Thanks for the brilliant software! I have been getting into this heavily and have over 200 songs that I need to create light shows for and would like to streamline the workflow as much as possible.
My question is threefold:
I want to find out if there are any easy ways to pick static colors with automation without having to change the RGB automation every time. Like to build certain color presets and easily select them with automation.
Is there a way to easily have two colors chosen and then fade between the two of them at specific moments?
Is the Recolor device used for any of this? I read through the manual and I am still struggling to understand the intended use for Recolor.
Hey @drumsruan, thanks for reaching out!
To create presets of different colors you can group a Beam device into an Instrument Rack, map color parameters to Macros and use Macro Variations to create presets/Variations:
If you switch between different Macro Variations while recording with the Automation Arm enabled, the changes in parameters will be recorded as automation.
If you want to automate Macro Variations directly, you will need to use Max for Live, e.g. a device such as Smooth Automator, which also allows for morphing between Macro Variations, allowing you to fade between different colors.
Recolor device is primarily intended to make lights have a different color at different intensities. E.g. here we have blue that morphs into white as the intensity gets close to 100%:
I’m trying to do this but … I’m getting completely different macro values out of the Smooth Automator than what I’m putting in?! That is, I made some macro variations with different colours, but then triggering them with Smooth Automator is doing completely different and unexpected things, as per this clip:
I’m sure it’s just me not quite comprehending something yet, but that’s the trouble, I don’t know what I don’t know
I have come to the conclusion that Smooth Automator is very buggy and is not being updated anymore. It kept doing weird things like this shown above, as well as causing the Ableton automation to become disabled for some reason even though those parameters are not automated except for with macro variations. I have resorted to using MIDI key mapping to trigger various macro variations with MIDI notes. It is not very elegant and does not allow for smooth transitions like I had hoped.
If there are any alternatives, please advise. Maybe Showsync should develop their own device for this that is more stable like all their own devices. This would be an amazing addition to Beam! It is a nightmare to handle color automation for par cans currently. Especially if you are dealing with a RGBWAUV fixture.
Weirdly, when I got to the studio yesterday and had it hooked up to the DMXIS, everything worked as expected. So yeah I’m inclined to agree with you, Smooth Automator might not quite cut it for our needs with Beam right now, and being able to fade between scenes is and essential core function for any automated light system… and one of the two main reasons I’m not quite ready to give up my struggles with QLC+ and switch to Beam
[Update: doing a bit of searching on “automate macro variations” and it seems to be a very common complaint / feature request, with Smooth operator being the only solution mentioned, that I’ve seen. I shall persist. Having just figured out that another unrelated weird issue I was having was caused by old n00b himself here, I think it’s worth pressing on until I’m sure I actually know 100% of what I’m doing lol)
Thanks for sharing your experiences with the Smooth Automator device - sounds buggy and not so reliable, won’t be recommending this anymore! Will share if I come across a better ready-made alternative. You can also try searching at www.maxforlive.com.
If you are handy with Max, a quick way to do something similar that doesn’t involve Macro Variations would be to build a Max for Live device that uses
pattrstorage for storing presets and preset morphing, pattr-exposing a bunch of
number boxes and connect their outlets to a bunch of
MapButton abstractions (you can find it e.g. in Live’s LFO device):
…then use this to map this to your Live parameters.
I’d love to see a more robust user-friendly solution for preset morphing in Live, but this is something that applies to Live workflow in general, so the solution for this is a bit out of the scope of Beam itself. Beam for Live allows you to approach lighting with the workflows you know from working in Live with sound, which means it also comes with a similar set of shortcomings, but as with sound, there are often many ways to get to the same result.
A more native way of transitioning between different lighting states
Beam’s lighting signals are merged, so you can morph between different colors (as well as settings for other parameters) in most of the same ways as you can crossfade between different sounds in Live.
E.g. you can have:
Multiple tracks, each with a device controlling the same tag, but each device is set to another color. Use Track Volumes to determine how much of each tracks lighting signal should be present, and use this to create transitions.
Same, but with an Instrument Rack: multiple chains, each with a device controlling the same tag, but each device is set to another color. Use Chain Volumes to determine how much of each track’s lighting signal should be present, and use this to create transitions.
2 tracks, each with a device cotrolling the same tag, but each device is set to another color & use clips to have a number of different color presets. Use the Crossfader: assign one track to A, and the other one to B, then crossfade between them.
Read more about merging here: Beam Support | Showsync
Please share how this works for you.