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Author Topic: Moving head issues  (Read 1773 times)

Don T. Williams

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Re: Moving head issues
« Reply #20 on: July 19, 2018, 04:32:12 pm »

Do try the factory reset, it could solve your problem.  I have not owned or used these lights, but many movers have more than one "mode".  As an example, they may have a 16 ch. mode with 8bit pan & tilt, a 19 ch. mode with 16 bit pan & tilt, and a 25 ch. mode with a lot of macros.  These modes indicate the number of channels needed to control the light, with the higher channel counts giving your more control options or some built in programs (the macros).  Make certain all the light are in the same channel count "mode" or they will not work together.  I have some matrix lights with a 19 ch. "basic" mode and a 118 ch. mode to pixel map the matrix.  That's a huge difference!
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Mark Cadwallader

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Re: Moving head issues
« Reply #21 on: July 19, 2018, 05:29:46 pm »

Magnus,

Stage directions are always stated from the point of view of the talent on the stage, facing the audience.  "Stage right" is to the right of the talent.  Upstage / downstage comes from early stages where the audience just stood on the ground. The stage was sloped ("raked") so the stage furthest from the audience was higher than the stage "down front", so you could be more easily seen and not be visually blocked by talent that was closer to the audience.  Upstage was uphill on the raked stage.  Nowadays, stages are level, and seating areas are raked.

"SR" is stage right; "SL" is stage left. US/DS for upstage/down stage. CC means the very center of the stage, centered R-L and centered upstage-downstage.  You will need that information to read or make a stage plot.  ALWAYS indicate the downstage side of the plot; make sure everybody is using the same reference points. 
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Magnus Andersson

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Re: Moving head issues
« Reply #22 on: July 20, 2018, 09:48:23 am »

That's up to you to figure out, but I generally frown on any moving lights being set on top of loudspeakers.  It can work if the fixtures are small and light enough, but if my memory is correct a Mac 550 is about 70 pounds.  Rigging one safely is not trivial. 

Hmm I might have to reevaluate this then. Although the loudspeakers isn't close to where any audience will be so it's highly unlikely anyone will be able to tip over the loudspeaker but I'll see when I get there.

I thoroughly read through the manual again and managed to find where the issue was and thanks to all the four movers being on same adress I coluld isolate some other issues like speed etc. I've set several settings on the same now so they work really well together. There's a slight delay in one of them though which I really can't figure out and I've checked a lot of the settings but it's so slight that it doesn't matter. I haven't had to use a factory reset but if IU run into more problems I just might.

Thank you all for the explanation of SR, SL, DS/US and CC. :)

Now I feel like I'm ready to start programming everything since I've gotten everything to work as it should and sync well. Do you have any general tips for the programming part? Since we won't have a designated light technician I have to preprogram some chasers.

I'm thinking of three different "modes";
       * Fading lights/more slowly for slower powerballads/ songs.
       * A bit faster for most songs but try to avoid a certain BPM so it doesn't look unsynced with the music.
       * Strobes/ fast stuff etc for a few guitar solos/ intense parts.
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Don T. Williams

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Re: Moving head issues
« Reply #23 on: July 20, 2018, 06:02:00 pm »

Other popular "looks" include "fly ins" and "fly outs" and "ballyhoos".  With a fly in or out,, the lights start in a focused position and fanned out (or in) and sweep up or down to a new position up over the heads of the audience or the reverse and fly back down to the stage position.  A ballyhoo has each light moving in a pattern (often a figure eight) somewhat randomly.  With follow spots, they are focused down on the crowd to excite them.  With floor lights, the pattern usually on the ceiling.

If you are trying to do "aerial" effects with light (where you see the beams), a haze machine is really needed.
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Jeff Lelko

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Re: Moving head issues
« Reply #24 on: July 20, 2018, 07:03:19 pm »

Hmm I might have to reevaluate this then. Although the loudspeakers isn't close to where any audience will be so it's highly unlikely anyone will be able to tip over the loudspeaker

Weight and balance is only one concern with putting moving lights on top of a loudspeaker.  How are you going to secure the light so that it doesn't vibrate off the speaker over the course of a few hours?  Steve Garris often shows a very creative solution he uses for attaching some Par 38s to a speaker via its rigging points, but doing this to a 70 pound moving light is a whole other issue.  While tops don't vibrate like subs, it's still enough to potentially cause problems.  Additionally, the "guts" of the light won't like vibration either.  Over time this can cause wiring harnesses to wiggle loose, lamps/sockets to have issues, etc.  If that wasn't enough, the momentum of the head swinging around imparts enough force to move both the fixture and the speaker if not mounted securely.  If your speakers are all ground stacked there are ways to get past this if you really want to, but speakers on a stand with a 70 pound moving light on top - forget about it.  Just not worth it in my opinion.  This would work much better on a truss totem (full box truss) with sufficient base/ballast. 

...but I'll see when I get there...

Uh, you do have a plan don't you?  As mentioned higher up, setting up lights like this isn't a trivial undertaking.  Rigging fixtures of this weight isn't something to go in with a "wing it" attitude.  You'll need to have the right clamps, safety cables, and other necessary rigging hardware handy and ready to go.  How about power?  Do you have insurance?

Now I feel like I'm ready to start programming everything since I've gotten everything to work as it should and sync well. Do you have any general tips for the programming part? Since we won't have a designated light technician I have to preprogram some chasers.

This is where the artistic part of lighting design comes in.  How "active" of a design do you want?  I'd suggest watching the lighting design of some of your favorite bands.  Take note as to how the lighting either fades into the background or stands out as part of the act - two different techniques in there - you'll want to master both. 

In terms of actual programming, I leverage palettes in all of my work.  It's the best way to have flexibility from day to day yet still not have to reprogram the entire show from night to night.  You controller cannot do this to such an extent, but you can still layer your programming.  What this means is to have some chases that are pan/tilt only.  Others are just color.  Others are just beam (gobo, prism, iris, etc.).  By then playing back and varying several chases "on top of each other", you can have a very diverse set of looks while only using about a half-dozen actual chases/sequences programmed.  Good luck!
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Magnus Andersson

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Re: Moving head issues
« Reply #25 on: July 20, 2018, 07:35:19 pm »

Other popular "looks" include "fly ins" and "fly outs" and "ballyhoos".  With a fly in or out,, the lights start in a focused position and fanned out (or in) and sweep up or down to a new position up over the heads of the audience or the reverse and fly back down to the stage position.  A ballyhoo has each light moving in a pattern (often a figure eight) somewhat randomly.  With follow spots, they are focused down on the crowd to excite them.  With floor lights, the pattern usually on the ceiling.

If you are trying to do "aerial" effects with light (where you see the beams), a haze machine is really needed.

Sadly don't have permission to use a hazer at our next gig due to them being very careful with fire alarm. Hmm is it possible to make an eight-pattern with setting different static points in a chase in some way, or do I need to use software for this?
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Magnus Andersson

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Re: Moving head issues
« Reply #26 on: July 20, 2018, 07:50:16 pm »

Weight and balance is only one concern with putting moving lights on top of a loudspeaker.  How are you going to secure the light so that it doesn't vibrate off the speaker over the course of a few hours?  Steve Garris often shows a very creative solution he uses for attaching some Par 38s to a speaker via its rigging points, but doing this to a 70 pound moving light is a whole other issue.  While tops don't vibrate like subs, it's still enough to potentially cause problems.  Additionally, the "guts" of the light won't like vibration either.  Over time this can cause wiring harnesses to wiggle loose, lamps/sockets to have issues, etc.  If that wasn't enough, the momentum of the head swinging around imparts enough force to move both the fixture and the speaker if not mounted securely.  If your speakers are all ground stacked there are ways to get past this if you really want to, but speakers on a stand with a 70 pound moving light on top - forget about it.  Just not worth it in my opinion.  This would work much better on a truss totem (full box truss) with sufficient base/ballast. 

