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What's New in Light-O-Rama
M4A media files are now supported in musical sequences.
SuperStar now has a "Max Length" setting to set the length of sequencing rows from 50 to 200. This allows the sequencing rows to be longer, so all fixtures on a row in a visualization will fit on one row.
The creation of standalone sequences (for example, in the Hardware Utility for an MP3 Director) has been made significantly faster. For example, a certain very large sequence that used to take over twenty minutes to convert to a standalone sequence on a certain computer now takes approximately one minute on that same computer.
E1.31 protocol, also known as "streaming DMX over ACN", is now supported for DMX devices. This allows native DMX devices to be hooked up to LOR over an ethernet network, rather than over a serial port. Note that one or more E1.31 gateway devices, which convert E1.31 to standard DMX, would be required between your computer and your DMX devices.
A new program, the Light-O-Rama Network Preferences program, has been made. This program can be used to set up your various network settings, such as for your Light-O-Rama networks, DMX universes, X10 network, and so on.
This new program replaces the Sequence Editor's Network Preferences dialog. It can be launched through the Sequence Editor's Preferences menu, the Light-O-Rama Control Panel, or as a standalone Windows program.
Several efficiency improvements were made related to playing sequences, both at the startup of play and during play itself. These would be most noticeable on very large sequences, or sequences using many events on DMX channels.
When SuperStar would export a visualization sequence, the names of exported channels used to just be the names of the visualization's channels. Now they are the visualization channel names plus the visualization fixture names.
After importing a visualization into SuperStar, the unused portion of a sequencing row is drawn in dim green and is selectable. This makes it possible to apply only one morph across the entire sequencing grid.
The buffer size for writes to serial port devices has been increased, as has the associated timeout value. These changes improve balance across communications networks.
Holding the Shift key while moving the mouse in the Visualizer now reduces the cursor speed, thus making more precise cursor movements easier.
Holding the Ctrl key while moving the mouse in the Visualizer will now limit cursor movement to either horizontal or vertical, depending upon the basic direction the mouse was moving at the start of movement.
When the user selects a different COM port in the "Manual Select" dropdown box of the Hardware Utility, the system asks if the newly selected port was "the LOR Show Port". If "Yes" was selected, the Regular network was set to use that port. A "Don't show this again" option has been added to that dialog, so that the user will not see it over and over, if desired.
SuperStar's Instant Sequence feature now supports a "color by time" option, which enables you to specify an absolute length of time (such as "four seconds") that it will take for effects in a theme to change color.
SuperStar's group delete function has been optimized to be faster when deleting a large number of effects.
Images and text are supported in SuperStar while in Visualization mode. Note that it only makes sense to use images in text in a visualization if you have a grid of lights. To use text, the grid must be at least 5x5.
If the header in a WAV file is of an unknown format, SuperStar now uses default values to open the WAV file. This is an unusual case, but it means that there are some WAV files that will now play properly whereas they would fail to play previous to this change.
A new option, "Force Simulation Window to Front", has been added to the Visualizer's Com/Ref options tab (tab number 6). When this option is enabled, whenever the Visualizer receives data and is in Simulation mode, the Visualier window will force itself to be shown in front of all other windows. This option is off by default.
When in visualization mode, SuperStar now limits export based on the number of channels instead of on the number of sequencing rows. For example, if you have a 2 CCR license, it will now allow export of up to 300 channels when in visualization mode.
Cosmic Color Devices have a hardware setting option where the pixel numbers can be "flipped" - i.e. instead of pixel #1 being closest to the device and pixel #50 being furthest from it, pixel #50 is closest and pixel #1 is farthest. The Sequence Editor's Insert Device screen's Cosmic Color Device section now has an option to list RGB channels in the device being created from 1 to 50 or from 50 to 1, so as to more easily match up the sequence as shown on the screen with the actual hardware device.
The names of various file types that SuperStar creates have been changed: Export files are now "_sup.lms" instead of ".sup.lms"; vis files are "_vis.lms" instead of ".vis.lms"; archive files are "_archive.lms" instead of ".archive.lms". Also, exported files are named ".lms" regardless of whether they have an associated media file, with the expectation that the user will soon add a media file to them.
The LOR USB485-ISO is now officially supported for use as a DMX adapter. It should use the "Raw DMX" protocol.
When selecting the sequences to use in the Simple Show Builder, the user is given a choice of which sequences should be displayed so as to be able to choose from: "16 Channels", "32 Channels", and "All Files". The first two are not really based upon the number of channels in the sequence; rather, they are based on the name of the file (for example, if "16 Channels" is selected, all files with "16" in their names are displayed).
Previously, the default would be "16 Channels". Since many people make sequences without any having "16" in their filenames, this would result in a blank list being displayed, often leading to confusion as to why the Simple Show Builder was not listing the sequences. To prevent this, the Simple Show Builder now defaults to "All Files" instead of "16 Channels".
If you load a SuperStar sequence file and then import a visualization, the filename of the SuperStar sequence file is changed to end with ".vis.sup" instead of ".sup". For example, a SuperStar sequence named "AwesomeSequence.sup" will be changed to "AwesomeSequence.vis.sup" upon importing a visualization.
If a SuperStar sequence file's name ends with ".archive.sup", SuperStar will not let you change the file using "Save". Instead, it will prompt you to use "Save As". If you then use "Save As", it will rename the file to not have "archive" in the name. This is to help prevent changing an archive file.
"Modify Effect Type" was added as a check box in SuperStar's Scene Group Modify dialog box. Previously, you could set the effect type individually, but could not set it to a group.
When using a reference file, the Visualizer now gives you the option to update channels based on the channel's name or the channel's key. Previously, the only update available was "by key". Now when updating by name, the Visualizer can update the Device, Network, Unit, Circuit, and Channel Color to what was loaded in the reference file(s). Updating by name will help those people who change the physical layout of their channels.
The Visualizer can now accept filenames on the command line. If you specify a filename on the command line, the Visualizer will attempt to load it, skipping the "On Startup..." option. If it is not successful, the "On Startup..." option will be used.
The Visualizer now registers the ".lee" filename extension with Windows, so if you double click a .lee file in Windows, the Visualizer will start and load that file automatically.
When selecting the number of times to paste vertically, the Sequence Editor's Paste Multiple dialog used to give a choice between pasting an explicit number of times (such as 3 or 7) and "Paste all the way to the end of the sequence", which would paste vertically as many times as it took to get to the last channel in the track. It now also gives the option to paste to the end of any channel group or groups that contain the first channel being pasted to.
When a sequence is opened or saved in the Sequence Editor, the Sequence Editor now remembers the directory of the sequence, so that the next time a new sequence is saved, or the next time the Existing Sequence tab of the New and Open dialog is used, it will default to that directory.
In the Sequence Editor, if you hover your mouse over the expander button for a channel group (the small "+" or "-" button to the left of a channel group button), a tooltip will pop up saying the name of the channel group it is for, and whether left-clicking on the button will cause the group to expand or collapse.
The LOR Control Panel has always had the ability to start up automatically upon the computer being started (and the Windows user logged on), and if the schedule had been enabled when the computer was shut down, it would automatically enable the schedule upon being started as well. However, if the Control Panel were unloaded via "Unload Light-O-Rama", it would not automatically enable the schedule upon being started again. Now, when it is started up, it enables the schedule or not based on whether or not it was enabled the last time it had been running.
In the Sequence Editor, clicking on a channel group's expander button expands or collapses the channel group - that is, it makes the channel group's children visible, or hides them. In addition to this, now you can expand or collapse the channel group and all of its descendents:
Holding the Shift key while clicking on a collapsed group will expand it and all of its descendants except for RGB channel descendants; holding both Ctrl and Shift while clicking on a collapsed group will expand it and all of its descendants including RGB channel descendants.
If the group is expanded, holding Shift (or both Ctrl and Shift) while clicking will collapse it and all of its descendants.
The LOR USB485B and the Lynx adapters are now officially supported for use as DMX adapters. The LOR USB485B should use the "Raw DMX" protocol, and the Lynx should use the new "Lynx" protocol.
