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Author Topic: First attempt at stage lighting...  (Read 6595 times)

Daniel Lozada

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First attempt at stage lighting...
« on: December 12, 2011, 05:41:01 pm »

Well this weekend I had my first go at lighting a stage for a small outdoor concert of sorts - a local benefit concert for Toys For Tots featuring six local bands.  We were brought in to handle the lighting and provided power feeds for the entire event.  We didn't handle the sound on this one.

I do have to admit I was a bit nervous going into this one, but everyone seemed pleased with the result.  Ran 12" box truss for front and back, with ST-180 lifts on the front and ST-132s on the back.  Blizzard Puck RGBAs handled the front wash, while Chauvet Colorstrips handled the back lighting.  All DMX control was handled by a Macbook running ShowXpress.












Any thoughts?  Advice moving forward?  As stated previously - this was my first time doing stage lighting for bands so I was pretty much playing it by ear.
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Gulf South Productions
Dynacord, Nexo, EV, Yamaha, Midas, Elation, Robe, Staging Dimensions
Mississippi, US

mark lonow

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Re: First attempt at stage lighting...
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2011, 06:13:10 am »

take half ur down  satge lights put on the up  stage truss

crank up the trees more weather permitting

looking at the budget for sound i think u did great !!!!!
« Last Edit: December 13, 2011, 06:17:00 am by mark lonow »
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Daniel Lozada

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Re: First attempt at stage lighting...
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2011, 12:15:02 pm »

The cranks were at that height due to the gusty wind conditions we were enduring the entire day.  I could have safely raised the upstage truss a bit more, but didn't want to chance anything.

As far as the up stage lights go - I have plenty of Blizzard Puck RGBAs so I could add more - I used 12, but own 36.  I was contemplating doing that for this show, but was unsure what the output was going to be like having never run those fixtures in this type of environment before.  I knew the Colorstrips on the back truss were going to be very bright and possibly overpowering.  I am going to add another 4-6 Colorstrips to my inventory so that I can use them for strip lighting at the edge of the stage firing up.  I didn't use any Colorstrips on the front truss because they are an RGB fixture that doesn't do white/amber/yellow colors all that well.  The Pucks are an RGBA fixture and have no problem doing the neutral colors.
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Gulf South Productions
Dynacord, Nexo, EV, Yamaha, Midas, Elation, Robe, Staging Dimensions
Mississippi, US

Ray Cerwinski

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Re: First attempt at stage lighting...
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2011, 02:05:50 am »

In the future, try zoning out the stage by performer and focusing front lights into the various zones. This way you can control color and intensity for any given performer individually (say the guitarist in white for a solo while everybody else is blue).

I'd skip the strip lighting at the stage lip and try to do something creative with the Colorstrips on the upstage truss. Maybe rig them vertically and use them at low intensity for some eye candy effects.

Other than what was already mentioned (get the truss as high as you safely can), everything looks good and it's an excellent start.

Also, your front light is on your downstage truss and back light is on the upstage truss. Seems the terms are being used backwards here.
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Ray Cerwinski

James Feenstra

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Re: First attempt at stage lighting...
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2011, 02:00:17 pm »

more trim height will greatly improve what you can do lighting wise. Another 3-4 feet would give you enough of a downward angle to avoid lighting up your front truss with the upstage lighting.

For a rock show you generally want more lighting upstage than downstage. Your typical arena rock show has very little front lighting outside of follow spots, in some cases there's none. Mind you, in this situation (no hazer) you probably want to go about 50/50 as the only effect your lights are producing is what they're doing to the band/instruments.

Personally I'd have stuck another 8 lights upstage between the colorbars in pairs to give a different angle, but for what it's worth (and considering the obviously low budget!), it looks pretty good!
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Daniel Lozada

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Re: First attempt at stage lighting...
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2011, 02:24:47 pm »

Ray - thanks for the tip and for correcting the confusion about what was upstage vs downstage.  I will have to work out some more creative options for next time (given that there is a next time...this is a market I am not currently in, and am unsure if I want to attempt to break into it).

James - I would have liked to get more height out of the rig, but the wind gusts wouldn't let up all day.  I will remember that next time though.  I will try to move most of the lighting to the upstage truss next time.

Just so I'm clear  - everyone has touched on getting the downstage truss higher, but what height is preferred for the upstage truss?  Is it best to have them close to the same height?  I set this one up with the downstage truss slightly higher than the upstage truss, but was unsure if that was the norm or not.
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Gulf South Productions
Dynacord, Nexo, EV, Yamaha, Midas, Elation, Robe, Staging Dimensions
Mississippi, US

Steve (Stevie Ray) Kalbach

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Re: First attempt at stage lighting...
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2011, 03:11:34 pm »

Just so I'm clear  - everyone has touched on getting the downstage truss higher, but what height is preferred for the upstage truss?  Is it best to have them close to the same height?  I set this one up with the downstage truss slightly higher than the upstage truss, but was unsure if that was the norm or not.

Daniel,
You know me, and you know I am no expert on concert lighting, but I can tell you what I like.  I see alot of concerts in my area, and most I see have the truss set to a matched height, and I can say ashetically it looks clean, people like balance.  But the shows that "Wow" me are the ones with different angles and different levels.

I think as the LD, it is up to you to decide which works best for the particular application you are designing for.  If lighting was one size fits all, everyone would be using the same amounts of truss, with the same rigging points, with the same fixtures and programming.
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Stephen (Stevie Ray) Kalbach
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Daniel Lozada

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Re: First attempt at stage lighting...
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2011, 04:11:54 pm »

Steve - good points indeed. Thanks for the input.
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Gulf South Productions
Dynacord, Nexo, EV, Yamaha, Midas, Elation, Robe, Staging Dimensions
Mississippi, US

Kyle Leonard

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Re: First attempt at stage lighting...
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2011, 02:55:27 pm »

One easy to do to gain height would be to flip the truss so the pucks are on top of the truss. This will give you at least 18" more.

Also, look up McCandless lighting theory. It's only a theory, but it will help you determine coverage better. If you had all of your lights mounted 45 degrees to the last and right, you would have doubled your upstage light.

Matter of fact, if you keep 45 degrees in mind, you performers will be very happy. No "looking into the lights" feeling.

For a first shot, good job.

Kyle
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Daniel Lozada

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Re: First attempt at stage lighting...
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2011, 04:21:32 pm »

Thanks Kyle - I will look up that McCandless lighting theory immediately!
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Gulf South Productions
Dynacord, Nexo, EV, Yamaha, Midas, Elation, Robe, Staging Dimensions
Mississippi, US
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