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Jon Hole

Proposal: RIP Submasters?

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Hi All,

 

We're continuously working to make ZerOS more intuitive and quicker to programme, yet even more powerful, with regular new features and updates.

 

In the next release of ZerOS, we're proposing retiring "Submasters" so that everything becomes a "Playback", just like on FLX. We'd like your feedback on this idea!

 

Why would we want to do that?!

Well, ZerOS is a bit of a mess at the moment! Each console has different terminology and slightly different features:

 

ORB & ORB XF: Submasters, Cues, Cue Stacks, Playbacks (Cue Stacks can be chases, Submasters can't be)

Solution, Solution XL, LF48 & LF96: Submasters, Memories, Memory Stack (Submasters and Memories can have chases directly within them)

FLX: Cus, Playbacks (Playbacks can be chases)

FROG 2: User Definable Faders, Cue Stacks, Playbacks (Cue Stacks can be chases, User Definable Faders can't be)

There are many reasons this isn't good. For you, it means that you're probably missing basic functionality which is already available on another ZerOS consoles, it means there's a significant learning curve when moving from one ZerOS console to another, and it means that showfiles aren't as fully cross-compatible as they should be. For us, it means development and testing is slower and more complicated, technical support is more difficult, and training / documents are more confusing.

 

So, what exactly are "Playbacks"?

Currently, on ORB, ORB XF and FROG 2, "Playbacks" relate to the physical fader, which can then have different "Cue Stacks" on them (using pages). So, for example, ORB has 10 "Playbacks", but 1000 "Cue Stacks". This means you can access 10 of the 1000 "Cue Stacks" at any one time. ORB XF can have 20 "Playbacks", meaning you can access 20 of the 1000 "Cue Stacks" at any one time.

 

However... on FLX we ignore all this, and "Playbacks" are the new name for a more advanced, yet simplified, "Cue Stack". These new "Playbacks" can have a single cue on them (like a Submaster), they can have multiple cues on them (like a Cue Stack), and they can have a chase on them. It are these Playbacks that we propose to roll out for all consoles.

 

How will this affect me?

It depends on which console(s) you use:

 

ORB: All the features of Submasters and Cue Stacks get combined, so you no longer have to switch between them on the 10 faders. Any Playback can be loaded onto the "Master Playback" (but a new "Playback 0" would become available for those users who'd like the Master Playback to be completely independent).

ORB XF: All 60 faders could be Playbacks, rather than just the bottom 20, meaning chases can be put anywhere. The "Fader Function" button instantly switches between "Channels" and "Playbacks" with a single button push, rather than the longer syntax currently required. Any Playback can be loaded onto the "Master Playback" (but a new "Playback 0" would become available for those users who'd like the Master Playback to be completely independent).

Solution, Solution XL, LF48 & LF96: Each of the current submasters would become Playbacks, allowing you to store multiple cues to each of these faders, just like on the "Master Playback". Chases would no longer be stored directly within individual memories, but instead they'd be stored onto a separate Playback. This would then be programmed to automatically be included within whichever cues you decide (so you still only press the main GO button). This is advantageous compared to the current chase method for three main reasons:

1) Chases can very easily run on top of multiple sequential cues, rather than just one

2) It becomes very easy to update the "base" lighting state and then put the chase on top of this, rather than having to update every step of the chase

3) A Chase can be used multiple times, even when the "base" lighting state is different

FLX: Nothing changes

FROG 2: Both sets of 10 faders become Playbacks. These can be paged independently of each other (so the top set could be "Page 1", and the bottom set could be "Page 2").

Will old showfiles be compatible?

We are working on code that will convert old showfiles to the new format automatically. However, these are significant changes, so you'd be required to carefully check through the whole showfile before you use it on a live performance (you should do this anyway when updating software!). There are also some specifics to think about on certain consoles:

 

ORB, ORB XF and FROG2 - Submasters (UDFs on FROG2) might be renumbered. This is because there might be a "Cue Stack 1" and a "Submaster 1", and they can't both become "Playback 1". Therefor, Cue Stacks would "take precedence", and Submasters would be automatically moved if required. This could be avoided by reorganising Submasters before upgrading the software.

ORB XF - Currently Playbacks 1 - 20 appear on the bottom 20 faders, but with all 60 faders being Playbacks, these would appear on the top 20 faders.

