So, first of all, I am a concert sound tech turned lighting. I've been learning by buying and doing, and while that's been all well and good for providing and operating equipment for different events, it's a slow learning process and doesn't open me up to a wide range of equipment and concepts. So, it's time to take my education to a new level, and - just like in the past - that may come from diving in head first.
I used to tour as FOH for a band and now I may have a shot at going back on the road with them as LD. I know the songs, have gear to rent/sell to them, and can probably design and run a pretty decent show. My only concerns are regarding interfacing with existing house systems. They do mainly medium size clubs with the occasional tiny rooms with terrible gear and also large (2-3000) venues with great gear and professional house crew. So, what is the SOP in bringing a partial lighting rig and controller? I know with audio it's usually just a case of unplugging the house console and patching the snake into the band mixer, but is that typical on the lighting side?
For the smaller shows where they're running only a few dimmer channels it would probably make sense to swap out the consoles, but what about the venues that are running hundreds of channels of DMX devices? Do I use their console for the house rig and mine for the touring rig? There's usually not a whole lot of time for patching and programming, so maybe switching consoles isn't the best thing. And there's always the opening acts, which the house LD would be running.
Another question, as I don't fully understand the "universe" concept. DMX addresses can repeat across multiple universes, correct? So in this case I would maybe patch the house pars into one universe and then the band rig into another? Then I would never have to worry about DMX addressing as long as each independent universe was assigned properly, correct?
Thanks for your help on these seemingly basic questions. I'm really enjoying the lighting world, just wish I had gotten into it sooner. I am definitely behind the curve, and with over a decade of audio experience it's a bit frustrating at times to basically be starting over.