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Author Topic: Recommendation on my lighting setup  (Read 1582 times)

Mike Deey

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Recommendation on my lighting setup
« on: March 10, 2019, 04:51:57 pm »

Hi, this is my first post on this forum. 

I am looking for some recommendations regarding my basic lighting setup and how I can BEST use it for my situation (in regards to color/settings, etc.) 

Here's my situation.  I am a drummer in a 3 piece rock cover band.  Most places where we perform, we bring the lighting and space is somewhat limited depending on the venue size.  Time is also somewhat limited, as I have to set up/break down drums AND lights pre/post show. 

Here's my gear:

2 T-bars.  I usually set one T-Bar on each side of the stage.  (Very small venues, I only bring one T-Bar.)
8 Venue ThinPar 64 lights ( 4 on each T-Bar).  Pointed at band members, banner, bass drum logo, dance floor, etc.. Set on a color fade, or auto color switch.   Including DMX cables to master/slave.
2 Venue ThinPar64 that I set on floor, near my drums to light the drums with a static color (aka ego lights..haha)
2 cheap moving heads that I set on floor, connected Master/Slave mode so they mirror each other in an auto mode.
2 Chauvet Shocker 90 Strobes.  Attached to vertical post on T-Bar, pointed at Dance floor, in sound active mode.
Assorted DMX Cables of various length including one 50ft, to Master/Slave both t-Bars.



OK....I know there's only so much I can do on a limited amount of gear and I think using a DMX controller/software is overkill for a band that plays twice a month.  SO my main question is color suggestions for the ThinPars on my T-Bars. 

1) Should I have all 8 ThinPars the same color at any given time, via DMX Master/Slave so they all show the same color when they switch colors?  I would use my 50ft cable to accomplish this.
2) Chain only 2 together, so there are different colors at any given time?  I currently do this and occasionally it gives some funky blends....
3) Any other suggestions?

Thanks ahead of time for taking the time to respond and I look forward to interacting with the responses.

---Mike


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Paul G. OBrien

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Re: Recommendation on my lighting setup
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2019, 05:56:37 pm »

3) Any other suggestions?
Get a DMX controller. The amount you play has nothing to do with it and you're running DMX cable anyway so why not take full advantage.

The reason is so that you can get different looks and not the same old thing all night.. and yes a random mix of colors running sound active all night qualifies as "the same thing".
Yes having all fixtures on the same color at the same looks good, and having the movers execute some pre programmed moves and scenes looks a lot more pro even if it's not sync'd to the beat.. which of course is the next step up.
There are hardware controllers that can do a good job and some are also midi controllable but if you want something you probably won't outgrow the obvious choice is to start with software where you can eventually build up to custom shows that are sync'd with individual songs.
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Mal Brown

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Re: Recommendation on my lighting setup
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2019, 06:45:28 pm »

One suggestion I can make...  less light up front and more backlighting.  Use darker washes up from and lighter from the back to create a look.

I have a cheap Chauvet clone controller from stellar labs that lasts me pretty easily create and trigger scenes.  I think Mono price has something similar for about $100.

Highly recommend that you look at Donner wireless dmx devices.  Last season I ran 6 or them 1 per tree.  I put 6 led pars on front corners, 4 on the band, 2 on the audience per side.  Two in the back with 4 led pars per.  Two that each supported 1 mover - I was experimenting ...  the first fixture on each tree got a Donner receiver and the transmitter plugged into the controller.

That save a boat load of cable string between the trees.  Do this sooner rather than later...
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Jason Fultz

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Re: Recommendation on my lighting setup
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2019, 07:27:43 pm »

Hi, this is my first post on this forum. 

I am looking for some recommendations regarding my basic lighting setup and how I can BEST use it for my situation (in regards to color/settings, etc.) 

Here's my situation.  I am a drummer in a 3 piece rock cover band.  Most places where we perform, we bring the lighting and space is somewhat limited depending on the venue size.  Time is also somewhat limited, as I have to set up/break down drums AND lights pre/post show. 

