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Syncing Parbars - newbie question from an oldie !


Jimdad55

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First time poster/ lighting user/ proper band member so please make allowances :)

I've read the FAQs (incl) the Wiki but I have a feeling my question is so simple that it's not worth mentioning there.

I've just retired and along with two friends have decided to see if we can turn our band from just playing occasional gigs into something a little bit more substantial. At the moment we play pubs and small functions and have bought ourselves two Parbars as they seem decently priced now they are no longer current ( I know they might be underpowered for larger venues). However, knowing nothing about lighting and obviously not being the full shilling when it comes to reading instructions I have hit a problem.

I have managed the master/slave operation and can get both sets displaying same patterns. However, if they are placed facing each other as we intend to do the light order on the bar is reversed so the LH light on one side of the stage faces the RH light on the other. The only option I can see is to swing one of the bars round on its stand but that means the cables will all face inward towards the stage.

I know I'm missing something obvious but can't think what. I'd be grateful for any advice.

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That's perfectly normal, and is just how slaving works. They both do exactly the same, and a mirror image isn't possible. So the next step is to get a proper control - however, you're going to have to invest lots of time and effort into learning how they work, and programming is a cinch for a 14 year old used to computers, but perhaps a problem if you're the kind of person who reads instructions, because they won't help at all. Instructions tend to be manuals that show how each 'building block functions' - but as there are infinite possibilities over what you actually do - that's down by and large to experimentation. Download Chamsys Magicq - via Google, and see if you can get your head around it. If you can, they do a time limited (5 hours and it stops per session) DMX dongle for £10, or an unlocked one for £60. These will let you control your lights. They also let you do much more - but you may need help with the programming until you get sorted out.
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Just out of interest, I'd be interested to know why having the order reversed is a problem. If you're using them under their own controller then there is only so much they will do and it will always keep things that are the same on at the same time. Thus, if it's got them all set to the same colour then it doesn't matter and if they are all set to different colours then the ones that are the same will come on at the same time. Is this not what you want?
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Just out of interest, I'd be interested to know why having the order reversed is a problem. If you're using them under their own controller then there is only so much they will do and it will always keep things that are the same on at the same time. Thus, if it's got them all set to the same colour then it doesn't matter and if they are all set to different colours then the ones that are the same will come on at the same time. Is this not what you want?

 

 

 

First of all, thanks both for taking the time to respond. I somehow doubt that I will have the technical proficiency at my age to master programming although the thought of working out precise sequences for each song rather than relying on me and my footswitch is appealing. Does this mean that most, even small venue ( pubs, small halls etc) bands, are programming light sequences?

 

You're right. There isn't any problem if we are using a preset where all four lights on each bar are the same color. However, ( and bear in mind I know nothing about lighting either technically or setup wise ) we had provisionally thought to place a bar at each side of the stage facing inwards. On each bar the light nearest the back wall would be tilted towards that wall making a consistent colour. We had also thought that the two inside lights on each bar would focus on the band while the outmost one on each side would face diagonally across the audience. If this is not a good idea please feel free to say so !

 

Our final purchase was going to be something to play patterns on the roof over the audience's heads. Again, if there are any good options here I'd be keen to know.

 

Thanks again for any help.

 

Just out of interest, I'd be interested to know why having the order reversed is a problem. If you're using them under their own controller then there is only so much they will do and it will always keep things that are the same on at the same time. Thus, if it's got them all set to the same colour then it doesn't matter and if they are all set to different colours then the ones that are the same will come on at the same time. Is this not what you want?

 

 

 

First of all, thanks both for taking the time to respond. I somehow doubt that I will have the technical proficiency at my age to master programming although the thought of working out precise sequences for each song rather than relying on me and my footswitch is appealing. Does this mean that most, even small venue ( pubs, small halls etc) bands, are programming light sequences?

 

You're right. There isn't any problem if we are using a preset where all four lights on each bar are the same color. However, ( and bear in mind I know nothing about lighting either technically or setup wise ) we had provisionally thought to place a bar at each side of the stage facing inwards. On each bar the light nearest the back wall would be tilted towards that wall making a consistent colour. We had also thought that the two inside lights on each bar would focus on the band while the outmost one on each side would face diagonally across the audience. If this is not a good idea please feel free to say so !

 

Our final purchase was going to be something to play patterns on the roof over the audience's heads. Again, if there are any good options here I'd be keen to know.

 

Thanks again for any help.

 

Btw, as will be obvious by now, we have only just taken delivery of our lights and the next gig is still a week away. Plenty of time to play . . .

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The only option I can see is to swing one of the bars round on its stand but that means the cables will all face inward towards the stage.

 

If I understand this properly, that may be the only way to do what you want. I'm sure I've done it when I borrowed some parbars in the past and I don't recall cableing being a problem.

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I wouldn´t be scared off too easily. The setup you´re talking about is very simple and could be controled by a simple controler thats easy to use and understand even for someone new to lighting.

 

As with all technology (iPads, smart phones, lighting desks) you have to put in some effort to work out how to use them but a simple lighting desk shouldn´t take more then an afternoon to get working. If you buy new from a sound and lighting shop they will be able to advise and help to some extent with your existing kit.

 

 

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