One of the supported adapters for native DMX devices, the ENTTEC DMX USB Pro, is capable of offloading some CPU utilization from the computer driving the DMX devices through it. Previous versions of Light-O-Rama did not take advantage of this capability, but it does as of this version.
A new option has been added to SuperStar's Import Visualization dialog, allowing you to "scrunch" the sequencing grid for your visualization. This allows you to pack the most light fixtures possible into each sequencing row. For example, if you have the 2 CCR license level, and you are getting an error message saying that your visualization can only have 2 green sequencing grid rows or less during export, then you can try importing your visualization again and selecting the "Scrunch the Sequence Grid" option, then try exporting again.
Previous to this release, in SuperStar, you could import timings, but could only use them for visual reference. They can now be used to create an instant sequence. You can import up to three timing channels, which will become the top three timings. After importing timings, if you open the Timing Map dialog box, you will see that the "All Freqs" row of timings has been renamed to "Imported".
Twenty new sample system clipboard files have been added to SuperStar. Click on the Edit menu and select "Load/Save Clipboard", and you will see the new files, such as "Sys - BubblesRiseAndPop.scb", "DiamondExpanding.scb", and "Sys - SharkFinForHorizontalRibbons.scb". To use one, select it from the list, click on "Load Clipboard from File", and then click on "Paste". The effects will be pasted into your sequence starting at the time you have selected.
The Light-O-Rama Visualizer is a new program in the Light-O-Rama software package. It is intended to give a visual representation on your computer screen of how your lights will look during a sequence or during your show.
Please note that the Animator, which has a similar purpose, is still supported, so that existing sequences continue to work with it. However, the Visualizer is more fully featured than the Animator, so consider using the Visualizer instead of the Animator, especially for new sequences.
The Light-O-Rama SuperStar Sequencer is a new program in the Light-O-Rama software package. It can be used as a sort of front end for the Light-O-Rama Sequence Editor, creating sequences visually rather than via a channels-versus-time grid.
Note that existing Light-O-Rama licenses do not cover SuperStar (except in demo mode). In order to fully use SuperStar, your license will have to be upgraded to have SuperStar support.
The Insert Device dialog can now optionally create devices as channel groups, instead of as raw channels and/or RGB channels. A channel group is a set of channels and/or RGB channels that can be collapsed down to a single row in the display, or expanded to show rows for all (or some) of its members.
Light-O-Rama now supports control of native DMX devices.
Note that only the Advanced license level supports this.
The new Paint Sequence tool can be used to paint effects from another sequence into the current sequence. This can be used to accomplish things similar to what can be accomplished with subsequences, in a potentially clearer and easier way, without the extra complication of subsequences.
It may take a significant amount of time to load a large Light-O-Rama sequence. When loading one in the Sequence Editor, in order to view or modify it, this may be an inconvenience, but the real issue is loading one in the Show Player: When the Show Player has to load a large sequence, it may cause a noticeable pause in your show as the sequence loads.
To resolve this issue, this release of Light-O-Rama introduces the concept of compressed sequences. A compressed sequence is a separate save file, associated with a a sequence but containing only enough information to play the sequence in the Show Player, and optimized for loading speed. This can speed up loading times dramatically - for example, for a certain large sequence that takes eight seconds to load on a certain computer, the associated compressed sequence only takes a small fraction of a second to load on that same computer.
In previous versions of Light-O-Rama, the Windows shell command associated with a sequence was a static thing - it would be executed exactly as you had typed it. Now, they are instead templates; you can type in pieces that will be executed exactly as you typed them, just as before, but you can also type in variables, which will be replaced with run-time information, such as the name of the song that is being played.
The Sequence Editor previously offered two different modes for pasting: paste by cell and paste by time. There are now two additional new modes: stretch to fit and repeat to fit. Stretch to fit stretches (or compresses) the copied effects so that they fit into the area that you select, while repeat to fit repeats (or cuts off) the copied effects so that they fit into the area that you select.
Gen3 Light-O-Rama Controllers, and pre-Gen3 LOR controllers with Gen3 firmware installed, support customizable dimming curves. A dimming curve determines the output of a circuit from the intensity setting sent to that circuit; for example, some pieces of hardware (such as strobe lights) should never be dimmed, and so a dimming curve can be set for such a device that sets the output at 100% for any intensity of 50% or above, and at 0% for any intensity lower than 50%. Another example is that different types of bulbs (such as incandescents versus LEDs) may naturally get brighter or dimmer at different rates when going from one intensity to another, and so different dimming curves can be used to even them out, making fades on them appear more similar to each other.
In previous versions of the Sequence Editor, both left-clicking and right-clicking on a track's track bar would cause that track bar's popup menu to open. Right-clicking still does, but left-clicking now instead hides or unhides the track.
In previous versions of the Sequence Editor, you could select an entire row or rows, or an entire column or columns, via the Edit menu's Select Rows and Select Columns menu items. Now, you can also do this via the right-click context menu.
The Sequence Editor can now be used to create protected sequences, which are sequences whose sequence grids cannot be viewed or (generally speaking) modified, but which can still be played, control lights, be scheduled in shows, and so forth.
In previous versions of the Sequence Editor, while a sequence was not playing, channel buttons would be displayed as grey (or black for RGB channels). Now, it still operates that way by default, but the Channel Button Colors submenu on the View menu gives you two other options: to be displayed using the channel's full color, or to be displayed using the channel's color at the time of the start of the current selection.
The behavior of keyboard keys in the Sequence Editor can now be configured, via the new Keyboard Preferences dialog.
If one of the effect tools on the Tools toolbar has a keyboard shortcut that applies that tool, and only applies that tool, it is displayed in the tooltip for that effect tool's button on the toolbar.
In the Sequence Editor, several view settings for sequences are now persistent. That is, for example, if you change the width of the channel buttons for a sequence, they will automatically be that size whenever you open that sequence in the future (unless you explicitly change their size again).
This information is automatically remembered outside of the sequence file itself (but associated with it), so you do not have to save the sequence file when you make a cange to such a setting. Also, there had been some such settings which already were persistent, but used the sequence file, so that you would have to save the sequence whenever you altered them; these now are instead automatically persisted outside of the sequence file.
The following view settings are now persisted in this manner:
The Sequence Editor's Insert Device dialog used to give no control over the names of the channels that it would create. You can now specify the base name (such as changing the default "SD" for a Servo Dog device to "Animatronic Rudolph", resulting in channel names like "Animatronic Rudolph 03.7" for unit 03 circuit 7 instead of "SD 03.7"). You can also specify that the unit ID should not be included at all (resulting, for example, in "Animatronic Rudolph 7" for circuit 7).
When creating channels, the Sequence Editor's Insert Device dialog would not include any indication of the channel's network in the channel's name. For example, a channel for unit 03 circuit 7 of a Servo Dog device would be called "SD 03.7" no matter what network it was on. Now, if the channel is on an auxiliary network, it will additionally include that network's identifier. For example, "SD C03.7" would indicate that the channel is on the Aux C network, while a plain "SD 03.7" would indicate that the channel is on the regular network.
If a sequence containing a subsequence was loaded, and then the subsequence was changed and saved, and the parent sequence then played, it would play as if the subsequence had not been changed. It will now instead play using the newly saved contents of the subsequence.
In previous versions of the Sequence Editor, if a saved clipboard were changed, the changes would automatically be resaved when the Sequence Editor was closed. This is still done, but there is now a new menu item on a clipboard's popup menu to manually resave it, and an option on the Clipboard Preferences menu to automatically resave. Similarly, there is now a new menu item to reload a saved sequence (in case the contents of its save file were changed outside of the Sequence Editor), and an option on the Clipboard Preferences menu to do so automatically. These changes are intended to ease the use of clipboards by third party tools.
Additionally, a new menu item to remove a clipboard from the list of clipboards has been added.
