ProSoundWeb Community

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

Pages: [1] 2  All   Go Down

Author Topic: Upgrade or add?  (Read 484 times)

David Junius

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 38
  • Atlanta, GA
Upgrade or add?
« on: November 09, 2019, 08:51:16 am »

Ok, so Iím fighting with myself over my next lighting upgrade or addition. So first letís describe my current situation. One band I work with I only use front trees with 4 led pars per tree. These are a mix of blizzard and ADJ pars. Another band I work with was getting the same, however last year has asked for more ďproductionĒ. They used to own equipment and sold everything off and now just hire out(usually me). I bought their complete lighting rig which basically consists of 16 pars, similar to my ADJ pars. I use 3 trees of 4 pars each for backlight using the pars I bought from them. Since then Iíve upgraded my controller to a vista rig to handle any upgrades since my little nsi dinosaur couldnít cut it anymore.

So hereís my dilemma.
Option 1
I can replace my front wash lights to get a better white and better colors. This option probably wonít get noticed as much by audience members, but would be useful on all of my shows.

Option 2
Add a batten light to the trees vertically with individual pixel control to get more movement from the light rig.

Option 3
Add some small movers to the rig. This option has lots to think about. Iíve got control for them but I donít have atmosphere and I donít think most venues will allow it. Also it has the greatest price point. So I was leaning towards a wash fixture if I go this route but thatís also open for debate since I have a bunch of static wash.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts. This will most definitely be next years purchase.

David

Logged

Mal Brown

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 738
Re: Upgrade or add?
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2019, 11:09:06 am »

just enough front light to wash the stage and get everything else in the back.  I want to be able to mix it up a bit show to show as for as movement goes.  One show will have some cheap movers on the floor mostly behind the drum kit set to sound active.  I'll scatter some Chauvet Freedom sticks and use the IR to trigger some of the auto programs.

Next time the movers might be up high with the pars and above a motion drape setup.

for me the key is - I'm a sound guy that does some lighting, not a lighting guy or a lighting guy that does some sound...   work the auto programs and develop some basic scenes on your controller.  Include a default scene for front light only.   Hit that to kill the movement between songs.  Maybe include a couple of the rear pars in it if they are up high.  Keep the front lights in brightness lower than you think.  The 'scene' is a little moodier that way and you can vary the mood with color selection...   

Save a little for the dance floor.  The band wants to see some audience...

If you are in a really big room, forget all that and just get the band seen!
Logged
Bass player, sound guy.
Fb Gorge Sound and Light
WillyandNelson.com

Steve Garris

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1362
Re: Upgrade or add?
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2019, 02:52:47 pm »

just enough front light to wash the stage and get everything else in the back.  I want to be able to mix it up a bit show to show as for as movement goes.  One show will have some cheap movers on the floor mostly behind the drum kit set to sound active.  I'll scatter some Chauvet Freedom sticks and use the IR to trigger some of the auto programs.

Next time the movers might be up high with the pars and above a motion drape setup.

for me the key is - I'm a sound guy that does some lighting, not a lighting guy or a lighting guy that does some sound...   work the auto programs and develop some basic scenes on your controller.  Include a default scene for front light only.   Hit that to kill the movement between songs.  Maybe include a couple of the rear pars in it if they are up high.  Keep the front lights in brightness lower than you think.  The 'scene' is a little moodier that way and you can vary the mood with color selection...   

Save a little for the dance floor.  The band wants to see some audience...

If you are in a really big room, forget all that and just get the band seen!

This^

Another thing you probably already know, but aim front lights at the chest - not the face.
Logged

David Junius

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 38
  • Atlanta, GA
Re: Upgrade or add?
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2019, 04:14:18 pm »

This^

Another thing you probably already know, but aim front lights at the chest - not the face.

Thatís actually something I havenít been doing. Thanks for that tip. I am a sound guy first, but I do enjoy the lights as well. However in the past all my clients just want a general stage wash, which means Iím bringing a pair of trees for a front wash and thatís it. So now that I have a client wanting more, Iíve got 12 pars across the back plus the front wash. My question is more about what to add next since I canít have haze, or should I upgrade my front wash to quad or even a hex leds as opposed to the individual color leds I run now. 
Logged

Jeff Lelko

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1293
  • Cape Canaveral, FL
Re: Upgrade or add?
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2019, 09:53:21 pm »

Hi David, hereís my two cents.

