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FDP Forum / Performer's Corner / Stage lighting

greg1948
Contributing Member
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Vero Beach FL

Tbird Greg
May 12th, 2019 05:47 AM   Edit   Profile  

My band often plays in places where there is little or no lighting in the "stage" area (often just a corner of the room). One of the guys had 2 LED par lights which added some light and atmosphere. He and his lights are gone now, so I'm stepping up and getting some lights. I have my eye on a 4 unit package with remote control for the lights. If that works out, I may upgrade to a DMX controller that can automatically change lighting effects. The controllers seem a bit tricky to program, but the idea of having different "scenes" at the push of a button sounds great.

Does anyone have experience with these controllers and any tips for using them?

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Planet Peegoo

Rhythm & Lewd Guitarist
May 12th, 2019 05:41 PM   Edit   Profile  

Unless you need coordinated lights, the easiest & cheapest solution is to use individual multicolor LED PAR cans that have their own onboard color cycle controls. This way they need no interconnects with the other lights. The types that sit directly on the floor/stage and direct upward preclude having to carry light stands and trusses.

greg1948
Contributing Member
*********

Vero Beach FL

Tbird Greg
May 13th, 2019 05:04 AM   Edit   Profile  

Exactly what I've ordered. They have a remote to switch the various modes: flashing, strobing, mixed colors, solid color, etc. I had smaller version of the cans that didn't have enough wattage to be effective. I have the truss that I bought for them. I'll probably stay with the remote for awhile, but, not being one who keeps things simple, I'll likely want to get into the more elaborate features of the DMX controller.

Juice Nichols
Contributing Member
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Panama City, FL

I'm just a dude, playing a dude...
May 13th, 2019 07:01 AM   Edit   Profile  

In my experience, unless you have someone to operate the DMX functions during the performance, a controller won't do much for you other than a way to reach over and change the color of the lights. With no lighting guy to operate the system they will be pretty much "set it and forget it". Sure, you could use a foot controller to advance the scenes on some units, but who wants to mess with lights from the stage on top of trying to run sound? Get a few par cans for some stage wash and call it a day.

greg1948
Contributing Member
*********

Vero Beach FL

Tbird Greg
May 13th, 2019 10:21 AM   Edit   Profile  

Juice, I've never used a DMX controller, but I did check out some video instructions on them. It was my impression that you could make a number of scenes: set the colors, intensity, duration, etc. Then using the "chase" settings, you could combine a number of scenes that would play back in whatever order you wanted when you activated that chase.

But if that's not how they work, you are right, I don't want to be singing, playing guitar and working lights all at the same time. But as I said, that would be down the road a bit. Using the hand remote initially should do the trick.

Juice Nichols
Contributing Member
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Panama City, FL

I'm just a dude, playing a dude...
May 13th, 2019 12:34 PM   Edit   Profile  

Greg, You are correct that you can set up scenes and the lighting will change as you cycle through the cues. I'm not sure about the DMX controller you are looking at, but setting the scenes up is a very time consuming process judging by the amount of time our lighting guy at church puts into setting them up. Of course the controller we use is something you could use for a rock concert, so it's probably quite a bit more complicated than what you're looking at.

My comments were directed more towards having a DMX controller to just change light colors. I can do that with the 4 button foot controller that came with my 4 par light bar. If you had a few "movers", hazers and wanted to do some fancy fades and the like, a DMX controller would be the only way to go.

