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Author Topic: Pro Lightshow for 6 Piece Corp/Wedding band  (Read 10966 times)

Sean Mormelo

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Pro Lightshow for 6 Piece Corp/Wedding band
« on: December 13, 2015, 01:07:05 am »

Hi guys... As I alluded to in the other thread I'm looking to put together a very professional looking like show for our corporate band.  The whole thing will be automated using Jands Vista and Qlab synced up to our video show and our tracks.  Picture something you would see with video and lights at a decent size church. That's the type of show were going for as far as visuals.  Now we definitely have budget but we don't want to spend more than we need to.  Judging from all the other bands I've seen no one really spends too much of a light show and nobody in our market has the video show component that we are running as well so we want to stay far above the fray as far as quality goes.

I know we need to get enough wash to cover the stage and we want movers. Some movers in the floor rear stage etc. I'd get a lighting designer to help but I don't know of any around here.  I was thinking 4 movers, 2 in the back and 2  in front,  some LEDs on the front floor either side of the stage LED wash lights on either side of the stage front and in both corners in the back...some floor lighting on the sides of the stage. Moving bars vertical on the trusses in back...obviously the criteria has to be that it sets up fast so I want my lights on the tripod bars and I could just pull off and put in road cases and the movers that I could just put up on the truss stands.  Anyway if anyone has any insight as to how many movers I may need what kinds of lights to get and/or design ideas I'm all ears.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2015, 01:47:55 am by Sean Mormelo »
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Jeff Lelko

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Re: Pro Lightshow for 6 Piece Corp/Wedding band
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2015, 05:41:09 pm »

Hi Sean, I'll chime in on this one.  The trick with lighting is that it's as much of an art as it is technical know how.  What you and I think looks good might be two completely different things in practice!  Two big considerations you need to think of is how much power do you have available at your average location, and are you allowed to use fog or haze at your average location.  Those factors alone can make a huge difference on what you end up purchasing. 

In terms of 'professional' looking, I tend to think an up-lit truss totem with a moving head or effect light on the top looks much better than the basic DJ lighting tripod.  When I say 'totem', I just mean a length of 12" box truss with a properly sized base and top plate.  You can also do truss totems in various different lengths to help give your setup a little more dimension to it.  I'm not aware of any movers larger than DJ-grade that come built into a truss bar, so realistically you'd be attaching them to trussing top plates or clamping them onto your truss itself. 

As far as how many movers you need, that's totally up to you.  I'd focus on your primary stage wash first.  Get that right and then supplement with the eye candy.  One thing that does stand out to me is that you mention wanting to hire a lighting designer.  The system you're specifying isn't small and you'll need someone who knows how to both program it and do basic troubleshooting/maintenance on it.  Of course your mileage will vary, but professional movers need professional attention from time to time. 

One possible way to help narrow down your choices of fixtures is to rent first.  See what you like and what you'll use on a regular basis.  My personal inventory of movers varies from 250w halogen to 700w discharge...it's about having the right tool for the job.  Renting first can help you figure out what that is before you make the big investment, and for the once or twice a year shows that need more horsepower than you can justify owning, rent.  Hope this helps!

-Jeff
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Scott Carneval

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Re: Pro Lightshow for 6 Piece Corp/Wedding band
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2015, 07:21:18 pm »

In theory, automating the lighting sounds like a great idea, and there are certainly programs that will make the lights do SOMETHING in response to the music, but they very rarely do a great job. If there's a slow break down in the middle of the song, for example, you would want the lights to respond appropriately.  Instead, they'll just play the 'fast' scene, but slower. 

A human being actively controlling the lights will usually produce results about 10x better than any automated program. I have a dozen or so nightclub clients, and it's sometimes a struggle to get them to hire a person to run the light show.  I liken it to an iPod vs. a DJ.  You can put all the best music on an iPod and hit shuffle, but it will never compare to a good DJ who can read the crowd and play the appropriate song for that moment, kill the volume during 'sing-along' parts, etc.

