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Ideas to enhance stage show beyond basic lights?

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by invader3k, Mar 1, 2014.

  1. Just wondering if anyone has some cool ideas for enhancing stage show and setup beyond just the basic "four lights on a pole on each side." That's what our current band does, though the guitarist recently added four more smaller lights on top of each pole.

    Just trying to think of some things other people have done to enhance their stage show a bit without getting too over the top. We play in smaller local bars...no room for a gigantic stage setup, etc.
  2. JonnyAngle

    JonnyAngle Dropping Acid Pedal Etching .com Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 24, 2008
    Maple Grove, MN
    A fog machine makes the lights pop (figuratively)a lot more. Otherwise I'm curious for others to chime in
  3. adamaarts

    adamaarts Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2001
    Corona, CA
    Beta tester Source Audio, demos/reviews of many others
    Experiment with light placenta and as mentioned fog, which makes them pop. There was one band I booked years ago that played in our small venue, they had lights in random places like under the drum, sides of stage, etc. plus strobes and fog. It was a pretty intense show which without all the lights probably would have been average. The key is timing it to the music. They had a dedicated lighting guy, but you could easily program something up if you don't already.

    Do a backflip of your amp.

    Give out free stuff.

    Guitar/bass swings around the head.

    Drum solo.

  4. waynobass


    Feb 27, 2008
  5. Oompa loompas
  6. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    Wash lighting behind the band - makes you look 3d
    Or a couple of big screen TVs or projectors for background.
  7. I agree with the fog machine. We have one and it makes a big difference.
  8. sowilson


    Jul 5, 2013
    Disco Ball
  9. Hi.

    HUGE +1 for fog, even though I can't imagine anyone trying to run any kinds of lighting without fog/haze.

    Haze is 10 times more effective than the fog-fluid fog, but the machines are at least 5 times more expensive, so people still use plenty of old foggers.

    A back-drop can have a big difference, I have one of those folding exhibition frames to mount one on. The kind in STTV holodecks :).

    Oil-gel projectors are kind of cool if You're into that kind of stuff...

    Old moving lights can be had for peanuts, makes a world of difference as well.

  10. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    I recently saw an epic metal band named Wilderun playing on a tiny stage in a crappy bar. The light system they used actually made me, as audience, feel like I was at a much bigger and fancier venue, watching a truly epic show.

    What it was was a computer programmed system with three compact light modules, each with super intense projection LEDs of some kind. One unit was a bar about six feet long, on the floor in front of the drummer, with a dozen white lights that rotated 90 degrees floor to ceiling. The other two were discs the size of dinner plates, each with all the colors of light, each positioned between the mic stands at stage front facing up to the band.

    The system was programmed in detail for every song, with the white lights strobing during double-kick passages and sweeping up and down or doing other patterns during epic choruses. The color plates did the usual job of coloring things but again they were programmed for every verse and solo.

    It was clearly a LOT of work, first to program the system in such detail, and then to practice as a band until the performance was just as tight as the programmed lights.

    However the actual setup onstage took up very little space, and was no hassle to run since it ran itself. And the final result was, as I said, enough to turn a crummy little hole of a stage into a full scale power metal fantasy show.
  11. nukes_da_bass

    nukes_da_bass Banned

    Feb 19, 2006
    west suburban boston
    Get a female dancer clothed only in a loincloth- it worked well for the butthole surfers! :)
    jimfist likes this.
  12. lowfreq33


    Jan 27, 2010
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification
    Fog machines can be pretty cheesy sometimes. The best thing to get is a hazer. It puts out a continuous stream of fine mist that gives the lights something to hit, so you see the beams, but not noticeable otherwise. The downside is cost. Cheapest one I know of is about $600.
  13. carefull with hazers in pub venues, some fire alarm sensors are set off by the haze, would make for an annoyed owner!

    Stagecloth is a good adittion for little money and helps define the stage in a small bar giving a better impression,

    also how do you dress? i dont know what type of music you do but i always thought coordinated wardrobe can make a band appear more professional and predispose the audience towards liking you.


    above example i thought really good value!
  14. We're not trying to drive people away :p

    I think a fog machine might be worth looking into...sounds like it could be worth looking into, and make our somewhat pedestrian light setup stand out more. I don't know much about haze machines...the comment about them possibly setting off smoke alarms gives me some pause.

    I see lasers are starting to get more affordable. Anyone experiment with adding those?
  15. Update: Decided to buy a couple Chauvet Colorstrip Minis. They're only $99 a pop, and will give us an option for a couple places we play where our standard lighting won't fit (we play in a really tight corner at one bar, for example).

    Will talk with the guys about possibly doing a fog/haze machine down the line.

    Edit: regarding the question of how we dress, you can see some very recent pics of us at www.facebook.com/wataband. The banner pic is from a very recent gig.

    Edit #2: Decided to do this "the right way", and also bought a Chauvet Obey 4 DMX controller.
  16. Wear a speedo!
  17. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    Checkout MCM Electronics and some of their generic lED light fixtures. i have a 4 Chuvet Slimpar 56's, 4 mcm slim par 56 equivalents and two of the MCm, Stellar Labs 4 Bars. The SL stuff is half the price and every bit as good... The 4 bars are $200 with case and pole in bag at the moment... I think the model # is SL-4192...

    Haze, not fog. Chauvet Hurricane at about $300 is pretty darned good. Saw a pair of them in action Sat night on a medium sized stage. 6 pc band. 10 movers in back, on poles at different heights and 8 slim par 56's. Total overkill but they were shooting video so they get a pass :D
  18. Thanks for the recommendation. I'll have to check it out.
  19. jgroh

    jgroh Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2007
    We have a pretty good light setup and the fog/haze machine is a great idea, HOWEVER...every freaking gig we play we have to go into a 10 minute explanation to whoever at the venue starts freaking out that the fog machine wont set off the fire alarms. EVERY...SINGLE...GIG. Im going to make up a sign. =) Otherwise it looks great.