Today on the podcast we’re taking your questions! For this week’s round we touch base on a little bit of everything.
If you have a question you would like to share be sure to submit it here: Contact Form and there will be an option to allow you to leave your voice message.
Podcast News! (0:48)
If you’ve been listening to the show the past few weeks you most likely heard me opening up and asking my listeners for their thoughts on the future of the podcast.
One of my thoughts was offering Patreon or some other type of show sponsorship. As I think of the future of Learn Stage Lighting I want to keep this going for a very long time. While I’ve had Learn Stage Lighting Labs sponsor the show I realize that if I want to keep this growing I need to consider other options to help pay for the videos and the podcast.
I am still working on the details but according to a lot of the responses received I will being doing a patreon and also working with brands to sponsors podcast episodes. These sponsorships will be reviewed and approved before I bring them on and it will only be with brands and products that I trust.
Now that I have more of an idea of the direction I want to take things for June and July I am going to reduce to only 2 Podcast Episodes a month. Then, in August, we can kick off the episodes with the new framework in place.
With that, I just want to thank everyone who wrote in, thank you to those that continue to support Learn Stage Lighting, and this couldn’t be possible without you!
Main Segment (9:15)
Ivan (9:22): I’m a very experienced musician finally learning about lights! I think I have sorted what lights to buy for our stage setup, thanks to your videos. I would like to use my iPad and the DMXIS to control the lights via DMX. I am pretty sure I have a good understanding of this now too. What I would like to do is create scenes and then flick between them with some type of pedal. Can I do this somehow?
When it comes to lighting software that can run off of tablets there’s just not much out there. But when working with a PC there a lot more options available, so that’s normally the direction I will point people too.
Now, DMXIS will not run completely without a PC or Mac. You won’t be able to run DMXIS on an iPad but you can run it with a foot pedal. You can use an app called Touch OSC that will be able to run some of the basic commands.
If you’re determined to run your show with an iPad then there are a couple of options. One of the apps you can use is called Luminaire and there’s another one called Vibrio. As I mentioned earlier I’m just not a big fan of these but they are lighting apps you can run on your iPad.
You can read more about DMXIS and how it works here: How to Program With DMXIS.
Jay (13:26): I’m helping my church by updating the old DMX system (Daslight 1 on Windows 7 😐 ) as well as troubleshooting some Chauvet LEDSplash 200B lights that have erratic LED behavior. I’m an audio engineer by trade, so this whole DMX lighting aspect is new (and exciting) to me. I’m first going to replace the old audio cables with DMX (or DMX over ethernet on the longer runs), as well as terminate the last fixture .. but I had a question on updating with good quality fixtures.
Can you give me an idea of what would be the modern-day equivalent of the Chauvet 200B? Also for general wall washing, what fixtures would you recommend? We’re in a smallish space. It’s actually a 100-year-old general store! You can take a look at the space at https://livestream.com/feedandseedlive. We have an outreach program of free bluegrass on Friday and Saturday nights.
Based on what I see you are most likely looking for a general wash washing set lights, a general purpose LED. What it comes down to is how well do you want it to look. Here are some recommendations that I have.
If you’re looking for more out of the lights I do recommend looking at more lights from ADJ and Chauvet. Considering what you are working with now just about any light will be an upgrade. I will say just stick with the well-known name brands because you will get you what you pay for.
Jacob (19:00): I was looking to get some input on adding some new (to me) lights to the rig. Currently, I have a good amount of static led washes, some moving led washes, and a couple moving spots. I was considering getting either a couple moving spots or beams. I really like the way moving beams can look and have a different effect when lighting, but I also think a spot might be a little more practical. Thoughts?
I will say that you definitely hit the nail on the head. Now, I’m not sure what budget you are working with or if you’re looking for professional grade equipment or more entry-level equipment.
If you feel like you have enough spot fixtures then I would recommend finding a Beam light fixture that can also function as a spot when needed. A lot of these beams can have one or two prisms that can be used in the light. This allows the lights to act as a beam or a spot.
Sean (22:25): We purchased 8 used Altman 360Q 6 x 16 lights with the plan to put them into our church auditorium. We currently have 0 stage lights – yes – 0. We are looking to use some Rockville RVLS1 standstill we can get the hardware up to mount them more permanently. The lights are rated at 750w. What would be a good cheap controller console? We don’t need much, but the basics would be great (on/off/dimming). Being able to set up groups might be nice as well, but not mission critical. Also, what else do we need? We just have the lights currently. Thank you for your help!
First off, you need a Dimmer Pack that will dim your lights. I actually have an article on this about picking out the right dimmer pack for your set up: What Dimmer Pack Should I Buy?
