Posts by Nige Lites

    Hi Go-Button,
    Wow, that is an eye-open for me. I did not work that way since 'School Theatre' days with a 2-Preset Strand Mini-18 and a Spreadsheet/table of Channel columns, Cue rows filled with numbers, or after that a Celco Series 2 with 'Cue per Memory fader'.


    But if this is the way these people have always worked, and they feel comfortable with it, then what is the choice.


    There could be a petition to have a Tracking On/Off Option, already I hear the cry of "Feature Creep"from the Keep It Simple Camp.


    Or we encourage the 'Tracking Off' crowd to 'Block' their Cues, including 00% values "Because that's the way the Desk works"
    along the way we can point out to them how their Cue Sheet has the same values in several consecutive Cues, see how the Desk helps you so you don't have to enter those values again and again....


    Really the choice seems to be adapt the desk to their Comfortable (but maybe considered Old Fashioned) way of working, or try to Polite and Gentle drag them kicking and screaming into the Mid-1990's.


    That said, I too do have some occasion to turn Tracking Off.
    When working with Rock-n-Roll, in the case of a simple Dimmer Chase;
    1st Lamp FF, Store, Clear.
    2nd Lamp FF, Store, Clear.
    3rd Lamp FF, Store, Clear
    ... ..... .. ..... ....
    Last Lamp FF, Store, Exec Option = 'Chaser'
    Without Tracking Off that becomes a lovely 'One Shot' build to All Lamps On, and a nice example of what Tracking does.
    So with Tracking only ever On-
    'All Group' 00
    1st Lamp FF, Store, Clear.
    'All Group' 00
    2nd Lamp FF, Store, Clear.
    'All Group' 00
    3rd Lamp FF, Store, Clear
    .......


    Slightly more work, for sure, and maybe I raise one small finger in the vote for Tracking Option, but if I can't have it I won't cry, I'll just work round it.

    >... I know some theaters, ... who only work without tracking.


    I'm curious how this might work;
    Do you mean that they force/re-assert/block/record all Active Values in all Cues.
    - In this case maybe [ma+Store] (Store Look) might be a solution.


    Or do you mean that after storing one scene they blackout the stage/clear the programmer and build the next scene 'from scratch', meaning nothing from the previous scene is assumed to be in the new scene unless specifically programmed again.
    - In this case, perhaps starting with [Fixture Thru, Dot Dot/At 0] then building the scene might work, effectively Blocking all fixtures not used in the scene at 00%
    If there are some patched fixtures that should never be included in any Scene, but may need their own Master, such as Auditorium Lights or Backstage Worklights, then substitute [Fixture Thru] with a Group "All Stage Fixtures".


    My own experience of the Theatre world is that Tracking has been the life-blood of Light Programming since the first digital desks and it was the Rock-n-Rollers who had to learn about, and accept,Tracking as a smart way of working with Cue-lists.
    That said, the whole lighting world is full of individuals with their own preferences and ways of working, and why not....


    The dot2 offers a minimal, but carefully considered set of options and functions that deals with a huge variety of anticipated situations.
    Mr Murphy said "It's hard to make things Foolproof when Fools are so Ingenious"
    I don't intend that in any way as an insult, but to indicate that no matter what circumstance you may have anticipated, there will be some exception to your assumptions.
    one solution is to offer every conceivable alternative, and continue to add more as another exception arises, that would be the path of gMA2.
    Or we can be ingenious in another way and try to find a solution using the tools we do have already.
    Of course some balance has to be found.
    Taken to the other extreme "If the only tool you have is a Hammer, everything looks like a Nail"
    In this view, maybe the dot2 could be our Leatherman....

    Taking the Desk as it currently is, and considering the case you outline above;
    > I don't want to switch off an exec button that contains a color because I've pressed a flash button with different color.


    There is one possible method that might work for you in some situations;
    From the Manual -
    If you press and hold the [ma] key and then press the [Toggle] key then you get the Temp command.
    This can be used to run an executor temporary. When you press the [ma + Toggle] and then press a key associated with an executor, then the executor will be active as long as you hold the key pressed.
    When you press the executor key the actual Temp command is executed and when you release the key, then you execute a Temp Off . This will also turn off the executor if it was running before you did the "temp".


    This might be an acceptable way to achieve the result you are after on an occasional basis.


    If you expect to use an Executor in this way more often (say, a Bump to White used frequently as an Accent), then an Executor Button can be assigned to always have the 'Temp' function in the Executor Options.


    Regarding Auto Stop, I've mentioned this to some MA Chaps, and they were receptive to the fact that in some situations it may not be desirable as a default. I also suggested a solution that might be acceptable within the overall intentions of the Desk, and that was given some consideration.
    If/when/how this may ever be implemented we can only wait and see.


    I see from your Profile you are from Germany, are you attending PL+S, there is a perfect opportunity to get 'Hands On' and discuss your concerns and ideas with the MA team. In some cases at least, there may be a workaround to achieve your desired result, in others something you require may not currently be possible right now, and in that case maybe someone can explain why not now, and if/maybe later your wish might come true.


    Cheers,
    Nige.

