Does your band use stage lighting?

Discussion in 'Live Performance & Stage Sound' started by CGrant109, Oct 9, 2015.

  1. CGrant109

    CGrant109 SS.org Regular

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    Our band is instrumental, has been discussing possibly implementing lighting into our live show. Nothing crazy, but some of us recently caught Caspian, and they use cases for their amp heads that have built-in lighting with their own design going on with it. I really dig this and want to do something similar. No strobe lights or anything flashy/tasteless; just something to add to give the audience an added experience. Does anyone here do this with their band, past or present? Any tips / guides to point me in the right direction?

    Thanks!
     
  2. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    I think if you're going to bring your own lighting to shows, you gatta bring good stuff. I've seen a bunch of smaller bands bring their diy, strobe-lights-nailed-to-a-board setups from their jam spaces and it just looks incredibly unprofessional.

    If you want some eye-candy, so to speak, because of a lack of a frontman to look at, maybe get a projector or two and make some visuals.

    I've always kinda wanted to get some leds to mount on a cab that react to the signal from your amp. I'm sure it wouldn't be hard to build something that takes a tuner out or something and uses it to drive some lights. Even better: make a whole bunch and put them on everything- on the drum shells, the cabs, etc- so that everything that makes some sound generates some light along with what's being played. Drum shells that light up when you hit them would be amazing.
     
  3. JohnIce

    JohnIce Singlecoils = tr00

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    A strobe behind the drum kit is incredibly effective at small stages. My band has a cheap one controlled by an SSD MacBook, to give extra impact to certain riffs or for making an outro more chaotic.

    That said, mood lighting is incredibly underrated :) Having tons of colors and flashing lights can be cool, especially when it's run by an actual LD, but sometimes a well-chosen, static color palette is even cooler. Kill the room lights and put up two cold, blue lights pointing straight at the audience from behind the band for example. Incredibly powerful. A lot of metal bands known for great light shows (Meshuggah and In Flames for example, just cause I'm swedish :)) have very little color and very little front lights. It's metal, no one REALLY needs to see your faces.

    Also, just as a spinoff on what TedEh said about DIY stuff, I'm not disagreeing but one thing I've noticed through my years as a stagehand, is that a lot of even the biggest bands' stuff looks pretty ....ty up close :lol: I built Maiden's Seventh Son stage for example, looks epic as sh*t from the audience's perspective but packing the stuff out of a trailer, it looks pretty sloppy. So don't go wasting too much money or chicken out of building stuff yourself, any effort you make will be a treat for the audience.

    Just as an example, my band decided that instead of buying a huge backdrop for a ton of money just to look the same as every other band, we built some plywood walls instead, hand painted by myself. Tears up and down with 6 screws per wall and neatly folds entirely flat for travel. Looks lame up close, but the audience doesn't know that :)
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  4. robare99

    robare99 SS.org Regular

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    I'd have to say yes.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    my band is going to start looking into this soon so Im going to keep an eye on this thread.
     
  6. Kryss

    Kryss Your new god!

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    ya I have a full truss for our band. we haven't got around to pre-programming everything to backing tracks yet but that will happen in the winter here after our last show of the year. I have about 30 different light scenes or presets, some are sound active, various strobing with various colors, and some that pulse to the bpm of the song. i'm using dmxis for lighting. works great. usb breakout box works with mac/windows and it will run as a plugin with stuff like logic pro and ableton.

    current lights running are some adj ultrabars, tripars, eco uv dmx bar, galaxian. I also now have a antare fazer. which I might add is freaking awesome...even though they aren't cheap.

    when we are in a smaller setup I set everything just to master slave mode and use the rf remote for the adj ultrabar 12. put everything on sound active. still works great and is easy to setup once you understand how dmx works.

    i'm going to get a camcorder so I can start doing videos and tutorials on stuff like this in the near future. I pretty much had to watch a bunch of youtube and figure it all out. it didn't help that one of the adj lights I bought originally had a bad dmx input/output jack. cause lot of issues hosing my light show the first couple of times. easy to detect though using something like dmxis.
     
  7. Kryss

    Kryss Your new god!

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    here is a link of the first time we ran most of our lights. we still haven't had a place big enough to run everything i have yet. we also haven't used the antare fazer yet with them. which will help a ton. there is a couple spots where there is some mic feedback beware, it was a small place and i had issues setting up the lights so we had a rush job getting everything going in time. but should give you a good idea what can be done. these were all set on sound active, i had a dmx controller but was unaware at the time that one of the par lights had a bad dmx input. so in a hurry i just put everything on sound active aka autopilot. i ran it off an adj rf remote. we did this for a show in new orleans as well since it was a small place. chavet now has a ultra bar copy that allows you more channels to control every light which the adj lights work in pairs. so atm those might be the better buy if you want more control of the lighting. the light bars and pars are great though cause you can even throw them on the floor for uplighting they will lay flat on the ground. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g4rQUWeUcdk
     
  8. robare99

    robare99 SS.org Regular

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    Good stuff. If I can make a suggestion, I'd suggest having a light on each side to light up the faces of the band. Also, I also use DMXIS, and I control it with a Behringer FCB1010. I connect it with a Roland UM-One USB/MIDI interface. Out of the box it works great with DMXIS. 10 buttons for the first 10 scenes down the list, bank 0 then bank 1 are the next 10 scenes etc. I use 1 "volume pedal" to control the lights on the band, I can turn it off to put the band in silhouette. The other volume pedal I use to control the hazer. It's pretty slick.

