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Author Topic: Cheap but usable Movers for bar bands  (Read 1581 times)

Kevin_Tisdall

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Cheap but usable Movers for bar bands
« on: March 29, 2019, 03:12:51 pm »

I'm a colorblind sound guy.   But bands I do audio for like it if I can bring some lights.  So I have a small led thinpar setup with 8 cheap chinese ~60watt and a pair of older Chauvet 4-bar minis on stands.   Wireless DMX (donner) to an DMXKing eDMX ethernet converter.  Connected to my Apple airport extreme same as the x32 runs with and use luminair3 to control.

Take 15 min to set up, runs on its own and bands like having something more than driveway spots....   Learning something about DMX lighting was just about worth what it all cost.

I've been dying to try using movers but I can't justify any in the 'good quality' range.   This isn't for profit - it's for my own learning and entertainment/challenge.   Very small places and never flown above 10-12 ft.

I see that Sweetwater has the Martin thrill mini movers on sale.  I could get 4 (budget around $1000).  I would run a separate universe for these.   Mainly like to try the rain, beam shape, and ability to possibly move as solo backlight or other simple mover functions.   Not into the dj bounc-the-lights-all-over-the-room thing.

Question is whether these fit the bill as cheap, decent for the purpose, effective/worth it or is there a better way.  One thing I don't want are pin spots.  I'd hope to have a wider cone of light at short range.  max trim will be ablout 12ft and stages are usually less than 40wide X 20deep.

Thoughts?

--Kevin
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Brian Jojade

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Re: Cheap but usable Movers for bar bands
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2019, 08:20:48 pm »

There's SO much stuff available in the cheap china knockoff department that you can get these days. For learner lights where you don't need to really worry about buying more matching units in the future, it's not a bad way to get started.  Note that with cheap lights, budgeting for a couple spares isn't a bad idea. When they die, don't expect to repair them. Plan to replace.  But as fast as the technology is moving, getting a couple years out of a system can be a reasonable investment.

With moving head lights, there's no 'right' answer.  It all comes down to the show you design. The more you know your lights and programming, the better your show will end up looking.
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Brian Jojade

duane massey

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Re: Cheap but usable Movers for bar bands
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2019, 01:50:08 am »

I installed 4 of these in a club 2 months ago. Cost-effective, seem to be of decent quality. One was defective DOA, they replaced it next day. For your purposes they are worth considering. Package of 4 is $270 free shipping.
https://www.amazon.com/Lixada-Rotating-Activated-Master-slave-Channels/dp/B077MB6XNK/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?ie=UTF8&qid=1547312776&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=lixada+lighting&psc=1
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Duane Massey
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Taylor Hall

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Re: Cheap but usable Movers for bar bands
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2019, 09:39:17 am »

Chinesium fixtures are a good way to break in as Brian said. Hell, we still have a dozen or so knockoff wash heads that are still going strong after 3 years. They get used for bar gigs or where a little extra razzle dazzle is needed but discharge heads either wouldn't fit physically in the room or in the client's budget.

Aliexpress has a plethora of options and shipping times are quite decent, the longest turn time we had on something took just over a week, but typically was 3-4 business days.
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Mal Brown

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Re: Cheap but usable Movers for bar bands
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2019, 11:48:17 am »

I probably sound like a shill for Monoprice at this point ...

https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=612830

I bought a pair of these to experiment with last year.  Only thing missing is the roatating prism.  For that you spend about 3x the $190 these cost.

I also use Monoprice washes.  Have 20 or so of these...
https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=612749

These guys put down a lot of light and as they are color mixing in the bulb (rgbw) I can get a very nice color by usin the Robin DMX color mixing chart.  Pics over at my FB page (Truss rig with Bluegrass band) with the disclaimer that the most recent pics were when I had a lighting sub on the job.  He used his own movers and washes.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2019, 11:54:01 am by Mal Brown »
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Steve Garris

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Re: Cheap but usable Movers for bar bands
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2019, 12:09:16 pm »

The 18 W led versions would not be able to run along with even a cheap wash of pars - they're simply too dim. That 30 W monoprice unit might do the trick. You need fog or haze for any of these.

My band purchased (2) Marq Gesture Spot 500's last year. This is a big, heavy light advertised as 150 W, and has been compared in output to the Chauvet Intimidator 255. Even at 150 W, they are not that bright when the rest of the wash lights are active. I use them with Luminair3 as well, Donner wireless. These must sit on the floor or be truss mounted, IMO. I don't use the gobo's, and I try to keep the color wheel on brighter colors. I believe we got them for around $450, but it looks like they're discontinued now. https://www.marqlighting.com/products/view/gesture-spot-500

We also have a bunch of $50 ebay Chinese wash movers, that are actually quite effective. These are small and can sit along side regular led pars on a T-Bar. https://goo.gl/yikkvV

Here's a FB vid showing all of the movers, the Gesture Spots are on the side truss: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=200922824185352

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Jason Fultz

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Re: Cheap but usable Movers for bar bands
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2019, 12:52:48 pm »

I use the cheap China 10 watters for all kinds of shows.
They are a throw away unit now days but they can provide a lot of activity for the average bar band placed up high  or just on the floor.
They all work better with haze.
Can't Express that enough.
Any lighting ANY LIGHTING, looks and works better with fog/haze.
Not all venues/bar will allow it but if you want your lighting to look like something, ya gotta have a little.
Cheap lights or expensive lights look better with fog/haze.
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Lyle Williams

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Re: Cheap but usable Movers for bar bands
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2019, 04:03:08 pm »

There is a difference in goals with haze and without.

Without haze you are lighting walls and objects.  There will be no visible beams, just wash colour and dots-n-spots for texture.

I agree it is so much better to be able to light up the air with visible beams.  But if you can't, it is important the your lighting strategy does what it can, and doesn't try to do what it can't.

Also, a little paradoxically, a colour wash can be less boring than a few moving lights.  Once you start adding some movement and becoming "disco-ish" you can't run the same look all night (or even all song) without it being painfully boring on the audience. 

More interesting = more gear.  It becomes an artistic element coordinated with the show.  That requires either musician control (midi trigger pads?  Foot switches?) or the attention of someone behind a lighting desk.

It's a slippery slope with potentially runaway complexity and expense.
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Keith Broughton

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Re: Cheap but usable Movers for bar bands
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2019, 04:45:53 pm »

While "off shore" equipment can be a cost effective way to get business, just remember that a lot of it is not certified for the N American market.
If they are installed and inspected, they might not meet local electrical inspection codes or in the case of an accident or fire on a gig, your insurance company may be disinclined to cover you.
That said, you can have a "special inspection" done to get stickers (at least here in Ontario Canada)
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Mal Brown

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Re: Cheap but usable Movers for bar bands
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2019, 02:26:43 am »


We also have a bunch of $50 ebay Chinese wash movers, that are actually quite effective. These are small and can sit along side regular led pars on a T-Bar.

Being a sucker for cheap Chinese clicked.The moving wash is down to $44 and a 25 or 30 watt moving head beam was down low as well.  I grabbed 2 of each to eval... will report back when they land...  the beamers look pretty much like what I have now.
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Fb Gorge Sound and Light
WillyandNelson.com
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