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  • grandMA3 Quick Start Guide
    • 00 Welcome
    • 01 New Show and Setup
    • 02 First Patch
    • 03 First View Setup
    • 04 Control Simple Fixtures
    • 05 3D Fixture Setup
    • 06 Groups, Appearances, and Scribbles
    • 07 Macros
    • 08 Store Cues and Use Executors
    • 09 Add Moving Lights
    • 10 Presets
    • 11 Phasers
    • 12 Sequence with multiple cues
    • 13 Network and How to Output DMX
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Version 1.7

Sequence with Multiple Cues

Table of contents of this topic

Now we are going to create a new sequence with multiple cues.

We are going to use the moving heads and some of the presets we created in chapter 10.

Because of the differences in our preset, your result will look different than mine. That is okay. It is meant as a demonstration and we are going to use the sequence to look at different functions with sequences.

Create the Sequence

We begin by getting some values into our programmer. Select group 7 (all the mythos) and turn them to 100%. Select a position preset and color preset.

This is our first cue in a new sequence, so let us store it: Press Store and then executor button 206.

Now we got a new sequence (number 5) and executor 206 is controlling the sequence.

Press Select Sequ 5 Please to select the sequence. This makes it easier when we are going to work with the sequence.

Have a look at the sequence sheet. Notice that the cue name gets the names from the presets.

Press the Go+ key in the master section to run the cue. The master section can be opened temporarily by pressing F7 on a keyboard or be created as a window.

Turn off the mythos (0%) and Press Store Cue 2 Time 3 Please. This stores cue 2 with a fade time of 3 seconds.

Clear the programmer.

Now you are back to cue 1. Press Go+ in the master area to run the second cue.

Select all the Auras. Turn them On, select a color and a position. Store this as cue 3 with a fade time of 4.

Give them a new position and adjust the color. Store this as cue 4 with a fade time of 3 seconds.

Clear the programmer and run the two cues in the sequence.

Select the X4 bars. Give them a dimmer value, a color, a position and adjust the zoom. Store this as cue 5 with a fade time of 2 seconds.

Clear the programmer and run cue 5.

Select the Mythos. Give them a new position, intensity, a new color, and add a gobo. Select the Auras and turn them Off. Store this as cue 6.

Run the cue and then clear the programmer. This allows you to go to the cue without any changes when we clear the programmer.

Now we are going to change the cue timing. Press Time 2 / 5 Please. This changed the current cues time. We could have specified a cue number and you can do this if you want to change a different cue than the current one. We also specified two different numbers separated by a forward slash. This means that the cue now has a fade time and an outfade time. The outfade time (5 seconds) will be used by the dimmer values going down in value (the Auras). All other attributes change their values using the normal fade time.

The final cue is going to be a blackout. Select the Mythos and the X4 Bars and give them 0% intensity. Store this as cue 7 with a fade time of 0.

This was the sequence. Try to run through it a couple of times.

Edit the Sequence

Let us make some changes to the sequence using the sequence sheet.

We would like cue 4 to automatically run shortly after cue 3 is done. This can be done by changing the trigger for cue 4. The default trigger is "Go" as we shortly saw in chapter 8. Edit the field for cue 4 and select Time and edit the time column and give it a value of 6 seconds. These settings mean that when we trigger cue 3 with a Go, then cue 3 runs with a fade time of 3 seconds, and a timed countdown of 6 seconds is also started for cue 4. So 6 seconds after we trigger cue 3, then cue 4 starts the fading. There are other ways to achieve the same result, but this is one way to do it.


With cue 6 we created a cue where the Mythos turn On and the Auras turn Off. We know this because we just did it. If we return to this show after some time has passed we might not remember that it is the Auras that uses the outfade time. So let us change this to a different solution that makes it more obvious what is happening. We are going to create a part cue with the Auras.

Select the Auras and give them 0%. Press Store Cue 6 Cue 2 Time 5 Please. This might give you a popup asking you to select a store mode. Make sure "Cue Only" is Off and then click Ok. This stores the Auras dimmer value to cue 6 part 2 with a cuefade of 5.

So now we can change the cue fade in cue 6 part 0 to 2. Click Cue 6 Time 2 Please. If we do not specify a part number then the software assumes we mean part 0. Separating the Auras in a part instead of just using the outfade time can seem like extra work. In the end, it is a matter of personal programming style. I wanted to show you two of the ways this look could be achieved. Personally, I like to separate attributes that have different timing in part cues.

Now we should name the part something that tells us what we put in the part. In fact, let us give all the cues a name. You can rename them by editing the name field for each cue and cur part.

Here are the names I use:

Cue Part Name
1 0 Entrance
2 0 Ready
3 0 Scene 1
4 0 - - Auto
5 0 Scene 2
6 0 Scene 3
6 2 - - Aura 0%
7 0 BO

We should also name the sequence. Click in the command line input and type Label Sequence 5 "My Show" and execute the command. If you for some reason have a different sequence number, then please adjust the command to reflect the correct sequence number.


Another feature I would like to introduce is the appearance of the sequence and the cues.

We can give the sequence an appearance. This can be used to give it a distinguished look on the executors and in the sequence pool.

Let us start by creating the appearances we need.

Make an Appearance pool somewhere.

How you use appearance is all up to you. Maybe you do not like the way I do it and that is of course completely OK. But try to follow what I do and then you can always change it afterward.

