My first 2 days on a Pearl. Any advice?

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Beaker
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My first 2 days on a Pearl. Any advice?

Postby Beaker » 30 Nov 2006, 03:48

Hello all. Just completed my second day on my new Pearl 2004. Have some Nube questions for any teacher types out there with a tolerance for a newcomer. Let’s start with my background.

45 year old male who has worked in the tech industry as a sound engineer, conventional LD, and production company owner for 20+ years. 3 years experience with basic low end scanners and entry level consoles. 2 year owner of a Leprecon LPX-24, 2 day owner of an Avo Pearl 2004.

OK, so here’s were I’m at after 2 days on my own. With the manual’s I’ve been able to learn the following;

How to wipe my console. How to put my Martin Mac250 washes and Entour spots into the console via floppy drive. (The console does not have these fixtures in the library). How to use the console to get addresses for the lights. How to patch conventional dimmers. How to make static looks with my movers and save them to playbacks.

The use and concept of palates is wear my limited experience brings me to a crashing halt. All of the above I taught myself in one day. Spent 8 hours today trying to get past this palate concept. Cannot get my brain wrapped around it. I had a very productive day yesterday, and a very non-productive frustrating day today. I don’t think any palate information loaded in when I put them into the console. I’ve tried to program palates per the manual with very limited results.

Any advice or instruction is appreciated. I hope to get somewhat past this roadblock tomorrow if possible. Any advice on how to learn more, what my next step needs to be, etc. is deeply appreciated. Any links to online tutorials are greatly appreciated. Thanks for any and all help.
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Lekolite
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Postby Lekolite » 30 Nov 2006, 07:34

Its easier if i had a console sitting in front of me, but PM me a phone # and we'll talk.
Last edited by Lekolite on 30 Nov 2006, 19:34, edited 1 time in total.
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niclights
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Postby niclights » 30 Nov 2006, 14:37

The best way to learn is of course through experimentation, but I'll try to help you with palettes.

The original concept behind palettes was for storing Pan/Tilt positions which playback memories were based upon. You could store palette positions for Centre, SL, SR, Kit etc. and then create all your playback looks from these. When you are on tour and truss trim heights were different all you needed to do was adjust the four palettes, rather than all the playback memories.

Now things have become much more complicated and palettes are used for many things, including easy colour selections, busking etc.

The key to palettes and general programming on the desk is to use 'record by channel' mode where you have accurate control of exactly what is recorded.

Example:

Key to Program
Change to Record By Channel if not already.
Bring up preset handles for fixtures so you can see them.
Press [clear] (this will remove the dimmer information that you created above)
Select fixtures.
Select Colour attribute.
'wheel' in a colour.
Press [Store Palette(focus)]
Press a Preset Add button to store.
'wheel' in another colour & store to a different Preset Add.
Press [clear].

In User settings select 'quick palettes'. This means that if you do not select any fixtures, everything stored in a palette will be applied. If you do select fixtures then only those will be affected.

Now you can select the two colours you just stored by pressing the relevant Preset Add buttons. This only works in Run Takeover Mode or Program mode. In Run Normal Mode the Add buttons 'flash' the handles.

You can use palettes like this for any attribute. You can even overlay attributes in a single palette. They will be recalled depending on which attribute you have selected (according to focus mask). Selecting 'dimmer' attribute will recall all attributes recorded.

Pay special attention to the 'programmer'. Values that are in the programmer are denoted by a 'm' or 'w' in the LCD display. ie. 0mff Anything in the programmer will be stored. Pressing [clear] will remove all information from the programmer.

Palettes are a complicated subject. I have just rushed through this as I have a show to do. Have a play & see how you get on.

HTH
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Beaker
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Postby Beaker » 30 Nov 2006, 20:10

Thanks guys. I hope to get back on my console today. I have a small system set up in my wherehouse with 4 Mac250 spots and 9 Mac250 wash's. I'll try to apply your advice and write back. Cheers.
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Beaker
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Postby Beaker » 01 Dec 2006, 02:07

niclights wrote:The best way to learn is of course through experimentation, but I'll try to help you with palettes.

The original concept behind palettes was for storing Pan/Tilt positions which playback memories were based upon. You could store palette positions for Centre, SL, SR, Kit etc. and then create all your playback looks from these. When you are on tour and truss trim heights were different all you needed to do was adjust the four palettes, rather than all the playback memories.

Now things have become much more complicated and palettes are used for many things, including easy colour selections, busking etc.

The key to palettes and general programming on the desk is to use 'record by channel' mode where you have accurate control of exactly what is recorded.

Example:

Key to Program
Change to Record By Channel if not already.
Bring up preset handles for fixtures so you can see them.
Press [clear] (this will remove the dimmer information that you created above)
Select fixtures.
Select Colour attribute.
'wheel' in a colour.
Press [Store Palette(focus)]
Press a Preset Add button to store.
'wheel' in another colour & store to a different Preset Add.
Press [clear].

