Instant Sequences

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Using the Light-O-Rama SuperStar Sequencer, you can now create a sequence in seconds using the "Instant Sequence" feature.  This is a first for the home light show industry.

 

Creating an instant sequence
Timing map description
Apply different sets of theme, color, and movement to different parts of the song

 

Creating an Instant Sequence

 

Click on the Tools menu and select "Instant Sequence..." (or you can press Ctrl+I), which will open the Instant Sequence dialog.  In the lower left of the Instant Sequence dialog, click on the "Open Audio File" button.  Then click on the "Sequence All" button.  The effects for a sequence will appear in the time layers.  Click on the "Play/Stop All" button.

 

Was that totally awesome or what! The timing marks were created by analyzing the audio file.  The sequence was created using the timing marks and the theme, color and movement variations that you see in the dialog box.  Now let's create another sequence:

 

Click on the "Roll Dice" button to get a random set of theme, color, and movement variations.  Click on the "Sequence All" button; it will ask you if you want to erase the current sequence without saving (answer "Yes").  Click on the "Play/Stop All" button.

 

"Roll Dice" is the easiest way to try different TCM ("theme, color, movement") settings, but you can set them manually also:

 

Theme: The theme contains one or more effects.  These effects are placed at each trigger.  For example, "3 Segs" is made of three scenes that will place segments onto the ribbon, with segments having gaps between them.  "1 Morph Full Length" has one morph in it which is always assigned to span the entire length of the ribbon.  "Morphs colliding" is two morphs, each morph being half the length of the ribbon, with the two morphs coming towards each other and stopping when they meet each other.  The best way to see what each morph is is to try it out and play it back.
 
Color: This setting controls the colors assigned to the theme:

 

Native: The theme uses the colors that the effect was created in.  Most themes were created using red.  If the theme has more than one effect, then it may have other colors.  For example, the three segments in "3 Segs" were created using red, green, and blue, and so using Native for "3 Segs" will result in all of the effects being red, greeen, and blue.
 
RGBW by group: This setting will take each group of effects in the theme and assign red, then green, then blue, then white to them.  For example, if using the "3 Segs" theme, all three scenes in the theme will be red the first time the theme is triggered, green the second time, blue the third time, and white the fourth time.  The fifth time, it will cycle back to red.
 
RGBW by effect: This setting will take each effect in the theme and assign red, then green, then blue, then white to them.  For example, if using the "3 Segs" theme, the first time the theme is triggered, the first scene will be red, the second green, and the third blue.  The second time the theme is triggered, the first scene will be white, the second red, and the third green.  The end result is that RGBW by effect results in more colors than RGBW by group.  Note that if the theme has only one effect in it, there will be no difference between RGBW by group and RGBW by effect.
 
Color wheel by group: This works similarly to RGBW by group, except it cycles through 21 different shades of colors in the color wheel when assigning a color to the group of effects in a theme.
 
Color wheel by effect: This works similar to RGBW by effect  except it cycles through 21 different shades of colors in the color wheel when assigning a color to individual effects in a theme.
 
Custom Colors by group: This works similar to RGBW by group except it cycles through the custom colors chosen for this TCM. For example, to choose the custom colors for TCM 1 click on the “Set Custom Colors 1” button.
 
Custom Colors by effect: This works similar to RGBW by effect except it cycles through the custom colors chosen for this TCM. For example, to choose the custom colors for TCM 1 click on the “Set Custom Colors 1” button.
 
Red, Orange, Yellow, White, Green, Blue, Purple: Select any of these colors to make all effects in the theme be that color

 

Color by time: This setting can only be used when color is set to RGBW by group, RGBW by effect, Color wheel by group, or Color wheel by effect.  With this setting, you choose a length of time for all of the effects in the theme to change color.  For example, if you select "every 4 seconds", then instead of changing color at each trigger, the theme will change every four seconds.
 
Movement: This setting controls the start and end point of the effects in the theme.The first drop-down list is the movement type. The second drop-down list is the movement speed:

 

None: The theme will start and end at the same location every time it is triggered.  Note that "None" does not mean that the theme will have no movement; it just means that the start and end of its movement does not change.
 
Right same row: Move the start and end points of a theme to the right every time it is triggered. When a start or end point reaches the end of the ribbon it wraps around to the beginning. The themes that contain effects that span the entire length of the ribbon are special cases. For those effects assigning any movement other than “None” will make them alternate directions. “1 morph full length” is an example of a theme that always spans the entire length of the ribbon.
 
Left same row: Same as “Right same row” except the start and end points of the theme move to the left.
 
Up same column: Same as “Right same row” except the start and end points of the theme move up.
 
Down same column: Same as “Right same row” except the start and end points of the theme move down.
 
Pass by: The start: point is moved at a faster pace than the end point so that it “passes by” the end point.

