What's New in Version 2.x.x
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Previous versions of Light-O-Rama could support Light-O-Rama controllers on up to four different networks ("Regular", "Aux A", "Aux B", and "Aux C"). This has been increased to sixteen (in addition to the original four, "Aux D" through "Aux O").
Old MC-P compatibility mode is required if you have certain old Light-O-Rama controllers (MC-P controllers purchased prior to November 15, 2003). This compatibility mode causes significant overhead on the communications protocol. In previous versions of Light-O-Rama, if you turned on Old MC-P compatibility mode, it would affect all of your Light-O-Rama networks. Now, instead, it only affects the Regular Light-O-Rama network; it does not affect any auxiliary Light-O-Rama networks. So, you can now put all of your old MC-P controllers on the Regular network, and your other controllers on other networks, so that they are not affected by the communications protocol overhead.
In the Sequence Editor, if the currently selected clipboard is locked, copying or cutting does nothing. This is so as to avoid accidentally overwriting the data on a clipboard that you want to keep. However, there is nothing stopping you from hitting "Ctrl-C" or "Ctrl-X", attempting to copy or cut, and in previous versions of Light-O-Rama, doing so would give you no indication that something was amiss until you later attempted to paste, and wound up pasting whatever had previously been on the clipboard, instead of what you thought you had just copied or cut. Now, the Sequence Editor will beep, to indicate that the attempted copy or cut did not take effect.
In the Sequence Editor, you can control whether or not the color of channel buttons changes during play (based upon the lighting effects happening on those channels). In early versions of Light-O-Rama, the text on the buttons was always black, and stayed black no matter what, which meant that sometimes the text was not readable.
In a relatively recent release, this was changed so that the color could be either black or white, depending upon which gives a more readable contrast with the background color of the button itself. However, some users found it to be distracting when a channel button's font would switch between black and white during play, and so you can now control whether or not this happens.
You can control it temporarily (until the next time the Sequence Editor is started) via the Vary Color of Channel Button Fonts item on the Play menu, or set your default preference (which will take effect every time the Sequence Editor is started) via Also vary their font colors on the Play Preferences dialog.
When the Sequence Editor has multiple sequences open, it displays a tab strip across the top, with one tab per sequence. Each tab has the name of an open sequence; clicking on a tab causes that sequence to be displayed. In previous versions, the name of the sequence would include its directory name, if the sequence was not stored in the default directory for sequences. This could lead to some very wide tabs. Now, only the unqualified filename, without any directory information, is displayed.
If a sequence that used multiple Light-O-Rama networks was downloaded to a standalone controller (via the Hardware Utility's MP3 tab or via the Simple Show Builder), previous versions of Light-O-Rama would warn you of that fact, because standalone controllers only send commands out over a single comm line, and therefore the multiple networks would all get amalgamated into a single one when downloaded. Now, instead, only commands for controllers on the Regular Light-O-Rama network are downloaded.
•On some computers, the Clipboards panel would not show its full height, leading to most of its functionality being unavailable due to being offscreen.
•The Hardware Utility and Simple Show Builder would previously allow you to download any type of media file for a standalone sequence, such as WAV files or WMA files, despite the fact that only MP3 files are supported by the controllers. They will now give an error message if you attempt to download a media file other than an MP3 file.
In previous versions of Light-O-Rama, the Sequence Editor would automatically turn off all lights in a sequence when that sequence finished playing. It can now optionally keep them turned on, via the new "Lights Off at End" menu item in the Play menu. The lights can subsequently be turned off manually via "Lights Off Now".
•If, while importing a channel configuration file, you double-clicked the channel configuration's filename in the file browsing dialog, and if your mouse was over a sequence grid at the time, then after the file was imported, depending upon where your mouse was, this could have caused the grid to behave as if you clicked your mouse on it. For example, if you were over a channel button, the Channel Settings dialog for that channel could have opened.
•If DMX effects were used in a sequence, and the Sequence Editor's Vary Color of Channel Buttons setting was turned on, then during play, for certain DMX effects, the sequence grid could temporarily go blank as displayed in the Sequence Editor (though the behaviour of your actual lights would not be adversely affected).
•If you manually edited certain registry settings related to disk file paths (note: doing this is not recommended) which Light-O-Rama normally sets itself, leaving off a backslash at their ends would lead to unexpected results.
•If an RGB channel (as opposed to one of its constituent channels) was used to draw in the Animator, and that RGB channel was deleted from the sequence, the cells of the Animator using that RGB channel would not be blanked out.
•If a constituent channel of an RGB channel (as opposed to the RGB channel itself) was used to draw in the Animator, then in certain situations, the cells of the Animator using that constituent channel could have been blanked out inadvertently.
•If the Color Fade tool was used to make DMX effects, and those DMX effects were themselves fades, they would not be sent to the controllers. They now are sent, but (as of the time of this writing) LOR hardware does not support fading DMX effects, and so they are converted to regular fades.
The new Advanced OpenGL Settings dialog can be used, experimentally, to try to investigate or work around strange graphics issues. However, this is not recommended; such problems can typically be better resolved in other ways, such as updating your computer's graphics card's drivers.
•When the Chase tool was used with Paste from Foreground turned off, and the chase was done either from the bottom left to the top right or vice versa, in some cases it would not properly overwrite existing effects outside of the actual things being chased with off effects.
•The "+" key is supposed to invoke the Repeat tool, but only the "+" key on the standard part of the keyboard was doing so, while the "+" key on the numeric keypad did nothing.
•When more than one sequence was open in the Sequence Editor, and they were maximized, clicking on the "X" to the right of the menu bar would close the active sequence (as it should), but that sequence's tab would remain open in the row of sequence tabs. Subsequently clicking on that tab, for the closed sequence, would cause the Sequence Editor to crash.
•Various things in the Animator, such as drawing and erasing, were much slower than normal.
An RGB channel represents a light or string of lights that can change colors - for example, a pixel on a Cosmic Color Ribbon. It consists of three "normal" channels, representing the three component colors - red, green and blue. Previously, to sequence such a device, you would have to sequence those three channels for the three component colors individually - that is, you would set up the sequence to have those three channels, and you would (for example) set the red channel to fade up, the green channel to hold steady, and the blue channel to fade down.
Now, you still can sequence the three component channels individually, but instead you could simply add an "RGB channel" to the sequence, and use it to deal more directly with the resulting colors. For example, instead of telling the red channel to fade up, the green channel to hold steady, and the blue channel to fade down, you would simply tell the RGB channel to fade from cyan to yellow.
The Color Fade tool is a new tool that can be used to tell RGB channels how to behave. For example, to specify that the RGB channel should fade from cyan to yellow over a certain time range in a sequence, you would select the Color Fade tool, with its colors set to cyan and yellow, and apply the tool to that time range of the sequence.
The Color Fade tool can also be used to do fills, by clicking the selected area instead of clicking and dragging.
The Repeat tool takes whatever is contained in the selected area of the sequence and makes a new copy of it immediately following the selected area. Using the tool again (without changing what area of the sequence has been selected) will make another new copy immediately following the first, and using it again will make a third new copy immediately following the second. This can be repeated as many times as you like, making as many back-to-back copies of the selected area as you want.
The Intelligent Fade tool is similar to the Fade Up and Fade Down tools. However, using it makes either a fade up or a fade down, depending upon whether you click and drag left to right or right to left.
It can also be used to do fills, by clicking the selected area instead of clicking and dragging.
If you apply the Fill tool to an area that has no effects (i.e. the lights are off in that channel at that time), it will automatically make a fade from the intensity that precedes the empty area to the intensity that follows the empty area. For example, if there is a fade up from 0 to 75, followed by the lights being off, followed by a fade down from 50 to 25, and you apply the Fill tool to the area where the lights are off, it will change that area so that it becomes a fade down from 75 to 50.
