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Author Topic: Scanners or Moving Head Fixtures for a Band  (Read 11356 times)

Chris Hunt

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Scanners or Moving Head Fixtures for a Band
« on: February 18, 2011, 10:50:58 am »

Give me you opinion.  Pros and Cons of both for corporate/provate party work.  Full 12 piece band.  What will look and perform best? Thanks!
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Chris Hunt
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Duncan McLennan

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Re: Scanners or Moving Head Fixtures for a Band
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2011, 03:41:54 pm »

Scanners are, at least in my experience, less likely to wear out and break down, because they have less moving parts. Or at the very least the parts that are moving aren't nearly as large and complex as in a moving yoke fixture. Often they can pack smaller because they're rectangular (or close to it) and will fit in multiple-unit cases well. Movers need big cases.

Movers are very often brighter for a given lamp power. Also they look way cooler. Their optics can be more accurate, though quality scanners can have excellent optics also.

If I were going to my automated fixtures for my band, I'd get scanners.
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Chris Hunt

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Re: Scanners or Moving Head Fixtures for a Band
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2011, 03:48:20 pm »

Thanks Duncan!

Assuming that packing, weight, etc. is not an issue, would you still go with scanners?  We want the WOW effect.  Not too concerned with speed, as we are not trying to create a DJ feel from our lights, rather different stage scenes and moods and cool effects.  With the LED moving heads coming out now, we can get into several quality led moving heads cheaper than the equivalent featured scanners.  Thoughts?
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Chris Hunt
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Duncan McLennan

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Re: Scanners or Moving Head Fixtures for a Band
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2011, 06:50:01 pm »

I haven't used LED moving heads yet, so I can't say. But it seems to me an LED moving head that's cheaper than a traditional/discharge scanner is not going to be as nice a unit. What LEd moving heads are cheaper than an equivalent scanner?

LED movers also can't give you a point source, which is obviously necessary for any gobo projections.

I would probably use a mix of discharge scanners, and LED PARS if various scenes was what I was after.
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duane massey

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Re: Scanners or Moving Head Fixtures for a Band
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2011, 11:51:08 pm »

ADJ/Elation will be releasing a new LED scanner w/ rotating gobos;
I suspect it will part of the Elation Vizi series, but it could be an addition to the ADJ Accu series.
As long as nothing in the rig is really bright (500w pars, 250w discharge), I wouldn't hesitate to use the new generation LED scanner/movers.
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Duane Massey
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Craig Leerman

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Re: Scanners or Moving Head Fixtures for a Band
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2011, 01:21:03 pm »

Give me you opinion.  Pros and Cons of both for corporate/provate party work.  Full 12 piece band.  What will look and perform best? Thanks!

I own and use both scanners and moving heads. I would say that there is no "BEST" one. Each type of fixture has its strengths and weaknesses.

There are three main reasons why you might find a scanner used on one of my gigs. The first is that I want a really fast beam speed and scanners can move the light around faster than a moving head. The second is that I want to "hide" the fixture and just want to beam of light to shine through or over an object. Scanners can fit into some tight spaces and still allow me to get a big moving light show. A good example of this is when I have a low trim height and I don't want moving heads hanging down from the truss.

The last reason I use them is cost. I own a bunch of Trackspots and can give them to a client for way less money than my heads, or rental fixtures. For clients on a budget, scanners can be a good way to get a big show for less money.


Moving Heads are great because you can not only fly them, but place them on the floor. I do that alot for uplighting from the stage. The movers do double duty as aerial effects, and then can splay a color or gobo look across the backdrop or back wall of the stage. Great for ballyhoos, and different looks when placed at the downstage (front) corners of a stage as well.

In addition, I sometimes look at moving heads as a piece of kinetic scenery. Not only can you move the light around, but the fixture itself moves, and adds to the drama and excitement of the performance.

If I had to choose between them, I would get moving heads, just for the fact that you can place them on the floor and also use them for uplighting.


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Stephane Desormeaux

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Re: Scanners or Moving Head Fixtures for a Band
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2011, 03:08:29 pm »

I prefer moving heads to scanners, mainly because you can position moving heads pretty much anywhere you would a scanner, but also position them on the floor, on small risers, on vertical trusses, etc.....

I love the look of heads on the floor, right and left front stage, plus 2 rear stage right & left on vertical trusses, and maybe 2 on the drum riser. You can use all of them on the stage, on the band, on the crowd, etc....
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Len Woelfel

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Re: Scanners or Moving Head Fixtures for a Band
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2011, 11:54:09 am »

Give me you opinion.  Pros and Cons of both for corporate/provate party work.  Full 12 piece band.  What will look and perform best? Thanks!
Moving heads are more commonplace these days.  There's only one or two good quality scanners still made I can think of, the Cyberlight and Technobeam.  All the rest are really too dim for the amount of wattage they consume.  I haven't used any of the LED movers. 
Depending on your budget, I'd look first at the Elation DesignSpot, which has a nice wash-like feature.  It's not a true wash, but decent.  Whatever you do, I'd also budget a good controller, a dedicated person to run them, good cases, and a good hazer/fogger. 
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John Livings

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Re: Scanners or Moving Head Fixtures for a Band
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2011, 02:05:20 pm »

New to lighting myself, Based on my very limited experience I would try to stay with Elation or ADJ.

I have had a couple of issues and questions, and They took care of things Immediately.

For this reason alone, With our Very limited resources, Elation would be our first choice.

Just my opinions.

Regards,  John
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duane massey

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Re: Scanners or Moving Head Fixtures for a Band
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2011, 01:58:33 am »

For a 12-pc band I'd go for quantity over brightness. From the rear scanners make more sense, and are easier to program, especially for quick movements. Elation is now shipping the Vizi-series LED scanner, and ADJ has the more basic X-Scan. 6 Scanners from the rear overhead would give you lots of "wow" factor, and movers out front (mixture of wash and spots) would give you good coverage and great effects. Don't overlook some of the "DJ" fixtures as well for eye-candy. ADJ Galaxian, Revo Burst, etc, can be effective behind the drums or other rear special effects, especially if you can get away with a bit of haze or smoke.
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Duane Massey
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Houston, Texas

ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Scanners or Moving Head Fixtures for a Band
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2011, 01:58:33 am »


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