The channels of a track can now be locked, meaning that you will be unable to add channels to the track, remove channels from it, move channels within it, or modify settings (such as device type and unit) within it, unless you unlock the track first. To lock or unlock a track, use "Lock Track" (or "Unlock Track") from the track bar's popup menu.
In previous versions of the Sequence Editor, the tooltip that would open when the mouse hovered over a channel button would show the name of the channel. It now shows additional information, such as the unit and circuit.
In previous versions of the Sequence Editor, when the Beat Wizard or VU Wizard was opened, it would automatically be set to operate on "the entire song". It will now instead be automatically set to operate on the play range (the freeform play range if one exists, or the play range as set on the Play menu if not).
Note: This behavior can be overridden, for these wizards and also the Tapper Wizard, via the "Use Play Range for Wizards" option on the Play Preferences dialog. If this option is not enabled, then the wizards will default to using the time range of the entire song.
The VU Wizard now displays the percent of time that is above the specified threshold, with the specified settings.
The new Change Controller dialog (which can be accessed from the Channel Configuration screen) presents a list of the controllers in a track, and allows you to select one and change its physical settings. For example, you could use this dialog to quickly change all channels for the Light-O-Rama controller 03 on the Regular network to instead be controller 07 on the Aux C network. Note: The "Channel Configuration" screen used to be known as the Channel Property Grid.
The Channel Configuration screen's Add Controller dialog now allows the network of the controller to be selected (for those device types that have networks). Note: The "Channel Configuration" screen used to be known as the Channel Property Grid.
The mouse scroll wheel is now supported in the Schedule Editor and in the Sequence Editor's Channel Configuration screen. Note: The "Channel Configuration" screen used to be known as the Channel Property Grid.
When the "Print" function is used in the Sequence Editor's Channel Configuration screen, the printout now includes the name of the sequence and of the track. Note: The "Channel Configuration" screen used to be known as the Channel Property Grid.
In previous versions of the Light-O-Rama Control Panel, some of the menu items on its popup menu were paired with each other. For example, to control whether or not the Control Panel should be automatically launched whenever the computer starts up, there was a "Launch at startup" menu item and also a "Do not launch at startup" menu item. This could be a bit confusing, as the way that you could tell (for example) that the Control Panel would be launched at startup was that the "Launch at startup" menu item was greyed out, so that you couldn't select it.
Now, instead, such pairs have been replaced by single menu items, which can be checked or unchecked. For example, if "Launch at startup" is checked, the Control Panel will launch at startup, and if it is not, it will not; there is no longer any "Do not launch at startup" menu item.
One of the possible issues that the Light-O-Rama Verifier can check for is whether a sequence has two different channels with the same physical settings (such as unit and circuit). In the past, this check could take quite a while to perform on large sequences; it has now been speeded up considerably. For example, for a certain sequence, the Verifier running on a certain computer would need ten minutes to perform this check. It now needs only about a second, for the same sequence on the same computer.
The Channel Property Grid has been renamed to "Channel Configuration".
Previous versions of Light-O-Rama could support Light-O-Rama controllers on up to four different networks ("Regular", "Aux A", "Aux B", and "Aux C"). This has been increased to sixteen (in addition to the original four, "Aux D" through "Aux O").
Old MC-P compatibility mode is required if you have certain old Light-O-Rama controllers (MC-P controllers purchased prior to November 15, 2003). This compatibility mode causes significant overhead on the communications protocol. In previous versions of Light-O-Rama, if you turned on Old MC-P compatibility mode, it would affect all of your Light-O-Rama networks. Now, instead, it only affects the Regular Light-O-Rama network; it does not affect any auxiliary Light-O-Rama networks. So, you can now put all of your old MC-P controllers on the Regular network, and your other controllers on other networks, so that they are not affected by the communications protocol overhead.
In the Sequence Editor, if the currently selected clipboard is locked, copying or cutting does nothing. This is so as to avoid accidentally overwriting the data on a clipboard that you want to keep. However, there is nothing stopping you from hitting "Ctrl-C" or "Ctrl-X", attempting to copy or cut, and in previous versions of Light-O-Rama, doing so would give you no indication that something was amiss until you later attempted to paste, and wound up pasting whatever had previously been on the clipboard, instead of what you thought you had just copied or cut. Now, the Sequence Editor will beep, to indicate that the attempted copy or cut did not take effect.
In the Sequence Editor, you can control whether or not the color of channel buttons changes during play (based upon the lighting effects happening on those channels). In early versions of Light-O-Rama, the text on the buttons was always black, and stayed black no matter what, which meant that sometimes the text was not readable.
In a relatively recent release, this was changed so that the color could be either black or white, depending upon which gives a more readable contrast with the background color of the button itself. However, some users found it to be distracting when a channel button's font would switch between black and white during play, and so you can now control whether or not this happens.
You can control it temporarily (until the next time the Sequence Editor is started) via the Vary Color of Channel Button Fonts item on the Play menu, or set your default preference (which will take effect every time the Sequence Editor is started) via Also vary their font colors on the Play Preferences dialog.
When the Sequence Editor has multiple sequences open, it displays a tab strip across the top, with one tab per sequence. Each tab has the name of an open sequence; clicking on a tab causes that sequence to be displayed. In previous versions, the name of the sequence would include its directory name, if the sequence was not stored in the default directory for sequences. This could lead to some very wide tabs. Now, only the unqualified filename, without any directory information, is displayed.
If a sequence that used multiple Light-O-Rama networks was downloaded to a standalone controller (via the Hardware Utility's MP3 tab or via the Simple Show Builder), previous versions of Light-O-Rama would warn you of that fact, because standalone controllers only send commands out over a single comm line, and therefore the multiple networks would all get amalgamated into a single one when downloaded. Now, instead, only commands for controllers on the Regular Light-O-Rama network are downloaded.
In previous versions of Light-O-Rama, the Sequence Editor would automatically turn off all lights in a sequence when that sequence finished playing. It can now optionally keep them turned on, via the new "Lights Off at End" menu item in the Play menu. The lights can subsequently be turned off manually via "Lights Off Now".
The new Advanced OpenGL Settings dialog can be used, experimentally, to try to investigate or work around strange graphics issues. However, this is not recommended; such problems can typically be better resolved in other ways, such as updating your computer's graphics card's drivers.
An RGB channel represents a light or string of lights that can change colors - for example, a pixel on a Cosmic Color Ribbon. It consists of three "normal" channels, representing the three component colors - red, green and blue. Previously, to sequence such a device, you would have to sequence those three channels for the three component colors individually - that is, you would set up the sequence to have those three channels, and you would (for example) set the red channel to fade up, the green channel to hold steady, and the blue channel to fade down.
Now, you still can sequence the three component channels individually, but instead you could simply add an "RGB channel" to the sequence, and use it to deal more directly with the resulting colors. For example, instead of telling the red channel to fade up, the green channel to hold steady, and the blue channel to fade down, you would simply tell the RGB channel to fade from cyan to yellow.
The Color Fade tool is a new tool that can be used to tell RGB channels how to behave. For example, to specify that the RGB channel should fade from cyan to yellow over a certain time range in a sequence, you would select the Color Fade tool, with its colors set to cyan and yellow, and apply the tool to that time range of the sequence.
The Color Fade tool can also be used to do fills, by clicking the selected area instead of clicking and dragging.
The Repeat tool takes whatever is contained in the selected area of the sequence and makes a new copy of it immediately following the selected area. Using the tool again (without changing what area of the sequence has been selected) will make another new copy immediately following the first, and using it again will make a third new copy immediately following the second. This can be repeated as many times as you like, making as many back-to-back copies of the selected area as you want.
The Intelligent Fade tool is similar to the Fade Up and Fade Down tools. However, using it makes either a fade up or a fade down, depending upon whether you click and drag left to right or right to left.
It can also be used to do fills, by clicking the selected area instead of clicking and dragging.
If you apply the Fill tool to an area that has no effects (i.e. the lights are off in that channel at that time), it will automatically make a fade from the intensity that precedes the empty area to the intensity that follows the empty area. For example, if there is a fade up from 0 to 75, followed by the lights being off, followed by a fade down from 50 to 25, and you apply the Fill tool to the area where the lights are off, it will change that area so that it becomes a fade down from 75 to 50.
