The above Ad will no longer appear after you Sign Up for Free!

Two-Scene Preset

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by TupeloTechie, Apr 13, 2008.

  1. TupeloTechie

    TupeloTechie Active Member

    Messages:
    298
    Likes Received:
    17
    Location:
    New York City
    I am working on Little Shop of Horrors and we are running it with an old ED Minstrel Two-Scene Preset board, 24 channels. I have around 90 cues, I know its not that many but Ive never had near that many on a two-scene board. Does anybody have any tips for running these type of boards, documentation I should keep, how I should go about doing certain things, anything that might help me.

    Thanks!

    ~Paul
     
  2. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

    Messages:
    4,077
    Likes Received:
    683
    Occupation:
    Controls Technician - TAIT Towers
    Location:
    Lititz, PA
    Make good cue sheets. Make friends with a spreadsheet program like Excel, and lay out all your cues. When I used to run 2 scene preset we would lay out the channels as columns across the page, and then put the levels for each underneath. I found it easiest (though a waste of paper) to put one cue on a page, that way I never got confused as to which line of levels I was looking at. However in this day an age, you might want to use less paper than I did. Once the cue was set up on the console you flip the page over and are ready to make the next.

    The other thing that I think helps is to get really familiar with the board. I got to a point where I could set up a cue by feel so that all i had to do was look at my cue sheet and set the levels. Sure, after I set up a scene I would look it over before taking the cue, but it was a real time save to not have to hunt for every slider and every level.
     
  3. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,850
    Likes Received:
    46
    From my limited experience, proper documentation can make the process very pain-free. I was supervising another H.S. student from the local public school on our two-scene preset board at the end of last year. I could see he was having trouble following the cues/levels scribbled in the margins of the script (I didn't scribble 'em), so I grabbed a yellow legal pad and wrote down Q#, X/Y, and the levels in a grid. He worked from the legal pad, and just followed the action and took cues from the script.

    Anyways, just throw something together in Excel or Word.
     
  4. David Ashton

    David Ashton Active Member

    Messages:
    829
    Likes Received:
    89
    Occupation:
    truck driver
    Location:
    perth W Australia
    OK, quick tutorial on preset desks,
    Write each cue 1/7 3/5 12/8 etc. x or up or down 10S

    leave a line

    Write next cue

    Now you can get maybe 20 cues on a page, look at your cues for a pattern to make operating easier, for example if a cue repeats often it may be best to leave it set up on one preset and do the specials manually on the other.
    Don't change between presets if you can manually change a couple of faders in the already live preset.
    If possible patch the dimmers so that you group dimmers which you will be operating manually.
    If you have to do a really quick reset you can stick little arrows made of insulation tape on the scales of the faders and reset in seconds.
    You need to make a tracking cuesheet, that is you only write in the changes from one cue to the next, don't clutter with lots of extraneous information.
    Finally spill a can of coke over the desk and then they will have to buy a simple memory desk.
     
  5. JD

    JD Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,042
    Likes Received:
    1,278
    Location:
    North Wales PA
    Brings back memories! The old two scene... used to be the norm in the 60's and 70's. I always used index cards. (very low tech, but it won't crash! Besides, computers weren't around, or at least one that could be moved!)

    Top of the card would be the scene number, in the bottom area I would enter the info two way: 1) the actual settings. 2) the changes from the prior scene.

    So, you have your active scene while you program in the next scene, or if the change is simple (like bringing up #23 to 80%) you just make it in the active scene.

    Good luck!
     
  6. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

    Messages:
    6,211
    Likes Received:
    478
    Location:
    Illinois
    Two scene presets, love them, made magic only with them in my past. Easy to learn for setting up cues, easy to master in learning timing. Much easier to control and wing it or just plain learn from one than having to program and set a computer board. I grew up with them, Kliegl Preformers and ETC Visions. Can still do the Vision as long as not corrupted but more like at least if I’m both designing the show and at least initially running it to use the two scene preset.

    If the talent don’t make their mark or things change, you can more easily pull your magic sheet and adjust. Night to night you can use your cue as a base but on an especially magic night if you wish you can tinker and make it pop more at times etc. This all given a more flexible type of show and less formal cue list. If all is done and perfect in the design cuing etc, and not to be changed obviously its easier to pre-program the show and just hit the go button. If on the other hand you note say it a bit different tonight than last night, simply bring up a setting or down one is easy enough to sneak in without having to go to menu and doing so in the live with or without recording - following how to program the board for the now while still being ready at any moment to press the next cue and have lost what you just adjusted.

