July 2

by LearnStageLighting.com

Learn Stage Lighting Podcast Episode # 71

This week on the podcast is our Q+A Tuesday and we will be answering your questions! We’ll be covering a variety of topics today such as the Dylos, LED’s, and the $1000 lighting rig challenge!

Lighting News! (0:52)

I was excited to see the new Obsidian pixel mapper, Dylos in action. It is scheduled to come out later this year and there’s been some great anticipation for this new product.

What I do like about Obsidian is that they don’t rush things, they make sure it’s a quality product. I was able to test and create effects with little direction in Dylos. With Dylos you can have video and animations which is what people were wanting.

The past few weeks I’ve mentioned the podcast and YouTube videos going a different direction. I have officially launched the Learn Stage Lighting Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/learnstagelighting

My goal for Learn Stage Lighting is to continue creating great content and tutorials to those who want to make great lighting. While I do offer Learn Stage Lighting Labs I’ve discovered that it’s not for everyone. So, with this patreon it allows those who want to help Learn Stage Lighting grow and continue to keep focused on helping others learn how to make great stage lighting.

Main Segment (10:15)

A couple of weeks ago I was at a trade show and I was able to see the new Dylos in action. Some people had mentioned how great it was that I get to see manufacturer’s demos in person.

In the beginning stages of my career, I wasn’t always able to go to trade shows as I do now. But what I did learn was building relationships with local dealers of my preferred brand of equipment.

If you are wanting to catch demos I highly recommend getting in touch with local dealers that carry the brands your interested in and let them know that you would be interested in seeing any new demos from certain brands. More than likely the dealers will be more than happy to share with you when manufacturers send over to them.

Now how do you watch manufacturer’s demo videos and not get carried away?

A couple of things I want you to remember. First, always remember that the manufacturer is going to be in control of the environment. Meaning, if they are showcasing new lights they may be using haze to help the lights stand out more. But do you use haze on your stage? What are your capabilities?

Another thing to think about is what is the brightness of the room? Some manufacturers will show the lights in an extremely dark room to have the lights seem brighter. But what does your space look like? What is the environment you would be working in?

Lastly, consider the quality control. What is the warranty on the item? Be sure to consider the quality and the reviews for the product.

Terry Follow-Up (21:29): I had a question for you, is it possible to run LED strips, tape or even pixel tape wireless thru DMXIS/Abelton Live. We would like to be able to eliminate any main wires going to each light but do not know if it is even possible. We know you can do it with LED bars/pars and other lighting but not if you can with LED strips etc. If you can what is the best way to accomplish this and what equipment would you need? We appreciate your feedback and input, thank you so much!

The best thing you can do is to purchase a product that is designed to do this. An inexpensive piece is from Chauvet that is cheaper but it looks okay: Freedom Chauvet Stick Pack

Another option to consider is a more professional approach and these are what the pros use. They are built well and they look great: Astera AX1 Wireless PixelTube Both units are wireless and they are rechargeable. You can run these in a lower channel mode.

But someone with DMXIS I would recommend doing just standard LED tape. To make this work you will need 12 volt LED Driver, something similar to Smart Show’s pixel driver that is able to do pixels wirelessly.

To do this LED a non-pixel is building your own box with a wireless DMX receiver, a battery to power the receiver as well as the pixel driver, and the LED itself. It’ll be a lot of work and frustration so buying something already put together may be easier for you.

Rachel (27:22): A few years ago I purchased Sunlite Suite 2 and I really enjoyed using it. I wanted to know if you have any information to renew me about this product, do you use this product and if you have any new ideas for creating special shows with this device I would love to know more!
I really enjoyed your interesting site!

I don’t actually cover this product or the brand that makes them because I have found people that didn’t have a good experience with them. But if this works for you and you like the products then you may want to go with it.

I will suggest checking out some of my articles that focus on the artistic side of lighting and I’m sure you can really gather a lot of information from it. One of my more popular articles is How to Run Lights Live to Music.

While I may not be familiar with that brand of consoles you can still use resources from Learn Stage Lighting and apply those techniques to your lighting.

Kathy (30:05): Nice to get “learn stage lighting” from facebook. From it, we can get it you are very professional in lighting, especially in stage lighting. Great! Recently, we have a question making us puzzled: what kind of xlr cable for different lighting? Can the microphone cable be applied for the stage lighting, DJ lighting, or audio mixer lighting?

