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  • 3 Reasons Why LTP Rules, Even For Conventional Lights

 February 4

by David

Back Here, I talked about the differences between HTP and LTP, and why it’s important.  I remember, not all that long ago, when I myself learned the difference between HTP and LTP, and how it really shook me up at first.

Sitting there in the lighting shop programming moving lights, I thought to myself “Gosh, this LTP thing isn’t any good for conventional lights“, only a few months later think “Gosh, how in the world did I ever live without this“.

A few months after that I had to program a show on an HTP console, and I thought “Why did I ever think this was better?

So What Changed?

Well, I did, of course!  What we think in our minds determines our attitude about a certain topic.

I used to think I could never program moving lights, and well…I’ve proved that one wrong again and again!  I know that changing your mindset and learning the differences can be tough, but stick with it and you’ll learn.

If you’re learning LTP, you may have a lot of questions when you’re programming.

I want to quickly share some of the assumptions I made in the “old world” that really crippled me in the “new world” of LTP and filled me with so many questions that didn’t matter.  I just wasn’t grasping the fullness of LTP.

The first assumption I made was that “you have to release everything”.

In the HTP world, you need to worry about whether or not the light you are about to bring up is already being controlled by another fader.  For me, that belief carried over into LTP world, and I constantly was trying to figure out if there was a fader I needed to release as I brought up a new fader.  Everything changed when I realized that I didn’t have a release anything unless I needed it to go dark.

All you need to do is play the latest scene, and the console will take over and release the old scene.  Want to go back to the old scene again?  Simple- just play or assert it!

Another inference that I kept from the HTP world was that “You always have to use HTP.  For everything”.  This came from the fact that most HTP consoles don’t offer the ability to change the priority mode they run in.  Thankfully, that also isn’t true.

Most modern moving light consoles allow you to set a playback fader to “HTP mode” for intensities and/or all parameters for certain situations where you want complete, easy, quick control of a light or group of lights.  What if you want a hazer fader that never can be over-ridden or released?  What if you need your blinder lights or other conventionals on a grab-able fader?

You can use HTP.  It’s there, but it’s not the norm anymore.

I also had trouble adjusting to how to program in the LTP world.  The first big difference is the concept of a programmer, meaning that not everything you see on stage is recorded in the cue.

The other big change is that you only need to record changes since the last cue.  This is called “Tracking”  When you come from HTP and you are used to programming absolutely every light and parameter into every cue, there is a rude awakening when you learn that you don’t have to in the LTP world.

It is very cool, and very time-saving that you only have to record where the lighting changes, all lights that don’t change track forward, which is highly helpful on shows with larger fixture counts.

Why is this important?

This is all really important because the future is LTP.  As we see many new consoles being released as with LTP design because it rules for controlling LED’s and moving lights, prices come down and higher technology gets in more hands.

Of course, every situation is different and has different needs, and you don’t have to own an LTP console to run a few moving lights.  But don’t be surprised if you end up with one in the future, because the times, they are a changin’!

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