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I am just getting into lighting for my band, so any help would be greatly appreciated.

My band mostly plays clubs with lighting, but we want to have our own lights for the following reasons:

1. At the few places that don't have lights, we would like to be able to bring our own
2. Eventually, we would like to train a light guy to do our light show for us, and he will probably need a consistant interface to do this well
3. Even further down the road we would like to sinc up the lights via MIDI to our music
4. We also want to get a fog machine to bring to every show we do, as the house never seems to supply fog.

So here are some questions I have:
1. If I want to dim lights, do I need a "Dimmer Pack" in addition to a DMX controller?
2. Can Fog be controlled through a DMX Controller?
3. What controller is good to start out with? I am looking at the DMX Operator. The Operator II doesn't look that much better for the money, but maybe I don't know enough about it to see the differences.
4. How can I direct the lights, for example, I want to move some lights to focus in on the guitarist for a solo, then move them back to normal. Do I need a special light for this, or just a motor that attaches to a regular par can?

I am thinking of starting with 2 trees worth of lights, one on each side of the stage, maybe 4 lights on each tree. I am willing to go used on as much as possible to keep the price under $1000. What components are best purchased used?

Thanks in advance,
Jeff Simpson
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What you should get is a snapshot 2 package , maybe a couple parcans running a chase on them , and a hazer. with two t bars...

thats all u can get on my opinion for under a grand. You Might get lucky if you shop smart lol. good luck

Another Option is getting like 2 Rainbow 250's they have a great wash effect , and maybe getting a strobe of some sort, (i suggest the ADJ Mega Strobe 750 dmx !! great effect.

DJ VAN MAN Roll Eyes
Jeff, Welcome to the forum! I've been doing band lighting for quite some time and here's my best take. First, go with some par 38 cans - the ones with screw in light bases the regular flood lights screw into. You can find 8 new cans for less than $150 and cheaper used. Par 38's are small but can handle lighting a band in most small clubs (and they're easy to carry/set up!!!!) Get some good gels for your colors and get 8 halogen floods (90 watt) at your local big building supply place. Get a dimmer pack for the lights (two packs if you want to hang one on each rack). You don't need anything fancy, just two 4 channel dimmer packs. Look around and get used if you can but make sure they are DMX!!! Get an Operator and program up some cool scenes and chases. Now you've got your basic stage lighting set up. You can select scenes via a foot controller using midi (especially if you want to start trying to use midi control of your lighting).
Next I would get an RP-8 relay pack and an 8 button foot controller for it. With this you can control all your effects lights. For example, get a reasonably priced strobe light (great effect for the $!!!!). Plug it into the relay pack and you just have to hit the foot switch when you want the strobe.
I wouldn't worry about dmx control of your fog - just put the fog switch on the floor by your relay foot switch and lightly(!!!!) tap it with your foot when you want/need fog. Cheap and easy!
As for a "moving spot light", I'm working on this right now. It is EXPENSIVE! Here's a cheaper alternative until you decide if you want to spend some real $. Get a couple more par 38 cans and load them with 90 watt halogen SPOT!!!! lights. Take these and point them at your "leads" (i.e. guitar/vocalist). Plug them into your relay pack and you can have your "spot light" whenever you push the button for that relay channel. (Yes, you have to get your guitarist and vocalist to STAY! in the place where that light is pointed for solos, etc. I finally got ours to stay there by explainin what morons they looked like when they were playing a solo in the dark with a spot light shining on NOBODY!!!!!) It works great and makes it look like you have a lighting guy running your show!
Your should be able to set this all up for under $1000 and then you have a good base for building up your system. As for effect lights, start with a strobe or two. After that, shop all the ADJ stuff. They have tons of lights that you can control with your relay pack and can move to the music.
Finally, read as many of the posts in this forum you can. You will pick up lots of tips and ideas from some very experienced light folks.
Good luck!!!

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