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rock gig question...


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Hi - I have been running lights for a while now but my real area is sound. (my first word was "lightbulb" and my second "battery", so maybe a change of career is not out of the question)

anyway - I am fortunate enough to be designing and running lights for a 11 night rock band tour in the uk. The gear we have is...


4x prewired 6 way bars each populated with 4 PAR64's (CP88) and 2 spaces

6x Floorcans

4x robe 575 xt spot

4x Martin Roboscan 812


Fat Frog


Venue capacity is 400-800 people, 8mx6x stage, rectangular truss over stage on manfrottos. White Gauze cyc thing (never used anything but black drapes - im looking forward to this but nervous about reflected ambient light.)


I have some ideas about where to rig lights and general looks but what would you do with the fixtures in this situation? color choice bearing in mind there are only 16 PARs in the truss? I am also thinking of putting 3 bars upstage and just one downstage with some side lighting at the front of the stage to light up faces, leaving more PARs for backlighting.




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Guest lightnix

Hi Ed and welcome to the Blue Room :angry:


This is a subject that comes up quite often in the forums. Click here for an old post of mine, which links to the main "FAQ threads" and lies in a very good discussion on the use of colour.


Happy reading. If you have any further questions which aren't answered by those threads, please feel free to ask :angry:


:angry: And the same goes for anyone else thinking of adding to this thread :angry: :angry:


EDIT: Nice little rig, by the way - I could have a lot of fun with that and the right kind of music :angry:

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With regard to colour choice for the PAR 64s, have you considered hiring/buying in a few colour scrollers for them? I saw a supergrass gig recently, with a similarly specified rig to the one you describe, but its versatility was greatly extended through the use of scrollers on the parcans.


Of course, doing the above depends on how flexible (if at all) your kit list is.



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I'd say your rig sounds good enough, maybe a few more pars but I'd suggest sticking the robes on the floor, the Roboscans up in the rig and parcans vertically/horizontally hung from the back of the stage to make the place really rock!!! Direct side lighting from pars say 3 on each side looks wicked too and colour wise, well think about what your moving lights can produce where the colours might not be needed in parcans (eg pars could be cyan, red, blue and orange and your movers any colour including magenta, uv, green, o/w, yellow etc.).


(p.s all depending if you have flexible rigging angles of course!)

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Personally I'd put the 4x 4way Par 64 bars on a backlight position with 3 or 4 colours in, just to light the stage in basic colour washes. A frost or silk might help here, also look at colours with relatively high transmission rates if your using CP88 500w lamps. Some of the Lee 700 series colours give nice saturated colours at surprisingly good transmission rates (L716 is a favourite of mine for this very application!).


I'd have the Robe 575xt's up in the rig too, maybe 2 on the backlight position and 2 coming in from a upstage side position - this could be handy if you want to light up the white gauze with various effects.


I'd have the Roboscan 812s on the floor, just dotting around the backline to help give a bit of depth from the floor level (if you can have them positioned so the mirrors can hit the gauze, as well as doing backlit-on-the-band looks then that'd be another tool in your arsenal), which leaves the floorcans - I don't know how many is in the band, but if it's vox, guitar and bass along the front I'd use 2 cans per performer with a warm (L154 is my favourite here) and cold (L200 again a favourite) which you can then use at low intensities to highlight people.




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My opinion would be to:


- Put a bar FOH with Hot, Cold and Red/orange. (rigged)


- Put two bars across the back (one L and the other R) with various colours in; such as yellow, green and purple. (rigged)


- Put a bar centrally across the back (usually over drum kit) with frosts in, perhaps focussed at the back of lead vocals giving you the classic rock 'n' roll beam effect. (rigged)


- Put the scans either FOH or centre stage for moving gobos etc. (or go two FOH and two centre stage)(rigged)

Personally I would create some sort of chase for the scans to be focussed on the drummer for that drum solo or whatever.


