Concert Lighting

propmonkey

Well-Known Member
I'm looking for a good guide that is online that gives good examples and techniques for concert lighting. preferably something as in depth as http://www.mts.net/~william5/sld.htm but for concert lighting.
 

ship

Senior Team Emeritus
Premium Member
Concert Sound and Lighting Systems: by John Vasey; Focal Press ISBN: 0240803647; 2nd EDition ISBN: 0-240-80192-X
“Concert Sound and Lighting provides a comprehensive coverage of equipment and setup procedures for touring concert systems. This new edition will cover the latest equipment now available and will discuss other venues where these skills and technologies are being used.”

“Divided evenly between sound and lighting systems, each section concludes with an easy-to follow discussion of the setup procedures for a typical concert. Nearly 100 drawings and photographs illustrate how to use equipment properly.” IESNA #PB

Concert Lighting: Techniques, Art and Business 2nd Ed, by James L. Moody; Focal Press ISBN: 0-240-82934 This book is worth examining and buying soon... “Concert Lighting is designed to assist students and professionals in understanding the unique fixtures, structures, and special effects and design elements used in concert lighting. It includes sections on CAD, moving lights, hi-bred consoles, and concert techniques in television production.”
 

propmonkey

Well-Known Member
i was hoping for more of an online guide instead of a book. ill see if i can get the local library to order them in the mean time.
 

drumbum

Member
Im not sure they exist online. It all depends on what you learn from technique, depends on the music, your rig, your desk . . .etc . . .
 

Mayhem

Senior Team Emeritus
Premium Member
Have you thought about renting some live concert DVD's or Videos? They will not spoon feed you but they will show you different looks and rigs and for most you will be able to pick the fixtures.

Think lots of PAR cans, ACL's and (more recently) moving yokes. Lasers were pretty big in the late 80's but not really something to worry about.

Believe that Motley Crue are currently touring with 32 MAC 2000 washes and very little else. PAR cans were the stock standard rock and roll light and in many cases still are. Great if you don’t have a huge budget or access to intelligent lighting.
 

Dale

Member
I would highly recommend that you use intelligent lighting if you don't blow the budget. A bit of moving light can make all the difference.

Using gobos with rotation and prisims through smoke looks amazing, however it's up to the designer. 8)
 
However, moving lights do not make a good design. A good lighting designer makes a good design. Moving lights are there if you need them and yes they can make some wonderful effects if used well, but it is still possible to light a great show using only parcans.
 

BillESC

Well-Known Member
Kindred,

I agree with you...the design makes the show, not the fixtures.

When I toured moving lights had not yet been invented, all we had were Pars, Lekos, Scoops, Beam projectors and Fresnels. We were still able to make the audience gasp on cue or stand up any scream.

My first system was 32 1K Pars rigged 8 to a Genie air tower and I did hundreds of shows and tours for the likes of Harry Chapin, Hot Tuna, Blue Oyster Cult, etc. Later one my system was a 40' x 25' truss grid with 120 1K Par cans and full curtain system which toured mostly arena sized events during the late 70's and into the 80's.
 

jbeutt

Active Member
It's great to hear people say that. So often now, technology rules the design and it really shouldn't.
It's important to really look at the show with a designers eye. you're creating a look to compliment the music of the group and to a certain extent, the space they're playing in.
Moving lights are great, but they can soooo easily be used poorly. It takes just as much skill to design with moving lights as it does with a PAR rig so don't rush into it. That's why I hate calling them intelligent lights. They aren't, you are.
There's also the consideration of money. On a low budget, you'll be severely restricted if you use moving lights, because you'll have so few.
 

len

Well-Known Member
There's so many more factors to touring and concert design. Electrical availability, stage/venue size, type of act, budget, room on the truck, and a whole lot else.

Plus, there's a lot lot lot more tools available to lighting designers these days than just pars and moving yokes. You've got static video, moving video, led walls, fiber curtains, color, pyro, etc.

I've spent up to a week just working on the rigging layout for a recent two week event in 7 different venues.
 

propmonkey

Well-Known Member
Im interested in the design princples. Im want to know how apply the design elements to a theatre situation. general stage lighting is good for plays and musicals but for like a band concerts, dance recitials, and other shows i want to know howto make the lighting stand out, pop. like waht colors to use, backlighting, blinders, fingers, cyc displays. and otherr effects like that. like i know to set up a a protable tree on stage and have a few frensels pointed towards the audence with different colors. last year i had 2 par64 on the stage pointing towards the ceiling angled towards the audence. i ve seen this effect many tiems at concerts and other theatrical events ive been too. yet when i tired doing that simple thing other people on the crew were like "thats stupid" "theres no point" i want to be able to design like that. have multiple colors, effects, blinders and still have the preformers lite at all times but not distract the audence and help convey an idea and feeling that they should experience to go with the show or scene. i just would like a basic guide to concert design like the stage lighting guide provided by bill williams.

may some one here put one together? may a few people here put ideas come together and put a decent guide together/
 

BillESC

Well-Known Member
Ross,

I too started out in theatre, community theatre to be exact. In 1963 I joined the Barn Theatre in Mountain Lakes, NJ and since I was only 13 at the time, the old men had me in the rafters hanging lights. For the first few seasons I just followed directions and watched what different designers did and what the outcome was.

