Author Topic: Help! Help!  (Read 1137 times)

Offline 4rjn

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Help! Help!
« on: February 08, 2018, 06:42:21 AM »
Hi all I am new to falcon I have used lor in the past but just a small house display no pixels. I have been put in charge of creating a drive thru display 1.25 miles and I am overwhelmed. I am considering using xlights  I downloaded nutcracker and have been playing around with it. I can't get a song into it. Basically I need a whole lot of help, are there classes anywhere to get me started on using nutcracker. I have checked tutorials and made some progress but with all that lies before me I really need more help. I intend on running nutcracker on mac platform so many of the tutorials are windows based. I live in Northeast Ohio and would be willing to drive several hours to talk with someone who is an expert. Then of course I need to figure out exactly what hardware to purchase once again I have several lor controllers but don't know how that would fit in if at all. So please if there are any suggestions or someone that would be willing to let me come to their place to talk things over I would appreciate it. Thanks Rod

Offline Poporacer

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Re: Help! Help!
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2018, 11:00:16 AM »
I am just starting this year myself. I haven't had any sort of animated display before, but I seem to be getting a grasp of things.

I would first decide what you can actually afford in the way of props or a close approximation of what you think you will have. Then make a list of the items you need for those props. If you have time, then you can participate in the pre-sales or group buys. And of course Ray Wu is an option. I made a couple orders with him and I was surprised how quickly I received my order. While you are getting your supplies, then you can start Sequencing.

At first I was a little overwhelmed myself. I tried to just dive in and start sequencing with a quick glance at the manual and viewing a couple videos but I was not really paying attention because I wasn't really following what they were saying and I was totally lost. I didn't grasp it at first. So then I set up 2 props and played around with the effects and then things started to click a little. So I went back and watched the videos again and read the manual now that I had a little familiarity with the program. I didn't do anything with the program for several days and just watched videos. So then I set up my house with the props I anticipate to have and started the sequencing. Occasionally I went back to the videos when I got to a roadblock and then things made sense.  There are a couple websites that have some good videos. Here is a good place to start.
 
http://www.nutcracker123.com/wk/index.php?title=Tutorials

I don't know why you can't get a song to load. What kind of file is it? It might not be a format that XLights supports?

Everyone talks about how long it takes to sequence a song, and it is tedious if you want everything to coincide with the song and how elaborate you want it, and they are correct.

If you are going 1.25 miles, from what I have read is going to create some challenges. This is a big task to start off with! More than likely you will need to go with some sort of wireless technology with range extenders, or break the street up into sections with their own "theme" and separate sequences.

I use Windows, but I am sure the Mac interface is similar as it looks like they are using wxWidgets for programming so the interfaces should be very close.

I am a newbie myself and will help where I can, but the people here are VERY helpful and I am sure you will get some more expert responses than I can supply.
If to err is human, I am more human than most people.

Offline Todd

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Re: Help! Help!
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2018, 04:38:13 PM »
You said you were using a Mac. Are you trying to use WMA files? Xlights doesn't use WMA. You need MP3. Also for help there are a lot of videos out there for sequencing. Also be sure you are creating a musical sequence and not an animation. The audio is the first thing to select when you create a musical sequence. Sequencing shouldn't matter if you are using Windows or MacOS. Google Xlights and you'll find video after video dealing with setting up to sequencing. If you're covering that much ground you may want to look into FPP running on Raspberry Pi's master and slaves running wireless for each controller. There are many videos out there on Falcon Player and Raspberry Pi. As Poporacer said if you set up some props or lights and start messing around with Xlights it will start to make sense.
Todd L.
Kimberly, WI

Falcon F16V3 F48, FPP, X-Lights, LOR, Pi 3B

Offline 4rjn

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Re: Help! Help!
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2018, 04:24:43 AM »
Thanks 2 both of you you were both very helpful. I was not clear the total display is 1.25 miles but most of that will be static or simply switching that I will just use prewire switches for or a raspberry pi if it gets a little more then 3 switches. The Manor House and entrance will be the 2 areas that I will focus on using xlights. I like the suggestion about getting a simple board working so I think I will have to order 1 for now and just see if I can figure it out. As for the music I did get a couple songs in now I am trying to figure out the beat finder. LOR was simple with beat wizard so that part was easy but I am still not sure if LOR is right for all the pixel lights on the Manor House.

