Author Topic: software, what to get started with that won't have to be dumped as the show grow  (Read 4113 times)

Offline arw01

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Will have some LOR Cosmic Ribbons, and a couple of Lynx Express after the co-op.

Therefore what about 32 channels for traditional lights, and whatever I do with the Cosmic Ribbons.

Have to find a co-op for the Ether Dongle pretty soon so I have something control through.

But wondering what software I need to invest in to talk to dis-parent pieces.

Offline caretaker

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As far as software goes you a pretty open at this point you could use just about any one to do what you want.

Vixen - Free  Pros = Free and good support in the forums   Cons = Not real good with Cosmic ribbons (could use Nuctcracker with it)
LOR S3 $$$   Pros = Works well with Cosmic ribbons (Super Star add in more $$$) will run DMX and outputs E1.31  Cons = Works best with LOR equipment
Light Show Pro $$$ = Pro works well with RGB display elements and has a nice visualizer  Cons = Still some bugs in the software which are being worked out

Try all three out and see which you like better, each has it strengths and weaknesses but ultimately you have to decide what one fits you best.
Jeff Squires
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Offline JonB256

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As far as software goes you a pretty open at this point you could use just about any one to do what you want.


LOR S3 $$$   Pros = Works well with Cosmic ribbons (Super Star add in more $$$) will run DMX and outputs E1.31  Cons = Works best with LOR equipment

As a long time LOR software user, I'd say that the changes LOR has made for version S3 Advanced makes it equally good with LOR and DMX hardware. E1.31 support is solid. Etherdongle works well.

Note - I'm won't include the Superstar add-in as a plus since I find it an odd fit with the software. Just doesn't seem to belong.


Offline arw01

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Thank you gentlemen, I feel asleep at the switch and missed the LOR spring sale on the cosmic ribbons, so I may end up going a more DIY approach.

The open source solution, you say has good forum support, are there a number of developers working on it, or just a core fellow that makes it his hobby?

Offline taybrynn

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I use LOR S3 and overall its been great.  The biggest issue is the load and save times for sequences with 1000's of channels in them --- its slow.  The other big CON for LOR S3 ... is that the RGB capabilities are lagging far behind LSP and Nutcracker/xlights.

The problem I see is that most sequencing software is seriously suffering from inefficient / bloated file formats under large RGB channel counts. 

I think with either LOR or LSP ... using xlights becomes a very attractive option overall ... even if you start with LOR, LSP or vixen sequences.
Scott - Castle Rock, Colorado   [ 2 homes, 100% RGB in 2016; since 2008; over 32k channels of E1.31 ]
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Offline DanHouston

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You should also check out HLS....I don't have lots of pixels yet, but some have run very high counts using Joe's software.

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2011 - Year #1
    4000 lights and 16 channels
    5 Songs sequenced
2012 - Year #2
    5000 lights and 123 channels
    8 Songs sequenced

Offline taybrynn

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I've heard good things about HLS but haven't taken the time to learn it.   There are many video tutorials for it. 
Scott - Castle Rock, Colorado   [ 2 homes, 100% RGB in 2016; since 2008; over 32k channels of E1.31 ]
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Offline JonB256

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File size is a problem, but the XML based file formats they use are very "compressable."

A quick test of a 105MB file shows it down to 5.5MB (5%) using basic ZIP compression and a tiny 350KB using 7Zip (less than 1%)

Not sure how well winRAR would do.

Offline Kasey911

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I'm just starting out as well and I think I'm leaning towards HLS.  I've just started playing with it and it does have a learning curve, but I think any software will have that.
~Kasey~

Offline urthegman

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I would recommend trying/sampling each of the software options since you will be spending a fair amount of time putting your sequences together. There are plenty of us to here and on the forums for each software who are more than willing to help you learn how to use each one.

Offline taybrynn

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Good point -- compression.

Yes ... LOR uses compression now to compensate for this ... but its also a big part of the new slowness ... having to compress sequences on saves is SLOW.
PLayback using compressed sequences also added some delays between songs.

Again, ask yourself --- should I use a sequence file thats 95% blanks?  Is that efficient?   I bet LOR changes this going forward.
Scott - Castle Rock, Colorado   [ 2 homes, 100% RGB in 2016; since 2008; over 32k channels of E1.31 ]
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Offline JonB256

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There are compression settings that trade speed for % compression. Could probably get 80% compression with no visible slowdown.

I like the XML format for its readability and cross platform use, but it will never be space efficient.

Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk 2


Offline zwiller

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Try all three out and see which you like better, each has it strengths and weaknesses but ultimately you have to decide what one fits you best.

+1000
Sam, who is happy he flashed his etherdongle with newest firmware!

"Now, I had heard that word at least ten times a day from my old man. He worked in profanity the way other artists might work in oils or clay. It was his true medium; a master."

Online smeighan

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There are compression settings that trade speed for % compression. Could probably get 80% compression with no visible slowdown.

I like the XML format for its readability and cross platform use, but it will never be space efficient.

Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk 2

since i work with all the sequencers, i like xml to be able to hold header data like song name, frame timing .etc. I really dislike xml for the actual data of the show. It is only partially because of the file size (a 3 minute song on my 12,000 channels is over 1 gigbyte in LSP, LOR uncomrpessed as compared to 45mbytes in xlights xseq format). It is the time.

xlights can load the above 3 minute song in 1 second. Lsp, LOR and hls takes 10's of second to minutes. My 3 minute song has 43 million cells of data on my tree. LOR adds 20-30 more bytes of info for each cell, LSP adds up to 100 more bytes per cell. When reading this you have to parse and determine what that one byte of data really should be. Do this parsing 43 million times.

Vixen 2.1, HLS and xlights stores the 43 million cells of info as an array.

xLights stores the data as a binary write. A single call writes the entire song. A single call reads the entire song.
Sub second to write or read.
Vixen stores the data as base64. 5 seconds to read the data, 1 minute to write. Vixen 3, BTW, will not store data as base64 but instead is storing the high level display elements as xml. I fell this is going to make long load times. I havent tested it yet.
HLS stores the data as space delimited 24bit words. > 1 minute to write, > 1 minute to read. This is for the Nutcracker hlsnc file format. I have not tested the HLS write and read speeds inside of HLS.

Just try , as a test, making a 8-16K channel sequence. Try it in the sequencer of your choice.

I wish i had LSP msq and asq file formats so i could finish the complete comparison loads.


xml for storing the actual show data is not very scalable. I will have 16K channels this year. 20-24K channels next year. I am hoping to see if Vixen 3 will at least offer to save sequences in the xseq form besides their high level xml form.You dont want to be rendering your song at show time.

thanks
sean


Sean
Littleton, CO
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