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Author Topic: WISH - More Automation Flexibility  (Read 9910 times)

Zionplayer

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WISH - More Automation Flexibility
« on: November 09, 2021, 07:39:24 am »
Using the most excellent BandHelper program in both of my band projects, is great for extending/automating our capability with limited available staff... and I am always trying to think of ways that might improve at least my workflow, hopefully others as well.

What I am looking for now is like 2 automations - one for Song Selection and a different one for Second Song Selection.
Concept is - when I choose the next song, I like to automate changing my guitar rig to the correct preset, sending tempo to guitar rig, turning off Reverb on the board and changing lights to some low level solid color (color varies by song) with a spot light on lead singer so he can talk and not be in the dark

Then on second song selection I want to change to the song's programmed dmx light setting, turn off the spot, turn on the reverb, maybe other items like send some fog out...

Could even be a PAUSE command in the automation, that could be triggered with Second Song Selection or other command? If done this way, would like to have option to send Specific Midi 1, Midi 2, etc like we do with Layout Midi 1, Layout Midi 2, etc.  This way I could run something like Specific Midi 1, 2, 3, PAUSE, Midi 4, Layout Midi 1, Midi 5, 6. That would also work I think.  Might even be more powerful/flexible?

Would also like a way to edit automations on the web... no problem to test/run on iPad, would just be faster to create/copy/etc on a computer I think.

I sort of have this working now, using automation with Send Specific Midi (Layout Midi mostly) on song selection, then I send the whole list for song Midi on second song selection. Works as described for end product, but I get a full reset of guitar setup and lights on Second Song Selection, doesn't look or sound really smooth and professional.  Other ideas welcome of course!

Thanks for considering!

arlo

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Re: WISH - More Automation Flexibility
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2021, 08:51:00 am »
What if you did this via a layout-level preset from the song selection:

- turning off Reverb on the board
- changing lights to some low level solid color (color varies by song) with a spot light on lead singer so he can talk and not be in the dark

And this from the second selection:

- turn off the spot
- change to the song's programmed dmx light setting
- turn on the reverb
- changing my guitar rig to the correct preset
- sending tempo to guitar rig
- maybe other items like send some fog out

Basically, the song selection would do a generic reset for your announcements/introductions, and the second selection would do everything specifically needed to set up the next song.

Zionplayer

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Re: WISH - More Automation Flexibility
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2021, 10:03:42 am »
I think that basically works, with compromises...all tied to what happens specific to each song

If I use the layout command "Send Layout Midi" it sends all Layout midi, in my case up to 15 midi commands - I have a lot of them attached for various other uses, including triggers from my guitar rig.  Don't see an option to only send a few specific Layout Midi commands except in Automation.

Right now in my layout I have Start Automation on Song Select, and Send Midi on Second Selection.

Have to think about this some more...

arlo

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Re: WISH - More Automation Flexibility
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2021, 11:43:35 pm »
So if a song selection action could trigger a specific layout MIDI preset instead of all of them, would that solve it?

Maybe there's another way to handle this, but that's the way the app was designed to handle it, but it doesn't currently accommodate selecting a specific layout MIDI preset when there are different layout presets used for different purposes.

Edit: MIDI presets are now shared across all songs by turning on their Pinned To All Songs option rather than by attaching them to layouts, and app control actions are now available to send specific pinned presets.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2024, 05:11:44 pm by arlo »

Ahiru

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Re: WISH - More Automation Flexibility
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2021, 07:22:40 am »
Edit: Post deleted, since I misunderstod the OP's situation, hence my long post was mostly irrelevent to this thread  :D
« Last Edit: November 13, 2021, 07:04:29 am by Ahiru »

arlo

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Re: WISH - More Automation Flexibility
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2021, 09:08:31 am »
Are your "first selection" events handled by a song-level MIDI preset, and your "second selection" events handled by an automation track triggering additional song-level presets?

I didn't think Zionplayer was using automation tracks and was looking for a way to do this without those. But this approach could be reversed: an automation track on song selection could select the specific layout MIDI presets* needed to reset the song, and the song second select could send the song MIDI presets to set up the song. In that case the automation track could probably be the same for each song, and copy/pasted across the songs. That automation track would only be necessary when the layout MIDI presets include presets for different purposes besides resetting the song.

* Selecting a specific layout MIDI preset from an automation track is coming in the next release next week.

Zionplayer

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Re: WISH - More Automation Flexibility
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2021, 11:11:19 am »
Correct - am using BandHelper "Automation", not an automation track.

arlo

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Re: WISH - More Automation Flexibility
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2021, 09:19:18 pm »
For the record, what you're calling "automation" (song selection, song second selection, etc) is called "layout actions" because they're set at the layout level.

