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Author Topic: Effective LED system for band.  (Read 22404 times)

Todd Shumansky

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Re: Effective LED system for band.
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2008, 03:19:10 pm »

I've been looking at LED lights at www.theledguys.com.  Check out the American DJ Mega Panel.  I think it would work great for front or side lighting for a band.
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Shane Presley

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Re: Effective LED system for band.
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2008, 10:49:07 pm »

I have 2 observations(not to pile on about your speaker rigging), but it looks like the height you've achieved by rigging the tops, could have been almost accomplished by ground stacking the speakers.  And secondly, advice from my lighting/rigger friend - we always use soft straps or spansets against truss - never metal on metal. That might be a preference, I don't know for sure.  Maybe a lighting/ rigger can shed some light on this...Again - not bagging on your design, or technique, I'd like to know for myself... aircraft cable against truss Rolling Eyes

BarryWillems

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Re: Effective LED system for band.
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2008, 07:53:58 pm »

The height we get is limited to the venue. This particular venue is outside, but there is a large tree that limits how high we can crank the truss. In this case, the bottom of the cabs are about 8 feet off of the dance floor area. We believe that provides several advantages.

1) We are able to angle the speakers downward to more evenly cover the dance floor and the immediate area about 50 feet from the stage. This is a "backyard" area at a restaurant that is in a neighborhood, so they are very concerned about sound levels beyond the fence. As such, we must limit the bass from the subs as well. Conventional stacks would provide less even coverage and more "spillover" past the fence line. If you walk in an arc about 30 feet from our stage, side-to-side, you will note very even coverage throughout the listening area, with little/no noticeable holes or high frequency combing. With 140 degree coverage from each side, we are also able to get a pretty wide stereo sound field, which we take advantage of in the mix.

2) This venue is quite wide beyond the stage, so conventional stacks of speakers would block audience sight lines and make the stage less open.

3) We would have to build a stack about 11 feet high to accomplish the same speaker height in this venue. In addition to losing the previous 2 benefits, I would argue this is less safe (subject to tip-over) than what we are doing.


As far as cable-on-truss concerns, normal practice might be to provide some type of soft interface between the cable and the truss, but at less than 50lbs hanging on each cable, I see no issue with cable fray or truss wear. We have been using this rig for about a year with no visible wear whatsoever.

We have used this front truss rig in several of the quite small venues we play in from time to time, and have had very good results. We are able to make these gigs look much bigger and more impressive versus the typical "lights on a tree" approach. People are amazed when they stick their heads in the bar, and they come in to check it out, which is exactly what we want. Once we get them in, we can usually keep them with the quality work we do.

It would be nice to play in larger, better paying venues, but we are weekend warriors and prefer to stay very local. But that doesn't mean we can't have a little fun with the staging and setup. Also, I personally like to innovate and experiment a little with the latest gadgets (such as the LED lighting, wireless laptop FOH control, etc.), and love it when people wonder how the hell we are doing some of the stuff we do. It's part of the entertainment value for me in this out-of-control hobby of mine.

Again, I appreciate everyone's concerns, but I am convinced this is safe. In fact, far safer than many things I have seen other bands/clubs do. Also, I am not advocating anyone else try to copy what I have done. This thread was originally about LED lighting, and I did not intend for my little truss/fly system to get us off track.
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Gene Hardage

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Re: Effective LED system for band.
« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2008, 04:23:40 pm »

Oh happy day!  I finally took the plunge and bought some new LED stage lights.  I sniffed around here and found a few mentions of a place called CheapLights.com and called them - they were very nice and helpful.  I had a bunch of old heavy black PAR 56's - some with 300 watt standard flood type bulbs and some were retro fitted with 500 watt raylight kits.  I also had and old mini follow spot and truly dinosaur Sunn dimmer packs and foot switch board controller thingy.  So out with the old and in with the new...

I wound up with one of those cheap little Chauvet follow spots - it's a big improvement over my old one even though the old one was just a wee bit brighter - the new one has nifty little color buttons and even DMX that will let you change colors remotely.  (magic!)  I had an old sturdy Ultimate Support light tree so I drilled holes in the T bar and mounted all 4 of my new LEDs to it.  More Chauvets - I think I'm the first customer for the new aluminum can LEDrain 64.  The best part - with all 4 lights + the tree + the wires - you can easily lift the whole thing and carry all at one time - plop it down where you want it and presto - let there be light!  I got a Chauvet DMX-44 controller to make them all work - I'm sure there many other ways to get the job done and it's too soon to tell about how well these things hold up but for now I'm a happy camper.
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Jeff Lord-Alge

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Re: Effective LED system for band.
« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2008, 07:26:57 pm »

Northwest Lighting FX has Led kits and Led par cans at the lowest price I've seen.
 I own 11 of them and 8 of the Passpot moving heads . I got roadcases with all this. It was much cheaper than anything I've seen .  The Led can use about 30 watts per can compared to 300 to 1000 for conventional pars. Each par 64 led  light puts out close to the same light as a 300 watt par bulb . One big difference is that the led lights can change color . Any combination of Red , Green and Blue .  So you can have all the cans on at once and change all of the colors at once . You will need a DMX controller . But you will never regret switching over . You get much more light and color  with one tenth the power .
    Cheers Jeff
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David Gregory

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Re: Effective LED system for band.
« Reply #15 on: June 14, 2008, 03:25:39 pm »

Thought I would post an update to my rigs progress.

