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kgallen

FLX approach to concert lighting requirements (#1)

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We're doing a concert and some of the lighting requirements are relatively demanding (for me!) regards syncing with music beats and many changes within a song. I know the FLX is up for it, I'm not sure if I am! Apologies if this becomes a sequence of "Noddy, How Do I" posts...

Kit will generally be RGBAWUV LED pars, some will be movers (plus conventionals for general cover where needed). I'll be aiming to run a theatre-style cue stack as much as possible (I need to do sound too) but some aspects could be on other playbacks or buttons where I need to link in to particular music or dance moves.

One part will require going from a flashing sequence or effect (colour, intensity) to steady colour briefly and then back to the flashing. I wondered what would be the best way to do this and especially the "steady" bit - can I set up a sequence or effect and for example press and hold a playback button (or UDK) to "freeze" the colours and release to let them get funky again?

Thanks, Kevin

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Hi Kevin,

Regarding syncing with music, is this going to be done manually, or triggered using MIDI? What audio software are you using? MIDI Timecode triggers will be able to do the work for you, especially if you configure them to run simultaneously with the audio cues- then all you'll have to do is trigger the audio cues in the correct place! 😉

How complex is each dance going to be? If for example they will contain more than 10 or so cues, I'd be tempted to program the complex dances/ songs onto separate Playbacks, having them triggered from cues in the Master Playback. These can then trigger their own chases at times, if required.

Regarding "pausing" a chase, I'd change the button function of the chase from Tap Tempo, to Pause, and the shifted function to Go (Fade). This can be done by holding SETUP and tapping your chases button -> General -> Button Function. Then when the chase is running, a single tap of its button will pause it on the current cue, and then a SHIFT + tap will resume. In the Playback's chase settings, you can configure a defined BPM, or use the Global BPM - Global Tap Tempo can then be assigned to a fader...

http://support.zero88.com/1011580981

For more on the fly control where speed will need to be varied, you could do all of the above just using Global Tap Tempo assigned to a fader. This allows you to vary the speed live, but then snap the fader down/ give the button a single tap to pause your chases, and then a double tap of the Global Tap Tempo fader's button will set a new speed.

Regarding pausing a single effect or several effects running in a cue, you could do this using the Speed Override control. Speed Override can be used to control the speed of the current effect running in the currently viewed playback. Speed Override can be assigned to a fader- allowing you to snap the fader down to achieve pausing the effect. This can be done in the same way as Global Tap Tempo - hold SETUP and tap an empty Playback's button, and choose Global Tap Tempo. You then have a couple of options to resume the effect. Either move the fade back up to 50% again to achieve your recorded effect speed, or, under the Z button press encoder button 2, which will reset speed override. If you wanted you could program a macro that presses Z -> Encoder button 2 -> Z, and then have this triggered by a cue/UDK!

Hope that helps, any further queries don't hesitate to post or message!

Edward

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Hi Edward,

Thanks very much for that comprehensive response - lots of good info there I can use.

4 minutes ago, Edward- Z88 said:

Regarding syncing with music, is this going to be done manually, or triggered using MIDI? What audio software are you using? MIDI Timecode triggers will be able to do the work for you, especially if you configure them to run simultaneously with the audio cues- then all you'll have to do is trigger the audio cues in the correct place!

It will be manual, the show music will be on minidisc 😊

4 minutes ago, Edward- Z88 said:

How complex is each dance going to be? If for example they will contain more than 10 or so cues, I'd be tempted to program the complex dances/ songs onto separate Playbacks, having them triggered from cues in the Master Playback. These can then trigger their own chases at times, if required.

This sounds like a good idea - I like the idea of partitioning off the problem to avoid the master playback becoming over complex. So the separate playback can trigger other playbacks with chases on them. If the master playback releases the separate playback will this also release any child playbacks (chases) of the separate playback?

4 minutes ago, Edward- Z88 said:

Regarding "pausing" a chase, I'd change the button function of the chase from Tap Tempo, to Pause, and the shifted function to Go (Fade). This can be done by holding SETUP and tapping your chases button -> General -> Button Function. Then when the chase is running, a single tap of its button will pause it on the current cue, and then a SHIFT + tap will resume. In the Playback's chase settings, you can configure a defined BPM, or use the Global BPM - Global Tap Tempo can then be assigned to a fader...

http://support.zero88.com/1011580981

For more on the fly control where speed will need to be varied, you could do all of the above just using Global Tap Tempo assigned to a fader. This allows you to vary the speed live, but then snap the fader down/ give the button a single tap to pause your chases, and then a double tap of the Global Tap Tempo fader's button will set a new speed.

