August 27


Learn Stage Lighting Podcast Episode # 77

This week on the podcast we are answering your questions! We have a wide variety of topics and some great discussions.

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Main Segment (5:33):

Questions are submitted through the contact form on Learn Stage Lighting. If you have a question you would like to share be sure to submit it here, Contact Form.

Tim (5:36): I run lights for a local small town theatre and we do lots of kids musicals where we need lights to change when an audio track is played. I currently use ADJ my dmx 3 to play my audio and lights together. It works great for this but it can be a little buggy and has crashed a few times. Overall it is good but I’ve been looking to swap to Onyx but I don’t want to have to try to trigger a lighting “GO” and audio track “GO” at the same time. In Onyx is there a way to put a midi command in a lighting cue in a cue list to send a go command to another software to play an audio track when the lighting cue is played?

Unfortunately, I have heard that about the ADJ MyDMX crashing and it’s known for having issues. If you are wanting to learn more about triggering lights we do actually have an action plan within Learn Stage Lighting Labs called Automatic and Live.

Onyx does not output MIDI commands but what it does do is receive a MIDI command. Meaning you can have your console set up to have your audio triggering MIDI, MIDI triggering a specific node, and can be set up in ONYX as a macro. You can read more about this works on the Obsidian website and be sure to look up the cuelist macros.

There are some great programs that you can use such QLab which has a rent option which may be a great fit for what you do.

Adam (10:00): Hi, I had left a message on your YouTube video regarding Stage Light Company’s products you did a few years ago. Since the video is older you may not see that so I thought I would send you a message on here. 

How would you compare their Pro Par Hex 12 to Chauvet DJ Slim PAR Pro H, and ADJ’s 12 P Hex fixtures? On paper they all 3 seem to be close competitors. I do have Stage Light Companies. Pix bar pro Hex fixtures and they are great. 

Just trying to feel out whether the $90 Price increase of the Chauvet or ADJ would be worthwhile or wasted money. Alternatively, I could just save more and try and find some used Elation Sixpar 300’s or 200’s .

Although these units do have some variations but to see them in person you’ll quickly see that there isn’t much of a difference between them all. In my personal opinion, I would rather have a good RGB unit that can make a lot of colors than go with a cheap unit because it has white and amber.

Companies like Stage Light Companies and Chauvet actually import these units from a company oversees. Eventually, Chauvet and Stage Light Companies will own a factory here or contact out their lights to be made here with quality control. But what I do like about Stage Light Companies is that since they don’t do a lot of marketing their overhead and prices are lower.

Companies ADJ and Chauvet are great and they have a full support team and offer great customer service. But the cost of the units will be more. I would say if you are already working with Stage Light Companies products you probably want to stay with the same brand units. You won’t see that much of a difference between all of the brands.

Steve (14:45): I need some suggestion on a FREE 3D visualizer that I can use to help our Pastor and Worship Leader see what can be done with Onyx. I intend to use Capture with the implementation of Onyx (if approved). I need something better than Lumimair to be able to set up consistent, sharp lighting for a contemporary/alternative worship as it just is not designed for light weight to mid weight theatrical work. For an idea what we have at moment: 10 EVE-100z (White front wash), 4 Chauvet Stealth Zoom Wash (motionable color wash for stage/back spotting), 12 Chauvet SlimPar RGBs (6 across back wall and 2 per side on side walls of stage). We have on hand but unhung 4 Arena Q7s, 3 DP-415 Dimmers, and a pile of Par 32s from the church that did a turn key sale to us. 

While we are approaching the 3rd anniversary of the church’s plant in this coming January. Professional Church Planting consultants have ALL told us we are not growing as a typical plant. We are very aware of the flash-in-the-pan risks to a plant and are so far, amazingly blessed in avoiding them. Typical Sunday attendance is currently between 500-600. Any suggestions on a free visualizer are GREATLY appreciated. I do I.T. for a living, so if someone can code it, I can figure out use.

There’s a couple of options I would recommend looking at. One of the units is Capture and it has a demo version that you test and get familiar with it.

Another visualizer you can try is the Chamsys MagicQ which is a free unit as well. When it comes to visualizers it is hard to find a good visualizer without paying for it.

Willie (19:19): I’m considering getting a DMXis interface and Ableton Live Lite to run my diy light rig, it seems so simple to use and quick to set up. one basic question thought before buying the unit: is this a good option for controlling lights with a live band that doesn’t use click tracks? most of the tutorials I see involve automated light shows and I will definitely be using to follow along with a live band that can be a bit unpredictable. 
any suggestions you have on this path would be greatly appreciated! I’m still learning onyx but I have another tour coming up soon and I thought DMXis would be a good tool to go ahead and get some control over my moving lights and build some cool scenes with the moving lights and pars. 

Absolutely, you can definitely use DMXis on its own and they do have a footswitch, or you can fire them off on the screen, or even using a MIDI Controller. While DMXis was designed to be used with other programs it can definitely be a stand-alone if that’s what you need.

Dominic (21:35): I wanted to ask you if you have any experience with the ADJ Par Z Move or the ADJ z Move RGBW. I’m thinking about buying these for our Church. The Truss is about 10m away from the Stage. We would use the ADJ Z-Move for normal front lighting.

There’s a couple of things I would consider. I would suggest looking at the photometric charts for the units you are looking at and compare them to the units you already have now.

