Chasers are very specific to White Cat in the way they work and are handled. This special ergonomy comes from the way we use the chasers, and the global limitation on a traditional lighting control desk. Usually, when you record a chaser on a light board, you record a kind of sequential cue list, consisting of steps that run one after another. Modifying this on the fly during a performance or reordering the steps or actions is generally impossible.
Chasers are designed in White Cat to enable manipulation on the fly. They are inspired by music practices and sequencers.
As with other dynamics content, a chaser needs to be assigned to a dock to be able to run on stage.
The chaser window enables you to work on all of the parameters of a chaser. It is an editing and modifying window in Live for ONE chaser. oncce a chaser is created, you can have simultaneous chasers running and trigger them from the embedded commands dedicated to chasers in a fader without having to use the chaser window at all.
Navigating between the 128 chasers of White Cat:
When the [EDIT] button is selected (turned ON), you can:
The same chaser may be stored in several docks. However, in terms of controlling its speed with an accelerometer.
It is the last fader (where the chase was stored most recently) that is used, and will be displayed above and to the left of the TimeLine:
When a chaser is assigned to a dock, this dock is selected, and the 3 chaser command buttons appear below the accelerometer: PLAY, SEEK at BEG, LOOP. These commands enable you to operate different chasers with the mouse or by using midi.
Embedding a chaser inside a fader allows you to access some commands related to the chaser from the fader:
Each Chaser contains 36 steps.
Each Chaser has its own Time Unit corresponding to the duration of a step in the grid: each step may be 1 second, 5 seconds, 0.0001 seconds, 15 seconds, whatever you want, but all steps are of equal length. This is the [TimeUnit]. While this time is the same for all steps of this particular chaser, it may vary from chaser to chaser, as suits your needs.
You can activate an operation in each step (Fade In, Stay, Fade Out) of the TimeUnit chosen.
A Chaser is played from the first step to the last step.
Here, in the image, we can see the first step (in orange) being step 3, and the last step (in red) being step 18.
The timeline shows a cursor which represents the current execution position of the chaser in the step grid.
There is only ONE cursor per timeline. There is only one speed, for the cursor position for each chaser.
You can move from step to step manually by clicking the grey bar of the Timeline.
The beginning step and ending step are adjustable with the mouse.
From left to right:
TimeUnit is equal to the time of each step in a chaser.
To edit this time:
This peculiar time calculation is concerned with similar types of operations being or not being continuous.
In the chaser module, each step of each track may receive one of the following actions:
In the following example, there are 3 contiguous steps assigned to fade in actions, with a TimeUnit of 3 seconds.
If you are in the classical (T.Std) Time mode, the operation will work as follows:
If Time Mode is set to Join ( T.Join) we have:
* a single fade IN lasting 9 seconds where the channels stored inside the track are brought up
Time Join is calculated only for operations of same type with contiguous timeUnits steps.
If [Slave] is engaged, the TimeUnit is assigned to the acceleromater of the fader to which the chaser was most recently assigned (this is displayed above the timeline, on the left).
When the fader's accelerometer is completely to left, the time unit is accelerated to its maximum. When the fader's accelerometer is completely to the right, the time unit is at its previously set time, untouched.
This means that you can only speed up a time unit.
At the left of the timeline:
For each track you have the TimeJoin feedback, giving you:
Each chaser contains 24 tracks. You can assign channels or memories to each track.
Track 1 will contain channels 25 and 48 at 75% and 54 at Full.
Track 2 will contain channels 30 and 31 at 55%.
By activating an action on the timeline (Fade In, Stay, Fade Out), you will trigger the lighting of channels assigned to each track, depending of the operation and its progress and proportional brightness of the track.
Each track has an ON/OFF: so you can turn off the output of a track.
When it is ON, the box is GREEN.
You can modify the intensity of the output of each track. The level appears on the right, expressed from 0 to 127. You can also send the level of the track in midi to a motorized device (little circle which when activated turns red).
Version 0.8.2.2 and onward you can do a MidiMute (local).
A second circle (smaller) enables you to mute (turn off) the midi control assigned to the track, and to manually move your physical fader to match the track level.
The UP and DOWN buttons on the right enable you to navigate up and down through the tracks of a chaser
To edit a track, [EDIT] must be set to ON.
You can record one or more channels to a track, at different levels:
You can link a memory to a track. The memory will automatically update if you later modify the cue.
To find out what is inside a track:
Channels will be outlined in green, with their levels displayed in Channel space.
You can toggle the ON/OFF state of all tracks
You can record 4 presets of the 24 tracks ON/OFF states :
To recall a selection set recorded in one of the 4 presets, click the preset button.
To clear the Tracks preset:
You must be in [EDIT] mode.
Select one of the 4 operations possible:
Then click on the step you want to assign it to.
If you click a step containing the same operator, you will turn it gray (black-out).
This track contains channel 1 at 50% and 2 at 80%.
The time Unit is 3 seconds.
The chaser will work as follows between step 3 and step 18 in TimeStandard:
In TimeJoin mode:
Subtlety: If you want 1 and 2 to not fade all the way to zero, you need to record their low state into another track as a STAY operation (Green color).
Almost all chaser commands are assignable in midi: On/Off, levels, commands, steps, etc…. See Chart of Midi Assignments. If you are not familiar with midi, please read this page: Midi Configuration and Midi Assignments.
If you want to activate steps on the fly, you can do it with the launchpad grid.
You first need to activate Launchpad mode to display the grid inside the Chaser window.
This grid may have up to 8 x 8 buttons.
You can define how many lines it has (8 x1, 8 x2, 8×5 etc…) in [CFG MENU] > MIDI > Options.
Launchpad is a midi device with an 8×8 backlit matrix and 16 additional backlit buttons. These buttons are triggers that send only ON/OFF messages (no velocity is sent).
This matrix is backlit by LEDs.
There is a two-way communication so that when you press the buttons, an on/off state is sent to White Cat and White Cat sends back a signal that highlights the buttons in a color when they are on and removes the highlighting when they are off.
For this Go-Go back option to work, you need to send out midi to the launchpad: [MENU CFG] > MIDI > MIDI DEVICES and you need also to activate Launchpad back lighting in > MIDI OPTIONS.
If you wish to use this feature with other non-lit devices (like the BCF2000 or UC-33), it is possible and it works.
The 8×8 matrix will show up.
Number of rows is set in [MENU CFG] > MIDI > OPTIONS.
You can move this matrix with the arrows near [Launchpad]. Those arrows are also assignable in midi.
With back lighting, the cursor position is only displayed on the first ROW, and in yellow.
Color information is sent to the LEDs, enabling you to work on the fly with the Launchpad, without having to look at your computer screen.
Number of tracks shown is editable in [CFG-MENU]> General.
TimeUnit may be set to a decimal value enabling you to set a value with up to 4 decimal place precision. By default, TimeUnit is set to 1 digit after the point. You may want to use 4 digits to have the shortest time for your chasers.
You can define the number of Rows controlled in the chaser in [CFG MENU] > MIDI > OPTIONS