In your case, I would recommend changing out your lamps. For the 360Q’s you can choose between 750W, 575W or a 375W lamp. In my opinion, the sweet spot is the 575W lamp: New Osram Lamp GLA 575W 120V
Then, you need a Dimmer Pack that can handle that amount of wattage. I suggest going with the Leviton 4 Channel and get 2 of these so you can put all eight lights on them: Leviton D4DMX-MD5 4-Channel Programmable Dimmer Pack .
For the console end of things you just need a basic console to handle this. I would recommend going with American DJ Stage Setter 8. If you are planning on sticking with this set up for a long time this would be the best console for you.
Becky (29:37): Is there a limit on how many splitters you can put on 1 universe? We currently use 5 outputs on a Rail-split RDM splitter by Artistic License, however we are running additional cabling to enable better lighting of our venue for ‘off stage’ events (of which we do quite a few), the placement of these cable runs means that the practicality of running a single daisy chain from the 1 remaining output on the current splitter is very low. We were, therefore, looking to run from the last output on the Artistic License splitter to an Enttec D-Split for the additional cable runs.
With a splitter it actually amplifies the signal as it splits. I don’t think on a technical level that you don’t have a limit on splitters. As long as the signal going into the splitter is good it will be fine.
Justice (30:36): Can you please please help me find this fixture profile, I am using Martin mpc?
Martin MPC is now Onyx and you’ll want to refer to this article: How Do I Find Out What DMX Channels My Lights Have?
This will take you to the ONYX Fixture Finder, you will be able to input the channels you have, and then it should be able to tell you what profile you will be able to use.
Danae (31:48): We have an m-touch in our main room at church. Our youth room is currently using about 6 LED pars and an old Chauvet board (small venue…about 125 person capacity). We would like to have the youth room on the same system, so looking to switch it over to the ONYX program. If we do this via the ONYX remote app, do you know if we can build a separate show file for access from our youth room on just an iPad or iPhone? There is no physical way to connect the two rooms – the youth room is in the back of the building with a lobby and offices in between. Or, would we need to connect cabling into another board in the youth room that would run the ONYX program (like another m-touch, etc)? I appreciate your suggestion.
The best and cheapest way to go is to get a simple ENTTEC USB Pro.
You’re going to have each room set up separately with its own computer and running ONYX. You can just plug in the ENTTEC USB Pro and get 1 universe of output for free. You will then have the ability to control it with the ONYX remote. Be sure to set up a separate computer for the youth room.
Don (34:15): I play in a jamband here in Denver Colorado. We have a very mountain-esq sound. Think Leftover Salmon, String Cheese Incident, Railroad Earth. Currently, in my light chain I have running (8) LED Moving 105W RGBW 4-in-1 Moving Head Stage Effect Light and Fixture Wash and (4) Moving Spot Garbos. I would like to pick up a very user-friendly computer program to help run the lights. My roommate has taken a liking to run lights for my band. Currently, he is using a DMX 512 192 Channel Operator Console Controller. I would like to upgrade to a very user-friendly computer program for my roommate to control our lights with. What suggestions do you have? User-friendly is key. My roommate has gotten pretty good with the DMX Controller but something a little more might be nice. I plan to had (4)more 230W Garbo Spotlights to the chain, making for a total of 16 lights. What user-friendly computer programs do you recommend for our application?
There are 4 – 5 consoles that I have in mind for what you are doing. There’s a balance between finding the ability and the ease of use. One of the articles I am going to recommend: How Do I Choose My Next Lighting Console?
For a Jam Band, I would suggest going with more an intermediate lighting console such as the Work Pro LightShark because it’s not PC Based and does have the ability to work with a tablet. The ENTTEC D-Pro is another great console that may be a good fit for you.
These units do have some demo downloads that you can try and see what you think. I’m just thinking that DMXIS might not be able to do everything that you want to do.
Another unit I’ve started working with is LightKey which is super user-friendly, you can read more about it here: How Can I Control Lighting From My Mac?
David (39:18): I am setting up a very basic theater lighting set up (in my home actually). What do you recommend as a very basic controller for my currently 6 fixtures (led pars)? And, I bought the Obey 40 for my first show last week but it really was not the right tool for the job, I learned. I didn’t have the ability to control my dimming out of and into my looks/scenes (if that is how you say it). Thank you for any help. And might you be able to respond via email? I don’t listen to your podcast. Thank you.
You really want to decide what you want to do. By reading what you are looking for I would say that the ENTTEC DMXIS may be a good fit for you. You can build as many preset as you want and you can deviate as you need.
We had a very similar question earlier from Don and be sure to check out these resources: How Do I Choose My Next Lighting Console?
Today was a lot of fun and I enjoy hearing from you. So, I want to know what do you think of the Patreon idea? Is this something you would like to be a part of? Be sure to contact me and let me know! Contact Form
If you’re new here and you’re not sure how or where to get started with your lighting be sure to take this Quiz and I will send you a customized Guide based on your answers to help get you pointed in the right direction.
We will see you guys again in 2 weeks!
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