While few things bother me more as an LD than an RGB-mixed white, I doubt your average client will care or notice the improvement.  As you move higher up the totem pole of Pars you also increase in cost, and while the benefits might be useful in some situations, I donít think that will have the best return on investment.

Batten lights (or LED bars) can help, but one thing I try to avoid with my setups is a very disjointed look to the system. If you go this route, youíll want the bars to be programmed in concert with your other lights and not just doing their own thing for the sake of having more lights.  Along those lines, adding moving lights to your rig can be useful if done right, but similar to RGB-mixed whites - drives me nuts as an LD when I see trusses full of cheap lights all in auto mode.  Tasteful programming here is a must.

When some of my clients ask for ďmoreĒ than just the basics, theyíre often asking for a larger visual presentation than just fixture count.  Uplighting, truss, and truss warmers can work wonders here.  Replacing tripods with uplit truss totems, replacing Guitar Center I-Beams with truss arches, and programming all the lighting to be in synch with everything else going on adds to your presentation value without necessarily investing in expensive fixtures or relying on the ability to use fog.  Thatís the route Iíd consider.  Hope this helps! 
Logged

Mark Cadwallader

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1292
  • Helena, Montana USA
Re: Upgrade or add?
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2019, 12:14:35 am »

FWIW, I am a fan of using the same fixture for all of my wash lights. If you have a few "oddball" lights, consider moving those out of your inventory sooner rather than later.  Having less than four of the same fixture seems like a waste to me, unless it is a specialty item (like a gobo projector) that isn't part of the general lighting plan. I find that having 8 of the same fixtures is more flexible (and nicer looking) than two different sets of four.  YMMV.
Logged
"Good tools are expensive, but cheap tools are damned expensive."

David Junius

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 38
  • Atlanta, GA
Re: Upgrade or add?
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2019, 07:48:24 am »

Hi David, hereís my two cents.

While few things bother me more as an LD than an RGB-mixed white, I doubt your average client will care or notice the improvement.  As you move higher up the totem pole of Pars you also increase in cost, and while the benefits might be useful in some situations, I donít think that will have the best return on investment.

Batten lights (or LED bars) can help, but one thing I try to avoid with my setups is a very disjointed look to the system. If you go this route, youíll want the bars to be programmed in concert with your other lights and not just doing their own thing for the sake of having more lights.  Along those lines, adding moving lights to your rig can be useful if done right, but similar to RGB-mixed whites - drives me nuts as an LD when I see trusses full of cheap lights all in auto mode.  Tasteful programming here is a must.

When some of my clients ask for ďmoreĒ than just the basics, theyíre often asking for a larger visual presentation than just fixture count.  Uplighting, truss, and truss warmers can work wonders here.  Replacing tripods with uplit truss totems, replacing Guitar Center I-Beams with truss arches, and programming all the lighting to be in synch with everything else going on adds to your presentation value without necessarily investing in expensive fixtures or relying on the ability to use fog.  Thatís the route Iíd consider.  Hope this helps!

Iím currently working on this aspect. I usually bring trees to the shows due to ease of transport and setup however I do have 2 sticks of triangle truss that I have brought out on occasion. I agree that just upgrading my front wash will probably only be noticed by me and not make the best ROI. That said, my front wash is not all the same fixture and I could see that looking more professional but Iím  still not sure thatís the best allocation for my current funds. As far as the programming, Iíve never run my lights on auto, Iíve always had some sort of DMX control. My old NDI MLC-16d just couldnít handle more fixtures so I was forced into an upgrade and decided to make a big jump and get something I wonít outgrow anytime soon. That decision, made early this year was to get into a vista MV with single universe with a new PC. So Iíve got plenty of control for anything I want to use so long as I donít go over 1 universe for now. Although the dongles are stackable so should I need more channels I can just purchase an additional license as I grow. As far as the batten lights, Iím looking at fixtures that I would be able to control individual pixels and not just change the whole fixture as a whole. I figure that fixture would then lend itself to some color, blinder action, or plain up lighting depending on usage. The only thing the band has requested is to be able to light up a singer if and when they jump out on the dance floor with the audience, other than that itís just ď more productionĒ which I take as controlled with the music and not in auto mode!