Uh, you do have a plan don't you?  As mentioned higher up, setting up lights like this isn't a trivial undertaking.  Rigging fixtures of this weight isn't something to go in with a "wing it" attitude.  You'll need to have the right clamps, safety cables, and other necessary rigging hardware handy and ready to go.  How about power?  Do you have insurance?

This is where the artistic part of lighting design comes in.  How "active" of a design do you want?  I'd suggest watching the lighting design of some of your favorite bands.  Take note as to how the lighting either fades into the background or stands out as part of the act - two different techniques in there - you'll want to master both. 

In terms of actual programming, I leverage palettes in all of my work.  It's the best way to have flexibility from day to day yet still not have to reprogram the entire show from night to night.  You controller cannot do this to such an extent, but you can still layer your programming.  What this means is to have some chases that are pan/tilt only.  Others are just color.  Others are just beam (gobo, prism, iris, etc.).  By then playing back and varying several chases "on top of each other", you can have a very diverse set of looks while only using about a half-dozen actual chases/sequences programmed.  Good luck!

The loudspeaker will not be on a stand, they are directly on the floor and rather big (the box PA 252 ECO MKII, hope I don't violate any forum terms with "advertising"). I hear your concerns, and you add factors I haven't thought of which is great. We will play rather short sets of 45 minutes so could adjust if it has vibrated anything after each set. Also I could just simply try it out when rehearsing how it works and determine whether it's safe to use or not. But yeah the vibrations just might cause enough problems with the "guts" as you say so that it might not be worth it even if I can do it in a safe way.

"If your speakers are all ground stacked there are ways to get past this if you really want to" Is there anything you have in mind?

Since I'll have them on the floor I won't really need any clamps right? Safety cables do you mean with electricity then or? I've calculated power consumptions so should be on the clear with that. What do you mean with insurance? Would I need something special for lights? If there's a fire or anything that goes on the house insurance right?

Yes I will watch some for inspiration but I have some ideas myself aswell. What is palettes? Tried googling but didn't get any sense of of it. Yeah will get several different kinds of chasers that will make it feel varied. Maybe I will make lighting themes for a few key songs but will more do general programmes.

Thanks for your input :)

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Jeff Lelko

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Re: Moving head issues
« Reply #27 on: July 20, 2018, 09:12:13 pm »

The loudspeaker will not be on a stand, they are directly on the floor and rather big (the box PA 252 ECO MKII, hope I don't violate any forum terms with "advertising"). I hear your concerns, and you add factors I haven't thought of which is great. We will play rather short sets of 45 minutes so could adjust if it has vibrated anything after each set. Also I could just simply try it out when rehearsing how it works and determine whether it's safe to use or not. But yeah the vibrations just might cause enough problems with the "guts" as you say so that it might not be worth it even if I can do it in a safe way.

Nope, you can certainly name the products you're using here, and doing so makes offering advice much easier.  The rules in that regard have to do with dealers and manufacturers of products inserting their product into suggestions when it's not warranted.  You're fine :)

I mean realistically, you'll probably be fine - just keep an eye on things.  Given that this is PROsoundweb, many of us aren't okay giving or taking advice that will "probably be fine" - we like to do it right given that for many of us our jobs and paychecks rely on getting it right the first time. 

Is there anything you have in mind?

Martin Macs use the quarter-turn fasteners, so if I had to mount these on top of speakers, I'd either build some sort of vibration isolation plate that can also serve to bolt the fixture to the speaker.  That way there is no possibility the unit can rattle off the speaker or be pushed over.  You could also drill some cups into the top of the speaker that align with the unit's feet - not ideal but better than nothing.  Again, most likely nothing will go wrong with just setting it up there, but the consequences of being mistaken wouldn't be worth it to me.  The best option is to build a truss totem using a base plate, some box truss, and a top plate.  You drill the top plate so that you can bolt the fixture onto it, and you ballast the base to keep things stable.  That way you keep your sound and lights separate, and can also put your speakers and lights in the best locations for the purposes that they serve.  Just my two cents, and you can see no shortage of people putting movers on speakers - I'm just not one of them.

