The Age Old Debate - LOR vs. LSP

Discussion in 'Sequencers & Software Tools' started by AlexB, Aug 27, 2014.

  1. AlexB

    AlexB New Elf

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    So i'm almost up to two years on here. I've taken baby steps into RGB strip and dumb RGB string and controlled it with existing software that isn't designed for blinky (but still worked ok) or standalone controllers.
    I'm constantly looking at software and once I think I've made up my mind - something comes along to change it.

    Chat is good - but almost always forms a bias towards who ever is logged in at the time. (To those who have taken the time to run through things with me so far - thankyou).
    I'm posting here so I can weigh everything up without trying to scroll back up to remember what everyone said in chat... so here goes.

    First of all - I currently have a Ray 27ch DMX controller with several dumb RGB string. I also have quite a bit of WS2811 strip which last year ran off one of ray's WiFi controllers. I also have a bunch of different retail packs of LED strings and such. Ideally i'd like to have something that is expandable later, but i'm not necessarily planning on going crazy. I'm looking at a P2 to control the strip this year.

    So I've tried the demo versions of pretty much everything. I struggle to even get through channel assignments on some of them and I've resigned myself to going for something that costs money, because I don't have the patience to learn some of the freeware complexities.

    So i'm down to LSP (Advanced) at $249 or LOR (Advanced) at $139.95. A week ago i'd settled on LSP but the cost is the prohibitive factor and now i'm leaning back toward LOR.

    My questions are:
    1. What am I losing \ missing out on going with LOR over LSP? (or am I missing nothing?)
    2. What limitations does one have over the other?
    3. What 'extras' am I going to need to buy to make these packages work with the P2\Ray27ch?
    I'm not interested in fanboys of one product badmouthing the other. I just want honest advice. The price of LOR over LSP is very attractive, and right now I can't see the benefit of the extra $110 for LSP... open to any suggestions... and I promise this will be the last time I ask the question on sequencers!
     
  2. AAH

    AAH I love blinky lights :) Community Project Designer

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    If you haven't bought any software I'd look at 2 options before buying anything. The first is sequencing with xlights/nutcracker. It's not a sequencer as such but Sean does some amazing tutorials on how to use it and it is capable of sequencing from 1 channel to 10's of 1000's of channels fairly painlessly. The only additional thing that is required is Audacity which is also free and generates timing marks for nutcracker to use. The other option is Vixen 3 which has been quite unwieldy in the past but is starting to get some major improvements. When the new update comes out soon it is meant to allow export of stuff so that you can play your show on a Pi if you wanted to.
    As far as LOR vs LSP the main differences are ease of use versus incredible processing power. LOR is lagging behind in it's ability to process 10's of 1000's of channels of pixels but it can be done (ShellNZ is doing it). There is an update that is expected later this year but EVERY sequencer says that. LSP is mega powerful and you can do amazing stuff with it but for a long time it has suffered reliability problems. To process 10's of 1000's of channels, which you aren't doing yet, you will need a fairly top of the line PC or else you can wait for an hour while effects get generated. Both Vixen 3 and LSP natively allow effects to be put across the whole display as a "stage". Vixen 3 also has needed a very powerful pc to process effects. Vixen uses Nutcracker as a plugin so many of the features that appear in Nutcracker as part of Vixen.
    When it comes to the pc the sequencers vary in what they will run on happily. LOR S3 will happily run under Windows XP and can be ran with 2G or less of ram. Xlights/Nutcracker is amazing and it will typically use less than 25% of a single processor core. Vixen 3 (latest update) won't run under XP and both it an LSP require a fairly powerful pc.
    Vixen is expected to have more updates coming. LSP has stated months ago that they won't have an update for the rest of the year. LOR has employed Matt Brown who is the coder behind xlights and there is meant to be an update coming but it has been a major rewrite so I personally am not banking on it appearing early enough to use.
     
  3. Superman

    Superman I Have C.L.A.P and its very infectious Global Moderator

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    great write up Alan.
    They all do crash if you push them hard enough, LSP has become extremely stable with the last release.
     