Here's my gear:

2 T-bars.  I usually set one T-Bar on each side of the stage.  (Very small venues, I only bring one T-Bar.)
8 Venue ThinPar 64 lights ( 4 on each T-Bar).  Pointed at band members, banner, bass drum logo, dance floor, etc.. Set on a color fade, or auto color switch.   Including DMX cables to master/slave.
2 Venue ThinPar64 that I set on floor, near my drums to light the drums with a static color (aka ego lights..haha)
2 cheap moving heads that I set on floor, connected Master/Slave mode so they mirror each other in an auto mode.
2 Chauvet Shocker 90 Strobes.  Attached to vertical post on T-Bar, pointed at Dance floor, in sound active mode.
Assorted DMX Cables of various length including one 50ft, to Master/Slave both t-Bars.



OK....I know there's only so much I can do on a limited amount of gear and I think using a DMX controller/software is overkill for a band that plays twice a month.  SO my main question is color suggestions for the ThinPars on my T-Bars. 

1) Should I have all 8 ThinPars the same color at any given time, via DMX Master/Slave so they all show the same color when they switch colors?  I would use my 50ft cable to accomplish this.
2) Chain only 2 together, so there are different colors at any given time?  I currently do this and occasionally it gives some funky blends....
3) Any other suggestions?

Thanks ahead of time for taking the time to respond and I look forward to interacting with the responses.

---Mike

You're the drummer? Are you using a Roland XPDs or other electronic devices in your set?
A lot of those devices will send a midi message. You could use a controller that will accept midi commands and pre program a ton of scenes/presets that you can trigger through your kit. You would have control of your show.
A lot of bands that I've worked with that use backing tracks and some of their own effect lighting will have the midi command synced up with backing tracks sending info out to a software controller.
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Mike Deey

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Re: Recommendation on my lighting setup
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2019, 05:52:17 am »

You're the drummer? Are you using a Roland XPDs or other electronic devices in your set?
A lot of those devices will send a midi message. You could use a controller that will accept midi commands and pre program a ton of scenes/presets that you can trigger through your kit. You would have control of your show.
A lot of bands that I've worked with that use backing tracks and some of their own effect lighting will have the midi command synced up with backing tracks sending info out to a software controller.

I have an acoustic set....definitely not an electronic set guy. 

Thanks for replies.  I have tossed around the idea of DMX Controller in the past.  I understand the addressing of fixtures, channels, etc....It's just a matter of deciding whether to go with an actual physical controller or something like DMXis. 

Also, I don't see myself buying new fixtures anytime soon....BUT if I ever do upgrade, I will go wireless.  The guys in my band don't like ANY lighting at all (I feel it's a necessity to SEE the band), and they hate the extra cables that are ran for it. 
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Rob Spence

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Re: Recommendation on my lighting setup
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2019, 11:17:16 am »

I have an acoustic set....definitely not an electronic set guy. 

Thanks for replies.  I have tossed around the idea of DMX Controller in the past.  I understand the addressing of fixtures, channels, etc....It's just a matter of deciding whether to go with an actual physical controller or something like DMXis. 

Also, I don't see myself buying new fixtures anytime soon....BUT if I ever do upgrade, I will go wireless.  The guys in my band don't like ANY lighting at all (I feel it's a necessity to SEE the band), and they hate the extra cables that are ran for it.

The advantage of a hardwire controller is that it is a dedicated appliance that behaves the same each time you use it. Laptop computers are fragile, have other things running on them that may or may not interfere with your lights and, changes to the OS and the software are not completely in your control.

Side story... at my wife’s office, they have a touch screen windows kiosk sign in system. It runs a captive program in a non-privileged account. Automatic updates are turned off as much as they can. During the day, it regularly puts up a window announcing that it is going to perform an update (which it cannot succeed at cause it is not an Admin). The IT folks cannot get it to stop doing it.

You mention that all the extra wires are a source of contention with the lights. I would think that moving to wireless would be a no brainer to simplify your setup and strike. A set of 4 receivers and a transmitter is only about $100 on Amazon.



