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Lighting For a concert


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Hi there any ideas for this concert I'm organising? The concert is going to be mainly drumming with rock and jazz groups. There maybe be a few dances. The main idea is that the concert is going to raise money for a new drum kit and it will last two to three hours. I will be operating the show from the Strand GSX. All the action will be taking place on the main stage. The lights I have available to use are;




8 x Strand Cantata 1.2K Profiles (18/32)

6 x Strand Cantata 1.2K Fresnels

8 x Strand Quartet 650W Profiles (22/40)

17 x Strand Quartet 650W Fresnels

2 x Strand Quartet 650W PC

2 x Strand Prelude 650W Fresnels

12 x PAR 64 1K

4 x Floorcan PAR 64 500W

6 x Par 16 50W

4 x Strand Coda Cyc lights (4 x 500W) (I'm using the Cyc on the back wall).

4 x Rainbow two/16 colour scrollers

1 x Rainbow MAXI power supply

Selection of scroller cable available

Gobo holders available for Quartets and Cantatas. Barn doors on all fresnels.




1 x Strand Solo 2K Follow-spot with iris and dimmer




1x Jem ZR 22 DMX smoke machine.




3 x 10 circuit bars FOH

2 x 10 circuit bars over stage

1 x 6 circuit cyc bar

2 x floor circuits SL and SR


Thanks to anyone that gives me any ideas. The concert will be in Feb.

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Hi and welcome to the Blue room.


It is difficult to try and do a lighting design without any idea of the space/size etc that you are trying to light. You have effectively given us a list of available kit and that is it. I would imagine you should be able to achieve a 3 or 4 colour wash plus some specials etc as required but it is difficult to get more exact than that.


Based on your profile you are 7 and I therefore suspect that the competent adult that is rigging will probably end up putting their own design in anyway!


By all means ask if you have any more specific questions and good luck with the concert.

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Hi there my profile had a mistake! sorry about that, I am actually 16 and I will be rigging for the concert myself as I am the only one that has done the ladder course and is insured to use the ladders.


The stage is approx 7metres wide across the proscenium and it is about 5 to 6 metres in height. I would say that the depth of the stage is about 10 metres(8 with the blacks shut).


I was thinking about putting up the small staging center stage for the drum kit so it is raised from the rest of the group.

I will probably use the second bar FOH to light the stage in O/With the 6 18/32 Cantarta Profiles.

as I have never been to a rock concert I don't know what the colour scheme is.


I'm going to use the smoke machine to keep the stage hazy so you can see the beams of the lights.

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I have almost the same light rig at our studio and hall, and with a strand GSX. I always like the effect of 4 (maby more depending on the with of the stage) 18/32's hung verticaly and evenly spaced on an over stage bar, whichever bar over stage you have closest to FOH, with smoke you get 4 beams, strait down, brilliant to start and end a show, and in solos etc you can run a chase scene along them, and to go all the way you can also put in some gobos to split each beam into strands of light.it really does look amazing when done right, and fairly cheap and easy!
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Sticking the drummer on whats called a "drum riser" i.e. like you say a small, low seperate stage just for them drummer. Generally these stages are rather low - two bits of steel deck bolted together with no legs at there lowest, to not much more than a foot high at there highest. This makes it possible to see the drummer. Sticking 2 or all of the floor cans on this, pointed at the drummer is at least an option. Options and opions are exactly all any one can offer you I'm afffraid - the whole point of lighting design is it's art - you wouldn't ask some one to do a painting for you. As for the rest of the rig, then you can, to recite some commonly used rock and roll options use the par cans for beam work behind the band - you don't say if they're fitted with flood or beam type bulbs (cp62s or cp60s as the most common respective examples) but if they're beams then ethier white (for heavy rock \ metal) or colours (which would be more use for jazz, plus lighter rock). You could say fan out, or back light performers, or just paint crosses in the air with the beams. All of whitch can look good. I've even stuff 6 par cans under a drum riser doing beams that went out just over the audences head. I liked it and so did others who saw it, so it can't be that bad of an idea. The profiles for boring make them visible front light (perhaps some sort of flesh tone rather than open white, if you want) and between songs is no bad idea. Specials on the lead singer posistion for the jazz. Making mic stands \ cymbal stands glow (multiple) pretty colours is cool also.

Like I said idea's all of them and if you do too many idea's for any one show you'll ruin it. Everyone will have their own idea's not least agonst the best idea's I expect to have is the names of some books you should read, which is no bad way to go.

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Hey every single rock concert I go to use just a load of 1k PAR 64s with reds blues and greens... etc but the place I go has no whitewash wich is sometimes a good idea.. the key is to do a color wash and have the whitewash on quite dim so it just illuminates faces etc.... I use 500w fresnals to do my whitewash.. the dim whitewash is used a lot on television in this country (UK) on the live singing show type things.
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As already stated, lighting design is exactly that. Sometimes it is good to have not seen how others do things. You might come up with something better!


