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Thread: Looks like I will stick wtih 2.5

  1. #1
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    Default Looks like I will stick wtih 2.5

    First let me caveat by saying that I appreciate what must have gone into the development and the fact that this is free is a testament to those involved. I do not intend to hurt anyone's feelings with what I'm about to say but what follows is based on my initial impression as an average end user.

    I frankly find 3.0 overwhelming.... My normal logic pattern can make no sense of it... It looks like the classic software developed by software engineers who understand all the bells and whistles because they worked on it from the beginning....so it seems easy to them.....but often assume that the end user will have the the same intuative feel for the software as they do.

    Unfortunately my intuition falls short of their level of expertise and I find it has way too many 'clicks' and possiblities to remember in order to do basic stuff. While it is obviously powerful (watched Aussie Phil's video) I don't have a clue as to half of what he was talking about.....I couldn't even follow the setup of nodes.....he has mini trees right and left and then he creates the same mini trees by color......If that is what is required it would take huge amounts of time just to set up 400+ channels....and then I'd get lost in all of the possible combinations....

    An example of my frustration is that I can't connect the dots as I watch Phil's video (no slam on him either as he obviously gets it) as to what all the graphs and lines he slides around actually produce.....Is there some sort of adjustable preview so that you can see what effects do once you slide all the graphs around?

    Very discouraged.... I might have to stick with 2.5 or find other software that is easier to master.....this is just too tedious...very stressful to contemplate.....not user friendly at all....I'll keep playing around and trying to figure it out but..........I'm doubtful at this point. If there was a tutorial that showed a basic step by step and the results shown in the display.....that would be helpful....at least I could then figure out how to do a basic on/off or ramp......and YES I am THAT confused by this software....

    Please understand that I REALLY want to use this software....the time saved (from what I've read of KC's 4 parter) using effects is VERY appealing....I just can't figure it out...There's an old expression that comes to mind. "If you don't know where you're tring to go you either can't get there or you end up in some place you don't want to be." That sort of captures my feeling....I'm just not sure where I'm trying to go with this new release....... I'm sure this is my mental block but it isn't intuative to me and you don't know what you don't know.....so that tends to end in frustration...... Developers....please don't take this personally....I'm not trying to be ugly about it.....I'm just frustrated....the amount of time it will take me to figure this out is going to be very long indeed....

    Just went back and re-read KC's part 2 discussion where he lays out the concept of how 3.0 works and I just can't visualize and/or connect the dots. While he, much to his credit, goes to great lengths to explain the concepts......I am not good with conceptualization....(that's not his fault......it's my problem) I'm a monkey see monkey do kind of learner..... I have to actually use a read a step do a step and get a banana approach and before I can GET it.....cause and effect works best for me..... I'm hoping someone puts a tutorial together that will allow those like me to better understand..... I've never been one for software....I'm a hardware type.....something I can put my hands on and figure out how the pieces fit together physically.....software is difficult for me at times and this one is really giving me fits....
    Last edited by Santacarl; 03-03-2012 at 01:00 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Looks like I will stick wtih 2.5

    I understand your frustration. I'm a half step ahead of you. I can understand what they are talking about. See in my mind what is happening as they pull lines on the graph or add multi effects for trees. And for the upper end of users (read 1000 channels or more) this is truly needed. And those that have not used the pre 3 versions will love it. However those of us with only a few channels (read 500 and under) and are used to Vixen will have a hard time switching this year. The learning curve for the new software is too much compared to just using what we're used too. I left a gray area of channels on purpose and maybe it should be wider but this is because some people get it, or NEED a feature, or don't get it. As we all know everyone doesn't have the same skill set or experience. Next year or the year after we will have read more tips, more how to's, more new hardware which will drive us there sometime. Just not this year. Besides it gives the ones that get it more time to work out the bugs and make things easier for the rest of us.

    IMHO Brian
    Last edited by Skunberg; 03-03-2012 at 01:30 PM. Reason: spelling
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Looks like I will stick wtih 2.5

    Santacarl,

    This is a very common issue. Programmers are programmers and users are users. Part of my day job is managing developers and it is a constant battle of having them look at the software from a user's point of view. There is an entire body of work around user interface and how they are best designed for humans. However, sadly, many companies do not see the value of educating their engineers in this discipline. Enough of my soapbox for now.