    Here's a few videos of my light rig in action:

    http://youtu.be/JnbvcdGOG1I

    http://youtu.be/ytGoHuFN4KA

    http://youtu.be/rGNjhhyi2tA

    http://youtu.be/ytGoHuFN4KA
     
  9. JohnIce

    JohnIce Singlecoils = tr00

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    Disagreed :) For that type of music I'd say lighting up the faces would just take away from the vibe. I get the feeling it's meant to be dark and mysterious. Although there could be a very directional uplight at the front of the stage, that the singer could lean into once in a while to add emphasis to certain parts where he really wants to get the audience's full attention.
     
  10. robare99

    robare99 SS.org Regular

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    I get what you're saying, and its a better idea than mine. I like the idea of one uplight on white that could be used for emphasis!
     
  11. Fraz666

    Fraz666 SS.org Regular

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    We do not have our lights and is in the whislist.
    last saturday we had a random drunk girl dancing on stage but I think it can be more expensive than lights when is planned :D
     
  12. Kryss

    Kryss Your new god!

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    awesome nice to find someone else using dmxis. it really is a super cool lighting app. nice that you can run everything off a regular floor controller too, preprogram everything to midi, or run live. my band was planning on building our own risers 10-12 inches tall and throwing a small fog machine in them and some cheap led dmx lighting. we haven't built them yet but if you are looking for a small amount of light that might work. we are going to just have a led flat pointed up through the stage riser. use a grate on the top and have someone cut out an aluminum logo on the front. if your goal is to use very little stage light you could use things like that with as little stage lighting as possible, maybe add a hazer or fogger on a timer, perhaps even a little lighting from the sides or from front of the stage pointed upward. lightbars aren't too pricy and work pretty well with this effect.
     
  13. Fraz666

    Fraz666 SS.org Regular

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    cool idea, and it looks simple to realize.
    any suggestions on what to buy to make this?
     
  14. Zombie13

    Zombie13 XIII

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    Consider getting some LED cans or lightbars, they are highly effective and can be set to be auto color switching, sound sensitive or DMX controlled, in which you could use a USB to DMX controller to have your lights synced with your backing tracks (if you use them)

    In my old band, Squirrelly Arts, we had 2 LED cans set to "auto switch" mode and 2 set to "sound sensitive" mode

     
  15. Kryss

    Kryss Your new god!

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    adj light bars look fantastic just on sound active too. although I see chauvet just basically copied them and might have improved on the adj style ones I have in my band. adj typically only lets you control a pair of the lights, the chauvets now let you control every light in the light bar. I haven't used theirs yet so I can't attest to the durability but atm I would give those a good look instead of the adj leds just because of that. add some orings for quick easy mounting and they really light up an area well. basically no heat produced with led lighting too. really adds a lot even just practicing imo. there is a lot of youtube demos online of various lights, I sat around checking a lot of different stuff out before I spent the coin on it. led pars and light bars though are pretty reasonable. if you want to have full control though make sure you get one with dmx control.
     
  16. concertjunkie

    concertjunkie SS.org Regular

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    I bought the Chauvet Gigbar 2 and the DMXIS controller, programmed our entire set to lights. I will buy some front lights to highlight solos and add to the room, and will play with color schemes more, but it was a huge success at our show this past sunday! Here is a clip of a song we played with it. It took about 3-4hrs each song to program, but the end result was so frickin good.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Crg0bM6GSkY


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SHeezGDl8Gc

    It helped a lot to have the midi from our songs in guitar pro so that saved *some* time keeping things in sync. Either way, I am going to get more crazy with more lights, as money comes in!
     
  17. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    That's the way to do it.

    As a teenager, I had a tendency to just grab whatever I could afford from the pawn shop and rig it to whatever the venue had up high. This generated mixed results. Now, I am older, and I have some decent light show equipment, but it cost me a good chunk of my band's budget for equipment. I'd rather it look plain than gaudy and stupid, but having a little bit of awe factor to go with the music is quite nice.
     
  18. GunpointMetal

    GunpointMetal SS.org Regular

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    If you're not going to have them synced to your songs, just use static stage lighting. The auto-programs and sound-sensing programs on most lights are super cheesy and really noticeable. I personally like it when a band has a color scheme (like blues/whites/purples only) or just solid colors and fog.
     
  19. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    I also prefer to stay away from any of the automatic programs, especially the ones that come on the DMX controller as default.

    But to reinforce your second statement even more - to me, nothing looks funkier than a band with a banner and backdrop featuring mostly black and white, with a splash of one particular colour, using all 255 LED colours cycling through randomly. If your band is called "Rainbow Brite and the Little Ponies," then it'll work, I guess, but not so much for "The Real Protoalchemist of Fire of Deathmetal El Paso III." :lol:
     
  20. wheresthefbomb

    wheresthefbomb SS.org Regular

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    Just whatever the house has, we started using candles and incense though, at least at places that I felt comfortable burning candles on their stage. Big, fat ones. Nice atmosphere, makes the stage feel like an altar.
     

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