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Synchronising to live music - best approach?


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Hi All,

I’m new to the S24 and it’s been a long time since I had any moving heads to play with so bear with me!

I’m running a show that has up-tempo musical numbers in between ordinary theatre style scenes as well as a couple of choreographed dance scenes. I’d like to do some music-synchronised lighting effects in each of these numbers. Most of the music is live.

I think I have the following options alongside a typical theatre style master cue stack that I’ll be using for the rest of the show:

Use effects on single cues within the master cue stack - these are super easy to setup but it seems difficult to synchronise them with the music as I don’t think you can set them to the global BPM, although I think you can alter the speed. Might work ok for some effects.

Setup chases on new playback faders and come off the master cue stack for these numbers - these can be synchronised with the global BPM and could just loop around until done. Probably the simplest approach that will work.

Setup separate cue stacks for each number and trigger each cue manually with each beat/bar (?) so it’s properly synchronised - I think this is the overall effect I’m going for but will be a lot of work and has the potential to go wrong on the night.

What approach would you recommend? Is there a different approach that I’ve missed?

In years gone by in simpler times I would probably just have busked it with some groups and mix chases alongside tap sync but that seems impractical with LEDs and movers?!

How do you pros generally work with synchronised musical scenes (or bands/concerts etc), especially with moving heads?

Thanks all

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Hello,

All of the options you mention are possible, and so it’s a case of what you feel works best for you and the show. 

Regarding Effects in cues, the speed of these can be altered live using the Speed Override control. Speed Override will control the currently viewed playback, and is found on the second encoder in the Z window. 

Don't forget with Global BPM, the button in the middle of the Global BPM encoder in the Z window is a tap tempo, so you can use this to set the tempo live for all chases using Global BPM. 

The busking approach with groups and palettes is ideal when you don’t know what you want for particular songs/dances. If you do, it makes sense to program effects and chases that you can then recall and mix on the fly.

Hope this helps, if you have any questions let me know. 

Edward

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