Whats your programing style?

Whats your programing style

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I was watching some concert videos and was woundering what every ones preferd method for programing was. Is it each song gets a cue and if they break into a solo or something they are left in the dark? Or do you make each part of a song a cue? Or do you like the rush of just making a bunch of looks and running them off subs.
90% of what I run is the biweekly talent shows at my school, and that is always on the fly. In those, it varies on how I run the lights. If it is a little kid, or little kids, doing something, I'll give them some light and leave it. If it is an older group, doing some sort of rock song, or some song that changes tempo's, then I will change up the lights.

I usually program anything by the feel. If the feel of the song or scene changes half way through it, then I will change up the lights.
I almost always have any show or conect programmed with cues and have the SM call my cues. I tend to not take jobs where there is not adequate time to cue it.

In the event that I have to or want to do last minute shows I will run shows with submasters if I have at least 24 subs. I make various looks up from those subs and record cues of looks that I like and then during the show I can run between cues manually.
i love flying by the edge of the roadcase! most of the stuff i do is done on the fly, just chuck a bunch of looks and chases down into the subs, whack together some chases and your away.. make it up as you go along. in some cases i think alotta things look really good like rock music etc.
for theatre and dance and all that i will generally program in a cue when i feel like it, and when something happens on stage or in the music. i dont like my cues called, stage managers give me the $#!%$ sometimes lol
I usually have a disk that just has any type of cue I need. Looks, Slow Movements, Fast Movements, Color/Gobo/Position Presets.

So when I'm doing a band or act that I dont know, I have just about anything I need, but always ask the client what they want. If you have a bout 200 cues that all do something different, then you shouldnt have a problem. Make sure you have position presets!

Now, when I do an act that I have worked with before or are hired to do that act, I will have specific cues. I usually will put them in the order then I need to execute them or have a cue sheet so I know what cue to roll at what point in the show. If it's a band, I tend to have 10-25 cues per song depending on song length.

It really varies, I light such a broad range of events that there really is no "set" way I set up my console to execute cues.
soundman said:
I was watching some concert videos and was woundering what every ones preferd method for programing was. Is it each song gets a cue and if they break into a solo or something they are left in the dark? Or do you make each part of a song a cue? Or do you like the rush of just making a bunch of looks and running them off subs.

Nice question! Ideally it would be nice if I could cue every song and every show...but many concerts and shows are run on the fly, pressing the bump buttons like a piano keyboard for the various changes. If I get a chance to cue each song, I build a base cue--usually a blue so I never go dark on stage, and program each submaster with various builds and changes piled on for each song (on a Hog for example). However most shows--even some large shows run by locals for visiting acts, can be run on the fly. I've done a few arena gigs where I program a base look of various submasters, and then run the movers on the fly. when I don't have movers--I program about 24 subs with everthing from full washes to mixes, to audience blinders to chases, and just run it on the fly as the song happens using bump buttons or the faders. Its a lot like letting your fingers do the walking. If I know the group and music--even better and I can anticipate the changes a lot closer. If I have a CD or set-list, I can do some pre-programming of stuff, and then just adapt it for fixtures or positions on site. Otherwise when its all on the fly--I keep time and listen to the song and watch the band members for signs they give each other for endings and stuff--which since each band is different in the signs they give each other, can be a challenge in itself. Big key in doing things like this is knowing that not every music change or beat of the music HAS to have a lighting change. Some songs I do 2 or 4 changes--others I can do a dozen..depends on the song...and slow songs can just be deep saturated and "pretty" and stay that way til fade-out. Fun thing is when you work for a national and you are providing the local rig, and the LD is NOT running the board but instead says "do whatever" and then hands you a list of songs they want something "special" for, 30 minutes before the show starts. Then you have to crunch stuff out VERY fast before doors open...or do it all in blind and hope you hit the mark. :) Most of the concert tours you see for large name acts however--everything is scripted and cued for the most part, with some improve done for variations and changes. Typically for shows where I am doing movers, I have my own disks for various consoles with a bunch of base looks to build, or a complete pallete of things, and I then just adapt positions and fixtures, so it can cut down on the programming time.

Most of the shows I do are theatre productions, so I like haveing every cue laid out and run with the press of a "go" button. When it comes to building the cue I like to think of myself as a painter. I compose the image on stage with light. By the time I am programing cues I have usually been observing rehearsals for a week and have taken some notes as to what the blocking and dialouge impress upon me. Then I combine those notes with my point of view for the show, or concept. I like to keep the cues flowing with the production and what I understand the theme to be. At that point I use a combination of submasters and groups. I will often load the intensity of my color wash insturments on a sub and call up specific colors on groups. Face light areas are usually on subs and any other look I use often. Anything special is usually added by channel and the I save the cue as. In most cases the person running the board for me is some intro to theatre student or what I like to call a trained monkey. That being said I don't trust them a lot with doing things on their own. By programing each cue I am more assured of getting what I wanted than getting what ever it is I'm going to get. But, hey thats just my opinion.
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If I know the song in advance then I will have all the cues for that song in a list and just hit the go button. One song for a band I work for regularly has about 150 cues in it. But one other song they do is about 30 cues. It depends on the song.

Other times, when I don't know the music in advance, I just do what I feel at the moment. I'll change focuses, gobos, movements, colors, etc. as I feel and sometimes I might flash stuff 200 times to a song. But I don't really count.
for the talents shows (which are what I LD most for) I will throw together submasters for each act during the rehersals, and some generic ones for those who couldn't be bothered to come to the rehersals, for the people I know in the show or anyone who gives me a disk of music in advance I will cue it out.
I think it really depends on the song. At our school we sometimes have songs where its just one light throught the entire thing and nothing ever changes. However in our last musical we went from cues 74-93 all in the same song, switching back and forth costantly from normal light to a magenta special one one of the actors. It looked wicked good. So I guess my point is that it all depends on what the song is and what action is taking place durring it.


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