The Fill tool can also be used in a similar way on RGB channels, where it will change an empty area so that it fades from the color preceding the empty area to the color following the empty area.
The Fill tool behaves a little differently than most other tools. With most tools, if you click and drag an area, that area will be selected, and when you let up on the mouse button, that tool will be applied to the selected area. The Fill tool, however, does not select an area, and it is applied as soon as you click, and as soon as you drag to a new area, too. This, combined with the fact that the Fill tool does nothing if it's used on an area that already has an effect, hopefully makes it quick and easy to fill a large and complicated area of the sequence just by clicking once and dragging around to the appropriate spots without letting go of the mouse button.
The Chase tool takes a pattern and "chases" it through the selected area. That is, when you click on a spot in the sequence, and then drag through other channels and through time, then when you let go of the mouse button, it will take the pattern in the selected area's corner where you initially clicked and copy it through the remaining channels in the selection, offsetting it a little bit in time with each subsequent channel.
"Paste from Foreground" is a new pasting option. When it is turned on, any portions of the clipboard's copy buffer that have "off" effects won't actually be pasted when you select "Paste". That is, copied "off" effects won't overwrite what you already have in your sequence.
The channel button popup menu now gives a new way to add channels to a sequence: "Add Device". When this is selected, a dialog will open asking the type of device to add (such as an LOR/CTB 16 or a Cosmic Color Ribbon) and some settings for that device (such as its unit ID). The appropriate number of channels will then be added to the sequence, and they will automatically be populated with the appropriate unit IDs, circuit IDs, and so forth.
The left-hand side of the Sequence Editor now has a new Tools Panel, with a few subpanels ("Saved Tools", "Recent Tools" and "Clipboards"). The panel can be pinned to the display so that it is always open, or it can be hidden so that it appears only as a small tab on the left of the Sequence Editor, with the full panel sliding out when the mouse goes over that tab. The individual subpanels can also be collapsed or expanded.
The Recent Tools subpanel of the Tools Panel on the left-hand side of the Sequence Editor shows buttons representing the tools that were used recently (such as "Fade Up 25-75", "Shimmer Down 100-0", or a color fade). Clicking on one of the buttons will make that tool the currently active tool.
Not all tools are put on the Recent Tools subpanel's list; only those that would take more than one mouse click to activate are put there. For example, "Toggle" and "Shimmer" do not get put on the list, since you could activate those in a single mouseclick (from the Tools toolbar).
Right-clicking on a tool's button enables you to put the tool on the Saved Tools list.
The Saved Tools subpanel of the Tools Panel on the left-hand side of the Sequence Editor is similar to the Recent Toolssubpanel, except that it shows only those tools that you have decided to save. Once you put a tool on the Saved Tools list, it will remain there (until you explicitly remove it), even after the Sequence Editor has been stopped and restarted.
In previous versions of the Sequence Editor, there was only a single clipboard for copying and pasting. Now, the Sequence Editor starts with a single clipboard, but you can easily add more of them, and quickly switch between which one is in use at the moment, using the new Clipboards subpanel of the Tools Panel on the left-hand side of the Sequence Editor. That is, you now can have several different things copied at the same time, all of which can be pasted into your sequence.
The Clipboards subpanel also allows you to save a clipboard, so that its contents will be available to be pasted even after you stop and restart the Sequence Editor, and to lock a clipboard, so that it cannot be copied to (but still can be pasted from), to prevent accidental overwriting of a clipboard that you want to keep.
Previously, if you chose to create a sequence with equally spaced timings (such as "a timing every tenth of a second"), the sequence's first timing grid would be a fixed timing grid. You can now optionally make it either a fixed timing grid or a freeform timing grid.
When more than one sequence is open, the Sequence Editor now shows a single one of them, maximized, with tabs across the top having the names of the open sequences. Selecting any particular tab will cause the Sequence Editor to switch to display that sequence.
If you want to see multiple sequences at once, you can unmaximize the currently displayed sequence.
Several hotkeys for various menu items on the Tools menu have been changed, to try to minimize overlap and to give unique hotkeys to as many "high profile" tools as possible.
One changed keyboard editing shortcut which it is worth explicitly pointing out (because it has been requested by several people) is that the Delete key will now apply the "Off" tool to the selected area.
Previously, background and foreground effects mode could be enabled by certain keystrokes. To turn them off, there was a different keystroke for enabling "regular" effects. Now, instead of keystrokes to enable those modes, there are keystrokes to toggle them between being enabled and disabled.
Note that this change is only from the point of view of how they look displayed on your screen in the Sequence Editor; their behavior on your actual lights is unchanged from what it was before.
During play, the Sequence Editor can be set up to change the colors of channel buttons to represent the current intensity of the associated channel. The text of the channel name on that channel button, however, was always black. Depending upon the color of the channel and its current intensity, this could sometimes make the button difficult or even impossible to read. Now, the color of the text of a button will be either black or white, depending upon which would be easier to read at that moment for that channel.
Previously, if a user had a computer that was not connected to the internet, they could only register that computer by calling in to Light-O-Rama Customer Support. LOR Customer Support had a program called the "Offline Registration Utility" which they then used to get the user's computer activated.
This program is now distributed by the LOR installer, along with all the other programs (such as the Sequence Editor). So, if a customer has two machines, one of which is connected to the internet but the other of which is not, they can register their offline computer by using the Offline Registration Utility on the online computer, without calling in to LOR Customer Support.
Offline registration via LOR Customer Support is still available, in case (for example) the customer has only one computer, and it is not connected to the internet.
•In the Sequence Editor, when "Paste by Cell" was set, and a copy and paste was done including an event that was not completely coincident with a cell, in some situations the events pasted wouldn't appropriately match the events copied completely.
•When the DMX Tool, Fade Tool or Intensity Tool windows were closed by clicking on their "X" buttons, the next time that they were displayed, they would be displayed in an entirely new location instead of in the spot where they had been when they were closed.
•The "Paste" button on the Sequence Editor's toolbar would not be enabled until after a copy (as opposed to a cut) had been done. That is, if you started up the Sequence Editor and immediately did a cut, the Paste button would still be greyed out even though you had cut something.
•If you double-clicked somewhere on the New and Open dialog, for example to open a sequence by double-clicking its filename, then depending upon where your mouse was, when the dialog closed and the sequence opened, it could have caused something to happen such as a channel's settings dialog being opened, or the current tool being applied to a cell in the sequence.
This version fixes the following bugs:
•The Schedule Editor only displayed a thin portion of its vertical scroll bar.
Please note that this feature is available only for license levels Basic Plus and higher.
In previous versions of Light-O-Rama, when the Show Player played a show, a sequence in that show would not be loaded until the first time it was used in the show. Depending upon the size of the sequence and the power of the computer, it could take a human-noticeable amount of time to load a sequence, so this could lead to undesired delays between sequences (the first time they are played during a given run of a show).
This is still the default behavior, but you can now optionally set the show to preload sequences, so that they will all be loaded as the first step in the show, before any of them are played.
In previous versions of Light-O-Rama, selecting "Disable Shows" from the Light-O-Rama Control Panel's menu would cause the currently running show to stop immediately, abruptly stopping any sequences that happened to be playing. This can still be done (by selecting "Disable Shows Immediately"), but you can now shut down a show gracefully instead (by selecting "Disable Shows Gracefully").
This will cause the show that happens to be playing (if any) to be put into shutdown mode; any song that happens to be playing will be allowed to finish, after which the show's Shutdown section will run. When the Shutdown section finishes, the show will stop, and shows will be disabled.
Several improvements were made to the Light-O-Rama Control Panel:
•The "Current" and "Scheduled" sections of its status window were often mostly redundant (if the currently playing show was the show that was scheduled to be playing at the current time). The "Scheduled" section has now been replaced by a "Next" section, which shows what will happen after the current show.
•Those sections would update only after a noticeable delay of several seconds. They now update in a much more real-time fashion.
•Similarly, the first log messages that were displayed would be delayed; they are now real-time.
•The Control Panel's light bulb icon in the system tray now is different colors depending upon the state of the system: If scheduled shows are enabled, it is blue; if they are disabled, but shows on demand are enabled, it is orange; if shows are disabled entirely, it is red.
•Several new log messages were added, hopefully giving a more informative view into what the Show Player is doing.
In previous versions of Light-O-Rama, when the Musical Section of a show was set to shuffle the sequences instead of playing them in order, any sequence could be randomly chosen to play at any time. This meant that, for example, the same sequence could play twice (or more) in a row, or some particular sequence could be played a second time before some other particular sequence was played even once.
The Show Editor now allows you to control the way that sequences are shuffled: You can choose whether or not a single sequence is allowed to be played twice in a row, and you can choose whether or not all sequences must be played once before some sequence is played a second time.
Existing show files will continue to behave in the same manner as they did before (unless and until you change their settings): a sequence can be repeated back-to-back, and can be played a second time before all other sequences have been played once.
The default for new shows is exactly the opposite: no sequence will be played twice in a row, and no sequence will be played a second time before all sequences have been played once.
In previous versions of Light-O-Rama, the maximum allowable circuit number for a Light-O-Rama controller was 256. It is now 512. At the present time, this is primarily useful for controlling DMX devices.
A new version of the firmware for the iDMX1000 has been released (version 1.41). It contains the following enhancements:
•It now has native address support (i.e. there is no longer a need for multiple unit IDs for a single iDMX1000). The old method of having a single iDMX1000 use multiple unit IDs is still supported, as "legacy mode". An iDMX1000 will be in native mode or legacy mode depending upon the unit ID it is set to: If its unit ID ends in a "0" (such as "10", "20", or "30"), it will be in legacy mode, where it actually uses sixteen unit IDs of sixteen channels each (e.g. setting the unit ID to 10 will cause it to use unit IDs 10 through 19 and 1A through 1F). If its unit ID ends in anything other than a zero, it will use only that single unit ID, but it will support all its channels on that single unit ID.
•Previously, only DMX addresses up to 256 were supported. Now, addresses up to 512 are supported (but only in native mode).
•Previously, only 64 "intelligent channels" were supported at a time - i.e. only 64 channels could simultaneously be doing shimmers, twinkles, and/or fades. Now, 128 intelligent channels are supported at a time.
A new version of the firmware for the DIO32 motherboard has been released (version 1.30). This version adds native address support - that is, there is no longer a need to use multiple unit IDs for a single DIO32; it can now support all channels on a single unit ID.
Please note that in order to take advantage of this new functionality, you will not only have to use the new firmware, but you will also have to change a jumper on the board which tells it whether to operate in native mode or legacy mode. Please refer to your DIO32 documentation for details.
A new version of the firmware for the DC-MP3 has been released (version 4.10). It contains the following enhancements and fixes:
•Previously, an individual sequence could only last for up to ten minutes. It can now last up to 44 hours.
•Previously, only certain manufacturer's SD cards were supported. A much larger variety is now supported (list to be compiled - although it will more likely be a list of unsupported cards rather than a list of supported cards).
•Support for SD cards with the FAT32 file system was added.
•Support for SDHC (high capacity) SD cards was added.
•Previously, shows could be set to play every hour or every half hour; they now can also be set to play every 15 minutes or every 10 minutes.
•Digital output (DO) pins 1 through 6 now operate. They react to commands for unit ID F0, channels 1 through 6. They only react on the DC-MP3 that is controlling the show; for example, they will not react on a DC-MP3 controlled via the PC network.
•Under some circumstances, shows would start at midnight, without having been scheduled to do so. This has been fixed.
•Protection against several possible crashes was added to the Light-O-Rama Control Panel. Although it is not known if any of these actually caused any crashes, it is known that some customers have had the Light-O-Rama Control Panel crash.
•When disabling shows, or when unloading Light-O-Rama, the LOR Control Panel would hang frozen for a noticeable amount of time before becoming responsive again (in the case of disabling shows) or closing (in the case of unloading).
•Sometimes, lighting commands were quickly repeated back-to-back. This would not cause any noticeable problems with how the sequence looked, but it did cause a minor increase in network traffic, or standalone/SD sequence file size.
The Light-O-Rama Diagnostic is a troubleshooting tool that displays various information about your Light-O-Rama configuration. It used to be available only as a separate download from lightorama.com, but now is installed as a standard part of the Light-O-Rama Software Package.
•On Windows 98 SE machines, running a show of sufficient length would eventually cause an error message to pop up, saying that an error occurred in "Formhook_aftermessage". Clicking "OK" would close the error message, but it would soon pop up again, and again and again. If it was left without clicking "OK" to close it, eventually the show would stop abnormally.
•If a channel was set up to be a subsequence, and the sequence file assigned to it did not exist or otherwise could not be loaded, then loading of the main sequence would fail when the loading of the subsequence failed. The result of this was that the main sequence could not be opened, and so the problem could not be fixed by modifying the subsequence filename associated with the channel. Now, the main sequence will successfully load, and the missing subsequence will simply not do anything during play. Note that the Light-O-Rama Verifier will still show this error.
•If you set the name of a channel to include an ampersand, then in the Sequence Editor, the name would be displayed on the channel's button improperly. The ampersand would be missing, and the character after it would be underlined (indicating that it could be used as a hotkey for that button).
•If the Sequence Editor was used on a computer with multiple monitors, and the cursor was hovered over a spot on a sequence grid that was on a monitor to the right of the primary monitor, the tool tip would pop up in the wrong place (on the far right side of the primary monitor).
Certain very large operations in the Sequence Editor could take a very long time to do. For example, skewing a track involves changing all of the timings, effects, and loops in the track; in a large sequence with many channels, this could take a prohibitively long time. Much of the time spent is actually due to recording the changes so as to later be able to undo and redo them.
For situations like this, undo and redo recording can now be disabled, via the Edit menu. You will not be able to undo any changes that were made while undo recording was disabled, but the changes that you make will be made more quickly.
In previous versions of Light-O-Rama, when a sequence was saved using either a Basic license or else the unlicensed Demo version of the software, the sequence file would be encrypted instead of being saved in plain XML. Now, this encryption is done only for the unlicensed Demo version; a Basic level license (or any other level license) will cause files to be saved unencrypted.
Version 3.2 of the DC-MP3 firmware (DC_MP3_V3-3.lhx) adds one new feature and fixes two bugs:
•Output number 8, which was previously unused, will now be high (+5 volts) when a show is active, and zero when no show is active.
•When a sequence started playing, in some rare cases the music and the lights would start off significantly out of sync with each other.
•A bug was causing trigger number 6 to interact with trigger number 3 in some cases.
Version 1.02 of the Servo Dog firmware (ServoDog_V1-02.lhx) fixes a bug where if channels 1 and 8 were in digital output mode, there would be crosstalk causing random results.
•In the Servo Dog Utility, when a channel button was clicked, if another channel button had previously been selected, there was a chance that the configuration of the channel that was clicked would be set to the same values as the configuration of the channel that had previously been selected.
•In the Hardware Utility, controllers that were connected via Easy Light Linkers were not showing up in all cases.
•If a show was scheduled starting on Saturday and ending on Sunday, instead of playing through, it would continuously shut down and restart. A common symptom of this is that the first sequence in the show's musical section would play over and over.
•X10 controllers were not successfully being controlled in some situations.
The following changes were made in this version:
The Light-O-Rama Control Panel's status window now displays a log of what is occurring with shows. For example, it displays messages indicating that a show or a sequence is stopping or starting, that an error occurred playing a sequence, and that an interactive trigger was detected.
