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Warning: Total NOOb here!

The band decided to get rid of our sound and lighting guy for various reasons. I've been recruited to learn (and buy) lights, because even a basic setup will be better than what the dude is doing right now.

I'm starting from scratch. I've got a line on a used setup: 2 T-bars and 8 ADJ Par 56 lamps, but only with a switching/relay pack, not a dimmer. And no control board. I'm not sure if I'm going to jump on this or not.

We've got our first disagreement going... where should the first set of lights be located? One person thinks they should be on a truss along the back, the others think at an angle in the front facing in. Logically the latter makes more sense to me, because of shadows, but the American DJ basic setup (Link Removed) shows a truss system... Can someone help me get started?

Thanks a million.
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Hi Plan_G and welcome to the forums.

I think you have the right idea in that you need some sort of front light. Unless the rooms you are playing in are well lit to begin with, you guys will look like nothing but shadows and outlines of colors. The T-bars should work will for that, one on each side. Put up maybe two cans a side on each bar to start with just for a general wash. You can then add a setup behind for back lighting.

If you are playing in well lit rooms, you can get away with just a truss in the back and use all the lights for effect lighting instead.

Once again, welcome to the forums.
Thank you for the welcome. I scour Craigslist daily looking... I'm looking forward to studying the colors and being able to emphasize whoever is doing a solo, etc., but I find myself jumping way ahead of myself as I have zero equipment LOL.

There is another band that 2 of the guys are in that will be need me for lights -for sure- but it will be a very low paying gig at first. I'm battling with how much to spend and whether I should get new or used equipment. ROI will depend on how these bands proceed.

Thanks for the clarification on the placement. So I should probably begin with 2 t-bars and lights to face in? More to the front or to the sides? I'm still trying to understand the "wash" and "backlighting" concepts in relation to everything else.

I know anything will be better than putting the lights on slow chase and leaving them there all show Roll Eyes (but I still need confidence that I know what I'm doing...)
sorry about that. It was a kit with 8 par56's, a truss, controller, dimmers...

I'm in the Appleton-Neenah-Menasha area.

Smiler

Not sure if I'd be breaking any rules here, but the used lights are the American DJ silver ones, square gel holders, the guy sent a pic of replacement PAR56 lamps when I asked what size... however the dimensions of the lights don't coincide with anything I can find? It looks like it's missing the "back chunk" of the light?
that's what I thought, but when I asked what kind of bulb, he sent a picture of an empty PAR 56 bulb box. (??) He doesn't speak or type English well, so has been sending me pictures and even a video. I'm getting quite leery of the whole thing, his set comes with 2 stands, 8 lights and a PP-DMX20L pack, not a dimmer. Without a controller board I don't think I'll be too happy anyway.

here is the front measurement:


My thinking was that I'd get a better deal buying traditional par cans used and then upgrading to LED later. There just don't seem to be any used setups out there right now. Lots of DJ stuff... this set worries me with the dimensions not matching his PAR 56 claim...
Thanks. Guitar Center didn't seem to be of much assistance for lights, maybe it was just that particular day. The salesman knew a lot about the DJ aspects and LEDs, but didn't seem to know about band lighting or what I'd need for a basic beginner startup. I'll keep researching - or let me know when you're doing a demo! Smiler
Well, the problem with your question and the help is that:

Unfortunately, at Guitar Center, the lighting people are typically DJ's who have this task thrust upon them. DJ's OFTEN(not always) have different lighting needs than bands. And then the problem with bands is each band has their own ideas of what they should have(besides a job, steady income... you know, stuff like that...)

Here's what you should think of for band lighting:
WASH. Wash and more wash. Mainly, you want to light the band up From the front and above(if you can do it) and maybe with a footlighting type application(pointing up from the floor, but at an angle, not straight up at their butt!), and if you can, some light from behind. If you gotta compromise, skip the backlighting for now.