 

Random same row: The start and end points are random on the same row
 
Right multi-row: The start and end points move to the right. When the end of a row is reached, the point moves down to the next row. When the end of the bottom row is reached it wraps back up to the top row.
 
Left multi-row: The start and end points move to the left. When the left end of the row is reached the point moves up to the next row. When the end of the top row is reach it wraps down to the bottom row.
 
Up multi-column: The start and end points move up. When the top column is reached it wraps to the next column to the right. When the top of the last column is reached it wraps to the first column on the left.
 
Dn multi-column: The start and end points move down. When the bottom column is reached it wraps to the next column to the left. When the bottom of the beginning column is reached it wraps to the last column on the right.
 
Snake up: The start and end points move to the right and then when the end of the row is reached it moves to the next row up, and then moves to the left until it reaches the beginning of that row and then moves up and starts moving to the right and so on.
 
Snake dn: The start and end points move to the right and then when the end of the row is reached it moves to the next row down, and then moves to the left until it reaches the beginning of that row and then moves down and starts moving to the right and so on.
 
Random Rows: The start and end points move to random rows. In other words, the start and end points will always be on the same row, but the row they are on will be random.
 
Random Points: The start point is at a random location, and the end point is at a random location.
 
VU Meter: Makes the triggers behave like a VU Meter at the top of the ribbons. A VU Meter is a meter like what you might see on a stereo that has an equalizer. When using VU Meter as the movement, you should use “1 Pixel” as the Theme.

 

Movement Speed: This is the number of pixels moved at every trigger.  For example, a value of 1.0 will move 1 pixel every trigger.  A value of 0.2 will move 0.2 pixels every trigger, but since fractional pixel movement cannot be seen on the screen, it will move 1 pixel for every 5 triggers.

 

Intensity: This setting controls the intensity of the color assigned to the theme.

 

Trigger: This is the trigger type.
 
Normal: This is the only trigger type that Instant Sequence originally had. It produces one trigger every time the strength of the sound at the Frequencies chosen go above and below a certain threshold.

 

Rapid Fire: Think of this trigger type as the “scoot along” trigger. This is a new trigger type that is designed to work better for visualization sequences, especially those with low numbers of channels. Rapid Fire produces a trigger for each of the Frequencies chosen. If there are many frequencies chosen for a ribbon in the timing map, then many triggers can get produced. The result is that the effects “scoot along” with the music. You should use “1 Pixel” as the Theme when using Rapid Fire. You can use other Themes but realize that since it produces so many triggers, you can end up with thousands of effects. It is recommended to use Rapid Fire on only one or two of the ribbons.
 
To get "Rapid Fire" to respond to all frequencies in the song, click on the Timing Map button and set "All Freqs" for the row that corresponds to the row assignment of the TCM that is using "Rapid Fire".  For example:

 

Set "Rapid Fire" for TCM 1.
In "Row Assignments to TCM (Theme/Color/Movement)", set TCM 1 to Row 1.  Set all other rows to "None".
Click on the "Timing Map" button.
In the Timing Map dialog box, set "All Freqs" under Row 1.
In the Instant Sequence dialog box, click on the "Sequence All" button, then the "Play/Stop All" button.

 

Ribbon assignments to TCM: Across the top are the ribbon numbers.  On the left is TCM1, TCM2, TCM3, TCM4, and None.  By clicking on the grid of circles, you can assign a TCM to each ribbon.  For example, if you have four ribbons, you could assign TCM1 to Ribbons 1 and Ribbons 2 by clicking on the two upper left circles.  Then you could assign TCM2 to Ribbon 3 and Ribbon 4 by clicking on the circles in the second row that are underneath the numbers 3 and 4.  You can choose "Non" to make no effects be assigned to a ribbon.

 

To increase or reduce the number of effects being created, you can change the sensitivity.  Do this by clicking on the "Timing Map" button and changing the Sensitivity setting in the upper left of the Timing Map dialog box.  Click on the "Sequence All" button in the "Instant Sequence" dialog box to create a new sequence using the new sensitivity setting.

 

The sensitivity setting may be the only setting that you ever change in the Timing Map dialog box, but if you are adventuresome and want to experiment with the other Timing Map settings, read the next section.

 

Timing Map Description

 

Click on the "Timing Map" button in the Instant Sequence dialog box.  A large dialog box entitled "Timing Map" will appear.  This dialog box gives you control over the mapping of the frequency spectrum to the ribbons, which is how the timing marks get created:

 

Freq 1 through Freq 32
Beat, Both, Left, Right
Sensitivity
Length of Effects
Extend Length of Effects
Apply Sensitivity as
Default Freq Settings
Change the Timing Map

 

Freq 1 through Freq 32

 

Note that there are check marks showing that Freq 1 and Freq 2 are mapped to Ribbon 1.  Freq 3 and Freq 4 are mapped to Ribbon 2, and so on.  On the right side of the dialog box is a piano keyboard which shows which notes the Freqs map to.  The default is to have the low frequencies assigned to ribbon 1 and asign higher frequencies to each ribbon thereafter, with the highest frequency assigned to the highest number ribbon that you have.