Could you give us some advice and in detail to choose different cable for a different use, maybe?

I’ve covered this topic before and actually discuss more it in this article: Can You Use Microphone Cables for Lighting? 

Personally, I’ve covered this a lot and you don’t want to use microphone cables instead of DMX cables. When you are adding more fixtures and running them longer you will most likely run into more issues.

If you want to purchase one type of cable that will work for multiple areas then I do suggest getting a DMX or ESK cable because these cables are universal. It will be more expensive than audio cable but it is reliable and will work for different things.

Ali (32:20): I just want to ask about the cables of the stuff that I use. I never did it before so literally, I don’t know what to do or how it’s done so I hope that you email me back and let me know if I need a laptop or just cables and so. Ps: I’m going to use it in TEDx event so it’s really important to me. I hope that you respond, really I do. 

At the most basic level, you have lights that take DMX and you need to be able to control them. To control the lights you need a console or software to control them. How Do I Choose My First Lighting Console?

Depending on what you find is the best fit for you, you will either start with a stand-alone console or software on your computer. From the console, you will then need DMX cables to go out of the console and into the first DMX output on the light. Then, from the DMX output you’ll run a cable to the next light, the next light, and so on.

Next, you’ll need to set the DMX address on each light. You’ll want to check the manuals for your console on how to do this. Once this is done you should have control over your lights.

Cody (34:50): My name is Cody, and I’ve been watching a lot of your videos for quite some time now and really appreciate all you do. I have a small rig like the one you build in your newest “under $1000 rig” video. I use DMXis and control everything via an AKAI acp mini sending midi to ableton to dmxis.
No one I’ve asked this question seems to have an answer that works for me, so I was wondering if you had some insight into what a possible solution could be.
My problem is: I can’t figure out how to make “bumps.” ie. a preset is running and I need it to blackout when I press a button, but only momentarily, and not affect the rest of the preset that is currently running. Also, not have to press my bump and then subsequently have to press whichever preset was playing beforehand again to return to the normal state.  I had been using DMXis in standalone mode, and the “learn” feature was working for this, let’s say by learning all intensity faders to the same midi note. Preset running, press and hold said learned note, and then it would just flick the fader on, then immediately off once the note is released. 
I cannot for the life of me figure out how to make this concept work while running DMXis as a VST.  Am I missing something? Is there a workaround? 
Channel masking doesn’t seem to be providing the desired results because it requires me to re-press the note of my original preset in order to… un-bump.. for lack of a better term. Any input you have would be greatly appreciated and again thank you for your time and everything you do.

How Can You Build a Lighting Rig for $1000? (LIGHTING CHALLENGE)

Channel masking might be part of the solution but it’s giving you exactly what you are looking for.

DMXIS is designed to run live or to be fully sequenced with a program like Ableton. In Ableton, you can assign a cue a clip that is activated and then deactivates when you press the button again. But you’ll always need to set a cue in DMXIS to turn “off” what lights you turned on.

Drew (40:24): Hey, man loved your $1000 lighting challenge video had a couple questions about the front par lights and dimmer pack. I noticed there are 8 plug inputs on the dimmer box does that mean it can have 8 lights plugged into it? Also, the front par lights you had in the description on Amazon for $25 would those work for a stage setting and how bright are they. Also if you have any recommendations for those kinds of stage lights that are led would be awesome. Looking forward to hearing back 🙂

Yes, you can plug 8 lights into the dimmer packs but it’s all about the electricity. There is a maximum amount of wattage these dimmers are rated for. As long as it doesn’t exceed the rated wattage you can operate as many lights as you want.

The brightness is 120-watt lamp that you can find in a hardware store. It is bright and it can light well in a dark room. It does depend on what type of room or environment you are working with.

I didn’t mention any LED’s is because you won’t get a quality white LED light for that price range. If you are looking for an LED you may want to consider checking out the Eliminator Mini Par RGBW Review and see if this might work for your setup.

Closing (44:40)

If you’ve been watching my latest videos on YouTube you may have noticed I am doing more productions and lighting challenges. These do take more time and cost but I enjoy creating this type of content because it brings value to my followers.

As I mentioned earlier in the podcast I have officially launched the Patreon for Learn Stage Lighting. I do hope you will check it out because the proceeds from this will help close the gap for me to start building the best free content for stage lighting.

Be sure to tune into next week’s episode as we talk about moving lights and how to use them on stage for more than just lights in motion. We will see you then!

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