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Electronic Theatre Controls Inc

Track record in Express consoles

Track record is a way of recording new cues or modifying existing ones when you want certain channels or channel levels to continue unchanged in playback from cue to cue. Levels recorded into a tracked cue continue unchanged in subsequent cues until a new level is encountered. Track record gives you the power to modify a range of cues automatically by changing just the first in the sequence. You can also use track record for new cue recording to pull levels from the previous cue into the new cue

Track record function

When you record a series of cues, you typically record the first cue, then build the second cue from the first. Some of the channels change, but many remain the same. The third cue is built from the second and so on. This procedure results in many channels being set to a level in one cue and staying at that level for several cues.

A channel whose level does not change through a series of consecutive cues is said to “track” from cue to cue. That same sequence of unchanged levels is also referred to as a “track.” The [Track] key in Blind tracks into the new cue by pulling channel levels from the previous cue. In Stage or Blind, the [Track] key adds tracks to subsequent cues.

The following examples demonstrate how Track works. They include five cues, each with five channels. In these examples, when a channel changes level from one cue to the next it is printed in bold; tracked channels are printed normally. This corresponds to how Blind displays levels – channels that rise or fall are displayed in blue or green; tracked channels are displayed in purple.

54 WARNING: This procedure although automatic can be time-consuming. Attempting it while running a show could have serious consequences.

Using record to create tracks

Use the following keystrokes in Stage to create the five cues illustrated below (see Recording cues on Express consoles). Each cue adds channels to the previous cue.

Cue 1     [1] [Full] [Record] [1] [Enter]
Cue 2     [2] [Full] [Record] [2] [Enter]
Cue 3     [3] [Full] [Record] [3] [Enter]
Cue 4     [1] [At] [2][5] [4] [Full] [Record] [4] [Enter]
Cue 5     [1] [Thru] [4] [At] [0][0] [Record] [5] [Enter]

These keystrokes produce the results shown in the following illustration. Notice the channel tracks that develop as a channel remains at the same level through a number of cues. For example, channel 1 tracks from cue 1 to cue 3.55

  Chan 1 Chan 2 Chan 3 Chan 4 Chan 5
Cue 1 FF        
Cue 2 FF FF      
Cue 3 FF FF FF    
Cue 4 25 FF FF FF  
Cue 5 00 00 00 00  

55 When a channel is not set at any level (such as channel 5 above) it is considered tracked at clear.

Recording modified cues

The difference between Record and Track is apparent when you modify a cue or insert a new cue between two existing cues. Record and Track produce different results.

Using Record

The following keys were pressed to release captured channels and play back cue 1.

Keystrokes: Actions:
1. Press [Stage] [Rel] [Rel]. Releases captured channels
Prompt reads:
Select channel numbers
2. Press [Cue] [1] [Go].  Plays back cue 1
3. Press [1] [At] [5][0]. Modifies channel 1
4. Press [Record]. Prompt reads:
To record cue, select number and press ENTER
To cancel, press CLEAR
5. Press [Enter]. Records cue 1

With cue 1 in a fader, channel 1 is modified to 50 percent. Because cue 1 is re-recorded with [Record], none of the subsequent cues are affected by the procedure.

Following is an illustration of the use of [Record] when modifying cue 1. Note that channel 1 is not affected in cues 2 and 3. Also note that when you record a modified cue that is in a playback fader, the changes are reflected in the fader. That is, when you release the channels you have modified, they remain on stage.

  Chan 1 Chan 2 Chan 3 Chan 4 Chan 5
Cue 1 50        
Cue 2 FF FF      
Cue 3 FF FF FF    
Cue 4 25 FF FF FF  
Cue 5 00 00 00 00  

Using Track

If you have tracked channels (all with the same level), you can make them track at a different level. Also, you can track channels at a focus point, but you cannot track through a channel set at a focus point. To illustrate, suppose you have tracked channels as shown in the example under Using record to create tracks.

In that example, channel 1 is tracked at full through cues 1-3. Change the tracked level of channel 1 in those cues with the following procedure:

Keystrokes: Actions:
        1     . Press [Stage] [Rel] [Rel].       Releases captured channels
Prompt reads:
Select channel numbers
2. Press [Cue] [1] [Go].  Plays back cue 1
3. Press [1] [At] [5][0].  Modifies channel 1
4. Press [Track]. Prompt reads:
To record cue & tracking, select number and press ENTER
To cancel, press CLEAR
5. Press [Enter]. Re-records cue 1 and tracks channel 1 into subsequent cues

The results of using Track rather than Record are illustrated below. The modified level is recorded in the current cue and carries through cues 2 and 3 until stopped at cue 4, where the level is different.

  Chan 1 Chan 2 Chan 3 Chan 4 Chan 5
Cue 1 50        
Cue 2 50 FF      
Cue 3 50 FF FF    
Cue 4 25 FF FF FF  
Cue 5 00 00 00 00  

Inserting cues

If you insert a cue in this sequence, Record and Track produce different results. Record saves changes only in the cue you insert while Track saves the changes you make and tracks them through the following cues.

The example given below is in Stage. You can get the same results in Blind but with the additional advantage that you can pull channels from the immediately previous cue. An illustration of pulling channels when inserting a cue is given after the comparison between Record and Track in Stage.

Using Record

The following keys were pressed to release captured channels and play back cue 1. With cue 1 in a fader, channel 4 is added at 50 percent. The new look is inserted as cue 1.1.

