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General help required - setting up basic stage lighting


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Hello all,


I run a karaoke as a bit of a hobby and it also got me through some harder times during the recession - however it's my wife that is wanting to get her music out there and perform. As she has no technical knowledge (or interest in learning!) that job falls to me.


Problem is, my setup is quite antiquitated as I have always preferred the older methods - desks, racks and corded microphones on portable TV's with "outward facing" disco lighting - no real stage dressing.





The wife wants to go digital however, and given that she will be doing this kind of thing solo - I want to make this sound good, but easy to run and mostly pre-programmed if possible. I have went more modern for the kit she will use - laptop, new 12 inch, 400 watt active speakers and a 300 watt, 12 inch subwoofer with a passive mixer to provide the balancing and effects.





Overall, this sounds really good, however I now need it to look good and I am wanting to go with 4 PAR cans to add a changing and varied colour wash to the stage. I am not looking for the generic settings to be used however, I would like to sync a programmed lighting pattern to work alongside the music - nothing complex - just a case of controlling the colour and brightness of each light at a specific time and a blackout at the end of the song with a slow rise of white lighting when she is speaking.


Problem is - I don't know where to start. I'm looking at a cheap option as she won't be doing big events, just small social clubs. I have seen a KAM LED Par kit which has sufficient power and brightness, but I'm not sure if this could go into a laptop, what kind of connectors I would require or even if there is any software that I would have a music track and a DMX track working alongside at ease.


Ideal world - the wife clicks a button to play the music - and that's it - music plays, lights work in a pre-programmed fashion.


Any help or suggestions very much appreciated.





Edit: One last question. The mixer can switch the effects on / off with the use of a foot switch, but I only ever find ones for guitars - not for mixers. Any suggestions?



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If you take a look at the lighting forum thread on DMX mp3 lighting, there is someone asking a rather similar question. There are lots of softwares which can do what you want, controlled off a laptop, which would need a DMX-usb interface to output the lighting control. A lot of good programs are listed in that thread

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