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Matt Adams
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Madison, AL
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Hey guys, I'm new to the lighting field and want some input. Most of my gigs consist of church stages. Some of the smaller to medium-sized churches do not have very good lighting for magic. It's basically house lights and a couple floods on the stage. Very bright and makes IT work impossible even with my mylar backdrop. Here's what I'm considering:

http://www.activemusician.com/item--MC.SC4PKG

The description says:
Powerful portable lighting system includes (2) IC4 stage lighting modules. Each has 4 bright 300 watt lamps powering red, yellow, blue and green dichroic glass filters. Built-in dimmers. Includes color-mix controller with 9 pre-programmed color combinations, master dimmer, chase and manual color-mixing. Includes 4-pedal easy foot controller, 2 tripod stands and cables.

Please spare the abuse as I ask the oh-so generic, "Will this work for me?" Smile I plan to set these up, one on either side of my performance space, and position them as close to the McCandless method as I can. I also plan to use ONLY these to light the stage and have the house lights turned completely off. I may purchase a follow-spot too, if necessary. Advice?

Thoughts on this system and on my idea?
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Matthew W
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New York
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Musicians Friend has a programmable system for $500 that has 8 par cans, two tree stands and a truss bar. With the included board you can program different light shows, and I believe even program moving fixtures.
-Matt
sb
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I would just suggest seeing them in person somewhere. Check the local guitar shops to see if they have a demo unit. Then when checking it out, just be careful, when you look at demo lights(kinda like when you look at the demo video... when aimed at the camera and aimed at a white wall, the colors look bright and rich), the room is usually pretty dark, and they shine the lights onto a wall, etc.... have the guy working there stand in the light, and have him about as far away as you will plan to be, and then see if he looks good in the light.

Other than that, if it is a total of 8 300 watt lamps, and it looks to be extremely easy to set up.....

(check out tomssound.com they are in Birmingham, he has some used LED fixtures)
Matt Adams
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Madison, AL
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Matthew W - Does the setup allow for mounting the PARs on the tree stand without the truss? I cannot use the truss. Additionally, they don't come with gels (which isn't a big deal). Strange that this doesn't give me a wattage ... am I missing it?

Done that, sb. Only looked at one guitar place so far, but need to see some more. The lights they had on hand were decent, but don't dim. Is a dimmer something you can add to any setup? Thanks for the link to the B'ham guy. I'll check him out.
Website: www.MattAdamsMagic.com

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Matthew W
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I believe you can mount them on the trees. I would give them a call. I don't own it, but have been looking at it for a while. Not enough shows calling for my own lights right now.
-Matt
Matt Adams
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Madison, AL
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Looks a bit more "work" than the system I was looking at. I want portability for sure. That is number one right now for me. And the reviews were decent, but not as much light as some were hoping which makes me wonder why exactly they didn't list a wattage in the description. I'm sure there's a good reason it's only 500 bucks. Smile
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hugmagic
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I know of one guy that might give you some practical advice. Try Joe Eddy Fairchild. He is an old touring guy and can probably give you some ideas.

They might be LED lights. The are ok for accent colors but no for the main lighting.

Richard
Richard E. Hughes, Hughes Magic Inc., 352 N. Prospect St., Ravenna, OH 44266 (330)296-4023
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email-hugmagic@raex.com
Write direct as I will be turning off my PM's.
sb
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Check out Chauvet 4bar.

I saw these in a shop here, they seemed bright enough for small stages. I have also seen them used for a small band in a bar. They are not bright enough to cover a normal stage, but may be good enough for small stages or banquet rooms. (good enough for wash lighing, probably not good enough to act as a "spot light")
Matt Adams
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Thanks for the lead, Richard.

Too small for me, sb. I need it to cover larger stages for medium-sized (and even sometimes large-sized) churches without their own theater lighting.

Posted: Sep 21, 2011 8:49am
Anyone else have some things to add for me? I was hoping for some of you "top-dog" lighting guys to weigh in.
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hugmagic
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I have thought about a few things you should be ready to answer when talking to people about this...
How big is the area you need to light? Do you need any gels or colors? What power will will you have available and need to run these lights? What is the set up area like (height, space, etc.)? How do you need to control the lights (lightboard, manual or computerized)? What are your packing and setting needs? What kind of footprint can you have for light stands or control booth?

