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Author Topic: low budget barn gig  (Read 2314 times)

Mark Macgregor

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low budget barn gig
« on: May 17, 2006, 01:08:09 pm »

I've been asked to light a very low budget gig in a barn, basically theres a small stage that bands will be playing on then djs will play.  Last year they used 4 par 64 cans, this year we've got 4 Dj-style moonflower effects, a few poor quality barrel scanners, and a nice big disco ball. DMX controll by laptop, and or a zero 88 level 12 plus (for par cans)

They've got about

Brian Ship

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Re: low budget barn gig
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2006, 12:03:42 am »

Wow! Either six blah par can’s, or two fairly modern movers.

So as a list you have
4) DJ style Moonflower effects
A Few) Poor Quality Barrel Scanners (not sure what they do in not using that type of thing so below is theory on my part on their capabilities.)
1) Large Mirror Ball (w. mirror ball motor somehow controlled by a switch or light board.)
1) DMX Laptop or Zero 88 Level 12plus light board (what ever that is)

In addition to the above, a choice of either:
6) PAR can
1) Dimmer

or

2) VL-5 wash
1) Profile

Would your renter’s head explode if you tried to swap say two of the Moonflowers and or a half few of the Scanners for both of the additional light package options, or at least a few more PAR cans with wide beam and as much wattage as you can get plus dimmers?

One should probably enthusiastically say “Yes” to the VL-5's as offered of course.  More options for look and position or focus even if it’s only lighting with two fixtures and not sculpting the bands very well other than one direction or not covering the entire stage if from two.  This much less the non-lit dance floor as it were other than when not on the bands.

Six cans are probably not enough to sculpt very much anyway given any intent to use color/look changes.  On the other hand, they would probably put down a general wash of light given they are of sufficient wattage.  Still not much on the dance floor if anything.


Main concept or idea:
How’s that profile being controlled given if you choose option B, it does not include dimmers?  Much less how is the mirror ball controlled, is it DMX?  Does the mirror ball motor also control power to the profile lighting it?  How was the mirror ball to be lit if you did not choose the profile to light it?

Here might be an idea if the profile is to be controlled by the mirror ball motor outlet and no dimmers are available.  Use the profile spot to light the lead singer instead of the mirror ball.  Yep when you switch on the mirror ball it’s going to spin but given you don’t otherwise have a way to control it, as long as none of the lights hit the mirror ball - including the intended profile, it should not matter especially if you can dim the mirror ball speed down to about zero.  Given DMX control of the mirror ball, you now can switch on and off the talent’s profile spot.  Such a fixture given not a lot of lights is much more valuable when focused on the talent.  Granted the scanners as a theory could also do so and might be needed also in helping at times or in doing so for a separate look also, but the profile would provide a third very good option.  Much less one that could if placed well cover the entire body of the singer.  This as long as they stay still and find the X on stage...

Otherwise should the talent to be expected to party about the apron, perhaps request in assuming the profile is a Leko a 50 degree or 90 degree version for lighting the mirror ball. Smile Yep, my only position to light the mirror ball from is 33CM away from it...  This than could shutter cut some form of down stage wash spot.  Get a profile with as much wattage as is possible given it’s hoped to be wide beam angle.  Otherwise if only available in say 500W not even 575w, it might be best to keep it’s beam angle within the twenty to thirty six degree range and use it for a talent spot only.

To light the mirror ball once it’s profile is used perhaps more effectively, you have options.  Use one or many of the scanners assuming that as one of their cues they can be focused on the mirror ball and it’s possible to do so.  Even if it’s some form of breakup pattern to the beam, the breakup should not effect the light output on the mirror ball much.  Just a question of if you can as a cue focus them (some, none, all of them) on the mirror ball.  

Otherwise say mount one or both of the VL-5's within say two meters from the mirror ball and program a cue for them to focus on the mirror ball which can alternate between them taking turns on it verses the stage/dance area or at times have both on the mirror ball.  

This way with the theorized scanners or VL-5s and or all, you would also be able to change colors or even have two colors coming out of the mirror ball in addition to different zones of reflection, intensity etc. off it.  For the heavier mirror ball numbers you than could have a more intense dot pattern than say for the slow songs where a colored effect and perhaps one less intense would work well.  A single spot focused on the mirror ball even with a dimmer is boring.

Otherwise if you figure out another way to switch on and off the profile, stop at the local home center and buy some cheap light to focus on the mirror ball.  This could be some form of RSC based work light, some form of PAR 38, or even a few clip lights with A-Lamps focused on it.  Intent is to provide light to the mirror ball, as long as you get the focal length sufficient for spill, and have enough wattage on it, a profile given it’s use elsewhere is bonus.   This something as a light fixture if not from anywhere - a Radio Shack or perhaps WalMart, much less at most DJ/music stores retail pinspots for mirror balls cost about as much as two fast food lunches so perhaps you can swing in the budget one or a few of them for the mirror ball into the budget.  The more the better of course.  Question might be if a 500w construction work light would be more intense than that of a pinspot such as the 6v/30w #4515 lamped PL-1000 from American DJ.  Still providing your own light for the mirror ball and using the offered profile elsewhere is the idea I’m working from.
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Duane Massey

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Re: low budget barn gig
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2006, 02:04:27 am »

Screw the par's, go for the Vari-lites....
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Duane Massey
Houston, Texas, USA

Mark Macgregor

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Re: low budget barn gig
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2006, 11:41:52 pm »

Thanks for the pretty conclusive reply, I've been lurking here for ages and have learned loads but that was great!  When hiring the movers i would also get a dmx dimmer/switcher to control the scanners (very basic units, good for lots of light, no dmx control, just on or off, so a switcher is best option), so i would put the motor and the profile on to one channel (2x15amp outputs).  As for a profile for lighting the performers, I will try and strech a little more budget from the guys who are running it hiring another profile spot would be as cheap as buying a few small lights, which i probably wouldnt use very often in future, (doing this a favour for mates anyway).  The "dj style moonflowers" and the scanners are lights which i own from a previous life as a mobile dj, and yes i have paid for that sin.  Laughing  
whatever i can do for them will be a significant improvement on last year anyway, although i'll strive to do the best show i can for them.

Thanks again,

Mark Macgregor

Pete Schofield

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Re: low budget barn gig
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2006, 04:44:16 am »

did you have dimming and DMX channels to run the VL*5's from?
remember for each VL*5 you'll need a dimmer channel Smile
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