Note that not all Light-O-Rama controllers have more than sixteen circuits, and of those that do, not all support this new feature yet (instead, they use more than one unit ID, each with sixteen possible circuit IDs). Currently, the only Light-O-Rama controller that can be set to use more than sixteen circuit IDs for a single unit ID is the Cosmic Color Ribbon. Support for this feature in some other controllers is planned for the future, at which time firmware upgrades may be necessary to take advantage of it.
The Light-O-Rama ServoDog Utility is a new program which can be used to configure Light-O-Rama ServoDog controllers.
•If an error opening a comm port occurred when the Hardware Utility was being started, this could lead to strange errors later, such as the Hardware Utility unexpectedly closing in certain situations.
•If the musical section of a show contained sequences that could not be played due to errors, then in some situations the first sequence of the musical section of the show might repeat several times in a row.
•On some computers, when a Light-O-Rama program (such as the Sequence Editor) was started, it would open in Demo mode very frequently, despite having previously been activated (and without having upgraded to a new version).
•In the Sequence Editor, if you clicked the space bar to start play while the mouse button was down, then when play ended, you would be in "mouse dragging" mode, no matter whether you subsequently released the mouse button or not.
•If you used a countdown in the Tapper Wizard, sometimes the song would not start after the conclusion of the countdown.
•Various problems would occur if you set the default Sequences and Audio directories to be top level directories of a drive (for example, "C:\Sequences" and "C:\Audio" rather than "C:\LOR\Sequences" and "C:\LOR\Audio").
The following changes were made in this version:
In previous versions of Light-O-Rama, exporting and importing channel configuration from and to sequences that have more than one track could lead to strange, and probably undesired, results. This was due to the interaction between channels that were in more than one track of the sequence and channels that were in more than one track of the configuration file. If the positions of such channels did not match up between the sequence and the configuration file, then the resulting settings of those channels would be changed in a predictable, but probably undesired, way.
In this version, the method of importing has been altered, so as to give (hopefully) better results:
Unlike in previous versions, the first step to importing channel configuration, before any channels are actually imported from the configuration file, is now to check the sequence for channels that are in more than one track. If any such channels are found, then all copies of each channel, except for the first of each channel, are removed from the sequence.
Next, channels are imported from the configuration file. But unlike in previous versions, if a channel is in more than one track of the configuration file, instead of overwriting the settings of an existing channel in the sequence every time the channel is encountered in the configuration file, that is only done on the first encounter of the channel. Instead, on subsequent encounters of the same channel, a copy of the appropriate channel from the sequence is inserted into the track at the appropriate position.
This has two potential side effects to watch out for (although both of these seem minor compared to the side effects caused in previous versions):
First, if a track in the sequence is composed entirely of channels from previous tracks, and the channel configuration file has no track in the same position, then all channels will be removed from that track. Since the track has no channels, it will then be removed from the sequence. However, note that these channels have not been removed from the sequence - they have only been removed from the track. They are still in the earlier tracks.
Second, a channel from the sequence with no corresponding channel in the configuration file could get "pushed down" towards the bottom of the sequence's track, if the channel configuration file contains channels in that track which are copies of channels from earlier tracks.
Different licensing levels can control different numbers of controllers; for example, the Basic level can control two controllers, while the Advanced level can control an unlimited number of controllers. If a sequence contains a lighting effect for a controller that the license level cannot control, the effect is simply not sent to the controller.
In previous versions, this also applied to sending commands to Holiday Lights Designer: lighting effects could be sent to Holiday Lights Designer only if they could be sent to an actual controller, based on the license level. Now, lighting effects can always be sent to Holiday Lights Designer, regardless of the licensing level.
•If a show contains some sequences in a "Magic Toy" interactive group, and a trigger in that group is triggered, any playing sequences that happen to be from that same interactive group should be, but were not, stopped, before the newly triggered sequences start.
•There must be a channel in every track; Light-O-Rama should prevent you from removing the last channel from a track. Due to bugs, though, it's possible that the last channel could be removed from a track; in such a case, if the sequence were saved, it could not thereafter be reloaded. In this version, the sequence can now be loaded, but any tracks without channels will automatically be removed from the sequence during the load.
The following changes were made in this version:
The Tapper Wizard was improved in several ways:
•It now knows about timing grids. You can select an existing grid to use, or create new grids to use, from within the Tapper Wizard itself.
•You can play a particular part of a song, rather than the whole song. When the Tapper Wizard is first opened, its play range will automatically be set to the active track's freeform play range, if there is one, or to its normal play range (such as play full sequence or play visible screen) if not.
•You can set the play speed, either to normal speed, half speed, or double speed.
•It can be used repeatedly without closing, with or without tapping again. For example, after applying your taps to the sequence, you could collect a whole new set of taps, or you could apply your existing taps to the sequence again, in a new way (such as applying them to a different channel, or with different flash and fade times), all without ever closing the Tapper Wizard.
•It supports undo and redo within itself; you do not have to close the Tapper Wizard to undo or redo its changes.
•It no longer relies on helper forms to collect information (such as the length of time that a flash should take); this information is now set via fields on the Tapper Wizard itself.
•The settings that you choose, such as whether to use a countdown, how long that countdown should be, whether to use the mouse, the keyboard, or both, what kind of effects or timings should be inserted, and so forth, are remembered, so that you do not have to change them every time that you enter the Tapper Wizard.
Recent efficiency improvements to the Animator increased the speed it could redraw at. This had the side effect of making its twinkle effects twinkle too quickly, almost looking like shimmers. The Animator's twinkle effect has now been slowed back down, to more closely resemble the twinkle effect on actual lights.
Please note that this change does not affect the way that twinkle behaves on your lights at all; they will behave exactly as they always have. It only affects how twinkle is represented in the Animator (which is an approximation, not an exact representation, of how it looks on actual lights).
In previous versions, clicking of the Fade Tool Settings toolbar button would open the Fade Tool Settings dialog, as would clicking on the Tools menu's Fade Tool Settings item. The only way to close the dialog was to click on its Windows close button, or to use the escape key. Now, the toolbar button (or the menu item) can be used as a toggle - clicking it once shows the dialog; clicking it again hides it.
A similar change was made for the Intensity Tool Settings dialog.
When editing sequences via the keyboard, previous versions would allow you to hit the Enter key to apply the current tool to the selected area of the sequence. Alternatively, to apply a different tool, you could hit some other key, specific to that tool; this would leave the current tool the same as it was. For example, if the current tool was the shimmer tool, you could hit Enter to apply a shimmer, or "T" to apply a twinkle.
However, the current tool itself could not be selected except via the toolbar, or menu items on the Tools menu. It can now be selected via the keyboard as well, by using Shift in addition to the desired effect's normal key. For example, Shift-T will change the current tool to change the current tool to be the twinkle tool. Note that this leaves the sequence itself untouched (but you can still hit Enter to apply the current tool to the sequence, or one of the specific keys to apply some other tool).
Due to this change, certain existing keyboard shortcuts had to be remapped. Specifically, Shift-S, Shift-T, Shift-I, Shift-U and Shift-D used to change the current custom tool to be a custom shimmer, twinkle, intensity, fade up, or fade down, respectively. These have been replaced with Ctrl-Shift-S, Ctrl-Shift-T, Ctrl-Shift-I, Ctrl-Shift-U, and Ctrl-Shift-D, respectively.
When you click on a control in the Animator, after that control's operation has completed, the focus is now immediately given back to the sequence grid. The effect of this is that you can continue using the keyboard to edit the sequence without needing to mouse-click on it every time you change something in the Animator.
Previously, when the Sequence Editor saved a sequence, it would delete the backup file of that sequence, then rename the existing save file to the backup, then write a new version of the save file, then verify that it could load the new version of the save file. If it could not load the new version, it would give a warning message saying so, and giving the name of the backup file.