    Once did a off broadway type of show with Ertha Kitt (Cat Woman) as Lady Day (Billy Holiday) in a sort of history play of her life. Great play - best I ever worked on. Unfortunately and while Ms. Kitt was a classically trained and great performer, night to night she would skip around in the script and order of the scenes. She would do all of them but at times go onto the next scene with skipping about. Given this was with a Lite Pallet III light board, bringing up various lights to reflect changes was not much an option or easy to do fast, going back to the previous scene or jumping about in the cues was the only option and if in a chase or if various fades were programmed in you just kind of had to deal with them. Great play but the stage manager and I night to night ripped our hair out in trying to figure out what scene she was in and what scene we should go to cue to cue in just keeping her lit. This much less the dimmer controlled neon sign at times was on in the wrong scenes or stayed dark in not getting its warm up at full cue when than given the dimmed cue which would not ignight it. Great play but possibly will have been easier to control were it a two scene preset board - this given a large one and us more in control of in knowing what lights were doing what thus designing the show about its changes every night. Wouldn’t have changed a thing in the end - too great a preformance to have issues with details with the script. Truely great show.

    Anyway, the point being, on a two scene preset board, you can adapt and adjust and especially for a changing show with many scenes, while limited in time to adjust between X or Y scene set up and adjustment, on a two scene preset you can endlessly adjust it in writing cues and or adjusting the cues for the moment. On the other hand, too many scenes or too much adjustment gets difficult, this much less 24 channels of adjustment gets really limitating really fast this especially if you don’t have a patch bay, against the rules A/B switches or a third Z bank plus various special’s placed on rotery dimmers and switches next to the board. Lots of that type of stuff. Once had a A/B patch bay so as not to have to plug/unplug circuits plus about eight more special switches and dimmers to expand such a thing but it was all hack and not advisable to do publically.

    On the Z bank however, that’s also where I made magic. Wasn’t persay a Z or third row of faders on the light board though some had a third set of faders, more it was my TTI light board had a switch above each dimmer channel that allowed selection between independant, off and master. This allowed me to switch off a light fast, dim it with the group or place that dimmer into independent from the group fader mode in controlling it separately. That was a great option that took a few years to master but once I did I would never give it up.

    This beyond the trick also of while fading down a scene or cross fading with one hand, also say bringing up the level at the same or even a faster pace to full some light I wanted to linger or get bright or out faster than the group cross fade would allow for. Could say bring to full a top light at the same rate I brought down all lights on stage. This would maintain its normal intensity on stage as all the rest of the lights faded to black. After some point in the cross fade it would also fade to black, just that it would linger a bit longer in pointing out some lit concept I wished to pass on as I did the cue change, or worked as a cross over into the next scene. Endless possibilities in manipulating a X/Y cross fade that would require a bit of work on a computer board to do the same with. Gotta master that X/Y board to do so but once you control the board, there is not much you cannot do with it.

    Still there was the independent mode on the board also. Flip the switch while at full or out and that dimmer channel was no longer controlled other than by way of the Master. Dimmer not controlled by way of cross fade also is adjustable during the scene or cross fade indeptant of the rest in making it not persay a third cross fader bank but still something on a third cue level for control. Tricky at times to control a few of them in independent mode as it were in the live while also doing the rest of the channels but once done, brilliant.

    Most boards of the era also will have had various chase and or timer modes if not even sub-masters as options. Dependant on what you have, you master it, even if the most basic of board, you can still make magic. Granted 24 channels is limited but limitation is inspiration and not an excuse for not doing ones job in making magic. Are you up to the challenge and can you master the light board should be more the question over if it will be sufficient given the memory board norm these days it would seem.

    Believe your light board might also have a few pre-set cues you can do for it if needed which might be good say for a rock and roll fast pase scene shift. Read the manual and get as much time behind it as possible and even 24 channels should be ok. Get an assistant to help re-patch during intermission or during scenes while that dimmer/channel is dark if necessary so as to expand the flexibilty.

