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Author Topic: Planning a small bar show - could really use some advice!  (Read 6978 times)

Wes Garland

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Re: Planning a small bar show - could really use some advice!
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2016, 10:09:34 am »

Ha!  When I was mentioning front vs. back lighting, I wasn't thinking of beams cancelling out -- more like maybe burning out the image so that the eye sees too many shadows on the performers.

I was in a Long & McQuade on Saturday to pick up a new HF driver for one of my speakers and got to play with an ADJ Revo Burst while I was there.  Pretty underwhelming, but really cheap, so I bought it anyway.

It's an interesting light for the micro-venue, where the light can be REALLY close to the dance floor, but I wouldn't want to use it more than 12 feet off the ground, nor to cover an area bigger than 20x20.  I learned an important lesson by buying this light, though...It's big, compared to my other stuff, and I had a very difficult time mounting with my existing hardware, particularly for the venue I am targeting next Saturday...the dance floor has an 8' ceiling, there isn't room for a dedicated light stand beside the stage area, and the speaker has to go right next to the wall.  It took me over an hour to figure out how to hang it.

Here's what the rig I'm bringing to that gig looks like (you can't see most of the "dance floor").  I'll be counting on the house's ambient lighting to bring the brightness up a bit. The Microh Stagebar and ADJ P36 LEDs  are providing the front wash and I don't they are going to be enough to do what I want.  For the show, I'll be able to raise the front lights about a foot and the rear lights as high as I want.  The Microh Stagebar will be be farther away and way stage left, so I won't be able to light the individual performers as accurately as I'd like to, and the apparent brightness will be down.  My basement is too small for an accurate dress rehearsal, even for such a small club. :)

https://youtu.be/fixlAZeltKY

I won't make up my mind about my next lighting purchases until I see the results "in the field", but I'm currently leaning toward more front wash, some very bright RGBW or RGBAW fixtures like the Blizzard Hotbox.   Although it would be nice to find something smaller that was "good enough".  Transportation and setup time are also very important criteria.
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Rob Gow

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Re: Planning a small bar show - could really use some advice!
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2016, 10:35:54 am »

I use either 1 Hotbox RGBAW per side or 2 Fab5's per side deoending on the room. With my full light rig I'll have the front lights on the band with Amber at 100% and white at around 75%. If there's no back lights then I set the Hotbox on each side to a slow fade. No controller needed.

http://youtu.be/PON5LQiYXDw

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Steve Garris

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Re: Planning a small bar show - could really use some advice!
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2016, 12:52:09 pm »

Ha!  When I was mentioning front vs. back lighting, I wasn't thinking of beams cancelling out -- more like maybe burning out the image so that the eye sees too many shadows on the performers.

I was in a Long & McQuade on Saturday to pick up a new HF driver for one of my speakers and got to play with an ADJ Revo Burst while I was there.  Pretty underwhelming, but really cheap, so I bought it anyway.

It's an interesting light for the micro-venue, where the light can be REALLY close to the dance floor, but I wouldn't want to use it more than 12 feet off the ground, nor to cover an area bigger than 20x20.  I learned an important lesson by buying this light, though...It's big, compared to my other stuff, and I had a very difficult time mounting with my existing hardware, particularly for the venue I am targeting next Saturday...the dance floor has an 8' ceiling, there isn't room for a dedicated light stand beside the stage area, and the speaker has to go right next to the wall.  It took me over an hour to figure out how to hang it.

Here's what the rig I'm bringing to that gig looks like (you can't see most of the "dance floor").  I'll be counting on the house's ambient lighting to bring the brightness up a bit. The Microh Stagebar and ADJ P36 LEDs  are providing the front wash and I don't they are going to be enough to do what I want.  For the show, I'll be able to raise the front lights about a foot and the rear lights as high as I want.  The Microh Stagebar will be be farther away and way stage left, so I won't be able to light the individual performers as accurately as I'd like to, and the apparent brightness will be down.  My basement is too small for an accurate dress rehearsal, even for such a small club. :)

https://youtu.be/fixlAZeltKY

I won't make up my mind about my next lighting purchases until I see the results "in the field", but I'm currently leaning toward more front wash, some very bright RGBW or RGBAW fixtures like the Blizzard Hotbox.   Although it would be nice to find something smaller that was "good enough".  Transportation and setup time are also very important criteria.

Looking at the column, I see plenty of light getting to the stage in your basement. I'm one that doesn't like flashing - color changing lights on performers faces. I always use a fairly dim, natural flesh tone front wash. The real light "show" is what goes on around and behind the band. I use a ton of cheap lights and fog to get the effect. Also, my typical performer is older, so I don't want to light them up too much.

This photo shows a bunch of $18 ebay lights, some $80 MCM lights (on the tree), a pair of 4-Plays on their white setting, and ADJ Mega Bar, 2 Blizzard Hotbox 5's (behind drummer), and 2 Slim Par lights. The front wash is made up of 4 of the $18 ebay lights.
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Wes Garland

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Re: Planning a small bar show - could really use some advice!
« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2016, 12:53:17 pm »

Hey, Rob!

