Fixture Distribution for better Coverage??

CACtechdude21

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This is my first post. I am a church volunteer and in need of advice. We have a 60'w x 30'L x 21'h stage. 3 Electrics on stage with 4 sets Altman Cyc lights taking up 1st electric,
16 S4 Jrs lekos (575),
10 Source PARs(750w),
10 Parnels (750w),
and 14 PAR64.
It seems that its still not bright enough. With the exception of the Cyc lights, can anyone help me on how i can distribute these fixtures for better coverage?
 

Footer

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Welcome...

What degree are the S4's, what kind of lenses are in the pars? Do you have any color in any of the instruments?

How high are the electrics?

First, those cyc lights should be able to spit some serious light onstage. Are you just trying to cover the stage, or are you trying to do something artistic? Not know your set up... here is what I would "traditionally do.

Take the lekos and use them in a front light position IN FRONT of the stage, I have a feeling that the reason you think the stage is night bright enough is because everyones head is lit but their face is not.

Use the Par64 as side light, 2 on each end of the electric. That should give you a bit of pop.

Use the cyc lights as backlight from the 2nd and 3rd, that being if you can not use them on an actual cyc. Use the parnels as front light from the first, use the s4pars as extra side light (pipe-ends) or a backlight system.
 

icewolf08

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well, I think a little more description of how you have the place set up currently would help. Also, it would be useful to know the beam angles of your S4 Jrs. Which Altamn cyc lights do you have? Are the cyc lights lighting a cyc? Do you have any FOH lighting positions? What is the trim height of your electrics? All this is useful info for us to effectively help you out.

Also, take a minute and stop by the new member board and introduce yourself, we love new people!
 

gafftaper

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I think you have enough fire power to light the stage the question is about position.

Footer gave you a good strategy but in order to really help we need to know the degree of beams on those S4 jr.s, what lens is in your S4 Pars, and what beam spread lamps you are using in the 64's. Also we need to know your "Throw Distances"? To calculate your throw distance you have to go back to your high school geometry A squared +B squared= C squared. A typical calculation of throw distance is:

(Height of the instrument above the level of the stage - 6 feet) squared + (Horizontal distance from the instrument to the target area on stage) squared= (throw distance) squared

We remove 6 feet because we are concerned about the distance to head height not the floor.

Finally you mention 3 electrics on stage but nothing about lighting from out front. Do you have any? If you have no lighting positions out front anything we say won't matter, the faces are always going to be dark. Ideally, Proper front light consists of 3 lights all at a downward angle of about 45 degrees. There should be one pointing directly at the person from straight ahead and one coming in at a 45 degree angle from the left and one from the right. All of these should be out over the audience. For positions farther up stage you may be able to use your on stage electrics to get these angles.

If it isn't 45 high, the person on stage will have more difficulty being blinded by the light. As you move the light above 45 high then you will gradually get more downward shadows on the face. The two 45s to the sides eliminate side shadows on the face and to make it evenly lit from ear to ear. Sidelight, backlight, and down light from on stage all help to fill out the full dimension of the person, but without at least that one properly positioned front light you will always have dark eyes and faces.

(Charc all good points. I just think the problem is poor front light.)
 

Footer

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Are there any lighting positions in the house, and not right above the stage? If so, and there is a possibility of adding some instruments, you could consider some S4s lamped at 750W and a narrow angle just to throw some more light down-range. If you don't care much, besides getting light, you can look for some free or cheap used instruments, something like the 1KL6 lamped with an FEL (1000W) would get you a lot of bang for your buck.
I might get ostracized for this comment, but if you really are looking for just light, and are not using color, shutter cuts, gobos or anything, you might be able to get some cheap 360Qs and throw an FEL lamp in there. These instruments were not designed for that amount of heat, so it will surely damage it overtime, but if the price was right, it might work as a temporary measure.
<To the lighting experts of CB: How did I do?>
I would not throw FEL's in anything in a church. Churches are the one stop place for turnkey installation. Usually when they buy a piece of gear it gets installed and moved maybe once in its lifetime. Sure... many mega-churches might hand a different show each week, but in general it gets put up there and forgotten. For theatre, you can SOMEWHAT get away with FEL's, in a church you will just have to go fix it in 2 months.