Don't waste your money on traditional cans and dimmers. I don't say that to know ADJ's "legacy" type products. You spend MORE per fixture but less overall, when you go with LED. Let's say you gel a set of 4 regular cans Red, Green, Blue and white(no gel), that's a dimmer's pack worth of channels. now you gotta aim them all at the same spot. more lights, more set/strike/storage/moving and weight. Go LED: less power draw, less weight and chances are more functionality in the fixtures.

The other thing is you're a beginner. There's too many choices these days, which is good and bad. It's good to have so many choices, but with so many choices, it can be difficult to choose, especially when you don't know crap yet. And really, there's only one way to learn: by doing. Unfortunately, you're gonna have to pay for your schooling. I did it this way too.

So, here's my advise:
If you have a laptop, get the MyDMX product for control. You'll get way more functionality for not much more money than an intro-level controller. When you outgrow your controller, you move onto MyDMX or a more expensive controller anyways, so let's skip that step.

Other good starter options are general purpose lights. Typically, the LED cans are a fantastic starting point. Yes, they can be kind of expensive, but it's a good investment. You can wash DOWN, UP, and with darn near infinite colors, dimming, strobing, macro functions and sound active modes, the ADJ 64 LED Pro is a fantastic fixture.

Similarly are fixtures like the Mega Panel, or if you're budget impaired, the Profile Panel. Other panel-type fixtures are like the Punch Pro. Lots of mounting options as well. With the Mega and Profile Panels being very slim, they aren't bulky to lug around, which can be important. Like the 64 LED Pros, lots of functionality in there, especially in the Mega Panel and Profile Panel.

A next logical step might be some of the Mega Bar fixtures and/or the Color Burst fixtures.

For now, sticking with wash only lights gets the job done effectively and efficiently. After this point, you'll get bored and want to go and get some moving head fixtures, scanners or other lights to add some movement to your shows. At this point, you'll need something like MyDMX anyways to really take control of your lighting.

So, with your idea of 2 T bars, do this:

4 Mega Panel or Profile Panels, 1/side of the bar, with 2 panel lights per bar. If you want to be "cheap", go with the Profile Panel. If you want to stretch the budget, you can go with the Profile Panels and a Mega Bar 50 per band member so they each get a foot light. Use MyDMX for control.

We're talking around a $1500-1600 investment. Cables might be a bit more.

The only other problem with Guitar Center is that just like any other place, they can't possibly show all they have in stock or available. It's not possible. They do show a lot of good general purpose lights, including LED's. It is like Jingles said though, depends on who you get.

I'm a sound guy. I do lights because I have to. I might as well be halfway decent about it.
Chris, THANK-YOU.

That really is the trouble right now, TOO MANY choices! lol. I don't feel like it's just "I have a guitar and an amp, now I want a pedal". You kind of have to start with the guitar and the amp Smiler

Then I start learning about lights and there are a zillion kinds of lamps, controllers that range from 'bolted to the stand' to a board to a laptop... and then there is the whole 'where do I put them? What do they actually do? How do I control them?" thing.

I will read up on *wash*. And the fixtures you mention.

Back to placement - and I'm sorry if these are somehow obvious, but if someone would be so kind as to point me--

•for front lighting: angled inward? behind the mains? I'm assuming on t-bars.
•footlighting - I understand the concept, I don't think I've seen it up close. I see a small problem placing anything on the floor ;-) I've seen monitors get tipped, spilled on, etc. How/where do you mount them?

I can use my laptop. I still don't have a clear understanding of how to control Intelligent lights, but that's more reading I have to do. And maybe when I read more about MyDMX it will fall into place. I'm comfortable with computers, but not with controlling things outside of them, only programming for business apps.

Thank you for giving me a direction and a push Smiler

I'll check out the panels and bars. Cans not necessary on startup? I only ask because having PAR cans is basically 'standard' as far as what people expect... not that I'm known for being conventional! I don't mind "going green" as far as electricity consumption either, but depending on how the gigs work out, the ROI might take quite a while.