In User settings select 'quick palettes'. This means that if you do not select any fixtures, everything stored in a palette will be applied. If you do select fixtures then only those will be affected.

Now you can select the two colours you just stored by pressing the relevant Preset Add buttons. This only works in Run Takeover Mode or Program mode. In Run Normal Mode the Add buttons 'flash' the handles.

You can use palettes like this for any attribute. You can even overlay attributes in a single palette. They will be recalled depending on which attribute you have selected (according to focus mask). Selecting 'dimmer' attribute will recall all attributes recorded.

Pay special attention to the 'programmer'. Values that are in the programmer are denoted by a 'm' or 'w' in the LCD display. ie. 0mff Anything in the programmer will be stored. Pressing [clear] will remove all information from the programmer.

Palettes are a complicated subject. I have just rushed through this as I have a show to do. Have a play & see how you get on.

HTH


Hello Niclights,

Thank you for your help. Here's what I tried today from your example and were I crashed;

Example:

Key to Program (Got it)

Change to Record By Channel if not already. (Found it in System, not program, but got it!)

Bring up preset handles for fixtures so you can see them.
(Got it)

Press [clear] (this will remove the dimmer information that you created above)
(Got it)

Select fixtures.
(got it)

Select Colour attribute.
(got it)

'wheel' in a colour. (got it)

Press [Store Palette(focus)]
(hmmm, Store Palette, then focus? No. Nothing. Hold Store Palette and focus? No, nothing. -Crash. Confused on this step.)

Press a Preset Add button to store. (hmmm, searched manual for "preset add button. None found. The blue button under a handle? The grey one? The A-G keys? -Crash)

'wheel' in another colour & store to a different Preset Add.
Press [clear].

A related question; Will I be able to lable the palettes, red, green, SR, SL, etc? Can I use my attached computer keyboard for this? Can I do it without a keyboard? Do I need an attached monitor?

Thank you for your help, you are a lifesaver!
-All of life is a learning curve.
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Update

Postby Beaker » 01 Dec 2006, 03:15

OK, so here's an update after a day of playing.

I've managed to save some positions in the handles. I've also been able to save some colors. As I understand it, i'm limited to 10 of each palette type? How do I get the palattes to show up in the LCD by name? Or do I just have to write it all on the console tape? I asume palettes can be used durring programming as well as live?

Gad. I feel like a sponge.

Oh well, better than a rock.
-All of life is a learning curve.
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Postby niclights » 01 Dec 2006, 15:14

Hi, you're probably simply trying to learn too much too quickly, so don't worry!

Obviously you already figured this out but for clarity I wrote 'store palette(focus)' because some desks have these things labelled as 'focus' and later consoles as 'palette'. They were originally called 'preset focuses' for the reasons I described above.

The desk should label the grey buttons as 'Add' buttons and the blue ones as 'Swop'. For the vast majority of functions the LCD will instruct you what to do, so when you press 'Store Palette', the screen will then prompt what or where you can store.

There is no limit to palette type. I think you are confusing with 'Auto-Palettes' when you patch a fixture. In a fixtures personality file there are usually definitions for colours, gobos and positions relative to that fixture. The idea is for very quick access/programming and the standard will be in groups of 10 across the first page. If you wanted though you could define any number of types of palette in a personality file.

Personally I recommend not using Auto-Palette unless you are in a serious rush. I always program my own. There is a limit of 200 palettes on the Pearl. These can be stored numerically or by pressing the relevant Preset Add button. To access palettes in this way above 30 you must enable 'palette paging' in User Settings. Now the Fixture Page select buttons will also page palettes. ie. Page 0 = 1-30, Page 1= 31-60 etc. 121-200 can only be accessed numerically.

If you wanted you could store a different palette for every fixture type and every attribute on each palette. I wouldn't recommend it though!

You can label palettes and these will be available through the 'focus' menu. Again, this button might be called 'palette'. It's above the numeric keys. You must use the 'legend' softbutton in program mode to define. Things here are a bit awkward but worth doing. You can even define different legends per fixture. Note that when using the softbuttons for accessing palettes the pages work 1-5,6-10,101-105,106-110. This is a bit odd but is for compatibility with the Sapphire.
Have a play with legending. It's not something I desire to describe!

Palettes can be used for programming and busking. To make palette information enter the programmer you must select some fixtures before recalling. In this case the screen will show you the palette number, rather than physical value. This allows the memories to be referenced to a palette which can be altered at a later date. If you wanted a physical value you can nudge the wheel.

Have fun!
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Reply

Postby Beaker » 01 Dec 2006, 16:24

Thanks again for the reply. Yes i'm sure i'm trying to learn to much to quickly. Personality flaw i'm afraid. It's just like watching an infant trying to take his first steps. I get to grow up in front of your very eyes. ....well, almost.

