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need some basic live lighting info

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Schizoid75, Feb 24, 2008.

  1. Schizoid75


    Apr 27, 2005
    Columbus, OH
    I can't seem to find any good basic info on lighting for live sound online. I'm sure it's out there, but there's so much crap to sift through. As my band is starting to gig more, I'd like to invest more in lighting and put on a show for the crowd. I have no clue about how this stuff works, how it works together, what sort of cables I need, where to start, etc. My main problem is that we normally run sound ourselves, so we don't have any dedicated to run the lights. We generally have a few wives/girlfriends around who can help out, but I'd like to get stuff that is either sound activated or can be easily controlled from the stage or by footswitch.

    Any suggestions on sites with good beginner info? Any specific product recommendations?

  2. Ely


    Jun 8, 2001
    Huntsville, AL
    I am a lighting guy, and I can tell you that it is only limited by your budget.

    Do you want just a basic PAR can tree system? Silly cheesy DJ lights? Maybe an intelligent light setup?
  3. Schizoid75


    Apr 27, 2005
    Columbus, OH
    Well, I'm not really sure. As I said, I probably need things that can either be sound activated or easily manipulated from the stage. It seems like all the "effect" lighting stuff out there has a sound activation feature, so that seems positive.

    Would it look like monkey-poo to have a handful of various lights all set to sound mode?

    Right now the only thing we've got is two of those small Chauvet color bank modules. They actually work pretty well in smaller venues. Super portable, no truss needed, lights the stage enough, and the sound mode works fairly well. I was hoping one truss behind the drummer with a few of the moving effects lights would somewhat complete the look--a little more light on stage and some motivation for dancers on the floor.

    If you were a basic bar band playing small to medium bars, running all your own sound and lights where portability and being able to get it into an SUV was an issue, what sort of setups would you consider?
  4. All I did was buy a 4 colour stage lamp to sit behind the drums, 2 Mushroom type thingies that spin and make the dance floor look pretty, a smoke machine with foot pedal and a bubble machine (which will probably never be used).

    The lights all have sensitivity knobs that change how responsive they are to the music being played. So I just play with them at home (kids love that) and at gigs I will set and forget them best I can and hope they chase the music somewhat accurately :D

    I'm sure I could do better!
  5. Hi, Schizoid75.

    Two things IMO/IME on top of everything.



    Whatever You buy, make sure it can be controlled with DMX. That's the protocol which what the various boxes speak with eachother.

    Without smoke/haze even the best lights look dull and plain.

    The rest is really limited with Your desires and wallet. With unlimited funds I'd go with LED Par-cans and moving heads. and a computer controlled system. With limited budget, like me, light bars with PAR 56 cans, old Martin scanners and a smoke machine.

  6. nortonrider


    Nov 20, 2007
    Yeah, way to go Depth Charge!!

    A bubble machine!! How cool. You just gotta put that sucker to use, preferably during a metal song.
  7. I used to use a bubble machine, and our first gig with it, we put it behind the drumkit, the bubbles stuck to one cymbal, and more bubbles just kept sticking to the others...drummer tried hitting it, sounded like a garbage can lid...

    The bubbles actually piled up about 3' off the cym and stayed...it was so cool, you gotta try it, not sure why the first bubs didn't pop, but he had polished the cymbs right before the show.

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