Tiny Tip: (Fade) Time is Relative

When it’s time for me to watch Previews (and I have to STOP TOUCHING THE CONSOLE), I really miss having all my screens in front of me.  Though sometimes I can set up a nomad rig, I don’t always have the space.  In small venues, I’m seated right next to patrons, so iRFR is the only option.  While the app is really great, the limitation of iRFR is I only have one view at a time.  

On one show, I had just finished correcting a value and quickly pressed [Update] [Enter] before the next cue rolled in a tight sequence.  I noticed the cue timing was too short by about 2 seconds, but I knew the next cue was about to roll.  Since I wasn’t viewing the cue stack, I was unsure what the original cue timing was.  Out of frustration I decided to try something new to me.  I typed [Time] + 2 [Enter] and the console lengthened the cue timing by two seconds.  I felt both super pleased it worked, and kind of embarrassed it had never occurred to me to do it before.  It’s debatably one of the main reasons computers were invented- so the machine could do the math for us.

Later I learned this obeys all rules of EOS timing.  It works with a split fade time (Time /+2), Parameter time (Color Time -1), etc.

Is this an earth-shattering insight?  Most definitely not.  It is a useful tip for some, but it’s an insight into a bigger thing for me- don’t let a programming habit (in this case, I look at cue timing, add value in head, type in updated value) become the only way you do something.  

Being a programmer, I’m a bit of a robot.  I do things methodically and repetitively, as fast as possible.  The long hours we work encourage patterns and habits. I do things the same way each time so that when I am tired, my hands remember when my brain doesn’t.   While this is great most of the time, it doesn’t encourage me to try new things or develop new concepts. 

For me, frustration and boredom lead to curiosity.  Over the last year, there has been plenty of that for those of us unable to earn our usual livings.  If you haven’t lately, take some time to sit in front of familiar software or hardware and ask yourself “What happens when I do this?”

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