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Thread: What is your lighting for smaller parties etc...

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    Default What is your lighting for smaller parties etc...

    So I have a single laser a KVANT Clubmax 2000. That would be a main light or one used sparingly at events while using a couple of other fixtures. I was thinking of LED heads (x2) but not sure what would be the best one for smaller events. Martin, ADJ, or other brands? Budget isn't extremely high as I just spent quite a bit on the laser but wondering what your rigs are? Can you share photos or videos of said setups? I would like to limit it to 3 or 4 fixture setups and preferably not with all lasers since buying 3 more of these would not be feasible right now.

    Thanks guys

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    Define 'smaller' events. We have US members here who consider a smaller event to be a 1000 seat auditorium (compared to a stadium gig) whereas elsewhere it may be a small hall for 100 people.
    Also what do you have to control them with, and what sort of effect are you after? If you don't have a halfway decent DMX desk/controller then forget a 20 channel moving head. Equally (imho) if you're going the moving head route, don't buy less than 4 at a time. Lighting rigs made up of pairs of 5 different types of head are generally a bit 'mobile disco' in look/feel.
    http://www.facebook.com/SubsonicSystems
    http://www.frikkinlazors.co.uk

    You are using Bonetti's defense against me, ah?

    I thought it fitting, considering the rocky terrain.

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    Also, fill in your location info so we can actually recommend manufacturers available in your region.
    Oh yeah, and define 'not very high budget'. Give us a rough number.
    http://www.facebook.com/SubsonicSystems
    http://www.frikkinlazors.co.uk

    You are using Bonetti's defense against me, ah?

    I thought it fitting, considering the rocky terrain.

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    Want the ability to do anything from 100 people to 1000 people.
    No DMX controller as of yet. Just my trusty ole MacBook that I use for my laser.

    So thinking budget setup in the 2000/3000 range for lights and I wouldn't buy less than 4, I find that pointless. lights and DMX controller, I haven't really researched those so I am not sure how much they run. The less complex the better since I am just starting off. And I don't mind going the used route on a console.

    Effects I am after? Not sure what you mean...

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    Bradfo69's Avatar
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    I'll throw in my $.02. I manage a large banquet and conference center that basically holds the range you are looking in. A touch less than 1000 but nonetheless still that range. I market lasers and lighting to many of my clients like proms, weddings, sweet 16's and such. One of the things I explain to them is that, lasers are the "icing", they are not the "cake". Your music and your other lighting is really the "cake". You don't want the laser(s) every song, all night long because they lose the "wow" factor. Therefore, when I book lasers, I am also including a number of other non-coherent DJ type lights. I have discovered that there are some that are absolute "go to" fixtures and I have also bought many that I never or rarely use. I do take them out of here from time to time and every venue is unique and presents it's own sort of challenges. If I had to have one light in my arsenal, it would be an old classic that you're probably only going to come across on eBay and you want at least 2. That's the American DJ Aggressor with the halogen bulbs. It's a derby light that is basically sound active and a very simple but effective design and what I like about it is it's cheap - usually around $65-$70 used and, using 2 - 300w bulbs, they'll light up a school gymnasium and provide that necessary movement to at least make people feel like they're at an event.
    .
    Now, for versatility, if you take the time to learn how to use them, a moving head is going to allow you to do a lot of things however, they are absolutely something you need multiples of. And ideally the same fixture. Norty will tell you I was a bit hodgepodge from the beginning but learned that having many of the same light is far superior to one or two of 6 different types of lights. Another thing I unfortunately learned is that the output differences between a number of moving heads is not that great. The light out put from a Chauvet Intimidator Spot 250 or even 150 is not that much different that a Spot 350 but, there is a big cost difference. I have several of the Intimidator Spot 350's and I control them using Chauvet ShowXpress software. The one advantage they have over the 250's and 150's though is an internal prism which really adds to the spot size they can cover.
    .
    All the manufacturers make their own version of moving heads in this range - whether it's Martin, Chauvet, Blizzard, American DJ, Marq, Elation, or knock off no name Chinese. They're all similar but yet different so it's really a matter of personal preference although it's really hard to tell unless you work with them in person what you think you might like. Look at Youtube vids, try going to a Guitar Center or Sam Ash or something to see them in person. Read reviews on places like Sweetwater, IDJNow, Musicians Friend and others. And price them there too. One of the big advantages of places like Sweetwater is being able to take advantage of extended no interest financing. For example, you could get as much as 36 or even occasionally 48 months same as cash through Sweetwater. In addition, the more you buy, the more they will discount so, it's best to call and negotiate when you're ready to pull the trigger. Lighting effects are like used car shopping - you can absolutely haggle with them on price and are stupid to pay retail.
    .
    There are also ancillary things you need besides the lights which are going to add to the cost. T-Stands, clamps, extension cords, maybe a storage bag or box, and personally, I'll strongly suggest wireless DMX. So plan on a few hundred of the $2000-$3000 to have to go towards that stuff. Have you gotten a hazer or foggers yet? There is that cost too.
    .
    Personally if I were in your shoes, what I would consider based on your budget is perhaps 4-6 Chauvet Intimidator Spot 250's, Chauvet ShowXpress 512 for control and on Amazon, get one of the Donner wireless DMX transmitter receiver kits with at least 4 receivers. I'd likely buy it from a place like Sweetwater and keep that extra cash in your pocket and get it at 0 interest and just pay it off early/on time.
    PM Sent...

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    Brad has it right (although I recall I may have had to tell him off a couple of times)
    4-6 'MSD250' (that's a Philips discharge lamp, often used as the comparison for other fixtures - the Martin Mac250 was one of the originals by which others were compared) size moving head spot fixtures, these days probably best going LED. A spot head will give you beam effects in the fog, as well as the ability to paint nice textures on floors, walls, etc and with a bit of frost also light bands, etc.
    .
    Look for 2 gobo wheels (one fixed, one rotating)
    3 facet rotating prism
    Frost (maybe)
    Remote focus (essential for getting the gobos looking right, and as an effect in itself)
    .
    LED wattage is not a great indicator of brightness, but unless the company publish lux charts its all you've got to go on.
    optics are a big part of the LED light engine in a moving head - the heads I used to own got 'updated' from a 50W LED (that was always fragile and breaking) to a 30W with new optical train and gained 20% output in the process (and reliability).
    You need to audition these things.
    .
    Don't skimp on your control system, and don't whatever you do buy one of those crappy chase preset control desks (8 faders in 2 banks for 16ch per head). If you do I'll fly over there and bash you on the head with the PoS. Either save for a used console like an Avo or Chamsys or Flying Pig (you can't afford MA) or look at the wing options from those manufacturers.
    .
    The reality is that 6x mediocre heads on a good desk designed for moving light control will always give a much better show than the most fandangled moving head running off a shitty desk. If you think you might spend any length of time doing lighting, start out by choosing a control system that you can carry on and grow with. I will come under fire here, but Pangolin (although capable of DMX control) is not a viable option for your lighting control (imho). Use a dedicated desk/control system.
    .
    Yeah, and rigging. Buy decent 'real' proper truss (50mm tubes, 29mm distance between them) and accessories for it, not this cheap ass shonky DJ styly goal posts. Buy big heavy wind up lifts with decent weight capacities (50kg+)
    I have the very first truss I bought still, and because I bought wisely its still compatible with the later stuff that I have bought. Equally I can go to a local rental place and rent more compatible stuff if need be.
    .
    Buy a few cheap LED parcans/flatcans too. There's always something that might want some light putting on it, and you can get RGBWA units with high powers for cheap now.
    .
    Fog - you've got a laser, you own a decent hazer right....?
    .
    I'm not sure I would put so much emphasis on the wireless DMX. Maybe one unit to get from front of house position to stage, but cables aren't such a big deal, and your budget is going to be stretched already.
    http://www.facebook.com/SubsonicSystems
    http://www.frikkinlazors.co.uk

    You are using Bonetti's defense against me, ah?

