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TexRoadkill Offline
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2003 11:14 am    Post subject: Everything you want to know about concert lighting Reply with quote

Well what do you want to know? Ask away. Whether you're putting together a budget setup for a better vibe in the rehearsal studio or you want to put together a show that would make Pink Floyd jealous I'll see what I can do to help.
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sonusman Offline
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2003 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay....

How many soundmen does it take to change a lightbulb?

Ed

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Sloop Offline
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2003 1:40 pm    Post subject: Easy Reply with quote

sonusman wrote:
Okay....

How many soundmen does it take to change a lightbulb?

Ed


None--if you turn it up enough it will work
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Lt. Bob Offline
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2003 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How do you know if a soundman's ringing your doorbell?
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Lt. Bob Offline
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2003 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You tell him the doorbell's feeding back and he says, "It sounds good out here!"
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sonusman Offline
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2003 12:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sonusman wrote:
Okay....

How many soundmen does it take to change a lightbulb?

Ed


I don't know! Ask the light man! Wink

Ed

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sonusman Offline
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2003 12:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What do light men and sperm have in common?
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TexRoadkill Offline
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2003 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A light designer is sitting around his shop working on a plot. God sees him sitting there and thinks to himself "I wonder what would happen if I took 1/4 of his brain away" and so with a wave of his hand takes 1/4 of the light designers brain away. The light desinger pauses for a second and continues working.

So God then thinks "well I wonder what would happen if I took another 1/4 of his brain away. So again with a wave of his hand God takes another 1/4 of the light designers brain. This time the light designer pauses for a few minutes and then continues working.

Perplexed God decides he is going to take the remaing 1/2 if the light desingers brain. So with the wave of his hand God takes the rest of the lighting designers brain. This time the light designer stops and looks around bewildered. Finally he spots a microphone and he quicly rushes to it and says "check 1,2".
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Slackmaster2K Offline
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2003 12:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HAHA
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"The object of this invention is to record in permanent characters the human voice and other sounds, from which characters such sounds may be reproduced and rendered audible again at a future time." U.S. Patent No. 200,521, Feb. 19, 1878.
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sonusman Offline
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2003 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, I will bite at my own joke!!!

What DO light men and sperm have in common?

Only about 1 in a million of them stands a chance of becoming civilized human being.

Smile

Tex, that is a good joke. Smile

Ed

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Ryan Offline
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2004 4:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
How many soundmen does it take to change a lightbulb


None, the assistant had it changed an hour before he got there Wink
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jordanaki Offline
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2004 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Well what do you want to know? Ask away. Whether you're putting together a budget setup for a better vibe in the rehearsal studio or you want to put together a show that would make Pink Floyd jealous I'll see what I can do to help.


Hey,

ok whats the minimum lighting system that will give off a good effect without too much $ and without any human input?? (thats quite a question!!)
Hypothetically it's for a small-medium sized bar gig. Im thinking a couple of spotlights and one or two of those sound-controlled coloured lights?? If there is such thing??

thanks

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ddsound52 Offline
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To me the difference between lighting and sound reinfrocement is like art and science. If your singer is belting his lungs out and it goes dark you can say its an effect but if his lips are moving and you hear nothin.. well thats a mistake,or problem or a mime show... anyway I have worked at ampitheaters where the lighting desinger would have absolutely no front of house spots, and in the truss there may be 50-100 wiggle lights ( computer controlled animated lighting fixtures) which were aimed at everything except any of the band members, and that was "the look". So to me the answer is," the minimum" is what your willing to carry and willing to spend. Until you create your own look
ddsound52
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VTgreen81 Offline
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2006 6:55 am    Post subject: Re: Everything you want to know about concert lighting Reply with quote

TexRoadkill wrote:
Well what do you want to know? Ask away. Whether you're putting together a budget setup for a better vibe in the rehearsal studio or you want to put together a show that would make Pink Floyd jealous I'll see what I can do to help.



We're playing a stage that's about 20' x 15', in a fairly small room. We've got three par 46 cans with 200 watt MFL lamps, is this even close to enough light? How much would it take to do it right? What color gels would be the best combination?

