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Magicq busking philosophy.


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Recently my "lighting world" has exploded, where 2 years ago I would tell you I´m a sound or video tech, recently I´ve been doing nothing but opping lights...

People may remeber my "what desk" thread, Well I´ve had my MQ60 a month now and we´ve done a good few shows already... very happy with it!!

(on a side note, I´ve built an arduino midi flash button box for extra subs.. cheap and working a charm, runs from usb power.. Highly recomend looking into the idea for console owners who want more flashes).


I have a nice selection of djs and bands who are happy with the end results and using me for all their live shows.. double and tripple booking has become an issue..

BUT I think I´m just making my own life difficult with my self taught programming style.


The biggest eye opener was a few months back I was with one of my clients as they were playing the 2nd stage of a festival. I had my pc wing and a borrowed extra wing... and I just felt so "boxed in" and short on subs, even with the extra wing!

Then along came another visiting opp (clearly not self taught) who used hardly any subs on a pearl and wasnt working nearly half as hard as I was.. It really just opened up my eyes that althought I get the end result from the lights, I´m clearly doing things the hard way.


As I said, entirely self taught so I´ve really just been trying various things out, but self doubt has brought me here to ask...

So, for example a typical setup:

some wash heads, spot heads, Par leds, beam heads, blinders, strobes and smoke... Not too dissimilar to what I was opping last weekend for a small live band...


how would people lay out their subs for busking?

Clearly I´m over complicating things... mostly because while busking I just feel like I´m "triping over myself" with too much going on (even with a very small rig) so I´m spending more time opping "the desk" rather than "the lights" if you see what I mean.


I´ve been mostly (depending on how I feel) varying between various ideas


for each head, a main dimmer, another sub with various dim chases, and other with movement fx´s where I control size with fader and speed with tap to touch (enable S as tap to touch once programming is done and ready to run show)

then picking colours, positions, gobos etc via palettes. I´ll also add any colour changing FX´s as executes.

This clearly can fill and with say 4 types of lights I´d theoretically need 12 subs and that means nothing for blinders and strobes... So wastefull and I just spend all night trying to move lots of faders at the same time etc


The other I´ve been trying out is this:

1 dimmer sub per head, but various colours or colour layouts, selecting them with go's. Dim chases may be an execute or another playack (off fader, run via "test") so I can enable it, reduce main dimmer and it will dim-chase with colour selected via submaster.. Then the same movement fx´s in a sub, positions, gobos etc via palette.


Thanks in advance for any input/advice!

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I tend to have one fader per head type, and make a stack of different dim chases alternating with a static dimmer look. Then for a particular part of a song I can alternate between a fast chase and "all on" or move down the stack to a different chase


If I have an extra wing I like to create interesting groups of fixtures and allocate three or four buttons to "flash" them, gives me direct control when I get the need to button bash!

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This is not just a question for magicq, it applies to busking anything.

Definitely not a dimmer sub for each individual fixture. That is hard work!!! But the rest of what you do sounds about right.

I would normally have a selection of basic looks using a range of different fixture groupings. So you just put up one fader to get something suitable for the start of a song.

Then I'd have shapes/fx/chases on other faders, recorded to only affect individual attributes so they can be overlaid (eg a dimmer fx, or a movement fx)

Then a couple of extra faders for strobe/blinders etc if you have them.

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I tend to layout on 3 pages A,B,C then A page would have faders for dimmer odd / even for each group. then page B would just have same but just all dimmer then page C Dimmer off and on. then what faders left over I mix movements and fx .over the 3 pages if I need more I can just use more pages but not over the dimmer faders unless there dimmer combos.
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You have the basic idea. I would just use the stack capability for better efficiency (as mentioned above with dims/chase on one stack) and stack up FX too along with fader control over speed or whatever.


One other thing to consider is if you, say, put HTP intensities on the same playback as a related LTP stack (such as colours or whatever). That can effectively give you two playbacks in one place: the fader for Dims and the Go/Back for other attributes. I tend to use the same fixture types but you don't have to.


Edit to add: By coincidence, I've just taken delivery of our library copy of Nook Schoenfeld's DVD The Ultimate Punt Page and am just watching it. While it doesn't really tell an individual how to work on a particular console, it does go over the basic concepts that apply to pro desks but also throws a lot in about designing as you busk and a quite few hidden tips on little bits of admin that make the final output much slicker. It's worth a look if people can get hold of it. And really great to see important knowledge in our field being committed to tape.

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