Since I'll have them on the floor I won't really need any clamps right? Safety cables do you mean with electricity then or? I've calculated power consumptions so should be on the clear with that. What do you mean with insurance? Would I need something special for lights? If there's a fire or anything that goes on the house insurance right?

If everything is legitimately on the floor then no, you don't need clamps or safety cables.  On speakers (if you must), no clamps, but you'll want specialty rigging if possible as mentioned above, and I'd still safety cable it if I can find something reasonable to tie off to.  Safety cables are designed to arrest a falling light fixture should its clamps or rigging fail.  These keep you from killing people.  Your lights have a point in the base that's used for this purpose (it's in the manual - seriously, read it, and keep reading it until you understand it - there's a lot of good information in there). 

Glad to hear you've planned ahead for power consumption.  Yes, insurance is for liability.  I'm nearly certain that you don't live in the United States and thus your laws might be different, but at least over here it's strongly recommended to have liability insurance when performing or supporting an event.  In fact, it's been nearly a decade since the last time I worked an event that I didn't have to submit a COI for.  In this business things go very bad very fast.  At least over here having insurance is basically mandatory once you get to a certain level, but it's desirable and highly recommended for any live performer regardless of "level".  There are lots of good threads here that discuss this if you're interested.

What is palettes?

A palette in the lighting world refers to making recordings of specific moving light attributes for use either in larger programming sequences or for busking (making it up live in real time during the show).  Palettes are usually broken into specific types of attributes such as color, beam, and focus (pan/tilt).  This can help to group attributes among different lights or be used in programming to allow for easy modification.  Let me try to give an example:

Let's say we want to make our moving lights trace a box.  Well, I can do that by programming every attribute of every moving light into four cues for each of the four points in the box.  That's great, and it'll work.  Now what happens when I move to a different venue?  I want my lights to still trace a box, but I want those corners of the box to be in a slightly different place.  Using the "keyframe" approach described above, I'd literally have to reprogram my show since the four cues also contain information about each unit's shutter, color wheel, gobo wheel, etc.  This is time consuming and often not practical to do in a short period of time.  Instead, let's say my "box corners" are defined by Focus Palette 1, 2, 3, and 4.  My chase just tells me to cycle through the four focus palettes, regardless of what the values are.  That way, when I come in to a venue I just have to redefine or "update" the four palettes, which I can do in a minute or two, and all my other programming will automatically track along.  This is MUCH easier to implement once you wrap your head around it, and this is the technique used by almost every lighting professional when working with large numbers of moving lights.

So a box might not be too impressive, but let's expand this to a real-world situation - your band.  We'll assume we have a singer, guitarist, bass player, keys, and drummer.  That's 5 areas of focus, so we'll make them Focus Palettes 1 - 5.  Once I get my rig hung, all I have to do is tell my lights where they need to point for those 5 areas of focus, and again, all my other programming will fall into line automatically.  Once you start taking into account other sequences that use colors, gobos, prisms, shutters, etc., you can see how much time this technique saves since you don't have to now reprogram EVERYTHING just because your drummer set up 5ft too far downstage.  That's the gist of it.  Your board can't really do this to its full extent, but if you decide to upgrade to a proper hardware console or a software package, this will be a big concept that you'll want to master.  Hope this helps!
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Don T. Williams

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Re: Moving head issues
« Reply #28 on: July 21, 2018, 01:17:27 pm »

Sadly don't have permission to use a hazer at our next gig due to them being very careful with fire alarm. Hmm is it possible to make an eight-pattern with setting different static points in a chase in some way, or do I need to use software for this?

Esentially all chases start with static points that are connected in the programing in manual console with programable chase steps.  Computer lighting software with a DMX interface, or consoles that are esentially computers running internal lighting software with a user interface surface, have complex pre-programed effects to produce cirlcles, figure eights, squares, and other patterns that are in essence a very complex chase with many steps.  So, yes its possible depending on your lighting controlers' features to program a chase that looks like a figure eight.
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Moving head issues
« Reply #28 on: July 21, 2018, 01:17:27 pm »


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