The Fill tool can also be used in a similar way on RGB channels, where it will change an empty area so that it fades from the color preceding the empty area to the color following the empty area.
The Fill tool behaves a little differently than most other tools. With most tools, if you click and drag an area, that area will be selected, and when you let up on the mouse button, that tool will be applied to the selected area. The Fill tool, however, does not select an area, and it is applied as soon as you click, and as soon as you drag to a new area, too. This, combined with the fact that the Fill tool does nothing if it's used on an area that already has an effect, hopefully makes it quick and easy to fill a large and complicated area of the sequence just by clicking once and dragging around to the appropriate spots without letting go of the mouse button.
The Chase tool takes a pattern and "chases" it through the selected area. That is, when you click on a spot in the sequence, and then drag through other channels and through time, then when you let go of the mouse button, it will take the pattern in the selected area's corner where you initially clicked and copy it through the remaining channels in the selection, offsetting it a little bit in time with each subsequent channel.
"Paste from Foreground" is a new pasting option. When it is turned on, any portions of the clipboard's copy buffer that have "off" effects won't actually be pasted when you select "Paste". That is, copied "off" effects won't overwrite what you already have in your sequence.
The channel button popup menu now gives a new way to add channels to a sequence: "Add Device". When this is selected, a dialog will open asking the type of device to add (such as an LOR/CTB 16 or a Cosmic Color Ribbon) and some settings for that device (such as its unit ID). The appropriate number of channels will then be added to the sequence, and they will automatically be populated with the appropriate unit IDs, circuit IDs, and so forth.
The left-hand side of the Sequence Editor now has a new Tools Panel, with a few subpanels ("Saved Tools", "Recent Tools" and "Clipboards"). The panel can be pinned to the display so that it is always open, or it can be hidden so that it appears only as a small tab on the left of the Sequence Editor, with the full panel sliding out when the mouse goes over that tab. The individual subpanels can also be collapsed or expanded.
The Recent Tools subpanel of the Tools Panel on the left-hand side of the Sequence Editor shows buttons representing the tools that were used recently (such as "Fade Up 25-75", "Shimmer Down 100-0", or a color fade). Clicking on one of the buttons will make that tool the currently active tool.
Not all tools are put on the Recent Tools subpanel's list; only those that would take more than one mouse click to activate are put there. For example, "Toggle" and "Shimmer" do not get put on the list, since you could activate those in a single mouseclick (from the Tools toolbar).
Right-clicking on a tool's button enables you to put the tool on the Saved Tools list.
The Saved Tools subpanel of the Tools Panel on the left-hand side of the Sequence Editor is similar to the Recent Toolssubpanel, except that it shows only those tools that you have decided to save. Once you put a tool on the Saved Tools list, it will remain there (until you explicitly remove it), even after the Sequence Editor has been stopped and restarted.
In previous versions of the Sequence Editor, there was only a single clipboard for copying and pasting. Now, the Sequence Editor starts with a single clipboard, but you can easily add more of them, and quickly switch between which one is in use at the moment, using the new Clipboards subpanel of the Tools Panel on the left-hand side of the Sequence Editor. That is, you now can have several different things copied at the same time, all of which can be pasted into your sequence.
The Clipboards subpanel also allows you to save a clipboard, so that its contents will be available to be pasted even after you stop and restart the Sequence Editor, and to lock a clipboard, so that it cannot be copied to (but still can be pasted from), to prevent accidental overwriting of a clipboard that you want to keep.
Previously, if you chose to create a sequence with equally spaced timings (such as "a timing every tenth of a second"), the sequence's first timing grid would be a fixed timing grid. You can now optionally make it either a fixed timing grid or a freeform timing grid.
When more than one sequence is open, the Sequence Editor now shows a single one of them, maximized, with tabs across the top having the names of the open sequences. Selecting any particular tab will cause the Sequence Editor to switch to display that sequence.
If you want to see multiple sequences at once, you can unmaximize the currently displayed sequence.
Several hotkeys for various menu items on the Tools menu have been changed, to try to minimize overlap and to give unique hotkeys to as many "high profile" tools as possible.
One changed keyboard editing shortcut which it is worth explicitly pointing out (because it has been requested by several people) is that the Delete key will now apply the "Off" tool to the selected area.
Previously, background and foreground effects mode could be enabled by certain keystrokes. To turn them off, there was a different keystroke for enabling "regular" effects. Now, instead of keystrokes to enable those modes, there are keystrokes to toggle them between being enabled and disabled.
Note that this change is only from the point of view of how they look displayed on your screen in the Sequence Editor; their behavior on your actual lights is unchanged from what it was before.
During play, the Sequence Editor can be set up to change the colors of channel buttons to represent the current intensity of the associated channel. The text of the channel name on that channel button, however, was always black. Depending upon the color of the channel and its current intensity, this could sometimes make the button difficult or even impossible to read. Now, the color of the text of a button will be either black or white, depending upon which would be easier to read at that moment for that channel.
Previously, if a user had a computer that was not connected to the internet, they could only register that computer by calling in to Light-O-Rama Customer Support. LOR Customer Support had a program called the "Offline Registration Utility" which they then used to get the user's computer activated.
This program is now distributed by the LOR installer, along with all the other programs (such as the Sequence Editor). So, if a customer has two machines, one of which is connected to the internet but the other of which is not, they can register their offline computer by using the Offline Registration Utility on the online computer, without calling in to LOR Customer Support.
Offline registration via LOR Customer Support is still available, in case (for example) the customer has only one computer, and it is not connected to the internet.
This version fixes the following bugs:
Please note that this feature is available only for license levels Basic Plus and higher.
In previous versions of Light-O-Rama, when the Show Player played a show, a sequence in that show would not be loaded until the first time it was used in the show. Depending upon the size of the sequence and the power of the computer, it could take a human-noticeable amount of time to load a sequence, so this could lead to undesired delays between sequences (the first time they are played during a given run of a show).
This is still the default behavior, but you can now optionally set the show to preload sequences, so that they will all be loaded as the first step in the show, before any of them are played.
In previous versions of Light-O-Rama, selecting "Disable Shows" from the Light-O-Rama Control Panel's menu would cause the currently running show to stop immediately, abruptly stopping any sequences that happened to be playing. This can still be done (by selecting "Disable Shows Immediately"), but you can now shut down a show gracefully instead (by selecting "Disable Shows Gracefully").
This will cause the show that happens to be playing (if any) to be put into shutdown mode; any song that happens to be playing will be allowed to finish, after which the show's Shutdown section will run. When the Shutdown section finishes, the show will stop, and shows will be disabled.
Several improvements were made to the Light-O-Rama Control Panel:
In previous versions of Light-O-Rama, when the Musical Section of a show was set to shuffle the sequences instead of playing them in order, any sequence could be randomly chosen to play at any time. This meant that, for example, the same sequence could play twice (or more) in a row, or some particular sequence could be played a second time before some other particular sequence was played even once.
The Show Editor now allows you to control the way that sequences are shuffled: You can choose whether or not a single sequence is allowed to be played twice in a row, and you can choose whether or not all sequences must be played once before some sequence is played a second time.
Existing show files will continue to behave in the same manner as they did before (unless and until you change their settings): a sequence can be repeated back-to-back, and can be played a second time before all other sequences have been played once.
The default for new shows is exactly the opposite: no sequence will be played twice in a row, and no sequence will be played a second time before all sequences have been played once.
In previous versions of Light-O-Rama, the maximum allowable circuit number for a Light-O-Rama controller was 256. It is now 512. At the present time, this is primarily useful for controlling DMX devices.
A new version of the firmware for the iDMX1000 has been released (version 1.41). It contains the following enhancements:
A new version of the firmware for the DIO32 motherboard has been released (version 1.30). This version adds native address support - that is, there is no longer a need to use multiple unit IDs for a single DIO32; it can now support all channels on a single unit ID.
