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Making a mini-setup


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Hi Sam,


I read your post with interest. If you intend to try and do a variety of different jobs with your little rig such as music gigs (as you mention), small theatre, corporate stuff maybe, then the most important thing I suggest, is to build in flexibility.


I regularly do all the above on a small to medium scale and mention the following:


Power. It will be good to make sure you can run the whole outfit from a couple of (and at a push, with reduced lanterns, one), 13A sockets. Typical hotel function rooms, bars, etc don't often have 32A sockets let alone 63 or 3 phase. So this is why I'd suggest two dimmers, one for each of your stands. Terminate each in 6mm cable and 32A ceeform plugs but make reducers down to 13A plugs.


This will allow you to run 6k of lights on one or two ringmains in a venue (check that there's no tea urns or anything like that in use first though, obviously).


Next dimmers. Well worth using dimmers with 10A channels. They're not much more costly than 5 or 6A minipacks and the capacilty will be there for you when you get a big gig or need to expand. The Behringer dimmers are about £200 each from Thomann - this is amazing. The benefit of having two is that you don't need to invest in costly socapex multicores and spiders, and you don't have to run thick unweildy cables round the room - you just put one next to each stand.


Desk. Behringer one would seem ideal, and would work with the above.


Lanterns. Par56s are OK and cheap, but you may find that 300W is just too weedy for some jobs, especially if you're using darkish gels. I'd say go for a mixture of Par64s with 500W lamps (shop around to get a good deal on these), and the Source 4 Par copies. These are nearly as bright as a 1k Par can, are around £60 plus the 575W lamp, but they do come with 4 lenses than give you some beamwidth control, and you can add barndoors later.


This would be my shopping list then:

2 x Behringer dimmers

1 x Behringer desk

2 x DMX cables

2 x stands with T bars

2 x long nose Par 64 with 500 lamps

2 x Source 4 Par copies

2 x Par 56


You ought to get change from a grand, and you'd have the basis of a good small rig that you could start to see some return from quite quickly. You'd also be able to add to it in future, and if you do have shows where the power is available you can hire more lanterns or even movers and still be able (at a push) to control it all.


Hope this helps,



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There's loadsa cheap and ok kit DFB ( http://www.dfb-uk.com ) sell PAR56s lantern and lamp for about £20, there is a dim pack or several on the classified page here, but these are the easy bits, just buy items. The think bits are the cables and rigging. In most small venues you may get a whole 13A socket for yourself so you have to allow for a good show on 3ish Kw though you may get a 16 or 32 ceeform someplaces.


If its a band you want to light the NJD 8000 series controller takes some beating its a 4 x 10A dim/ chase /pattern unit, the disco version has bulgin 8pin on the back, the hard wired pack has room for soca or ......

The dim pack is 0 - 10 as well as auto so analogue control is easy

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while we are on this topic, which are cheapest profiles?


dfb are good, if you are on a tight budget

par56s c/w holder, lamp, connector and gel £25 each

cheap stand £30 heavy duty stand £40-50

along with loads of other stuff including scans, par 64s, par 36s, desks, dims and cheap clamps+safetys



other places

best place for the behringer controller, http://www.bluearan.co.uk

a freind of mine is selling a pair of 2nd hand tbar stands for £50 (pm me)

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The cheapest new profiles are probably Minuettes or Quartet's. Altho if Power isn't a problem I'd get a few of the 2nd Hand Cantatas that are doing the rounds at the moment.



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ah right, roughtly how much can I expect to pay for above mentioned

You're probably looking at around £200 for Minuettes or Quartets (a little more for Minuettes with condenser optics). Alternatively, I have a lead on a whole ruck of second-hand Sil30's which are likely to be available in a few weeks' time - contact me by PM for more info.

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Moving on from what Steve said...


Before you start to consider to buy ANY type of kit you need to know what type of (I presume) performace you are going to be lighting. This is because all lanterns are designed for specific purposes and therefore produce different light output qualities.

Hpefuly starting with this an then building up to a sort of Music performance type rig.


Any Ideas (other than Par Cans??)



I would again recommend the NJD Spectre's. NJd Electronics, Turn up for the books for NJD in my opinion. Ive previously only thought theyre stuff was suited to disco. Leisuretec seem the most resonrable for these, coming in at around £170 a piece. (You need to be or know someone who is a trade company to buy from Leisuretec) However I wouldnt use them for anything other than rock and roll / music. The fans are too noisy for conference, theatre work ive found.

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ah right, roughtly how much can I expect to pay for above mentioned,as im thinking profiles are going to be next on my 'fixtures to buy' list, my personal setup is going to be similar to one mention, with behringer desk

If you are tight on budget I would suggest getting some fresnels first, you can use them from FOH if needed and they are wide enough to use on-stage. Make sure you get barn-doors for them.

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