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Expression 3 - C/D Fader Uses

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by quarterfront, Aug 24, 2008.

  1. quarterfront

    quarterfront Member

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    Hello -

    Right, so I spend a fair amount of time programming an Expression 3. I use a lot of macros, put effects on subs and trigger them with "Link to Macro", am on easy speaking terms with focus points, and even do most all of my programming on the rarely used but incredibly effective "Designer's Worksheet" (digitizing tablet, which nobody seems to use, ETC no longer sells, but which makes the board jump through hoops).

    All of this puffery is just preamble to me admitting that I really don't know why the heck there's a C/D fader. So far I've never found a use for it.

    What am I missing?
     
  2. waynehoskins

    waynehoskins Active Member

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    It's useful for when you need to either execute two sets of cue stacks independently, or a cue that may overlap multiple other cues (which I suppose also qualifies as two cue stacks).

    Other uses might involve keeping houselight cues separate from the main stack.

    A prefect example is a long sunrise or sunset cue, that goes in or comes out in the time of five or ten minutes. But while that's going on, you have several other cues (isolations or something). You run the long cue on the other stack, piled onto the main stack.
     
  3. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    One (hyphenated) word: Sub-Routines. With or without movers, sometimes an Effect just doesn't cut it--one needs the extra specificity that only a cue-loop can provide. Need a flickering fire effect, where you want each of the 3 circuits to pulsate to specific independent levels? It can be done as an effect, but cues give more control. Also, say you want to manually Fade or alter the Rate of a chase (intensity or movement): when a sub-routine is loaded, the "up" handle is the master Intensity and the "dn" is the Rate. Not useful for every production, but handy if it's needed, and something even moving light boards are just catching up on.

    Tip: to load and execute both the A/B and C/D faders simultaneously, use the [Auto-Load] button, not macro's. I have witnessed a visual delay when using a long macro to accomplish the above. Those who used the Kliegl Performer will equate Expression's [Auto-Load] with the Performer's [Gold] key.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2008
  4. quarterfront

    quarterfront Member

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    Subroutines make sense....

    As for long count cues, maybe I'm not getting it....

    I mean, okay, if you set the channel attributes to independent you can get long count cues to behave for you without using C/D (but then of course you have to deal with background faders, which is a PITA). (Sorry, I grew up on Colortran Prestiege, so when I get confused I go home to mama, as it were. ((obscure reference to Hunt for Red October there)) The Prestiege had 8 faders and autoloaded them via the Go button, and I feel like it handled "independent" vs. LTP better - but maybe I'm just nostolgic...).

    So anyway, once you load your long count cue on the C/D fader, you then have to make sure, later when you want, say, a blackout, to have managed to clear the C/D fader, cause otherwise it'll be sitting there being highest takes precedence. This is largely a clerical thing and maybe I'm just not trying hard enough.... My world is rarely so cut and dried that I can manage to remember to keep all of "these channels" in cues that run on A/B and all of "those channels" in cues that run on C/D and remember every time I update to update the cue on the C/D fader instead of the one on the A/B fader. I'm just not smart enough. :neutral:

    Admittedly, I never spend any time in the "FADER" display. Is this what I'm missing?

    Where's this "auto-load" key? Soft key? I can't find it in the manual or anywhere in the system using EOL. Must be blind.... :rolleyes:
     
  5. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Sorry, I guess I was thinking of the original Expression. Stop looking now; you're not, as best I can tell, blind.

    Ahhh, background fades. A not very publicized feature of the Expression3 is that it can actually run 128 simultaneous fades. I've only tried once to use "Background Overrides" and the results were so not what I wanted that I never visited that screen again!
     
  6. OnWithTheShow

    OnWithTheShow Member

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    wow Kliegl...
     
  7. quarterfront

    quarterfront Member

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    Yeah.... I keep "Background Overrides" set as a one of the hardkey macros (#4) on my board. (#1 toggles Quickstep and then hits "Stage" to get the softkeys back to default, #5 records to disk).

    Back before somebody showed me how to link a cue to a macro, I used to write effect cues. (Insert long story here about how at my theatre the SM presses the "Go" button and as such the rule is that all lighting must be programmed to run from only that one "Go" button). Nowdays I never ever ever (okay, almost never) write an effect cue, I always write effect as subs, give them up/hold/down times and then run effect by writing cues with a links to a macros, the macros being of the "On-Bump Sub X" or "Off-Bump Sub X" ilk.

    Doing it the old way, with effects cues, if you wanted some chasers to continue to chase while you ran other cues you'd have to make the channels independent so that they wouldn't get killed out by the intervening cues.

    (I suppose I could have put the effects on the C/D fader, but not knowing that I could link to macro I didn't know how to get the C/D fader "Go" button pressed using the A/B fader "Go" so there was no way to use C/D. Remember, there's that "only one button" rule. Besides, effect subs are way more elegant and flexible.)

    So, you're in the middle of rehearsal, you're running a sequence of cues and an effect is running and a stop gets called. You need to go back a few cues to get started up, but those chasers are independent and running into the cue you want won't kill them because they're not written as zeros in the cue you want to go to.... So.... Background Override macro to the rescue, written to execute the "override all background fades" keystrokes....
     

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