Instead, it now writes the sequence to a temporary file, then verifies that it can load that temporary file. Only if it can load the temporary file does it then proceed to delete the backup file, rename the existing save file to the backup, and finally rename the temporary file to the real save file name.
•In the Sequence Editor, if the total time of a track was increased, and that track was currently using a fixed timing grid, an error message would pop up saying that timings cannot be added to fixed grids.
This version fixes the following bugs:
•In the Sequence Editor, when the mouse was moved to the left of the channel bar, an error message would sometimes pop up, saying "Invalid centisecond for finding timing", followed by a negative number. This would always happen when the mouse was dragging, and sometimes happen otherwise.
•On some computers running Windows Vista, installation would fail, giving an error about Microsoft's MDAC component.
This version fixes the following bug: Upon upgrade from a previous version of Light-O-Rama, if the user chose a different directory to store sequence and audio files than was chosen for the previous version, the post-install process would neglect to copy the files from the old directory to the new one.
The following changes were made for Light-O-Rama version 2.3.4:
A timing grid is a collection of timings. A sequence can have more than one timing grid, but only one (per track) is displayed at any given time. You can quickly change which timing grid is displayed at any time by selecting from the Tracks and Timings toolbar's timings dropdown list.
There are two types of timing grids: fixed timing grids, which have timings at equal distances from each other, and which cannot have timings added, removed, or moved, and freeform timing grids, which can have timings anywhere, and which can have timings added, removed, or moved.
Timing grids are intended to better fulfill a role that was fulfilled in previous versions of Light-O-Rama by tracks: Allowing different sets of timings to be used on the exact same channels.
For example, perhaps you have a song for which you would like some lighting effects sequenced to the sound of the bass drum, and other lighting effects sequenced to the sound of the lead guitar. You could simply add timings for both, but this could make it easy to forget which timing is for which instrument; it could also make the display seem too cluttered with timings.
To solve this problem in previous versions of Light-O-Rama, you could duplicate the track to a new track, so that you had two different tracks in the sequence, both with the same channels as each other. The two tracks could use different timings, one track representing the bass drum and the other representing the lead guitar.
You can still do that in this new version of Light-O-Rama, but you can now instead solve the problem by using timing grids. Instead of adding a second track, you could add a second timing grid. One timing grid would represent the bass drum, and the other would represent the lead guitar. You could quickly switch which timing grid is displayed using the Tracks and Timings toolbar's timings dropdown list, changing back and forth between drum and guitar as appropriate, all with only a single track.
The Tracks and Timings toolbar also has a timings button; clicking on it will open a popup menu with various timings grid-related options, such as adding a new timing grid or deleting an existing one.
When this new version of Light-O-Rama opens a sequence created with a previous version (in which there was no such thing as a timing grid), it will automatically create one freeform timing grid per track in the sequence.
The new Light-O-Rama Verifier program can be used to check for certain types of problems with your Light-O-Rama configuration, schedule, shows, and sequences. By using the Verifier, you may be able to fix these problems before they cause any issues when your show is played.
In previous versions, the Beat Wizard and the VU Wizard would always add timings, regardless of whether they were also adding effects or not. They can now add timings and effects independently of each other.
Also, when inserting effects, they can now optionally snap them to the timings being used.
In the Sequence Editor, if the play range is set to anything other than the full sequence, and an effect event starts before the play range starts but ends during (or after) the play range, previous versions of Light-O-Rama would not control the lights based upon that event. Instead, now, the portion of the event within the play range is sent to the lights (for example, if the event is a fade up from 0% to 100% from 36 seconds to 38 seconds, and the play range starts at 37 seconds, the lights will be sent a command to fade up from 50% to 100%).
In previous versions, the dialog was a fixed size, which could not be changed. It can now be resized or maximized, and will remember its sizing and positioning even after the Sequence Editor is closed and restarted.
The dialog's Existing Sequence tab used to always show a list of folders and sequences in a single way. It now has an option to change the view, similarly to Windows Explorer. For example, if the "Details" view is selected, then in addition to file names, details such as file sizes and modification dates will be displayed. Clicking on a column header in the "Details" view will sort the files by that column; clicking on it again will sort in reverse order. The dialog will remember the selected view and sorting behavior even after the Sequence Editor is closed and restarted.
The Existing Sequence tab now also has a "Search" box. If you type something into this box, only files with that somewhere in their name will be listed. Wildcard characters (*, ? and #) are supported in the search box.
The Standard Toolbar's "Open" button would previously always open the dialog to the "Existing Sequence" tab. It now instead opens it to whichever of "Existing Sequence" or "Recent Sequence" was most recently used.
When you create a new musical sequence, the New Musical Sequence dialog now lets you base the initial channels for the sequence off of the contents of a channel configuration file, rather than simply specifying a number of channels.
If you create a musical sequence based on an MP3 file, the New Musical Sequence dialog automatically uses the artist, album and song names from the MP3 itself (if the MP3 is tagged with this information). You can still change these in the dialog if you wish.
Previous versions of Light-O-Rama only supported normally open circuits for use as input triggers. Normally closed circuits are now supported as well, via the Hardware Utility's LOR controller configuration screen.
You may need to update the firmware of your controller in order to take advantage of this new feature.
You may need to update the firmware of your controller in order to take advantage of this new feature.
You can configure various settings about the tooltips, such as how long they take to open and how they close, via the Display Preferences dialog.
The Animator used to display fades in a somewhat jerky manner, only updating the display after the color of a cell has changed by a fairly significant amount. Depending upon the speed of the fade, this would lead to fades more as steps through several intensities rather than as actual fades (note that this only affected the appearance of the Animator, not the appearance of any real lights that you had hooked up via controllers). Fades should now appear more smoothly in the Animator.
Various changes were made to the Animator to decrease the amount of CPU time that it takes to display the animation.
During play, the Animator only redraws the animation every so often, rather than every time that something changes. This is to try to ensure that it does not use too much CPU time. In the past, the amount of time between redraws was a certain constant value; now, you can modify it in the Display Preferences dialog, to try to strike an appropriate balance between CPU usage and smoothness of display for your individual computer.
When the Animator's controls are hidden, expanding and contracting the Animator's window is supposed to also automatically resize the drawing area within the window. However, due to certain sizing requirements, the drawing area can only be certain possible sizes for any given animation. So, when the window was manually resized by clicking and dragging a side or a corner, the drawing area would remain the same size, until the window got large enough to hold the next possible size, at which time the drawing area would "jump" to the new size.
To make this autosizing quicker and easier, the ability to manually resize by dragging a side or a corner of the window has been replaced by "zoom" buttons on the toolbar, which will immediately resize the window (and the drawing area) to the next possible size.
This release fixes the following issues:
•If a musical sequence based on a MIDI file was playing in the Sequence Editor, and was paused or stopped before its natural end, and the sequence had used the MIDI File Wizard, then the Sequence Editor would not send out MIDI commands saying to stop sounds. This caused whatever notes happened to be playing when the sequence was paused or stopped to continue playing indefinitely.
•If the VU Wizard were used to toggle cells on and off during part of a song, as opposed to the entire song, it would sometimes get the toggling backwards, turning on cells that should have been turned off, and vice versa.
•If the VU Wizard were used to toggle cells on and off during part of a song, as opposed to the entire song, it would not necessarily get the state of the first or the last cell in the range correct.
•If the VU Wizard were set up such that the entire selected area of the song was below the specified peak threshold, an error box would appear, saying "Subscript out of range".
•In the Hardware Utility's Test Console, clicking the "All Off" or "All On" buttons would move the intensity sliders appropriately, but would not update the text boxes beneath them to say the new intensities.
This version fixes the following bugs:
•If a sequence had a Windows shell command, and it were saved to a different filename than it had been loaded with, future changes to the Windows shell command in one of the two sequences would affect the Windows shell command in the other sequence as well.
