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Hi, I've been volentold (a hybrid of volunteering and betting told) into a fairly large amateur production this year and have decided to go with Watchout as I am comfortable/ experienced with the programming style and there are a few other constraints relating to what software is available.

We are running a system that needs to output to a total of 5 projectors (some doing blends, some doing their own screen/ surface)
I just have a few quick questions that I would love some help with. For this show we are going to be using timecode for certain elements of control as lighting want to have some items in time with the music (Note: Certain parts of the show, not all of it).


I wanted to go with timecode as I've experienced a few issues with the production software crashing during some major shows (this is almost certainly not a watch out fault simply our computers - don't worry about this bit as the watchpoint slave software has been 100% rock solid for a few hundred hours of playback time)


I haven't used timecode in this situation before so I thought I'd explain my idea and then you can point out any issues that I might need to look at.

As only certain elements of the show will be sending timecode from the pit/ stage manager I thought I would pre-program the whole watch out timeline and take the show control timecode into a Mac running QLab. The Mac will be playing and pausing a single timecode file which feeds to the watch out system. The mac can then be triggered to play and pause the timecode audio output from either an external timecode input (eg. the music) or from manual triggers (me pressing go) depending on the cue.

This means that there is just a single timeline with timecode running on watch out and the system isn't having to be built around the timecode being sent by the band/ SM intermittently.


My main question is:

How do the watch out slaves handle timecode playing and pausing?

I Understand that I feed timecode into one slave and the rest just keep up via the network, I just want to know how I handle "pausing" the timeline. During previous productions where I've used watch out I was using the production software with pause markers on a layer. I'm guessing that is not applicable when chasing timecode.

Do I need to send a special "pause" command at the end of a stream of timecode or can I just stop outputting Timecode and watch out will pause on that frame.


Any assistance would be really appreciated


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How do the watch out slaves handle timecode playing and pausing?

I Understand that I feed timecode into one slave and the rest just keep up via the network, I just want to know how I handle "pausing" the timeline


Timecode will control the main timeline in WATCHOUT. Start the timecode and WATCHOUT positions and plays the main timeline in sync with the timecode. Stop the timecode and the timeline stops (after a brief period of "coasting" to account for timecode dropouts). You feed this into the cluster master, and any slaves will follow suit.



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Thanks Mike, I'll be having a bit of a play around with the system for testing in a month or so. Just thought I'd get my head around all of this before I had access to the hardware and dongles. 


When you say it 'coasts' how long does it coast for? are we talking frames or seconds? does it jump back to the last frame it 'heard' or will it stay where it finished coasting?

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Looking at all this I think I'm also going to look into MSC as QLab can produce both and considering I am stopping and starting I can'y do things like pre-roll the timecode so MSC may be more suitable.

I guess I'll play around with both control models.

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