Starting with Theatre Lighting, and Want to Be a Lighting Designer – Learn Stage Lighting .com

Starting with Theatre Lighting, and Want to Be a Lighting Designer

Kari
By Kari / a few months ago
Learn Stage Lighting Podcast

This week on the Podcast we have our Q+A Tuesday! Join us as we take questions from listeners just like you and help walk them through to the thought process of their situation.

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.

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 Guide based on your answers to help get you pointed in the right direction.

How to Begin with Lighting Quiz

Main Segment (3:36)

I’d like to mention the sponsor of the show, Learn Stage Lighting Labs. If you like what you hear and you’ve enjoyed our videos I want to encourage you to check Learn Stage Lighting Labs. It’s everything we offer on the site and so much more.

It offers in-depth courses, step by step tutorials, forums, and access to myself as well as other members. If this is something you might be interested in be sure to check it out!

Chris (3:42) First of all, I would like to say that this is the best lighting website and podcast I have found. I am a teenager who wants to become a lighting designer and operator for concerts. I can operate a couple of systems but what I would like to know is how do I begin getting into this industry. Such as getting gigs, working for a production company, and so on and so forth. Also, what can I do to advance in this industry (other than being personable, respectful, and reliable)? Such as learning new systems, buy consoles, etc. Your feedback is greatly appreciated.

One of the things I’ve with others that were hesitant working with someone under 18 is the struggle with labor laws. Most companies don’t want to have to go through that.

I would suggest going through your school so that it feels more legitimate and going to the companies that you want to work for. Let them know that you want to intern with them. You’ll start with the labor but then you also get to be around those who manage the consoles and audio.

Working hard in the summer is another way to go as well. I know most kids take time off in the summer but you can take this opportunity to work hard and stand out in front of the others.

I wouldn’t recommend purchasing a console at this time. Just focus on learning and working in the field first.

Gabriel (9:39) I delved into lighting this past year as an assistant to a lighting technician in a theatre. I am currently thinking to get myself some basic setup to start off with lighting live shows as a hobby. Anything from gigs and (disco) parties – lasers will most definitely be one of the fixtures which I will get. However, I’m having trouble in choosing which actual DMX controller to get my hands on. At first, I was almost certain that DMXis together with Show Buddy Active is the way to go (considering visuals can also be integrated), just until I read more about Show Express and the Xpress-512 controller.

Which of the two setups would you recommend? As I said, my main goal is to actually sit back during a live show and control the lights to the music, including live gigs (where actual songs may be conducted differently than how they would be preset before the show). Looking forward to hearing your opinion.

I would definitely recommend that you go towards Show Express, ENTTEC’s D-Pro, or Work Pro’s LightShark. Because DMXIS and ShowBuddy are designed for those who want to run the show from their stage.

How Do I Begin with ENTTEC D-Pro?

What is the Lightshark?

Daniel (12:32) I belong to a chorus. Years past we would put on a yearly show in a theater never had to worry about sound or lighting. Now we use alternative venues. I’d like to put together a “theater in a box” by leveraging open source software. I’d use a rack on wheels, a usb sound interface with phantom power, and a usb-dmx adapter for lighting control. I was wondering if there are “dummy” slider controls that can be connected to the PC to act as level control, or light control. Seems like everything with sliders on it includes preamps and stuff I wouldn’t need.

If you’re wanting to control lighting and/or audio you want to decide what program you’re going to use. In the open source software, you have a couple of options for free software such as QLC Plus or Freestyler. But normally these are not as good as the paid versions.

With a MIDI Controller you can connect via USB. One of the popular ones is the Behringer X Touch. With this route you’ll want to find a software that can work with MIDI Controllers.

How do I Use MIDI Hardware to Control My Lighting Console?

Marc (15:30) Thank you for sending me your Free Theatre Guide. I would like to start my own theatre production. For the lighting, I can use existing lights.

Do you have any experience in how to “connect” (true Midi) Ableton Live and QLC Plus (Ableton Live does not recognize QLC or DMX controller – see picture: “preferences” I have a laptop with both programs installed: also Show Cue Systems, and use Enttec USB PRO MK2 for DMX. All I can find on the internet is for Mac. I am working with Pc.

One program that is really great is loopMIDI which allows you to set up a virtual MIDI port. You can read more about it here: loopMIDI.

Closing (17:18)

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 Guide based on your answers to help get you pointed in the right direction.

How to Begin with Lighting Quiz

Next week I’ll be attending a trade show in Louisville, KY so I’m hoping to have some notes and updates on that in next week’s episode. In the next weeks I will be having Pete Greenfield on the show to talk about lighting and working with bands. So be sure to tune in!


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