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Dave Garoutte

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Re: Recommendation on my lighting setup
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2019, 01:02:32 pm »

The wireless Tx,/Rx will work with your existing fixtures.
Going that route will eliminate all you cable runs, other than power.
Put one receiver on each tree and daisy chain the fixures on it with short DMX cables.
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Terry Martin

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Re: Recommendation on my lighting setup
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2019, 02:53:47 pm »

I used to play drums, lead sing all night, and control lights from a Show Designer 2.   

It can be done!    ...not well, but it can be done!  Get a dmx controller, park it next to your hi hat stand and hit buttons!  :-)  even if it’s between songs, at least you’ll have different looks.



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Steve Garris

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Re: Recommendation on my lighting setup
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2019, 03:50:03 pm »

I think you have most of the gear you need, and I've had great success with a non-controller based system. On all of my PA rentals I include a basic light system that just runs on its own.

First of all, I agree that you should ditch the cables and go with (1) Donner wireless receiver per T-Bar. https://goo.gl/5ixqZ1

Now for your colored lights, I too agree these should be behind the band. I would set some to color fade, and others on their sound active mode. Another option would be to use a fixed color on some, and color fade and sound active. For a basic setup light this, no one will ever notice if some odd color combo's come up.

I also use those cheap mini movers. While mine are dmx with a controller I have seen them in use with their auto-programs running. The only bummer here is if they happen to be blinking or strobing when you are between songs. It's a little cheesy looking, but still better than nothing.

Regarding your strobes set to sound activated - so these are going off all the time? I personally think they should barely be used, if at all. They can quickly become annoying to the venue patrons.

Lastly, your front wash. I hate the way bands look when light by RGB fixtures pointing at the band members. The front wash should be a steady warm white IMO. I don't know if you can get it with the Lightbright style RGB fixtures you have, but I suppose you could try it. Rather than using led's, I simply use Par 38 cans with 90W flood bulbs in them. I use them both open or with a Rose or Amber gel. The light looks so much more natural and pleasing. Keep all of your colored lights behind the band or on the sides.  https://goo.gl/LTXV81

Front trees - I'm not a fan of trees out in front of the PA speakers. Do your speakers have the standard M10 threads for fly-points? If so, you can attach the front wash lights directly to the speaker. I made a bracket that holds 2 lights per side, and just screws right down into the top corner of the speaker. The front wash could then be wired to a remote footswitch to turn them off/on.

See attached pic's - my full system with the self running light bar behind the drummer.
A Par 38 attached to a speaker with a 10mm thumbscrew.
My front wash brackets at an outdoor show.
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Steve Garris

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Re: Recommendation on my lighting setup
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2019, 03:58:30 pm »

Here's a video showing the sound activated lights behind the drummer, and a single Par 38 on each speaker. Also the cheap mini movers are running an auto program here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCq3fOq4XcA
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Bob Charest

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Re: Recommendation on my lighting setup
« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2019, 05:36:06 pm »

Regarding wireless adapters for your DMX setup, when I first tried going wireless we used Blizzard Wicicles. My experience was that they were extremely unstable and led to an embarrassing lighting event when the president of the company who hired us was speaking.

I went to W-DMX units and never had a problem afterwards. They’re really expensive but work every time. I think their frequency hopping algorithm  in the 5Ghz band is implemented really well.

I’d love to know if these “wicicle-like” units are more stable now.

Best regards,
Bob Charest



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Terry Martin

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Re: Recommendation on my lighting setup
« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2019, 05:39:08 pm »

We’ve had great results from the Donner wireless.  Been using 6 receivers every weekend for about 1 year with no failure.  These are the wired versions, not rechargeable. 


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Mike Deey

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Re: Recommendation on my lighting setup
« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2019, 04:36:40 pm »

Thanks everyone for the suggestions.  I have a lot to consider.  I've tossed around the idea of going with a $130 hardware controller like Chauvet Obey 40 or ADJ/Elation equivalent.  I do not own a laptop or tablet (one of the few people in America who doesn't......) but down the road if I do purchase one, I'd consider buying an Enntec dongle or equivalent and run the lights from there. 
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Recommendation on my lighting setup
« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2019, 04:36:40 pm »


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