You can probably find a 20yr old kid who's passionate about the industry to set up, run, strike, and maintain the lights. And you could probably get a better show with a fraction of the fixtures if you have a talented operator. 

As already mentioned, haze is a MUST for a good light show. A good hazer produces a fine mist, not a heavy fog.  You'll still need to get it cleared with the venue beforehand, but it will make a night and day difference.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2015, 07:24:15 pm by Scott Carneval »
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Sean Mormelo

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Re: Pro Lightshow for 6 Piece Corp/Wedding band
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2015, 08:27:05 pm »

Hi Sean, I'll chime in on this one.  The trick with lighting is that it's as much of an art as it is technical know how.  What you and I think looks good might be two completely different things in practice!  Two big considerations you need to think of is how much power do you have available at your average location, and are you allowed to use fog or haze at your average location.  Those factors alone can make a huge difference on what you end up purchasing. 

In terms of 'professional' looking, I tend to think an up-lit truss totem with a moving head or effect light on the top looks much better than the basic DJ lighting tripod.  When I say 'totem', I just mean a length of 12" box truss with a properly sized base and top plate.  You can also do truss totems in various different lengths to help give your setup a little more dimension to it.  I'm not aware of any movers larger than DJ-grade that come built into a truss bar, so realistically you'd be attaching them to trussing top plates or clamping them onto your truss itself. 

As far as how many movers you need, that's totally up to you.  I'd focus on your primary stage wash first.  Get that right and then supplement with the eye candy.  One thing that does stand out to me is that you mention wanting to hire a lighting designer.  The system you're specifying isn't small and you'll need someone who knows how to both program it and do basic troubleshooting/maintenance on it.  Of course your mileage will vary, but professional movers need professional attention from time to time. 

One possible way to help narrow down your choices of fixtures is to rent first.  See what you like and what you'll use on a regular basis.  My personal inventory of movers varies from 250w halogen to 700w discharge...it's about having the right tool for the job.  Renting first can help you figure out what that is before you make the big investment, and for the once or twice a year shows that need more horsepower than you can justify owning, rent.  Hope this helps!

-Jeff

Thanks for responding Jeff. As far as power The use of LED is imperative because not all venues have adequate power for anything. We'll truthfully mostly be playing in Hotel Ballrooms, Hard Rock Live type venues and wedding Halls. I had originally considered Trussing but the size and weight of the truss for transport and set up time considerations nixed that idea. I will have truss type stands for the moving heads on the back walls which will be draped in white and uplit. In my experience many places do allow Haze but some do not. Primarily the wedding type venues. We definitely want good Haze ability.

Again the moving heads will be going on Vertical truss stands like the Chauvet or Odyessy. Every lightshow we have seen that we are interested in DOES  HAVE MOVERS so they are definitely wanted. Again, I could post pictures of these big Churches with the video screen center and on each side back wall and movers along with Wash. That's the look we want.

We can't rent first because the entire lightshow will be programed and synced with our video and tracks. Programing the lights will be the easiest thing and we're very advanced in Audio and motion graphics effects programs. I have Jands Vista and it shouldn't be very difficult for us. It's a process however and because our show is a closed system, renting things is a non-starter. We have to design it and program it so we need everything to do so.

« Last Edit: December 13, 2015, 08:36:22 pm by Sean Mormelo »
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Sean Mormelo

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Re: Pro Lightshow for 6 Piece Corp/Wedding band
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2015, 08:30:26 pm »

In theory, automating the lighting sounds like a great idea, and there are certainly programs that will make the lights do SOMETHING in response to the music, but they very rarely do a great job. If there's a slow break down in the middle of the song, for example, you would want the lights to respond appropriately.  Instead, they'll just play the 'fast' scene, but slower. 

A human being actively controlling the lights will usually produce results about 10x better than any automated program. I have a dozen or so nightclub clients, and it's sometimes a struggle to get them to hire a person to run the light show.  I liken it to an iPod vs. a DJ.  You can put all the best music on an iPod and hit shuffle, but it will never compare to a good DJ who can read the crowd and play the appropriate song for that moment, kill the volume during 'sing-along' parts, etc.