- Put two Robes on the drum riser (if you have one) then put another two SR and SR in a central stage position. Putting these here means you could point them in the air and have them changing colour or twist them around and have them on the cyc. (on floor)


- Put the floorcans in front of mic stands etc. (on floor)


£0.02 or have I been watching TOTP/X Factor too much??

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A few things occured to me here.


Firstly, (as previously mentioned) power availability. Are these venues commonly staging 'rock' bands - ie. are they on the 400-800 cap venue circuit. If they are then they will hopefully have adequate power, but would they not also have in-house lamps? If so, then you probably don't need (or won't be able to fit) the pars. If they are not then they probably won't have the required power :angry:


So, make sure you have various power jumpers so that you can use anything from 13A through to 63A three-phase. I run 700cap with 5x63A single and 2x63A 3-phase, but I have nothing smaller!


Secondly, stage height (& clearance). It is common practice for bands touring lamps at this level (which is very rare!) to run 6xmoving heads, a couple of strobes and maybe some LED or general floor stuff. Whilst the argument as to what is or is not appropriate is wholly down to your musical style, the placement of moving heads or LED's on stages that are lower than 4' high is pointless IMO as they will only be visible by the front row of the audience. If your stages are 4' high then fine, but otherwise I would fly any movers.


Regarding colours again this totally depends on your music. I think it's an impossible question except to say that 4x4K symetrical washes is the way I would go with 16.


I would suggest trying to get venue specs in advance & work out what is required and what is workable. I have 32K rear, 12K sides, 10x movers, profiles, blinders, ACL's, LED. I am crazy I know, but if you're coming to me then pls just bring the floors and a dimmer :angry:

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... If they are then they will hopefully have adequate power, but would they not also have in-house lamps? ... It is common practice for bands touring lamps at this level...


[pedant] What use are all those lamps without any lanterns to put them in? [/pedant] :angry:


But good point. It's possible that (depending on venue) that venue stock will take care of all your conventional needs. It might even be self-scaling - they're likely to have lanterns to suit their power and stage sizes.

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As for power - the venues are very different and have different specs - we go from 63A 3 phase right down to a whole bunch of 13A sockets on single 30A circuit. Obviously for those gigs the lighting will be on a smaller level and I won't be striking all the fixtures at once! - we have a production manager and a great electrician with us and we have all the venue specs so that shouldnt be a problem if we do our maths and work out how many PARs we can use at once!


I am quite keen on getting the Robes up in the truss, maybe 2 upstage and 2 downstage enough to flood the back gauze if possible, leaving the 4 roboscans on the floor (4') or a little higher on stands doing backlighting duties behind the backline and adding depth. I have found a few more pars and dimmers for the bigger venues so I will employ those as extra downstage sidelighting for the band members leaving the 4x4 bars up in the truss, 3 upstage and 1 downstage upgraded to 6 cans doing front washes. the headlining band HATE having pars at their feet so I will probably put 4 around the kit and another 2 as upstage sidelighting.



I am very much aware that we have 500W and not 1K Pars, however I would really like some deep saturated color washes that still punch - looking at L176 blue, L325 or L735Green, L106 or L026 Red, some orange, and maybe a 1/4 or 1/2 CT tungsten to daylight blue to get our white 500W looking a bit less yellow. I have a budget for colors and already have lots of common primaries and light blue, green etc so what would be worth trying in this context since I have money to play with? The tour is for 3 artists/Bands, a Funk/Rock/Metal band, www.dweebmusic.co.uk a rather well known Trance DJ called Andy Hunter (matrix/tomb raider/ballistic/italian job/national treasure soundtracks) and headlining a pop/rock electro tinged band. www.steverock.com


aggh I forgot - we also have video!! - a 12x9 screen right in the centre upstage above/behind the drummer. I am used to lighting gigs with this and am now quite competent at keeping light off it but if anyone has any cool ideas about fixture placement that would be great. As I said, I am keen on keeping the roboscans off the truss as I dont find them that useful up there and they work really well at punching through backlighting to give depth.



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