    Than of course there are those scenes from heck where scenes cannot help but get fast and furious especially towards the end and or at the end where the talent takes their bows that a memory board would be deliverance from as it were PC heck. At times like that your pencil if not even a ruler next to the light board will be the only way to get light on the stage at times. Than during the scene you kind of learn the roll of finger tip sneaking up and down the faders to get them to the appropriate levels during the scene. Yea, that's rough but it teaches you a lot about sneaking in a cue and timing for doing so. Got no problems with learning the two scene preset, in my opinion one should master that board before attempting to do a memory board. Back in college we had like a 48 channel Leprecon board that was linked into the Vision for doing our programming. Much easier to fine tune the cues for a scene with a two scene preset fader than with a computer. Overall, look at it as a challenge both in scaling back and learning design and as a new thing to master. Master it and you get far in learning new stuff you can take back to the memory board in concepts.

    In addition to the magic sheet which is basically a very simple plot with fixture and channel number and perhaps colored markers representing the gel colors of the various fixtures, mark the board either with pencil that erases or artists tape/board tape and group stuff on the board so it makes sense either by way of ABC's of stage layout A say front right, left and rear or say all the Blues in one area starting in acting area a, ambers in another etc. with the specials at the opposing side of the light board. What ever works best for the show and works given the option of re-patching and changing while practicing. Lots of practice also. Good idea on the leaving a blank space on the cue area so as to change cues on the fly but I used to cut a cardboard or foam board strip to the width of the light board and draw out a grid. (This when given time and I was not running the show.) Place the sheet atop the board, lean it up against the booth window and you now have a grid to follow with what levels each channel should be at for the cues in the various scenes. Lay it out X/Y, perhaps darken in the Y part to make it easier, but overall the concept is touch a fader (as advised lots of practice in knowing by feel what level a fader is at without looking at it) get it to approximately the level it should be at while quickly adjusting all, than refine those settings in the last moments before the scene change. Otherwise if out of time, you are right in the area of that level set and can sneak that in to the specific level or leave it there. Kind of a thing to by touch without looking get a fader to its proper setting - lots of practice but really kind of also required.

    As said, not as easy or barbaric as it might seem. Kind of in mastering it, the difference between mom playing the piano for relaxation and a grand master playing it for an audience. Are you up to the challenge in mastering this type of light board? Not just about setting up your cues by the fader, more about mastering the light board and making art with it. Say on the cross fade, there is two levers after all, do both have to cross fade at the same time? What would happen if you even left one at full while the other got to full, than started to dim it out? Completely different concept in cross fade amongst endless options for control based on the light board operators talent for using the board as opposed to talent in programming it to do the same at best but as less flexable for changes.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2008
  7. porkchop

    porkchop Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,831
    Likes Received:
    514
    Location:
    Vegas
    My old TD basically lived and breathed on legal pads, he couldn't remember anything but as long as I remembered where his legal pad was the show always went smooth. I haven't actually worked with a board of this type. Closest I ever got was an LD who insisted of editing in preview mode with a cue live all this time. But I bet in the end it's a matter of getting a system, making it work for you, and sticking to it.
     
  8. mnfreelancer

    mnfreelancer Active Member

    Messages:
    198
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    My first ever lightboard was a Colortran Patchman 24 ch 2-scene preset board with 8 recordable scenes/looks. It was attached to a little Colortran ENR 24 dimmer rack. Like many boards the Patchman had three submasters with a small 3-way toggle switch above each channel to assign them. I ran shows in middle school primarily by submasters but also 2-scene style, and my 8th grade year I taught myself how to use the recordable push-button scenes. Good ol simple days :).
     
  9. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

    Messages:
    4,468
    Likes Received:
    2,870
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV, USA
    Wasn't that a great board? Wanna guess who actually manufactured it for Colortran?
     
  10. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,850
    Likes Received:
    46
    Strand? :mrgreen:

    No, wait, Leprecon?
     
  11. mnfreelancer

    mnfreelancer Active Member

    Messages:
    198
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    Great board indeed - gotta love the keyed on/off switch and patch enable/disable - keeps the noobs from messing up the patch...that and the chase feature :).
     
  12. Marius

    Marius Active Member

    Messages:
    113
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    Ahhh, memories. My first board was a 60 channel, three-scene matrix board. It took two people to run it for a really complex show, and it took up half the booth. I was ME for the South Florida premier of Eelemosynary, running a 24 channel, two scene preset with a seperate independant which made it essentially a three scene. The show runs less than 90 minutes, and I had 143 cues. Rehearsals were horrific, but eventually running it became a Zen experience. I kinda miss the days when being a board op meant more than just being a go monkey.
     
  13. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

    Messages:
    4,468
    Likes Received:
    2,870
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV, USA
    An unknown little upstart company from Middleton, WI.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice