I'm writing this as a suggestion and as a "good practice" of how I am using a blackout button.
In my place, there are various types of fixtures. So.. there are dimmer packs, 2 lasers, led pars, 3 different models of heads, a CO2 cannon, 3 projectors (operating from a different computer), 1 hazer, 2 fog machines and so on.
So when it comes to blackout, taking the intensity down with Grand Master is not the solution, since projectors will stay on, the laser will still operate and the most annoying thing for me, is the fact that heads will not stop spinning. Add here a rare case of mine that a head has inversed intensity so either way I cannot fade out with grand master. And of course... how to do this on a button (in mtouch).
My solution was to create an override that blacks out everything by changing not only the intensities, but also all FX parameters to 0, the lasers to specific DMX values (different for each one) and finally sending a DMX value (though artnet) to the computer operating the projectors. This was bliss... I could have a blackout in a fader.
Next problem arises... how to toggle this using a button? The solution is easy. Make the flash button timed, set the hold time to infinite and everything if fine. Do this for the go button with out the hold infinite setting, set activate on press, release on "up" and then you have 2 blackouts. One that toggles @click, and one that blacksout as long as you press it. Wow.. I'm getting somewhere...
Next thing I noticed, is that sometimes... I didn' t have a total blackout. Some lights where still open, heads where spinning at a low speed and so on... What am I missing here? THE FLASH MASTER. If you lower the value of flash master to some value other than 100%, this solution... is not working. Override will set the value of the flash keys up to the flash master value, which means that intensity and all values will be relative to your cue values, resulting to non blackout!
How to overcome this? It took me some time to figure this out... but now I'm OK with the result. Copy your blackout cue twice and set it as QBlender. In values set the 1st cue from:0 to:0 and the second from:0 to 100. This way, the blackout button will operate properly even if the flash master is set to values lower than 100%.
So... would it be better if we have a button that simply puts everything in the default state without releasing all active cues? Or even better have a "blackout" preset that will be activated by an assignable button.
Thank you for your time and hope that some of you will find this solution helpful.
I wonder, no one else wants something like this? How do you blackout your shows?