    I thought it fitting, considering the rocky terrain.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by norty303 View Post
    Brad has it right (although I recall I may have had to tell him off a couple of times)
    Once or twice.


    You need to audition these things.
    Agreed.


    Don't skimp on your control system, and don't whatever you do buy one of those crappy chase preset control desks (8 faders in 2 banks for 16ch per head). If you do I'll fly over there and bash you on the head with the PoS. Either save for a used console like an Avo or Chamsys or Flying Pig (you can't afford MA) or look at the wing options from those manufacturers.
    .
    The reality is that 6x mediocre heads on a good desk designed for moving light control will always give a much better show than the most fandangled moving head running off a shitty desk. If you think you might spend any length of time doing lighting, start out by choosing a control system that you can carry on and grow with. .....Use a dedicated desk/control system.
    Again sage advice but, I haven't stepped up to that level yet. ShowXpress is a good middle of the road alternative between a cheap POS controller and something the likes of a Chamsys.

    I'm not sure I would put so much emphasis on the wireless DMX. Maybe one unit to get from front of house position to stage, but cables aren't such a big deal, and your budget is going to be stretched already.
    That's true - you could get away with one transmitter and receiver for about $60 and run wires between the ones on stage. The Donner kit I bought was like $220 and had one transmitter and 6 receivers but, I space my lights often more than 50 apart.
    PM Sent...

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    This is probably the most solid response and I appreciate the time it took to assist without being condescending or a smart ass as some folks are on forums.

    I agree with the laser not being the main light source on all of the time and using the 4/6 moving heads as the main using something like soundswitch or create the random lighting patterns while I fill in once in awhile trying to leanr the system heh. I am one that likes to match everything up together anyway. I don't see the point of putting 2 different brands of moving heads up there unless they are 2 of 1 and 2 of another. I just want something that doesn't look hanky. On a side note I am actually kind of blown away that gobo's are what they are still. When I was younger I had 2 Martin Roboscans in my room and they have the same setup although they didn't move... =p I figured they would have made more advancement than what they are now.. especially for the price of Elations!

    I have been curious on how I would control these lights next to a DJ. I know alot of the setups out there are for it to be a one man show (dj controls all) however the dj that wants me to work with him wants to focus on the music and not the lighting. Wondering if I can still have sound switch running through his Serato DJ and me still be able to control it through fading etc? I haven't really looked into all of that as of yet but it's been on my mind. On top of that the 4/6 spots.

    I have looked in the last 5 days at about every single light I can think of and then looked at Ebay or Amazon to see what they cost. It seems the used Martin stuff or ADJ stuff has a good bang for the buck. I am keeping an eye on the 4/6 light setups people are getting rid of. (Question, how dependable) are the lights? I recall my roboscans bulbs would not last long and I could only run the light for a period of time. I know LED's last forever but 9 watt led's in an enclosure? Seems to me their life expectency is a bit less, no? Are they replaceable?

    Stands I need to look into.. I looked into the large metal ones and damn... some of those are $ lol... Trying to think creative on ways I could get some made since I am NOT mechanically enclined in the least.

    I have one haze machine and it sucks. It's a chauvet and not worth the money spent on it. I am fortunate to have the guys of Kvant here in Orlando so I am thinking of getting the Tour Hazer sicne I bought my laser there.

    And I am going to look at what you told me to take a look at right now my friend... Thanks for all of your help!��













    Quote Originally Posted by Bradfo69 View Post
    I'll throw in my $.02. I manage a large banquet and conference center that basically holds the range you are looking in. A touch less than 1000 but nonetheless still that range. I market lasers and lighting to many of my clients like proms, weddings, sweet 16's and such. One of the things I explain to them is that, lasers are the "icing", they are not the "cake". Your music and your other lighting is really the "cake". You don't want the laser(s) every song, all night long because they lose the "wow" factor. Therefore, when I book lasers, I am also including a number of other non-coherent DJ type lights. I have discovered that there are some that are absolute "go to" fixtures and I have also bought many that I never or rarely use. I do take them out of here from time to time and every venue is unique and presents it's own sort of challenges. If I had to have one light in my arsenal, it would be an old classic that you're probably only going to come across on eBay and you want at least 2. That's the American DJ Aggressor with the halogen bulbs. It's a derby light that is basically sound active and a very simple but effective design and what I like about it is it's cheap - usually around $65-$70 used and, using 2 - 300w bulbs, they'll light up a school gymnasium and provide that necessary movement to at least make people feel like they're at an event.
    .
    Now, for versatility, if you take the time to learn how to use them, a moving head is going to allow you to do a lot of things however, they are absolutely something you need multiples of. And ideally the same fixture. Norty will tell you I was a bit hodgepodge from the beginning but learned that having many of the same light is far superior to one or two of 6 different types of lights. Another thing I unfortunately learned is that the output differences between a number of moving heads is not that great. The light out put from a Chauvet Intimidator Spot 250 or even 150 is not that much different that a Spot 350 but, there is a big cost difference. I have several of the Intimidator Spot 350's and I control them using Chauvet ShowXpress software. The one advantage they have over the 250's and 150's though is an internal prism which really adds to the spot size they can cover.
    .
    All the manufacturers make their own version of moving heads in this range - whether it's Martin, Chauvet, Blizzard, American DJ, Marq, Elation, or knock off no name Chinese. They're all similar but yet different so it's really a matter of personal preference although it's really hard to tell unless you work with them in person what you think you might like. Look at Youtube vids, try going to a Guitar Center or Sam Ash or something to see them in person. Read reviews on places like Sweetwater, IDJNow, Musicians Friend and others. And price them there too. One of the big advantages of places like Sweetwater is being able to take advantage of extended no interest financing. For example, you could get as much as 36 or even occasionally 48 months same as cash through Sweetwater. In addition, the more you buy, the more they will discount so, it's best to call and negotiate when you're ready to pull the trigger. Lighting effects are like used car shopping - you can absolutely haggle with them on price and are stupid to pay retail.
    .
    There are also ancillary things you need besides the lights which are going to add to the cost. T-Stands, clamps, extension cords, maybe a storage bag or box, and personally, I'll strongly suggest wireless DMX. So plan on a few hundred of the $2000-$3000 to have to go towards that stuff. Have you gotten a hazer or foggers yet? There is that cost too.
    .
    Personally if I were in your shoes, what I would consider based on your budget is perhaps 4-6 Chauvet Intimidator Spot 250's, Chauvet ShowXpress 512 for control and on Amazon, get one of the Donner wireless DMX transmitter receiver kits with at least 4 receivers. I'd likely buy it from a place like Sweetwater and keep that extra cash in your pocket and get it at 0 interest and just pay it off early/on time.

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    32 trusses with varilights. Smart ass in the house

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    Quote Originally Posted by 50Shades
    Trying to think creative on ways I could get some made since I am NOT mechanically enclined in the least.
    DO NOT think about having rigging equipment built unless you have some way of getting it certified. You are going to be hanging heavy things probably over some people, it needs to be right.
    The ST132 stands are very good value for money and hold an incredible amount of weight for the cost (85Kg)
    .
    Buy a Tour Hazer or Base Hazer Pro. Its a good investment. Some of the favourite pieces of kit I own.
    .
    Don't worry about the lifespan of LEDs, something else on the head will no doubt go first, and in most cases the light engine is a replaceable part anyway.
    .
    Check out the Chauvet Qspot 360 LED if you can find any. They fit the bill in terms of functionality, although maybe a little bit light on output for 1000 people rooms. I owned the same units branded as Showtec in the UK for about 3 years and they were a good affordable reliable head. Don't buy the earlier 260, they had issues with the LED.
    http://www.facebook.com/SubsonicSystems
    http://www.frikkinlazors.co.uk

    You are using Bonetti's defense against me, ah?

    I thought it fitting, considering the rocky terrain.

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