Recording a Cue
Put simply, a Cue is a saved look. Make something beautiful on stage. Save it in your light board.
But here we ought to think about it all more technically. Where a Channel is a number that stores various properties about a light (intensity, color, focus, etc); a Cue is a number that stores information about all properties for all Channels. It’s a snapshot of all the numbers in front of you at this very moment. Meaning whatever changes and alterations you’ve made, those will be saved.
Technically, there are two ways to do cues.
The first is called “Cue Only Mode”. This is how you probably think of cues. The light board is filled with a series of static looks. When I say, “Go to Cue 4”. I know exactly what I’m going to see. This is fantastic for theatre, event spaces, churches, etc.
The second is called “Tracking Mode”. This is how live performances such as concerts function. A cue is instead a list of changes rather than an entire look. In tracking mode, if you didn’t tell a channel to do something, it just keeps doing what it was already doing. This is great for making changes on the fly and is how a lighting designer for a band can be so quick.
We’re going to be using Cue Only Mode since it’s a lot easier to consider a single static look at a time. Tracking Mode takes a robust understanding of your fixtures and an awareness of where you’ve been and where you’re going. So, in order to not break your brain, I’ve already set the correct mode in your Worksheet files.
Alright, back to the conversation at hand.
Before you can record a look, you have to craft a look. So I, your lighting designer, want you to …
- Take Channel 4 to 90%. (Chan 4 @ 90 Enter)
- Put Channel 6 at 50. (Chan 6 @ 50 Enter)
Fantastic. Looks great. To save this look we would press [Record] (or R on your computer keyboard) [Cue] (or Q on your computer keyboard) then provide a number such as 1. Press enter to finish the command.
You’ll notice a handful of things that just happened. First, the command worked because of the little gold diamond at the end of your command line.
But at the beginning of the command line, it now reads “LIVE: Cue 1:” Because we weren’t in any cue and just recorded one, EOS automatically put is unto that cue. So the look that is currently LIVE on stage, is Cue 1.
The other major thing you’ll notice is the Channels in the Live Table display. They changed color from Red to Blue, meaning they’re currently being controlled by the LIVE cue.
Let’s create another Cue. So please make the following adjustments.
- Channel 4 at 50 (Chan 4 @ 50 Enter)
- Channel 5 at 50 (Chan 5 @ 50 Enter)
There are a lot of different things we can record on this light board, but the most common item is a Cue, so EOS automatically assumes Cue when you press record and provide a number. So this time, press [Record]  [Enter]. You’ll notice that Cue automatically filled in.
Hopefully you also notice two other things …
First that we are now currently in Cue 2, or Cue 2 is currently LIVE on stage.
The second is the colors in the Live Table display. They’ve changed colors. In the screen shot below, I have Cue 2 and just pressed  [@]  [Enter].
This allows me to showcase the 4 most common colors.
- Purple – Such as Channel 6, means the current value is the same as the previous cue.
- Green – Such as Channel 4, means the current value is less than the previous cue (we went down from Full to 50).
- Blue – Such as Channel 5, means the current value is greater than the previous cue (we went up from 0 to 50).
- Red – Such as Channel 7, means the current value is been overridden by you and is currently in Manual mode. You’ll also note in the top left hand corner of the display that at least one channel, somewhere, is in Manual mode.
Now, let us say that we like the addition of Channel 7 for Cue 2. We can overwrite that Cue by pressing [Record] [Enter]. EOS assumes you mean to record overtop the cue we are currently in; however, wants to make sure you really mean to save over Cue 2, so we’ll see this warning …
To Confirm the recording process, simply press [Enter] one more time. The Red number will now change to Blue, since it went up from a value of 0.
Finally, sometimes you want to make a change to multiple Cues or perhaps to a Cue different than the one that is currently Live. To do this, use the Update command. Here’s an example.
Take Channel 2 to 50%. We’re currently in Cue 2, but let’s say that we want to apply that change to Cue 1. We can press [Update] [Cue]  [Enter]. This action will take any channel that is currently in manual mode and update that value in the specified cues. Since we made an update in Cue 1 and Cue 2 is currently Live, Channel 2 is still Red, in Manual mode.
Now, let’s take Channel 2 to 100% (notice that it converted 100 to Full). We can update both Cues 1 and 2 by pressing [Update] [Cue]  [Thru]  [Enter]. This automatically recorded Channel 2’s value (but not 4, 5, 6 and 7) to both Cue 1 and 2. Since we did both cues, the previous cue and the current cue, you’ll now notice that Channel 2 is purple, meaning it’s the same value as the previous cue.
Record and Update are two ways to do essentially the same thing, save a look. So then …
- Use Record when you need “What I see is what I want to save”
- Use Update when you need “Save what I changed, don’t mess anything else up”
- Use Record when you need to create a new look
- Use Update when you need to alter multiple cues
- Use Record when you need to write over an existing cue
- Use Update when you need to make a small adjustment
Or really, do whatever you want, they both work! Both knowing the difference can make you a much more efficient lighting designer.