Thank you again!
Front lighting:
The lights are IN FRONT of the performer's line, often ABOVE them and angled DOWN into the performers. That's what I mean by front lighting. In a show I do, due to the nature of it, I am aiming the lights from a lower height, which ends up shining them right into the actors' faces. No choice as I have to maintain LOW angles.

Front lighting can be in front of the mains, behind the mains or inline with the mains(I'm talking lines, not necessarily physically). It could be on T-Bars, it could be on trussing on medium to heavy duty stands or it could even be flown from trussing. I guess the correct term could be downlighting since they will point down. I don't know. I'm trying to get myself clear on the terms. I recently was confused between uplighting and footlighting.

Footlighting: A light in front of and aimed up at the performers. Mounting? well, you can tape them down for a gig, unless you have some items you can mount them to and stick on the ground. But, if you're in areas with LOW stages or people getting on the stage who aren't supposed to be, or your performers love to rush the edge, then this might not be a good idea. It's used a lot, but cans are more popular.

Why no cans to start off with in your case? Let me comoare 2 lights I own and like:
The Mega Panel vs the 64 LED Pro. I have 4 Mega Panels and 8 64 LED Pros. You can get a wider wash with less throw using the Mega Panel as opposed to the 64 LED Pro. Since you're most likely gonna get jammed up on a stage, you'll need to have some compromise, and this is a good one. The Mega Panel costs more, but also has a lot more features, which can be utilized as well. Mega Panels are flat, so take little space in the van/truck/whatever. The bad thing is that because they are wider, you can't put 4 on a T-bar unless you use the bolts and do 2 up and 2 below, but that looks too bulky from an audience perspective.

The funny thing is that both make round washes! Go figure.

Sure, ParCans are conventional. Even the LED Cans give the conventional appearance with the advantage that coms with the LED fixture's functionality. But, not to sound like a jerk, but I could care less what the PEOPLE expect. It's not their money and they ain't doing the job. In the end, can you get the job done with what you've got? that's all that matters. Most people only care about end results anyways.

I'm a SOUND and lighting company. I don't do lights without sound, and was unable to get a contract as a result. I basically said that without doing sound, it's not worth my time to do lights, and that's how my policy will remain.

Now, if you're into being a lighting company, then to appease the masses, you might need to get some cans. Those in the know will check out what you got and make some decisions based on that. Those not in the know will want to go with someone who has Par Cans because that's what they expect. Still a useful fixture.

The main concern is how do you use what you've got.

Nothing against cans. I'm planning to get 16 more this year, 8 each of 2 different Elation models. I'm also planning on getting 4 Pixel panels.

Now, about your laptop as a lighting controller:

Software solutions are really a combination of software and hardware. The hardware provides an interface to the DMX chain, typically through the usage of a small metal box that connects to the USB port. The software talks to the USB device, which then sends DMX-512 down the DMX cabling. They all work this way or in some variation of that. If you want to go cheap, there are some free DMX lighting packages that you can couple with inexpensive DMX interfaces. However, I prefer the comfort that goes with a commercial product, because after all, I'm using these products to make money.

I don't want to slam the MyDMX product. I saw one of these free sofware/cheap interface solutions produce an impressive light show.

Still, there are advantages in going with a commercial product. 1: I don't have to spend MY time researching it and then trying it out from the many ones available, often with poor to no documentation. Then 2: I've got to figure out everything. 3: With little to no support, what support I do get takes too long and I just don't have time for that.

Do keep in mind that software ranges in prices, and even within the ADJ and Elation lines, you DO get what you pay for. Even so, the MyDMX product is a fantastic value for the money offering a TON in a super low priced package.