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TexRoadkill Offline
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2006 4:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Everything you want to know about concert lighting Reply with quote

VTgreen81 wrote:

We're playing a stage that's about 20' x 15', in a fairly small room. We've got three par 46 cans with 200 watt MFL lamps, is this even close to enough light? How much would it take to do it right? What color gels would be the best combination?


I wouldn't consider that enough but you have to make do with what you have. With minimal lights you need to go for an overall wash or try to be artsy. To create something that looks interesting you need to create some depth and light different areas of the stage with discreet pools/beams of light. It's nice to have a seperate light for the front of the performer, back of the performer and the background. This gives you a nice 3D appearance.

If you want to go for a wash make sure you have WFL (Wide Flood Light) or at the very least MFL (Medium Flood Light). If they are spots you aren't going to light much. Use a light pink or amber gel to warm things up and just light from both sides or dead on center out in the front. The higher the better. Crossfire the lights for more coverage (house Left points to stage Left, House Right points to stage Right, etc.)

For a more moody approach you could use two blue or red lights on the floor and have them shoot across the band from opposite sides of the stage. Maybe focus one on the drummer and the other across the front lineup. Use the last light as a front spot for the singer. Shadow is just as important as light so use it to add mystery.

Ideally you have at least one backlight for each performer and enough to give you a wash across the front. Since you can only have one color per par can you need one light for each location/color. That's why par can rigs with any versatility are HUGE.

Intelligent lights with color changers have gotten a lot cheaper recently and can significantly reduce the size of the lighting rig. You can have one intelligent light for each performer's backlight and have a tremendous variety of color scenes.

Some cheap ways to augment your lighting are to use Cyc Lights. These are cheap halogen wash fixtures that are mainly used to light backdrops (called Cycs in Theater work). You can use them as footlights, sidelights or floor based backlights. You can buy fixtures with multiple lights/gels for different color combinations or just use some single fixtures. The work lights that you buy at Home Depot are a cheap way to make Cyc Lights. Just figure out a safe way to attack a color gel so you don't get too much bleed of the white light or burn the gel.

In general 200W is minimum for any type of visual impact as a back light or to get a good bright wash at more then 20ft. You need about 500-1000W per fixture to really get some wow factor. With dark blues the higher wattage is pretty much mandatory.
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TexRoadkill Offline
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2006 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jordanaki wrote:
Hey,

ok whats the minimum lighting system that will give off a good effect without too much $ and without any human input?? (thats quite a question!!)
Hypothetically it's for a small-medium sized bar gig. Im thinking a couple of spotlights and one or two of those sound-controlled coloured lights?? If there is such thing??

thanks


I never saw your post so sorry for the obscene delay in answering Embarassed

I outline a lot of stuff in the above post but to reiterate:

If you want to have choices of color then you need a seperate fixture for each performer/area and color or an intelligent color changing fixture. The minimum requirements are that the subject be seen with an appropriate level of light for the venue and function (much more light is needed for video taping at a professional quality level).

Ideally each performer or section of stage has:
1. Front wash (so you can see them)
2. Back light (so they are seperated from the background)
3. Background light (for further seperation and depth)

Unfortunately most cheapo DJ intelligent lights do not provide enough brightness or width to really illuminate more then about 3ft of area with any type of real impact. Smoke is also mandatory to really get any type of impact. The cheap lights can be cool for effects but they won't really light up the stage. When placed in banks or spread across the background they can be a great way to add some wow factor to a traditional par can lighting rig.

The mid-range intelligent fixtures in the 500W-1200W range can provide enough illumination to be the only light fixtures. If you get a fixed focus fixture (no moving head or mirrors) you can save some money but lose some versatility. Expect to pay about $800+ for a new fixture in this range. You can get some great deals by buying used lighting packages from DJs or clubs. I would rather have 2 high quality moving fixtures then 8 DJ lights if you looking for effects. A brighter light with good gobos simply has more impact.

I can't really spec an entire system for you without knowing how many people you need to light but for a typical 4 piece band I would consider about 4 front Pars & 8 backlight Pars the cheapest and minimum possible lighting package. This would enable the audience to see the band and give you two possible scenes. Add in a few moving intelligent fixtures, cyc lights, strobe and smoke and you can do some cool stuff that will make people pay attention.

