What is Cloning, and How Can I Use it To Save Time?

Cloning is not just for sheep.

If you’re using a professional-grade lighting console, then you have the ability clone fixtures within your showfile.  But what does that mean, and is it even useful?

As someone who literally uses the clone tool on 90% of the shows I program, I can tell you it is useful, and here’s what it can do:

Cloning 101

In it’s simplest form, cloning allows you to take all or some of the pre-programmed information from one fixture and “copy” it to another fixture.  Even better, you can do it for a bunch of fixtures at a time.

The most obvious application of this tool is to allow you to add fixtures into a show that is already totally programmed, without too much work.   Maybe you’re talking a touring show into a theatre and you want to clone their rig into your show.  Maybe you don’t have your rig, and you are cloning a whole new set of lights for a one-off show.

But it even goes deeper than that…

Cloning can also allow you to get a huge jump-start on to any show you do.  Take this for example:

See how this can really make your life easier?  It’s how I actually begin any show that I do – by patching in my actual fixtures and cloning in template data from existing fixtures.  Then, I can just go in and update my pallets and I’m good to go!

After you do that, you’re ready to take it to the next level and clone outside fixtures into your lighting rig.

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Learn how to clone like a champ and run lights live and on the fly for music in Puntastical!

If you’re new to lighting consoles, first check out the full guide on programming professional lighting consoles here: Professional Lighting Console Basics

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