I do a great deal of current rock/pop lighting. As a rule this sort of lighting tends to be effect based.


Front lighting is usually not too important and kept very minimal. Be careful not to hit the backdrop with front lamps since this will kill the effect of the rear beams. Sometimes side lighting is better - fresnels with barndoors would do the job. You don't need much in the way of colour - blue is always useful and is compatible with almost everything. Much as I make a point of avoiding the boring red/blue/green standard, it is a good starting point. But try to keep white light to a minimum, since this will make it very difficult to create effects from the rear. If you need to highlight then use cold or warm filters (depending on music) and keep as low as you can.


With backlighting just try to create some nice symmetric beams for a few colour washes. Pars are perfect for this. I would be tempted to hang the floors too, although they are good for drum riser as already suggested. The profiles could be used at a push. Maybe you can put some breakup gobos in them and use them in open or steel - similar to common effects with moving lamps. You could even point them out into audience or at the cyc! Some fresnels could be hung as audience 'blinders'. Unfortunately the white cyc will make it very difficult to get good 'rock' effect lighting, but of course will be lovely for giving stage depth for less dramatic music. Is one of those compromises. Run a fan with the ZR22 for nice fast even spread of smoke.


Keep looks simple (ie. one colour washes) and don't change things too fast. Try to split your looks by fixture - don't use everthing at once. When operating an easy rule with standard rock is to change colour wash on the snare hits. You can dramatically enhance the effect of rear lighting by dropping all front lighting occasionally. You could also switch to just the cyc lights with nothing else for impressive silhouettes. Similarly you can drop all stage lighting to really enhance 'blinder' and strobe effects & a dead blackout at the end of songs is always a winner if suited to the material, but you've got to be confident (as have the band!)


Don't be afraid to try things. It's better to make mistakes than to have a boring show.


Most importantly - enjoy it!

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Hi there any ideas for this concert I'm organising? The concert is going to be mainly drumming with rock and jazz groups.

I'm sure that there would be any number of bodies here who could design you a basic rock band rig, but unless you wanted to pay me and give due credit at the gig, you'll probably not get much more than a guideline. :mods:


However, seriously, only YOU can make the decision on what will work. I trust you'll have chance to see the bands rehearse? Or at least get a CD/tape of the music in advance? I find it helps greatly to know what you're lighting before you start.


Basically, stick to a main set of three or four colours (eg red, green, blue & yellow), with maybe a smal handful of specials as backlights - try mid purples or even pink, with shades of the primaries as well.


Set up just one general wash in a steel or a straw to give a general illumination where needed, but concentrate on using most of your lights for beams - tighten all the fresnels as small as you can, ditto the profiles.


Side lights are always good if you have enough to spare (good place for your scrollers), but go to town on back lights - two rows over stage is always nice. Arrange one set as a fan-out, best from the rear bar, and the others straight forward - maybe keep the latter set open.


Point at least one open white profile at each performance area - is lead singer, lead guitar, bass, rhythm, backing singers, etc. That way if someone else takes the lead (guitar solo, drum riff whatever) you can easily switch to them.


Have your follow spot op practice, practice, practice. then practice some more!


You're going to struggle with limited circuits on stage, so keep the lanterns patched sensibly - if you need to, patch lanterns matched across the stage on the same circuit - eg in a 6-lantern fan, double up 1/6, 2/5, 3/4). Don't be afraid to double up a couple of same-colour lanterns from the same side, though, but be sure to match it both sides.


Spend a bit of thought on the drums - floor cans and a couple of overheads in primary colours, but keep one overhead in open on the drummer. Cymbals & shiny drums reflecting light can set off a piece nicely.


Maybe look at a row of floor lights along the rear wall pointing up. I've actually used Coda 4's in that way.


Control - I've not used a GSX in anger, but IIRC it has a set of submasters - use these wisely - programme up some nice mixed lighting states, and specials. Knock up a LOT of varied chase sequences, then repeat them with different timings or orders etc (ie a simple left-right chase on a fan of baccklights running forward, then one running a bounce chase, then a bounce with build - you'll be surprised how different some of these can look on different speeds under different songs!)

Also don't be tempted to run every number as a flashy-flashy set. Even some fast numbers can look effective with maybe some slow-faded colour chases.


Yes, have a good level of smoke, but don't go too crazy.


See - I've nearly designed the rig for you! ......


Can you post my cheque to ........................................................................ :) :( ;)

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Guest lightnix

;) - Sorry chaps, but there are already several threads open on the general subject of concert lighting, as a quick wave of our friend...


:mods: The Search Function :)


...will reveal :)



Before I summon tonight's padlock, have a quick look at this post (and the rest of that thread), for my own take on the (very) basics of lighting a band. At the bottom of the post are links to all the major threads on concert lighting, what colours etc.


If anyone has anything to add on the subject of concert lighting, please try to use one of the existing topics :)




And with that it's...




...and bedtime.

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