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  • Chris Loyd: Picking the Right DJ Lighting Controller

 November 26

by LearnStageLighting.com

Learn Stage Lighting Podcast Episode # 84

This week on the podcast we’re excited to have Chris Loyd from Loyded Productions as a guest on this week’s episode. We’re going to discuss how Chris got started as a DJ, his career, and how to pick the right controller.

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Main Segment (1:40)

David – So, to fill people in. You had started using ONYX and previously you had worked with a basic analog controller.

Chris – Yes, I had started with an ADJ WLC16. It was a good controller and came with a memory card. For myself, it was a good controller to get familiar with the basics. I learned how to control light, program scenes, and building a chase.

After learning how to use the console I noticed the time consumption and the struggle of getting the scenes to transition smoothly. I wanted to be able to do more with my moving lights and I had found some instructions on how to get my lights to do a wave look.

When I started programming my moving light I realized I had run out of room on my console and it was with just one moving head. At that moment I decided I would need a more advanced console and system that could get the lights to do what I wanted.

After doing some research and talking to others I was convinced that I could learn how to use ONYX. For my setup, I have one windows unit for my lighting console and another windows unit for my sound control. When trying to install ONYX, I started having issues with the program being recognized on the computer.

David – Unfortunately, that has been an issue with ONYX the past couple of years is with installation issues. If you’re working on a computer that has a bunch of programs on it, it doesn’t always play nice with other programs. Whereas if you had a computer that didn’t have a lot on it, ONYX would most likely run well on it.

So, because of that, you decided to work with Sound Switch and you used Virtual DJ now. Does that work with Sound Switch directly?

Chris – Yes, what it does is you have to have these files with music inside of my Virtual DJ library. Then, I go into Sound Switch, go to Edit because you’re building the show, then you go to select the music that you want to program. Once you do this just double click to start working with a song, click automation, set different settings, and generates a light show for you.

David – Yes, I’ve seen some examples when working with Sound Switch. From looking at your Facebook page it looks like you have a few lights to work with but it’s not a complex setup. So, when you’re now working with many lights it does make more sense to work with Sound Switch.

Chris – Right, for my setup I work the lightbar, ADJ UV12H, and 2 ADJ Focus Spot. That currently what I am using with Sound Switch. When you press play in Sound Switch it will play the automation it has set up for your lights and music.

David – Okay, that’s very cool and works better than sound activated in my opinion. What do you do for songs that aren’t in your library?

Chris – I haven’t worked with Sound Switch very long but this is what I’ve gathered. I use the fader on the DJ controller I was creating motion with the moving heads and changing the colors. So, basically it can go into a sound activation mode.

David – That’s something I run into a lot is with DJs is they think that ONYX is the best way to go because the pros use it. But everyone’s situation and set up is different. It just shows when looking at different lighting consoles is that there’s not one console that is right for everyone.

Did you start as DJ about 10 years ago?

Chris – I did, I started with a company as a DJ and we did karaoke, small bars, parties, and so on. Then, I moved more into pool parties and larger gatherings. With each show came more experience and eventually I was doing weddings. I originally started as a stand-up comedian, then I became a father. I had a friend that offered some side work for karaoke and such.

The set up wasn’t a typical DJ setup. I had a desktop computer, amplifier, wires everywhere. It did not look professional at all. Eventually, piece by piece I started getting my own gear.

David – So, at point did you start getting into lights?

Chris – Honestly, it was almost right away. I love working with lights and being able to do different things with them. My first light was a pair of mini deckers from ADJ. I always enjoyed buying a couple of lights for each style. I did steer away from moving heads but after a while, I did get more interested in moving lights.

David – That’s great and I’m glad that you found a software that makes sense for you. What I’ve seen is that DJs or bands find a software that works but as they grow and add more lights they find themselves trying to figure out where to go next with their console.

Chris – Right! I did like working with ONYX, just the issue of getting it to work on my computer. But I am very happy with Sound Switch and does what I need it to do. They have a customer service rep that I deal with and he does a great job.

David – I wanted to ask, how does this setup work for your clients? Do you get any feedback or comments?

Chris – I would say it does enhance the show, especially with the slower songs. So, it does help to know how to program with certain parts of the song. When you’re able to synchronize your lights to bring the best out of the music, the audience is very happy. You can’t do that when working with a sound active software.

David – That’s what it is all about. Is enjoying what you do, learning as you go, putting on a good show so that you can have those customers come back again.

Closing (33:30)

Thank you very much for tuning in and we hope you enjoyed the interview today. Be sure to stay tuned for our next episode. See you then!

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