Regarding pausing a single effect or several effects running in a cue, you could do this using the Speed Override control. Speed Override can be used to control the speed of the current effect running in the currently viewed playback. Speed Override can be assigned to a fader- allowing you to snap the fader down to achieve pausing the effect. This can be done in the same way as Global Tap Tempo - hold SETUP and tap an empty Playback's button, and choose Global Tap Tempo. You then have a couple of options to resume the effect. Either move the fade back up to 50% again to achieve your recorded effect speed, or, under the Z button press encoder button 2, which will reset speed override. If you wanted you could program a macro that presses Z -> Encoder button 2 -> Z, and then have this triggered by a cue/UDK!

That's brilliant info, thanks, I'll look into those. A new aspect of the desk for me!

 

Followup (we've possibly discussed this before, I'll trawl the FLX "How Do I" 😜 subforum for previous ideas):

Given I need some situations described by the director as "crazy disco town" (which I take as lots of random flashing coloured lights) would you recommend an effect or a chase for this (although with a chase I guess I'd need to manually define each and every state in that chase - there must be an easier way!).

 

Thanks very much!

Kevin

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Hi Kevin,

41 minutes ago, kgallen said:

This sounds like a good idea - I like the idea of partitioning off the problem to avoid the master playback becoming over complex. So the separate playback can trigger other playbacks with chases on them. If the master playback releases the separate playback will this also release any child playbacks (chases) of the separate playback?

No it won't- each currently active playback will need their own release macro- don't forget if you want to manually release all playback and UDKs except the Master, you can hold CLEAR + tap FADER FUNCT.

43 minutes ago, kgallen said:

Given I need some situations described by the director as "crazy disco town" (which I take as lots of random flashing coloured lights) would you recommend an effect or a chase for this (although with a chase I guess I'd need to manually define each and every state in that chase - there must be an easier way!).

Personally I'd use an effect for this. Using different LED fixtures running different effects at different speeds/offsets is likely to give you more than enough flexibility. You'll have 7 intensity  and 13 colour auto effects available to play with, and when you've mixed these and applied your desired speed, size and offset, you can save this new effect to an empty effect palette. If you have customised colours for this effect too, you can program a Record All palette to store the whole look. Do this by holding SHIFT and tap RECORD, and tap any empty palette.

Hope that helps,

Edward

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Thanks Edward for the clarification and the effects suggestion, I'll heed your wise words (and then make a total pigs-ear of it, eek!).

Cheers, Kevin

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15 hours ago, kgallen said:

One part will require going from a flashing sequence or effect (colour, intensity) to steady colour briefly and then back to the flashing. I wondered what would be the best way to do this and especially the "steady" bit - can I set up a sequence or effect and for example press and hold a playback button (or UDK) to "freeze" the colours and release to let them get funky again?

The options Edward gives are good. Another option could be to use the "Solo" function. Create one playback to do your "flashing sequence", and a second playback to do your "freeze". Set the flash button of this second playback to "solo". This will only work if you're flashing sequence is flashing randomly and quite fast - meaning you won't notice the "snap" to another playback, it will just look like part of the flashing sequence.

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Thanks Jon. I need this on a few occasions, so this is also a nice workable solution. The idea of the "Solo" state is quite interesting - it would allow me to set this up specifically so I know that the lighting state is "sensible" rather than risking where the "flashing" stuff is at the time of the freeze. Solo is something I've not used before. Any gotchas?

I'll be using "Tracking Basic" - I assume I can layer the generics (which will deliver the face light) independently if I make sure they are untagged when recording the playbacks I set up for the flashing and freeze states (and vice-verse).

Cheers!

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1 hour ago, kgallen said:

Solo is something I've not used before. Any gotchas?

It's available on the flash button only, without transition times, and not latching - so you probably don't want to be holding the button for too long!!!

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5 minutes ago, Jon Hole said:

 and not latching - so you probably don't want to be holding the button for too long!!!

That's the "key" information I was after! Thanks! I think it will be perfect for the application (as long as my finger doesn't slip!).

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New scenarios, probably with the Effects engine:

Example 1: I have 5 fixtures across the cyc, 1-2-3-4-5. I want to create a intensity build from the centre outwards like an intensity fan (of a single colour). All fixtures start in black and build to a defined maximum intensity (could be FF). How would I do this?