Self controlled lighting? It's a myth. You can make lights blink on and off based on audio or time but that is it. A fancier controller can allow automated switching of preprogrammed scenes and that can be a little better. You can get a footswitch to change scenes while you play.

Your best bet if you don't have a lighting guy to run things is to use preprogrammed scenes on intelligent fixtures. You can program a variety of looks and pick which one is best for the song. Using random or sound activated lights is just going to be cheezy and distracting in most instances.
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Sloop Offline
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2006 5:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Everything you want to know about concert lighting Reply with quote

VTgreen81 wrote:
TexRoadkill wrote:
Well what do you want to know? Ask away. Whether you're putting together a budget setup for a better vibe in the rehearsal studio or you want to put together a show that would make Pink Floyd jealous I'll see what I can do to help.



We're playing a stage that's about 20' x 15', in a fairly small room. We've got three par 46 cans with 200 watt MFL lamps, is this even close to enough light? How much would it take to do it right? What color gels would be the best combination?


I do theatrical lighting and sound reinforcment. 3 lights is just illumination, not lighting. That's fine, it works. Use them as a general wash across the stage and play.

If you want to get "artsy" you need more lights and a controller. You can pick up a light pack fairly cheap. You can do a small stage with a descent look with 2 stands with 4 lights in the front and either 2 stands with 4 each in the back or a truss on stands(prefered) with 8 lights. That is a pretty portable system and can give you some variation in looks. The nice thing about the truss is it gives you a way to hang a band backdrop. It isn't going to be a Rolling Stones tour look, but it work pretty well.

the 16 light setup is kind of a standard, active(making money)garage band setup.
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TexRoadkill Offline
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2006 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just picked up some lights at a local dealer that was going out of business. I got two American DJ wash fixtures that are pretty cool. Each one has 3 300W Halogen bulbs in R,G and B for full color mixing. They're normally around $200 and a pretty good way to give you a full front wash or background wash with only a couple fixtures.

I also picked up some Martin fire projectors for fun.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2007 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Mr. Lighting Guy, I have a question:

Will this make me rock out?!?!

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/srs7/g=dj/product/images/page=1/base_pid=800097

It's got EVERYTHING...even fog juice. Do you recommend it?

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TexRoadkill Offline
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2007 3:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chris_Harris wrote:
Hey Mr. Lighting Guy, I have a question:

Will this make me rock out?!?!

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/srs7/g=dj/product/images/page=1/base_pid=800097

It's got EVERYTHING...even fog juice. Do you recommend it?


lol, I'm a little late to the question but if you are thinking of becoming a tejano DJ and playing house parties that package will do you just fine.
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Chris_Harris Offline
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2007 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TexRoadkill wrote:
Chris_Harris wrote:
Hey Mr. Lighting Guy, I have a question:

Will this make me rock out?!?!

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/srs7/g=dj/product/images/page=1/base_pid=800097

It's got EVERYTHING...even fog juice. Do you recommend it?


lol, I'm a little late to the question but if you are thinking of becoming a tejano DJ and playing house parties that package will do you just fine.


Cool. I've been on hold with them for 11 months waiting for your answer.












BOOK IT, CINDY!!

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Simman Offline



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sonusman wrote:
Okay....

How many soundmen does it take to change a lightbulb?

Ed


It takes 5 soundmen to change a lightbulb.

1 to change the bulb and the other 4 to stand around and tell him how they would do a better job.
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GT Offline
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 7:32 am    Post subject: Re: Everything you want to know about concert lighting Reply with quote

TexRoadkill wrote:
Well what do you want to know? Ask away. Whether you're putting together a budget setup for a better vibe in the rehearsal studio.


Hey Tex,

Would love to hear how about better lighting for rehearsal.

Expound away!!

GT Cool
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Sky Blue Lou Offline
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 5:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another revival of this old thread. There's good info in it so it doesn't hurt to bump it.

Does anyone know of any cheap (free) software for lighting design? I'm thinking something really simple where you could experiment with placement and colors on screen to help with scene ideas. Again real basic stuff - we only have three trees and some floor lights right now and we're a small club act so I don't see us buying a bunch more shit - maybe a truss and another set of four lights.

Thanx,


lou

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