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The Sequence Editor can be used not only to create and edit sequences, but also to test them by playing them. The Play Preferences dialog of the Preferences submenu of the Edit menu allows control over certain aspects of how it plays them.
The following options can be set in the Play Preferences dialog:
Channels can be assigned colors. When a lighting effect is shown by the Sequence Editor in a sequence's grid, that color (or one based on it) will be used. This doesn't affect your actual lights, but it might be helpful to set the channels in your sequence to have the same colors as the real lights that will be hooked up to them.
When the Sequence Editor plays a sequence, it can vary the colors of the channel buttons to show the lighting effect taking place on that channel at that instant. For example, during a fade up, the color of the channel button will gradually fade from the default light grey up to the color assigned to that channel.
If you prefer not to see the channel buttons' colors vary this way during play, you can uncheck "Vary the color of channel buttons during play by default", and the channel buttons will simply remain light grey during play, regardless of what lighting effects occur.
If you do not want to change this preference as a default, but do want to temporarily change it, you can do so via "Vary Color of Channel Buttons" on the Play menu, or by the "View Channel Button Colors" button on the Standard toolbar.
See also "Also Vary Their Font Colors".
If you have channel buttons set up to change color during play, the color of the text on them can also change during play, to try to keep a high contrast between the button color and the text color, so as to keep the text readable. However, some users have found the changing font colors to be distracting. So, the "Also vary their font colors" option in the Play Preferences dialog allows you to control whether or not the font colors will be changed during play, by default.
Normally, when the Sequence Editor plays a sequence, play stops automatically when the end of the sequence is reached (or the end of the selection, or of the currently visible screen; please see "Play Range" on the Play menu for details). However, if "Loop at End" is selected from the Play menu, then play will instead automatically loop back to the beginning of the play range whenever the end of the play range is reached. To stop playing a sequence when it is looping like this, you must manually stop it, for example via the Stop button on the Standard toolbar.
On the Play Preferences menu, you can set whether or not "Play at End" is enabled by default whenever the Sequence Editor starts up by choosing a value for "Loop at the end of a sequence by default".
If the "Highlight Current Event" option on the Play menu is enabled, then when the Sequence Editor plays a sequence, it will highlight the timings that are closest to the current time with thick black lines, moving them across the sequence's grid as play progresses. For example, if a sequence has timings every half a second, and the current time is 37 and 37/100 seconds, then a thick black border will be made on the timings at 37 seconds and at 37.5 seconds.
On the Play Preferences menu, you can set whether or not "Highlight Current Event" is enabled by default whenever the Sequence Editor starts up by choosing a value for "Highlight current event during play by default".
If the "Highlight Current Time" option on the Play menu is enabled, then when the Sequence Editor plays a sequence, it will draw a dashed vertical line at the current time, which will move across the sequence's grid as play progresses.
On the Play Preferences menu, you can set whether or not "Highlight Current Time" is enabled by default whenever the Sequence Editor starts up by choosing a value for "Highlight current time during play by default".
The Beat Wizard, Tapper Wizard and VU Wizard can each be used on an entire song or on only a portion of a song. You can choose which is done from within the wizards themselves, but the "Use Play Range for Wizards" option on the Play Preferences dialog allows you to set which will be done by default.
If this option is enabled, then when one of these wizards is opened, it will be set to use the freeform play range (if there is one), or the play range from the Play menu otherwise. If this option is disabled, the wizard will be set to use the entire song.
One exception is when one of these wizards is opened directly from the New Musical Sequence dialog. In this case, the wizard will always default to using the entire song, regardless of how this option is set.