We need to create 3 new appearances. Edit an empty pool object.

In the Background  Color fader, set the "R" fader to 0%, the "G" and "B" faders to 100%, and the "Alpha" fader to 30% (it might want to be at 30.2%). Name this appearance "30% Cyan".

The next appearance is named "40% Red". The faders are "R" = 100%, "G" = 0%, "B" = 0%, and "Alpha" = 40%.

The final appearance is named "50% Green". The faders are "R" = 0%, "G" = 100%, "B" = 0%, and "Alpha" = 50%.

Those were the appearances we need. Now we need to have a Sequence Sheet and the Appearance pool visible.

We are going to assign appearances to cues. To be able to see these we need to make an adjustment to the Sequence Sheet Settings.

These are opened by clicking the MA logo in the upper left corner of the sheet. There is a setting in the "Display" tap called CuePart Appearance. Set this to "Num+Name" and close the settings again.

The easiest way to assign the appearances to cues (or technically the cue parts) is by using the Swipey menu in the Appearance pool - if you forgot about the Swipey, then please revisit chapter 6.

Use the assign option and assign the "30% Cyan" on cue 4 (part 0) and on cue 6 part 2. Assign the "40% Red" on cue 2 and cue 7.

The result should look something like this:

Marking the cues with colors can help you to quickly distinguish special cues from others. I like to mark "dangerous" cues like blackouts and cues that I do not need to worry about like the cues that run automatically.

Finally, let us give the sequence an appearance.

Click the Settings in the title bar of the sequence sheet. These are the settings for the actual sequence.

In the first column, there is a setting called "Appearance". Click this and select the "50% Green" appearance in the list.

This colors the sequence in the sequence pool and it also gives the executor the green color. This can make it fast to identify the sequence on the executors.

Below this setting, there is another setting called "Prefer Cue Appearance". Turning this On will give the executor and the sequence pool object the color from the active cue (part 0) if there is one. Otherwise, it will use the sequence appearance.


We can see what is actually stored in the cue by changing the sequence sheet into a tracking sheet.

Do this by turning On the Track Sheet in the title bar of the sequence sheet.

It then looks like this (I have scrolled the sheet horizontally):

Here we can see how an attribute changes through the cues. For instance, the dimmer value of fixture 201 is at 100% in cue 1 and then at 0% in cue 2. This then tracks to cue 6 where the value is back at 100% again.

There are some colors here that are a bit interesting for us. The cyan text color shows us that there is a new value. This value will use the Cue In Fade time. The green color is dimmer values going to a lower value and they will use the Cue Out Fade to change value. The Cue Out Fade is the same as the Cue In Fade unless you specify a different time. The magenta text color indicates tracking values. This means that the value is not stored in the cue, but it is the value that the sequence will output. Another text color that can be in the tracking sheet is white color. This indicates values that are stored in the cue at the same value as it would have if it was a tracking value. So in essence it does not need to be stored in the cue.

We can edit a value directly in the tracking sheet. Let us try this. We are going to make a change for only one cue, so the first thing we want to do is to turn On the Cue Only button in the title bar.

If the dimmer attributes are not listed next to each other (like the example above), then open the settings for the Sequence sheet and turn On "Feature Sort".

Now use the mouse to click and drag through all the cells for fixtures 101 to 107 in cue 5 so they are all marked with a blue frame. Next, you want to right-click (Edit) the selected cells. This opens the calculator.

We can select valid presets by clicking the Presets button around the middle of the calculator. For now, we just want to change the dimmer value to a different value click 5 0 Please (if they already were at 50%, then select a different new value).

Now it looks something like this:

If we did not do this as "Cue Only" then the new value would have been tracking through cue 6.


You might have noticed when running the cues that the fixtures faded to a new position and a new color together with the dimmer values. If we want the fixtures to already be at the next position and with the color ready, then you could store the color and position values in the previous cue, but we can also make the software do this for us. It is a function called MIB (Move In Black).

To use MIB we need to turn off the Track Sheet again (toggle the button in the title bar). Scroll the sheet horizontally until you see columns called something with MIB. You can see the MIB Mode is set to "<None>". Values inside <> are usually values set in a setting somewhere.

We can change this value in four of the cues. These are the cues where dimmer values go from 0% and to a value above 0% while other values also change. These cues can have attributes auto pre-positioned. Change the MIB Mode to "Early" for cue 3 by editing the cell in the sheet. We might want a different default than "None". Click Settings in the title bar of the Sequence Sheet. On the right side, there is a setting called MIBMode. Change this to "Late" and close the settings. Now you can see that cue still has the mode we specifically selected but all the other cues use a different default MIB mode.

The result on the output is that now we do not see fixtures move while they are On except cue 4 where we have stored a new position and color while the fixtures are On.

Again there are other ways to achieve the same look. This was one to solve this.


There are more details and things to know about tracking, but it is outside the scope of this quick start.


In this chapter, we created a sequence with multiple cues. We edited two cues both using the standard programmer and we looked at the tracking information and also edited the values in the tracking sheet.

There is a whole section of the manual dedicated to the cues and sequences. I have linked to it in chapter 8, but here it is again - Cue and Sequences section. This also has a topic about Tracking.

We had a short look at MIB. There are many settings related to this, and it can be quite complex when you add Phaser steps into the mix. If you want to you can read about it in the Move In Black topic.

The next and final chapter explores how we can output DMX from the system.

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