The reason why is you want to compare the brightness for the units. I’ve seen both of the units in tradeshows and they do both look very bright as well as good units. You may want to contact you local ADJ dealer and ask about the distance for the lights and stage. But in general, it does seem like these lights would be a good unit for you.

Anthony (25:56): Hello, I’ve watched a lot of your youtube videos! Very helpful!! Thank you! I’m hoping you can answer my question. I’m working with Onyx and 2x Mac 250 Entour lights… The Entours have 2x Gobo Wheels, I know how to make presets for each gobo but I can’t figure out how to select 2 gobos at the same time when selecting presets… I can easily select 2 gobos at the same time when using the Channel Visualization thingy, but it seems like I can only select one preset at a time when selecting gobo presets. Is there a trick that you know of?

Yes, there is! In the profile for these lights, it will turn red, activate, or load the other gobo light. What you are trying to do is gobo morphing. Before you activate the preset, look at the second gobo on your encoder strip. Just right click on the second gobo and you can click load or clear. Then, when you record your preset you can layer your gobos.

Luke(30:27): For consoles what about ETC Nomad Student package? For $200 I can get two universes of output on ETC and HOG.

If you want to use ETC and HOG this is the cheapest way to get started. For me personally, I don’t feel you get the most for your money compared to ONYX. With ONYX you can get an Artnet node for $200. Then, you get 4 universes of output. I do agree that the Nomad Student Package is great and a lot of people do prefer these when working with theaters.

Travis (34:06): We are a small, private school and we’re looking for a way to color wash our backdrop for our upcoming musical. We have a large canvas drop that we’ve primed and have old parcan lights on rails. I’d like to not use gels and go for LED’s if possible, but just not sure what to get or if it’s even in the ballpark right now with our budget. We have about $3500 to spend and the backdrop space is about 20’x 20′. Any product suggestions?

Yes, I do have some ideas for this. A unit that comes in mind is the ETC ColorSource Par may be a good for what you want to do. I would recommend checking the specs and even reaching out to a local ETC Dealer and let them know what you are wanting to do. These units have a very good warranty which really makes them stand out.

DJ Rang (37:55): Hi there, I’ve been watching your LightShark Videos and wanted to see how you are still enjoying the board a year down the line? Do you use it regularly at events? I’m considering it for my Mobile Wedding rig, to run 4x Blizzard movers, a hazer, and 40 Blizzard Uplights. Do you happen to have a video if you running lights and executing sequences etc. at a show?

Inside of Learning Stage Lighting, I do actually have videos of me using the LghtShark console. I will say that I’m at a point in the business that I don’t always do events so because of this I haven’t done as many shows.

I will say that I really do like working with LightShark and I know I have students that are very happy with it.

Andrew (40:38): Using Leviton N3008 controller with 5 pin DMX cabling to FOUR K9 Bulldog LED Par 64 (RGBW) Fixtures.
Question is, does the Leviton control console have the ability to control each of the 4 LED fixtures individually? Say to have 1 fixture show red, second to show blue, third to show green, and the fourth to show white? 
If not, does it have the ability to control 2 separate fixtures as one, and then the other 2 fixtures as a second? Meaning I can have fixtures one and two show red, and then fixtures 3 and 4 show blue? 

So far I have only been able to get the Leviton console to see all the fixtures as one by setting each of the LEDs to slave mode. I have tried setting different channels and addresses on the LED fixtures, but I can not understand if the Leviton is able to see each LED fixture as its own.

These units that you are looking at were very popular and I have worked with them in the past. With this console, you do get 8 channels of universe. To get two different color scenes you need to get the units set on the channel mode. Then, with your LED Par you want to set it into the forward channel mode. Set the DMX Address for the two units that you want to come up first as address 1 and then address 5 as the second unit.

Peter (43:13): Hi David! I appreciate all the emails I’m just super busy.. basically.. I’m just trying to learn the ins and outs of stage lighting. There’s a big band that I’m friends with that has an opening to go on tour with them in March and they said if I can learn basically how to run the lights I might have a job! Where do I start?

In this case, this is when I recommend starting with Learn Stage Lighting Labs because it does help you get started with stage lighting.

There are some questions you may want to ask beforehand. Is this a band that owns it’s own lights and console? If so, it would be easier to learn the lights, how to program, etc because you’ll be working with the same units each time. But, if you are working with different venues that have their own systems there will be a steeper learning curve but it still can be done.

Devin (46:24): Love your YouTube channel. I have onyx software at my church. Someone else set it up. I want to add new fixture, to the already existing groups, I’m so lost. I have venue par 64 I’m trying to add. Can you help, please? 

I am not sure what you currently have pre-programmed and what lights you already have. The best way to do this is to look in the manual and look for a feature called, cloning inside Obsidian Support. You’ll then patch in your new light, you can clone this new light to an old light, then it’ll do what the old had done previously. But you can edit this in the future and make changes.

If you have an existing Par 64 and you want your light to match what the old unit did. To do this you can just set the light to the same DMX address with the same settings.

Closing (48:45):

Thank you very much for tuning in! As I mentioned earlier the Patreon is growing but I would love to see it grow more. Our goal is to be able to get back to four podcast episodes a month, so we would love to have you as a Patreon for Learn Stage Lighting. We appreciate all of our supporters so far!

Be sure to tune for the next episode, we look forward to seeing you there!

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