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What to add for band lighting?

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  • What to add for band lighting?

    I'm new to running sound for a 12-piece band (mostly wedding receptions and corporate gigs with some festival and outdoor patio bar work thrown in) and up until now they've just been running a pair of Chauvet Colorbank 8 lights (one on each side of the stage) set to audio. I've helped them upgrade the PA... and now it's time to take on lighting.

    For the wedding receptions that I've helped them with so far... I've brought out some of my DJ lighting for the dance floor... a Vue3 centered on the ceiling above the dance floor, a pair of ADJ Pearl whites (one on ceiling, one on dance floor spinning in sync), sometimes 6 little strobes hooked to the drum rack lighting up the kit, and usually a 12" mirror ball w/ 2 pin spots... all controlled by older analog Lite-Puter foot controller/dimmers I had. Used judiciously, it really added a lot to the experience for the families I think... and the band loves a full dance floor to play to so they've been really happy about it as well.

    My Q is this: I'm a little tapped out as far as budget after helping with the PA upgrades, but what are some inexpensive thigns that I could do that would help light the band/stage?

    I should add that I also have an ADJ 10' truss/trees that I could press into service and currently have 2 - 4ch. dimmer packs (2 outlets/ch.) and 1 - 4ch. dimmer pack (1 outlet/ch.), 2 - Lite-Puter analog foot controllers, and enough cabling to reach anywhere on the stage from any mix position. I'd love to go LED and DMX, but I already have this stuff, so... thoughts?

    FWIW - I've seen several shows recently where small groups or solo performers (Aimee Mann, Jake Shimabukuro, etc.) played in front of several uplit/downlit hanging bolts of what appeared to be crushed velvet (VERY crumpled to enhance the surfaces that would catch the light). This added a LOT of visual interest and depth to the stage with I'm thinking a minimum of gear. In one case it looked as if the uplighting was done with a Blizzard LED Puck-type fixture... for another some sort of LED bar... both with a fairly narrow beam focus. I realize that it's more of a backdrop, but I'm also asking about ideas just to up the "presentation" that the band puts out there.

    Where the Mississippi River runs west...

  • #2

    If it was me, I would sell my dimmers and incadescent fixtures. The world has moved on to LED and dmx, and they will only continue to go down in value.

    <div class="signaturecontainer">Moe<br><br>---<br><br>It puts the SINES in the basket, or else it gets the hose again.<br><br><a target="_blank" href="http://www.hotrodmotm.com">http://www.hotrodmotm.com</a></div>


    • monthlymixcd
      monthlymixcd commented
      Editing a comment

      Well, the Colorbank 8 units are 400W/ea... but they're also not mine. If I can supplant them with another way of front/side washing the band that draws less power and does a better job, then I'd probably be able to argue for their demise...

  • #3
    Doesn't work for me either


    • #4
      STILL hasn't populated the rest of this thread?!? Sheesh...

      Thought I'd post this here since it's related to my gear upgrades: What DMX controller should I be looking for to throw in the (currently empty) top of my SKB Mini Gig Rig to use as I switch over to DMX/LED lighting? Is there a wizz-bang new board that I just HAVE to have... or is there a tried and true older board that I can pick up used that'll get the job done. At this point I'm looking at a physical interface rather than software and a USB interface since I sometimes have people sub for me and/or there might be another person running lights from time 2 time on larger gigs where hopefully running a lighting board with actual knobs and faders will be easier to pick up rather than learning how to run software. Thoughts?
      Where the Mississippi River runs west...


      • #5
        So much more control with software. I set up my scenes beforehand and then I can give an iPad to whoever wants to do lights. They can pick from various scenes and also edit the colors of the wash lights on the fly.


        • #6
          OK then... what's the lowest-cost-easiest-to-use DMX interface and software?
          Where the Mississippi River runs west...


          • #7
            I can't believe there are still missing posts from this thread. By far the cheapest is Freestyler (http://users.telenet.be/freestylerdmx/) and this uDMX usb dongle (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1).

            I was a little wary of the dongle, and bought it really just to try out Freestyler. But so far it has been great, no driver problems on multiple computers. Freestyler is an awesome program for free. There is definitely a learning curve (like all these programs). Once you understand the Queue screen and how you can use it with submasters and multiple scenes, that's where it really shines. I use touch OSC and an Android tablet to Midi control it. I also use the Sound to Light function. Freestyler is installed on the same computer I multitrack the gigs with, so I use the kick drum feed as the sound trigger.


            • #8
              I use DMXIS. It's around $300. There's free stuff that uses a $150 dongle. I dunno.
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