Evaluating LSP

Gilrock

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I've used the LOR sequencer the past 2 years and just recently heard about LSP so I've been trying out the demo. I see a lot of things I like about LSP but the program is not as easy to use as LOR. And it's not just a learning curve issue...even after I learned how to do a chase it's still seems faster to do it in LOR.

- For chases in LOR you just drag out a selection and the top row is used as the source of the chase. In LSP it seems like I have to draw the initial row and then copy the cells then hold down Shift as I draw out a selection to create a chase. The problem in LSP is the screen did not seem to scroll down if I wanted to create a chase across more channels than I had displayed in the window. In LOR the window will scroll as you are dragging out the selection box.

- I spent like 2 hours in LSP trying to draw a couple channel objects that had non-standard shapes. The drawing tools could use some real improvement. It was a pain having a box pop up asking me if I wanted to split the channels after every single line I drew. Maybe I wasn't using the draw utitility correctly but I could find no way to click points around the outline of an irregular shape without it wanting to pop up the split channel dialog.

- After drawing channels the bulbs no longer looked round when playing a sequence.

- In the channel display if you draw an arch and then select the pointer tool to click anywhere on the display the program gets a crash error message. So you are unable to change the size or location of the arch after you draw it.

- Timing intervals. I didn't see a way in LSP to have multiple timing grids that you can switch between. In LOR you can switch between any number of timing grids you create which makes it much easier to see the timing you want to use for a particular set of lights.

- Transitions. This was a big plus I saw in LSP. Being able to map videos to a matrix or set of RGB channels worked really nice. I don't think this capability exists in LOR.

- # of licenced PC's. I didn't find the answer to this so maybe one of you can help. In LOR I can install the product on upto 5 PC's. I need to be able to install on at least 3 because I use 1 for a show computer and my son helps me sequence so we need 2 installs for sequencing. If LSP was limited to 1 PC I wouldn't be able to go that route.

- Scheduler. I didn't try the scheduler in LSP but I read a lot of posts that make me scared to even rely on that program to run my show. The LOR scheduler ran my show for 3 weeks almost completely unattended. The only time I restarted the show was to add a new song into the schedule. I never touched the show computer between xmas and new years so it ran at least a full week unattended.

- Large matrix support. This also was a big advantage in LSP. I was able to create a 48x80 matrix fairly easy and then I created an E1.31 device with 3840 channels and I was able to map frames of a waving flag onto the matrix. The only problem I ran into here was if I drew the square for the matrix too small it didn't even show a box at all.

So since LSP seemed cumbersome to use and has scheduler issues I was thinking I would try to use LOR to continue to develop my sequences and use the LOR scheduler and then use LSP to create any larger RGB elements or to add transitions into my sequences. I would export and then paste any LSP work in LOR. So I said let me see if I happened to build a 48x80 matrix if I would be able to represent that in LOR. In the LOR Visualizer I could not find a good way to draw a matrix. It seemed like I was going to need to draw individual RGB bulbs and manually map the channels to each bulb. So I got the idea to write a tool that could edit the Visualizer file since it was in XML format. I was able to create a program in one day that could open the Visualizer file and then I had a dialog to specify I wanted to add a matrix and I could define the number of rows and columns and then create a list of DMX universes that I wanted mapped to the channels in the matrix. Everything worked great when I created a small 10x10 matrix. It was showing up perfect when I opened up the modified file in the Visualizer. But then I tried to create the 48x80 matrix and upon opening the file the Visualizer crashed. I submitted to ticket to LOR and the developer whined about not supporting 3rd party tools. I didn't need support for my tool. It was really no different than me manually editing the XML file. The developer pointed me to a page showing the Visualizer limitations and I could see the issue. They only support 256 props and I was having to draw each bulb in the matrix as a prop. What really irked me was the reply from the developer stating that I could do everything just fine if I was using LOR products like the CCRs. A 48x80 matrix using LOR products would probably be on the order of $20,000. I'm afraid they don't see the future of where this hobby is going to be with many users wanting to go to larger numbers of RGB channels.

So I'm not sure which program I want to use for the future. It will probably end up being a combination of both depending on the task or element I'm trying to sequence.