That looked really great - and that's exactly the type of "micro venue" I'm talking about.  I also dug the blacklight look in D26 NE BJ.

Do you ever try to light performers differently for different songs?  The reason I started out with 4 wash lights is that we have four different guys that sing lead, and I'm trying to draw focus to the lead singer and/or the soloist for a particular section.  Maybe that's more work that I need to do; your lighting looks great, and it's bright.

Any idea what fixtures were on the dance floor?  In D26 UJ HAF  I see what looks like an ADJ Revo pattern stage right, maybe another stage left also.  There's clearly some kind of moving fixtures on the go too.

Thanks for the reminder about the Fab5.  I remember you mentioning those on Harmony Central a couple of years ago.  They were out-of-the-question expensive then, but I have almost finished spending money on other stuff..
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Steve Garris

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Re: Planning a small bar show - could really use some advice!
« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2016, 12:56:15 pm »

Here's another pic. The club brought in a "snow" machine, which is that white shit you see everywhere. The ebay lights are the ones mounted up to the ceiling (club lights).
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Wes Garland

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Re: Planning a small bar show - could really use some advice!
« Reply #15 on: February 01, 2016, 01:26:42 pm »

Hey, Steve!

Some great advice there, and brings in to focus a mental imbalance I've been having wrt colours on the performers. Maybe I should video tape my rehearsal tomorrow night.  I probably AM throwing too much colour on people's faces; I wonder if I should switch my front and rear light stands around, leave the stage right speaker alone, and continue to use its P36s as front wash, but with a static colour.

Your age observations are on target, too, we are all just a bunch of old guys playing classic rock.  Which is why I run amber gels on my white flood lights. :)

How long does it take to set up a stage like the one you've posted?  My complete setup, without lights, takes about two hours from curb to first song, and getting into the venues earlier is sometimes not possible/practical.  If I am going to expand my light rig, I am definitely going to have to learn how be faster.

Re colour changing -- the demo is what I would call "nearly max energy".  I have been trying to divide my requires into four energy levels:

 - Minimal Energy - focus on a single performer at the start of a slow song, e.g. Let Her Cry, Every Rose Has It's Thorn.
 - Low Energy - Slow to mid-tempo rockers .. A Whiter Shade of Pale, Mary Jane's Last Dance,
 - Moderate Energy - La Grange, White Wedding, My Sharona, Born To Run
 - High Energy - Extended Solo sections in Twilight Zone, My Sharona

Minimal Energy: I've been bathing everybody in dark blue and putting a white light on the lead guy

Low Energy: Slow and gradual shift through the colour palette while the lead guy gets one white light and one sloowly colour-shifting light

Moderate Energy: Same as low energy, but the colours change faster  (I use tap-tempo for this, one per bar or two bars)

High Energy: You saw this, same as low energy but the colours flick instead of fade, and they do it faster

High Energy++:  Two P36s go white on faces of two main guys, 4-bar goes into music-activated mode

Any thoughts, let me know know. I am already trying to figure out if I can get good visibility with most of the colour changing happening behind the band rather than in front.  And if it will be at all visible without haze.  I am going to review some band pictures with venue lights and see what other guys have done, too.  I am super-smart when it comes to tech stuff, but being tech-savvy is not anywhere near the same thing as being good at lighting.
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Wes Garland

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Re: Planning a small bar show - could really use some advice!
« Reply #16 on: February 01, 2016, 01:32:08 pm »

BTW - those "eBay lights" - any idea which ones they are?  7 x 10W?
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Steve Garris

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Re: Planning a small bar show - could really use some advice!
« Reply #17 on: February 01, 2016, 01:37:52 pm »

BTW - those "eBay lights" - any idea which ones they are?  7 x 10W?

See this thread for the lights I've mentioned. The $50 lights are the basis of my new show that I'm building.
http://forums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/topic,157915.0.html
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Steve Garris

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Re: Planning a small bar show - could really use some advice!
« Reply #18 on: February 01, 2016, 02:13:30 pm »

Hey, Steve!

Some great advice there, and brings in to focus a mental imbalance I've been having wrt colours on the performers. Maybe I should video tape my rehearsal tomorrow night.  I probably AM throwing too much colour on people's faces; I wonder if I should switch my front and rear light stands around, leave the stage right speaker alone, and continue to use its P36s as front wash, but with a static colour.

Your age observations are on target, too, we are all just a bunch of old guys playing classic rock.  Which is why I run amber gels on my white flood lights. :)

How long does it take to set up a stage like the one you've posted?  My complete setup, without lights, takes about two hours from curb to first song, and getting into the venues earlier is sometimes not possible/practical.  If I am going to expand my light rig, I am definitely going to have to learn how be faster.