I understand you answered some of these questions partially above but you will really need to determine a good detailed general requirement for anyone to intelligently give you and answer.

I know you will not be able to find the perfect system but you should be able to come up with something the should satisfy most of your needs.

I would think that two trees with 4-8 instruments per tree set at 45 degress from the stage would give you a good wash. Gelling the lights would add some depth to the lighting and keep you from washing out.

Richard
Richard E. Hughes, Hughes Magic Inc., 352 N. Prospect St., Ravenna, OH 44266 (330)296-4023
www.hughesmagic.com
email-hugmagic@raex.com
Write direct as I will be turning off my PM's.
Matt Adams
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Ah, got a BIT more research to do. Been reading a lot online about lighting and setups. Haven't come to the part about gels and the point yet. Thought it was just for color changes. Haven't learned about any "depth" variations coming from gels...

I can answer all those questions:

1) I need to light a performance space about 20 feet wide by maybe 15 feet deep.
2) Yes I need gels/colors and the ability to dim
3) I will have standard wall outlets that you'd find in a standard church auditorium.
4) MY setup is that I have a 15 foot backdrop that is ~9 feet high. I want lighting to extend past my backdrop for some possible stage decoration as well. Plus I move back and forth during my performance and I'm sure I pass the backdrop width. I typically perform on church stages so this is my standard "setup."
5) I am open to suggestions on lighting control. It might be nice to just use a foot pedal, but I might also want the option to have someone else use a cue card and control it from the back of the venue. Regarding actual controllers...I don't know enough to decide. Main point is that it shouldn't be a hoss. I need it to be extremely portable with the main features being I can select a mixture or individual colors and dim.
6) As portable as possible. I can sacrifice portability to meet my needs...but obviously I want it to fit on the head of a pin, if that pin-head system would fill my requirements.
7) Footprint - Doesn't matter so much. They will be just set on the sides of my stage. Probably won't have a control booth.

That should do it. Yes, I agree with your assessment of the two trees. I need to go look up some info now on gels providing depth. Thanks for your clarifying questions and continued help.
Website: www.MattAdamsMagic.com

Twitter/Instagram: @mattadamsmagic

Facebook: www.facebook.com/illusionistmattadams
Matt Adams
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Madison, AL
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Well, looks like I won't get my questions answered here. I'll need to ask some specific gurus instead of posting in an open forum. Smile Bummer. Thanks anyway guys (and thanks to those who helped).
Website: www.MattAdamsMagic.com

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ClintonMagus
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You can get some fairly inexpensive standalone DMX controllers that will allow for several "scenes" to be programmed.

As for stage lighting basics, a Google search on "stage lighting basics" will turn up a huge amount of useful information. One that I have used quite a bit is:

http://www.stagelightingprimer.com/index......e.html&1

It covers fixtures, colors, color mixing, a lots of other stuff.
Things are more like they are today than they've ever been before...
PCoreyB
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Matt:

If you have specific questions, PM me and I'll be glad to give you my 2 cents. I toured for 17 years with all my own lighting and sound. Currently I work at a church in Florida as a staff pastor and am in charge of the media production. I designed and installed all the lighting in our sanctuary, children's church and youth room. I've also consulted for several churches that were installing or upgrading systems and work daily with intelligent lighting, led lighting and conventional lighting.

If you ask 100 different people I'm sure you'll get 100 different answers but since I worked primarily in churches, I think I know what you're up against.

Let me know!

Corey
Ekuth
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Matt; this is a little off beat, but after reading through and especially if you're a DIY type, you may find some knowledge/inspiration here:

http://www.doityourselfchristmas.com

It's a forum devoted to computerized christmas light displays, but the controlling software and hardware is incredibly flexible, inexpensive and could easily be adapted to run not only light but sound as well. I do a christmas display myself, so I can attest to it working really well. Many of the controllers can run DMX, ect... heck there's even an Ardino (sp?) app to run it from your cell phone.

Once I get larger, this will likely be the route I take.

Like I said, might seem a tad odd, but could easily be cross-purposed for magic lighting/sound/effects as well.

Good luck!
"All you need is in Fitzkee."
Matt Adams
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Madison, AL
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Thx for the extra input guys! PM sent to Corey.
Website: www.MattAdamsMagic.com

Twitter/Instagram: @mattadamsmagic

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