Pretty good otherwise.
 

Les

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I agree with everything Charc said, except for the 360Q idea. Mostly because though I doubt you would be in serious danger, voiding the UL rating with the FEL could also cause insurance problems should something go wrong.

BUT the 1kl's pop up on ebay all the time and usually at cheap prices.
 

icewolf08

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So gaff is a firm believer in the McCandless method, nothing wrong there. Depending on FOH positioning and beam angles it may be simpler and more effective to just have a flat front light wash. Your frontlight wash may extend onto your over-stage electrics to light the US areas.

Charc, sometimes I wonder how much info from here makes it in your head. How many posts have you read about how the FEL is not an ideal lamp. I am sure that Ship has posted 10+ posts about better lamps than the FEL. You should search them out, and then stop using FELs in your lights. Also, a S4 Jr. can't be lamped at 750w, so that idea is out.

Effectively utilizing your S4 Jrs. is hard to speculate on without knowing the beam angle. But in a way it is somewhat 6-in-1 half dozen in the other on account of if you only have wide angle units you may need to double up to get the intensity you need, but if you only have narrow units you may need more to get the coverage you need. I would take the S4 PARs and arrange them evenly with 4 on the 1st and 3 on the second and third electrics. Use the PAR64s as side light pipe ends (I think mentioned above), 3 on each side of the first and second, and 2 on each side of the third elec. As for the PARNels, use them to fill where needed, but personally I would find some sucker would will trade for S4 PARs, or just sell them and buy a real fixture.

I have to imagine that the "cyc" lights you have are more like strip lights, MR-16 or R-40. Otherwise, it seems highly illogical to hang cyc lights on the first electric, probably the farthest from a cyc. If you really have strips and not cyc's this will help with your top light, and could allow you to spread your s4 PARs to other locations.
 

CACtechdude21

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Thanks for the quick reply
Well, we have:
Source4's are 25-50 degrees,
Source PAR's have narrow lens,
Parnels have wide.
We also have two 20ft. electrics at FOH. (sorry forgot to mention) approx.80ft throw distance. all 3 electrics are 21 ft. from stage floor.Stage electrics approx. 12 ft. from each other.
(Re: Cyc lights, so the electric closest to Cyc upstage isn't 1st electric?)
This is a new world for me and im still learning fixture functions and properties.:grin:
 
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soundlight

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Eighty foot throw distance? The largest thing you want at that distance is a 26 - and that's still kinda big. That sounds like the realm of 10 to 15 degree units.
 

icewolf08

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Thanks for the quick reply
Well, we have:
Source4's are 25-50 degrees,
Source PAR's have narrow lens,
Parnels have wide.
We also have two 20ft. electrics at FOH. (sorry forgot to mention) approx.80ft throw distance. all 3 electrics are 21 ft. from stage floor.Stage electrics approx. 12 ft. from each other.
(Re: Cyc lights, so the electric closest to Cyc upstage isn't 1st electric?)
This is a new world for me and im still learning fixture functions and properties.:grin:
Standard position numbering has the lowest number position closest to the proscenium. So, over stage positions number from DS to US and FOH positions number going away from the stage.

Since you have S4 jr. zooms, you can set a bunch at the narrow end and use them for front light. As Footer said, 25˚ is about the widest you would want from that distance. At 80' you would probably love to be in 14˚ land, but, cest la vie. If intensity is your big problem then following gaff's idea with the three point front light is probably the best way to go. That will eat most of your ERS fixtures, which is OK.

It wold be worth investigating to see if the church has the other lenses for the S4 PARs, they came with all 4, and you would probably be happier with mediums or wides.

So you actually have real cyc lights, well, those will light your cyc real well. It is hard to use them for any other purpose as they are designed to push as wide a spread as possible.

Sounds like most of the afore mentioned ideas should do quite well for you.
 