How will Zero 88 communicate these changes?

We are convinced there are enough significant advantages (for everyone's benefit) to make this worth while, but we also understand these are significant changes to how some consoles work. We have plans to provide written documents, updated manuals and new YouTube videos detailing the changes and training on how the new Playbacks work. Training courses will also be updated to reflect these changes.

 

I have questions and ideas, how can I feedback to Zero 88?

That's exactly what this forum post is for - please put your feedback, comments, questions and ideas below and we'll reply to each one.

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Hello

if I understand right your purpose (I never worked with FLX) I guess this is a step forwards how Congo and Cobalt is working....

I would like that (even if that would mean to reconsider - and reprogram- some of my showfiles)

having multiples stacks with free playback assign would be for me a really great feature !

 

please don't forget a really really important lack in the actual ZerOS => there is no possibility to export or print the patch-file (this thing is sooo essential and you promised it since a long time already)

ASCii, SCV, XLS, or TXT export would be marvelous... but even a simple "screen-capture" would be good (your Linux-Kernel should be able to do that without difficulties...)

 

we have to take photos from the screen or otherwise, write those things down on a paper... this is just "Stone Age"

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It looks like a great direction for ZerOS to head in, it works brilliantly on the FLX and I'd like that on my FROG2! Presumably this will lead to compatibility of ZerOS Wings with the FROG2 as well?

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Go ahead!

 

Than we ´ll have a common operating philosophy for all ZerOS desks.

 

Makes operators life much more comfortable.

 

Cheers

Sven

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Do it!

 

Makes sense for lots of reasons but mainly:

 

Common logic is essential across a desk range.

 

It's a good way of working! zeros has evolved as the needs of users and the capabilities of the desks have improved. Being able to roll the improvements backwards to older desks is great. Moving forward the short term bump for older users is worth it for the commonality across the desks and the ease of use for new users.

 

I would guess that the new way of working would be a common major software number? Ie zeros v8 - keeping the last version of zeros avaailbe for download somewhere for those that didn't want to upgrade might be worth it ... But not supported ?

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On 2/8/2016 at 4:00 PM, Mattrog said:

I would guess that the new way of working would be a common major software number? Ie zeros v8

That one's up for discussion. Currently we're on ZerOS 7.8.5 (FLX) and ZerOS 7.8.2.36 (X86 consoles). The current plan is for this to become ZerOS 7.9, because we've already publically defined ZerOS 8 as including a Matrix Engine / Pixel Mapper and RDM functionality.

 
On 2/8/2016 at 4:00 PM, Mattrog said:

keeping the last version of zeros avaailbe for download somewhere for those that didn't want to upgrade might be worth it ... But not supported ?

Yes, definitely.

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Sounds very logical to do so Jon! Equalizing all versions and consoles to one platform rules out legacy code and will speed up development and bug fixes a lot.

 

When releasing ZerOS 7.9 please simultaneously release the manual and support for the remote apps.

 

Let me know if you need any Beta testing on the SolutionXL!

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I think it's a very sensible idea, it means operators would be able to transfer skills across consoles more easily.

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Hello Jon,

I think that this idea is really good, especially for live use.

I have other ideas for a possible software development.

I will list them:

# create a pixel mapper engine; ( I Read that it will Arrive in zerOS 8, I Hope it Arrives olso for x86 console );

# create algorithm that uses even the white and amber color in The color picker;

# implement the fixtures editor to work with fixtures with more rgb light sources.

If I can think of other ideas, I send it

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As a user of orb, solution and FLX i love the idea. FLX is a great console to use and i would love to see its methods ported over to the other consols. I miss the way FLX handles things like chases when i use my other consoles.

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It seems to be a sensible rationalisation especially now folks are getting used to the idea of having cue stacks/playbacks on faders. That it will allow showfiles to load across the range has to be a good thing - if we need to loan someone a console in an emergency, we'll have some confidence that most of their show (if not all) will load & run.

 

The main issue that I can see for some of our customers will be providing a meaningful way of communicating the change - some of our older customers use Submasters on Solution's to run shows - getting them to understand the concept that they can still do the same with a single cue in the stack will be the big "battle". I think keeping a 'last version' before change updater accessible in Downloads would help them and give them confidence that if they can't get their head around it, they can revert to the way they are used to.

