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Buttons are the gateways into your Lighting System. They can be placed anywhere and with CueServer can be assigned to nearly any function. Starting with CueServer v3.0, the way buttons are assigned and set up has been completely overhauled.

This week, we're running through the new button layout and how you can use it to have your system up and running in no time. This is our practical guide to CueServer buttons.

The Walkthrough

We'll go through each of the new button functions and how you can use them. Use the list below to jump ahead or follow along from the beginning.


The Basics

Buttons have always had the capability to be assigned rules in CueServer Studio. These rules controlled what the button did when pushed, released, or held and how it's indicator functioned.

With v3.0+, there is a new method available. Each button can still be assigned rules manually, however, there now exists the option to assign a function to buttons. Functions are similar to rules except they provide the groundwork automatically that you would normally need to manually configure using a button rule.

As noted above, the functions available are Turn on/off, Toggle, Raise & Lower, Momentary, Increment & Decrement, and Adjust. Each of these options contains a plethora of extended configurations. For instance, what to turn on, toggle, or raise/lower, etc.

The general objects accessible by functions are:

  • Channel
  • Group
  • Cue
  • Preset 
  • Submaster

In addition, where applicable, each object has a "in Playback" modifier which allows you to control the playback the object will target.

You can append additional settings by accessing the alt button which appears just right of "in Playback" by hovering over it.

The additional settings are as follows:

  • Add Level
  • Add Fade Time
  • Add Indicator Settings
  • Add Press/Hold to Record
  • Add Press/Hold to Adjust Level

We'll cover these more in the sections below.


Indicators

Using the new functions, Indicators are automatically configured to act in the most logical way. When toggling, turning on or off, etc, indicators will display the status of the object they are controlling (i.e. when a Cue is toggled on, the indicator will also be toggled on).

With that said, in keeping with CueServer's nature, nothing is locked-in. You can customize how the indicator functions to suit your needs. To change the default functionality, select the alt button and choose "Add Indicator Settings...". This will add an additional rule line below the button like so:

alt

Using the selection bubble, you can choose from the following options:

  • Is Non-Zero
  • Is Zero
  • Is At Value
  • Is Not At Value

There is one additional option I've left out of the list above, which we'll cover more below in the Adjust function.


Turn On/Off

This functionality is fairly straightforward. Simply put, this turns Channels, Groups, Cues, Presets, and Submasters on of off.

alt

Add a Level

You can also take this a step further and dictate the level at which the object is turned on.

If you select the alt button and choose "Add Level..." you will notice a new input box appended to the rule.

alt

By using this option, you are modifying the value at which an object is "activated".

Specify a Fade time

We can also specify a fade time here by clicking alt and choosing "Add Fade Time...". This will allow us to provide a time in which the channel will fade from off to on or on to off, depending on the selected function.

alt

Now, when pressing the button, the channel will fade between 0 and 255 over 1 second. This can also be used in conjunction with the "Add Level..." modifier.


Toggle

As with On/Off, this function is also fairly straightforward and simply toggles the chosen object between off and on with each press.

By default, this will simply toggle channel 1 between 0 and 255:

alt

Specify a Level

But if we specify the level by clicking alt and selecting "Add Level..." then typing in 50%:

alt

Channel 1 will now toggle between 127 and 0 (50% of 255).

Specify a Fade time

We can also specify a fade time here by clicking alt and choosing "Add Fade Time...". This will allow us to provide a time in which the toggle will fade between the two values.

alt

Now, when pressing the button, the channel will fade between 0 and 255 over 1 second. This can also be used in conjunction with the "Add Level..." modifier.

Raise/Lower

Raise & Lower are two functions that are here to make simple level adjustments easy. Whenever you have one of these functions assigned to a button, pressing, or pressing-and-holding, that button will automatically and continuously raise or lower the values in the selected object.

For example, if you use the following rule:

alt

The value of channel 1 will continually raise whenever you push or push-and-hold the button. This allows you to make adjustments on the fly using buttons

Additionally, there is also a third function called"Raise/Lower".

