Macros (Wait's and Follows too!)

Charc

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2007
First question, the add-on question. Are "Wait"s and "Follow"s, the same thing, but just a different name? (I'm thinking of this as: "I hate GO, Cue 1 executes. After 15 seconds, Cue 2 Executes.")

Now onto the main question. I'm wondering what use macros might be, when do you use macros, and how. I'm recalling a thread where someone said there was some great ML programmer for the Express 48/96, but he showed up to the focus with disks and disks of macros. (My understanding, not great, just he had it all worked out ahead of time to be efficient.) In my own use of our Strand 300, I can't think of any reason to use a macro.
 

Grog12

CBMod
CB Mods
Premium Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2006
Location
Denver, CO
No...
Wait is I hit go on cue 2...board WAITS 5 seconds then executes cue 2
Follow is I hit go on cue 2 after cue 2 finishs cue 3 automatcially starts on its own.

Do a search on the board on macros I'm sure theres a list of them...I use it on ETC boards primarily for Dimmer checks and clearing partial blocks.
 

Charc

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2007
Oh! Of course! I knew that too! Grr. How did I forget?! I'll search macros now.
 

Sean

Active Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2007
Location
Alexandria, VA
First question, the add-on question. Are "Wait"s and "Follow"s, the same thing, but just a different name? (I'm thinking of this as: "I hate GO, Cue 1 executes. After 15 seconds, Cue 2 Executes.")
Now onto the main question. I'm wondering what use macros might be, when do you use macros, and how. I'm recalling a thread where someone said there was some great ML programmer for the Express 48/96, but he showed up to the focus with disks and disks of macros. (My understanding, not great, just he had it all worked out ahead of time to be efficient.) In my own use of our Strand 300, I can't think of any reason to use a macro.
Take this all with a small grain of salt, as there are some differences between consoles:
"Wait" specifies how much time the cue "waits" between the GO and the beginning of the fade.
"Follow" specifies how much time after GO the _NEXT_ cue goes. So let's say you want cue 5 to run, and then cue 6 to automatically run.
If cue 5 has a time of 3, and you want cue 6 to start one second after cue 5 finishes, you type (on the Obsession in this example): CUE 5 FOLLOW 4 ENTER.
The thing to keep in mind is that on some boards the follow time is from the START of the cue that starts the sequence, and on other boards the time is counted from the END of that cue.

A Macro is useful for any combination of oft-used keystrokes. Many people write macros for writing to disk. Also, it's especially useful to write macros so that you can do more things from the remote (which often can run macros, but often doesn't have all the buttons that are on the console).

On our Obsession at work we have:
Write to Floppy
Write to HD
Live
Patch by Channel
House and works (and dump the cue)
and several utility macros for the movers (home, etc).

Ask away if you'd like more info...

--Sean
 

Charc

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2007
Thanks Sean.

My brief search encountered no thread specifically on the topic of macros. (It might make an interesting wiki topic for anyone who knows a lot on the subject ;) ) My shameless plug aside. I think I've determined there really is not much use for macros out our level. I can't really pinpoint any repetitive keystrokes, besides pulling up ever light because certain members of the department never write down changes. (I suppose I could write a macro to pull up one channel at a time, for 10 seconds. But it seems quite useless. I'd rather have changes made up paper.)
 

SteveB

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2004
Location
Brooklyn, NY
Thanks Sean.
My brief search encountered no thread specifically on the topic of macros. (Snip)

I think I've determined there really is not much use for macros out our level. I can't really pinpoint any repetitive keystrokes, besides pulling up ever light because certain members of the department never write down changes. (I suppose I could write a macro to pull up one channel at a time, for 10 seconds. But it seems quite useless. I'd rather have changes made up paper.)
Here's a link to the ETC Expression macro page

http://www.etcconnect.com/product.overview.asp?ID=20326

It always amazes and impresses me to find that other lighting folks think differently. Sometimes MUCH differently, thus the interesting applications for macros.

In a nutshell, if you use a console a lot - and I mean a couple of times a week on different events, then macros become your friend at eliminating keystrokes that you need to repeat over and over. As example, the simple "Save show to disk", on an ETC Express that with a press of M* XX Enter writes the show onto the floppy, eliminating the need to hit Setup, then Cues, then Save, etc... Or something simple as the "All channels sneak to 25% in 5 count" channel check. Or channel check - "At 00, + Full", that steps thru the channels as a one step button push (usually on Macro 1 to allow access via a Remote Focus Unit). Really anything that involves repetitive key strokes can be written into a macro. That's the simplest set of examples. Others macros can be a whole lot more involved, as example:

I have a whole lot of macros written to patch a set of dimmers to a level of zero. Ea. macro is for a particular lighting position. They are used when I am focusing and have lights that all work in one channel but are located in multiple positions, such as an FOH area with 3 units, ea. all in separate coves. Rather then have every light ON while I focus (getting hot, or in my eyes), I can focus them one by one by simply by patching them in and out of the channel (using patch at level). Makes life MUCH easier.

SB
 

lighttechie5948

Active Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2006
Location
Long Island, New York
No...
Wait is I hit go on cue 2...board WAITS 5 seconds then executes cue 2Follow is I hit go on cue 2 after cue 2 finishs cue 3 automatcially starts on its own.
Do a search on the board on macros I'm sure theres a list of them...I use it on ETC boards primarily for Dimmer checks and clearing partial blocks.
Actually wait is for:
Hit Go, Cue 2 starts to upfade, but waits 15 secs to downfade cue 1
 

Grog12

CBMod
CB Mods
Premium Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2006
Location
Denver, CO
Actually wait is for:
Hit Go, Cue 2 starts to upfade, but waits 15 secs to downfade cue 1
Uhm...no.