This version fixes the following bugs:
•The Sequence Editor's New Musical Sequence Preferences dialog would not allow you to change the default timings to certain values ("MIDI File Wizard", "Beat Wizard", and "VU Wizard") if you opened the dialog via the "New Musical Sequence Preferences" menu item on the Preferences submenu of the Edit menu.
The following changes were made for Light-O-Rama version 2.1.2:
The Light-O-Rama Software Package must now be registered with a valid license in order to unlock its full potential. There are several different license levels, each with different features available. Additionally, Light-O-Rama can be run without a license, as a Demo version; the Demo version cannot be used to actually control lights, though.
Existing customers who have purchased earlier versions of the Light-O-Rama software package are entitled to a free license of the highest level ("Advanced").
In previous versions of Light-O-Rama, twinkling or shimmering the lights could only be done at full intensity. You can now use new custom tools to twinkle or shimmer the lights while fading them up or down, or at some intensity other than full intensity.
Existing Light-O-Rama controllers may need firmware upgrades to take advantage of this new feature; if a custom twinkle or shimmer is sent to a controller without the upgrade, it will react as if it were a "regular" twinkle or shimmer - i.e. it will twinkle or shimmer at full intensity.
In addition to being able to control lights, some Light-O-Rama controllers can now act as input triggers. This allows sequences to be played on demand during a show - for example, your display may have a group of buttons that people can press, each of which will cause a different song to be played.
For details, please see the help file page "Interactive Groups".
In previous versions of Light-O-Rama, the sequences in a show would start playing immediately at the show's scheduled start time. There is now more flexibility with regards to this; for example, you could hook a big red button labeled "Start the Show" up to one of your Light-O-Rama controllers, and the show will not be started until that button is pushed.
For details, please see "Show Startup Options".
Your sequences can now be configured so that, whenever one is played, Light-O-Rama will execute any arbitrary Windows command that you associate with that sequence.
An example of how this might be useful: If you broadcast the songs playing during your show over the radio, and have hardware allowing you to broadcast RDS ("Radio Data System") information, you can now set your sequences up so that, whenever one is played, Light-O-Rama will tell Windows to tell your RDS program to broadcast the name of the song for that sequence.
For details, please see the help file page "Windows Shell Commands".
A new effect, "DMX Intensity", has been added. This can be used to specify 256 possible intensities (from 0 to 255), rather than the regular 101 possible intensities (from 0 to 100). This is useful for DMX devices, which can take up to 256 possible intensities.
Note: The DMX intensity tool is not available by default in the Sequence Editor - for example, by default, no toolbar button will be displayed for it. To enable the tool, select "Allow DMX Editing" from the DMX Preferences menu.
The Sequence Editor's new "New and Open dialog" allows you to create a new sequence, or open an existing one. This dialog is opened by default when the Sequence Editor starts up (although this behavior can be suppressed), and also when something like "New" or "Open" is selected from the File menu or the Standard toolbar.
There are two exceptions: First, the Background section does not allow this setting. Second, the Interactive section allows you to control this for each interactive group individually, rather than for the section as a whole.
When creating a new musical sequence or new animation sequence, you now have the option to automatically configure the channels in the new sequence to use standard Light-O-Rama controllers. The first channel will be set up to use Light-O-Rama unit 1 circuit 1, the next unit 1 circuit 2, and so forth, then on to unit 2, and so forth. All such channels will be configured to use the regular LOR network.
Switching to another track via the mouse in the Sequence Editor now causes the selected area for that track to be set to the cell that was clicked, even if that cell is within what used to be the selected area for that track. In particular, if a tool other than "Select" is enabled, that tool will be applied to the new selection, not the old one.
In previous versions, when a show reached its scheduled end, if a sequence from the musical section of the show happened to be playing, that sequence would continue playing to its natural end before the shutdown section of the show would begin. Now, that is only the case for musical sequences; if the sequence is an animation sequence, it will abruptly stop at the scheduled end of show, regardless of the fact that it is in the musical section of the show.
When the Hardware Utility is asked to automatically detect units, it must individually search for each possible unit ID. This may take some time to do. To speed this up, the Hardware Utility allowed you to specify a maximum number of units to search for, in a box labelled "Max Units". For example, if you set "Max Units" to "3", the Hardware Utility would search for a controller with unit ID 01, another with unit ID 02, and a third with unit ID 03. It would not check for any unit IDs past 03. However, this often led to the following confusion:
Unit IDs are given in hexadecimal notation. So, for example, the next unit ID after 09 is not 10, but 0A. That is followed by 0B, 0C, 0D, 0E, and 0F, and only then does 10 come. So, if a person's highest unit ID was 10, they might be mislead to thinking that they should input "10" into "Max Units". But "Max Units" was merely a count, not an ID, meaning that the Hardware Utility would only search for the first ten possible unit IDs, i.e. 01 through 09 and 0A. Therefore, unit 10 would not be found (as it is actually the sixteenth possible unit ID).
To get rid of this common source of confusion, "Max Units" was changed to "Max Unit ID". So now, for example, entering "10" will search for unit IDs 01 through 09, unit IDs 0A through 0F, and unit ID 10.
This release fixes the following issues:
•If the "turn a channel on and off" feature of the VU Wizard were used on only part of a musical sequence, it would correctly turn the channel on and off in that part, but would additionally turn everything in the channel past that part off.
•In certain situations, when scrolling through tracks in the Sequence Editor, the track bar for some tracks would not be displayed, and instead part of the previously displayed channel grid would be displayed where the track bar should have been.
•If certain Light-O-Rama entries in the Windows registry were mistakenly deleted (for example, by a third-party registry cleaning program), and a musical sequence were modified and saved, the name of the sequence's media file would not be saved along with it, and you would be unable to modify the sequence again to tell it the name of the media file. This effectively means that the musical sequence would be "transformed" into an animation sequence. This no longer occurs. Note, though, that Light-O-Rama still might not be able to play the sequence, as those registry entries tell it where to look for media files. But after the issue with registry is corrected, Light-O-Rama will now play those musical sequences as normal.
•If paste by cell is enabled, and effect events copied from a larger cell are pasted to a smaller cell, those events are "shrunk" to fit into the smaller cell. If such an event had to be shrunk to less than a centisecond in length, pasting would fail, giving an error message "Start time cannot be less than end time". Now, events shrunk to less than a centisecond are simply skipped when pasting.
•When creating an SD card for an MP3 Director, a valid COM port is no longer required.
•When setting a unit ID via the Hardware Utility, the dropdown boxes allowing you to select a unit ID only show unit IDs from 01 up to the unit ID specified in the Hardware Utility's "Max Unit ID" setting. Previously, though, changing "Max Unit ID" would not change the values listed in the dropdown boxes, until the Hardware Utility was closed and then restarted. Now, the new values will be available immediately, without needing to close and restart.
The following changes were made for Light-O-Rama version 2.0.16:
Previous releases of Light-O-Rama version 2 included the same Simple Show Builder as was used in Light-O-Rama version 1. It therefore could not be used with sequences that were created using the version 2 Sequence Editor.
Simple Show Builder has now been updated so that it can be used with sequences that were created using either version 1 or version 2.
This release fixes the following issues:
•Various tools such as the Beat Wizard, VU Wizard, and Waveform Display had problems with certain audio files, resulting in an error message saying "Can't init conversion" appearing, after which these tools would be unusable with those files. This release fixes this issue (at least in the known situations that it happened in).
•The Beat Wizard would crash when used with certain audio files on some customers' machines.
•If either "Close All Files" or "Close All Files Except This" was used, and one of the sequences being closed had its Animator window open, an error message would pop up saying "Error Loading Animation Form".
The following changes were made for Light-O-Rama version 2.0.14:
Two new play ranges have been added to the Sequence Editor: "From Selection" plays from the start of the selection to the end of the sequence, and "To Selection" plays from the start of the sequence to the end of the selection.
