View Full Version : adding lights to a gig
05-24-2011, 07:45 AM
sorry if this is in the wrong forum.
my band has been gigging for about a year and a half now and musically we have gotten tighter and have started to get some better shows.
I wanted to add more of a 'show' element and have started looking at lights
nothing too fancy. I was looking at the '4play' and '4bar' system...
its a 5 piece band and we play a lot of 90's rock covers mixed with some classic/modern rock songs too (and originals)
any suggestions, advice, or tips?
05-24-2011, 07:50 AM
We hire out for lights if that's worth anything. He does a great job. The more we've hired him, the more awesome it's got. Here's a clip of one of the first shows he did with us. It's our own bastardized cover of a cover. It's our re-worked version of Cornell's version of Billie Jean, lol. I'm the dude you almost never see on the far left.
05-24-2011, 09:56 AM
thanks for the reply. that setup looks impressive
i think that might be a little too elaborate for my band though
05-24-2011, 10:19 AM
I've got a pair of Blizzard RGBA Pucks - they'll do the minimum of lighting a stage and you can set them to either scroll or sound activate.
Small, lightweight and bright. I put a Fresnel page magnifyng sheet under the glass, which widens the spread significantly:
I plan on adding two of these, to use for stage wash, and then use the Pucks for more of a spot thing:
05-24-2011, 10:19 AM
These Chauvet packages are PERFECT for simple, ultra light-weight/affordable/compact/fast to set up bar band lights. My band has 2 sets and we LOVE them.
around 300 a set or so. In case, lights are about the size of a guitar case. Comes with footswitch that allows to step through programs and black out.
My last band chipped in and bought a 4 light setup that we setup off to the side. It would trigger based off the sound. I seem to recall it was between 100 and 200 dollars on MF. Pretty much like the post above.
05-24-2011, 11:59 AM
From a recent gig. Two American DJ Quads on the floor + smoke adds as lot. They're set for sound activation.
We also have a few Par 64 LED cans but don't always bring them if the venue has some lights.
05-24-2011, 12:48 PM
Two Par64 LED cans are a good start, and depending on your PA setup you may not even need separate stands. One on either side of a 5 piece band should be adequate.
Chauvet makes some that have a nice bracket configuration that you can add a clamp to that will adapt to a variety of improvised mounting scenarios. If you use speakers on stands for your PA you might be able to clamp them to the speaker handles or the stands.
Two LED 64's put out a lot of light and will generally cost $150-180 each.
If you want something totally cheezee but effective, go to Lowes or Home Depot and look for a three gooseneck/bulb table lamp and get the color flourescent bulbs of your choice. These will give you good color saturation on a budget but without "effects". I've used them to put color on the wall behind the stage or at the sides of the stage on the floor pointing in across the stage.
05-24-2011, 04:24 PM
I just bought the 4bar and think it's a great deal!! I have 3 shows with them so far and each time easy. Great 3 button switch for solid color, beats, black out - easy to control while playing/singing.
Only oddities - when you black-out, you click black-out again to resume and I find their beat sensor a bit too sensitive and trouble finding the middle ground per venue.
05-24-2011, 04:35 PM
It might be somewhat old school, but for my eyes, a follow spot makes a show look pro even if you don't have 75 pars behind you. I knew a 3 piece here in the 80s that only had maybe 8 cans, but they had a follow spot, and it made them look superb.
But I have to admit I wish we'd have had all of those automated moving lights in the 80s! That's a cool look. Add the follow spot and you have a wow factor.
05-24-2011, 05:54 PM
Another Chauvet 4BAR owner here- they're great. Small, lightweight, easy to set up, easy to run, plenty bright and very interesting. I'm probably going to buy another one so I can have one to front light the band, and one for color/patterns as backlight.
05-24-2011, 06:15 PM
Are those LED pars cooler (temp-wise) than the old style bulbs? Geeze I sweated my ass off under those things on small stages. We had about 60 of them, and unless it was a large stage, we fried!
Funny, I recall playing teen gigs in the 60s using mom's color-wheel for the aluminum Christmas tree. LOL Later, we built boxed with 4 flood lights (like on the side of your house), and used gels to get color.
It's come a long way since those days. Our first real lights were 4 fresnels (early 80s).
05-24-2011, 06:21 PM
Just got one of these, one more and we will be leaving the par cans at home.
about $180 each. Compact, cool, perfect for small club gigs.
05-24-2011, 06:39 PM
We had a couple of the Chauvet color strips. It's a good wash light for walls but doesn't offer a nice beam for a dynamic lighting effect. Could be different with a DMX controller, but we're low tech.
Scott, LED lights give off virtually zero heat.
05-24-2011, 08:16 PM
Our drummer just bought the Chauvet 4 light bar, and it's fantastic. Zero heat, lightweight, and it looks really good. Just watched a video of a recent performance, and they really added to the visual element of the show.
05-24-2011, 08:49 PM
Just got a couple of these and they're great
05-24-2011, 08:52 PM
You can start with four Par 56 cans on a tree and add a chaser. If this isn't sufficient, add four more on the other side, and maybe a strobe, but use it sparingly, or you might get nauseous!
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