    One thing you might be able to do is seek out someone near you who "gets" the new version of Vixen and do a one-on-one tutorial with them (since you sound like a visual/doing learner.) Where are you located? You could fill out your profile with your location and post that you're looking for someone to help.

    To be quite honest, even though I am a certified geek, I too am struggling understanding this latest version. I am currently attributing that to the fact that it is still in beta and not at all polished, yet.

    Regards,
    John

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Looks like I will stick wtih 2.5

    Quote Originally Posted by macebobo View Post
    To be quite honest, even though I am a certified geek, I too am struggling understanding this latest version. I am currently attributing that to the fact that it is still in beta and not at all polished, yet.

    Regards,
    John
    Wonder where that puts guys like me, who are certified dorks?

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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Looks like I will stick wtih 2.5

    Quote Originally Posted by dirknerkle View Post
    Wonder where that puts guys like me, who are certified dorks?
    Dorks are products of a geek and nerd marriage. So, it is still in your DNA Mr. Software Ninja

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Looks like I will stick wtih 2.5

    This is kind of funny because I'm in the opposite situation. I've never done a "show" before, this will be my first year. I've had lots of static display lights but never programmed to music so I was elated when I came across this site. Having said that I had to begin deciding what program to use this year. Vixen 3.0 had just come out so I decided to start there. I will admit it took me about three days of banging my head against the wall and then one day I finally had the "click" go off in my brain and I understood how it all works. My wife was laughing at me because I was literally yelling "I got it! I finally got it!" As a complete newbie I can say I think the program is absolutely awsome! The different nodes and groups makes sequencing a show so much easier, it eliminates hours of work on individual channels to get the same affect you can apply to a whole group. The adjustable graphs give you limitless possibilities of customizing the affects to match your needs.

    So, my biggest concern has been if I go to all the time to sequence my songs in 3.0 and yet no final version or at least a sequencer is released I will have done all of this work for nothing. With this in mind I began playing with 2.1 becuase it has everything needed to produce a show. 3.0 ruined me! I started to try to sequence in 2.1 and all I can think is this must have taken you guys forever to get anything done! God bless all of you who sequenced hundreds of channels in 2.1, you have far more patience than I. Like anything I'm sure it takes practice but 3.0 makes the job of sequencing so much easier it's not even funny. It is sooooooo worth your time to keep playing with 3.0 because when (and you will) you get an understanding you will not look back. The possibilities of 3.0 are amazing.

    There is another sequencer that's shown up here recently called HLS. It has many great features, I've played with it a bit as well. The only draw back for me is that it has limited affects that can be applied. If more affects are added at some point I think it could really be a great alternative to Vixen. I kind of think it was designed with RGB in mind so that may make desired affects different, not sure to be honest.

    If you would like feel free to PM me your phone number and I would be happy to spend some time with you explaining how to set up your program, including the adjustable preview. It would take way too long to type and explain all the instructions here. I'm certainly no expert on 3.0 but I am currently using it (i decided it's 3.0 this year or nothing, 2.1 takes way too long and complicated) and I can explain it to you and get you moving in the right direction.

    BTW, I am in no way whatsoever in the software or IT field.
    Last edited by Javo; 03-03-2012 at 03:46 PM. Reason: Added ending comment

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Looks like I will stick wtih 2.5

    I am also new to this. (First year).
    I have decided on mixing RGB dumb strips and Regular lights (LED and Incand). I decided on lining my home and windows with RGB dumb strips and was talked into (thankfully) dividing them up into 3 ft sections for power and control reasons. Unfortunately this gives me a ~350 channel count without any other displays (arches, mini trees etc). My intended display will be ~500 ch in the end. I told myself no problem, I'll just group together my strip channels and control as a reduced number (if need be as three channels for the whole house: Red, Green and Blue), thereby reducing my channel count from 350 to 3 (not as nice or fancy, but it takes my fear away from sequencing 350 channels at one time (first year jitters).