Gil
 

Gilrock

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The one other thing I forgot to mention is LSP did not import RGB controllers very well such as CCR strips. I had used Superstar to sequence my CCR strips and I have hours of work I'd rather not lose. It actually imports the RGB information and would be playable on the real hardware but it doesn't look good in the simulator because you end up with each color being it's own bulb. I tried converting the individual R,G,B channels into combined RGB channels but it does not combine the color information from the 3 channels into a proper color for the RGB channel....you end up with Greyscale information. I think the LSP folks might be able to pull over a lot more LOR users if they fixed the importing of RGB controllers. I haven't looked yet but was hoping the format of the LSP sequence files was something like XML and if so I could just write a tool that does the importing until they fix it.
 

fasteddy

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CopperCreekLights said:
I've used the LOR sequencer the past 2 years and just recently heard about LSP so I've been trying out the demo. I see a lot of things I like about LSP but the program is not as easy to use as LOR. And it's not just a learning curve issue...even after I learned how to do a chase it's still seems faster to do it in LOR.
You may want to look at this video. http://auschristmaslighting.com/forums/index.php/topic,2913.0.html on a quicker way to create chases over a single and multiple elements as well as over a whole display.
This will always be the case when going from LOR to LSP because you already have certain expectations on how things are done, its never easy going from one sequencing program to the other as you always have the expectations of how things work based on the software you learnt with. LSP is much easier to a newbie who hasnt learnt any software yet as they dont have expectations on how things are done based on what they have used previously.

- For chases in LOR you just drag out a selection and the top row is used as the source of the chase. In LSP it seems like I have to draw the initial row and then copy the cells then hold down Shift as I draw out a selection to create a chase. The problem in LSP is the screen did not seem to scroll down if I wanted to create a chase across more channels than I had displayed in the window. In LOR the window will scroll as you are dragging out the selection box.
Hold down the shift button and you will find it will scroll for you.

- I spent like 2 hours in LSP trying to draw a couple channel objects that had non-standard shapes. The drawing tools could use some real improvement. It was a pain having a box pop up asking me if I wanted to split the channels after every single line I drew. Maybe I wasn't using the draw utitility correctly but I could find no way to click points around the outline of an irregular shape without it wanting to pop up the split channel dialog.
The visualizer is far better than LOR and the reason it asks to split channels is because most are using LSP for pixels so LSP will ask if that string being drawn is to be divided over multiple channels or as a single channel. Seems a lot better than LOR where you have to draw a dot for every channel in the visualizer.
As far as making custom objects, you can easily make a custom object for a single channel element and save it, unfortunatly this doesnt work for multiple channel objects.

- After drawing channels the bulbs no longer looked round when playing a sequence.
not sure what you mean here

- In the channel display if you draw an arch and then select the pointer tool to click anywhere on the display the program gets a crash error message. So you are unable to change the size or location of the arch after you draw it.
This may be because its an element that is divided up into multiple elements. It may be a bug

- Timing intervals. I didn't see a way in LSP to have multiple timing grids that you can switch between. In LOR you can switch between any number of timing grids you create which makes it much easier to see the timing you want to use for a particular set of lights.
There is the ability to change the colour of the timing marks and work with those, so yes you can use multiple timing marks. Use the timing highlights TAB up to the right of the play button on the top ribbon. The addition i would like to see here is the ability to name a coloured timing mark.

- Transitions. This was a big plus I saw in LSP. Being able to map videos to a matrix or set of RGB channels worked really nice. I don't think this capability exists in LOR.
Macros as well are very powerful and i think the macros and the transitions and the layering to divide up elements to work with easily may be something you have only just touched on and it where a lot of LSPs power is. Most coming over from LOR struggle at first using these tools because they are very different to what is offered in LOR

- # of licenced PC's. I didn't find the answer to this so maybe one of you can help. In LOR I can install the product on upto 5 PC's. I need to be able to install on at least 3 because I use 1 for a show computer and my son helps me sequence so we need 2 installs for sequencing. If LSP was limited to 1 PC I wouldn't be able to go that route.
You have 5 seats and if you have used more, then its just an email to support to get more seats at no charge

- Scheduler. I didn't try the scheduler in LSP but I read a lot of posts that make me scared to even rely on that program to run my show. The LOR scheduler ran my show for 3 weeks almost completely unattended. The only time I restarted the show was to add a new song into the schedule. I never touched the show computer between xmas and new years so it ran at least a full week unattended.
The scheduler has its issues but on saying that i have used the scheduler in LSP for 3 years now to run my show it seems hit and miss for many. It has been recognised by the LSP QC comittee that this area needs extensive work and it looks like it will be getting a major overhaul during 2013

- Large matrix support. This also was a big advantage in LSP. I was able to create a 48x80 matrix fairly easy and then I created an E1.31 device with 3840 channels and I was able to map frames of a waving flag onto the matrix. The only problem I ran into here was if I drew the square for the matrix too small it didn't even show a box at all.
Another powerful feature of LSP that i use extensively with my mega tree and matrices, it allows custom creation of your own animation or the ability to put video or a macro effect over a matrix
There is a limit on how small you can draw a matrix as you cant put in lots of channels into a small area, when drawing the matrix there are 2 selections that can be made in segment type, try both either try multipixel per channel and also try single pixel per channel and see if that helps. But you must be drawing a small matrix with a lot of channels for that to be happening