You can probably find a 20yr old kid who's passionate about the industry to set up, run, strike, and maintain the lights. And you could probably get a better show with a fraction of the fixtures if you have a talented operator. 

As already mentioned, haze is a MUST for a good light show. A good hazer produces a fine mist, not a heavy fog.  You'll still need to get it cleared with the venue beforehand, but it will make a night and day difference.

No man, we're not automating anything. EVerything will be PROGRAMED to our music with cues specific to the dynamics of the song and the video. Nothing will just be running auto scenes.....

Again what we are doing is creating a show. The light show is preprogramed in advance to go with our music and video. Ya dig? Just programming all the cues and the video will be months. We've been working on our audio tracks for the first 50 tunes for 6 months already and are in the process of prepping the video.
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Scott Carneval

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Re: Pro Lightshow for 6 Piece Corp/Wedding band
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2015, 08:58:44 pm »

Oh ok. Sounds like you've got it all figured out then champ. Good luck.


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Sean Mormelo

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Re: Pro Lightshow for 6 Piece Corp/Wedding band
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2015, 09:31:54 pm »

Oh ok. Sounds like you've got it all figured out then champ. Good luck.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

No I have the show figured out and the software but I lead hoping for a recommendation of the specific fixtures I might need based on experience. Just because I don't need help with some aspects of what I'm doing doesn't mean I do not on others!! Specifically with regard to the fixtures as I originally asked. Thanks.
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Jeff Lelko

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Re: Pro Lightshow for 6 Piece Corp/Wedding band
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2015, 06:14:07 pm »

No I have the show figured out and the software but...

From piecing together the two threads you've started so far, I'm not convinced you do.  A lot of what you're saying is very contradictory and I don't think anyone is getting a clear picture of what you're actually trying to achieve.  I promise that I'm really trying to help you here, so please take this as constructive criticism. 

As far as power The use of LED is imperative because not all venues have adequate power for anything.

What's adequate for you?  20A, 100A, 600A?  Having played such venues at one point I know what you mean though in that each location is different.  Some have outstanding power and some are a fire waiting to happen.  I would imagine you also have a sound system and apparently video equipment as well?  How much power are you budgeting for that as well?  Despite the fact that LED units are lower wattage than their halogen counterparts, they are in no way negligible on the power budget.  Most decent LED par cans draw between 100 and 300w depending on features.  That's not something to leave unaccounted for.  Now, say you want 8 to 12 of these to handle your basic stage wash - that's at least 1 20A circuit right there.  My recommendation would be to figure out a solid number for average power available at your average venue and go from there.  Of course you can do what most of us do and scale the rig based on venue size and available power, but you seem pretty much against that right now.   

I had originally considered Trussing but the size and weight of the truss for transport and set up time considerations nixed that idea. I will have truss type stands... Again the moving heads will be going on Vertical truss stands like the Chauvet or Odyessy.

Can you get more specific on what a truss-type stand is?  A product link would be a great start!  Also, what's acceptable setup time for you?  15min?  2hr?  1 day?  Knowing that you're a band I'd be inclined to think the shorter the better, but big rigs take time and people to set up, aim, and run.  If you're not hiring at least one dedicated tech to handle this for you you'll be very limited in options that are big but go up fast and run themselves.

In my experience many places do allow Haze but some do not. Primarily the wedding type venues. We definitely want good Haze ability.

Sadly, it's never what you want - it's what the venue allows.  If both line up, then great!  Otherwise, you need to be ready to adapt.  Seeing as you want the exact same rig for each gig, you'll have to assume haze is forbidden and choose fixtures and effects accordingly. 

  Again, I could post pictures of these big Churches with the video screen center and on each side back wall and movers along with Wash. That's the look we want.

Please do!  That will help a lot.

  We can't rent first because the entire lightshow will be programed and synced with our video and tracks.