I am still in the process of upgrading my lighting system. I had a rig with 20 PAR cans ( 8 Par64, 12 PAR56 ) and 5  20amp dimmers. While the system looked awesome, got tired of blowing breakers and having to get very creative routing power to avoid doing so. Got to the point where we were not even setting up a 1/4 of the stuff because it was just too big a pain in the ass.

Sold everything on Craigslist for a nice tidy sum and purchased some of the new LED fixtures off of Ebay. The kid who bought them from me was estatic and all I could think was Good Riddence. Bought 3 Chauvet Colorstrips and 2 Chauvet Colorbanks for stage wash. Also four Intimidator Color changers for effects. Still trying to figure out what to use in the center over the drummer. Maybe a Scorpion Sky laser, maybe a DMX controlled ladle of boiling pitch, don't know yet...

http://www.thedestinyband.com/led.jpg

Wow! These lights are amazing! Especially the Colorstrips. They use 33 watts peak, weigh 4.5 pounds, and generate ZERO heat. (My old system could roast chickens on stage.) They are plenty bright and have some awesome scrolling programs when linked together too.

Bought a Chauvet DMX-70 controller and learning programming. Was looking into software based control but I went with a hardware controller after my laptop took a dump last week for no reason whatsoever. Got it straightened out but no way do I trust it on a gig.
I shot some fog and snapped a couple pics. Lights are setup in my basement.

http://www.thedestinyband.com/lights4.jpg
http://www.thedestinyband.com/lights.jpg
http://www.thedestinyband.com/lights2.jpg
http://www.thedestinyband.com/lights3.jpg
http://www.thedestinyband.com/lights5.jpg

All of it will easily plug into a 15amp circuit with power to spare.

Here is what I picked up on Craigslist 2 weeks ago.

http://www.thedestinyband.com/novascans.jpg

Three VEI Novascan flat mirror scanners and a Novascan barrel scanner. Traded the Vue3 ( The big light in the middle of the pics.) that I should have never bought since it's more suited to DJ's than band lighting. That and a couple bucks got me $1000 worth of intelligent lighting. They are a little rough but work great. Man! I love Craigslist!

Just recently, I bought some Global truss and stands.
http://www.thedestinyband.com/truss.jpg
http://www.thedestinyband.com/truss1.jpg

Now, thats what I'm talkin about! This stuff is great. No longer will I be worried about a light rig up in the air over our heads.
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David Gregory

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Re: Effective LED system for band.
« Reply #16 on: June 14, 2008, 03:31:01 pm »

Took the rig out 2 saturdays ago and it was a success. I hadn't planned on using this stuff yet until I got some proper truss and got the scanners programmed. ( Global Truss didn't arrive yet.) However, we setup earlier than usual and sound check went without a hitch so I thought what the hell, we set everything up using the rickety dJ truss right before we played.

http://www.thedestinyband.com/seekers3.jpg
http://www.thedestinyband.com/seekers2.jpg
http://www.thedestinyband.com/seekers7.jpg
http://www.thedestinyband.com/seekers8.jpg
http://www.thedestinyband.com/seekers4.jpg
http://www.thedestinyband.com/seekers9.jpg

We havent used lights for awhile and I forgot how important they are to a rock band's performance. I don't think we played or sounded any better than usual but the crowd reaction reminded me of this. ( I always said that lighting accounts for 50%) After every tune there was an eruption of applause and cheers that seemed way over the top. Plus people hit the dance floor early despite everyone being bummed about the Penquins losing that night.
The Colorstrips are amazing and I am so glad I bought these. Virtually no power draw, no heat, and the built in patterns are mesmerizing. We couldn't help but turn around and watch them while playing. LOL.
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David Gregory

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Re: Effective LED system for band.
« Reply #17 on: June 14, 2008, 03:58:43 pm »

The plan now is to get 3 more Colorstrips, another for the back truss ( It's 13.2' as opposed to 10') and 2 to supplement the front. The LED Colorbanks used for front wash are definately not cutting it. The plan is to stay away from dimmer packs completely. Got to buy some narrow clamps to get the Colorstrips to mount to the Global Truss as well.    

Also, I am researching Hazers ad-nauseum. I would love to get a Le Matire Radiance but just can't afford it.  Crying or Very Sad  I absolutely, positively have to get a Hazer though. These lights are somewhat dimmer than my old rig but with fog/haze they look great. The cool thing is no more popped breakers and having get creative running extension cords all over the place. Most places we play have a terrible power setup.

I wanted to post this so you guys can get an idea of what the colorstrips look like. They really are great for someone on a limited budget. IE: Me!
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Tony "T" Tissot

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Re: Effective LED system for band.
« Reply #18 on: June 14, 2008, 04:55:45 pm »

Thanks for the pictures..
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MNGS
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David Gregory

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Re: Effective LED system for band.
« Reply #19 on: June 14, 2008, 08:25:00 pm »

No problem. I am planning on doing some videos as well when I get this rig squared away.
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