In the Record Options window, are four Tracking Options. These are “Track Forwards”, “Track Backwards”, “Track Both” and “Cue Only”.
Cue Only is selected by default, meaning the console is not recording your cues with tracking methodology.
See the quick video below, for an overview of what “Tracking” means...
If Tracking is enabled, every cue programmed behaves in a Tracking methodology. This means that each cue only programs the changes between two states – channels are told to fade up, fade down, change colour, beam, shape and position, or if no instructions are programmed, the channel will stay the same. This is a powerful programming method as it allows advanced manipulation of the cue stack and updates can be filtered through entire sequences without having to update each cue individually.
Choosing Track Forwards allows the change to flow through into the following cues. For example, add a new light into a cue, and it will then stay on through subsequent cues, until it is next told to change. If you choose to update with Track Forwards enabled, remember to “undo” the change you made in one scene when you move to the next – particularly if the next cue is a blackout.
With Track Backwards, rather than ZerOS making your changes to the cue you are currently in, it will instead look back up the cue stack, until it finds the cue that instructs your fixture to be at the level it is at in the current cue. It will then update this cue, and the change will then track back down the cue stack to the cue you are currently in. The change will not track down from the current cue into following cues.
It is therefore useful to use Track Backwards to make a change to multiple cues in a scene, when you are currently in the last cue of that scene.
Track Both is the same as Track Backwards, in that when you update a cue, you are actually updating the cue further up the cue stack that gave the fixture you are working on an instruction. However Track Both, then allows your change to filter through the cue you are currently in, and onto subsequent cues.
If you go into a cue, and change a fixture's intensity, its percentage will go red in the Output window. If you then update the cue using Track Backwards or Track Both, the fixture's intensity percentage will go from red to purple. This is the only time you will see this when updating a cue - normally when you update a cue you are changing the information in the cue you are working on, resulting in the colour of intensity percentages changing to blue, green or white.
When Cue Only is enabled, only the cue you are working on will be affected. In the background, this is because the console undoes any changes you made in the next cue, to ensure the next cue looks exactly how you left it. This is useful when recording a cue out of sequence, or when updating a cue, to ensure the update you make doesn’t affect any subsequent cues in the cue list. This is therefore the default option, to ensure the cue you record, doesn't affect other cues.
Take a look at this quick video for an explanation of Cue Only.
Changing settings in the Record Options, will affect what gets stored, and what doesn't. Therefore some users, like to hide the majority of the Record Options, to prevent any accidental change in options. To hide the majority of the Record Options, tap Setup -> Settings, and tap the "Cue Only" Tracking Option under "Record & Update".
When this global Record & Update option is set to Cue Only, the console will snapshot any fixtures that are currently active when cues are recorded or updated. This means you have much less capability for mixing cues together. The downside to setting the console to global Cue Only, is if you do need to be specific with what parameters get stored into your cues, or need to configure your fixture's home or default values for example, you cannot simply use the Record Options window. You have to first go into Setup -> Settings, enable the Tracking Options again, to give yourself access to the Record Options.
When the Record & Update tracking options are set to Cue Only globally from Setup -> Settings, "Cue Only" will then be displayed with a red background, bottom right of the Cues window on the external desktop. The Record Options will then have a reduced set of options.
Still a little hazy on what tracking means? It is best to see it in action, so let's take a look at this training session below...