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Hi Jon,

 

As a weekend warrior and not a full time user I might need some help understanding your proposal and how it would impact our use of our Solutions desk.

 

As a church, we have many untrained/unskilled volunteers with only myself maintaining and programming the system. Our use is as follows...

  • Submasters 1-5 contain basic generic lighting sets [Page Locked]
  • Submasters 6-10 to contain intelligent lighting operation (this is new to us due to purchase of new fixtures. We currently control these from Pallets etc directly).

Will this new proposal help us with programming easier control (for our volunteers) of our intelligent fixtures?

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Hi Jon,

 

we had a discussion years ago concerning this.

 

I think it will be a great step forward!!

 

JUST DO IT!

 

:-) Stefan

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The main issue that I can see for some of our customers will be providing a meaningful way of communicating the change - some of our older customers use Submasters on Solution's to run shows - getting them to understand the concept that they can still do the same with a single cue in the stack will be the big "battle".

Hopefully there should be no change if they don't want there to be - they could still record several playbacks each with a "cue 1" and manually fade between each playback like they currently do on submasters. This just gives them another method if they wish to use it.

I think keeping a 'last version' before change updater accessible in Downloads would help them and give them confidence that if they can't get their head around it, they can revert to the way they are used to.

Definitely.

 

Hi Jon,

 

As a weekend warrior and not a full time user I might need some help understanding your proposal and how it would impact our use of our Solutions desk.

 

As a church, we have many untrained/unskilled volunteers with only myself maintaining and programming the system. Our use is as follows...

  • Submasters 1-5 contain basic generic lighting sets [Page Locked]
  • Submasters 6-10 to contain intelligent lighting operation (this is new to us due to purchase of new fixtures. We currently control these from Pallets etc directly).

Will this new proposal help us with programming easier control (for our volunteers) of our intelligent fixtures?

If you do nothing, what you currently have will just transfer across without a problem. However, this gives you the option to have multiple scenes on a single fader - very similar to how we've setup your iLight system with the LEDs.

 

I think it will be a great step forward!!

 

JUST DO IT!

Thanks Stefan!

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I think its a great idea to make the software all the same on all the desks

 

I only have one question i use the submasters a lot and i dont see any problem to use the playbacks as a submaster.

 

But i also use the function inhibiter a lot.

I make 2 diverend kind of submasters normal ones with intensity and the ones with the groups and then i can select if it is a inhibiter.

 

Will this function still work with playbacks???

 

Hope to hear a answer

 

Best regards,

 

Youri

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Hi,

 

the new zerOS will support inhibitive playbacks, is this what you want?

 

 

Inhibitive playbacks do not output the programmed intensities of the current cue, but instead act as a “proportional scale” for those channels. When changing cues, these values change, allowing multiple Inhibitor states to be stored onto a single playback.

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Yep, inhibitive playbacks solves this problem. ZerOS 7.9 has now been released, so FLX and ORB XF users can give this a go! ZerOS 7.9.1 will be available to test shortly, bringing these features to Solution and FROG2 too.

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Hi Jon,

 

did you mean, that ZerOS 7.9 is now available for all platforms? Because I can't see 7.9 for x86 (specially for OrbXF) on your download site.

 

Best regards

Sven

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This page http://www.zero88.com/software/index.shtml and http://www.zero88.com/software/zeros/ seem to list 7.9 for FLX only so looks like you're correct on x86/OrbXF.

 

I didn't actually realise for a while that 7.9 was out - and only then because the last beta 7.8.5.33 (or whatever it was) got locked from access, although 7.8.5.33 was for OrbXF in addition to FLX!

 

Kevin

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We released 7.9 relatively slowly - online first, then publicised on social media, and then publicised through newsletters etc.

 

Both of the download sites (x86 and ARM) have a note that says:

(ORB, ORB XF and SCD Server Pro users can now choose to run this FLX software too. Download the software below, and follow the instructions within the release notes).

 

So, in short, it's released for FLX, and it's still in beta for ORB XF.

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Hi Jon,

 

I now wanted to download 7.9 (ARM), but the download is "temporarially removed" (for quite a while now).

 

Can you tell me, when the download will be available again or how else I could receive 7.9?

 

Thank you and best regards

Sven

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