So since LSP seemed cumbersome to use and has scheduler issues I was thinking I would try to use LOR to continue to develop my sequences and use the LOR scheduler and then use LSP to create any larger RGB elements or to add transitions into my sequences. I would export and then paste any LSP work in LOR. So I said let me see if I happened to build a 48x80 matrix if I would be able to represent that in LOR. In the LOR Visualizer I could not find a good way to draw a matrix. It seemed like I was going to need to draw individual RGB bulbs and manually map the channels to each bulb. So I got the idea to write a tool that could edit the Visualizer file since it was in XML format. I was able to create a program in one day that could open the Visualizer file and then I had a dialog to specify I wanted to add a matrix and I could define the number of rows and columns and then create a list of DMX universes that I wanted mapped to the channels in the matrix. Everything worked great when I created a small 10x10 matrix. It was showing up perfect when I opened up the modified file in the Visualizer. But then I tried to create the 48x80 matrix and upon opening the file the Visualizer crashed. I submitted to ticket to LOR and the developer whined about not supporting 3rd party tools. I didn't need support for my tool. It was really no different than me manually editing the XML file. The developer pointed me to a page showing the Visualizer limitations and I could see the issue. They only support 256 props and I was having to draw each bulb in the matrix as a prop. What really irked me was the reply from the developer stating that I could do everything just fine if I was using LOR products like the CCRs. A 48x80 matrix using LOR products would probably be on the order of $20,000. I'm afraid they don't see the future of where this hobby is going to be with many users wanting to go to larger numbers of RGB channels.
The markets are not large for this type of software so i can understand why developers will not spend time and resources on features or issues that they see may only cater to a small number. No software is perfect and the cost we pay for software is not great compared to things like madrix which will cost thousands of dollars. The hardware technology has gone ahead in leaps and bounds and the software cpabilaties is where the catching up needs to be but because the market is a limited one then i always go in expecting nothing to be perfect, even Microsoft with all their resources dont get it right.

So I'm not sure which program I want to use for the future. It will probably end up being a combination of both depending on the task or element I'm trying to sequence.
We all use different software packages because they suit our needs, i use LSP because i see nothing being able to sequence the way i do as easily as i can, that may be a different view for an LOR user because they know how to use LOR

Gil
Now after saying all the above, it has been recognised by the LSP QC comittee that there are some underlying issues that need to be addressed, these issues seemed to be ignored by the previous developer even after countless request to fix some of these issues. The new owners and developer of LSP have made a commitment to focus 2013 not on new features but on fixing those underlying issues thats have stopped LSP from becoming the clear and easy choice. I expect a lot from Minleon this year with regards to LSP and if the lead up to christmas 2012 is any sign of the comitment then im confident LSP will be a far more robust program. In well under 2 months after the LSP take over the new team had released LSP 64bit which removed any of the memory crashes that plagued many of the larger shows, so the direction taken is already a good one.
I hope some of the things i mentioned above may help.
 

Gilrock

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Thanks for input Eddy. I'll checkout that video when I get a chance. I had watched a video that showed how to do a chase from the clipboard. To do that you start with the Shift button already held down so when I got to the bottom of the screen it didn't scroll. I'll see if I can screenshot what I meant about the pixels not looking round after drawing them. Yeah when the matrix tool asked me if I wanted multi-pixel per channel I selected that because I thought it was multi-channel because it was RGB. But after seeing how the pixels weren't aligned in nice rows I'm thinking I should redo it as single and see how it looks.

I really like a lot of what I see but I really think I need to have the ability to import the RGB controllers correctly for times when I want to sequence CCR's in Superstar and import the data. If I can get that working smoothly it might push me over the edge to switching.
 

fasteddy

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CopperCreekLights said:
Thanks for input Eddy. I'll checkout that video when I get a chance. I had watched a video that showed how to do a chase from the clipboard. To do that you start with the Shift button already held down so when I got to the bottom of the screen it didn't scroll. I'll see if I can screenshot what I meant about the pixels not looking round after drawing them. Yeah when the matrix tool asked me if I wanted multi-pixel per channel I selected that because I thought it was multi-channel because it was RGB. But after seeing how the pixels weren't aligned in nice rows I'm thinking I should redo it as single and see how it looks.