  4. AAH

    AAH I love blinky lights :) Community Project Designer

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  5. BundyRoy

    BundyRoy Senior Elf

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    I have only ever used LOR so can only comment on that. It handles pixels but it is time consuming to set up. Luckily there seems to be freeware programs that help with all the things that are painful in LOR. If it wasn't for vegomatic to set up the channels in LOR I would of given up before I even got to sequence anything on LOR.

    Another limitation is that the visualiser can only handle 1096 elements. This is not many if you get a pixel matrix. I have a 10 strip by 90 pixel matrix, so there's 900 elements right there.

    It is painful to do fades with pixels in LOR unless you use red, green, blue or white. You have to fade the 3 channels/pixel invidually.

    You can not flip the clipboard to paste effects in the opposite order. (eg if a chase is going one way you can't copy and invert it to make it go the other way) You can use a freeware program but it just takes that bit longer.

    If you want to do effects you need to use nutcracker. I'm not sure if LSP has effects or not. You can use LOR superstar to do effects but this brings the price up above LSP anyway if you have a few pixels to control. Not sure exactly what effect superstar has but based on the videos it can handle some pretty impressive effects.

    The layout of how LOR S3 works seems fairly straight forward. I have picked it fairly quickly without to many frustrations other than those listed above.

    Apparently LOR is receiving an upgrade soon. If it doesn't there is a high likelihood I will explore other options in the future. So to sum it up, I can do almost all the things I would like to do. There are a few effects I can't pull off yet, like moving circles of rotating colours around on a matrix but I can still get a reasonable show (hopefully).

    Not really a comparison but a list of a few of the weaknesses that come to mind.
     
  6. mborg10

    mborg10 Michael Borg

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    I have used LOR for my first year, non rgb and LSP for my second full rgb.

    LOR was easy to use but I only had 36 channels. Reminded me very much if excel. LSP was a very big change but once you get your head around channels and element setups I beleave you can create effects much faster over a bigger scale. Yeah sure the computer grinds away and sometimes crashed but if you were to do these effects manually you would be looking at days not minutes.

    I'm a draftsman and use autocad which sets you back thousands and after 12 years 40 hours a week, I'm still learning new things. I could draw pictures in paint and learn it in 10 minutes but it just wouldn't be the same.
     
  7. Benschristmaslights

    Benschristmaslights Dedicated Elf Global Moderator Generous Elf

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    I have used both LOR and LSP. I have used LSP for the last 2 years and will be again this year as it can do more then I was able to with LOR
     
  8. smartalec

    smartalec Im a SmartAlec what can i say! Community Project Designer

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    quote "Vixen 3 also has needed a very powerful pc to process effects."

    not with the latest build, im running 8k worth of channels
    on a 2.4Ghz dual core machine with 4gig ram..
    but it wont work on operating systems microsoft does'nt support (meaning Win XP it wont work)

    but win 7 an win 8 runs Vixen3 great.

    i do see myself upgrading the computer if i get more channels tho
     
  9. DrNeutron

    DrNeutron Just starting in this crazy hobby

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    I'm only in my second year, but for what it is worth I would recommend trying HLS.
    HLS has been given a bit of a bad reputation for being too complex and doing things differently from the other sequencers, but if you are like me and are starting out then you do not have to "un-learn" all the processes that you adopted using another sequencer.
    There are several videos on how to use HLS and many members who are willing to help, plus Joe fixes issues very quickly when they crop up.
    If there is one thing I can say about HLS compared to other sequencers it is that HLS is like the Swiss army knife of sequencers. It can import vixen, NC, LOR sequences and absolutely does the best facial animations both with matrix and with traditional 5 channel faces.
    Sorry if I have muddied the waters by suggesting HLS, but it is free and may be worth trying for a few days..
    Good luck in your decision.
    ;)
     
  10. arw01

    arw01 Full Time Elf

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    This is coming up on my second year, I struggled with what you are doing now, so I felt your pain.


    I plunked the money down for LSP advanced last year, soo glad I did. For me the killer feature was the visualizer having a real photo of my house and support of pixelnet. Once you leave the comfy 512 channels or so, dealing with universes still tweaks my little head.


    LSP supports a LOT of hardware that I am not sure LOR will ever support, those that are LOR does it support E1.31 or do you need to buy some other hardware for that?


