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Author Topic: A 1K Question  (Read 2510 times)

Brian Houchin

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A 1K Question
« on: November 17, 2006, 02:38:44 pm »

Been searching, wondering, pricing at upgrading a lighting rig from 8 cans on 2 trees to something that can provide more of an impact.  This will be used for onstage in 100-400 person venues, I'm aiming at running all the lighting on one circuit, and the budget is $1,000 or less.

What I think might work

-Two more trees for the back of the stage on each side of the drum riser.
-A DMX controller with MIDI capability (some of the time we have to run everything from the stage).  Any suggestions in the $200-250 range?
-A couple of small LED pars.  Probably the smaller type, as I only need them to throw onto a 3x6 foot white banner that will be centered behind the drummer.
-4 color changers (Intimidator 500's).
-Cables, clamps, etc.

I'm not dead set on the above, it's just what I could price out to around 1K.  I'd love movers instead of just changers, but the budget can't really support them, and I don't want to have to use truss if I don't have to...my trailer is pretty full!

One thing I don't know is if I should just gel the Par 38's I have with blue and yellow and leave them up front, and use the color changers to wash the back...or should I use the color changers for the front wash, and use various gels on the Par cans in the back.  Or should I put one changer on each tree and two Pars on each tree?

Any input/advice/suggestions?
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Did Beethoven need a PA?

Rob Blohm

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Re: A 1K Question
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2006, 05:42:57 pm »

Quote:

One thing I don't know is if I should just gel the Par 38's I have with blue and yellow and leave them up front, and use the color changers to wash the back...or should I use the color changers for the front wash, and use various gels on the Par cans in the back. Or should I put one changer on each tree and two Pars on each tree?



Personally I'd rather go with a few basic washes on the front and use the color changers for more flexibility on the back. For my use, I usually only have 3 basic color washes on the front. Red, blue, and amber (note that I said amber and not yellow. I think yellow makes people look bad when lit from the front. Just not natural). For a larger show I'd include some cans with no gel for accent (like for solos and such). Since color changers usually have 5+ colors in the color wheel, I find them much more usefull on the back.

I'm not too familiar with the changers you intended to get, but judging by the price range I'm going to assume it's just a 250W halogen lamp. This does bring a downside to this whole setup. In my experience, when lighting a rock show, you want more back light than front light. But a par 56 300W lamp will easily washout those wimpy 250W halogen lamps.

Frankly I'm surprised you've managed to price this out to under $1,000. Does that include all the clamps and cables and everything else you'll need? That stuff adds up. Don't forget about cases. You can easily spend a couple grand on cases alone. Sure you could just throw them in the back of a truck, or in one of those cheap plastic tubs, but it would be wise to protect your investment. Then you've got clamps, safety chains (you really should have 1 for every fixture, or at least have every fixture covered with a safety), cables, gels, and whatever else pops up. With all that I think you'd run well over a grand.

My advice would be to keep doing it as you're doing it now, and keep saving so when you do upgrade, you can do it right the first time. Don't plan for the short term, plan for the long term. If you upgrade your lighting rig even more in the future, will this new stuff work with it? Will your small color changers work up against 250W discharge lamps and many more par cans?
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Gabriel Duschinsky

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Re: A 1K Question
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2006, 07:23:11 pm »

Hi Brian,

As for the console, I don't know what others have to say about it, but I've been using Elation's Stage Setter 8 (16ch. DMX, midi input) for almost a year and never had problems with it.
I run a small rig, with 8 par can and a dmx strobe, and it works just fine. Price between 150-250$.
index.php/fa/6836/0/

You'll probably need DMX dimmer packs, too, if you don't have some now. Elation, chauvet, etc. make fairly good tree-mount, 4-channel dimmer packs. Between 75-175$ each.

Just laying down ideas tought, this may not be exactly what you're looking for...
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Gabriel Duschinsky
FX Productions, Inc.

Duane Massey

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Re: A 1K Question
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2006, 07:36:33 pm »

Brian, I would probably suggest planning out a little longer in the future. If you're currently using dmx packs, then get a decent controller first, and add lights as you can afford them. Rather than the Chauvet or similar color changers, use LEDs for your wash (current is an issue, right?) and add scanners for your rear lighting. Since you want to avoid exceeding 20amps, you will be limited in what you can use, but the 250w halogen scanners will look fine from the rear if you are using 150-300w pars from the front (unless you use white or thin pink gels).

If you invest in a limited-function controller you will not be able to move into intelligent lights without buying a new controller. Even the color changers will require 4 channels for each unit, so a simple desk light the SceneSetter won't work for you.
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Duane Massey
Houston, Texas, USA

Brian Houchin

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Re: A 1K Question
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2006, 08:13:50 pm »

Hey Guys,

Thanks for the replies.  I'm being pretty cautious about this since it is a band purchase instead of an individual one.  I've been looking around locally so I can demo some LED cans to no avail.  The couple of local stage/light companies don't stock them, and I have yet to see any providers, bands, or clubs using them.  I guess I'm going to have to be the first one around here to try them!

Anyway, I've given up on the idea of changers and instead decided to go with LEDs for a wash.  I've ordered a couple of the Weidamark LEDs and found a DMX Operator 192 for the controller.  The controller was an open box item which saved 50 bucks.  Razz I guess the main drawback to it is that it can't record macros for moving fixtures.  

Hopefully the Weidamarks will work out, if so I'm going to order six more.  I still need to find a couple of stands, clamps and cable for any new lights.  I'm going to be a few hundred over budget, but I think that we'll be happier with the end product.

I guess my next question is if the 38's out front are going to be adequate or should I get some 56's with 300 watt bulbs?
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Terry Martin

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Re: A 1K Question
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2006, 09:52:42 pm »

I've mentioned these guys before - Centerstage Lighting out of Louisville, KY (www.CenterstageLighting.com).  They offer free shipping on purchases over $50!  ...you can't hardly beat that.

Call or email Mitch.  Tell him your budget and what you're trying to do, and I'd bet he can fix you up.  Tell him that I sent ya, and maybe we'll both get a discount!  haha!!  Razz

Terry

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Live Audio, Lighting - Rentals, Sales, Installs
Henderson, KY
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Rob Blohm

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Re: A 1K Question
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2006, 12:32:26 pm »

I'll second the recommendation for Centerstage Lighting. I emailed them asking for a discount on a large order and got some great deals, well below what anyone else was selling this stuff for.
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Duane Massey

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Re: A 1K Question
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2006, 01:55:21 pm »

Brian, it's a matter of balance. If the par38's seem overwhelmed by the LED's (which I doubt), either get larger lamps (250w quartz or 300 incandescent) or look into Par56. What gets missed quite often is the simple fact that a well-balanced system, even if it is low-powered, will look better than one that has a couple of "killer" lights that just obliterate everything else.

The Operator will do OK for the LED's, but plan on getting a better controller when you move up to scanners or moving heads.
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Duane Massey
Houston, Texas, USA

Terry Martin

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Re: A 1K Question
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2006, 02:07:30 pm »

I use a DMX Operator Pro.  ...and while it is a little limited in number of channels that it can control, I don't have much time for messing with lights anyway.  The good thing is that it (was cheap and...)can control movers and dimmers from the same board - which was a selling point at the time.  Maybe others offer that same feature now.

It is pretty easy to set up, though.
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Martin Performance Enterprises, LLC
Live Audio, Lighting - Rentals, Sales, Installs
Henderson, KY
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