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 473 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: 1360
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: 1290
  • 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: 1291
  • 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: 1360
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

Jeff Lelko

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1290
  • Cape Canaveral, FL
Re: Upgrade or add?
« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2019, 07:23:55 pm »

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

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.

Bars, battens, strips...  In this context theyíre usually all the same!  Theater land is a different world of jargon, but at least here we all seem to speak the same language.

What you explain about movement is what I was trying to poke at when I say tasteful programming.  A dozen LED Pars in the hands of an experienced programmer can work wonders - no haze or moving lights needed.  Tying into what Mark said, you generally want these to be all of the same fixture (or at least same series of fixture).  Iíve seen a mixture of COLORdash Par sizes alternated tastefully, but a random collection of lights not so much. 

David, my only caution about the bars is that theyíre a fixed length.  While they might fit your rig now, if you choose to expand your setup again in the future youíll be at odds as to how to integrate them.  This is where using individual Pars will shine.  While no, you wonít get a dozen of them in a 1m stick, you can add/subtract and space them as needed depending on your setup.  The ADJ Mega Hex Par is currently my favorite sub-$100 LED Par.  While theyíre not terribly bright and use too much plastic for my preference, for their price theyíre a bargain for truss warming and eye candy (which is what I do with mine).  You can buy a dozen of those for the price of 2(ish) decent LED bars and will have far more versatility with them.  Just for food for though.  Good luck!
Logged

David Junius

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 38
  • Atlanta, GA
Re: Upgrade or add?
« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2019, 09:08:07 pm »

Bars, battens, strips...  In this context theyíre usually all the same!  Theater land is a different world of jargon, but at least here we all seem to speak the same language.

What you explain about movement is what I was trying to poke at when I say tasteful programming.  A dozen LED Pars in the hands of an experienced programmer can work wonders - no haze or moving lights needed.  Tying into what Mark said, you generally want these to be all of the same fixture (or at least same series of fixture).  Iíve seen a mixture of COLORdash Par sizes alternated tastefully, but a random collection of lights not so much. 

David, my only caution about the bars is that theyíre a fixed length.  While they might fit your rig now, if you choose to expand your setup again in the future youíll be at odds as to how to integrate them.  This is where using individual Pars will shine.  While no, you wonít get a dozen of them in a 1m stick, you can add/subtract and space them as needed depending on your setup.  The ADJ Mega Hex Par is currently my favorite sub-$100 LED Par.  While theyíre not terribly bright and use too much plastic for my preference, for their price theyíre a bargain for truss warming and eye candy (which is what I do with mine).  You can buy a dozen of those for the price of 2(ish) decent LED bars and will have far more versatility with them.  Just for food for though.  Good luck!

Well I didnít take that into consideration. I do know that Chauvet batten comes in 2 sizes, and both sizes can play nice together and appear as one larger fixture. I will have to look into those pars though. I can see that with the right clamps, those could mount the same as the batten fixture and do basically the same thing minus lights on the fixture itself chasing. Plus using more pars probably will eat up less channels than battens so I could eventually add movers without having to add another universe. This definitely has me rethinking how I want to approach this. Itís also ironic that I just came across a YouTube video talking about using only par cans for a lighting rig!

Thanks
Logged

Jeff Lelko

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1290
  • Cape Canaveral, FL
Re: Upgrade or add?
« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2019, 09:21:15 pm »

Well I didnít take that into consideration. I do know that Chauvet batten comes in 2 sizes, and both sizes can play nice together and appear as one larger fixture.

They do (as do many of the pixel/bar/strip/batten products), but unless you need to make an odd/large continuous length with them then this probably wonít apply to you.  Otherwise, yes, Pars tend to be far more versatile than bars.  The overall ďlookĒ youíre trying to achieve falls into the artistic portion of lighting design which is where only you can decide what the right choice is for your application, but thereís a reason why I have around 5 dozen Pars in inventory and 0 bars. 