In regards to ROI, it really depends on your business model and how well you're able to gig and pull in the funds. The only way I stay working is to be a "sponsor" for events: I give a low rate as sponsorship and they advertise for me(albeit poorly in most cases). Right now, I'm spending more than I'm earning trying to enable more options. I need MORE and better lights. I need a digital console to remain competitive with the BIG companies(that I have my eye at). I'm not worried about competing with the bottom-feeders. I drove a lot out of business, and now the rest are scared of me. They keep talking crap about me, then get jobs, screw them up and somehow still drag my name through the mud as if it's my fault.

HOWEVER, despite this, one show I work as a sponsor with gives me a fair amount of artistic satisfaction, despite the crappy pay. This guy does 2, now 3 different shows(I just signed on for his latest one). I like working with the guy, so I figure, I'll stick things out and help him. It's his shows that are forcing my knowledge of lighting to improve. Right now I'm not so concerned about ROI. I'm more concerned with survival and pushing forward because in the meantime, I'm making NEW contacts and connections and impressing the right people.

Going back to your guitar/amp/pedal analogy. I was working in this one venue where there were tehse HORRIFIC guitar players(as in, they sucked, and even that is a compliment) and now they are "tone chasers". Get some skills, then get into tone chasing. Since they were using Marshall tube amps, I bought a pair of Marshall Power Brakes(most sucky bands had 2 sucky guitarists, to go with the sucky bassist, sucky drummer and crapt-tastical growler vocalist) to get some control, and then that place stopped using me. Oh well. I still got the Power Brakes!

Whatever you do, KEEP asking questions.
Thank you for your understanding and to tell me to keep asking questions Smiler I'm going to take your post one area at a time. If I should make a new post with a proper title, just let me know, this one is still related to positioning Smiler

I took these at a NYE party last weekend, at a fancy country club. These are with no flash. He has bundles of orange cords, which I know better not to get Smiler but the singers' faces shouldn't be blinded, and often the guys on the sides are dark. It's a small area, so he only put up two sets of lights. Unfortunately he just leaves them run without any interaction with the songs.

Here is an example of what is occurring now: (I'm not doing this)





The stage area was in a corner. He cut the area short by not rounding it out to the dancefloor. I can see where the footlights would have greatly improved this (you can dim those, correct?) but I'm still not sure where the front lights should have been - I just know they looked pretty bad.
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Not that my opinion counds for crap, but here it goes:

I've got photos myself that are similar. You live, you learn. At least I can take the blame for it.

1: Too small a light and too narrow a throw.

2: Not enough lights, and hence unable to cover it all.

3: Not enough throw(lights too close), hence the small narrow coverage.

4: Tied to 3, not enough lift, but that was probably done for ceiling concerns and being able to reach to focus/aim the lights.

Foot lights would have helped, almost halfway between the dance floor and the lovely orange cords(ugh... I dont have orange cables(for my stage applications), and for anyone who does, now you know why to not use them for stage)

Beter utilization of the poles would have helped as well. I mean, who the hell said you can't mount a light to the pole? I do it all the time:



Beats using a second pole in a limited space arrangement! ADJ 64 LED Pros on the T-Bar, Chauvet DMX 500's(intimidator Colors) on the post. BTW, for those interested, in that shot, the upper Chauvet fixture crapped out on me 10 minutes before the show started. This T-bar is just off my FOH at side of stage position, so the black object under the legs is an antenna for my wireless receivers.

Another thing that could have been done was to use some gels just to knock some edge off the lights and bring some of the harshness down. Using the LED cans and/or panels that aren't tri-LED(1 LED with 3 colors in it, not 3 LEDs) will show a smearing at such proximity. A couple more feet back would resolve MOST of that, making them usable AND knock away some harshness.
Oh, and as far as what the guy set up:

I've SEEN less around here: 4 cans on a dimmer pack running a random program, X2 of these. Nets the idiot an easy $800. I can't even get $1200 out of a promoter for being in 3 hours early, 2 hours of show, 3 hour strike and bringing in $250K worth of gear and 3-4 crew to do mains and monitors for a band, even with lights! I guess the sawdust cake at $3000+ was more of a priority!
that really sucks that you have competition like that. I saw your website, very impressive. I don't think we'll ever get on a grand scale... the local scene here isn't great. The sound/light guy gets $250 which is often more than the band members get, and if the band gets more, then he gets matched for that night. I'm at the shows anyway, and the guy who is wanting to run sound has a setup, simpler, but he knows how to work it. (So we'll likely be splitting the $250~~ meaning I am on a budget lol). But pretty much none of us have regular jobs anymore, so every little bit counts. Lead guitarist is in 4 bands right now and making ends meet - I've been his "roadie" for 8½ years now, I'm sure with the right equipment, even if it's fairly simple, I can light up the stage, not blind anyone, and then start tossing in effects. Currently I don't know how to do anything but fade in and out. I've seen enough of people putting a dimmer pack on 'auto' and letting it blink randomly during the whole show, and honestly I think it would look better to just have a wash over the whole band and leave it!

The band pictured is mainly a wedding and party band, doing bars to fill in empty spots. The acoustic act uses one lamp and is doing ok like that. One of the metal bands is mostly recording and tends to play shows at venues with crappy lights and sound already there. Original music isn't popular here, which is so unfortunate. The new band we believe there is really a market for, but it will take a while to get it going. We might end up playing for very little at first. It's hard rock covers based off a popular radio station's playlists, and they're in process of writing some originals to toss in. This band will need decent lighting, and I'm the 'chosen one'... and I'll like end up tweaking sound equipment along the way.

One think I have in my favor is that I'm familiar with the set lists - and I pay attention to them. I am confident that I can add to these shows by knowing the correct places to black out, fade, or whatever changes I learn to do. What I'm not so confident about is how to control the equipment "intelligently". I don't understand the programming of scenes, etc, and I guess I need to hit youtube to learn what that means. The guys are totally willing to help with setup on-site, which is a relief. I probably wouldn't have taken on this challenge if they weren't willing to help out. At least everyone knows I expect a cut... I can't blow all this money for 'fun' - even if it does get fun after a while Smiler

-gina
People in my area are stupid. They'll pay a ton for lights, but won't pay crap for sound. The bands hire me thinking I get a cut, and I say "no, I'm guaranteed my pay". I'm bringing top end gear, while the others are bringing in beat to hell stuff that barely operates.

The scene here sucks as well too. That's not to say there aren't some decent bands. I've been on a project before my big event this weekend, and I've managed to render out over 46 hours of video, and some of the bands were pretty good. Those that weren't OR I didn't have a decent recording, didn't make the cut, or at least not for now. 2 acts I wanted to include aren't in this batch because I don't have the time to edit the performances(thanks to Sony Vegas 10 taking a crap all the time on me, which they appear to have resolved in 10C release today).

My advantage is 28 years of audio, 16 years of which mixing FOH and monitors(at the same time on the same desk, usually). Once I got the mix dialed in, I can focus SOME attention to lighting. This is where MyDMX comes in really good, because of the ease of use once you do the up front work. I'm now working on learning Compu Show, which can be but usually isn't quite as efficient for live, but can be a very power package once I get used to it.

Here's what a scene is:
A scene is a collection of stuff. In MyDMX, it's everything.

In MyDMX, a scene can be 1 step(only one setting step happens) or multiple steps. For example, a scene can have 1 step, but IN that one step, you can set up where your movers point(wherever those points may be) and all colors and dimmings of all lights. But if you program a circle, that circle may be 20 steps, but all within the same scene. It will make more sense when you start using it.

In Compu Show, a scene can be restricted to types of lights(say, just my eight 64 LED Pros), or it can be global. The options are significantly deeper, which really takes getting used to things before really being able to exploit the software to it's best potential. But, we're talking a product that costs like 8-9 times as much as well, so that's something to take into consideration.

