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A sequence is a set of commands to be sent to lights - for example, a sequence may command the lights to turn on when the sequence starts, turn off a second later, stay off for a tenth of a second, start twinkling for the next two seconds, and then fade up, from completely off to completely on, during the next three seconds.
A sequence can control multiple sets of lights independently of each other. Each set of lights should be hooked up to a particular circuit on a particular controller; each such circuit is referred to as a "channel". Additionally, for RGB devices, capable of changing color, three independent channels (a red, a green and a blue) can be grouped together into a single RGB channel.
There are two types of sequences: animation sequences and musical sequences. Musical sequences are associated with songs (or sound effects, videos, et cetera); the lights can be made to turn off and on (and do other effects) in sync with the music. Animation sequences are not associated with songs. Many sequences can be played simultaneously, but at most one musical sequence can be playing at a time - all others must be animation sequences. This means that you can control some of your lights in sync to a song via a musical sequence, while simultaneously controlling other lights independently, via animation sequences.
The Light-O-Rama Sequencer is used to create and modify sequences. After creating sequences with the Sequencer, you can package sequences together into a show, using the Show Editor, and then schedule shows to be played at certain times using the Schedule Editor. The Show Player (if enabled, via the "Enable Schedule" on the Light-O-Rama Control Panel) will monitor your schedule and play your shows at the appropriate times.
For example, here is a simple sequence, containing six channels, as represented in the Sequencer. As time passes (from left to right), you can see that the first channel is turned on, then it is turned off and the second channel is turned on, then that is turned off and the third channel is turned on, and so forth, through the six channels:
A simple sequence, with lights turning on and off, chasing through six channels
The vertical lines in the grid, representing distinct points in time, are known as timings. These timings do not have any direct effect on how your lights will look; instead, they allow you to select time ranges for lighting effects to happen, using various tools in the Sequencer.
Timings are grouped together into timing grids. A sequence can have more than one timing grid; which one is currently displayed can be controlled via the "Timings" dropdown box in the Tracks and Timings toolbar. For example, the timing grid currently displayed in the sequence shown above has a timing every half a second, and is shown in the dropdown box as "Fixed Grid: 0.50". "Fixed Grid" in this means that the timings are all a certain length of time apart, and that they cannot be moved, deleted, or added to; "0.50" is that length of time (in this case, half a second).
In addition to "fixed" timing grids, a sequence can also have "freeform" timing grids. In a freeform timing grid, timings can be at any location, and can be moved, added, and deleted. For example, here is the same sequence, but now with a freeform timing grid displayed:
The same sequence, with a freeform timing grid
Note that the timings in this freeform grid are not the same distance from each other. Also note that the timings and the effects do not line up with each other - there is no reason that they would have to. This is so as to allow flexibility in where effects can be applied, without cluttering the display with many timings.
For example, perhaps you might want a sequence to have some effects that are following the drumming in a song, and other effects that are following the lead guitar. You could simply add timings representing both the drumming and the guitar to a single timing grid, but if you do, it could be difficult to remember which timing is for which instrument; also, the display might become cluttered with so many timings. So, instead, you could put the timings for the drums into one timing grid, and the timings for the guitar in another timing grid, and use the dropdown box to easily switch between the two timing grids as appropriate. The effects that you add using the timing grid for the drums will not necessarily line up with the timing grid for the guitar, nor the effects added using the timing grid for the guitar with the timing grid for the drums, but neither should they.
A sequence can contain multiple grid views. A grid view is a group of channels. Each grid view can have its own channels, or can share channels with other tracks, or both. Each grid view can be switched to display any particular timing grid at any time, independently of every other track.
Animation sequences (but not musical sequences) can be set up to use loops. When playing a sequence that contains a loop, when the end of the loop is reached, the sequence will jump back to the beginning of the loop. It will do this a certain number of times (that you specify), and then will continue past the end of the loop. Each time that it jumps back, you can make it go through the loop faster, slower, or the same speed as before. There can be many loops in a sequence (set up for different time ranges), and loops can even contain other loops.
Each sequence must have a preview associated with it. This lets you draw how your lights will be laid out. When you play a sequence in the Sequencer and display its preview, the drawing will behave just like your lights will - your drawing will turn on and off, fade up and down, and so forth.
A sequence can also contain another sequence as a subsequence. The subsequence can be turned on or off at different points in the main sequence, and its effects will play only when it is turned on.
For more detailed information on sequences, please refer to the following sections: