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Questions about automation

Started by Mikkel, February 11, 2018, 04:26:50 AM

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Hi fellow musicians.
I've been away from BandHelper for at few month and just realized what powerful and good features Arlo put in the latest updates! AWESOME Work, Arlo.
Some of these new features will be essential to us, as we used to struggle quite a bit with scrolling and automation.
A little background:
We are an 11 piece Soul Band, playing old fashion Soul (the Blues Brothers, the Commitments and stuff like that). We want to use BandHelper as a companion for performing and rehearsal - Scores for the 3 horns players, lyrics/scores for the 3 backing singers, click and tempo for the drummer and bass, and - if possible - midi control of our X32 mixer setup. Further down the line is a plan to sync lightning as well.

We have started to use a few backtracks (perc), and I think more will come. Still we want to be in control of the music - not being strictly tied up to a click track.

I would like to achieve the following:
All scores use markers to scroll/navigate automaticly, lyrics are displayed karaokee style (we don't actually need them, but then again...), midi commands controls the mixer/fx, etc. for  solos, different singers an so on.
The drummer initiates the song/track, recieves 2 bar lead in click and start the automation tracks on the other devices at the same time.
On song completion BandHelper shows the next song and "parks" until the drummer starts the next song - and so on...
There's nothing about the above that BandHelper can't do AFIK.
Question is what's the best way?
Should I chain all the devices to the drummers? Or is it be possible to daisy chain the devices? That way one of our horn players could control the horn sections devices, should anything go wrong.

We have a few songs/medleys with fake endings in the middle, that is not in time (we await the crowds response). Is it possible to pause the automation (and back track) and pick it up again?

Any thoughts/suggestions are welcome...

Cheers from Denmark


You could use device linking, with your drummer's device as the master, to send song selections to the other devices. Then all the songs would change in unison. The slave devices cannot connect to two masters, so you can't use a horn player's device as a backup master, without reconnecting all the devices to the horn player's device.

To highlight lyrics, will everyone have the same lyrics? If so, you could build one automation track on any device and then play that same automation track on all the devices, starting it with a "song second selection" from the drummer's device. However, if you want to set up personal lyrics for each singer, you'd need to also create personal backing tracks, and that would be a lot of work for something you're not sure you need.

To automate mixer changes, you'd need an automation track just running on one device. If that ends up being the only thing you use automation tracks for, you can let it sync to all the devices (which it will do be default) but only play it on one device by only turning on the layout action on that device. Same with backing tracks ... you can let them sync everywhere but use layout actions to start them, only on one device.

You can't pause and restart an automation track, so if you want to pause for an uncertain amount of time in the middle of the song and restart everything, I think you'd have to split the song into two songs and change from one song to the next during the pause.

This is an ambitious setup, so I recommend testing your setup thoroughly in rehearsal! And it might be best to start with the most essential elements and get everyone used to that before adding more levels of automation.