 

One reason you might want to change these settings is if your high number ribbons are not getting many effects assigned to them.  This would happen if the song does not have many high notes in it.  So, to get more action on the high number ribbons, you can assign more frequences to them.

 

Beat, Both, Left, Right

 

The default setting is "Both", meaning both the left and right channels of the stereo sound will be used when creating effects.  You can also set "Left" or "right" to use the left or right channel of the stereo sound.  Click on "Beat" to use the beat when creating effects.

 

Sensitivity

 

Sensitivity can be set to values from 1 to 10.  The default is 5.  Setting to a higher number will create more effects.  Setting to a lower number will create fewer effects.

 

Length of Effects

 

Length of Effects can be set to values from 1 to 10.  The default is 5.  Setting to a higher number will make some of the effects last longer.  Setting to a lower number will make some of the effects shorter.  You can also think of this as the "Ritalin" setting, in that a higher number will sedate hyperactive sequences and make them more mellow.

 

Extend Length of Effects

 

This option extends the length of each effect.  The length of each effect will extend up to the start of the next effect.  This makes the instant sequence less "blinky".

 

Apply Sensitivity as

 

Volume Relative: This is the default.  With this setting, the sensitivity is applied by looking at the overall volume of the song.  In essence, it raises and lowers the sensitivity to more nearly match the volume of the song at each point in the song.  This helps even out the number of effects that are triggered even in the quieter parts of the song.  Note, however, that the quieter parts of the song will still have fewer effects triggered than the louder parts of the song.
 
Freq Relative: With this setting, the sensitivity is applied by looking at the volume for an individual frequency and adjusting the sensitivity for each frequency to more nearly match the volume of the song for that frequency at that point in the song.  This helps even out the number of effects that are triggered for all frequencies.  For example, if the song has a strong bass part in it and has some distinctive higher notes that are not as strong, this setting will help trigger those higher frequencies even though their volume is weaker.  Note that it helps even out the number of effects in all frequencies, but the weaker frequencies will still have fewer effects triggered than the louder frequencies.
 
Absolute: With this setting, the sensitivity is applied "as is".  In other words, the louder parts of the song and the louder frequencies will get triggered more than the weaker parts of the song, and no attempt is made by the software to level out the number of effects that are triggered.

 

Default Freq Settings

 

There are seven default freq settings that you can use.  For example, click on "Stereo Low to High" and then click on "Set Freq Spectrum", and you will see the check marks and radio buttons change in the timing map so that the left and right channels of the stereo sound are used.

 

You can choose to "Include Beat" in the generation of effects.

 

By default, "Set Theme, Color, and Movement" is selected, meaning that when you click on the "Set Freq Spectrum" it will also set some default values for the Theme, Color, and Movement.  If you want to keep the Theme, Color, and Movement settings that you have, then you would uncheck "Set Theme, Color, and Movement".

 

Change the Timing Map

 

In the "Default Freq Settings" area, click on "Stereo Low to High", and then click on "Set Freq Spectrum".  Go back to the "Instant Sequence" dialog box and click on "Sequence All".  It will ask you if you want to overwrite your existing timings; answer "Yes".  It will ask you if you want to erase the existing sequence without saving; answer "Yes".  Click on "Play/Stop All".

 

Notice that the ribbons on the left half have effects applied based on the left stereo channel, and the ribbons on the right half have effects applied based on the right stereo channel.

 

Apply Different Sets of Theme, Color and Movement to Different Parts of the Song

 

By default, you sequence the entire song each time you click on "Sequence All".  To add more variation to your sequence, you can just do a portion of the song.  To do this:

 

Launch the "Instant Sequence" dialog box by pressing Ctrl+I.
Near the top of the dialog box, click on the "Sequence the Selection Only" radio button.
Use the Rewind or Forward buttons on the toolbar to scroll to the beginning of the region you want to sequence.
Use a single left mouse click to mark the beginning of the region.
Use the Forward or Fast Forward buttons on the toolbar to scroll to the end of the region you want to sequence.
Use a single right mouse click to mark the end of the region.
Before clearing the region, it is a good practice to click on "Unique Save As".  This button is a quick way to save the current state of the sequence to a unique file name so that you can go back to it if you need to.
If the region is not already cleared, click on "Clear Selection without Saving".
Click on "Roll Dice", or set the theme, color, and move variations manually.
Click on "Sequence Selection".

 

Note that "Clear Selection without Saving" uses the beginning of an effect to decide if it should be deleted.  In other words, all effects whose start time falls within the selection region will be deleted.