Please note that in order to take advantage of this new functionality, you will not only have to use the new firmware, but you will also have to change a jumper on the board which tells it whether to operate in native mode or legacy mode. Please refer to your DIO32 documentation for details.
A new version of the firmware for the DC-MP3 has been released (version 4.10). It contains the following enhancements and fixes:
The Light-O-Rama Diagnostic is a troubleshooting tool that displays various information about your Light-O-Rama configuration. It used to be available only as a separate download from lightorama.com, but now is installed as a standard part of the Light-O-Rama Software Package.
Certain very large operations in the Sequence Editor could take a very long time to do. For example, skewing a track involves changing all of the timings, effects, and loops in the track; in a large sequence with many channels, this could take a prohibitively long time. Much of the time spent is actually due to recording the changes so as to later be able to undo and redo them.
For situations like this, undo and redo recording can now be disabled, via the Edit menu. You will not be able to undo any changes that were made while undo recording was disabled, but the changes that you make will be made more quickly.
In previous versions of Light-O-Rama, when a sequence was saved using either a Basic license or else the unlicensed Demo version of the software, the sequence file would be encrypted instead of being saved in plain XML. Now, this encryption is done only for the unlicensed Demo version; a Basic level license (or any other level license) will cause files to be saved unencrypted.
Version 3.2 of the DC-MP3 firmware (DC_MP3_V3-3.lhx) adds one new feature and fixes two bugs:
Version 1.02 of the Servo Dog firmware (ServoDog_V1-02.lhx) fixes a bug where if channels 1 and 8 were in digital output mode, there would be crosstalk causing random results.
The following changes were made in this version:
The Light-O-Rama Control Panel's status window now displays a log of what is occurring with shows. For example, it displays messages indicating that a show or a sequence is stopping or starting, that an error occurred playing a sequence, and that an interactive trigger was detected.
Note that not all Light-O-Rama controllers have more than sixteen circuits, and of those that do, not all support this new feature yet (instead, they use more than one unit ID, each with sixteen possible circuit IDs). Currently, the only Light-O-Rama controller that can be set to use more than sixteen circuit IDs for a single unit ID is the Cosmic Color Ribbon. Support for this feature in some other controllers is planned for the future, at which time firmware upgrades may be necessary to take advantage of it.
The Light-O-Rama ServoDog Utility is a new program which can be used to configure Light-O-Rama ServoDog controllers.
The following changes were made in this version:
In previous versions of Light-O-Rama, exporting and importing channel configuration from and to sequences that have more than one track could lead to strange, and probably undesired, results. This was due to the interaction between channels that were in more than one track of the sequence and channels that were in more than one track of the configuration file. If the positions of such channels did not match up between the sequence and the configuration file, then the resulting settings of those channels would be changed in a predictable, but probably undesired, way.
In this version, the method of importing has been altered, so as to give (hopefully) better results:
Unlike in previous versions, the first step to importing channel configuration, before any channels are actually imported from the configuration file, is now to check the sequence for channels that are in more than one track. If any such channels are found, then all copies of each channel, except for the first of each channel, are removed from the sequence.
Next, channels are imported from the configuration file. But unlike in previous versions, if a channel is in more than one track of the configuration file, instead of overwriting the settings of an existing channel in the sequence every time the channel is encountered in the configuration file, that is only done on the first encounter of the channel. Instead, on subsequent encounters of the same channel, a copy of the appropriate channel from the sequence is inserted into the track at the appropriate position.
This has two potential side effects to watch out for (although both of these seem minor compared to the side effects caused in previous versions):
First, if a track in the sequence is composed entirely of channels from previous tracks, and the channel configuration file has no track in the same position, then all channels will be removed from that track. Since the track has no channels, it will then be removed from the sequence. However, note that these channels have not been removed from the sequence - they have only been removed from the track. They are still in the earlier tracks.
Second, a channel from the sequence with no corresponding channel in the configuration file could get "pushed down" towards the bottom of the sequence's track, if the channel configuration file contains channels in that track which are copies of channels from earlier tracks.
Different licensing levels can control different numbers of controllers; for example, the Basic level can control two controllers, while the Advanced level can control an unlimited number of controllers. If a sequence contains a lighting effect for a controller that the license level cannot control, the effect is simply not sent to the controller.
In previous versions, this also applied to sending commands to Holiday Lights Designer: lighting effects could be sent to Holiday Lights Designer only if they could be sent to an actual controller, based on the license level. Now, lighting effects can always be sent to Holiday Lights Designer, regardless of the licensing level.
The following changes were made in this version:
The Tapper Wizard was improved in several ways:
Recent efficiency improvements to the Animator increased the speed it could redraw at. This had the side effect of making its twinkle effects twinkle too quickly, almost looking like shimmers. The Animator's twinkle effect has now been slowed back down, to more closely resemble the twinkle effect on actual lights.
Please note that this change does not affect the way that twinkle behaves on your lights at all; they will behave exactly as they always have. It only affects how twinkle is represented in the Animator (which is an approximation, not an exact representation, of how it looks on actual lights).
In previous versions, clicking of the Fade Tool Settings toolbar button would open the Fade Tool Settings dialog, as would clicking on the Tools menu's Fade Tool Settings item. The only way to close the dialog was to click on its Windows close button, or to use the escape key. Now, the toolbar button (or the menu item) can be used as a toggle - clicking it once shows the dialog; clicking it again hides it.
A similar change was made for the Intensity Tool Settings dialog.
When editing sequences via the keyboard, previous versions would allow you to hit the Enter key to apply the current tool to the selected area of the sequence. Alternatively, to apply a different tool, you could hit some other key, specific to that tool; this would leave the current tool the same as it was. For example, if the current tool was the shimmer tool, you could hit Enter to apply a shimmer, or "T" to apply a twinkle.
However, the current tool itself could not be selected except via the toolbar, or menu items on the Tools menu. It can now be selected via the keyboard as well, by using Shift in addition to the desired effect's normal key. For example, Shift-T will change the current tool to change the current tool to be the twinkle tool. Note that this leaves the sequence itself untouched (but you can still hit Enter to apply the current tool to the sequence, or one of the specific keys to apply some other tool).
Due to this change, certain existing keyboard shortcuts had to be remapped. Specifically, Shift-S, Shift-T, Shift-I, Shift-U and Shift-D used to change the current custom tool to be a custom shimmer, twinkle, intensity, fade up, or fade down, respectively. These have been replaced with Ctrl-Shift-S, Ctrl-Shift-T, Ctrl-Shift-I, Ctrl-Shift-U, and Ctrl-Shift-D, respectively.
When you click on a control in the Animator, after that control's operation has completed, the focus is now immediately given back to the sequence grid. The effect of this is that you can continue using the keyboard to edit the sequence without needing to mouse-click on it every time you change something in the Animator.
Previously, when the Sequence Editor saved a sequence, it would delete the backup file of that sequence, then rename the existing save file to the backup, then write a new version of the save file, then verify that it could load the new version of the save file. If it could not load the new version, it would give a warning message saying so, and giving the name of the backup file.
Instead, it now writes the sequence to a temporary file, then verifies that it can load that temporary file. Only if it can load the temporary file does it then proceed to delete the backup file, rename the existing save file to the backup, and finally rename the temporary file to the real save file name.
This version fixes the following bugs:
This version fixes the following bug: Upon upgrade from a previous version of Light-O-Rama, if the user chose a different directory to store sequence and audio files than was chosen for the previous version, the post-install process would neglect to copy the files from the old directory to the new one.
The following changes were made for Light-O-Rama version 2.3.4:
A timing grid is a collection of timings. A sequence can have more than one timing grid, but only one (per track) is displayed at any given time. You can quickly change which timing grid is displayed at any time by selecting from the Tracks and Timings toolbar's timings dropdown list.
There are two types of timing grids: fixed timing grids, which have timings at equal distances from each other, and which cannot have timings added, removed, or moved, and freeform timing grids, which can have timings anywhere, and which can have timings added, removed, or moved.
Timing grids are intended to better fulfill a role that was fulfilled in previous versions of Light-O-Rama by tracks: Allowing different sets of timings to be used on the exact same channels.
For example, perhaps you have a song for which you would like some lighting effects sequenced to the sound of the bass drum, and other lighting effects sequenced to the sound of the lead guitar. You could simply add timings for both, but this could make it easy to forget which timing is for which instrument; it could also make the display seem too cluttered with timings.
To solve this problem in previous versions of Light-O-Rama, you could duplicate the track to a new track, so that you had two different tracks in the sequence, both with the same channels as each other. The two tracks could use different timings, one track representing the bass drum and the other representing the lead guitar.
You can still do that in this new version of Light-O-Rama, but you can now instead solve the problem by using timing grids. Instead of adding a second track, you could add a second timing grid. One timing grid would represent the bass drum, and the other would represent the lead guitar. You could quickly switch which timing grid is displayed using the Tracks and Timings toolbar's timings dropdown list, changing back and forth between drum and guitar as appropriate, all with only a single track.
The Tracks and Timings toolbar also has a timings button; clicking on it will open a popup menu with various timings grid-related options, such as adding a new timing grid or deleting an existing one.
When this new version of Light-O-Rama opens a sequence created with a previous version (in which there was no such thing as a timing grid), it will automatically create one freeform timing grid per track in the sequence.
The new Light-O-Rama Verifier program can be used to check for certain types of problems with your Light-O-Rama configuration, schedule, shows, and sequences. By using the Verifier, you may be able to fix these problems before they cause any issues when your show is played.
In previous versions, the Beat Wizard and the VU Wizard would always add timings, regardless of whether they were also adding effects or not. They can now add timings and effects independently of each other.
Also, when inserting effects, they can now optionally snap them to the timings being used.
In the Sequence Editor, if the play range is set to anything other than the full sequence, and an effect event starts before the play range starts but ends during (or after) the play range, previous versions of Light-O-Rama would not control the lights based upon that event. Instead, now, the portion of the event within the play range is sent to the lights (for example, if the event is a fade up from 0% to 100% from 36 seconds to 38 seconds, and the play range starts at 37 seconds, the lights will be sent a command to fade up from 50% to 100%).
In previous versions, the dialog was a fixed size, which could not be changed. It can now be resized or maximized, and will remember its sizing and positioning even after the Sequence Editor is closed and restarted.
The dialog's Existing Sequence tab used to always show a list of folders and sequences in a single way. It now has an option to change the view, similarly to Windows Explorer. For example, if the "Details" view is selected, then in addition to file names, details such as file sizes and modification dates will be displayed. Clicking on a column header in the "Details" view will sort the files by that column; clicking on it again will sort in reverse order. The dialog will remember the selected view and sorting behavior even after the Sequence Editor is closed and restarted.
The Existing Sequence tab now also has a "Search" box. If you type something into this box, only files with that somewhere in their name will be listed. Wildcard characters (*, ? and #) are supported in the search box.
The Standard Toolbar's "Open" button would previously always open the dialog to the "Existing Sequence" tab. It now instead opens it to whichever of "Existing Sequence" or "Recent Sequence" was most recently used.
When you create a new musical sequence, the New Musical Sequence dialog now lets you base the initial channels for the sequence off of the contents of a channel configuration file, rather than simply specifying a number of channels.
If you create a musical sequence based on an MP3 file, the New Musical Sequence dialog automatically uses the artist, album and song names from the MP3 itself (if the MP3 is tagged with this information). You can still change these in the dialog if you wish.
Previous versions of Light-O-Rama only supported normally open circuits for use as input triggers. Normally closed circuits are now supported as well, via the Hardware Utility's LOR controller configuration screen.
You may need to update the firmware of your controller in order to take advantage of this new feature.
You may need to update the firmware of your controller in order to take advantage of this new feature.
You can configure various settings about the tooltips, such as how long they take to open and how they close, via the Display Preferences dialog.
The Animator used to display fades in a somewhat jerky manner, only updating the display after the color of a cell has changed by a fairly significant amount. Depending upon the speed of the fade, this would lead to fades more as steps through several intensities rather than as actual fades (note that this only affected the appearance of the Animator, not the appearance of any real lights that you had hooked up via controllers). Fades should now appear more smoothly in the Animator.
Various changes were made to the Animator to decrease the amount of CPU time that it takes to display the animation.
During play, the Animator only redraws the animation every so often, rather than every time that something changes. This is to try to ensure that it does not use too much CPU time. In the past, the amount of time between redraws was a certain constant value; now, you can modify it in the Display Preferences dialog, to try to strike an appropriate balance between CPU usage and smoothness of display for your individual computer.
When the Animator's controls are hidden, expanding and contracting the Animator's window is supposed to also automatically resize the drawing area within the window. However, due to certain sizing requirements, the drawing area can only be certain possible sizes for any given animation. So, when the window was manually resized by clicking and dragging a side or a corner, the drawing area would remain the same size, until the window got large enough to hold the next possible size, at which time the drawing area would "jump" to the new size.
To make this autosizing quicker and easier, the ability to manually resize by dragging a side or a corner of the window has been replaced by "zoom" buttons on the toolbar, which will immediately resize the window (and the drawing area) to the next possible size.
This release fixes the following issues:
This version fixes the following bugs:
This version fixes the following bugs:
The following changes were made for Light-O-Rama version 2.1.2:
The Light-O-Rama Software Package must now be registered with a valid license in order to unlock its full potential. There are several different license levels, each with different features available. Additionally, Light-O-Rama can be run without a license, as a Demo version; the Demo version cannot be used to actually control lights, though.
Existing customers who have purchased earlier versions of the Light-O-Rama software package are entitled to a free license of the highest level ("Advanced").
In previous versions of Light-O-Rama, twinkling or shimmering the lights could only be done at full intensity. You can now use new custom tools to twinkle or shimmer the lights while fading them up or down, or at some intensity other than full intensity.
Existing Light-O-Rama controllers may need firmware upgrades to take advantage of this new feature; if a custom twinkle or shimmer is sent to a controller without the upgrade, it will react as if it were a "regular" twinkle or shimmer - i.e. it will twinkle or shimmer at full intensity.
In addition to being able to control lights, some Light-O-Rama controllers can now act as input triggers. This allows sequences to be played on demand during a show - for example, your display may have a group of buttons that people can press, each of which will cause a different song to be played.
For details, please see the help file page "Interactive Groups".
In previous versions of Light-O-Rama, the sequences in a show would start playing immediately at the show's scheduled start time. There is now more flexibility with regards to this; for example, you could hook a big red button labeled "Start the Show" up to one of your Light-O-Rama controllers, and the show will not be started until that button is pushed.
For details, please see "Show Startup Options".
Your sequences can now be configured so that, whenever one is played, Light-O-Rama will execute any arbitrary Windows command that you associate with that sequence.
An example of how this might be useful: If you broadcast the songs playing during your show over the radio, and have hardware allowing you to broadcast RDS ("Radio Data System") information, you can now set your sequences up so that, whenever one is played, Light-O-Rama will tell Windows to tell your RDS program to broadcast the name of the song for that sequence.
For details, please see the help file page "Windows Shell Commands".
A new effect, "DMX Intensity", has been added. This can be used to specify 256 possible intensities (from 0 to 255), rather than the regular 101 possible intensities (from 0 to 100). This is useful for DMX devices, which can take up to 256 possible intensities.
Note: The DMX intensity tool is not available by default in the Sequence Editor - for example, by default, no toolbar button will be displayed for it. To enable the tool, select "Allow DMX Editing" from the DMX Preferences menu.
The Sequence Editor's new "New and Open dialog" allows you to create a new sequence, or open an existing one. This dialog is opened by default when the Sequence Editor starts up (although this behavior can be suppressed), and also when something like "New" or "Open" is selected from the File menu or the Standard toolbar.
There are two exceptions: First, the Background section does not allow this setting. Second, the Interactive section allows you to control this for each interactive group individually, rather than for the section as a whole.
When creating a new musical sequence or new animation sequence, you now have the option to automatically configure the channels in the new sequence to use standard Light-O-Rama controllers. The first channel will be set up to use Light-O-Rama unit 1 circuit 1, the next unit 1 circuit 2, and so forth, then on to unit 2, and so forth. All such channels will be configured to use the regular LOR network.
Switching to another track via the mouse in the Sequence Editor now causes the selected area for that track to be set to the cell that was clicked, even if that cell is within what used to be the selected area for that track. In particular, if a tool other than "Select" is enabled, that tool will be applied to the new selection, not the old one.
In previous versions, when a show reached its scheduled end, if a sequence from the musical section of the show happened to be playing, that sequence would continue playing to its natural end before the shutdown section of the show would begin. Now, that is only the case for musical sequences; if the sequence is an animation sequence, it will abruptly stop at the scheduled end of show, regardless of the fact that it is in the musical section of the show.
When the Hardware Utility is asked to automatically detect units, it must individually search for each possible unit ID. This may take some time to do. To speed this up, the Hardware Utility allowed you to specify a maximum number of units to search for, in a box labelled "Max Units". For example, if you set "Max Units" to "3", the Hardware Utility would search for a controller with unit ID 01, another with unit ID 02, and a third with unit ID 03. It would not check for any unit IDs past 03. However, this often led to the following confusion:
Unit IDs are given in hexadecimal notation. So, for example, the next unit ID after 09 is not 10, but 0A. That is followed by 0B, 0C, 0D, 0E, and 0F, and only then does 10 come. So, if a person's highest unit ID was 10, they might be mislead to thinking that they should input "10" into "Max Units". But "Max Units" was merely a count, not an ID, meaning that the Hardware Utility would only search for the first ten possible unit IDs, i.e. 01 through 09 and 0A. Therefore, unit 10 would not be found (as it is actually the sixteenth possible unit ID).
To get rid of this common source of confusion, "Max Units" was changed to "Max Unit ID". So now, for example, entering "10" will search for unit IDs 01 through 09, unit IDs 0A through 0F, and unit ID 10.
This release fixes the following issues:
The following changes were made for Light-O-Rama version 2.0.16:
Previous releases of Light-O-Rama version 2 included the same Simple Show Builder as was used in Light-O-Rama version 1. It therefore could not be used with sequences that were created using the version 2 Sequence Editor.
Simple Show Builder has now been updated so that it can be used with sequences that were created using either version 1 or version 2.
This release fixes the following issues:
The following changes were made for Light-O-Rama version 2.0.14:
Two new play ranges have been added to the Sequence Editor: "From Selection" plays from the start of the selection to the end of the sequence, and "To Selection" plays from the start of the sequence to the end of the selection.
You can now use the keyboard to select an arbitrary time range for future playing. Please see "Freeform Play Mode" for details.
In the Sequence Editor, the space bar can now be used to start a sequence playing, and then to stop it. If a freeform play range has been selected, that range will be played; otherwise, play will be in "from selection" mode - that is, it will start at the start of the current selection, and go until the end of the sequence. This can be used to effectively pause and unpause play.
In previous versions of Light-O-Rama, the space bar was used to apply the current effect tool to the selected cells. That is now done using the enter key instead.
The Sequence Editor can now subdivide the selected cell or cells into a new number of cells (which you select). Each cell is subdivided into the specified number of cells, and all of the new cells within any particular old cell will be of the same length (or as close to the same length as possible).
For example, if you select two cells, the first from 3 seconds to 7 seconds, and the second from 7 seconds to 7.5 seconds, and ask the Sequence Editor to subdivide them into two cells each, you will wind up with four cells: From 3 to 5, from 5 to 7, from 7 to 7.25, and from 7.25 to 7.5.
The Edit menu of the Sequence Editor now has a new menu item, "Skew Track". This lets you move all of a track's events, timings, and loops by a specified amount of time, either to the left (i.e. earlier in time) or to the right (i.e. later in time).
In previous versions of Light-O-Rama, the waveform of a musical sequence was either displayed or not. Now, if it is displayed, it can be displayed at two different heights: full height and half height. Full height is the same as the height that was used in previous versions of Light-O-Rama.
The waveform of a musical sequence can now be displayed in three different ways: "full mode", showing zero volume at the center and loud volumes above and below it; "fold mode", showing zero at the bottom and folding the two halves of full mode onto the top; "top mode", showing zero at the bottom and the top half of full mode above it. "Full mode" is the same as the way the waveform was always displayed in previous versions of Light-O-Rama.
To set the display mode, right-click on the waveform, and select the desired mode from the listed choices in the popup menu.
This release fixes the following issues:
This release fixes the following issues:
This release contains the following bug fixes:
The following new features, changes, and fixes have been made for Light-O-Rama version 2.0.0:
Two tracks in the same sequence can have different channels, or they can share channels with each other. They have different sets of loops and timings than each other. In an animation sequence, tracks can be of different lengths than each other.
Two tracks, with the same channels, in one sequence
A brief example of how this may be useful:
In a musical sequence, you may want to have some timings representing a bass drum, other timings representing a guitar, and yet another representing something totally unrelated to the song. Before tracks, in Light-O-Rama version 1, you could add all of these timings to your sequence, but it might be difficult to remember, while building the sequence, which timings were for which purpose. The more unrelated timings that you added to the sequence, the more confusing the sequence as a whole would become.
Now in Light-O-Rama version 2, instead, you can build a single sequence with multiple separate tracks, each with only one of those sets of timings, making each set of timings cleaner and simpler to understand. Plus, you can share channels between two or more tracks, have different channels in different tracks, or both.
Sequences are initially created with a single track. Another track can be added via the Edit menu's "Add New Track" or "Duplicate Track" items (the latter of which will share all channels in the current track with the new track), or via new items on the channel buttons' popup menus ("Copy to New Track" and "Move to New Track").
To share an individual channel between multiple tracks, do not simply set two different channels to use the same unit number, circuit number, et cetera, as this will likely have unexpected and undesired results. Instead, use the "Copy to New Track" or "Copy to Track Number ..." function on the channel's popup menu:
Share a channel with another track by copying it to the other track
If a sequence has more than one track, the tracks are separated in the display by a track bar, labelled (for example) "Track 1" or "Track 2". If the track has been given a name, it will also be displayed here (for example, "Track 2: Front Yard Mini-trees"). Clicking on this bar gives a popup menu containing various track-related items:
Click on a track bar for various track-related menu items
A channel in a sequence can now be set to represent another sequence (rather than representing a physical circuit), known as a "subsequence". This is done in the Channel Settings dialog, by changing the "Device Type" to "Sequence" (rather than to "Light-O-Rama Controller", "Digital IO Card", or so forth), and choosing the filename of the sequence in the "Sequence" box:
Channel settings for sequence-in-sequence play
A subsequence will play only when the channel that it is a subsequence of is turned on, and will continue playing as long as the channel is on. If the channel is turned off and then turned back on, the subsequence will start over from its beginning.
TIP: Don't try to control the same physical circuit with both a channel in a subsequence and a channel in the main sequence. Doing so will probably cause unexpected results, as the two channels will vie for control of the circuit.
If "Background Effects" has been turned on, the tool only applies to those selected cells that are completely off (that is, at intensity zero for their entire duration).
If "Foreground Effects" has been turned on, the tool only applies to those selected cells that are not completely off.
Before a background fade up
After a background fade up
Before a foreground fade up
After a foreground fade up
The Sequence Editor's undo and redo used to only work for the effect tools (such as "on", "off", "fade up", "twinkle", and so forth). You can now undo and redo a much wider variety of things - adding channels, moving timings, changing loops, drawing in the Animator, and many others.
Examples of things that can be undone and redone
Channels can now be moved up and down in the Sequence Editor. There are two ways to do this: First, the channel buttons' right-click popup menu now includes "Move Up" and "Move Down", which will move the channel by one spot. Second, a channel button can now be mouse dragged to a new position.
