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Plug and play system for a touring band


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Hello Guys! Nice to meet you!

I'm struggling with this question and I haven't found anyone that could help me...

Let me explain:

I sing in a sci-fi rock n' roll band, and our show highly relies on special effects on stage.

We're not well paid for now and we must keep our luggage very light.

While touring, I can't be sure if the venues that host our shows have a light designer and which scanners do they use. More than that, I'm pretty sure I cannot ask them to change their connections and presets, or I can not ask them to tell me precisely how do they work to set up a normal DMX system.

My venues will change daily, and I can't bring with me my lights or a designer.

I need some very elemental features, like a total shut down on the lights on stage in a certain moment. I'm not asking special designs or movements... of course, it will be cool!

BUT: I heard that there are some automatic system that recognizes the scanners channels and may work with some very easy preset. I need something that can work easily on the "master" without going crazy with every single scanner of the venue.


Can you tell me if something like that already exists?

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Every venue will have a different system. Your best bet is to brief the in-house lighting operator as to what cues you want. ie:


song 1, at the end when I raise my fist to the air then drop it - Black out

song 2, back light only on all performers, then strobes for the first drop


Keep it simple and easy for anyone to follow.



You can get lighting controllers that create a light show for you but these are not suitable for bands, more club/DJ kind of environments when the light waggle round in time with the music. Also you have to use the same manufacturers lights and controller so not suitable for touring at all.


It may be possible to build a set up where you could create a few simple cues from the stage with a foot switch and a laptop lighting desk (like chamsys) but you would have to either take full control of the house system via DMX and programme the whole show yourself, or, merge the DMX so your cues override the house system.


In each instance you would have to have a very good understanding of lighting, DMX and programming. Depending of the size of the venue and the flexibility of the house lighting system the venue technicians may, or may not let you do this.


I would say, if you happened to be very competent at lighting this could be achieved but it would be risky as you might spend all your load-in and rehearsal time dealing with the lights and not the music.


If lighting and special FX are that important to your performance, then you need to find a way to have an LD or tech touring with you or adapt your show to make it less reliant on tightly cued lighting FX. Or as mentioned just brief the house crew.


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