Footer

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My thought process on the FEL:
Approximately half the cost of the GLA, with approximately twice the output. (I was thinking in bang-for-your-buck land.)
Here's a question that came up in my mind recently about electrics / numbering / proscenium. After the recent post mentioning thread hijacks, I'd like to invite replies in PM format. I recently came under some criticism for my naming of lighting positions. The way I refer to my main light positions are Slot 1 through Slot 4 and the 1st and 2nd Electric. My "slots" positions are all up in the canopy, downstage of the proscenium, but one of the positions is directly above the stage. The one teacher's opinion was that this would often be referred to as the 1st electric, as it is over the stage. While I understand his reasoning (with our unconventional proscenium setup), my understanding is it just doesn't follow with convention. Thoughts anyone?
I now return you to your regularly scheduled topic:
Getting FOH positions close to the stage, or more narrow degree instruments is going to be your main focus, as aforementioned.
I don't do the PM thing because PM's aren't searchable...

If there is a pipe that is over the stage BUT downstage of the proscenium (usually its a truss if there is one) its called an anti-proscenium electric, or an AP electric. Its a very very handy position to have. FOH positions are usually either called ceiling slots, beams, coves, whatever. I usually call slots vertical positions cut into the proscenium opening or a closed torm position. FOH positions are named usually on a venue by venue basis. Use what name works for you.


Now... back to the rest of the topic....

What type of lamps are in those par64s? If they are 1k wides or medium, you should be set for a good sidelight system.

As said before, get those lenses to medium's or wides in the S4pars, you arent lighting a rock show here... no need for narrows. If you can not find the lenses, production advantage/bmi/local place usually sells replacement lenses for around 4-5 bux. http://www.productionadvantageonline.com/Lenses-Reflectors/400MFL.aspx

Get some front light in there as others have said and you should be in pretty good shape to at least get the stage lit. You have a very large stage to light, when you go to make your "plot", just be sure that each area has the same number of lights pointed at it, so each area gets a front/back/side light. Obviously the pipe end pars will reach multiple areas, but this will get you your best results.

If need be, you can throw some frost (R119, R132) in some of the instruments. This will cut the amount of light the lights throw out but will increase the area they cover. Its a give and take, more even light or brighter light.
 

gafftaper

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I'm afraid that throw is just way to far for your Juniors. They will have a pool of light around 35' across and it will be very dim only around 25 foot candles. At that distance, you'll have to use multiples to get the amount of light you want.

I think I would try to purchase a few 10 degree S4's with standard 750 watt lamps for those 80' throws (the 750 watt long life lamps will cut into your intensity a bit). At 80 feet a 10 degree will have a very bright area of light about 15' wide. So if you can afford four of them that would be a perfect front wash for a 60' wide stage. I'm assuming you are a typical church and $1800 in new lights will be difficult to get funding for. If you are at a mega church with lots of money for lighting then I would break the front of your stage up into six 10' wide areas and purchase eighteen 5' degree instruments, which would allow you really nice side angles and front light mix. (Yes Alex, I'm an old school McCandless guy at heart). If you still have the money after that and if you can shoot the whole stage from the FOH then buy even more 5 degrees to hit the rest of the stage. But we can quickly get into the $20,000+ range... and I'm guessing that's not likely.

If you can only afford 1 or two then get 10 degrees and position them at center and add more next year. Once you've got some across the front then I think I would go back to Icewolf's original post idea for the rest of the gear.

You should be able to get those 10 degrees for $400-$450, by the time you add the lamp, safety, shipping, and maybe tax. Contact your friendly local theater dealer or if you don't have a dealer friend send a P.M. to CB member BillESC and he'll take care of you.

Finally, Let me suggest you pick up a book to read. "Designing with Light" by J. Michael Gillette is a favorite design book of mine. The new edition is about $80 but you can get a used copy of the last edition for only $3.14 on Amazon. There are others who prefer other books but it's a good one and you can't go wrong at that price.
 
