Stupid Ion Questions 5: Blown submaster

Jay Ashworth

Well-Known Member
Somehow, in a show I use which is a copy of a show someone else made and is much copied (our rep plot, written by our LD), I've gotten a submaster blown up pretty bad.

I was in Flexi Active yesterday before a show, poking around, and I noticed I had a lot of random channels blue at "1". Couldn't quite figure out where they were coming from.

I hadn't needed to pull up Sub 21, which is my top wash warm 1st, or the adjacent 22 and 23, which are working correctly. After the show, though, I did pull it up, and noticed that *it* was the source of those "1"s, as well as making many parameters in all 8 of my movers go active.

I hit the Group Sub button on the playback, and they all got selected in Yellow.

So I did what any self respecting Ion driver would: Delete Sub 21, punch in the 4 dimmers with "+", [FULL], and then Record Sub 21.

And the dimmer showed the right channels in Group Group, but Group Sub 21 *still* selects those 4 and a *bunch* of other random crap I was not smart enough to photograph at the time (including all 8 of my movers in Universe 2, and 1656, which I dunno how it got into anything; it will never exist).

This leads me to 3 questions:

1) WTF?

2) Is there a screenshot facility in the Ion?

3) How about remote co-pilot, like VNC?

(For bonus points: 4) has anyone hacked 3 into an Ion themselves?)

Photos to follow when I'm back in the room; today through Sunday sometime.
 

MRW Lights

Well-Known Member
I'm a little confused... are you using groups or subs? If you look at the sub in blind what does it show you? Somehow I have a feeling like you're merging control of a group and a sub....

Also try this format for editing subs I think you'll have an easier time of seeing what's actually on a submaster and getting the changes you want.

Editing Submasters
If you want to actually edit the contents of the submaster, you can select the submaster and press
{Edit}. This changes focus to the live/blind display and places you into the blind edit mode for the
specified submaster. You may also press [Blind] and select the required submaster from the
command line.
Any changes made in this screen are automatically stored. A [Record] or [Update] command is not
required.
 

Jay Ashworth

Well-Known Member
Well, it may be both. I'm recording it as a Sub, as I believe it previously was, and if I hit Sub Sub to get the edit screen, I see only the 4 dimmers in S21.

That said, if I pull groups up in DS, I see a button for it there as well. I don't know if that means there's a group containing just the one submaster, or if that's just a DS shortcut, cause I'm a newbie.

Group Sub was just an attempt to see *what was in the sub*, though, and, as I say, I get a much broader than expected result set from that.
 

sk8rsdad

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Fight Leukemia
I wouldn't start with deleting a sub that I suspect is misbehaving as a fix, so I guess that means I have no self-respect??? I can almost guarantee the console did exactly what you told it to do, but what you told it to do isn't what you thought it was.

First things first, the blue channels mean something is recorded in a cue and the intensity is higher than it was in a previous cue. It's source might originally have been a sub but that isn't where that particular data is coming from now.

Start with "About". It is a great diagnostic tool for explaining things. About Sub 21 will tell you exactly which channels are stored there.

To get your sub back in the state it was once in, you can merge from an earlier good version of the show file; either all subs (basic) or just the one sub (advanced). As with all things, save before merging so you can revert if necessary.

There's no screenshot facility on a console, but there is with Nomad. Load the file in Nomad or connect Nomad as a client. If you want to allow VNC or RDP, do it with a connected Nomad running as a client or backup, not by hacking the console.
 

Jay Ashworth

Well-Known Member
Hadn't thought about Nomad, yeah.

As for delete and recreate, since all I expected the sub to have in it was 4 dimmers, that seemed like a sane approach; this is, as I say, 1st electric of 3 similar ones; the other two contain only 4 dimmers, act as I expect in Group Sub as well as Sub Sub, and (so far as I know) don't act this way in the file from which this was a copy. It's a throwaway; I can always recreate it from the parent show.

Not dissing anyone, but it seemed like a reasonable solution to me.

I'd just learned about the extended About the previous day from a tutorial video; forgot to try it out on this.

I remain unclear, though, on how that dimmer could affect things other than the 4 channels the Submaster editor shows it pointing to, especially after I deleted it.

In these tests, I'm running it from the Playback fader to which it's assigned, if that's pertinent; I didn't think to mention that cause that's what *all* our Playbacks do.
 

MRW Lights

Well-Known Member
It sounds like you're using a lot of different ways to accomplish the same thing, which might be where you're getting gummed up and updating things on accident. What I'm gathering so far is:

You select groups using DS (Direct Selects?)
You select subs using [group]

I'm a little uncertain why you're selecting subs, unless editing, in which case I always edit my subs in blind so that I can "see" exactly what I'm editing.
If you're writing looks with subs, which is fine, you might work towards programming at a fast and efficient level by learning to love they keypad.
Direct Selects and screen modules have sort of specific uses and are mostly custom to the programmer/designer. I mention this because it may not be your cleanest and most efficient path for programming.
*unless you're busking. Then you want magic sheets and direct selects all the way.

at a shot in the dark of your workflow, I would separate your use of subs, groups and direct selects. I think this will clean up your command line, which will ultimately clean up your cueing. .
 

Jay Ashworth

Well-Known Member
I thought I was pretty clear, myself.

"Group Sub" is a *diagnostic tool*: Why is this fader doing things I don't expect.

DS/groups is a side issue: our submaster also appear on the DS groups page, but that's not where I'm selecting them *when I move a playback fader*, which was the root cause of this apparent problem.

And please: if you think programming from the keypad is faster than using grouped faders, you don't live in my world, which is 80% non-theatrical, and 100% unplanned. :)

One more time:

When I move a submaster fader, things pop up in Flexi Active which don't belong there, as Blind submaster edit leads me to expect.

