smoke machine at shows

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Schwinn, May 14, 2004.

  1. Schwinn


    Dec 4, 2002
    Sarasota, FL
    People in my band want to get a smoke machine, but I think they're stupid. What do you think about it?
  2. Our band has one. I think they are cool but, I think you have to use them at the right moments. If you use them for every song, it looks like your over-using them. You almost have to use them in conjunction with your lights. Lights REALLY add to the effect. In fact, I'd say don't use your smoke machine unless you have some really good back lighting. :D See pic.
  3. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    So verrrrry true!!!

    I know a band who uses theirs for the entire opening set. First time I saw them, I thought maybe they were doing a Marlboro ad. The "novelty" wears thin quickly.

    Personally, I like blacklights better.

  4. DaveDeVille

    DaveDeVille ... you talkin' to me ?? Supporting Member

    what style of music are you guys playing ? it might not look too cool with a country western band ...
    actually , this reminded me of my 1983 raggae band . we were playing a patio gig in the middle of the winter , and we used a kerosene heater to keep ourselves warm . well , the heater malfunctioned and started spewing white smoke { and a really nasty smell } out into the
    already small crowd !! cleared that place out in seconds , and nobody would come back out for the rest of the night :(

    sorry for the hi-jack , but the memory just popped into my mind when i read the question ...
  5. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    Consider a HAZING machine instead. They put out an almost invisible mist, which just makes the lights look better, so you can see the beams. Much better to breathe, and most people don't even notice it and you get all the improvement to your light show that fog affords, with none of the heavy nonsense.

    My opinion, if you're not playing heavy metal, thick fog looks ridiculous.
  6. Do you know where to get one of these "hazing mahines" ?
  7. Happy MurphDay

    Happy MurphDay

    Mar 9, 2004
    the thing with smoke machines is people dont know how to use them, they thinks its a faucet(sp?)you turn it on when you want it, and turn it off when you dont want it,

    the smoke machine needs like 20-30secs to "warm up" and once you take your foot off the button, the fog machine needs to cool down, (1-1:30 minuets)

    the trick is to cues it up for the courus and stop right when it starts spitting out fog

    other wise it turns into a subliminal malboro ad as stated previously
  8. Edwcdc

    Edwcdc I call shotgun!

    Jul 21, 2003
    Columbia MD USA
    Our lighting guys installed the smoke machine under the drum riser. They drilled 2" holes all around so the smoke would spread evenly around the stage. This gets rid of that big cloud of fog right where the machine is.
    On the other hand, some club owners won't let you use fog machines. We have even set off the fire alarm once or twice when our guy leaned on the button too long. :D
  9. It's pretty unlikely you'll see any metal bands using that nonsense unless they're just doing it for laughs. I really don't think fog machines impress anyone, you'd probably be better served spending the band money on t-shirts or stickers to sell.
  10. Edwcdc

    Edwcdc I call shotgun!

    Jul 21, 2003
    Columbia MD USA
    You don't want to go too thick on the fog. Just enough to accent the lights. Too much looks lame, and cheesy. As far as it goes with my band, I could take it or leave it.
  11. stay away from bubble machines.
    they make me get all fall downy.
    and they create too much tension in the music.
  12. Schwinn


    Dec 4, 2002
    Sarasota, FL
    We do covers ranging from goo goo dolls to metallica.

    The one time I saw a band use smoke it was horrible - a thick cloud. That's why I'm against them.
  13. Edwcdc

    Edwcdc I call shotgun!

    Jul 21, 2003
    Columbia MD USA

    You must have seen my band. :D
  14. My band is thinking of using a fog machine with strobe lights. I think that would be a pretty fun effect, but like you guys have said, the novelty will wear thin very quickly. Also, i dont know who we will get to operate them. Anyway, i think fog is fun if its not over used. :hyper:

    Another little story. :rolleyes: The NHS organization at my school makes a haunted house for elementary kids every year and we use a fog machine with all kinds of "spooky" lights. Anywho, there was a kid (who smokes a lot of pot and will do anything if you dare him) "helping out" with the set up. People dared him to take a hit off the fog machine and he did. Not just little puffs, but huge hits. And not just one...but like 7. :eek:
  15. during a sound check for our gig back in november, the smoke machine screwed up, and so filled the stage with smoke - you could not see a thing, it was just gunna keep going until the flask with the liquid had emptied... the stage looked like it was on fire :D
  16. mr e

    mr e

    Nov 17, 2003
    a HAZER is the way to go
    it won't mean jack if you don't have lights...
  17. andrewd


    Sep 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    i found this site the other day

    they make every kind of fog/foam/mist/wind/bubble/snow machine you could possibly need
  18. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    The other vital piece of equipment with a hazer is a box fan! It helps spread the haze around evenly - which makes all the lights look good, not just the ones on the hazer side of the stage.
  19. I don't think I've ever played with a bubble machine befor. What is "fall downy?" Is that when you look at the bubbles and you fall down? :p
  20. I played showcase gig once and the band before us brought out a bubble machine for their final song. when we started playing, the stage was covered in soap. i usually move around a lot so i spent the entire gig trying not to fall down.

    so as ralph wiggums (the simpsons) might say, "i was all fall downy".