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Author Topic: Fogger/Hazer  (Read 1137 times)

John Simoson

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Fogger/Hazer
« on: October 02, 2019, 09:06:00 am »

In another thread I had asked for suggestions for small light setup for a 3 piece bar band.  Settled on 10 thinpars 8 behind us and 2 front wash.  Simple controller the bass player manages.  Now looking to add some fog/haze.  Looking for compact if possible.  Again we mostly play bars and some festivals.  100-500 capacity.

Fog or Haze?  Dmx?  No more than $200

Thanks all
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John Fruits

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Re: Fogger/Hazer
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2019, 11:55:37 am »

The first thing you must consider is ALWAYS get permission to use atmospherics in any venue.  Currently in the US the most stringent rules are in New York City.  You have to get a permit to use any atmospherics, they also include bubble machines and fluid based snow machines.  The bad news is the permit for a single use exceeds your total budget.   The main issue is that many fire alarms can be triggered by fog and haze.  Fire departments have a major problem in rolling a response team for what turns out to be a false alarm. 

Then you have to make sure that spare parts are easily available for the unit you are using, they do require some upkeep.  It is often the case that the really cheap units are sometime hard to source parts for.  Also at the low price end of things some companies sell a dual purpose bit of kit , one name for them is phasers, which can produce both fog and haze, but neither very well, at least with the earlier versions. 
Good luck in your search.
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Jamin Lynch

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Re: Fogger/Hazer
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2019, 12:35:13 pm »

In another thread I had asked for suggestions for small light setup for a 3 piece bar band.  Settled on 10 thinpars 8 behind us and 2 front wash.  Simple controller the bass player manages.  Now looking to add some fog/haze.  Looking for compact if possible.  Again we mostly play bars and some festivals.  100-500 capacity.

Fog or Haze?  Dmx?  No more than $200

Thanks all

I prefer a hazer over a fogger.

Take a look at the Chauvet 1D hazer. You can run it via DMX or use the controls on the unit. Or the 4D hazer if you could spend a little more. You'll get a lot more output. Once you get the room hazed up, you can often times lower the output to maintain a constant haze in the room. 

Make sure they are allowed wherever you go.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2019, 12:40:09 pm by Jamin Lynch »
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Rich Grisier

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Re: Fogger/Hazer
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2019, 04:01:56 pm »

+1 On the permission thing.
I almost caused an entire casino to be evacuated when using a fogger. It triggered the fire alarm. The use of atmospheric effects were banned from that point on.

I've used both hazers and foggers.  There are good and bad points to each. I ultimately ended up using foggers. I like being able to control their output via DMX. When using decent fog fluid, the output will have a decent hang time thus creating a haze.

With a Hazer, you don't really need DMX control. Just some timer control is fine. I used an ADJ HazeGenerator. Set up the timer for a decent cycle to keep a good amount of haze in the room.

Hazers often use a mineral oil based fluid. This gives it a long hang time. You won't use as much haze fluid as you would fog fluid. The downside to Haze fluid is it gets sucked into equipment. This creates an thin oily layer on the fan blades and heat sinks the fan is blowing on. This oil acts like a magnet to dirt and dust. Bars have a lot of dust flying around. When using oil based haze fluid, you're going to want to factor in a cleaning and inspection routine every three months. This means dismantling all your lights and cleaning out the accumulated dust.

Foggers use a water based fluid with some glycol. This can also cause dirt to build up, but not as quickly as oil based fluid. I give my lights a thorough cleaning about once a year.

Foggers work by pumping the fluid through a tube in a heater core. The fluid heats up until it vaporizes and thus sprays out the end of the tube. That tube will clog up over time. Once it's completely clogged then it's time for a new fogger.

Hazers work by compressing air which then gets infused into the fluid. This creates a mist or haze. There's no heating process... and as such, no heater core to clog up. Because of this a Hazer is going to last a lot longer than a fogger.
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Jeff Lelko

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Re: Fogger/Hazer
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2019, 05:19:37 pm »

Iím another vote for knowing where you can (and canít) use atmosphere before buying anything.  Iím also another vote for haze, though at the price point youíre shopping, all the haze machines (that Iím aware of) will be water based.  Where the line is drawn between ďfogĒ and ďhazeĒ is a bit murky and really has more to do with particulate size compared to fluid make-up, but haze works best to accentuate lighting.  Fog is more of a special effect.  True compression-based hazers like a DF-50 tend to work the best, but are also very expensive.  The Ultratec Radiance unit is a solid water-based hazer thatís more affordable but still generally well-liked among professionals.  Itís about $1,000 new, give or take.

