How to Use DM
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  Recording Music & Cues
 

 

Methods of Recording
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  Setting Up At a Dance
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    Training the Player
  Karaoke Cue Cards
    About
    Synchronize Music & Voice
    Time a Dance

How to Time A Cue Card For a Dance

Using the Select Screen, select the dance you want to time. Go to the Play Screen and click the yellow "Adjust Cue Card" button to open the timing controls. Then click "Set Cue Card Timing" to get to the Sync Controls. The first cue on the cue card should be highlighted in blue.

The way this works is this: in “Sync mode”, DanceMaster highlights the first cue (i.e. INTRO: [BFLY] WAIT;;), starts playing the dance, and waits for you to press the spacebar. When you do, DM records the time and highlights the next cue. You continue through the dance that way, pressing the spacebar once each time a new cue is due. When you play the dance, DM uses those recorded times to decide when to highlight each cue in turn, as the dance plays.

It might take a couple of times to get used to, but it is really very easy. I do suggest starting with an easy waltz, though, or something else you are very comfortable with, so you don't have to think about the cueing and you can focus on mastering this new motor skill.

There are at least a couple of ways to approach timing the dances.

Method # 1 (probably the easiest) is to press the spacebar on the first beat of each measure (except for figures that take more than one measure, of course). Then you can apply an overall offset of… say, 1.5 seconds to all the cues. When you play them back, DM will highlight each cue 1.5 seconds before it is time to dance the figure, giving you time to read and say it. You will have to adjust the timing on some cues individually, since some cues will need more of a lead than others.

Method # 2 (better) is to time the dance by cueing it aloud, pressing the spacebar as you start to speak each cue. You can then apply a smaller global offset (maybe half a second) to give yourself time to read the cue after it is highlighted. With this method you use your cueing skill to determine the proper time for each cue.

In the Sync Controls on the Play screen, the blue box labeled “Overall Cue Timing Offset” is for adjusting the playback time of all the cues in the dance together. The pink box labeled “Individual Cue Timing Adjustment” is used for fine-tuning individual cues. When you select a cue in the cue card (after the dance has been timed) the cue number and time of that cue are shown in this box. Clicking the “Earlier” or “Later” arrows will adjust the time for that cue, or for that cue and all those that follow it.

You can click " Play From Here" to get a feel for the music, then click "Re-scan Cue Card" to reset everything. Click "Sync From Here" and the music will start playing. Press the spacebar on the keyboard once each time you start to speak a cue (method 2) or on the downbeat of each measure that has a cue (method 1). When you press the spacebar, DM will record the time for that cue, and move on to the next. Proceed through the dance that way, pressing the spacebar once each time a new cue is due. Click "Test" to check the result, then click "Save".

If you aren’t happy with the result, re-scan the cue card and click “Sync From Here” again. “Sync From Here” starts playing the music and recording new timing starting at the currently highlighted figure.

You select (highlight) a figure by left-clicking on it, then right-clicking on it. That should cause it to turn blue. If it doesn’t, then DM is having trouble figuring out where the cue begins and ends. Cues need to be separated by one or more semicolons (see one of the cue sheets in the sample database for an example).

Once you have timed the dance:
• You can set the highlight wherever you want in the dance by left-clicking on a cue THEN right-clicking.

• You can press "Test (Play) From Here" to play the music from wherever the highlight is.

• Press "Sync From Here" to start the music playing at the highlight and recording new times by pressing the spacebar for each cue.

• You can use the controls in the pink box to adjust the time of the highlighted cue, or that cue and all the ones that follow it.

• You can use the controls in the blue-green box to set an offset for all the cues. If you time the dance by hitting the spacebar ON the beat, you can adjust the cues to LEAD the music by (i.e.) 1.5 seconds. Poor practice, but I think that even I could cue a dance (crudely) that way.

"Save" is an important button. If you don't use it, you will loose all the careful timing you just did.

"Re- scan Cue Card" will cause DM to re-read the cue card and scan for cue boundaries. It won't change the recorded times.

NOTE: You will need to use this button any time you edit your cue card.

Click either “Save” or “Close” (if you want to discard your changes), then click “Close” again to get back to the normal Play screen.

Once a dance has been timed, (and you reload the dance with the “Reload This Dance” menu button at the top of the Play screen) the Play screen behaves a little differently. There will now be a new button for turning Auto Scrolling on or off, a window for making temporary adjustments to the timing of the whole dance, and an indicator to tell you whether you are in “Karaoke” or “Next Cue” mode.

• When you select a cue (left-click then right-click), the starting point for playing the music is automatically set at the highlighted cue. The status windows below the cue card reflect this – the starting cue is shown in the “Play from:” window, and the “Needle” is shown at that part of the dance. So to workshop a figure, you can just select it on the cue card and press “Play”.

• You can set a permanent bookmark at the highlighted cue by pressing a function key (F1 – F8). That will create the corresponding bookmark (1 – 8) and name it with the name of the highlighted figure.

 

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