In terms of channels, it all depends on fixture modes, but there are several ways to tackle the problem if youíre running out of channels on your controller.  Best of luck with your decision!
Logged

David Junius

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 38
  • Atlanta, GA
Re: Upgrade or add?
« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2019, 08:04:37 am »

They do (as do many of the pixel/bar/strip/batten products), but unless you need to make an odd/large continuous length with them then this probably wonít apply to you.  Otherwise, yes, Pars tend to be far more versatile than bars.  The overall ďlookĒ youíre trying to achieve falls into the artistic portion of lighting design which is where only you can decide what the right choice is for your application, but thereís a reason why I have around 5 dozen Pars in inventory and 0 bars. 

In terms of channels, it all depends on fixture modes, but there are several ways to tackle the problem if youíre running out of channels on your controller.  Best of luck with your decision!

Thanks Jeff,
This has brought a whole new insight as to how I should approach this next step in my lighting rig. Iíll definitely look into those cheap adj pars. I can see how depending on how they are used( like eye candy effects) that overall brightness isnít as much a concern since they wonít be actually trying to light a particular object. Iíve very comfortable in knowing where the scientific and artistic elements of sound separate and combine, but due to my novice experience with lighting havenít learned that yet. I can see though that 2 dozen of those cheap pars is equal in price to 2 decent moving wash lights yet my mileage will be much higher with 2 dozen pars versus 2 moving wash lights.

So I think what my plan will be is to expand my inventory of pars. Then step 2 will be to add more truss to inventory and get more of a professional look on stage and then see where Iím at and what my needs are at that time as to adding different fixtures to the inventory. Thanks again everyone for your input.

David
Logged

Steve Garris

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1360
Re: Upgrade or add?
« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2019, 12:40:34 pm »

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

Yes, since my last post I had to program a light show with Chauvet Colorband T3's on the back walls. I don't like this fixture at all. Only 3 colors, and they don't even seem to emanate from the same place on the diodes. Each light has 12 led's in 3 groups. Not very bright, and the auto programs are kind of slow, and are based on sound activation.

I have an old ADJ MegaBar RGBA that actually kicks ass! It's super bright, and looks good even when running in sound active mode. It's 42" long, about 2" longer than the Chauvet Colorband, and the addition of amber makes it much better IMO.
Logged

David Junius

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 38
  • Atlanta, GA
Re: Upgrade or add?
« Reply #15 on: November 13, 2019, 04:01:05 pm »

Yes, since my last post I had to program a light show with Chauvet Colorband T3's on the back walls. I don't like this fixture at all. Only 3 colors, and they don't even seem to emanate from the same place on the diodes. Each light has 12 led's in 3 groups. Not very bright, and the auto programs are kind of slow, and are based on sound activation.

I have an old ADJ MegaBar RGBA that actually kicks ass! It's super bright, and looks good even when running in sound active mode. It's 42" long, about 2" longer than the Chauvet Colorband, and the addition of amber makes it much better IMO.

Well the actual fixture I was looking at was the Chauvet pro colordash batten quad. Comes 6 or 12. Has pixel control and seemed bright on the one outdoor show where I saw it used. Iím really liking that ADJ hex par fixture though and think Iíll buy 8 of those soon to play with. Plus thereís a chance they are actually brighter than my current pars. But for the price I really canít go wrong just for eye candy. 8 of those pars will be cheaper than 2 of the battens I was looking at.

David
Logged

duane massey

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1529
Re: Upgrade or add?
« Reply #16 on: November 13, 2019, 08:38:17 pm »

Logged
Duane Massey
Technician, musician, stubborn old guy
Houston, Texas

ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Upgrade or add?
¬ę Reply #16 on: November 13, 2019, 08:38:17 pm ¬Ľ


Pages: 1 2 [All]   Go Up
 



Page created in 0.082 seconds with 23 queries.