Anything youíll be buying for $200 is very much DJ-grade...fog or haze.  This isnít a bad thing per say, but it wonít be professional.  By that I mean it might be noisy, leaky, smelly, splurt out random fog, etc.  Many cheap foggers also go through reheating cycles every so often which renders them unable to fog until complete.  This means that you may not have fog on demand or be able to keep fog running continuously.  More professional units can always fire on demand and throttle output to maintain continuous fogging, but again, thatís more money too.  At that level Iíd want things like DMX control, but for a simple point-and-shoot fogger (or hazer), I wouldnít overthink it if wanting to stay on the cheap.  Hope this helps!
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Len Zenith Jr

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Re: Fogger/Hazer
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2019, 06:12:34 pm »

The antari z-350 is a great water based hazer for a bit more money than your budget. Nice even mist of haze and paired with froggy's beam splitter fluid the haze is very long lasting and the machine sips fluid. For the size of venues you play it would be better than even the radiance which can easily overpower a small room even on the lowest setting.

I guess haze/fog depends on the look you are going for. The output of a haze machine is generally unnoticeable, the only thing you should see is the beams of the lights standing out-all evenly. You will still see right through it. Fog is denser, harder to see though and more localized and puffy like clouds. Might be great for metal bands wanting a dark evil look emanating from the stage. Foggers can also go through a lot of fluid compared to a hazer. Probably a tank a show whereas a hazer like the z350 can probably go a dozen shows on a tank.

For the debate on oil/water based haze, oil looks a lot nicer and classier and in the short term generally doesn't trip smoke alarms as easily as water based but is a disaster in clogging fan intakes and cleaning optics. Keep the oil hazer 15 feet away from your amp rack and anything else with a fan intake. If it's your own venue, don't even think about buying an oil based hazer, after a couple months everything within 20 feet of the hazer will be covered in greasy dust bunnies that are hard to clean - the truss, lights, wiring, ceiling tiles, you name it. Any fixtures with a fan close to the hazer will have oil dripping out from inside of them eventually. If it's someone else's venue then go nuts - they won't have that problem from a one time deal, it's prolonged use over time that causes the headache.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2019, 06:28:22 pm by Len Zenith Jr »
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Jeff Lelko

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Re: Fogger/Hazer
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2019, 07:50:29 pm »

For the size of venues you play it would be better than even the radiance which can easily overpower a small room even on the lowest setting.

As an aside, I believe you can buy an alternative pump from Ultratec that offers much less output for situations like this (something to the order of 25% the flowrate of the standard pump).  Iíve never confirmed this myself but I donít have reason to doubt it either.  I agree though that often less is more when dealing with atmosphere - especially haze.  Power consumption is another thing to keep in mind.  My largest foggers need an entire 120v circuit each - definitely inconvenent for the average bar band, but fairly standard for larger venues until you step up to the higher voltage units.  I think something small and simple would work best here!
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Len Zenith Jr

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Re: Fogger/Hazer
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2019, 08:07:06 pm »

I believe you can buy an alternative pump from Ultratec that offers much less output for situations like this (something to the order of 25% the flowrate of the standard pump).  Iíve never confirmed this myself but I donít have reason to doubt it either.

You can at the expense of losing some top end output if ever needed. I just dilute the fluid, 1 part fluid to 5 parts distilled water. Ultratech did warn me about the possibility of hot steam/water ejection using this method but I haven't noticed any issues and keep the output away from any performers.
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John Simoson

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Re: Fogger/Hazer
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2019, 10:13:09 pm »

Thank you everyone for the replies.  Iím mostly looking to enhance lighting and not be overboard.  Sounds like water based hazer is the choice.  So with dmx controls I can set a channel and a slow release?  We play a cigar bar with bad ventilation so I think Iíll be ok using it there at the very least.
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Jeff Lelko

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Re: Fogger/Hazer
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2019, 10:26:44 pm »

You can at the expense of losing some top end output if ever needed. I just dilute the fluid, 1 part fluid to 5 parts distilled water. Ultratech did warn me about the possibility of hot steam/water ejection using this method but I haven't noticed any issues and keep the output away from any performers.

