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  • Episode 30 – How Do I Decide What To Do With The Lights At Any Given Moment?

 August 21

by LearnStageLighting.com

This week on Episode 30 we dive in on what you can with lights on stage.

While you’re working with a live band or programming the show ahead of time what should you do with the lights? In this Episode, we’ll help guide you on how to approach certain songs and what to do with your lighting.

If you’re new here, I have a Quiz that will help me send you a customized Guide on getting started with Lighting: FREE Guide @ LearnStageLighting.com/quiz.

Lighting News (0:30)

The Latest in Lighting News this week is that Elation has announced the new name of their console and software: ONYX by Obsidian.

Everyone that is working with Elation is really excited for the updates and new features that the team wants to implement. Be sure to stay tuned!

Main Segment (2:30)

This week we’re going to talk about what to do next with your lights. Whether you’re programming a show ahead of time or working with your lights Live.

How Do You Decide What to do with the Lights next?

If you’re running lights Live you’re most likely thinking “What can I do to make the lights unique or interesting?” Last week we covered what Dynamic Range is for the stage. To learn more on this topic and how you can use it for your stage be sure to check out Last Week’s Episode.

Episode 29 – What is Dynamic Range in Stage Lighting?

How Do You Decide What is the Best to do for a Song?

One of the best ways to prepare yourself is to try to get a Set List or song list before the show starts. Or if you’ve worked with the Band in the past or just taking a moment to get there suggestions. However, you decide to approach this you can prepare yourself ahead of time for each song.

For fast songs, you normally want the stage to bright. When a slower song, or part of the song, come on you’ll want to have the stage darker. Using more subtle colors such as Blue, Purple or Pinks would be ideal.

What is Easy?

Solos would be easier because you can just focus the lights on them. Highlighting the singer or any main event on stage would be done with white lights.

What is NOT Easy!

One of the tougher challenges in lighting is working with mid-tempo songs and choosing colors. When you have a band that is playing 3 – 4 mid-tempo songs you want to do is to make the colors look different as well as limiting it to 2 color looks per song.

Color is so powerful on stage and you don’t want to overuse it. When working with 2 colors per song, you can change the position, pattern, etc. Then, when the next song comes on you can use different colors.

Sometimes, listening to the meaning of the song you can relate the lyrics and cues that may relate to a certain color.

Working with IFCB

Normally, when I am looking to make a change in my lighting I refer to IFCB, my four-letter formula that I use: IFCB –  Intensity, Focus, Color, and Beam. This topic was covered in a previous episode, you can see the show here: Episode 21 – The 4 Letter Formula I Use to Make Great Lighting Design

We just covered color but I like to use Intensity. Depending on your console and setup you can have the Intensity options set up so that you can use Intensity to match what the Band is doing.

You can also use Focus to your advantage. Whether it’s on the stage or even on the audience. Some ways to keep it fresh on your stage is to use different lights.  Keeping certain ones off and others on, then switching it when a new song comes on.

Beam is another great tool. For some songs, you can be really heavy with the Gobos, even add some Prisms. On other songs, you might not use anything at all and just leave it full Gobos. This option is great for the more simple songs.

Lastly, using Effects on stage. During a slow or chill song don’t use Effects. Keep the stage calm and give the audience a break. We do this because when there is a strong song you can bring in the effects and it makes it that much more powerful.

In Lighting, there are no rules which sometimes makes it harder to teach. Learning to run lights is a hands-on experience and the more you work with lights the better you will get at it.

Closing (18:10)

I hope you learned something today in how to feel out a show and what to do with your lighting. Making small changes in your lighting is what will make your show shine.

If you’re new here, I have a Quiz that will help me send you a customized Guide on getting started with Lighting: FREE Guide @ LearnStageLighting.com/quiz.

In next week’s show, we’ll be discussing LED Tapes and Pixels.

From the ground level, we will be covering what is LED Tape, what are LED pixels, how do you Interface it with your console, how to program it, and so much more! There will be a lot of information, so you won’t want to miss it.

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