Offline Todd

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Re: Help! Help!
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2018, 04:31:06 AM »
For the beat tracks you'll need Audicity and the QMVamp plugin from the Xlights website. I believe Audicity has a Mac version, but i'm not sure about the QMVamp plugin.

Offline 4rjn

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Re: Help! Help!
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2018, 08:44:04 AM »
I was able to get audacity but the qmvamp I am having issues with. I am also having issues with nutcracker schedule my computer is too old so it says. I don't think they should have anything to do with the other?

Offline Todd

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Re: Help! Help!
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2018, 11:08:07 AM »
Try this site
http://vamp-plugins.org/download.html
QM Vamp Plugins The QM Vamp Plugin set is a library of Vamp audio feature extraction plugins developed at the Centre for Digital Music at Queen Mary, University of London.  These plugins are provided as a single library file, made available in source and binary form for Windows, OS/X, and Linux via the SoundSoftware code site (see download page).
For more information about Vamp plugins, see http://www.vamp-plugins.org/ .
 1.  Note Onset Detector 2.  Tempo and Beat Tracker 3.  Bar and Beat Tracker 4.  Key Detector 5.  Tonal Change 6.  Adaptive Spectrogram 7.  Polyphonic Transcription 8.  Segmenter 9.  Similarity 10.  Discrete Wavelet Transform 11.  Constant-Q Spectrogram 12.  Chromagram 13.  Mel-Frequency Cepstral Coefficients

Offline algerdes

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Re: Help! Help!
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2018, 02:39:41 PM »
Welcome 4rjn.  You will have me beat by about a quarter mile for length, but ours goes around a lake, so we have a lot of stuff to fill in the middle that can be seen from about 2/3rds of the drive. 


What is your layout?  Do you have a location/address (so I can spy on how you are doing it?  :) )


Like everyone else up here, you have a lot of help when you ask for it.  As far as someone who is already doing what you want to do, I'd be more than happy to share how we make it happen.  Just ask.


Why don't you fill in your particulars for your account, that way we can see where you are.  There may be someone in the area that can help "in person" when you need it.
Sequencers: Vixen3 and xLights
Players: FPP and xSchedule Controllers:  Renards - SS24/SS16; E1.31 - San Devices E682 - Falcon F16, F4, F48 - J1Sys - DIYLEDExpress E1.31 Bridges.  Much more!

Offline Emuney18

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Re: Help! Help!
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2018, 06:56:00 AM »
Welcome 4rjn. Based on what you said that you will have a lot of static items I don't think Xlights will be your toughest part.  I also have a Mac so let me know if you can't get the queen mary to install.  I don't remember how I did it but I'm sure I could repeat it. The instructions I followed were on the queen mart page that someone posted above.  You need to draw your layout on paper or computer as close to scale as possible eventually. Then mark what you want to happen at each area being as specific as possible. This will help you figure out what you need to start with.  If you synchronized stuff is near each other instead of spread throughout then that makes it much easier. Post your drawing here and ask for suggestions.  I think algerdes input is going to be valuable since they do a similar distance display.  At the very basics, Do you have a plan for power?  Are there existing receptacles in the ground?


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Offline 4rjn

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Re: Help! Help!
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2018, 07:37:49 PM »
ok I am good to go with the qmvamp I had to adjust folder name and then everything appeared. I am now stuck on trying to setup my first f16v3. I was wondering if I can go straight from my computer ethernet output directly to the f16v3 just so I can play around a bit with the different effects. I did power it up and put 1 pixel string into output 1 and ran a some of the onboard tests and after some adjustments they worked. I also hooked the controller directly to my router and played around in the configuration page online and was able to run some tests there as well. Now I just do not know if I need additional hardware to just mess with it from my main computer directly to the controller or does something need to be in between.


On a separate not the venue is not confirmed yet so I am just trying to get familiar with xlights and the falcon board. I will provide updates and add to my profile when there is something for sure going on. Thanks Rod

 

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