If there’s one way to really up your band’s lighting game, it’s this…
Set design is by far the the hidden gem that arena tours and popular club bands use to make their show more visually appealing without dropping tons of dough on new lights.
Not only can set design be cheaper than buying more lights, it also gives you something else to shine your existing lights on.
Using a set of sorts also makes your band feel more professional and put together. When you roll into a venue, the crowd can see from afar that you are serious, and you stand out from the back wall of the stage!
But sets can be expensive, right? You want your stage to look killer, and that’s going to come at a price. However, it may surprise you that there are many DIY options that are both simple to implement and not all that pricey.
Whether you’re just starting out or have been playing for years, this is for you.
The Complete Guide to Band Set Design
1. Getting Started: Find Inspiration
The first step to getting a great set is to find inspiration from band’s and churches who are doing set designs on a big scale. While we won’t be doing exactly the same designs as they use, it can be a great spark of inspiration and really get your mind moving on the possibilities.
Sew What builds fabric sets for the biggest touring bands out there.
2: Think Portable:
If you’re a gigging band, the next step is to figure out how in the world you can make your set idea portable.
While there are a ton of cool sets done by churches out there on the internet, many of them just won’t translate into the world of band’s where you need to set it up, move it and tear it down every gig!
One idea that might suit your fancy is a printed backdrop:
3. Think Lighting
Lighting can be your set design too!
This is one of the things you’ve got to love about LED’s and how inexpensive they have become.
By simply taking some LED fixtures and putting them behind the band in a cool pattern, not only do you get blinders for big crowd moments, you can also run them at a low intensity for nice color and movement during your songs.
4. Think Video
Arguably the most portable of all set designs is video! As we move forward into the future, video and lighting are becoming more and more the same – and that’s a really great thing!
While LED video tiles are still pretty expensive, but cool if you can afford it, projection mapping can be very inexpensive and honestly not that difficult!
It may seem hard, but the reality is that today we have some amazing, cheap and easy tools that allow you to map video onto your set and the room easily.
Set Design in a Nutshell
When it comes down to it, set design is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to really make your band look professional and take your show to the next level.