In the Sequence Editor's Edit/Preferences menu, there is now a new item called "Video Preferences", which gives control over how video files will be used (both in the Sequence Editor and during scheduled shows):
These options can also be temporarily changed in the Sequence Editor via the View/Video menu. However, changes made this way will only affect the Sequence Editor (not the Show Player), and will only last during the current use of the Sequence Editor - that is, the next time that the Sequence Editor is started, the video preferences as set in "Edit/Preferences/Video Preferences will be used again).
The Sequence Editor's Set Intensity, Fade Up and Fade Down tools now have ten preset values (or ranges). The old "Tool Options" dialog was replaced with the Fade Tool Settings and Intensity Tool Settings dialogs to set these presets:
Intensity Settings, with 70% selected
Fade Settings, with fade up 50-75% and fade down 100-0% selected
The Sequence Editor comes with default preset values (such as 10%, 20%, and so forth) build in; if you want to change any of the presets, you can do so by clicking the settings tool's "EDIT" button:
Changing an intensity preset to 37%
The preset has now been changed to 37%
The values of the presets for both intensities and fades can also automatically be set using Load Intensities and Fades from Current Sequence, of the Tools menu. This will figure out the most commonly used percentages for both intensities and fades existing in the current sequence, and set the preset values to them.
The Sequence Editor's new Beat Wizard can be used to automatically analyze a song to try to determine its beat, and to populate a musical sequence with timings or effects based upon that beat. The Beat Wizard can be found in the Sequence Editor's Tools menu. It is also available as one of the options for creating a new musical sequence, and for creating a new track.
The Beat Wizard
The Sequence Editor's new VU Wizard is a VU meter-like tool that can be used to automatically populate a musical sequence based upon peaks in the audio. The VU Wizard can be found in the Sequence Editor's Tools menu, and is also available as one of the options for creating a new musical sequence, and for creating a new track.
The VU Wizard
The MIDI Wizard's can automatically create lighting effects based on the notes played in a MIDI file
Previously, only a single COM port could be used for Light-O-Rama controllers. Now, up to four Light-O-Rama networks can be used simultaneously on the same computer, on different COM ports.
The same unit and circuit number can be used on multiple networks simultaneously and independently, with different effects happening on the different networks.
Up to four different networks can be used for LOR controllers
Various new media file types (including Windows Media Files and certain types of videos) are now supported for musical sequences.
Various supported media types
The Animator, with a background image
The Sequence Editor's new Channel Property Grid is a window showing information about all of the channels in a sequence (their color, device type, unit number, et cetera), and allowing changes to those properties in a (hopefully) convenient manner. This can be accessed via the Sequence Editor's Tools menu.
The Channel Property Grid
When pasting effects in the Sequence Editor, you can now choose to insert the events into the destination based upon either the length of the copied events or else the relative lengths of the copied and destination cells.
For example, consider timings at 0 seconds, 1 second, and 2 seconds. Between 0 and 1 is a fade up, and between 1 and 2 is a fade down:
Events to be copied
These events will be copied, and pasted to the time starting at 5 seconds. There are timings at 5 seconds, 7 seconds, and 7.5 seconds:
Where they will be pasted to
If "Paste by Cell" is selected, then there will be a fade up from 5 to 7, and a fade down from 7 to 7.5 (this is the same way that pasting always behaved in version 1 of Light-O-Rama):
After pasting by cell
If "Paste by Time" is selected, then there will be a fade up from 5 to 6, and a fade down from 6 to 7. The timings at 7 and 7.5 are ignored; only the original lengths of the events are used:
After pasting by time
Light-O-Rama can now interact with Holiday Lights Designer™, a third-party application by Holidaysoft®.
Holiday Lights Designer™ can be used to virtually place lights and decorations on images of your home or business, and Light-O-Rama can now send Holiday Lights Designer™ commands during play to make those virtual lights behave as your real lights would during a show.
To send commands to Holiday Lights Designer™, first set the Holiday Lights Designer Preferences in the Sequence Editor under the Edit menu. After this is done, commands can be sent from the Sequence Editor by turning on "Control Holiday Lights Designer" in the Play menu, or from the Show Player by selecting "Holiday Lights Designer On" in the Light-O-Rama Control Panel.
Version 4.0 or above of Holiday Lights Designer™ is required to take advantage of Light-O-Rama interaction.
For more information about Holiday Lights Designer™, please see the Holidaysoft website.
If an LOR 1 file is modified and saved by LOR 2, it is automatically updated to the new LOR 2 style. This means that LOR 1 will no longer understand the updated file. However, to be safe, a copy of the original LOR 1 save file is automatically created, and labelled as an LOR 1 file. For example, if the LOR 1 sequence file "lights.las" is converted to an LOR 2 file, then a copy of the original LOR 1 file will be created, named "lights.las.v1.bak".
Various changes were made to better support Light-O-Rama on the Microsoft Windows Vista operating system.
The Animator window now supports up to two hundred rows and columns:
Animation with 200 rows and 200 columns
The shimmer effect is now drawn (in the Sequence Editor) using diagonal lines, instead of the previous vertical lines. This will hopefully make them stand out more against the background of vertical lines which represent timings.
Note that this change is simply for display of the sequence in the Sequence Editor; the actual appearance of the shimmer effect on controlled lights is unaffected by this.
Some channels with shimmer effects
In the Sequence Editor, left-clicking and right-clicking on a channel button used to both bring up a context menu of channel-related functions (such as adding, deleting, and moving channels). Right-clicking still does that, but left-clicking now brings up the channel's settings form instead:
The Channel Settings form
Several bug fixes have been made, including but not limited to the following:
Various internal improvements have been made as well.
The following new features, changes, and fixes have been made for Light-O-Rama version 1.5.0:
When the Tapper Wizard's "toggle" and "snap to existing events" options are used together, both the beginning time and the end time of each toggle are snapped to existing events. This causes the combination to behave in a way that is probably more similar to what most people would expect.
When the Sequence Editor was used to play a sequence with a loop, and the end of the loop was reached, just before going back to the beginning of the loop, the channel buttons' color displays would sometimes briefly act upon the event just after the loop. This has been fixed. Note that it did not affect the actual display of lights; it only affected the display within the Sequence Editor itself.
If the Animator was sized so that scroll bars were necessary, the "draw" and "erase" functions would act upon the wrong cells. This has been fixed.
In the Sequence Editor, at the top of each sequence, a time scale is optionally displayed. Also, during play, the button to the left of this scale now displays the current time offset.
Whether the time scale is displayed or not for any particular sequence can be controlled via the View menu, or via a button on the toolbar. It can be turned on or off by default using the Display Preferences dialog on the Edit menu.
To copy a set of timings, select the range of cells that you want to copy, and then copy them in one of three ways:
Once these timings are copied, you can paste them in one of several ways:
When a sequence's channel configuration is saved (using "Export Channel Configuration" from the Edit menu of the Sequence Editor), the sequence's animation is saved along with it. When the channel configuration is later imported into another sequence (using "Import Channel Configuration" from the same menu), the user is given the option to import the animation as well.
The right mouse button can now be used to erase cells in the Animator.
The status bar along the bottom of the Sequence Editor now shows not only the total time and selected time range, but also the duration of the selected time range.
You can now tell the Sequence Editor to "play again". This causes it to play the last thing that you asked it to play, regardless of the current play settings. For example, if you choose a certain time range, with the play range set to "Selection", the Sequence Editor will play that selection. After play ends, you may fix some problem that you noticed, which causes the selected time range to change. If you wanted to play the same time range again, previously, you would have to re-select that time range. Now, you can instead simply hit "Play Again".
Several zoom improvements have been made in the Sequence Editor:
The Animator has been made more efficient, using less CPU during play. This improves the jerkiness that was seen on some machines during play while the Animator window was open.
When you manually stop play of a sequence (as opposed to letting it stop by reaching its natural end), the Sequence Editor now continues to display the screen that was being displayed when play was stopped.
When you start the Sequence Editor, its main window is now opened in the same position that it was in the last time it was closed.
Several bug fixes and internal improvements have been made.