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Seeking advice on band lighting

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by froghat, Jan 27, 2012.


  1. froghat

    froghat Supporting Member

    Jun 14, 2009
    Rhinebeck, NY
    Not sure exactly where this thread belongs, so if there's a better place, please let me know.

    I have accumulated a number of LED lights (Colorstrip minis and similar) along with a DMX controller. They are bright and colorful and really look great. The only problem is I don't have a clue how to light a band.

    If I use one of the built-in programs to let them flash (either in sequence or along with the music) it tends to get tiresome very quickly. I can use the controller to change colors, but it's not something that can be done on the fly, and I'm generally more preoccupied with my bass playing than the lights anyway.

    I'd love to hear from folks who have ideas on the best way to use lights for live music. Thanks!
     
  2. froghat

    froghat Supporting Member

    Jun 14, 2009
    Rhinebeck, NY
    Found a lot of good stuff here
     
  3. pflash4001

    pflash4001

    Dec 2, 2011
    Add a haze/fog machine. It really makes the lighting effects stand out. I used a cheap $40 fog machine from Spencer's and it made a huge difference. Haze machines are nicer because they put down a light haze continuously instead of belching out huge clouds. It makes a difference...

    image-1716222614.

    This is a club that holds about 230 people last weekend. 3 par 64s, and 2 LED bars... Not sure what models. I'll check tonight. Controlled with an elation controller. Pretty much set to respond to the music.
     
  4. theculprit

    theculprit Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2012
    Houston
    Depends on the type of music you are providing lights for, your budget, how much time you have to invest, etc. #1 I might suggest using a pc based program such as Martin's "Light Jockey" (Product - LightJockey 2™) which uses a usb to DMX interface. I'm fairly sure that using this kind of system you can program an entire light show. #2 Bring someone you know and trust in and make them a band member in charge of the lighting. If they are willing to not only do it for free, but also willing to invest time and $$ at first then you are probably off to a good start. #3 Stay away from built in programs. They will make your expensive lighting look cheap. Less is almost always more. Use different colors to create mood not a fireworks show. #4 If your music allows for really atmospheric visuals, incorporate something like "milkdrop" (MilkDrop - Winamp) with a projector onto a backdrop. With a projector and backdrop you can also incorporate video into the show.
     
  5. theculprit

    theculprit Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2012
    Houston
    +1 Haze Machine!!!
     
  6. pflash4001

    pflash4001

    Dec 2, 2011
    Glad to see someone agrees!
     
  7. pflash4001

    pflash4001

    Dec 2, 2011
    Same stage. Same lights, sans fog machine...

    image-3599878900.
     
  8. froghat

    froghat Supporting Member

    Jun 14, 2009
    Rhinebeck, NY
    I can see the benefit of a hazer. (I own a fogger, but it doesn't make a room look like that picture!) They seem to run $300 and up though, so I'll start watching CL for one.

    As for a lighting person, even if we got one, the DMX programming seems to be scene-oriented. I.e. you can't just push a "red" button when you want red. I'm leaning toward letting the lights autorun in a slow fade from one color to another, working independently so there is a variety of color on the band at any time. Or am I not understanding DMX correctly? I have a Chauvet Obey 10 controller.
     
  9. pflash4001

    pflash4001

    Dec 2, 2011
    Honestly, I don't know too much about DMX controllers. I just flip the switch on these lights and let them go. I personally have 12 par 38s just so we don't play in a dark hole if I had any extra cash anywhere it usually went to improving my PA instead of lights. As far as the fog machine, what I did was have someone pump out a pretty dense cloud as the band was opening then set the timer on the fogged to put out short bursts frequently to maintain it. It pretty much ran itself from then on.
     
  10. theculprit

    theculprit Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2012
    Houston

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