After awhile I began to do shows by myself. Don't be afraid to experiment... It's where the best effects come from.

Lighting for concerts has no rules, no set positions, it is and should be a "Design out of the box" exercise.
 

wolf825

Senior Team Emeritus
Premium Member
Ross,
FWIW, if you have specific questions I think you can see a lot of folks here have the backgrounds to help you out. Concert lighting from a design aspect is opposite a theatrical aspect in that in a theater the lights are there to bring out the actors and set the mood, where in a concert situation the lights are part of that whole experience. You can do some great designs and effects with standard par cans--so don't feel worried if you can not afford or use moving lights all the time. "Flash & trash" as it is referred to sometimes, is nice and effective, but it has its place and time. I've seen all-conventional rigs of nothing but pars and beam proijectors that can rock a show...and I've seen all-intel rigs that were abominable and horrible in execution. Part of it is the design,m but a bigger part IMO is the designer and his use of the equipment. If you know how to cook--you can make a great omlette with one egg and a slice of ham...but if you don't know how to cook, it doesn't matter how many eggs or how much ham or cheese you have--you will still make a mess that doesn't mesh. Designing is basically a branch of your imagination and creativity, and knowing how to use the gear to make that imagination happen.. For example: Most conventional concert rigs use Medium Flood PARS on the front and Narrow PARS on the rear...and the front truss usually has dual narrow spots at center or a leko, for each "special" or solo needed..and the rear truss usually skips a color in favor of an open white. If your rear truss height is going to be shallow, use Mediums in the back and accent with some ACL's for fans... Saturated colors and a complimentary mix are good choices. Primary Blue, Primary Red, Canary Yellow, a good deep Magenta, a bright Teal & bright Purple are all good starter colors of choice...but it depends on the number of fixtures you have and the size of the stage you cover. There are about a million different choices here tho..and you can mix some theatrical elements in that work well. I've seen Cyc lights used for backdrops--and MR16 ground rows for uplighting or back lighting and chase light effects and so on.. Point is--once you have the basic set up for conventionals situated in your mind, Add movers or other lights for effects to a basic conventional rig for some extra snazz...but know they are there for show and tell--not the main stage light source. In the case of MR16's for example--they won't backlight a show no matter how you focus them, but they will be a visable chase effect or a simple "color strip" that can add a dimension to a plain stage.

-w
 

Dale

Member
jbeutt said:
It's great to hear people say that. So often now, technology rules the design and it really shouldn't.
It's important to really look at the show with a designers eye. you're creating a look to compliment the music of the group and to a certain extent, the space they're playing in.
Moving lights are great, but they can soooo easily be used poorly. It takes just as much skill to design with moving lights as it does with a PAR rig so don't rush into it. That's why I hate calling them intelligent lights. They aren't, you are.
There's also the consideration of money. On a low budget, you'll be severely restricted if you use moving lights, because you'll have so few.

Are they not called intelligent lights because they can do a multitude of things that a conventional luminare can't?
 

jonhirsh

Active Member
There are many names for "Intelligent lights" they can be called

wiggles
wigglers
wiggle lights
moving lights
intels
moving yokes
scanners


there are many names for them but i don't like calling them intelligent because they are only as smart as the programer and sometimes the programer can be really stupid.
 

Mayhem

Senior Team Emeritus
Premium Member
jonhirsh said:
There are many names for "Intelligent lights" they can be called

wiggles
wigglers
wiggle lights
moving lights
intels
moving yokes
scanners


there are many names for them but i don't like calling them intelligent because they are only as smart as the programer and sometimes the programer can be really stupid.

You forgot all the naughty words use to describe them when they break down!
 

Dale

Member
Mayhem said:
jonhirsh said:
There are many names for "Intelligent lights" they can be called

wiggles
wigglers
wiggle lights
moving lights
intels
moving yokes
scanners


there are many names for them but i don't like calling them intelligent because they are only as smart as the programer and sometimes the programer can be really stupid.

You forgot all the naughty words use to describe them when they break down!

LMAO
 

jbeutt

Active Member
As far as color design, concerts are fun because you can think of them more as graphic design. Like wolf825 said, using complimentary colors and such. It's like a painting.

In theater, you're using color to create mood and shadow. Often little or no color for actors and so on. But concerts you can go wild. Make sure though you have those specials with no color or pink for the musicians. The audience will apprecriate it.

Dale - Huh? I just meant the same this jonathan said. I was more making a point that actually saying I have a problem with calling them intelligent. It's no big deal as long as everyone realizes, as wolf so aptly put it, you've got to be a good cook.
 

drumbum

Member
jonhirsh said:
there are many names for them but i don't like calling them intelligent because they are only as smart as the programer and sometimes the programer can be really stupid.

This is so true.

Anycase . . . one of hte best things that i have learned fr concert lighting is not to use what you learn from theatrical lighting. Angles are still always great, but variation in color isnt always what you want, just a general wash with specials on vocalist, soloist . . . what have you. Accent light is also a great tool , but dont over use it. But again it all depends on the type of music you are lighting, what you have to work with . . . etc. Any insight into what you have?
 

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