In this week’s episode, we dive into the Mailbag for the Free Q & A Tuesday! This is where I take questions from listeners and walk them through my thought process.
If you have been listening for a while I would sincerely appreciate if you would take a moment to rate the Podcast and be sure to share what you’ve learned from the show!
Lighting News! (0:25)
I’ve recently returned from the LDI Trade Show which is considered to be the biggest in the country for stage lighting.
This year I tried something different and wanted to take a different approach. I checked out some brand new products but kept in mind how can this make stage lighting better? Instead of the usual approach, I wanted to help my listeners decide if the product would be a good fit for their needs.
Be sure to check out my videos from the Tradeshow here: Learn Stage Lighting Youtube
Vetteman (3:03) Building a little rig in my shop to play with as a hobby. Mostly going to be used with dance music, party stuff. Already purchased 2 adj stinger 2‘s, a blizzard memorizer, and a global truss goal post. Likely going to add 2-4 moving spots, and a few other moving heads. I want to keep everything simple and easy as I have very little spare time to learn this stuff and get easily frustrated. Was thinking of using the adj airstream bridge and my iPad to keep it simple. I don’t think it’ll ever leave my shop. Sound good?
It’s really all about how much control you want over your equipment. I would recommend checking out the ADJ Airstream App to try to get a feel of what you will be able to do. Also, ADJ does have videos that you can check it out and see what to expect.
If you are perhaps looking for more control I would suggest checking out my post, How Do I Choose My First Lighting Console? This will help get you pointed in the right direction if you’re looking for more features and control.
Taz (6:49) What are your thoughts on setting up audience blinders for small to medium-sized band setups. E.g. purchasing options, optimal ways to program in Onyx, and positioning recommendations?
A Blinder is an Audience Light that is normally in front of or behind the band. Or at times it’s placed on a Truss. The light is used to bring impact or attention to the audience.
When working with a smaller band I would recommend getting an LED Strip or a Par and set it up behind the Band. You can use it as a lower light and when you need a brighter light you can just turn it up.
I would use Onyx and program the way you would with anything else. For the position of the lights, I like setting the lights behind the band. Having the lights pointed towards the audience at hip level or above creates a great set up.
Dave (11:00) How much overlap should the fields of adjacent lights be to have relatively even light? How much light is the right amount (300lx, 1000lx or ?) for stage lighting? Do you know the same answer for auditorium lighting?
The answer to your first question is really tough because it really depends on the type of light you are working with. Start by taking a single light just point it at a blank space or wall and see where it points. Normally, the center is the brightest and it fades out. Set up another light and line it up it until the lights are even.
You can use the light meter in the City Theatrical DMXCat App, which is available on Android only. Using this you check the transition points.
For your second question, if you’re not using cameras it really depends what looks right to you. Naturally, the farther your audience is from the stage the more light you will need for it to look bright. The closer people are to the stage the less light you will need.
If you are working with cameras there are definitely many factors to consider. I would recommend checking out Learn Stage Lighting Labs where I have information specifically focused on how to set up Lighting for cameras inside of the Action Plan “Lighting for Video”.
Robert (19:06) How do I create a fixture correctly for D Pro and the fixture edit window online. I am new with moving heads and in fact, this is the first one and first time I’m trying to create a plot for a dance performance. I created a hybrid moving head fixture to work with D Pro. I’ve tried several edits and still have a problem with the pan and tilt. In the device browser, highlight mode you can see the direction the light is shining downstage right, downstage left… Etc. The problem is when you move the light upstage the circle reverses. Is there a way to write or create a fixture that you could pan 360° while also controlled the tilt? The light fixture that I’ve created is under the folder of unbranded- MH-009 B – created by Polaris Dance Theater.
It’s all about telling D-Pro how to send the DMX signal that the light is expecting to hear. You need to pull out the manual, check all of the channels and within every channel that all of the ranges match up exactly. Lastly, make sure what is in the manual matches up with the light.
Sometimes, cheaper lights they have the wrong information listed causing it to not work properly. In this case, you would have to contact the manufacturer for the correct info or setting up the channels and figuring it out yourself.
Issac (23:28) I am satisfied with my current sound and DJ set-up, but I do not have any ‘professional’ lightning. As you can see, I am planning to buy 4 moving heads and 2x 4 led lights. I also would like to add 2 smoke machines to that list.
Could you give me advice on:
– Which material to use to hang up these lights/effects and in which order
– How to link al these with DMX and have one master of moving heads and one master of the led lights. I will mostly use this lighting set-up in sound active mode, so a DMX controller is not necessary.
Normally, any clamp will fit on any light. I would go to the Manufacturer’s site and once you decide which stand you want to go with and find out which clamps you would need. The easiest way would be to contact the company and they should be able to tell you what size clamps you need.
For hanging the lights I can recommend sticking with the clamp requirements.
For your next question, I haven’t heard of the brand of lights you selected. I would suggest downloading the manuals for the lights and it should be able to tell you how to link everything up.
Sound Active Mode is a difficult mode and causes the lights to never be in sync. I do recommend checking our article: How Do I Choose My First Lighting Console?
Brady (28:48) Is it possible to add a second universe to M-Touch?
Yes, it is possible! On this unit, you get 4 Free Universes of DMX inside of Onyx. You’ll want to check out this link for the information: http://support.obsidiancontrol.com/Content/Onyx/Onyx_Licenses.htm
You can get those universes with M-Play, ENNTEC USB Port, or NXDMX devices that will get the output.
Inside Learn Stage Lighting Labs you will have access to step by step tutorials, personalized assistance from experts, and ways to set up your lights for different venues and shows.
Learn More Here! Learn Stage Lighting Labs
Be sure to tune In next week about planning a big event especially with us getting closer to the holidays. I’ll be talking about ways to get ready for planning and executing big events!