Flicker/strobe effect


Well-Known Member
Last night I was at a concert (Sevendust) and they had a nice selection of moving lights and one of the nicer effects was during an intro the lights would strobe from left to right increasing in speed as the song picked up. How would I go about programing an effec like this, as I see it there are two possible ways for this to happen. One being programing as many step as light (step one light one on step two light two on ans so forth) Then increasing the rate as need be. The other would be having the lighting board do all the work but I dont think our LPX 24 is up to it.
You would have to sequence the entire movement cue by cue with that board. You can do it though. In 1993 when we used like 4 VL1s for our Variety Show we started Act II with a Lights show set to the Beatles Strawberry Fields. We were using an ETC Vision Board, because our Kliegel performer III series did not do DMX. But it worked as long as the music and lights were in sequence. I think we even broke the cues up just in case we were out of sync. If we were in sync then no problem but if we were out of sync we could then take cue 2 at the specific point and put everything back into sequence.

It was pretty cool for the eary days of automated lights in a high school venue.
If you have an old board like we do (Techtronics Producer ll+) you would just have to record the sequence as a chase and then manualy increase the speed with the slider.
I have learned alot of the year or so since I posted that and could not do that fairly easily. On an MA I would do an effect where I would a select a group of lights with defult of shutter closed. The effect would open and close the shutter as it went. I do not lik the new version of MA offline so If I can dig up an old one I will give it a shot.
Some desks have audio triggers that respond what they are fed from an audio source.
Well depending on the console there are different ways to program this. My guess is that the effect was like runway lights?

The simple ways is to make it a step cue and change the speed as the steps increase. But it could also be done on a ramp, etc. It's not a real quick cue to program but if you wanted to create it easily just get a bunch of 3000's and strobe them in a sequence. :)

On a Maxxyz, it is fairly easy to create. On a MA if's a few extra steps. Not sure about a Hog II given that I have not done that type of effect with that console.

soundman, what dont you like about the MA's new OS 5.6? Just curious.
Avkid isn't that called midi? Or am I thinking of something else? The only way that we could do it would be make a step effect and just change the time of the lights flashing. Another way however which isn't like technically savy at all would be to just do the cues manually depending on how fast they need to change. If you could have MIDI could you just program them to go whenever they heard a certain sound?

I believe what Avkid was referring to was that Some Lighting consoles have audio inputs (MA consoles, Avo's, NSI) and can be configured so that a certain frequency can trigger different things.

Midi doesn't really correspond to sounds in our world. Midi is a series of "notes" (hexadecimal values) that have a certain global value, and different equipment uses them in different ways. Lighting console and other equipment use Midi Show control which uses a variety of generic commands (go, halt, back, cue# etc) so that different equipment can communicate with each other.

You can have a cuelist set to be triggered by midi, but it would take having a nother piece of equipment programmed to trigger the lighting console.

Back on the subject, There are many ways to creat that effect. Most consoles would require a multitude of cues which slowly increase the speed.

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