Basic function is a wait on the entire cue (this of course depends on the board)

Typically the wait will wait x amount of seconds on any changes made between Q1 and Q2 in our little for instance whether they are upfades or downfades (of course board dependant).
 
Last edited:

Sean

Active Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2007
Location
Alexandria, VA
Actually wait is for:
Hit Go, Cue 2 starts to upfade, but waits 15 secs to downfade cue 1
Well, yes, sort of...

From ETC's Express manual: "Wait time is the time that elapses between when you press [Go] and when the actual fade begins."

You're talking about what would be described as a split crossfade. You'd achieve that by putting a WAIT time on the DOWN TIME.

There are lots of uses for waits. Everything from coordination of timing between lights and other departments to complex cue sequences.

--Sean
 

Grog12

CBMod
CB Mods
Premium Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2006
Location
Denver, CO
I think the better question is

Ask not what your go can do for you but what you can do for your go.
 

icewolf08

CBMod
CB Mods
Joined
Jan 11, 2007
Location
Lititz, PA
Wow, it is amazing how many different interpretations of Wait and Follow we have.

Wait is a Strand key and Follow is an ETC key (there is a Wait key as well). They both do exactly the same thing. They are how you create "follow cues" or a cue that starts running at a user defined time after the pervious cue completes. So, if you want the cue after cue 1 to run automatically you can tell it to have a Wait or Follow of 2 seconds. Then when cue 1 completes, the console will tick off two seconds and then start running the subsequent cue. It is important to note that Wait and Follow just tell the next cue to run, so if you add a cue in between that would then run.

The Wait key on an ETC console does what the Delay key on a Strand console does, delays part of the cue from when the GO button is pressed. So, say you have a split fade cue, maybe a blackout in a 0 count and one special is supposed to come up after (this is provided the special was no on in the previous cue) so your fade time is 4/0. You might want to hold in black for a bit before the special, so you would tell the cue to be a Wait or Delay of 3/0. This Wait/Delay tells the console to take the downfade right away, but wait 3 seconds before starting the upfade.
 

Grog12

CBMod
CB Mods
Premium Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2006
Location
Denver, CO
Wow, it is amazing how many different interpretations of Wait and Follow we have.
Wait is a Strand key and Follow is an ETC key (there is a Wait key as well). They both do exactly the same thing. They are how you create "follow cues" or a cue that starts running at a user defined time after the pervious cue completes. So, if you want the cue after cue 1 to run automatically you can tell it to have a Wait or Follow of 2 seconds. Then when cue 1 completes, the console will tick off two seconds and then start running the subsequent cue. It is important to note that Wait and Follow just tell the next cue to run, so if you add a cue in between that would then run.
The Wait key on an ETC console does what the Delay key on a Strand console does, delays part of the cue from when the GO button is pressed. So, say you have a split fade cue, maybe a blackout in a 0 count and one special is supposed to come up after (this is provided the special was no on in the previous cue) so your fade time is 4/0. You might want to hold in black for a bit before the special, so you would tell the cue to be a Wait or Delay of 3/0. This Wait/Delay tells the console to take the downfade right away, but wait 3 seconds before starting the upfade.
What your saying about the ETC console is again console dependent. On the Obsession where you can created part cues that's correct.

On the Express and I believe Expression it delays the entire Q.

On the grandMA you can put a Wait on the entire Q or just an individual portion...right down to the gobo scroll of a moving light.
 

Sean

Active Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2007
Location
Alexandria, VA
What your saying about the ETC console is again console dependent. On the Obsession where you can created part cues that's correct.
On the Express and I believe Expression it delays the entire Q.
On the grandMA you can put a Wait on the entire Q or just an individual portion...right down to the gobo scroll of a moving light.
Different concepts on the Obsession.

All a part cue does is allow different timing, etc for PART of a cue (just the scrollers, for example).
In Obsession and Express(ion) you can have a wait on either the whole cue, or just the up or just the down. And hence you can do that for any PART cue too on the Obsession.

--Sean
 

lighttechie5948

Active Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2006
Location
Long Island, New York
What your saying about the ETC console is again console dependent. On the Obsession where you can created part cues that's correct.
On the Express and I believe Expression it delays the entire Q.
On the grandMA you can put a Wait on the entire Q or just an individual portion...right down to the gobo scroll of a moving light.
wrong again:
on the express and expression the wait key controls the upfade and downfade of a cue.
 

Sean

Active Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2007
Location
Alexandria, VA
wrong again:
on the express and expression the wait key controls the upfade and downfade of a cue.
From Express manual:
The console allows you to program a wait time for either the upfade or the
downfade; not both. You can see which type of wait you have in the Wait
field of the Attribute Bar. If an upwait, a small up arrow (↑) is shown next
to the time. If a downwait, a down arrow (↓)is shown instead. If you do
not enter a wait time, the console assigns the cue a wait time of zero.
 

Grog12

CBMod
CB Mods
Premium Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2006
Location
Denver, CO
Hmmm. That's sad. And a waste of wait.

Once again I confuse consoles and stand corrected by Sean.
 

Sean

Active Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2007
Location
Alexandria, VA
Hmmm. That's sad. And a waste of wait.
Once again I confuse consoles and stand corrected by Sean.
Why is it a "waste of wait"? In the Express(ion) control logic, there isn't much benefit to having both the up and the down wait. You can only have one cue running at a time (per fader pair).

In Obsession-land, where you can have multiple cues running at the same time, having the wait be able to control the whole or only half of a cue to be much more useful.

--Sean