One of the first things you do is learn through observation. What you showed in those photos was not a great example of how to do things, so you learn that "hey, that ain't good, don't do that". You also must be NOT afraid to fail, and NOT afraid to try. Trying can lead ot success OR failure. The only way failure is truly failure is if you fail to learn from it, success OR failure. I fail a lot, but I keep trying and learning. I'm not a lighting expect. I guess I'm maybe experienced enough to make some smart choices and educated trials, but I'm by no means an expert. I used to work WITH lighting guys, but again, it's two worlds that have to work together. But it was never an ordeal, it was usually quite fun. We specialize to maximize potential.

Right now, I gotta do mains and monitors, plus do a board mix recording(to a DVD, which is also tracking video) and a live mix(2 mics high then bussed to a subgroup and then onto a matrix and then on it's way to a CD-R deck) all through the same desk. The video: I sometimes have to monitor 3 cameras actively, and then a 4th in a safe wide shot, and then have to switch on the fly. Add lighting to that, and well, I can get overloaded sometimes. Not easy.

Plus, now I gotta deal with post production of the stuff, putting the CD audio back with the DVD audio, and because the CD is at 44.1K and the DVD is at 48K, I got a sampling rate problem. This next show, I'm going to also record to ProTools if I can, but I'll also convert the CD to 48K post recording to see if I can resolve alignment problems as the different sampling rates will cause drift. I find I have to adjust things at least once between songs for bands, but once a minute or less for comics.

So, even when you've got it down, when you're small, DO NOT BE AFRAID TO FAIL. Failure is always an option. It's not always an acceptable option, but it is an option. Learn, improve and try again and again and again. I listen to what my critics tell me, and fortunately one of the ones I work with frequently has no problem telling me what he things was right or wrong. I even experiment with 5.1 mixes and other production aspects. I still mess with the lighting design. I push myself on audio hard, which is why I record. The live mics give me the room and audience and speakers, while the board mix is the board. I can truly judge what I'm doing and sometimes I'm on(usually) but sometimes I'm off. But some times i just have to mix to the environment, not what necessarily is the bst through the desk.

You got ideas. Download MyDMX(it's free that way, you only have to pay when you want the hardware). Design your show, example stages and you'll learn TONS going that route. Plus, you'll get into computer control. Doesn't matter if you have the fixtures or not, it's all virtual The Demo Mode is what I do most of my work in anyways, and then I save it. When it's show time, I plug in the hardware, run MyDMX and it's show time with the real stuff ready to go.
Gina,
Be aware that LEDs have many advantages which have nothing to do with "going green."

They don't throw off heat - I had band members complain about the the heat from incandescents ("cans").

Each fixture can create an infinite number of colors - cans have one color. Multi colors give you a lot of "show" options with very few fixtures, e.g., you can put the focus on the singer or the player taking a lead by putting a bright light on them and dark color wash on everyone else - that kind of stuff is not practical or much less effective with only the ability to dim a can.

When individual lights are put in sound mode, the variety of results is much greater with LEDs.

Having enough electric power on the stage can be a huge problem with cans. I had one show with cans that was a disaster because the cans just barely glowed and our amps acted crazy due to low power.

I agree with the MyDMX recommendations so long as you are not a musician in the band as well as a "roadie." If you are playing in the band, going with MyDMX will raise a bunch of issues you should address before you decide to go that route to light control.
Thanks again for more info. I'm hoping to have time to do some more research today. E's at one practice now, and practice for the new band starts at 4 so I might go to that one. Thanks for answering even though I'm not a "guy"... always one of the guys... but sometimes I'm not well received in forums because I don't have the proper 'equipment' lol. Years ago I used to sing as a placeholder in one of the metal bands during practice, but the guys were leery about having a girlfriend or wife in the band. After almost 9 years they aren't bothered by it anymore. Besides, it's 'only' lights Wink I'll have my own stuff to carry and not be lugging Coffin cases up and down stairs as often, but it usually gets me through the door for free Wink