Thanks for the input, this is great advice for someone thatís not new to lights but stuck on what to do next!
David
Logged

David Junius

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 38
  • Atlanta, GA
Re: Upgrade or add?
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2019, 07:50:52 am »

FWIW, I am a fan of using the same fixture for all of my wash lights. If you have a few "oddball" lights, consider moving those out of your inventory sooner rather than later.  Having less than four of the same fixture seems like a waste to me, unless it is a specialty item (like a gobo projector) that isn't part of the general lighting plan. I find that having 8 of the same fixtures is more flexible (and nicer looking) than two different sets of four.  YMMV.

And thatís why 1 option was to upgrade my current front wash lights, since I have such a mismatched set right now. However Iím not sure if anyone besides me would notice!

David
Logged

Steve Garris

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1362
Re: Upgrade or add?
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2019, 11:37:11 am »

Thatís actually something I havenít been doing. Thanks for that tip. I am a sound guy first, but I do enjoy the lights as well. However in the past all my clients just want a general stage wash, which means Iím bringing a pair of trees for a front wash and thatís it. So now that I have a client wanting more, Iíve got 12 pars across the back plus the front wash. My question is more about what to add next since I canít have haze, or should I upgrade my front wash to quad or even a hex leds as opposed to the individual color leds I run now.

I was going to suggest light bars - now I see they're called "Batten Lights" - thanks Jeff!

When I can't use haze I've found these to be the best at providing a sense of movement. I have some that have the 4 in 1 diodes, and some that have the little light-bright leds. I program my scenes, and for movement I use the light's built in auto setting triggered by my dmx controller. I flip the light over to mirror the other side of the stage, so that they work in unison. When choosing an auto program, be careful not to choose one that is sound activated, as the lights won't work in unison. I don't make too many scenes using this, just a few "specials".

Another way to create movement with fixed pars, is to create some scenes where some of the lights are not on at all. Followed with another scene that has different lights that are off. That's how you did it back when they were gel'd par cans - still works today.
Logged

David Junius

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 38
  • Atlanta, GA
Re: Upgrade or add?
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2019, 06:13:59 pm »

I was going to suggest light bars - now I see they're called "Batten Lights" - thanks Jeff!

When I can't use haze I've found these to be the best at providing a sense of movement. I have some that have the 4 in 1 diodes, and some that have the little light-bright leds. I program my scenes, and for movement I use the light's built in auto setting triggered by my dmx controller. I flip the light over to mirror the other side of the stage, so that they work in unison. When choosing an auto program, be careful not to choose one that is sound activated, as the lights won't work in unison. I don't make too many scenes using this, just a few "specials".

Another way to create movement with fixed pars, is to create some scenes where some of the lights are not on at all. Followed with another scene that has different lights that are off. That's how you did it back when they were gel'd par cans - still works today.

One thing Iíve noticed with the battens, not all have individual pixel control. Some only control sections at a time. Iím sure they will integrate with my software, but since I havenít used them Iíll have to figure that out. I know Chauvet has one, colordash batten and Iíve seen those on a show. Blizzard just came out with one thatís a little different called the spektACL. looks interesting to say the least.
As far as movement with pars, Iíve been doing that some. The vista software has some FX built in so Iíve been using those for now and need to spend more time messing with it to get more proficient. My biggest problem is that I start with the idea that Iíll do x, and then I see that for a little more money I can do y, and then if Iím going to spend that much I might as well just do z. They I realize Iím planning on spending 3 times my original amount and start all over. So right now the general consensus is the battens with upgrading my front wash soon thereafter to have a common fixture across the whole front and then look into more truss totems for additional lights. Sounds like I have a plan!

Thanks guys,
David
Logged

ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Upgrade or add?
¬ę Reply #9 on: November 11, 2019, 06:13:59 pm ¬Ľ


Pages: [1] 2  All   Go Up
 



Page created in 0.05 seconds with 23 queries.