This might be long-winded (typical of me), so please take a sip of coffee before reading.
I play in a typical small 4-piece rock cover band. I'm the drummer but I also own the PA and lights. I learned just enough on how to do basic sound and lights from Google (and on these forums.)
Most of the bars and stages are on the small side. Some are so small, we can't even fit a T-Bar stand and just put a couple RGB LED Slimpars on the ground aimed at strategic spots just to provide SOME lighting. It's rock n' roll....there needs to be some color!
However when we do play at the medium venues, we have enough space to set up our 2 T-Bars. I have a 3rd T-Bar unused, but that will be for further expansion or true front lighting. Most of the bars have an adequate soft front light. And the ones that do not, we'll clamp an LED shop light just to provide something on our faces.
The photo provided is our maximum light setup (set up in the formal living room of our house we have YET to furnish after a year!). Each T-Bar has a Mini Colorstrip and 2 RGB Thinpars. If you follow me, each pair of Thinpars is master/slaved and both Colorstrips are master/slaved. We currently set each T-Bar on each side of stage, raised as high as possible with lights aimed downwards toward stage.
(Side note, there is also an LED non DMX Pinspot on each bar and a non DMX laser on one bar, but my questions don't really relate to these, although I'll take suggestions on how to maximize my set up.)
Nothing is DMX'd (yet.... but I'll get back to that) and it's all on autopilot or sound activate. For those who know the program, I currently run the Chauvet Strip on A20 program ( a color chase in sound activate) and the Pars are on a 7-color color switch sound activated. Of course it never TRULY stops between songs as is common with most sound activated stuff, which sucks because I'd love to be able to black it out.
Not that many of our drunken bar patrons are lighting aficionados, but are there other ideas that could make this look better without DMX? Fades on strips or pars? Static colors?
NOW.....at some point I'd like to attempt to dive into DMX. I've been educating myself on these forums and other websites. It would be a scenario where I'd program everything but my rhythm guitarist would have to control from a footswitch on stage.
IF I switched to a DMX control, what would you suggest? I probably won't expand our light system much beyond what we have due to space restrictions at bars. Another local band uses a MBT SCX101 16-channel foot-operated MIDI controller and nothing else. Would you suggest I try something like this? Grab a Chauvet Obey (or other controller)? Jump into DMXis on a laptop? (probably not needed for 36 channels which would be my max right now, 7 for each par and 4 for each strip if everything is run independently).
I apologize for the long scenario, but you WERE warned. Thanks for any and all replies.