Gaukdawg

Ohio

Say what one more time!
May 14th, 2019 10:27 AM   Edit   Profile  

I do our band's lights and I use a controller and set up "scenes" and either my wife or another wife of the band can change the setting with a single touch of a button. I have them all labeled. There are three static settings for between songs red, blue, and green. Then a slow song setting, a fast song setting, a sound responsive setting, and a strobe setting. The girls actually do a pretty good job with the timing most of the time. I would recommend going with wireless connections instead of running cables. The transmitter is connected to the controller and a receiver is connected to each of the front trees and the center light. if the stage is large enough I set up backfill lights and run a cable from the front tress to the back trees. We also do dance floor lighting and occasionally run a fog machine as well. When you start programming it seems difficult but with a little familiarity it's actually pretty easy.

thumbpicker
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St. Louis

"Thumbpicks don't slide into soundholes"
May 17th, 2019 11:04 AM   Edit   Profile  

Back in the 80’s we had two home built boxes with four lights in each. We used whatever colors were available at the hardware store. Surprised we didn’t fry ourselves. I built a control. Wedge to sit on stage.
You could turn on individual circuits for each set of lights on each box. One switch was to fire up the whole rig and the rest were unlatched or momentary switches.
We always had a few young hanger ones around that loved to play lights for us.

How times have changed!

greg1948
Contributing Member
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Vero Beach FL

Tbird Greg
May 19th, 2019 05:30 AM   Edit   Profile  

Gaukdog, can you give me specifics on the kind of controller you use? Thanks.

(This message was last edited by greg1948 at 07:30 AM, May 19th, 2019)

Gaukdawg

Ohio

Say what one more time!
May 19th, 2019 10:26 AM   Edit   Profile  

It's a Chauvet Obey 50. They don't make them anymore but it was only $70 when I bought and it still works so I have not yet updated it. Similar to the current Obey 40. There are many tutorials on You Tube that can walk you through programming DMX and do a better job than me trying to explain through posts here. I linked a controller below. This would work perfectly for what you are wanting to do.

Chauvet 40

Gaukdawg

Ohio

Say what one more time!
May 19th, 2019 10:35 AM   Edit   Profile  

You can see the "scenes" buttons at the top. I taped a label for each scene above the button so it was easy for anyone to control the lighting. It also has a blackout button to turn all the lights out. The wives actually have a good time working the lights. Linked is another controller that would work.

another option

Gaukdawg

Ohio

Say what one more time!
May 19th, 2019 10:37 AM   Edit   Profile  

And here is the wireless devices to replace the cable runs.

wireless

greg1948
Contributing Member
*********

Vero Beach FL

Tbird Greg
May 20th, 2019 05:36 AM   Edit   Profile  

Thanks, Gaukdog! I see these controllers everywhere. Chauvet is the big name, but the other brands seem to do the same thing. Not going to get heavy use, so I'll go as cheap as possible. The wireless idea sound great. It does look like you need to hook up a wall wart for each receiver though.

Right now, the IR remote supplied with the lights will work. I'm going to talk to m Sweetwater rep before I commit to the full controller. Thanks for your input.

Gaukdawg

Ohio

Say what one more time!
May 20th, 2019 01:58 PM   Edit   Profile  

I always have an extension cord with 3 inputs and connect the wireless into an open spot there at the top of the tree. We use a hemishere light center stage that is like a rotating ball and it has an outlet on the back of it that I plug the wireless receiver into that so power to the wireless is usually fairly easy to deal with. I use Lumin puck style pars, 2 at the top of each tree and one at the bottom of each tree for uplighting. When the stage is big and we need more light I have 2 colorstrips, one for each back corner to help fill the stage. It sounds like a lot but I can set it up in about a half hour.

davywhizz
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Redesdale UK

"Still Alive And Well"
Aug 6th, 2019 09:25 AM   Edit   Profile  

We used a Colormix dmx controller with two, later four, 4-colour lights. Sometimes one unit at each corner of the stage pointing in, sometimes two on the stage on the band and two lighting the dance floor out front. We usually put the controller on the sound desk at the back of the room, part of the job for whoever was mixing the sound. It would be possible for one of the band to control the lights and there's a footswitch which links to the controller so you can do that hands free. We've never been very ambitious with lighting, but typically I'd put a colour wash on the stage just before going on, then switch to sound to light. There's a handy button for blackout endings and another to punch all the lights on full for as long as you hold the button, but you risk blowing all the power in some venues.

FDP Forum / Performer's Corner / Stage lighting




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