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Feeding the Machines

  • Rehearsing Reality

    Brad Schiller | Feeding the MachinesMay 2020 | May 6, 2020By now, you have probably been home for weeks, if not months, and you have undoubtedly attended countless on-line training seminars. Any downtime is a great time for learning. Consoles, media servers, CAD programs, and visualizers are all complex tools that lighting programmers use routinely. All the manufacturers of these products have been offering free […] Read More...
  • Get Some Help

    Brad Schiller | April 2020Feeding the Machines | April 8, 2020In 2020, it is very easy to get various methods of help regarding programming, syntax, and other console related functions through a multitude of resources. Knowing which to use and when to call on each is essential. We will all experience a time when we can’t figure out how to make the console achieve something, […] Read More...
  • Patching Perfection

    Brad Schiller | Feeding the MachinesMarch 2020 | March 7, 2020Lighting programmers must have proficiency when it comes to preparing and maintaining the patch in their show file. Without a patch, there will be no communication with the connected lighting fixtures and other products. Although there is a promise of automation when patching, our industry currently fails to provide these tools in a reliable manner. […] Read More...
  • Winter Woes

    Brad Schiller | February 2020Feeding the Machines | February 8, 2020Automated lighting programmers often find that they are sitting behind consoles for extended periods of time. While programming sessions frequently take place in a comfortable space, there are situations that require working in extreme conditions. Although it is common to sit outdoors to program during spring and summer months, there are times that we need […] Read More...
  • OMG 2020!

    Brad Schiller | Feeding the MachinesJanuary 2020 | January 12, 2020For only one year out of every century will the date be comprised of double digits. Chances are that you were not around the last time this happened in 1919; and I doubt you will be alive in 2121. This means that 2020 is truly a special time for those of us lucky enough to […] Read More...
  • Mary Poppins or Lisa Simpson?

    Brad Schiller | December 2019Feeding the Machines | December 13, 2019Many productions utilize a console operator to run the lighting for a show. People in these positions are generally referred to as a Lighting Director. This person may or may not also be the lighting designer or lighting programmer. In most cases, they are not the designer or programmer and are simply in a position […] Read More...
  • Time for an Update

    Brad Schiller | Feeding the MachinesNovember 2019 | November 9, 2019I recently purchased a new “smart” television, and now it wants me to update the software. Reading over the release notes, I see that it fixes some features I never use, and the update also has “various bug fixes and updates.” This vague information makes me very concerned about performing the update, because I am […] Read More...
  • Focus and Zoom

    Brad Schiller | Feeding the MachinesOctober 2019 | October 10, 2019Automated lighting fixtures have many different features to assist in creating a multitude of looks on stage. Gobos, colors, prisms and animation wheels are just some of the standard tools of the trade. Two often over-looked features for affecting a fixture’s output are lens focus and zoom. By changing the size and clarity of the […] Read More...
  • Platform Perfection and Pitfalls

    Brad Schiller | Feeding the MachinesSeptember 2019 | September 9, 2019There are several key manufacturers of lighting consoles in our industry, and each has its pros and cons when it comes to programming and operation (as well as cost and popularity). Besides sending out the same basic data stream to the fixtures, all these systems also share a common sales tactic: the platform. Each manufacturer […] Read More...
  • Rig Check!

    Brad Schiller | August 2019Feeding the Machines | August 8, 2019Before any race car driver gets to the starting line, he or she will run the car through a series of tests and checks to ensure it is ready to race. Much in the same way, every lighting programmer/operator should take the time to verify the fixtures in the rig; ensuring they are each configured […] Read More...
  • Time for Bed!

    Brad Schiller | Feeding the MachinesJuly 2019 | July 11, 2019Working in the entertainment field, particularly lighting, one will find periods of time when he or she do not get enough sleep. Lighting programmers are especially susceptible to sleep deprivation, as the duties can take many hours and often need to, schedule around other production needs. Sleep deprivation can be extremely dangerous as it slows […] Read More...
  • Merge with Caution

    Brad Schiller | Feeding the MachinesJune 2019 | June 15, 2019Lighting programmers are both creators and keepers of essential lighting data. Often this data may need to be combined with other versions of the data to create new forms of mutual data. Most lighting consoles provide various forms of merging, and almost anything is possible, from simple merging of data into a cue or palette/preset […] Read More...
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