I don't think you understood what I meant by renting first.  What I'm getting at is rent/demo/attend trade show to see how various units look in the real world!  The promo videos you see on youtube look great because the company's marketing department pays to make them look great!  That's how they sell their product.  Based on what those videos show, you'd think you could light an arena with a dozen 10w LED movers!  Yes, you will ultimately purchase your system, but unless you've gotten to see what you're getting ahead of time you're taking a serious gamble.  Tying this into your other thread, nothing you've mentioned so far is name-brand.  Not that I have anything against ebay lights (and have had reasonable luck with them), the aftermarket support you'll get is probably nill, and like I said above, pro movers need pro service from time to time.  From the way you're talking right now, it seems as if you're about to spend some reasonable cash on a system.  The worst thing in the world is to drop say $30k on a rig just to see it's not bright enough for what you need (and then not be able to sell any of it because it's all no-name equipment).  You'd really be doing yourself a favor to find a nearby dealer who can help make sure you get what you need

  A human being actively controlling the lights will usually produce results about 10x better than any automated program.

And you could probably get a better show with a fraction of the fixtures if you have a talented operator. 
.
What he said.  Yes, I understand that you're looking to timecode your show together and run it autopilot, BUT, it's never that simple in practice, especially when operating mobile.  What if timecode won't sync?  What if a mover is acting up?  What if you don't have enough power to run your 'normal' show?  It's all about the what-ifs?  If you're truly playing the professional/corporate shows that you claim to be, you'll certainly understand that there always must be a Plan B and that you have to roll with the punches sometimes.  You should also be able to pay for a dedicated light tech at that gig level to help ensure professional results.  Yes, I occasionally run lightshows with timecode, but even beforehand in every venue I usually need to make slight adjustments to the programming.  If you set the board and cuing up correctly this isn't a big deal, but something that needs to be done.  Think about it, would an audience member really want a Mac 2K beaming them in the face from 20ft away?  Of course not, so depending on venue layout I often need to redefine the limits of where I want my movers scanning and where I don't - all before the show starts and tweaking as things progress.

So where am I going with all this rambling?  You need to realize that adaptability is crucial for both lights and sound depending on your situation and location.  That's what makes the difference between a cheap-looking DJ light show and a professional one.  Not necessarily what brand name is on the product or how many you have, but it's about knowing the right tool for the job and how effectively what you have is being used.  Hopefully you're willing to understand this crucial aspect of running a mobile operation.

Now that the 'criticize' part of this novel is done, here's the constructive part:  If you really must build a one-rig-fits-all show, have a look at the Martin Rush series as well as the Chauvet Rogue series.  Beam fixtures will be nearly useless without fog or haze, so since we're talking worst-case here, stick with washes since they'll look fine with or without haze.  Clay Paky also makes some very interesting movers that can do pixel mapping and other neat eye candy effects.  American DJ and Blizzard offer more budget-friendly solutions.  I really hope this helps you out.

-Jeff             

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Sean Mormelo

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Re: Pro Lightshow for 6 Piece Corp/Wedding band
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2015, 06:57:51 pm »

From piecing together the two threads you've started so far, I'm not convinced you do.  A lot of what you're saying is very contradictory and I don't think anyone is getting a clear picture of what you're actually trying to achieve.  I promise that I'm really trying to help you here, so please take this as constructive criticism. 

What's adequate for you?  20A, 100A, 600A?  Having played such venues at one point I know what you mean though in that each location is different.  Some have outstanding power and some are a fire waiting to happen.  I would imagine you also have a sound system and apparently video equipment as well?  How much power are you budgeting for that as well?  Despite the fact that LED units are lower wattage than their halogen counterparts, they are in no way negligible on the power budget.  Most decent LED par cans draw between 100 and 300w depending on features.  That's not something to leave unaccounted for.  Now, say you want 8 to 12 of these to handle your basic stage wash - that's at least 1 20A circuit right there.  My recommendation would be to figure out a solid number for average power available at your average venue and go from there.  Of course you can do what most of us do and scale the rig based on venue size and available power, but you seem pretty much against that right now.   
 