That's the Chief Complaint here.
 

MRW Lights

Well-Known Member
I think you'll find [about] and [Blind] [x] [enter] to be a much clearer diagnostic tool, it's also independent of flexi so I find it easier to "see", but like all things it's what works best for you.

the issue about the ds/group thing I think you're right in that it will take more investigation, I'm sitting in front of my console and can't replicate your issue as described there...

If you're busking then the keypad is going to be secondary for sure. If the venue is primarily non theatrical you might open a conversation about switching consoles to a more concert/live busking friendly desk.


on your main complaint:
you might check the type of your fader and the mapping if you haven't already. Not that you did it, but that's another "could have" changed that could be a reason behind your troubles.
 

Jay Ashworth

Well-Known Member
I'm the L3, and my LD is an Ion guy. :)

My investigation of DS (just now practical since I finally got the second touchscreen working) was in service of busking; it didn't occur to me that it was a Group page til later. I speculate that both are defined for some reason.

The group buttons do put Group on the command line, and that does work as expected with the wheel; this is decidedly about the fader/sub configuration.

Are the fader type and mapping part of About as well?
 

MRW Lights

Well-Known Member
I'm an ETC fan no doubt, but there are even other ETC consoles that are better suited for your LD by the sound of things. Hopefully you can bring them around...

Type and mapping are available via [about]
 

sk8rsdad

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Fight Leukemia
To be pedantic, Group is a selection tool. It will select the channels in the target, so all the channels recorded into a sub. Having made the selection you can then do something with it. For instance, Group Sub 21 {Make Manual}

There's no easy way to enter About Fader into the command line. About Sub will tell you which faders the sub is mapped to. Tab 35 will let you see all the fader mappings.

The reason I avoid delete is it can have unintended consequences depending on the record target being deleted. For instance, deleting a colour palette removes it from all presets, cues, subs etc. that reference it. For the most part it will convert the referenced data to absolute values, but there are many times that would not be desirable. I typically edit in blind.
 

MRW Lights

Well-Known Member
If Group is only a selection tool, then what does "Group 21" mean, when a DS Group button puts it on the command line?

I know what "Group Sub 21" means...

"Group xx" is a specified series of channels gathered together in a single group. Typically groups are comprised by type, area/zone, position and any other version of a "group" of fixtures that are useful for you to have quick access to. A Direct Select for groups will select a group and saves a button in the syntax as it directly selects the specified group. The keypad syntax would be [group][x]

And as you're aware, but for the benefit of others, [group] will select the channels of a sub master and make them available for further instruction.
 

Jay Ashworth

Well-Known Member
To clarify, though, is a Group a thing you predefine as part of a show file?

Or is it merely a temporary creature of the UI, intended to make it easy to extract channels from things in which they *are* stored, so that you can work on them.

In short, is it a noun? Or just a verb?
 

sk8rsdad

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Fight Leukemia
Group is both a noun and a verb. The [Group] key is a verb. A Group is a record target, namely an ordered list of channels.

As a verb:
[Group][Cue] # selects all the channels active in a cue, where active means above zero intensity or changing a non-intensity parameter.
[Group] # selects all the channels recorded in a sub.
[Group][Color Palette] # selects all the channels recorded in a color palette. As an added bonus, By Type palettes select all channels that match the By Type criteria.

As a noun:
1 [Thru] 12 [Record] [Group] 21 records a Group target of sequential channels that can be recalled using [Group] 21.
[Group ] 21 {Offset} {Random} [Record] [Group] 22 recalls Group 21 and then records it as Group 22, using the same channels but in a random order.

If it helps, think of [Group] 21 as a keyboard shortcut of [Group] [Group] 21.
 
Last edited:

Jay Ashworth

Well-Known Member
Ok, so the implication of that is that the reason I have Groups on my DS page is that someone -- likely envisioning such usage -- created matching (but not necessarily linked) Groups to the Submasters. That's the place I was trying to get to. Thanks.
 

MRW Lights

Well-Known Member
Ok, so the implication of that is that the reason I have Groups on my DS page is that someone -- likely envisioning such usage -- created matching (but not necessarily linked) Groups to the Submasters. That's the place I was trying to get to. Thanks.

You may be right... are you the primary programmer? Is there any way you can work with the LD and the Venue to set up a show file that will work for you? / Can you create your own toolbox that you can merge into whichever show you drop into that way you can use what's there, but have it available in a logical manner that works best for you?
 

Jay Ashworth

Well-Known Member
Yeah; we already have a base Rep Plot file, and this was forked from that, I think, and then broken afterwards; I'm just trying to figure out *how*.

The house is 10 years from it's last Major, and 30 years old; it's getting a new Ion next year, and we'll hand the current one down to our blackbox. But in the mean time, I'm trying to fluff it up a bit. I'm probably the second programmer these days, but I'm a gear slut, and our LD is not; I'm not staff, though, just overhire.

Most of the show files on the box are descendents of that Rep Plot file, I think, though I'm not sure there's any way to tell by inspection -- short of putting comments in as descriptions for non-existent fixtures, or the like.
 

Jay Ashworth

Well-Known Member
Ok. I have a bunch of pix I'll post later, but the outcome is that when I did About on the 2 submasters that were working, they had just the 4 channels in them.

The one that was blown up said

1>1536 1656

And sure enough, all those tombstones, on that page, had white 0's in them, instead of being empty.

I did a Make Null on the range, and on the single weird channel, and then reprogrammed the 4 channels it was *supposed* to have in it, and now it behaves fun.

Someone clearly had something hincky on a command line some time, and rerecorded the sub, and it all went to hell...
 

Users who are viewing this thread