and time. I'm VERY VERY good at what I do. Please email John_Schlick@hotmail.com for a current resume, or call (206) 932-6622. I'm available for tours, music video work, large special events or one-offs, showcase shows, as well as crew work. John.
  10. Allow the fixture profile to create a default palette set for (at least) color and beamshape, and then ask if you want that loaded into the palettes at the time that the fixture is assigned. This way, it may not be perfect, but at FAST shows, at least there will be something there. And yes, we know that there are too many instruments for all of them to have BLUE in position 3 of the pallete, but thats why you allow us to edit the fixture profile in the desk so that we can order that palette any way we want to match what we are doing with the other fixtures in the show. Yeah, it's some more work for us, but it's easier to change the order around than to enter the values for every one of the fixtures that we add to the show. Default palettes are a good idea. Yes they are. John.
  11. Sometimes, there are fixtures that only you, and maybe god used (in an earlier incarnation of the universe), and so there are no profiles available for the fixture. Can we create the profile IN the desk? (superuser - create profile) When on tour, there were days when I'd run into some hunk of crap fixture in some club that I wanted to use, but couldn't get to a PC that day, and so I couldn't make a profile for the fixture. If I could have created one in the desk, that would have been really nice. John.
  12. Please oh please, can new versions of the desk have a bump button for scene A and scene B. It is after all the conventional section of the desk, and conventionals like to get bumped. They do, the really do. Then I can set up two scenes and really hammer them for hard rock instead of the fastest fade I can do that still doesn't look like a bump. Hard Rock NEEDS bumps. EVERYWHERE. John.
  13. 9 pages of presets for a band on tour is not enough. Especially when there are 19 songs in the set. I ha to divide every page in half and that left me 6 easily accessible queues for every song. Not enough. and the last song, I had to run out of memory. BLEK. Allow me to use the little dots on the LED for the page to have 1 thru 9 .1 thru .9 and maybe even a third bank. Use the F3 key for bank select (or just allow them to cycle, but turn this feature on and off in super user so that novices don't get to page .3 and wonder where there page 3 is...) Yes, I know, I still have to live within the limits of what the desk can remember, but damn it, I don't care about 400 memories, I want the memories that I create to be accessible as submasters. YES I DO!!!! Think about it, this desk is designed for all kinds of users, right? The club touring market is one that you want. Bands have more than 9 songs in a set, and more live music LD's place their queues on the submasters not in the memory stack to run a show. (especially in clubs where you don't know what the house system will look like from day to day.) This feature is just the RIGHT thing to do for this desk. John.
  14. Starting a chase at step 1 using submasters

    I want very much to have a chase menu item for "always start from step one when selected". I built some VERY cool sweeps for the show I was touring, and I wanted them to run at the start of every chorus, but once I'd run it once for the song, I couldn't predict that it would start where I needed it to for the next chorus. BLEH. Then the band said "well the LAST LD could get a sweep there every time". Any time I read something in the manual that saiys that ICAN'T do something and the band sees it as career limiting, thats a BAD thing. A very bad thing. John.
  15. Allow fixture swapping.

    While using this board on a large US club tour, I encountered clubs where their equipment was far superior to mine. I wanted to run their fixtures to do my show on these days, but I could not. What I wanted to do, was to re-assign the fixture to a new fixture type, and yes, it's fair game to allow it to blow away the pallete information, but WHY of WHY do you also erase that fixture from every queue... If in queue 20, fixture 2 is aimed at pallete position 2... (and I rebuild the pallates for the new fixture 2), then allow me to keep the queue, and aim it at position 2 in queue 20... As part of re-assigning the fixture, ASK me if I want to keep it in the queues. It's that simple. Then I can take over really bright instruments instead of using the crappy ones that I have on tour. (smirk) It occurs to me that this desk is aimed at the large club tour market as well as other kinds of markets, but in that market, you hit a WIDe diversity of equipment in the clubs that you want to deal with on the board that has the show, NOt on the clubs board that requires the 3rd 4th and 5th hands at the desk as part of the show. As it was, most of the time, I put the club LD on headset and had him follow my lead. Not the best solution for having unified control. And this can be solved JUST by asking the question as you re-assign the fixture. John.
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