Can you get more specific on what a truss-type stand is?  A product link would be a great start!  Also, what's acceptable setup time for you?  15min?  2hr?  1 day?  Knowing that you're a band I'd be inclined to think the shorter the better, but big rigs take time and people to set up, aim, and run.  If you're not hiring at least one dedicated tech to handle this for you you'll be very limited in options that are big but go up fast and run themselves.

Sadly, it's never what you want - it's what the venue allows.  If both line up, then great!  Otherwise, you need to be ready to adapt.  Seeing as you want the exact same rig for each gig, you'll have to assume haze is forbidden and choose fixtures and effects accordingly. 

Please do!  That will help a lot.

I don't think you understood what I meant by renting first.  What I'm getting at is rent/demo/attend trade show to see how various units look in the real world!  The promo videos you see on youtube look great because the company's marketing department pays to make them look great!  That's how they sell their product.  Based on what those videos show, you'd think you could light an arena with a dozen 10w LED movers!  Yes, you will ultimately purchase your system, but unless you've gotten to see what you're getting ahead of time you're taking a serious gamble.  Tying this into your other thread, nothing you've mentioned so far is name-brand.  Not that I have anything against ebay lights (and have had reasonable luck with them), the aftermarket support you'll get is probably nill, and like I said above, pro movers need pro service from time to time.  From the way you're talking right now, it seems as if you're about to spend some reasonable cash on a system.  The worst thing in the world is to drop say $30k on a rig just to see it's not bright enough for what you need (and then not be able to sell any of it because it's all no-name equipment).  You'd really be doing yourself a favor to find a nearby dealer who can help make sure you get what you need
.
What he said.  Yes, I understand that you're looking to timecode your show together and run it autopilot, BUT, it's never that simple in practice, especially when operating mobile.  What if timecode won't sync?  What if a mover is acting up?  What if you don't have enough power to run your 'normal' show?  It's all about the what-ifs?  If you're truly playing the professional/corporate shows that you claim to be, you'll certainly understand that there always must be a Plan B and that you have to roll with the punches sometimes.  You should also be able to pay for a dedicated light tech at that gig level to help ensure professional results.  Yes, I occasionally run lightshows with timecode, but even beforehand in every venue I usually need to make slight adjustments to the programming.  If you set the board and cuing up correctly this isn't a big deal, but something that needs to be done.  Think about it, would an audience member really want a Mac 2K beaming them in the face from 20ft away?  Of course not, so depending on venue layout I often need to redefine the limits of where I want my movers scanning and where I don't - all before the show starts and tweaking as things progress.

So where am I going with all this rambling?  You need to realize that adaptability is crucial for both lights and sound depending on your situation and location.  That's what makes the difference between a cheap-looking DJ light show and a professional one.  Not necessarily what brand name is on the product or how many you have, but it's about knowing the right tool for the job and how effectively what you have is being used.  Hopefully you're willing to understand this crucial aspect of running a mobile operation.

Now that the 'criticize' part of this novel is done, here's the constructive part:  If you really must build a one-rig-fits-all show, have a look at the Martin Rush series as well as the Chauvet Rogue series.  Beam fixtures will be nearly useless without fog or haze, so since we're talking worst-case here, stick with washes since they'll look fine with or without haze.  Clay Paky also makes some very interesting movers that can do pixel mapping and other neat eye candy effects.  American DJ and Blizzard offer more budget-friendly solutions.  I really hope this helps you out.

-Jeff           

First and foremost Thank you Jeff for responding again! :) I'm sorry that I haven't been clear enough. I'll try to clear some things up.

First I will have a dedicated FOH tech and another tech to help with the lights and video. Of course we know you have to set adjust beam angles and positions on every gig because your setup space isn't always the same. Since Qlab is the hub of our show one racked Mac Mini will run that and probably the lights. The other will run the video and we have another one running an identical show on Qlab for rundundancy. Our FOH guy and Lighting/Video tech will have hybrid jobs no doubt and we'll have to suss out exactly who's in charge of what during a show.