You can now use the keyboard to select an arbitrary time range for future playing. Please see "Freeform Play Mode" for details.
In the Sequence Editor, the space bar can now be used to start a sequence playing, and then to stop it. If a freeform play range has been selected, that range will be played; otherwise, play will be in "from selection" mode - that is, it will start at the start of the current selection, and go until the end of the sequence. This can be used to effectively pause and unpause play.
In previous versions of Light-O-Rama, the space bar was used to apply the current effect tool to the selected cells. That is now done using the enter key instead.
The Sequence Editor can now subdivide the selected cell or cells into a new number of cells (which you select). Each cell is subdivided into the specified number of cells, and all of the new cells within any particular old cell will be of the same length (or as close to the same length as possible).
For example, if you select two cells, the first from 3 seconds to 7 seconds, and the second from 7 seconds to 7.5 seconds, and ask the Sequence Editor to subdivide them into two cells each, you will wind up with four cells: From 3 to 5, from 5 to 7, from 7 to 7.25, and from 7.25 to 7.5.
The Edit menu of the Sequence Editor now has a new menu item, "Skew Track". This lets you move all of a track's events, timings, and loops by a specified amount of time, either to the left (i.e. earlier in time) or to the right (i.e. later in time).
In previous versions of Light-O-Rama, the waveform of a musical sequence was either displayed or not. Now, if it is displayed, it can be displayed at two different heights: full height and half height. Full height is the same as the height that was used in previous versions of Light-O-Rama.
The waveform of a musical sequence can now be displayed in three different ways: "full mode", showing zero volume at the center and loud volumes above and below it; "fold mode", showing zero at the bottom and folding the two halves of full mode onto the top; "top mode", showing zero at the bottom and the top half of full mode above it. "Full mode" is the same as the way the waveform was always displayed in previous versions of Light-O-Rama.
To set the display mode, right-click on the waveform, and select the desired mode from the listed choices in the popup menu.
This release fixes the following issues:
•In the Channel Property Grid, if a channel was set up with a device type but no unit number and/or circuit number, it might later be displayed (in both the Channel Property Grid and the Channel Settings dialog) as if it had a unit number and/or circuit number set (although it still did not).
•If a sequence was changed, but not yet saved, and "Revert to Saved" was selected from the File menu, the sequence would be properly reloaded, but could not be played again until it was closed and reopened.
•Several dialog windows had a problem where, if the dialog was closed by hitting the enter key rather than by clicking the OK button, changes to the last field modified might not be acted upon.
•If a sequence was playing in the Sequence Editor, and some other sequence was not playing but had its Animator open, clicking on that Animator's play button would set off a string of errors. Now, instead, it simply does not start play (while the other sequence is playing).
•Highlight Current Event on the Play menu is supposed to control whether or not the current event is displayed with a thick border (as if it were the selection) during play. It did so, but it also mistakenly controlled whether the selection was displayed or not while play was not happening.
•If a musical sequence's media file did not have its "Ready for Archiving" flag turned on (in the file's properties in Windows Explorer), the Sequence Editor would not play the sequence, complaining that the media file could not be found.
•If the Sequence Editor played a musical sequence at quarter, half, double or quadruple speed, and the directory its media file was in contained a period in its name, sometimes the wrong media file would be played.
This release fixes the following issues:
•Commands for X10 channels were often getting lost.
This release contains the following bug fixes:
•The Tapper Wizard's dropdown list allowing you to select the track to use did not work properly, leading to the taps being put into whatever track had been selected at the time that the Tapper Wizard was opened, rather than into the one that was selected in the list.
•The VU Wizard's option to operate on only a portion of the song, as opposed to the entire song, did not work properly.
•Communication with the controllers is kept alive during the loading of sequences. This is to fix an issue where, after the loading of a large sequence, the PC would have to resynchronize with the controllers due to communication having been paused. This resynchronization could have taken some time, causing strange effects immediately after synchronization.
•If an error occurs while communicating with the controllers, Light-O-Rama tries to reestablish communications, in the hopes that the error was merely a temporary glitch. However, for certain types of errors, it would not try to do so, leading to the communications being permanently down.
The following new features, changes, and fixes have been made for Light-O-Rama version 2.0.0:
Two tracks in the same sequence can have different channels, or they can share channels with each other. They have different sets of loops and timings than each other. In an animation sequence, tracks can be of different lengths than each other.
Two tracks, with the same channels, in one sequence
A brief example of how this may be useful:
In a musical sequence, you may want to have some timings representing a bass drum, other timings representing a guitar, and yet another representing something totally unrelated to the song. Before tracks, in Light-O-Rama version 1, you could add all of these timings to your sequence, but it might be difficult to remember, while building the sequence, which timings were for which purpose. The more unrelated timings that you added to the sequence, the more confusing the sequence as a whole would become.
Now in Light-O-Rama version 2, instead, you can build a single sequence with multiple separate tracks, each with only one of those sets of timings, making each set of timings cleaner and simpler to understand. Plus, you can share channels between two or more tracks, have different channels in different tracks, or both.
Sequences are initially created with a single track. Another track can be added via the Edit menu's "Add New Track" or "Duplicate Track" items (the latter of which will share all channels in the current track with the new track), or via new items on the channel buttons' popup menus ("Copy to New Track" and "Move to New Track").
To share an individual channel between multiple tracks, do not simply set two different channels to use the same unit number, circuit number, et cetera, as this will likely have unexpected and undesired results. Instead, use the "Copy to New Track" or "Copy to Track Number ..." function on the channel's popup menu:
Share a channel with another track by copying it to the other track
If a sequence has more than one track, the tracks are separated in the display by a track bar, labelled (for example) "Track 1" or "Track 2". If the track has been given a name, it will also be displayed here (for example, "Track 2: Front Yard Mini-trees"). Clicking on this bar gives a popup menu containing various track-related items:
Click on a track bar for various track-related menu items
A channel in a sequence can now be set to represent another sequence (rather than representing a physical circuit), known as a "subsequence". This is done in the Channel Settings dialog, by changing the "Device Type" to "Sequence" (rather than to "Light-O-Rama Controller", "Digital IO Card", or so forth), and choosing the filename of the sequence in the "Sequence" box:
Channel settings for sequence-in-sequence play
A subsequence will play only when the channel that it is a subsequence of is turned on, and will continue playing as long as the channel is on. If the channel is turned off and then turned back on, the subsequence will start over from its beginning.
TIP: Don't try to control the same physical circuit with both a channel in a subsequence and a channel in the main sequence. Doing so will probably cause unexpected results, as the two channels will vie for control of the circuit.
If "Background Effects" has been turned on, the tool only applies to those selected cells that are completely off (that is, at intensity zero for their entire duration).
If "Foreground Effects" has been turned on, the tool only applies to those selected cells that are not completely off.
Before a background fade up
After a background fade up
Before a foreground fade up
After a foreground fade up
The Sequence Editor's undo and redo used to only work for the effect tools (such as "on", "off", "fade up", "twinkle", and so forth). You can now undo and redo a much wider variety of things - adding channels, moving timings, changing loops, drawing in the Animator, and many others.
Examples of things that can be undone and redone
Channels can now be moved up and down in the Sequence Editor. There are two ways to do this: First, the channel buttons' right-click popup menu now includes "Move Up" and "Move Down", which will move the channel by one spot. Second, a channel button can now be mouse dragged to a new position.
In the Sequence Editor's Edit/Preferences menu, there is now a new item called "Video Preferences", which gives control over how video files will be used (both in the Sequence Editor and during scheduled shows):
These options can also be temporarily changed in the Sequence Editor via the View/Video menu. However, changes made this way will only affect the Sequence Editor (not the Show Player), and will only last during the current use of the Sequence Editor - that is, the next time that the Sequence Editor is started, the video preferences as set in "Edit/Preferences/Video Preferences will be used again).