Example 2: Same setup, but now I want to do a colour fan, a bit like a sunrise, where the cyc builds from black to a red (using Example 1) and then a yellow builds from the centre outwards. How would I do this (similar to Example 1 except it's a colour fade effect rather than intensity?)

Example 3: Same as Example 2 except I want the colour fade to start on one end and bleed to the other.

Thanks!

(At some point I'll take the plunge and buy Capture so I can work this stuff out without needing a whole rig of lights!... It's just it's 350 quid...)

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Hi Kevin,

Example 1:

Select your 5 fixtures, and apply their colour. Apply either Effect 14 (Fader) or 15 (Smooth). Hold SETUP + tap EFFECT to enter the effect options. Hold SHIFT, and choose "Fan V". Release SHIFT and press OK. Now hold SHIFT and dial the offset wheel until you get the offset that works for you. If you find the effect is running in the wrong order, dial the Speed down to a negative value. You can adjust the amount of time the fixtures are off vs on, by dialing down the intensity, leaving the effect size at 100.  Or alternatively make it a much more subtle effect by decreasing the Size. When you're happy store this as an effect palette.

Example 2:

Using your Effects palette you recorded, apply something like a "Blue Rainbow" to your fixtures. Go to colour, and dial out Green and Blue, and dial red to full. This should give you a Red through yellow effect. You can then apply your desired offset, following the same process as above, and when happy save this new effect as an effect palette. You may want to do this as a Record All, to store colour information too.

Your other option here to get much more precise colour choice, is to record a 2 step chase. You intensity effect would track through steps 1 and 2, where step 1 can contain the fixtures in your chosen shade of red, fading through into your chosen yellow in step 2.

Example 3:

Before recording the effect palette above, tap EFFECT until you just have the colour effect's parameters on the encoders (marked "E27" for example). Then hold SETUP and tap EFFECT, and configure the shifted function to either be Fan First or Fan Last. Confirm, and then hold SHIFT and dial offset, to leave intensity fanning from the middle, however have colour chasing from the side.

Hope that helps and makes sense, any queries let me know.

Edward

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Wow, Edward, that's brilliant - thanks for the detailed instructions - just what I need 😊. Makes me want to get 5 fixtures out and have a play at home...

I suspected it would be an Effect with a Fan, I just wasn't quite sure of the details, and how it would differ between an "Intensity Effect" and a "Colour Effect".

I'm intrigued by the "Blue Rainbow" - whenever I've played with these I've just gotten confused by them. What was the reason you picked that one - and I guess what does "Blue Rainbow" (Green Rainbow/Red Rainbow) actually mean?

Just on the "select your fixtures" bit, I know order can be important. So how do I get the pairs (2+4) and (1+5) to behave identically, rather than getting discrete 3+2+4+1+5 behaviour - or actually thinking about this, I bet that is handled by the fan rather than the selection order? (Sorry, dim question probably!).

Cheers, Kevin

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Hi Kevin,

A Blue Rainbow effect means Blue stays at 50%, with Red and Green fading on and off. Therefore for your effect you could apply a Blue Rainbow and get rid of Blue, to leave you with a Red/Green effect. Reducing the Green then gives you less Green and more yellow. 

Effect offsets do indeed use the order of fixture selection, which is why groups are very useful when it comes to applying effects. However as you said, as soon as you apply something like a "Fan V", it will use the current order of your fixtures and manipulate the order in which the effect runs. You therefore could get a "Fan V" look simply by applying a forward, offset if you  had selected your fixtures in the correct order!

Edward

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11 minutes ago, Edward- Z88 said:

You therefore could get a "Fan V" look simply by applying a forward, offset if you  had selected your fixtures in the correct order!

Ah, ok so I should select 1 THRU 5 (or a GROUP thereof) not 3,2,4,1,5 [*]. Thanks for the clarification -  that would have confused the bejesus out of me trying to get the Fan-V to work!

Thanks for the description of the various "Rainbow" settings - that should go in the manual!!! 👍

 

[*] Yes I can see I'm being dim here, because 1 THRU 5 would of course be the natural way for "forward"!

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If I create an effect palette based on one select set of LEDs can I apply that same effect palette to a different select set of LEDs of the same number with similar capabilities? (eg say I set up one of the effects we’ve been discussing on 5 cyc LEDs, record the palette, can I then apply that same effect palette to 5 backlight LEDs?) Is there anything particular I need to do to make this work?

In general I understand a C/B/P palette can be ‘morphed’ to a different selection set and the desk will do a  ‘best fit’ based on the information from the fixture definition. I’m not sure I’ve always have this work for me with a colour palette so maybe I’m mistaken.

Can you elaborate a little for me?

Much appreciated as ever!

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Hi Kevin,

An effects palette can be applied to a different selection of the same fixture type, however offset information won't be transferred, as this is specific for every selection. You can however apply the existing effect, tweak the offset, and then record the as a new effect palette for the new selection of fixtures.

If you have recorded a CBP palette with a certain type of fixture, that same palette can be applied to all fixtures of that type. Therefore for a certain set of fixtures you could record all your colours with just one, and the palettes would work for all fixtures of that type.

When dealing with palettes where each fixture has different parameter information (such as fanned positions or colours), when applying these palettes to fixtures not included in the palette they will use the first fixture's attribute data.

Hope that helps,

Edward

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Hi Edward,

Thanks again, good explanation.

I notice your use of "same fixture type" (where type => same manufacturer/model) so it seems the "remapping/morphing" doesn't work as I had thought - my understanding was the Detail entries in the Fixture Profile of e.g. "Red - Positive" was there to support this "morphing" to a different fixture type, but your explanation suggests not 😞

But that's clear, thanks!

Kevin

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Hi Kevin,

That's correct, "Special" parameter information in the fixture library is what ZerOS uses to morph fixtures at the point of a fixture swap-out. 

Edward

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Sorry yes, "Special" not "Detail".

OK so to reiterate:

  • fixture swap-out can map parameters of the fixture type used at programming time to comparable parameters in a replacement swapped-in fixture for the same fixture number
  • however, CBP palettes recorded on one (say RGB) fixture type can't be applied to a different (say RGB) fixture type
    • this is where I've been going wrong, because I thought I could!

Thanks!

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On 8/30/2018 at 10:12 AM, kgallen said:

Example 2: Same setup, but now I want to do a colour fan, a bit like a sunrise, where the cyc builds from black to a red (using Example 1) and then a yellow builds from the centre outwards. How would I do this (similar to Example 1 except it's a colour fade effect rather than intensity?)

Hi Edward,

With this Example and using an Effect, how can I get this to run once only (black->red->yellow) i.e a single sunrise?

As you later suggest for better colour control, using a chase instead would allow this single run.

Also if using a chase, I guess I need to do the "Fan-V" mechanism manually to stagger the builds. i.e. the chase would have something like 6 steps:

3=red -> 2+4=red -> 1+5=red -> 3=yellow -> 2+4=yellow -> 1+5=yellow...

However I seem to recall an earlier thread from another user where you say that the chase can't track between steps. This would thus imply that 3=red would have to complete before I could start 2+4=red etc rather than them overlapping smoothly with their fade-ups overlapping so the colour looks like it "grows" out from the centre, rather than coming up in "columns". Maybe I need to do somthing like:

3=red[50]% -> 3=red[100%],2+4=red[50%] -> 2+4=red[100%],1+5=red[50%] -> 3=yellow[50%],1+5=red[100%] ...etc...

Have I misunderstood here or if this is correct do you have any other suggestions?

Thanks!

Kevin

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Hi Kevin,

If you just want this to run through once to achieve a single sunrise effect, I would look to use a playback with auto cues to create the effect. Doing this allows you to define accurate custom auto follow-on times, and fade down times can run over subsequent cues, which is something you can't do with a chase.

Therefore you could program each of your cues into a playback that's triggered by your Master Playback.

Hope that helps,

Edward 

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Thanks Edward - yes, this is what I did in the end (see "Bug?" report in the Software Test forum!).

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Hi Edward,

In the attached showfile, I am using playback triggering from the master playback.

[1] In cues 7 through 10 I am triggering playback 3 or playback 4 (and releasing the other). I am observing a 3s fade for each of these cues: Why is this? None of the playbacks have a fade time other than zero, and I've also disabled MOD, which is the only other anything I can find with a non-zero time. You can see this on the Outputs Screen on fixtures 59 thru 63: they drop intensity to 0 and fade up to 100% over about 3s.

[2] Also when I step between pb3 and pb4 I get a brief 100% flash, like the cue briefly snapped to full.