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Jezza

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Just curious as to why several of the replys here have suggested using the PARs as side light. I have found that given the nature of the fixture, they tend to be difficult to control and are not precise enough in splitting center, making sure there isn't spill into the house or on the proscenium, making sure light isn't wasted into the wings, etc.

Anyways, at 80' I have found S4 19º to really be the best -- 4 instruments make a very nice, bright coverage. 14ºs are very intense from that distance, but I have found are difficult to make a nice wash without several of them. Typically I need at least 6 14º to cover just a 32' wide stage evenly. Given a 60º proscenium, it sounds like you are talking about at least 8 if not more 19º and maybe even close to 12 or more 14º to really get nice even coverage. And that's just one color!
 

avkid

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By sidelight do you mean like shin busters?

That is all I have ever seen used for shinbusters.
This was like four and a half years ago and he was using these things called "LEDs" that were mounted in a par can.(at that point I had one experimental LED flashlight that was horrible and died within a month) we were all staring at these things that changed colors by themselves(simple RGB color mixing).

The guy that did our special applications like that worked for one of the big Special FX and lighting companies in Las Vegas seasonally.
I can't remember which company, all that I recall Is the wizard on the back of his jacket.
 

Pie4Weebl

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By sidelight do you mean like shin busters?
That is all I have ever seen used for shinbusters.
This was like four and a half years ago and he was using these things called "LEDs" that were mounted in a par can.(at that point I had one experimental LED flashlight that was horrible and died within a month) we were all staring at these things that changed colors by themselves(simple RGB color mixing).
The guy that did our special applications like that worked for one of the big Special FX and lighting companies in Las Vegas seasonally.
I can't remember which company, all that I recall Is the wizard on the back of his jacket.
well then it really wasn't a parcan.... and led fixture would have a different shape of light coming from it then a par so the two aren't really comparable.
 

avkid

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well then it really wasn't a parcan.... and led fixture would have a different shape of light coming from it then a par so the two aren't really comparable.
Then what is this "LED Par" thing people keep yammering on about?

It actually was an old parcan with LEDs "fitted" in it on what looked like a disc shaped PCB.
 

gafftaper

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Just curious as to why several of the replys here have suggested using the PARs as side light. I have found that given the nature of the fixture, they tend to be difficult to control and are not precise enough in splitting center, making sure there isn't spill into the house or on the proscenium, making sure light isn't wasted into the wings, etc.
While what you say is true about pars and not being precise. I think people like the shape of pars for sidelight from the wings across stage between legs. The oval shape lends itself to long narrow throws of light. I have never had many pars to play with for side light so I don't have much of an opinion.
 

Jezza

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While what you say is true about pars and not being precise. I think people like the shape of pars for sidelight from the wings across stage between legs. The oval shape lends itself to long narrow throws of light. I have never had many pars to play with for side light so I don't have much of an opinion.

Got it, that makes a little more sense now. Typically, I reserve PARs for top/backlight, and leave lekos for high sides, specials, and FOH. Never tried to use a PAR as a high side, would like to attempt it though. I could imagine a S4 750 w/ a set of doors would be a really punchy and "sunny" light.

Thanks
 

gafftaper

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Got it, that makes a little more sense now. Typically, I reserve PARs for top/backlight, and leave lekos for high sides, specials, and FOH. Never tried to use a PAR as a high side, would like to attempt it though. I could imagine a S4 750 w/ a set of doors would be a really punchy and "sunny" light.
Thanks
I do agree that the PAR is great for top/back light as those are positions that you can get away with less control. And an ERS gives you the ability to shutter off for high sides which is always nice.
 

Jezza

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Yep, my thoughts exactly. I'm not sure if I just haven't been exposed to enough of them so far or what, but I don't seem to ever have the want/need for a fresnel. I seem to be able to achieve everything I want to using PARs and Lekos...don't want to hijack, but do others feel as though fresnels aren't being utilized as much anymore?

Maybe this is relevant though so our OP can think more educatedly if/when he can muster the money to purchase some more gear like so many of us have been suggesting.