I record the shows on a Zoom now, for review later, and sometimes post on the Facebook pages if the band is happy with the live recording. The wedding band wants the video mostly for QC, and that's part of why they've agreed a change needs to be made. I don't pretend to know how to run sound, however, when I can only hear the back up singer and not the person who is singing the song, I know that levels aren't correct - which I find irritating since I'm 6 feet away from the sound guy and he seems oblivious (or not there). When E's playing Sweet Child o' Mine or Van Halen's Ice Cream Man and you can't hear the guitar, I'm not just upset because I'm his girlfriend! But to avoid any accusations like that, it's best if I just record the shows. I'm more and more convinced that simpler can be better if you're not a professional at lights or sound. No matter how fancy your sound board is, it doesn't matter, if it's not used properly. And, as I said earlier, the lights are usually just on a slow chase, no attempts at highlighting anyone or anything. Guitarist admitted, after looking at the pictures from NYE, that the cans are so incredibly hot that he just avoids them if he can, he's 6½ feet tall, they blast him right in the face. (so LEDs will be good here, as long as he doesn't look at them and go blind). Smiler

So... about the pictures of the small corner stage area above, where exactly would you guys put the t-bars with panels on them?

And you both think that MyDMX is the way to go for me? I must say I'm hesitant about the expense, and it seems like overkill the way they advertise it being able to run huge shows, but I don't know how to program a board either, so either way I'm starting from scratch. I'll download the demo and take a look. Maybe it will help me understand more of what the LED panels can do as well.

I'll try to stick to a few questions at a time :-)

thank you tons
I feel that while you can use MyDMX while IN the band on stage with controllers, it's not the ideal solution. Just because you CAN do something doesn't always mean you SHOULD do something.

I can and DO run a huge show using MyDMX, but I'm finding what I want to do with the show, MyDMX just can't handle it anymore. Still, if you're willing to put in the effort, almost anything can be done.

My problem used to be:
Girl(lead vocalist) would complain to me about "I ain't got monitor" through the mic, only go get a feedback howl because she finally gave me something in the microphone to use, while when she sings, she's a whisper, so there's no wonder I can't get crap outta her. There's also the issue of now that I have more mics(over 80), I can better match the mic to the performer, which believe it or not, can resolve a vast majority of issues right there.

Recording shows for QC is a fantastic thing to do. I do that for that purposes. If I don't learn, why bother? If the guitar is lost or the lead vocal is buried, you need to tell your sound guy to pull his head out of his butt and mix the show right. But, along with that, there should be some steps taken to optimize the sound system as well through the use of an RTA/System Processor, which will make a ton of difference right there, as well as some quality EQ's for the monitors EVEN if moving to wireless in-ears.

I Love mixing rock/metal. One of my favorites. Want a tip? Get some Cascade Fat Head II Live ribbons for the guitar. You'll thank me later!! I was bouncing between the standard SM57, the Senheiser e609(I want some 906's), the Audix i5 and other mics on guitar, and then got a pair of the Cascade's last year and I'm "yeah, that's the ticket right there". SM57 is good all around, but great at metal. 609 best for clean tone/jazz but sucks at hard metal unless you get cleaner channel for solos. The Fat Head just rocks, rolls, swings and LOVES guitar, any guitar amp!

As far as where would I have placed the T-bar in those pictures? 2-3 feet further away, a bit higher if I could, hand the panels UNDER and aim them about chest high. Unfortunately, with low angles, you have little choice but to blind them. You ideally want to get ABOVE them(way the hell above them) and in front of them so you can aim the light THROUGH them. The high handle above prevents them from being blinded since it may be hitting their face, it's not IN THEIR FACE. But let's face it, you ain't gonna get that in clubs and little casuals.