    Please understand that this is from a New User point of view...
    Anyway... I started the year learning/using Vixen 2.1 and looked at 3.0 (saw it was nice but in beta and did not want to chance it for the first year) Then as Javo mentioned, I was distracted by HLS. I definitely see how HLS and Vixen 3.0 is essential for a RGB dumb strip/string (possibly pixel) or 100+channel user. I have worked more with HLS than Vixen 3.0 due to the viability of HLS to be ready for Christmas 2012 (According to HLS Developer it is ready, although people will need to take time to overcome user hurdles) I can set up a sequence in significantly less time in HLS than I can in Vixen 2.1. I can sequence in less time in HLS than Vixen 2.1 because I don’t have to mess with three channels in Vixen 2.1.

    From my novice point of view,

    If you’re doing RGB dumb strips/strings or 100+ you need something other than Vixen 2.1 otherwise you wasting too much time.HLS and I presume Vixen 3.0 allows for a "3 to 1 sequence channel reduction by simply letting the user sequence that RGB channel the same way as someone would sequence any single colored lamp channel - and It would provide control over the color that the string would show" (Excerpt from HLS Designer). If your new and Vixen 3.0 or HLS is available (not beta versions, something usable!) I would learn the new stuff.
    If you have a Small display and its non RGB, Vixen 2.1 is more than adequate and has tons of support and pre sequenced songs to copy and learn from.

    I have an engineering degree but not in software or IT. (Chemical)

    Again, this is from a new person point of view
    Last edited by rfallatt; 03-03-2012 at 04:57 PM.
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Looks like I will stick wtih 2.5

    Quote Originally Posted by Javo View Post
    ............I will admit it took me about three days of banging my head against the wall and then one day I finally had the "click" go off in my brain and I understood how it all works.
    That pretty much sums up my point.... Software that difficult to figure out does not usually make it to use by the masses.....

    Actually....I rather enjoy the individual channels...... I can keep that straight in my head.....but the thought of being able to apply an effect to the 99 chanels on my mega tree is a real plus in my mind.... IF it is easy.....

    Thanks for the offer to help out....I might take you up on it if I continue to struggle..... I have the patience of Job IF I understand what I'm trying to do.....didn't mind spending hours and hours sequencing 400+ channels.....because I understood what I was doing...... I actually got pretty fast at copy/paste....as I developed some patterns that I could readily repeat...

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Looks like I will stick wtih 2.5

    You can apply affects and adjust 99 channels on your mega tree just as fast as you can apply affects and adjust one channel. That is the AWSOME feature of Vixen 3.0! To top it off Vixen 3.0 does all of the calculations for you when the affect is applied to the 99 channels. You set the parameters you want and it calculates it and applies it to the entire group. This is just a guess but I would think your looking at least 15 minutes at best to add a "spin" affect to 99 channels and then adjust it to get a desired result in 2.1. In 3.0 I can add a "spin" affect to 99 channels in about 5 seconds. Then I can easily adjust the affect that will reflect on all 99 channels at once. The adjustable graphs give you so much flexibility it ridiculous (I mean that in a good way). Vixen 3.0 is truly brilliant in it's basic design and features. They just need to release a scheduler and I'll be elated, the other beta problems can either be worked with or around. I would bet in about 15-20 minutes you could grasp 3.0 and be off and running. You just need a basic walk through is all.

    Just a green newbie's humble opinion.
    Last edited by Javo; 03-04-2012 at 03:07 AM.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Looks like I will stick wtih 2.5

    I, for one, am still wondering if I should dip my toe into 3.0 or stick with 2.1 for 2012. Last year we were discussing the issue on the forum...and 3.0 was delayed long enough for us to be forced to work in 2.1 anyway. It was my first year...so it really didn't matter to me, but I didn't want to be left behind in 2.1, or left with sequences I couldn't use if I went with 3.0.

    I'm a bit surprised we're still in that boat in Mar-2012...but I recognize Vixen is volunteer and am thankful for what I have. I'll watch developments and see what side of the fence to stand on. I'm hoping some sage advice will come from the senior members close to the issue. BUT, I won't wait until September to start sequencing like I did last year!
    Alex

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