When you go to see a major touring band, they've got massive quantities of top-end gear and numerous well-rehearsed experts doing a lot of stuff live, initiating chases, manning spots and so forth. The end result is that every song the band performs has a ton of stuff happening with the lighting/effects, and it is all tightly synchronized with the song.
Background: I'm in a fabulous band called Starfish, and our goal is to bring a full-on concert experience to younger kids, 5 to 10 years old. We've got a somewhat campy, Spinal Tap-esque vibe and we are trying to pass ourselves off as the very greatest rock band ever known to humanity while doing songs about annoying baby brothers, getting your bike stolen, playing air guitar, etc. The thing is, presenting this image convincingly requires lighting, and what we'd really like to do is find some way to have a pretty amazing light show that is programmed to play right along with our music.
So, um... how does one do this on the cheap, say with a couple of reading lamps and an outlet timer? <sheepish grin>
As a newbie in this area (I'm a keyboard player/singer), I'm guessing that we'd need some kind of laptop-based solution where we totally describe all the gear we have and then program our lighting design song by song, and then our drummer would have to play to a click generated by the laptop while it sent all the lighting changes out over DMX. Am I right? Is there something simpler? Are we totally foolish in looking for a solution that doesn't involve adding a lighting dude to the band? How about software that runs on Mac OS X?
Also, any recommendations for "Concert Lighting 101" books / magazines / websites?