This function is the best of both worlds. When you press a button with this function attached, the functionality will swap between raise and lower. For instance, if you press the button, it will raise the values. If you release and press again, it will lower the values.

It's also important to note that this function is tied to the object directly and "aware" of changes applied to it. Therefore, if you had, say a second button, that lowers the values of the object and you press it, the raise/lower button would be aware of this and because the last action applied to the object was a "lower", the next press will raise its values.


Momentary

The Momentary function is similar to a toggle, however, the object is only toggled "On" while the button remains pressed. Once the button is released, the item is toggled off again.

As with On/Off, this function is also fairly straightforward and simply toggles the chosen object between off and on with each press.

By default, this will simply toggle the values in Cue 2 to active while held, then back to zero once released:

alt

Specify a Fade time

We can also specify a fade time here by clicking alt and choosing "Add Fade Time...". This will allow us to provide a time in which the Momentary switch will fade between "Off" and "On" values of Cue 2.

alt

Now, when pressing the button, the channels in Cue 2 will fade between "Off" and their set values over 1 second.


Increment/Decrement

Similar to the Raise & Lower functions, this will increment or decrement the object's value by 1 decimal value on each press.

Assuming we start with channel 1 at a value of 0, the following would raise channel 1 to 1/255, then 2/255, and so forth.

alt

Unlike the Raise & Lower functions, this does not continuously change the value and is better suited for fine adjustments. 

Specify a Level

If we specify the level by clicking alt and selecting "Add Level..." then typing in 5:

alt

Channel 1 will now increment the channel's value by 5% rather than 1 decimal value.

We can also substitute in decimal values here by appending the amount with a #:

alt

Specify a Fade time

We can also specify a fade time here by clicking alt and choosing "Add Fade Time...". This will allow us to provide a time in which the channel will fade between the current value and the incremented value.

alt

Now, when pressing the button, the channel will fade between its current value and the current value + 5% over 1 second. As demonstrated here, this can also be used in conjunction with the "Add Level..." modifier.


Adjust

This function is specifically designed for complex items such as sliders or color pickers.

This function will not have an effect when used on a standard push-button but is pre-configured to do the adjusting when attached to an applicable button.

When used with sliders, the slider will automatically shift the values between 0% and 100% when adjusted.

When used with color pickers, this function will map the resulting 3-value array to an object such as a group to represent the selected color.

You will notice that when adjust is selected, the indicator settings include an additional option, "Is RGB Value". This option is used to set the indicator, for instance, the "thumb" on a color picker to display the correct color


Press/Hold Functions

As discussed in the previous sections, button objects (Channel, Cue, Group, etc.) each have secondary modifiers that can be applied to them. Two of these are "Press/Hold to record" and "Press/Hold to Adjust", which we'll cover here.

Press/Hold to Adjust

This function acts as the primary button function when pressed and released, but when the button is held for the specified amount of time, the button inherits the Raise/Lower functionality described above.

If we assign the following to a button:

alt

The button will act as a toggle when pressed and released, but when held for 3 seconds, this button will begin to adjust the value of the selected object up or down, depending upon its last action (raise or lower) and will toggle between the Raise and Lower functions.

 

Press/Hold to Record

This modifier has a different function depending upon the selected object.

If you apply this rule to a button with a Channel, Group, Submaster, or Variable object, pushing and holding the button for the specified amount of time will record that value into the button itself (or variable, if applicable).

So given the following rules

alt

the button will record the current value of channel 1 into this button itself. Whenever this button is pressed, the channel will toggle between the recorded value and 0. This value is updated whenever the button is held for >3 seconds.

If the selected object is a Cue or Preset, the targeted Cue or Preset will be re-recorded with the current values. This means you could adjust the levels with other buttons or even input and holding this button will snapshot those current values into the defined Cue/Preset.

Therefore, with the rules

alt

You will see that it's now "Recording Channels" as opposed to "Recording Level" when held and will record the current values into Cue 1 when held for 3 seconds.

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