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Moving Head Spots

parrothead pete

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Hi there.


I'm looking for advice...


I run a pub, and we recently started having live music in our back room.


We don't have a stage, as such, bands/performers set up at one end of the room and the crowd sit it the rest of the room.


I have rigged up four PAR 36 pinspots pointing toward the "stage" area, but the term pinspot is very accuarate and they light a very small target area.


I recently bought three Chauvet Pinspot 2 lamps.


These are LED lamps (only 3W) but impressively powerful, and seem ideal for our size of room- we are not trying to light the Royal Albert Hall.


They come with two glass lenses, giving either a 6' beam or a 9' beam (which is better for us).


Last night gig went well, but we had several performers on, and after the changover, you guessed it, the spots were in the wrong positions !


This led me to thinking, and a little bit of Googling, and I have found these things called "moving head spots".


Now please bear with me, because this is all new to me and I don't really know what I'm talking about.


What I want is a small spot (ideally four) that I can move remotely, through what I think would be a simple DMX setup- either a small desk or laptop


software, allowing me to pan and tilt in order to keep the performers in the spotlight when one goes off and another comes on


(it just isn't possible to get to the spots to adjust them manually once the performance has started.)


The lights that I have been looking at seem to be more for a disco setup than for what I want.


They include changing colours (which might be useful) and something called gobo wheels which I don't need (I don't think so, anyway).


So, all I want is a pan/tilt spotlight, shining a white light, to illuminate perfomers once we turn the houselights down.


LED light would be preferable to incandescant, I'm perfectly happy with the performance of the Chauvet 2W LED lamps,


and Chauvet do a moving head spot but it seems expensive for what I want.


Now then, someone out there must have some advice to give, have some experience of moving spots or have some comments to make.


Please help a Newbie through this minefield, I don't want to waste money buying the wrong kit- what is your advice ?






Sorry it's a long post, but I wanted to give as much information as I could.

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In my opinion you would be better off rigging 2 or 4 fresnel lanterns. anything moving head sounds over kill for what you do


these have a diffuced lense that spreads the beam. this would effectively wash the stage area and blend together. this would limit the amount of tweaking needed to nothing.


to get away from tungten lamps your best bet while keeping the wash effect is some LED parcans. like these


these can do red green and blue colours that can also mix to get a close white light.


in adition you could use these warm white led parcans to give you a white closer to tungstun


to control these sort of fixture you would ideally need a DMX desk suitable for Fixtures ( with multiple channels) as opposed to fader type generic desks (single dimmer channel desk)


I currently use software called freestyler in conjunction with an entec open DMX dongle to allow my laptop to output DMX. however a laptop in a puub enviroment is tempting fate for an opportunist.


There are install controller you can get that will simply replay preprogrammed "scenes" I.e all open white pars on. all RGB Pars chase. and so on and so on


hope this helps chap


by all means get in touch if you need any further help

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I suppose it's a question of creating "atmosphere".


The idea of a performer in a darkened room being picked out by a spotlight


seems more appealing than a stage being lit by a "floodlight".


I must admit that I hadn't really considered lighting the whole stage.


Maybe thats the way to go, anyway, it's something to think about.



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In a pub environment, I'd suggest you use LED parcans over the stage to wash the stage with colour. It'll be cheap and simple to get a great colour wash on the stage. Then I'd look at getting some profiles focused onto different areas of the stage. If you're looking at moving head money, I'd be much more inclined to get a system like this with a dimmer pack for the profiles. Then you'd need a small desk. If you're clever with the ammount of channels you use and if you group your LED pars onto the same DMX channels you can control your stage wash with 5 of the faders and use the rest of the channels for the profiles. Probably cost you about as much as one or two decent movers.
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If you're not stuck on wanting colour changing, what about a regular profile spot in an Apollo Right Arm? (I know someone else makes a comparable product but I can't for the life of me remember who, or what it's called - is it Rosco?!) That way you have the capability to move the light without any of the other fancy bits and bobs like a gobo wheel. Almost any half-decent profile will do - I'd suggest one of the new Selecon SPX units myself, but I'm biased and there are plenty of others out there! You would need a dimmer pack though - but one of the small "shoebox" dimmers should work OK for you. If you were to get 600w lamps (or smaller) a shoebox dimmer running on a 13amp supply is enough power for you as well. The Right Arms only take hot power and DMX, they don't need powering from a dimmer. It just gets rid of all the extraneous gubbins that you don't need or want!
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... (I know someone else makes a comparable product but I can't for the life of me remember who, or what it's called - is it Rosco?!) ...

Rosco make the I-Cue, which is a moving mirror to go on the front of a leko* profile. They're very good, actually - perfectly quiet enough for use in theatre applications.



* = I think I'm becoming acclimatised to this Canada place.

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You get what you pay for, those items are professional quality and designed for pro theatre use, you could probably get away with a cheaper "disco type" solution where the accuracy and repeatability of the positioning isn't so important.


As well as moving head lights, there are also "moving mirror", or "scanner" type lights which tend to be cheaper, you can find many second-hand ones on ebay. As you say, these lights tend to have colour wheels and gobo wheels (a gobo is a cut-out shape placed in the beam - see the BlueRoom Wiki for details), but you don't have to use them!


You could think about placing some of the lights at the back of the performing area to light the performers from the rear or side as this can help to make them stand out from the background.


Also consider the area that you are lighting, you say you don't have a stage as such, but one end of a room in your pub. What is the decor like? You could make a huge improvement to the atmosphere by simply draping that end of the room with black cloth, concentrating attention on the performer while not harming the decor underneath.


Edit: a quick example: same band, same venue, same lights, the only difference is the black drapes.




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I may have found a solution.


I can get hold of some pan/tilt heads designed for CCTV cameras.


If I mount the sports on these, I should be able to control them remotely.


Panning action is about 5' per second, so its fairly slow, but I'm not looking for anything more dynamic.


If I can get a pan/tilt console I can control them all from one point, rather than have a remote control for each one.


This may be the cheapest option.


It bears further investigation.


I'll let you know.





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Erm, what about just fixing some LED cans onto the ceiling / roof with some locknuts or whatever and just actually turn the things manually yourself to refocus.


Buying moving lights for a pub!! Just sounds like complete overkill.


If the lights are rigged higher than 'can easily get to' height, then for the price of one mover ( even the 'disco-dave' rubbish you could still probably get 3 LEDs ) you can buy enough LED pars to cover the entire area. If you get them hooked up to DMX and can just buy a simple DMX controller to allow you to save and playback scenes and basic chases then job done!


As you said - your not trying to light the Albert Hall so why the need for movers!!

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