    >if you switch off a sequence the lamps gonna jump to the last active sequence.
    That sounds to me like you might be thinking about 'Auto Off'


    Off on Overwritten should mean that before a sequence is turned off every parameter that it was controlling has now been taken over by one or more other sequences, such that if this sequence is turned off nothing would change on the output.


    Personally when using gMA1/gMA2 I have OoO enabled as a default, and only turn it Off in specific circumstances, normally on Fader Executors, so that, say, a Dimmer FX does not turn off a Dim FF fader.
    I think in the context of dot2 then OoO enabled on Buttons and disabled on Faders is the most suitable way to go for most users in most situations.


    Assuming for a moment that Button Executors might be used for, say, Fixture Colours, then whichever was the last Colour selected should be Active, and all previous Colour Executors should be off. (assuming that all the same Colour Parameters; Mix/Wheel/CTC are included in both Executors)
    Whereas assuming that Fader Executors might typically be used as (or include) Dimmer, then if a Fader is left up it should also stay On until it is pulled down, for example, Exec 1 is Dimmers Full, and Exec 2 is a Dimmer Chase or Effect, if 1 is up, Lights on, I then fade up 2, I expect the Lights to flash, if I leave 1 up, and then lower 2, I expect the Lights to return to Full.


    Meanwhile, 'Auto Off' constantly enabled I think is an entirely different debate.
    I'll be having a chat with the chaps from MA at PL+S to better understand the reasoning behind this, and if/when/how it might be made something that is not enforced at all times by default.


    I'm sure many forum members who are attending PL+S will take this opportunity to get 'Hands On' and also discuss with MA their personal concerns and ideas about what dot2 should, and should not, become.
    I think the most interesting thing though should be the reaction of newcomers to MA.


    Previous users of gMA1/gMA2 may be inclined to petition for any and every feature they already use to be included in dot2, such that "Feature Creep" leads to dot2 becoming gMA2 in a smaller box.


    I don't believe the 'Mission Statement' that dot2 is aimed at users who might not be typical gMA1/gMA2 users should in any way exclude previous gMA users from considering dot2 as a desk for them too.


    I know I'd be happy to use dot2 for some of the shows I do, and accept what might seem to me to be some limitations, because in that environment those 'limitations' would not in fact be features or behavior I require for that show anyway.

    Hi Bill,
    Where are you.
    Have you been in touch with your local MA Distributor to discuss your requirements and concerns.


    Meanwhile I will attempt to address some of the issues you raise;


    -Compatibility of Consoles-
    Easy to say, but what does it really mean.
    How many shows do you have that are 'Pre-programmed', and how many are Programmed 'From Scratch', starting fresh from Set-up/Load-in through Rehearsals or Sound Check. How often do you need to transfer a 'Show File' from one Console to another.


    Considering transfer from gMA2 to dot2. There are obvious challenges here, the dot2 Executor Fader has only 2x Function Buttons, so for every gMA2 Executor one Function Button is lost, how to determine which one. The gMA2 Executor Buttons and Fader Function Buttons can have many Functions assigned to them, not all of these are available in the simplified and reduced Button Function Options offered in dot2.
    The compact form of the dot2 Consoles mean that the Touch Screens are much smaller than gMA2, what happens to gMA2 Views in this case.
    That's just scratching the surface, if you dig deeper there are endless combinations of gMA2 'Setup' options and 'User' choices that would be difficult or impossible to map into dot2, not to mention all the ways that Playbacks can be configured.
    To enable gMA2 to be imported into dot2 would need dot2 to be gMA2 in a smaller box, thus you'd have massive 'Feature Creep' taking the dot 2 away from its intended purpose of being an Easy To Use Console for Less Experienced Users, and burdening it (and the User) with all the complex configuration options that could be so off-putting to someone when first confronted with gMA2.


    Moving a Show the other way, dot2 to gMA2 is more straightforward, I believe there is a Showfile Converter 'in the Works'. And there is the precedent of how gMA1 Shows could be imported into gMA2.


    -Compatibility for Users-
    The overall 'Look and Feel' of dot2 and gMA2 is quite similar.
    Doing some recent Demos of dot2 for a Lighting head of department and a Company manager, (both might be characterised as gMA2 Power Users) they agreed that this console would be perfect for their less experienced staff, and ideal for the Technician who is sometimes called upon to also Operate a straightforward show after rigging the fixtures.
    More interesting was their conclusion that they themselves would be happy to stand behind the desk to run a show that didn't need especially complex programming. The 'Conversion' of a gMA2 User to dot2 takes only a very short time.
    We also considered that for someone who has built up some time using dot2 and become comfortable with it, everything they learn there would be a good stepping stone to later move on up to gMA2.


    -Compatibility of 'Back End'-
    Whilst it is true that gMA2 and dot2 Nodes are not compatible there is a common Protocol that can to some extent alleviate this. Both types of console can output Artnet, and gMA2 Nodes (and NSP) can receive Artnet. So where the DMX does not come directly out of the Console, but is distributed via network, there is at least one solution.
    In either the case of a 'Pure' dot2, or gMA2, networked system the same Cat5 or Fibre infrastructure can be used.
    If the Nodes are 'loose' or 'freestanding' and not physically installed in Racks or wall-mounted, then they could 'travel' with the Consoles between venues and hook into the installed Network and DMX lines when they arrive.
    I agree it could be frustrating that gMA2 and dot2 Nodes are not currently interchangeable. I'm not privy to the ultimate reasons for this, so I can't comment further.