Keystrokes: Actions:
        1     . Press [Stage] [Rel] [Rel].    Releases captured channels
Prompt reads:
Select channel numbers
2. Press [Cue] [1] [Go]. Plays back cue 1
3. Press [4] [At] [5][0]. Modifies channel 4
4. Press [Record]. Prompt reads:
To record cue, select number and press ENTER
To cancel, press CLEAR
5. Press [1][.][1] [Enter]. Records cue 1.1

The following diagram illustrates what happens when you insert cue 1.1 using [Record]. Note that the channel in cue 1.1 is not added to the cues that follow it. In fact, that channel is faded out when cue 2 is played.

  Chan 1 Chan 2 Chan 3 Chan 4 Chan 5
Cue 1 50        
Cue 1.1 50     50  
Cue 2 50 FF   00  
Cue 3 50 FF FF    
Cue 4 25 FF FF FF  
Cue 5 00 00 00 00  

Using Track

When you insert a cue with Track, new channels track through the following cues until the console encounters a cue with a level previously recorded for that channel.

The following procedure illustrates this use of Track, and the following illustration shows what results. Note that the channel in the new cue is tracked into subsequent cues until a pre-recorded level stops it.

Keystrokes: Actions:
        1     . Press [Stage] [Rel] [Rel].    Releases captured channels
Prompt reads:
Select channel numbers
2. Press [Cue] [1] [Go]. Plays back cue 1
3. Press [4] [At] [5][0]. Modifies channel 4
4. Press [Track]. Prompt reads:
To record cue & tracking, select number and press ENTER
To cancel, press CLEAR
5. Press [1][.][1] [Enter]. Records cue 1.1 and tracks for channel 4 through subsequent cues

 

  Chan 1 Chan 2 Chan 3 Chan 4 Chan 5
Cue 1 50        
Cue 1.1 50     50  
Cue 2 50 FF   50  
Cue 3 50 FF FF 50  
Cue 4 25 FF FF FF  
Cue 5 00 00 00 00  

Pulling channels in Blind

If you insert in Blind using [Track], you can get a start on a new cue by using levels already defined in the previous cue. You can then add channels or modify levels in the new cue. From that point on, you can use either [Record] or [Track] analogously to the procedures explained above, depending upon whether or not you want the channels in the inserted cue to track into subsequent cues.

Press the following keys to insert cue 2.5 in Blind by pulling in levels from previous cue 2.0 and adding channel 5 at 70 percent. Note that the new cue in this example will track into subsequent cues as well because of the second use of [Track] in step 5.

Keystrokes: Actions:
1. Press [Blind] [2][.][5]. Displays empty cue 2.5
Prompt reads:
Select cue number
To select cue type, press TYPE
2. Press [Track] [Enter]. Pulls in previous cue’s channels
3. Press [Channel] [5] [At] [5][0]. Adds channel 5 at 50 percent
Prompt reads:
Select channel numbers
4. Press [Track]. Prompt reads:
To record cue & tracking, select number and press ENTER
To cancel, press CLEAR
5. Press [Enter]. Records cue 2.5

 The following illustration shows this insertion and subsequent tracking.

  Chan 1 Chan 2 Chan 3 Chan 4 Chan 5
Cue 1 50        
Cue 2 50 FF   00  
Cue 2.5 50 FF   00 70
Cue 3 50 FF FF   70
Cue 4 25 FF FF FF 70
Cue 5 00 00 00 00 70

Blackout cues and tracking

Sometimes you may add a channel to a sequence of cues that have not used that channel yet. For example, you may want to add a channel to all cues in a scene. To do this, add the channel to the first cue in the sequence and use Track to track the change through the remaining cues.

However, the last cue in sequence may be a blackout cue. When you track the channel, the new channel tracks until it runs into a different recorded level. To ensure that channels are not tracked through a blackout cue, make the blackout cue an allfade cue. An allfade cue assigns a level of zero to any unused channels. This blocks any potential tracks. An allfade cue also clears the opposite fader.

Figure 6 displays what happens when we track channel 5 through the sequence when cue 5 is a regular crossfade cue.

  Chan 1 Chan 2 Chan 3 Chan 4 Chan 5
Cue 1 50       FF
Cue 1.1 50     50 FF
Cue 2 50 FF   00 FF
Cue 3 50 FF FF   FF
Cue 4 25 FF FF FF FF
Cue 5 00 00 00 00 FF

Figure 6

Channel 5 tracks through cue 5 and ruins the blackout cue.

If cue 5 is an allfade, the console records all unused channels at 00 percent. In the example below, an allfade enters 00 in channel 5, cue 5. When you track channel 5 through the sequence, it won’t track through the blackout cue.

To select the allfade type for cue 5, enter these keystrokes:

[Blind] [5] [Type] [2]Selects allfade fade type.
[Record] [Enter]Re-records cue.

Now when we track channel 5 through the sequence, cue 5 blocks the track. The result is illustrated in Figure 7.

  Chan 1 Chan 2 Chan 3 Chan 4 Chan 5
Cue 1 50       FF
Cue 1.1 50     50 FF
Cue 2 50 FF   00 FF
Cue 3 50 FF FF   FF
Cue 4 25 FF FF FF FF
Cue 5 00 00 00 00 00

Figure 7

For more information on cue fade types, see Cue types.

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