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Author Topic: Setting up light shows for my band  (Read 1116 times)

James Bowker

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Setting up light shows for my band
« on: March 10, 2017, 04:09:06 am »

Hey
Really keen on getting a stage lighting show for my band when we play live.
We usually play at small venues so we dont need massive amounts of lighting, since most of the venues we play at have their own but we wanted something that can sync to our music and enhance our performance.

So far Ive decided on 2x 4bar LEDs on each side of the band and 3x 30w RGB strobe at the front of the band on the floor with another 1 at our drumkit

I know LED strobes arent as good but we arent on massive stages or anything so am hoping these will suffice
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/222110385452?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

The LED bars im getting are these ones
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/131844152953?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

I want to MIDI them to our songs so we can play to a click so which programs that are simple enough are worth looking into?

And as well how many DMX cables would be necessary for this setup and will I need terminators?

I have a lot to learn but am still doing research and would really like some feedback and how my set up should be before I commit to buying anything as of yet.

Thanks heaps!
« Last Edit: March 10, 2017, 04:11:38 am by James Bowker »
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Will Knight

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Re: Setting up light shows for my band
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2017, 09:32:41 am »

Hey
Really keen on getting a stage lighting show for my band when we play live.
We usually play at small venues so we dont need massive amounts of lighting, since most of the venues we play at have their own but we wanted something that can sync to our music and enhance our performance.

So far Ive decided on 2x 4bar LEDs on each side of the band and 3x 30w RGB strobe at the front of the band on the floor with another 1 at our drumkit

I know LED strobes arent as good but we arent on massive stages or anything so am hoping these will suffice
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/222110385452?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

The LED bars im getting are these ones
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/131844152953?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

I want to MIDI them to our songs so we can play to a click so which programs that are simple enough are worth looking into?

And as well how many DMX cables would be necessary for this setup and will I need terminators?

I have a lot to learn but am still doing research and would really like some feedback and how my set up should be before I commit to buying anything as of yet.

Thanks heaps!

Hi Jim and welcome to the PSW forums. You'll find the members here are very helpful with tremendous knowledge and experience. But that feedback can be brutal at times so don't take any of it personally.

Now, a few questions and comments.  If the venues you're playing already have lights, why to do you want to ADD to it?  Is the purpose of the band focused on playing music or putting on a light show?  You've heard the saying "less is more" and unless there are no lights at a venue - different situation - leveraging what the venue has reduces the amount of setup, storage, cost, configuration and maintenance you/band need to handle. 

As for the lights you've listed, that strobe light is a cheap DJ targeted unit - NOT for bands - from China and I would be surprised if it worked when delivered.  The other 4Bar likewise is from overseas (Australia) so delivery and more importantly, repairs (!?!?!) would cost you in terms of time and $.  There's a very common saying around here to "Buy Once, Cry Once".  That said, I would suggest holding off buying those lights - or ANY lights -  for now, and focus on exactly what type of "light show" you want to ultimately provide.  Invest in that time upfront because Lighting, like everything else, can get VERY costly VERY FAST.  In addition, you'll need to take into account the additional power requirements to run them all.

But if you REALLY need to get "lights in a hurry", you can start looking at Chauvet, ADJ and Blizzard all of whom make popular 4Bar kits and strobes at decent quality and at least decent to very good service. 

Good luck and let us know how things go.

Bill
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Steve Garris

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Re: Setting up light shows for my band
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2017, 01:57:39 pm »

I'll second what Bill is saying. Read through these threads, and see the different lights suggested by forum members. The cheap, no-name lights a fine in the single units ($35 US each). I just assume if one goes out, I'm going to throw it away. But if you have a light bar malfunction, you've lost half your light show!

I use the cheap single units on tree's, (4) each. With really good 12' stands, each tree costs me about $210 US. But they don't have the cool control functions, and work best when wire to a dmx controller. You might be better off with the packaged systems by ADJ and Chauvet:
https://www.amazon.com/Chauvet-Tri-USB-Tri-color-Compatibility/dp/B0177BNP56

See the other thread on front lighting, and others. Also there is this very small form on lighting:
http://www.harmonycentral.com/forum/forum/LivePerformanceCategory/acapella-34

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James Bowker

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Re: Setting up light shows for my band
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2017, 11:00:36 pm »

Main reason for our own lights is to have them synced to our music, we dont have a light guy we can bring to each show. So we are gonna program them to our stuff and possibly use a footswitch to trigger sections and stuff with our drummer to a click.

Thanks for the input, with how I drew up my stage lighting would you guys have anything to add to that exactly? more or less lights
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Wes Garland

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Re: Setting up light shows for my band
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2017, 10:15:23 am »

James - if you have a keys player, it's possible he may be able to trigger some of the stuff. A lot of the controllers speak MIDI.
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Michael w StompLight

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Re: Setting up light shows for my band
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2017, 02:53:50 pm »

Hi James,

I commend you for your awareness and effort to improve and add lighting to your show. I have a 5 piece dance band and we play taverns, country club patios, yacht club decks and house parties. Until recently I struggled to find an ideal portable, robust and effective lighting solution. As folks mentioned there are products out there from the big 3 but they don't last long and are a hassle to set up and break down. Everyone in your audience wants to post pics and video on social media so (in my opinion) any artist or band should add lighting to their performance. I believe it is big part of the equation.
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Mac Kerr

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Posting Rules
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2017, 04:50:29 pm »

Hi James,

I commend you for your awareness

Please go to your profile and change the "Name" field to your real first and last name as required by the posting rules displayed in the header at the top of the section, and in the Site Rules and Suggestions in the Forum Announcements section, and on the registration page when you registered.

Mac
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