Automation – The Secret To Great Lighting With a Small or Non-Existent Crew

automated lighting midi triggering Oct 11, 2023

When you’re gigging as a small band or run the worship for a small church, choosing to automate some or all of your lighting can make a HUGE difference in the impact you make. Learn the basics of “why” here and what steps you need to take BEFORE you automate.

If you light music or if you are in a band or worship team working as a DJ and you work on a smaller scale where you don’t need to pay a lighting person to set up everything, then you may find that the biggest challenge you have is getting a really interesting show or service every night.

If you happen to be both performing in the show and running the lighting for it there are a couple options for you to put on a really great show.


You may or may not pay a lighting person to run your show but odds are, you don’t in fact even need this help or added expense with smaller venues and shows.

In the event that you don’t have that extra hand with help setting up and running the show, you may find that you need a good option to be able to work the lighting directly from stage. This is where automation comes in!


Sometimes when you are on the stage yourself, running the lighting really just isn’t a feasible option to do so smoothly.


If you find that when you are doing lighting on a smaller scale it’s highly recommended to break it down to the few essential fixtures that you need and then spending the bulk of your time getting the correct software or consul solution in place and programming it wisely to save you time and effort.

There are a variety of options to consider when you are deciding to go the automation route and it can be a bit overwhelming. Ultimately it comes down to your personal needs and what will work best and simplest for your venue and show.

Things to Consider

When it comes to automating lighting or pre-programming, there’s a few things to think about. The first important factor to consider is the setup going in to the automation process.

Set up

No matter what lighting system you are using you want to make sure that you have a lot of things to choose from. If your consul or software has pallets or presets, then you have likely built up a lot of them in order to be able to create different looks when you put on your show.


As you set things up and program everything to your liking, it is important to pay attention that you are doing this in an orderly fashion to make things as easy as possible on yourself. Organization is key for simplicity!

Take care to build the building blocks that you need for your show from the very start. Create groups for all the things you want to use commonly together, then create your present or pallets if your consul allows and start to build cues that you know and can recognize easily in your show.


When you are running the show solo, the best and most efficient way to ensure that you show is everything you want it to be is to take the time to create a great setup and keeping all of your details perfectly organized in the automation process.


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