Re colour changing -- the demo is what I would call "nearly max energy".  I have been trying to divide my requires into four energy levels:

 - Minimal Energy - focus on a single performer at the start of a slow song, e.g. Let Her Cry, Every Rose Has It's Thorn.
 - Low Energy - Slow to mid-tempo rockers .. A Whiter Shade of Pale, Mary Jane's Last Dance,
 - Moderate Energy - La Grange, White Wedding, My Sharona, Born To Run
 - High Energy - Extended Solo sections in Twilight Zone, My Sharona

Minimal Energy: I've been bathing everybody in dark blue and putting a white light on the lead guy

Low Energy: Slow and gradual shift through the colour palette while the lead guy gets one white light and one sloowly colour-shifting light

Moderate Energy: Same as low energy, but the colours change faster  (I use tap-tempo for this, one per bar or two bars)

High Energy: You saw this, same as low energy but the colours flick instead of fade, and they do it faster

High Energy++:  Two P36s go white on faces of two main guys, 4-bar goes into music-activated mode

Any thoughts, let me know know. I am already trying to figure out if I can get good visibility with most of the colour changing happening behind the band rather than in front.  And if it will be at all visible without haze.  I am going to review some band pictures with venue lights and see what other guys have done, too.  I am super-smart when it comes to tech stuff, but being tech-savvy is not anywhere near the same thing as being good at lighting.

The beauty of this show is that it goes up incredibly fast, but be advised that 8 of those lights are club installed.

Here's the system I'm building, and I would say I can do it all in 15-18 min:

From the photo's I posted, the center tree behind the drummer is pre-mounted and wired.
The Hotbox 5's (brightest) are Master Slaved to each other, and run a program that slowly fades through the primary colors. Not ideal, but I typically don't have time to run lights. The Slim Par looking (Lightbrights) that are behind the drummers head were some cheap Chinese lights that actually look great behind a drummer because they create a bit of movement, along with the Mega Bar. Those too are Master/Slaved and connected via dmx cables. The Mega Bar is awesome behind a drummer. It creates a lot of movement and its sound active program is excellent. I just walk in, expand the tripod, plop the T-Bar on it, push it up high and plug it in - everything comes on and it runs to the beat of the drums - very cool. Set-up time = 5 min.

For side wash I'm using (2) T-Bars, pre-wired with (4) each of the 7-10W leds (the $50 ones in my amazon link). These had a dissapointing "sound active" program, but they look so great I decided to use them in an auto "slow fade" between the primary colors - just like the Hotbox's. Because I'm using them this way, I didn't have to Master/Slave dmx them together, so no cords! Eventually I'm moving to a touch screen software dmx system, but this works for now and requires very little time. Set up time = 8 min.

Lastly, for my front wash I use speaker mounted Par 38's with gel'd flood lights in them. Why? Because I have 4 boxes of flood light bulbs my boss gave me, LOL! I plan on getting rid of these and going to led's once I have the rest of the system together. These mount on my PA speaker fly points, right on the corner of each speaker. This is not ideal for a front wash, but it avoids the hassle and concern of having light tripods out in front where people can trip on them. Set up time, about 8 min.

The club pic's I posted have my light bar behind the drummer, and the outer lights on trees are another band members - similar to what I'm using. The front wash are those $18 ebay lights, and they're actually quite effective.

All of these lights I mention will come back on to their last setting when plugged in, so they remember what you had running.

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Rob Gow

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Re: Planning a small bar show - could really use some advice!
« Reply #19 on: February 01, 2016, 03:13:07 pm »

Hey, Rob!

That looked really great - and that's exactly the type of "micro venue" I'm talking about.  I also dug the blacklight look in D26 NE BJ.

Do you ever try to light performers differently for different songs?  The reason I started out with 4 wash lights is that we have four different guys that sing lead, and I'm trying to draw focus to the lead singer and/or the soloist for a particular section.  Maybe that's more work that I need to do; your lighting looks great, and it's bright.

Thanks. Yeah those HotBox's put out pretty good. When I use them as a white/Amber light on a band I just keep it simple. I control my whole light rig with either a foot controller if I'm playing or an iPad if I'm providing. I keep the front lights the same to keep things simple. I'm able to dim the lights to have a silhouette look for effect, but this is for both sides at the same time. 

Quote
Any idea what fixtures were on the dance floor?  In D26 UJ HAF  I see what looks like an ADJ Revo pattern stage right, maybe another stage left also.  There's clearly some kind of moving fixtures on the go too.

Thanks for the reminder about the Fab5.  I remember you mentioning those on Harmony Central a couple of years ago.  They were out-of-the-question expensive then, but I have almost finished spending money on other stuff..

I was like that as well. First things first, I got my sound rig to where I was happy with it, then instarted investing in the light rig.

In the bar, they have a Revo or two, a couple ADJ Jellydomes and a bigger version of the  Chauvet Mini Kinta. I don't know the name, they are Chauvet fixtures, plus something like a Chauvet Swarm
« Last Edit: February 01, 2016, 03:16:20 pm by Rob Gow »
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Planning a small bar show - could really use some advice!
« Reply #19 on: February 01, 2016, 03:13:07 pm »


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