    -Optimum use of inventory-
    Without knowing your circumstances I can only speculate.
    In a typical 'Small Space' used for, say, Studio Theatre, Conferences and Presentations a dot2 Core would be a good start, with a Main Playback stack for a 'Cued' performance and some Fader and Button Executors for 'Specials'. Alternatively where only simple Scenes or Moods are needed then one Fader or Button Executor per 'Look'.
    If there are Musical Performances where the User does not have the luxury of programming 'Page per Song' but is 'Busking' or 'Punting', the the addition of one or more F/B Wings would be an advantage if not a necessity. If the Space is used predominantly for Music, then consider an XL-F for starters, with the option to add another Wing as needed.
    It may be that equipping each Space with a Core or XL-F whilst holding one or more Wings to share and allocate as needed could be a suitable solution.


    In the spaces that currently have gMA1 then an XL-F + F-Wing would be a reasonable 'Drop-in' replacement. My own experience is that many shows run on gMA1 often end up using only one Page of Executors, each with a single Cue, whether this is for a Conference, Fashion Show, or 'one-off' Concert. I can think of quite a few shows I've done with gMA1, or even gMA2 that could just as easily have been done with dot2.


    Where the requirement is for more Advanced Programming you already have your gMA2 OnPC, and considering that a Command Wing and 2 Fader Wings combined with an 'All-in-One Touch PC' and Touch Monitor gives most of the functionality of a Full Size, minus the Motorised Faders, you have a credible solution to offer when a gMA2 Light or Fullsize is specified for the Show.


    I would not be surprised if over time some of your dot2 Users might develop the curiosity and ambition to graduate to gMA2.
    It is not inconceivable that there is a combination of dot2 and gMA2 components that can meet your operational and budget requirements.


    I would be curious to know what other brand of Lighting Control System you might consider, and how well it too could suit all your circumstances.


    Once again, I suggest that you discuss your requirements with your local MA distributor, or you could post here detailing more specifically your situation to see what alternatives may be suggested by the Forum members.


    Cheers,
    Nige.

    I believe that dot2 Fixture Files are similar (if not identical) to gMA2 Fixture Files.
    So if you have some experience with gMA2 you should be able to Export a Custom or 'Home made' Fixture from gMA2 Console/onPC to USB, and then Import to dot2 Console/onPC.


    If you are new to MA, and are only working with dot2 (don't know anything about gMA2) there are still several options to obtain a Fixture File not included in the built-in library;
    - Search this forum for the fixture you need, or request it.
    - Use the Fixture maker utility to make your own (and if it works well for you, post it here for others to use).
    - Visit <http://ma-share.net/> and search the gMA2 Fixture Share.
    - Ask a friend or colleague familiar with gMA2 to help you.
    - Contact your Local MA Distributor Tech' Support for assistance (if you are in Middle East or India, that would be me).
    It's also worth checking the Fixture Manufacturer Web Site, some of them have Fixture Files to download.


    In any case, try to allow enough time to create or find, import, and test the File with a Real Fixture, before you need it for a Show.


    When requesting a Fixture File please provide as much information about the fixture as possible (Manufacturer, Model, Mode) and if possible supply a copy of (or URL/Link to) the Fixture Manual, or at least the DMX Channel Function List.


    Cheers,
    Nige.

    Regarding "Ease of use" - accepting that you might need to plug more than one Wing or Node into a Switch (how hard is that really, no more difficult than plugging a DMX line into a Splitter), you're just about done.
    Go to Setup - Wings, Select and Enable the Wing, click, click, click.
    With pre-assigned IPv6, no IP Address settings or any other configuration needed.


    With a Node it gets a little bit more complicated; you have to assign which Universes you want to Output, but you don't need to be a Rocket Scientist to figure that one out, it's just a couple more clicks.

    If you are just adding a single wing to a Core or XL-? then it would plug in directly with a network patch cable, Simple.
    If you are adding multiple wings, then probably you are also using more than 4 DMX outputs too, so now you are into more of a 'System' (Node(s)/Artnet) anyway, rather than just 'A desk, and some Lights'. In this case you'd likely have a Switch anyway.


    Of course you *Should* use a Rock-n-Roll Tough Switch such as ELC, Luminex, or similar.
    In practice and for testing, I've had acceptable results using a simple 5-port Gb switch bought from the 'Computers' department of a local hypermarket.
    "You pays your money, and takes your chances"

    Does that mean that I can't use the onPC with WYSIWYG to pre program a show?


    You would need a dot2 4-Port Node to 'Unlock' 1024 Channels, then you could send DMX from the Node or Artnet or sACN from the PC to WYSIWYG.


    To Visualise 1025-4096 Channels you'd need at least a dot2 Core console.