Thanks for explaining the store palette/focus thing. Never would have figured that out on my own. I simply went back to the manual and from following you, it made a little more sence. Anyway, in time it started working for me. We'll see if we can get it to come naturally today.

I'll update my days progress later, thanks again.
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Postby Beaker » 02 Dec 2006, 02:13

So, end of day #3. Only able to play in the sandbox for a couple of hours. Mom says I have to come in now. I have my first rental with the system next week, very basic lighting for a corp. dinner. No big deal, know enough right now to do it. Here's what I learned today;

Getting a better feel for palattes. Beginning to understand how helpful and time saving they will be for programming. Comfortable at this point to go out and do a show with basic static looks programmed into playbacks. Learned I can type 3 (or whatever) into the keyboard to set the time moving from one palatte to the next position. Getting a handle on how to select what is effected in the palattes.

Tried to hook up 5 Martin Atomic3000 strobes into the mix. No success. I believe I programmed the strobe correctly, set it to simple 1 handle mode. Programmed the strobe to DMX 200. Loaded a Atomic3K into handle 13 on the console and set it to DMX200 with no results. Any suggestions?
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Postby niclights » 02 Dec 2006, 14:58

Check Atomic is receiving data ok (LED).
Double-check dips on Atomic are set correctly.

I only ever use them in full mode, but I would assume basic is Dimmer & rate. Rate will probably (?) be on shutter attribute. Select fixture, Select shutter attr, wheel in about 40% & raise the preset handle fader.

If you are intending to busk with palettes I strongly recommend storing only single fixture type/single attribute to each palette. By doing this in combination with Quick Palettes mode & attribute set to Dimmer you always have single button access to any palette & two button presses for a timed recall. Additionally, if you enter the [focus] menu, timing information will remain until you type in a new value.

If you combine fixture types and/or attributes then you have to spend valuable time selecting fixtures (or group) and/or the attribute.
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Postby Beaker » 02 Dec 2006, 19:07

Did not raise the wheel. I'll try that. Will also check the LED. I'll also look at what your saying about the palattes and try to make sence out of that on Monday. Have a good weekend.
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Postby Beaker » 06 Dec 2006, 00:30

niclights wrote:Check Atomic is receiving data ok (LED).
Double-check dips on Atomic are set correctly.

I only ever use them in full mode, but I would assume basic is Dimmer & rate. Rate will probably (?) be on shutter attribute. Select fixture, Select shutter attr, wheel in about 40% & raise the preset handle


Well still no luck. Just cant get any of my 5 strobes to work. I've wiped the board and started over as basic as I can. I'm in DMX line A. I have no green LED if I unplug the unit. I have a rapid blinking green LED if I plug it it. Manual for the Atomics has no indication of how to use this LED, reade the manual front to back twice. Loaded a atomic3K into handle 1 in the Pearl set to DMX001. Set the dips on the strobe to simple 1 channel mode (5). Set its address to 1. Set the board to record by channel.

On the page 4 DMX output it shows all channels free including ch.1. On page 9 Patch by handle, it shows an Atomic3K in handle 1 at DMX A1. All masters are up, still nothing. I've tried combos of all the attributes and selecting the swop button, Run, Program, etc. Nothing. The wheeels don't seem to do anything eighter. What am I missing?
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Postby Beaker » 06 Dec 2006, 00:45

Here's a clue. Before shutting the system down I loaded my old show back into the board. My forst mover started on DMX001 in that save. I hit the locate fixture command and the strobes because they are on DMX001 began to flash. So, we know they work and are recieving DMX. The problem must be in my programming ignorance. Hope this info helps.
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Postby niclights » 06 Dec 2006, 01:42

If you are using 1 channel mode then just patch a dimmer to DMXA001 since that's all it needs. There is no personality. The only reason for creating a personality file for single channel would be if you needed it as LTP.

Using 3 or 4 channel mode you will need to patch the relevant personality. Select handle, select dimmer and wheel in at least 10% (or raise preset handle fader). Select Shutter/Iris and wheel in a rate. This is all that is required to see unit function. Duration and/or effect are optional.

Having said all that, your strobe should have responded in single channel mode with either of the personalities since dimmer is always the first channel. So long as Grand Master and Preset Master were up, raising the preset handle should have worked in any mode (Run Normal, Takeover, Program and even System). I have no idea what you might have done wrong!
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Postby Beaker » 07 Dec 2006, 16:58

Genius! Simply patching a dimmer will fire the light. Duh. I also had another LD tell me setting them up in simple 1 ch mode is wack. Now that i'm over the hurdle of "does the light work" i'll try to get them in in the 4ch mode next week. In the mean time, I take the rig out for a simple 8 mover rental on Friday. I'll repost my successes and hopefully not failures next week.
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