The Sequence Editor's Set Intensity, Fade Up and Fade Down tools now have ten preset values (or ranges). The old "Tool Options" dialog was replaced with the Fade Tool Settings and Intensity Tool Settings dialogs to set these presets:
Intensity Settings, with 70% selected
Fade Settings, with fade up 50-75% and fade down 100-0% selected
The Sequence Editor comes with default preset values (such as 10%, 20%, and so forth) build in; if you want to change any of the presets, you can do so by clicking the settings tool's "EDIT" button:
Changing an intensity preset to 37%
The preset has now been changed to 37%
The values of the presets for both intensities and fades can also automatically be set using Load Intensities and Fades from Current Sequence, of the Tools menu. This will figure out the most commonly used percentages for both intensities and fades existing in the current sequence, and set the preset values to them.
The Sequence Editor's new Beat Wizard can be used to automatically analyze a song to try to determine its beat, and to populate a musical sequence with timings or effects based upon that beat. The Beat Wizard can be found in the Sequence Editor's Tools menu. It is also available as one of the options for creating a new musical sequence, and for creating a new track.
The Beat Wizard
The Sequence Editor's new VU Wizard is a VU meter-like tool that can be used to automatically populate a musical sequence based upon peaks in the audio. The VU Wizard can be found in the Sequence Editor's Tools menu, and is also available as one of the options for creating a new musical sequence, and for creating a new track.
The VU Wizard
The MIDI File Wizard's can automatically create lighting effects based on the notes played in a MIDI file
Previously, only a single COM port could be used for Light-O-Rama controllers. Now, up to four Light-O-Rama networks can be used simultaneously on the same computer, on different COM ports.
The same unit and circuit number can be used on multiple networks simultaneously and independently, with different effects happening on the different networks.
Up to four different networks can be used for LOR controllers
Various new media file types (including Windows Media Files and certain types of videos) are now supported for musical sequences.
Various supported media types
The Animator, with a background image
The Sequence Editor's new Channel Property Grid is a window showing information about all of the channels in a sequence (their color, device type, unit number, et cetera), and allowing changes to those properties in a (hopefully) convenient manner. This can be accessed via the Sequence Editor's Tools menu.
The Channel Property Grid
When pasting effects in the Sequence Editor, you can now choose to insert the events into the destination based upon either the length of the copied events or else the relative lengths of the copied and destination cells.
For example, consider timings at 0 seconds, 1 second, and 2 seconds. Between 0 and 1 is a fade up, and between 1 and 2 is a fade down:
Events to be copied
These events will be copied, and pasted to the time starting at 5 seconds. There are timings at 5 seconds, 7 seconds, and 7.5 seconds:
Where they will be pasted to
If "Paste by Cell" is selected, then there will be a fade up from 5 to 7, and a fade down from 7 to 7.5 (this is the same way that pasting always behaved in version 1 of Light-O-Rama):
After pasting by cell
If "Paste by Time" is selected, then there will be a fade up from 5 to 6, and a fade down from 6 to 7. The timings at 7 and 7.5 are ignored; only the original lengths of the events are used:
After pasting by time
Light-O-Rama can now interact with Holiday Lights Designer, a third-party application by Holidaysoft.
Holiday Lights Designer can be used to virtually place lights and decorations on images of your home or business, and Light-O-Rama can now send Holiday Lights Designer commands during play to make those virtual lights behave as your real lights would during a show.
To send commands to Holiday Lights Designer, first set the Holiday Lights Designer Preferences in the Sequence Editor under the Edit menu. After this is done, commands can be sent from the Sequence Editor by turning on "Control Holiday Lights Designer" in the Play menu, or from the Show Player by selecting "Holiday Lights Designer On" in the Light-O-Rama Control Panel.
Version 4.0 or above of Holiday Lights Designer is required to take advantage of Light-O-Rama interaction.
For more information about Holiday Lights Designer, please see the Holidaysoft website.
If an LOR 1 file is modified and saved by LOR 2, it is automatically updated to the new LOR 2 style. This means that LOR 1 will no longer understand the updated file. However, to be safe, a copy of the original LOR 1 save file is automatically created, and labelled as an LOR 1 file. For example, if the LOR 1 sequence file "lights.las" is converted to an LOR 2 file, then a copy of the original LOR 1 file will be created, named "lights.las.v1.bak".
Various changes were made to better support Light-O-Rama on the Microsoft Windows Vista operating system.
The Animator window now supports up to two hundred rows and columns:
Animation with 200 rows and 200 columns
•The "enter" key now chooses the "OK" button on most forms;
•The "escape" key now chooses the "Cancel" button on most forms;
•The "tab" key circulates between controls in a more sane order;
•Many Alt-key shortcuts were added to various forms;
•The various menus were reorganized so as to cause less conflict among their various items' shortcut hotkeys.
The shimmer effect is now drawn (in the Sequence Editor) using diagonal lines, instead of the previous vertical lines. This will hopefully make them stand out more against the background of vertical lines which represent timings.
Note that this change is simply for display of the sequence in the Sequence Editor; the actual appearance of the shimmer effect on controlled lights is unaffected by this.
Some channels with shimmer effects
In the Sequence Editor, left-clicking and right-clicking on a channel button used to both bring up a context menu of channel-related functions (such as adding, deleting, and moving channels). Right-clicking still does that, but left-clicking now brings up the channel's settings form instead:
The Channel Settings form
Several bug fixes have been made, including but not limited to the following:
•If a show includes a musical cleanup sequence, it is supposed to be played after each song. Instead, it was being played only at the end of the show, just before the first shutdown sequence.
•Some musical sequences, when played in the Sequence Editor, would reach the end of their audio file, but would not cause the Sequence Editor to exit from play mode.
•Certain audio files would not play their audio.
•The Sequence Editor incorrectly determined the total length of certain audio files.
•When a musical sequence was played in the Sequence Editor using the "Visible Screen" play range, the display would sometimes jump to an adjacent portion of the sequence, rather than remaining on the initially visible portion of the sequence.
•Attempting to delete the first timing in a sequence (at time zero) would cause the Sequence Editor to crash.
•Attempting to resize multiple timings (simultaneously) using the Sequence Editor's "Resize Timings to ..." function (on the right-click popup menu) would cause the Sequence Editor to crash if the sequence happened to be more than 5:27.67 long.
•When the Sequence Editor displayed fades using gradual changes in colors (as opposed to when it displayed them using ramps), it would sometimes draw the end of a fade event past where it should have been.
•The Tapper Wizard's option to not use a countdown before the song begins did not work.
•When a sequence was playing at a speed other than the normal speed (for example, through the "Play Speed" menu item in the Sequence Editor, or due to a loop that was set up to increase or decrease speed each time through), if a fade up or a fade down was done, the lights would not properly take the speed of the sequence into account when determining how quickly to fade. For example, a fade up from 0 to 100% that normally takes one second, played at half speed, should fade up from 0 to 100% in two seconds. Instead, it would fade up from 0 to 100% in the first second, and then remain at 100% for the entire second second.
•When the Cleanup or Delay portion of a show was modified in the Show Editor, the Save button would not become enabled.
•The Sequence Editor's audio waveform display (and its positioning line) did not exactly match up with the time of the rest of the display. This was especially noticeable at very high zoom levels.
•When moving a timing in a sequence by clicking and dragging it in the Sequence Editor, sometimes the timing before the selected one would be moved.
•When a musical sequence was opened in the Sequence Editor, and the "View Wave Form by Default" option was selected, if the sequence's audio file no longer existed (or otherwise could not be opened), the Sequence Editor would crash.
•If a musical sequence was played in the Sequence Editor, and the sequence's audio file no longer existed (or otherwise could not be opened), nothing would appear to happen. The Sequence Editor now instead shows an error message box describing the problem.
Various internal improvements have been made as well.