Thatís definitely some good information to file away for future reference.  Iíve never played with diluting fluids, but itís good to know!

Thank you everyone for the replies.  Iím mostly looking to enhance lighting and not be overboard.  Sounds like water based hazer is the choice.  So with dmx controls I can set a channel and a slow release?  We play a cigar bar with bad ventilation so I think Iíll be ok using it there at the very least.

DMX control of foggers/hazers will vary by make and model.  At the very least youíll be able to control fog on/off and usually be able to control the output volume.  Some models have additional features such as a DMX-controllable timer for automatic fogging, but any moderately advanced light board can do the same thing.  Many hazers will also allow for DMX control of their fan (if equipped) in addition to the general output.  How low you can ďthrottle downĒ a fogger or hazer will again, vary, but for what you need Iíd say any small haze machine will be adequate.  If youíre in a cigar bar you might not need to add your own haze at all!  Good luck!
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Len Zenith Jr

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Re: Fogger/Hazer
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2019, 10:35:10 pm »

So with dmx controls I can set a channel and a slow release? 

Yes but with a hazer dmx control is useful if your hazer is away from the person running the lighting board or on a truss. If the hazer is right next to you it is usually more convenient to just reach down and turn the output knob manually. Hazers are more of a set it and forget it tool, you just have to adjust to the rooms air exchange rate and then you usually don't touch it again until the show is over.

If youíre in a cigar bar you might not need to add your own haze at all!  Good luck!

Very true! Hazers only really became a neccessity in bars when smoking regs came in. Before that the room was always hazed!
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Rick Powell

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Re: Fogger/Hazer
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2019, 06:15:10 pm »

Thank you everyone for the replies.  Iím mostly looking to enhance lighting and not be overboard.  Sounds like water based hazer is the choice.  So with dmx controls I can set a channel and a slow release?  We play a cigar bar with bad ventilation so I think Iíll be ok using it there at the very least.

We just bought a H4 hazer (water based) from Froggy's Fog and impressed with the build and ease of use as compared to the Chauvet Hurricane 2D (also water based) we previously owned that was a maintenance headache, leaked hazer fluid, and was very temperamental in getting to work (can't recommend). Froggy's budget model, the H2 is still above your budget at $450. Their DMX control (which is probably typical in this range) controls fan speed and haze output with no "intermittent" function, although you can get intermittent time and duration if setting from the in-unit LCD control panel.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2019, 06:17:31 pm by Rick Powell »
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Mark Cadwallader

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Re: Fogger/Hazer
« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2019, 11:26:57 pm »

Re: oil-based haze. I recently bought a used pair of moving headn't fixtures that at some point in their life were used in an oil-based haze enviroment. They were coated with a sticky layer of built-up almost rubbery crud that took 10-12 hours each of vigorous hand scrubbing and rubbing with WD-40 and red shop rags to clean off. Ick. (They did finally clean up nicely, even to my OCD standards, but they were a royal PITA.)

Oil-based haze also causes health issues for performers exposed daily (nightly) to the haze. Actor's Equity union won't allow anything but water-based haze in Broadway and off-Broadway shows due to the health hazard.  YMMV.
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danse en lorraine

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Re: Fogger/Hazer
« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2019, 11:57:50 am »

Hello,

I write to you from France.
In fact I work from time to time in a theater where they use an Antari HZ 400.
This gives you good results.

For my part, I wanted to avoid going on an oil-based machine, and I bought on a UNIQUE LOOK 2.1, (which does not use it) and which is in a good price range.
Only big problems after multiple tests, with and without fans, and even with fan overpowering, looking for multiple settings and also moving the machine in several directions and places, and trying with other directors, but nothing good.

So I come back to an Antari HZ 400.
I could see Antari recently a new product. HZL-5W that seems close to the HZL-5 ....
Have you tried this new product? In what way as a machine?

Thanks for your help.
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Re: Fogger/Hazer
¬ę Reply #13 on: November 07, 2019, 11:57:50 am ¬Ľ


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