Part Cues or Follow/Hang - Difference? Preference?

doggmann

Member
Joined
Nov 22, 2004
Location
Fairfax, California
Hello all - and happy holidays. These seem to be the only times I get to breathe a little and ask for advice. Otherwise, I'm running around in constant production mode.
Here's my question to you all: In the world of programming the lighting console - what is the difference between a multi-part cue and several cues that have follows or hangs? Second question: What are your preferences between these two conventions? and why?
Thanks in advance!
Peter Parish
Film & Theater Production
Tamalpais Union High School District
Marin County, CA
Lighting & Set Designer
San Francisco Bay Area
peterparish.com
 
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RonHebbard

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2004
Location
Waterdown, ON, CA
Hello all - and happy holidays. These seem to be the only times I get to breathe a little and ask for advice. Otherwise, I'm running around in constant production mode.
Here's my question to you all: In the world of programming the lighting console - what is the difference between a multi-part cue and several cues that have follows or hangs? Second question: What are your preferences between these two conventions? and why?
Thanks in advance!
Peter Parish
Film & Theater Production
Tamalpais Union High School District
Marin County, CA
Lighting & Set Designer
San Francisco Bay Area
peterparish.com
@doggmann My personal out of date views based upon a Strand LP90 in 1991 and '92.
When the theatre and its console were brand new; neither any of the area designers being hired on a per production basis nor myself had any amount of experience using the console. As the IA house electrician programming and operating (and often busking) the console, I was initially afraid to program part cues finding it faster / more reliable to program additional cues, often with 'zero' wait times.
The console was capable of running a (then) phenomenal number of simultaneous overlapping cues and timelines, multiple cues following / over-lapping speeded up my programming.

After six months living with the LP90 I learned to appreciate part cues. In my 29 year old memories, I believe the only memorable advantage of one method over the other is / was: It was possible to copy and / or move a cue, and all of its many parts, with very few keystrokes and maintain all of the cue's programmed attributes. Copying and / or shifting a block of cues linked by auto-follows required far more time and many more accurate key strokes to accomplish without any 'Aw phuque' moments.

Consoles, time and technology have progressed appreciably in the past three decades ( you may have noticed ) Optimistically you're programming something a little more current and likely others have posted while I've been typing.
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
 
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SteveB

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2004
Location
Brooklyn, NY
Part cues move channels in a different time and from/too different levels, than other channels in different parts in that same cue. Follows and hangs are really just that, an automatic follow of the next cue to a previous cue. I hate having to think about parts and if only moving a few channels will use the discrete timing function on the Eos series. I also like hangs better than follows as easier to adjust the time of the initial cue without affecting the (auto) following cue.
 

JChenault

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2009
Location
seattle, wa USA
IMHO the difference between a cue with multiple parts vs a number of cues with follow/hang is that a channel can move only once in a cue. IE if you want channel 4 to go up, then down in a single "Cue" - you will have to use a follow or hang to bring it back down.

In general, I prefer to design to a more or less static look and think of that as my cue. If I need to play with the timing of individual channels within the cue ( say I have some LED fixtures that bump on for downlight, and I want them to delay one second before they start up) I will use part cues.

I use follow cues for more complex changes where my conceptual cue has one or more channels changing to different levels, at different speeds.
I also use follow/hang if I need a dummy cue to place a dark move where I want it.

So in terms of which way - I use part cues when I can, and multiple cues with follow/hang when it's the better tool. In general my shows have more parts than follow/hang.


YMMV
 

Malabaristo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2008
Location
Wisconsin
To some extent it's just personal preference unless you run into a limitation of one or the other. In general, you can do anything with follow/hang, but you can only do some things with parts. Actually, I've noticed that I rarely use part cues since discrete channel timing was added to Element consoles. I just find that to be a handier tool for all the things I used to do with part cues. Otherwise my approach is similar to John's: follow/hang is used when I want to automatically go through a series of static looks. Parts (or more often for me: discrete timing) are used when I want to get into a particular static look with more complex timing/delays/curves/etc.

Also, just to mix things up: I will sometimes use internal timecode to trigger a sequence of cues that rigidly follow a piece of music. A macro on the first cue starts the timecode and OSC or MIDI triggers sound playback in QLab at the same time. The last cue fires a macro that stops and resets the timer. I have a colleague that does that sort of thing with a complex series of follow times, but I find that approach to be a real headache when adjusting one cue ripples down through the whole sequence. Sometimes it just comes down to using what you're more familiar and comfortable with.