As far as girls on the scene:
I just fired 3 guys. I am replacing them with 6 girls who want to try. Why 6? They are all new, so I need more hands to get the same tasks done because I gotta train as we go. As they all work with me on another show, this will help that other show get set up faster too. Win-win. I'd take guys from that show too but none showed a real interest.
-So, if I'm understanding, placement at approximately the same angle, but hang them either higher or lower? I'm assuming it would be near impossible to have them directly in 'front' or they wouldn't light the center of the stage. (?) so they'd always be angled a bit, unless the venue had a truss overhead in the front to point the lights down from?

-Here's another q- had the stage been rounded out as it could've been - coming out on the left up to the dance floor and then rounded back to the right (front view) and then back to the doorway on the right side, would the lights have been better placed partially in front of the mains? so the vocalists wouldn't be in a dead spot in the center? (or is that where the foot lights come in?)

The guys were upset that he left them so little room. Since they went down to a 5-piece, the male vocalist switches between the keyboard mic and one of the front mics, and he and the bassist barely had room to swap places because the drum kit was in the way. When 3 of the guys were over for football sunday they asked me if I knew why the sound/light guy always cuts the stage area at such a sharp angle. (Like I would know this?? LOL The area probably could have been a rectangle and aimed directly at the dance floor the way the room was set up, but there are venues where they're stuck in a corner like that).

-I'm not sure if you're still recommending MyDMX for my little setup or not ~ I don't plan to run lights for any other bands, just the two, maybe three, that I'm involved in, but I'll rarely, if ever, be on the stage during shows. And normally that's because a string broke or someone needs a drink. =)

-gina


* I'm trying to find youtube vids on the LED panels being used on band stages, but so far only dj situations and plain demos. I'll keep looking.

* I'll pass your recommendation about Fat Heads along to the guitar guys in both bands Smiler
As far as angle, higher up in the air with the lights, for a more downward angle with the lights. Unless you've got some high-cranking crank stands and some serious ceiling, your options are limited.

If you can go way high over their heads, you can put the lights CLOSER to them, but then aim more downwards.

I prefer IN FRONT of and as high up as I can get whenever possible. You'll figure this stuff out on your own what works best.

As far as being crammed into a corner, I won't comment there. I've had lots of clients forget about the concept of "stuff takes up space" and then try to cram a band into a tiny tiny area. That might have been the case there. "That's all you got, deal with it". Yeah, I like big stages, been spoiled by working with A-listers for 16+ years in one degree or another. My priority has always been BAND first. I'll set sound and lights around them if I have to. I don't mind having to put the lights in front of the mains if I have to as a pole ain't gonna mess up sound much.

Here's a crappy event where they crammed us off to the side so the couple could use the stage for themselves. Whatever. It as a wedding.



I had NO room to run lights.

Same venue With lights at another wedding. We got to use the stage this time.



But here's an event that might help:


No stage, truss only about 7 feet high. I aimed at their stomachs, mainly because I know the wide beams of the Par38's would give sufficient spread.

I still recommend MyDMX. Don't want to be on stage? Fine. Be by the sound guy. Run a long DMX cable next to the audio snake. Done, problem resolved. Easy. It's just a tiny hardware interface you can throw in your laptop bag. Maybe bigger than a small console(the laptop), but definately smaller than a "manly" big console and probably more features and a tiny fraction of the price.

Oh, LED panel being used on stage. Solo performer(one of my favorite guitarists). I had a 64 LED Pro off to ADJ being repaired, so I lost 2 off each tree, and replaced them with my Mega panels. I had 2 Mega Panels then, then a couple of months later I got 2 more. In this event, I had to maintain clean sight lights and side lighting in order to maintain a neat appearance.



More of those Right here.

DId I show the nest of Mega panels? Not in this thread.

DJ's love this, bands love this. My rave client loves this.




(notice the Mega Bar 50's, you can't see the 64 LED Pros on tres 15 feet away, at head level in front of them, blinding them.)
This is hown I set the cans at the same event:



Hope that gives some ideas.

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