I really like a lot of what I see but I really think I need to have the ability to import the RGB controllers correctly for times when I want to sequence CCR's in Superstar and import the data. If I can get that working smoothly it might push me over the edge to switching.
I always use single pixel when drawing my matrix and any other elements as this will make it look straight. But i agree with you on the LOR import, I think the issue is that LSP may only be supporting S2 files properly and S3 RGB elements end up split. Another thing that is being looked at.
 

signpro

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I'm a long-time LOR user and I really like the way LSP handles sequencing. Despite the glitches, it is much more advanced for rgb and pixels than LOR. The interface is along the lines of Adobe products like Premiere and After Effects. LOR is very basic, but does work well. I have heard that people do sequencing in LSP and output to Xlights to run shows in order to get around show issues.


That all being said, I REALLY wanted to give LSP a shot but can't get the darn demo to work for more than 1 session. When I reopen the program it tells me the demo has expired! I made a post about this and got very few replies, other than people having the same issue. No emails back in 3 days from "support", if it actually exists.


I think if LSP got their act together and fixed the program, they would see a lot of LOR users migrate over. Unfortunately, those of us moving to rgb and pixels for 2013 are working on stuff now, and can't wait for LSP to show up with a new version in July.


Thoughts?
 

Gilrock

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Yeah I don't know how responsive their support is. I emailed them asking a couple questions trying to figure out which version I needed and it did take several days to get a response and even then they failed to answer two of my 3 questions.

I did a lot of testing and I'm really wanting to migrate over to LSP but they need to add some things I really need. I agree they could grab a lot of LOR users but it needs better beat detection, the ability to import RGB elements from LMS files, and they should look at the LOR visualizer to see how things should be drawn. LSP is great for doing the macro effects and transitions but they take an ungodly amount of time to render into the sequence and I have a smokin fast gaming PC. I practiced trying to sequence a 12 ribbon tree in LSP and it was great when using the macro effects and transitions but it was difficult for other things I wanted to do on the tree. You can quickly tire of those built in effects and transitions and then you will be looking for other ways to produce effects. There is no good way to draw a flat ribbon tree in the visualizer. I had to draw it one string at a time and try to manually place all the angles. And since it's a multi-channel string there is no moving the string after you create it...it's delete and try again. I also couldn't get scrolling text to look very good using a macro effect. The timing of when each word scrolled across could not be controlled very well. It kept ending too early. I also couldn't use the matrix animator because of how I had drawn the strings in the visualizer since it didn't create a stored matrix. I guess i could have drawn it as a rectangular matrix but that's kinda goofy. There are a lot of things you can do on a 12 string tree in Superstar that you can't do very easily in LSP. I've also seen effects folks produced from Nutcracker that looked nicer than anything I could create in LSP. So you really end up having to use several programs to get everything you want. It really comes downs to which program you use to hold the full sequence versus the one you use to create parts of a sequence to paste into the other. Configuring E1.31 devices in LOR really sucks but I'm writing a tool to get around that problem.

Gil
 

jcmarksafb

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I too am a long time lor user and have been looking at lsp. While lsp does have a lot of functions thet lor does not, I think for this year i'm going to stay with lor for another season. I do like the live control that lsp offers as I think an interactive show would be great for the kids. There are a lot of good ideas in lsp but it seems that it's not quite stable enough. I will admit that until I got into RGB I never really pushed lor very hard and this year I plan to push it as far as I can. Until this year I have found that lor will do a lot more things that I had not used before like grouping, different tracks, forground/background editing, and the most fun thing using the many clipboard functions. Until I really know all of the functions of lor and nutcracker, I'll stay with it for now.
 

grahami2006

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Everybody seems to be having a problem with the trial however I am up to day 26 and do not have any problems opening it each day. Maybe my luck.
 

remoteutah

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Hey Gil,


I was trying to see if anyone addressed one of your issues. You mention that when using the shift drag that it does not scroll when you get to the bottom of the screen. You only need to hold down the shift to START that function. Once you start dragging, you can let off the shift key and it will scroll when you get to the bottom!


Hope this helps...
 

Binkles

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I just found my demo version didn't unload when I closed it 5 days ago... 518gigs worth of log files later...

I've deleted those, and it seems fine, I had no issues with my version, though it seems really slow, even after deleting the log files.
 

signpro

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Last night uninstalled the entire program, deleted any leftover folders, ran Ccleaner, rebooted, downloaded another copy of 2.5 and it still won't work longer than 1 session. Disappointing. It would be in their best interest to get a rep from the company on here.
 

Gilrock

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Thanks for the tip remoteutah. Since I last posted I've actually purchased the program so I intend to try to use it as my main sequence software this year. I've been really busy working on two side jobs that came up so I haven't been using the program lately plus when I do have time I seem to spend it building the props I need instead of working on the sequencing. I bought the Advanced version so I would have enough channels but not be out $400 if it didn't work out.

Thanks,
Gil
 
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