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STRAND News - Strand Lighting

Console Programming Tips, Autumn 2005

by Rob Halliday

Moving Information Around The

Console

In the old days, it seemed so much

easier to use lighting consoles. You

brought up a bunch of channels to

make a pretty look on stage, then

you pressed the ‘Record’ key to

commit that look to memory. Later,

to get that look back you played the

cue; sometimes you made some

adjustments then recorded again.

The arrival of moving lights,

scrollers and all of the other current

Getting Lights To Look As They Do In

Other Cues

If you want the look of cue 1 back

on stage, that’s easy: run cue

1 either using [CUE][1][GOx1]

or [CUE][1][CUTx1] or

[GOTO][CUE][1][*] according to

taste (though note that there is a

subtle difference between the use

of GO/CUT and GOTO: when the

cue ends up on stage using the first

two the channel colours on the live

screen - green for channels going

down, purple for channels going

up - will be relative to whatever

was last live; when using GOTO

they will be relative to the previous

cue in the cue list regardless of

what was on stage beforehand; a

subtle difference but sometimes

an important one, particularly when

jumping around a show out of

order).

But what if you only want to pull

back part of the look - perhaps only

what channel 1, a moving light, was

doing in cue 50? Easy:

[1] [@] [CUE] [50] [*]

Channel 1 will now be doing ‘live’

exactly what it was doing in cue

50. But perhaps we only wanted to

get channel 1 pointing to the right

direction in the right colour rather

than have it come on:

[1] [@] [CUE] [50] {ATTS ONLY} [*]

ATTS ONLY means ‘pull back the

attributes only, ignore the recorded

‘must haves’ of lighting seem to

have made things harder - but only

because with them, you want to do

more complex things! If you wanted

to put channel 1 to the level it was

at in cue 1, you used to just look up

that level then type ‘1@5’, perhaps

followed by a press of the [*] key if

working in command line mode. But

if 1 is a moving light and you want to

put it back to looking as it did in cue

1, that’s harder.

Fortunately Strand 300- and 500-

series consoles offer lots of ways to

intensity’. Equally, we could have

wanted just to the set the light to

the level it had in cue 50 but leaving

it pointing where it was currently

pointing - intensity only rather than

attributes only:

[1] [@] [CUE] [50] {INTS ONLY} [*]

INTS ONLY and ATTS ONLY appear

as softkeys on the left-hand set of

softkeys on 530i and 550i consoles;

on 520i and 300 consoles you may

have to press the [REC MODE]

key to get them to appear on your

softkey LCD display; on an off-line

editor or xConnect, the ‘J’ key

corresponds to REC MODE.

It’s possible that we might want to

refine things further - to leave the

light pointing to where it’s pointing

now, but to set it to the colour it

was in in cue 50:

[1] [@] [CUE] [50] [@ATT] {colour}

[*]

(where @ATT is called ATTRIB on

300-series consoles)

This uses the consoles ‘function

filters’ to just pull back the attributes

defined as colour attributes . You can

combine multiple function filters, so

if you wanted to pull back position

and colour you could have said [@A

TT]{position}{colour}. You can define

which attributes are controlled by

which function filter (and create

your own, if you like) by editing the

console’s ATCPAGE screen - see

the December 2003 newsletter

for more details of doing this, but

help - and,

surprisingly,

some of the

f u n c t i o n s

that at first

seem to be

useful only

for moving

lights turn

out to be

surprisingly useful additions when

dealing with conventional lights,

too.

note that in current software you

can define twelve function filter

combinations instead of the six

described in that newsletter).

You can also pull back particular

attributes using the console’s

attribute numbers if you need to -

so set just the pan of channel 1 to

its value from cue 50:

[1.3] [@] [CUE] [50] [*].

Note that the console will fill in

channel numbers for you, so if you

did want to specify pan and tilt in

this way rather than using {@ATT}

{position} you’d only need to type:

[1.3] [+] [.4] [@] [CUE] [50] [*] - the

console would fill in the extra ‘1’ for

you. Or if you just wanted to pull

back the pans for channels 101 and

102 you’d just need to type:

[101.3] [+] [NEXT] [@] [CUE] [50] [*]

And, of course, you’re not limited

to doing this just one light at a time

as all of the normal commands you

can use for selecting ranges of

lights can be used here:

[1] [+] [2] [@] [CUE] [50] [*]

[1] {THRUON} [100] [@] [CUE] [50]

{ATTS ONLY} [*]

[GROUP] [800] [@] [CUE] [50] [*]

This means that, though useful for

moving lights, this is also useful for

other blocks of lights - perhaps the

LD says ‘make the cyclorama look

like it did in cue 50’. If the cyclorama

channels are 101-120:

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