As far as power, you are right..Sometimes you show up and there's a couple 20 AMP Circuits only...More often in Wedding type venues. For corporate jobs which are usually in big hotel ballrooms in the Orlando Market where I'm located there's usually 4-6 20 amp circuits.

for the moving heads in the back I was thinking we could put them on something like these, 8 feet up.


Generally setup time is 1-2 hours. Sometimes we get more time but we would like to design the system so between 9 of us, we could have it set up in under 2 hours. Everything rolling out of the trailer in cases, washes on trees that can be hung fast. etc.

As far as Haze goes, most Hotels do not allow it. So you are saying Moving head spots are out? Go for the moving Washes?


Again I apologize if in my ignorance I wasn't clear enough in my intentions and I REALLY appreciate the advice from everyone! I'll leave you with some general pics of what I'd like our light show to look like.



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Jeff Lelko

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Re: Pro Lightshow for 6 Piece Corp/Wedding band
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2015, 07:52:38 pm »

Fantastic, the pictures really help out with all this!  I'm glad to hear too that you'll have someone besides yourself helping out with the operations side of things.  I've just seen way too many musicians try to perform while running their own tech.  It works okay on the small scale (sometimes) but not so much on the larger scale.  So yes, what you're picturing above is definitely getting heavy duty.  Power-wise of course you need to juggle the available power between lights, sound, and any other onstage equipment that you might be using.  I can say with full certainty that all of the systems you pictured are using far more than the power you have available, but that's what growth is for  :)

The Trusst product in your first picture is exactly what I mentioned above as being a truss totem.  I just didn't catch that you were referring to the kind that screw/pin together to form the box versus the more common welded box truss.  Those will definitely work for what you're looking to do.  While not as strong or versatile as the standard box truss seen in the other pictures you posted they're a lot more friendly for storage.  I'd just keep the weight of the mover going on top in mind when using this product.  With no cross bracing and less overall weight of the truss itself I'd stick to the smaller options for movers up there versus a beast - quickly panning a heavy mover on a truss with no cross bracing will cause a noticeable 'wiggle'.

Setup time really depends on exactly how much you have to load in, rig, power, test, and adjust.  I assure you the pictured systems with line arrays took much longer than two hours to set up!  I see no reason why you couldn't do a half dozen totems, up lights, and other miscellaneous effects in two hours though, especially since you'll have help moving the gear.

You are absolutely right that most hotels do not allow haze.  Sometimes you get lucky, but usually you don't.  Every picture you shared has some amount of haze in it.  Some of the very bright beam fixtures such as the Clay Paky Sharpy can sometimes be seen if there's enough general dust in the air, but I wouldn't count on it.  So look at those pictures and imagine you can't see the beam in the air...  That's pretty much what your clients would see from your system without any haze.  Sure, you'll light up the walls and ceiling a bit and they'll see the shapes moving around the room, but a selection of wash and pixel-style fixtures will saturate the room with much more light and color.  You'll also get much more consistent performance out of the system regardless of atmosphere and how much (or little) control you have of ambient light.  There are some 'hybrid' fixtures on the market too - maybe that's something you should be looking towards?  That way you can at least adapt a little when haze is allowed without needing to swap fixtures around or do serious reprogramming. 

If you mean Orlando as in Orlando Florida, then there is no shortage of rental houses and dealers in the area that will be more than happy to rent or demo gear for you before you buy.  Many times I've walked in thinking I was going to buy one thing and the demo totally changed my mind, always for the better!  They can also help you out with making the purchase when the time comes (MUCH safer for your investment than buying on ebay) and they'll be there to help you with the ever so important aftermarket service and repairs when needed.  I work just east of the city so I can certainly recommend the network of Orlando dealers for having top-notch support.  I'm glad to see that we're finally getting somewhere with helping you choose the right equipment for your needs.  As you know it's a big investment, so definitely worth the time to make sure it's done right!

-Jeff
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Re: Pro Lightshow for 6 Piece Corp/Wedding band
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2015, 07:52:38 pm »


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