[3] In this show file, I now use pb3 to release pb4 and vise-versa. This is because when I did this in stack 0 in the cues, e.g. cue 8 triggers pb4 and releases pb3, I saw a delay again of about 3s between pressing GO and pb4 taking effect - this is not ok!

This is all a little confusing...

[4] Also I find with pb3 and pb4, which are rainbow effects using Fan-V (as we've been discussing), I can't get Global Tap Tempo or Tap Tempo button to make any difference - can't set the Effect speed. Should I be able to? I can get Speed Override to work. You can see in this showfile that I've assigned PB13 to this function. Change the function to Global Tempo and it doesn't do anything. Same under the Z key - speed override works, Global Tempo encoder changes nothing.

[5] I'm also having lots of occasions where the cursor keys have no control over the Next bar or "Spreadsheet" cue edit boxes: I think the console has locked up (it hasn't). I find I need to press the Z key twice to get them working again.

[6] Of course having to initially drop and raise the fader on PB0 tripped me up yet again... 🤬

 

Thanks, Kevin

MMCsetup2.isf

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Hi Kevin,

On 9/5/2018 at 10:34 PM, kgallen said:

[1] In cues 7 through 10 I am triggering playback 3 or playback 4 (and releasing the other). I am observing a 3s fade for each of these cues: Why is this? None of the playbacks have a fade time other than zero, and I've also disabled MOD, which is the only other anything I can find with a non-zero time. You can see this on the Outputs Screen on fixtures 59 thru 63: they drop intensity to 0 and fade up to 100% over about 3s.

This is because cues 7 through 10 don't have intensity data recorded, and so will not display an intensity fade time. When it comes to then having a playback trigger/release, this is using the cue fade defaults (defined in SETUP -> Defaults -> Cue Intensity Fade).We are looking at reviewing this behaviour in a future software update. I have logged your example as a comment to ZOS-8747. When recording cues 7>10 you could have tapped RECORD, typed the cue number, dialed the encoder to 0/ tapped the middle encoder button and defined a cue time of 0 seconds, and then tapped the Master Playback's button to complete the command. Alternatively to update these cues with 0 second fades, go into each cue, hold CLEAR + tap Fader Funct. to release all other playbacks, tap UPDATE, dial the first encoder to 0, then tap the Master Playback's button.

On 9/5/2018 at 10:34 PM, kgallen said:

[2] Also when I step between pb3 and pb4 I get a brief 100% flash, like the cue briefly snapped to full.

I can't see this happening when the fade times have been removed from cues 7>10, can you?

On 9/5/2018 at 10:34 PM, kgallen said:

[3] In this show file, I now use pb3 to release pb4 and vise-versa. This is because when I did this in stack 0 in the cues, e.g. cue 8 triggers pb4 and releases pb3, I saw a delay again of about 3s between pressing GO and pb4 taking effect - this is not ok!

Again, this is because playbacks 3 and 4 have intensity information with default fades of 0 seconds (as they act like a "submaster") and so the trigger and release is using these fades. Cue 8 is using the console cue fade defaults (3 seconds) when triggering/releasing.

On 9/5/2018 at 10:34 PM, kgallen said:

[4] Also I find with pb3 and pb4, which are rainbow effects using Fan-V (as we've been discussing), I can't get Global Tap Tempo or Tap Tempo button to make any difference - can't set the Effect speed. Should I be able to? I can get Speed Override to work. You can see in this showfile that I've assigned PB13 to this function. Change the function to Global Tempo and it doesn't do anything. Same under the Z key - speed override works, Global Tempo encoder changes nothing.

Global Tap Tempo only effects the speed of chases. Effect speed can be adjusted on the fly using Speed Override.

On 9/5/2018 at 10:34 PM, kgallen said:

[5] I'm also having lots of occasions where the cursor keys have no control over the Next bar or "Spreadsheet" cue edit boxes: I think the console has locked up (it hasn't). I find I need to press the Z key twice to get them working again.

You may find if you've clicked in the Output Window this is where the cursor is navigating in. A double tap of VIEW (or clicking into the cue list with touchscreen or mouse) will solve this and bring you back into the Cue list window.

On 9/5/2018 at 10:34 PM, kgallen said:

[6] Of course having to initially drop and raise the fader on PB0 tripped me up yet again

Why are you finding you're having to do this?

Hope that helps and makes sense, as always any queries let me know!

Edward

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