Ahiru

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Re: WISH - More Automation Flexibility
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2021, 05:19:27 am »
Are your "first selection" events handled by a song-level MIDI preset, and your "second selection" events handled by an automation track triggering additional song-level presets?
Ah, understood.  Yes, we use an 'automation track' for each song (since we also use backing tracks).  So what I list for first selection is through layout actions, and what I list for second selection is indeed a MIDI group event generated at the start of the automation track.  Sorry for the confusion.

But, could Zionplayer create an automation track for each song that starts with second selection and does nothing more than act as scafolding for MIDI messages appropriate for second selection?

Zionplayer

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Re: WISH - More Automation Flexibility
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2021, 05:54:00 am »
For the record, what you're calling "automation" (song selection, song second selection, etc) is called "layout actions" because they're set at the layout level.

Hope I haven't confused things, couldn't tell if that was for me or Ahiru... using "Automation" as I think intended, see screenshots:  thats where I was thinking a "Pause" Event that could be triggered by, say, second song selection or Midi PC or CC would be cool (or maybe even a couple of PAUSE events per "Automation", to allow multiple triggers in a single "Automation".  We don't play to click or tracks, so using timing doesn't work for us.

Thanks again for the feedback and support, and for BandHelper.  A great tool, that I brag on all the time.

arlo

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Re: WISH - More Automation Flexibility
« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2021, 08:31:08 am »
Your first two screen shots show an automation track, but it looks like you're only using it to send MIDI at the start of the song. While this is a completely legitimate way to use it, that doesn't change the terminology -- it is still an "automation track" because it allows multiple events to be triggered at predefined times throughout the song.

Your third screen shot shows the layout actions (song selection, song second selection) that you're using to trigger the automation track.

When you talk about "pause events," I think what you mean is that you want to send predefined groups of MIDI presets at different points throughout the song, but you want to send those manually rather than at predefined times (because you're not playing to a click track or backing track). In that case, Ahiru's suggestion about parent/child presets could be helpful. You can create one preset for every point in the song that you want to send data, then you can attach to those presets all the presets you want to send at that time. For example, you could have one parent preset for the verse, and attach to that multiple presets to change effects and lights; and another parent preset for the chorus, and attach to that multiple presets to change them again. Then attach the verse and chorus presets to your song. Then step through them as you play with the Next MIDI Preset remote control action.

Actually that might address your original question about resetting your lights and effects between songs. You could attach an initial preset to each song that calls all the child presets needed to reset your equipment, then when you're ready to start the song, use a foot switch to select the next preset, which would call all the child presets needed to set up that song. That same foot switch button could start auto-scrolling and anything else that you're currently doing with the Song Second Selection layout action.

This would require turning off Settings > Audio & MIDI > Send MIDI Presets Together, so that selecting the song only calls the first preset attached to it.

Zionplayer

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Re: WISH - More Automation Flexibility
« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2021, 01:00:43 pm »
Thanks - will check that out... had not thought about "Send next midi" and sounds like that might do the trick, but the trigger I see for that in Layout/Detail is a tap or a swipe?  Can that be triggered by a PC or CC instead (for a footpedal)?

arlo

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Re: WISH - More Automation Flexibility
« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2021, 02:10:28 pm »
You can send Next MIDI Preset from a layout action, which you trigger from a tap or a swipe, if that is doable while you're playing. I was thinking of the remote control action, which you trigger from a foot switch. That's configured on the Settings > Remote Control page.

Zionplayer

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Re: WISH - More Automation Flexibility
« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2021, 02:23:24 pm »
Arlo - thanks so much for the help! I think this approach will do what I need, so I spent some time today arraigning things to work this way. All is perfect - except (knew that was coming didn't you)...

I set up Next Midi for CC69 and for Two Finger Tap (so I can do it either way when playing live). All working except when I use pedal (CC 69) OR Two Finger Tap, my Midi log show a continual loop... 
-sending data [BF, 4C, 00] to all ports
-sending data [B1, 3F, 00] to all ports

I stopped Midi, cleared my log, restarted Midi, BH kept doing it
I turned off wireless and Bluetooth on iPad, restarted BandHelper, and it still does it.
I removed 'CC value' from Remote and Midi, restarted BandHelper, and it still does it on Two Finger Tap.

Finally seemed to find if my Midi preset also had a Midi Preset attached, the "Next Midi Preset" command got into a loop?  Can you see that as well?

ie - I added "turn reverb on" to all of my light Midi presets, and when I "Next Midi" a light preset, I get this loop...




arlo

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Re: WISH - More Automation Flexibility
« Reply #14 on: November 12, 2021, 05:13:27 pm »
Do you actually have a loop set up where MIDI preset A contains a link to MIDI preset B and preset B contains a link to preset A? (Or preset A links to B, B links to C and C links to A, etc.) If you can't find the problem, please submit a help ticket and provide the specific MIDI preset names that are looping.