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Decoding Presets- MA2 Video Tutorial

There’s a lot of useful feedback built into the visual of a grandMA2 preset, but you might not know what all of those characters mean.  Let’s take a look.

Software Version used in video: 3.0.0.5

Video Transcript

There’s a lot of useful feedback built into the visual of a grandMA2 preset, but you might not know what all of those characters mean.  Let’s take a look.

So- the basics: you already know that this colored bar will change depending upon whether or not this preset is applicable to the fixtures you have selected in your programmer. It will be a brighter color if it’s applicable to all fixtures selected, or a slightly lighter color if it applies to some but not all of the fixtures selected.

The actual color of the bar is unique to that preset pool, and they all have their defaults- BUT you can change them. Click on the yellow ball in the title box, and you can change the activation bar colors, the outline colors, symbol size, switch to sheet mode, et cetera.

If you want to change the border color of individual presets, hit the ASSIGN key three times (that puts APPEARANCE on your command line) and then touch the preset – pick a color from the pop up and you’re set. This isn’t just for presets- I like to color my groups by fixture type. And you don’t have to do them one at a time either. I’ll type ASSIGN three times for Appearance then type group 4 thru 6 please. I pick a color and I’m done.

Since we’re talking about color- ever noticed how the number in each of your presets might be white or cyan? If it’s cyan, then this preset is used in at least one cue. If it’s white, it hasn’t.

Besides the name, there’s a lot of text you might see in your preset- For example, you might remember from an earlier video that you can set any preset as your default. You can also set any preset as your highlight default. If you see the letter, E, then this is an embedded preset. That means there are attributes in this preset that are linked to values in another preset. If you were to change the values in the preset that this one references, then this one would automatically update.

The letters that you see at the top let you know if the preset is Selective, Global or Universal. You can select which type this preset is in the STORE options window when you’re creating it.  Selective means it can only be applied to the fixtures you had  selected in your programmer at the time you stored it.  Global means it is a preset that can be applied to all fixtures of the same type.  Universal presets can be applied to all fixtures in your rig, given that the fixtures have the attributes stored in the preset. For example, a universal color preset created using CMY wouldn’t work on a unit like a Sharpy that only has the slotted color wheel.

These little rectangles at the bottom of a preset indicated that there are presets types besides the default of the pool type stored within. For example, a preset that has position and color information in the Position Pool would like this. The rectangles in white correspond to what types are stored and every type has a number- you’ll see it in the title block. Position is 2, and Color is 4, so that’s why I’m seeing boxes 2 and 4 in white.

In pools like Gobo and Color, you’ll see symbols that give you quick feedback about what’s stored. In the color pool, you might see a color within a square or within a circle, or both. The square color indicates a mixed color created with CMY or RGB. The circle color indicates a slotted color value. If both are stored within this preset, you’ll see both a circle and a square.

Lastly, when fixtures have a preset value active in the programmer, you’ll see a count of the number of fixtures using it, in the upper left half.

This is also something you’ll see in the Effects Pool, but that fixture count will be shown both when the effect has been called into the programmer AND when it’s in playback like a cue.

And just like other presets, the preset type bar indicator will be present in effects as well. Remember how a preset number in cyan indicates that it has been used in a cue? Same thing with effects.

There are some differences in effect presets with regards to the letters in the upper half.

An S means that is a SELECTIVE effect and only works on the fixtures assigned to it. The other option is a T, which stands for TEMPLATE. A Template effect is sort of like a universal preset, in that it can be applied to any units that understand the attributes stored in the effect. Every effect will be either Selective or Template.

The other letter you see will be either an A or an R. A is for ABSOLUTE, meaning the values the effect can move through are set. R is for RELATIVE, meaning that the upper and lower values of the effect are relative to wherever the values started at when you applied the effect.

For more information about Selective, Template, Absolute and Relative Effects, check out my video on grandMA2 effects.

Author: catwest
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