    I can rarely crash LSP and it's normally because I don't want to do what it wants me to do with setting up some sequence initially or other item you won't run into. I cannot think of a single instance where I lost any of my work since I do prodigious saves under new names before I do a "hey watch this" macro or so.


    The Macros and transitions are WAY more powerful than most of us comprehend, and they can take some time to render on ten's of thousands of channels, I don't think I ever waited more than 30 seconds on a couple thousand channels.


    Thus far I have figured out how to do anything I wanted from Nutcracker/LOR in LSP, takes some thinking, but there is a very active group here of users and the LSP users group on Facebook has answered many questions in minutes for others.


    Things I don't like:


    Massive timing marks with macros, but to me the 50ms grid is just silly in other apps too, just clutered.
    single threaded execution means you wait for some items
    their forums support officially is a joke, tumbleweeds blow through there for weeks at a time (I don't know how they are on email)
    the learning curve kicked my butt for a long time, DRAW YOUR ELEMENTS WHEN YOU ADD THE CONTROLLER
    the element drawing program's inability to move complex shapes from place to place can be a PIA if you move your show
    if you move some elements with macros you have to manually go into each macro and re-generate it, no re-generate all


    Things I love:


    Visualizer shows MY house not a black screen and I can put elements exactly where they are and zoom all the way into them.
    rewrite in process with full time developers (be next year)
    I'm in the support time frame that I will get at least a few updates of the new version
    MACROS MACRO MACROS do wicked powerful effects in just a few seconds as stated above
    layers, I'm sure the other programs have them too, but they make dealing with different elements a breeze
    ability to use video to control your display. e.g. want a red to blue to green to purple transition, make a quick transition video in some free program that makes video drop it on the layer of your choice, tell it how long, how many frames, have a sip or two of your favorite beverage and done.


    I could go on for days, I have re-watched dozens of videos from last year and fell I can do what I can dream up, I'm still being taught some really advanced stuff just by asking questions and watching more videos. A fellow figured out the other day how to import audacity timing marks into LSP..
     
  11. OP
    OP
    AlexB

    AlexB New Elf

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    Thanks for all the tips so far guys.

    After a chat with Steve i'm leaning toward LOR, just because it's going to be a long time before I'm going to be at a stage of doing the extreme complex stuff that LSP has over LOR. Financial is the biggest issue for me at the moment, so if I can get something running the show, my problem is solved... I just wanted to make sure LOR was going to do what I need... for the moment.

    I appreciate the other suggestions of Vixen and HLS and others. I have received that advice before and attempted to have a play around. Vixen just kicked my ass as I couldn't even get past the channel assignments \ patching (something I was warned about ahead of time). I love that there are so many options available, and credit to all those guys who have put together an obviously robust program that others will swear by... but for now, i'm going to stick to mainstream stuff that works 'out of the box' so to speak. Right now if I can plug in to LOR and make blinky do what I want it to do, that's enough for me.

    Hey - if money was no object, of course i'd be going with some wang-doodle stuff... but after seeing what Shell got done last year... I think LOR might do... ;) (it just means i'll harass Shell for help! :D)
     
  12. adski

    adski Dave Brown

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    Depending on when you last looked at Vixen, setup and patching has improved OUT OF SIGHT !!!
    I'd recommend at least taking another look.

    Dave
     
  13. fasteddy

    fasteddy I have C.L.A.P Global Moderator Generous Elf

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    Software is like buying a car, everyone has their own preference so there really isnt a good or bad option, just a lot of individual peoples opinions based on what they see as important and what they are use to.

    So the best option is to try yourself and not worry about everyones opinions because what you may feel is logical and easy for you may be difficult for others.

    I find people are very passionate about their software of choice and this can cloud the fact that what they percieve as important may be different to what your needs and wants are, so do the work and try them all out and see which one feels the best for you.
     
  14. Ɠαяєтн

    Ɠαяєтн Mae gen i C.L.A.P ei heintus iawn

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    Have you tried using the color fade tool Roy. Select start color as black and fade up up any color you like. Swap color and fade down.
     
  15. BundyRoy

    BundyRoy Senior Elf

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    Thanks Gareth. I did work that out and use it at one stage but somewhere in the process of overloading my brain with everything else lights that I am trying to remember/learn I must have forgotten it again.

    Oops. Thanks for the pointer.
     

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