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Tracking vs. Cue-Only

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by icewolf08, Feb 1, 2008.

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Tracking vs. Cue-Only

  1. Tracking

    37.5%
  2. Cue-Only

    12.5%
  3. Both, depending on the console or situation

    37.5%
  4. I have no idea what you are talking about?

    12.5%
  1. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    Ok, starting this poll because I really want to know why people like their Cue-Only consoles. And I felt like a tracking rant.

    Frankly, I think that if everyone took 5 minutes to learn it they could understand tracking, and they would probably never go back. Especially with the rise of MLs in many venues, it seems that living in Cue-Only land would just make your like harder. This is the biggest reason that I don't understand consoles like the Congo. RPN i could deal with, but why make a console designed for controlling MLs a Cue-Only native console?

    One of the designer's that I work with insists on using Cue-only mode for his shows. Then I have to take time and go back through the show to lean up all the wacky ML live moves because they want to go back to home instead of tracking. So as the fixture fades out it is moving all over. It is a waste of time to have to fix things like that.

    Or then there are the times when you want to change something, maybe the director wants the cyc brighter in the first scene. So on the tracking desk you just hit: chan# [@] level [ENTER] [UPDATE] [CUE] 2 [ENTER] and the entire first scene is changed, as opposed to going through ever cue on the cue-only desk and changing the level 15 times.

    So, I want to know what you all think and why.
     
  2. fredthe

    fredthe Active Member

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    I have to agree that tracking makes the most sense... but then again, I learned on the ultimate tracking "console"... 36 dimmer autotransformer :) (3 people to run... some cues were run by one person moving the master handle up or down, with the other two unlocking individual dimers from the master at various points along the way.)
    Though for a recent small show I did (in a church hall, with a total of 12 dimmers) with only a couple dozen cues, the que-only board (which we got for free) was perfectly OK.
    (Then there's the "tracking" automated fly system I sometimes use... but that belongs in a different forum...)
     
  3. punktech

    punktech Active Member

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    i haven't learned tracking yet, my school has an ETC Express and Expression (i can't remember the precise versions though, sorry!). if anyone knows these boards and/or knows a good book or website to learn tracking from do tell me, i would like to learn it.
     
  4. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    In certain circumstances it can be a lot better:

    Without proper tech time, and working with people who don't understand tracking, using tracking can become counter-productive.

    Example:

    Working with my dept head on shows, there is no tech time, I set levels whenever. Then she decides to step in and alter my work by calling out levels on headset during performances. If (as I have done) I set things to tracking, my changes track around everywhere, and she doesn't understand how she's altering the show.
     
  5. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    See the CB Glossary. "Cue tracking."

    See also the Expression3 User's Manual, titled "ETCexpn31.pdf" (free download from ETC's site), Chapter 8, pp. 107-116.

    I'm sure it's in the Express User's Manual also, but I've never looked.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2008
  6. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Does your Strand 300 have a <Q-only> key? And have you ever used it?
     
  7. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure if we do. I don't think I can set the board to Cue Only, but I don't know.

    I could just set every cue as a block cue. I accidentally did that to one of my shows (pre-CB) and it worked out well!
     
  8. punktech

    punktech Active Member

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    thanks derek! i actually have the manual on my hard drive, but i never read that section of it (i dl-ed it for my intro lighting tech course 2 years ago)
     
  9. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    Well, you can set the 300 to Cue-Only, it is in "Show Setup" I believe (which is in report>adv. setup>show setup as opposed to just hitting setup). The 300 should also have a Q-only key, though it may say "Track/Q-only" (it does the opposite of the mode the console is in).
     
  10. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    If the "Both, depending on the console or situation" option had been there when I voted, I would've picked that one.

    I usually cue dance concerts in cue-only mode, because I don't use all that many cues per piece, and each cue has almost all different levels from the last cue. However, in theatre, tracking is totally sweet, and I do use it.
     
  11. meghan

    meghan Member

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    I'm confused. What's tracking and cue-only? I've never heard these terms before.
     
  12. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    See the CB Glossary: Cue tracking.
     
  13. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    What?! You mean you can't just put a checkmark in the "MIB" column and the desk will do your clean-ups for you?
     
  14. soundman

    soundman Well-Known Member

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    I think tracking is the way to go as long as the cue structure is layed out correctly, blocking cues in smart places, but I grew up with the release button and I like it. In tech when editing cues and the designer is rattling off changes "channel 35 at 40 nahh 75 let me see full at 45 screw it leave it where it was" Even if later we decided to leave the channel where it was in the previous cue later as long as we had not recorded it I could simply select the channel and then hit release and channel again.

    on the ION sneak enter seems like a decent compromise.
     
  15. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    I am sure that ETC has something akin to [SHIFT] [CLEAR] in strand land, which, for those of you who miss the release button does essentially the same thing. Alsthough the "sneak enter" may be that command.
     
  16. Grog12

    Grog12 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    I miss my ma.

    As for you q only types...remember that there isn't a tracking console out there that you can't record a change to q only. ((waits patiently as he knows he's going to be proved wrong))

    Also...as I told one of my students. "You love tracking you just don't know it yet!"
     
  17. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Yeah I miss your ma too. (!):twisted:

    When else can you hear an LD say "Record, Remove, Cue-Only"? Or other phrases that appear to make no sense but actually do? My favorite of these is "UN-E-Stop": describes that condition when exiting an E-Stop situation.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2008
  18. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    So if I have a channel grabbed and hit [Shift], that is the same as "releasing a channel"? Doesn't [Clear] do the same thing? What is the difference, especially with [Shift] [Clear]? How do these interact with tracking? Does one just stop "holding" the channel, and the other lets it go, and revert back to it's previously recorded(or tracked) level?

    Sorry to drag this off topic slightly.
     
  19. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    I much prefer the undo key in that type of situations. I might have them change 9 things, then its as simple as undo... blah blah blah...
     
  20. len

    len Well-Known Member

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    I understand tracking, and I think for some applications it makes perfect sense. But I busk 90% of the time and tracking is just something I would seldom use. The other 10% there is ways around not having that feature.
     

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