Automated Fixtures How do you use your moving WashBeams?

Dk85jones

Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2016
Location
Somerset, UK
Hi All,

I'm looking for opinions on how you get the most out of your moving washbeams - eg. Mac Aura, Chauvet R2 wash, etc.

I tend to get in 4 to 6 units for my 10x10m stage (5m grid). 2 go on my very upstage LX, 2 go on a midstage LX and, if I have 6, the other 2 are normally located at a side lighting position. I then just usually use them as coloured back/side light - but I just felt this was a bit of a waste of their potential. So I came here to see what other people do with them.

e.g. What positions do you enjoy using them? Bunched together or spread apart? Are they good enough for front wash/pastol colours?

Just to give some context, we are a college with the school hall being used for shows. It's a large venue with a decent stage but no fly's. We produce 2 musicals and 1 large dance show, each year. We own a rig of generics that I use for the shows but then hire in a mixture of profiles, beams and washbeams to fill out the Lx design. We don't own any moving lights, so getting time to experiment and try out new ideas are limited.

Thanks
 

Lynnchesque

Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2019
Location
Fresno, CA
I can only speak to the R2s, but in my experience they are excellent.
I did a show in the past with 6- 2 upstage, 2 mid, 2 front; I found that the upstage backlight position didn't utilize them to their full potential.
The next time around I ditched that position and put them in the APs above the audience for frontlight specials. The zoom on these fixtures makes them incredibly versatile, and plenty bright enough to compete, even from a longer throw.
So, just because they are "wash" fixtures, doesn't mean they have to be stuck upstage.
 

SteveB

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2004
Location
Brooklyn, NY
I’ve 9 Auras on a backlight electric just US of our proscenium, using them to light a 30’x40 pit. This is our primary playing space, the Aura’s get used for variety band backlighting, zoomed in specials as needed, individual bax for each band member when needed, or all the above. For children’s shows/plays etc.... they serve primarily as area bax in whatever color is needed. Very utility use and I no longer roll around in the JLG lift focusing 50 conventional. Money well spent on a good fixture.
 
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josh88

Remarkably Tired.
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Jan 26, 2010
Location
Ypsilanti, Michigan
We've got R2's spaced with 4 each on our DS, Mid and US electrics, lets us do full stage washes, tight pools, back light or front light if they are more upstage or cross shot high side washes if needed, but we've got LED profiles as our pipe ends right now for that.
 

Dk85jones

Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2016
Location
Somerset, UK
Defo food for thought. I'm going to do my next Lx design with a more front/midstage bias - to try some of this out myself.

Has anyone used washbeams as a low or an over-head height side-light position? I've been curious whether they'd do much in this position.

Thanks
 

Blake Alley

Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2019
Location
Sugar Land, TX
Our R2s are arranged in 3 different "lines," six of them upstage, four downstage, and two to either side of the center section. We also have R1s directly above the front line on stage but I find that the "vertical beam" effect is basically invisible unless you either haze the room out or have really really bright fixtures above there.

We tend to position them quite fanned out evenly across the stage most of the time to give a nice even backwash.

Personally, I tend to use the white LED in the R2s quite often, so to answer your question about front light: yes, these can definitely be used as front light as long as the fixture is RGBW (like the R2s and R1s) to help correct the normally poor CRI of three-color fixtures.

I've used Auras at one of our outside events (not in the same venue) and in my opinion, Chauvet's pixel-mapping is way more useful than Aura's "eye-candy" backlight. I typically like to make "angel-eyes" or hollow circles with R2s and sometimes just have the center LED on to emulate a really tight iris.
 

SteveB

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2004
Location
Brooklyn, NY
Defo food for thought. I'm going to do my next Lx design with a more front/midstage bias - to try some of this out myself.

Has anyone used washbeams as a low or an over-head height side-light position? I've been curious whether they'd do much in this position.

Thanks
You have to factor in how much actual L/R, Up/Down movement the unit in that position will see. Sometimes sufficient quantities of static fixtures that can cover the area are more cost effective. Also consider whether the position is easily accessed and do you need a mover in that location that can be re-focused from the desk. Are you doing variety where the late arrival of an artist and subsequent shifting of a band setup makes a mover really useful ?.
 
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Dk85jones

Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2016
Location
Somerset, UK
You have to factor in how much actual L/R, Up/Down movement the unit in that position will see. Sometimes sufficient quantities of static fixtures that can cover the area are more cost effective. Also consider whether the position is easily accessed and do you need a mover in that location that can be re-focused from the desk. Are you doing variety where the late arrival of an artist and subsequent shifting of a band setup makes a mover really useful ?.
Thanks guys, makes me feel more confident with using them on the downstage, knowing they're capable front light.

As for the low sides - I'm not positioning them here for any critical reasons - purely for looks, e.g. being able to have a focusable, colour changing sidelight. Or to punch through the haze for upwards beams. So I was more looking to see whether to use side positions or are the washbeam units better off, up in the air.
I have a generic rig of Source4's on the sides, for my actual sidelight on the talent.
 

Lynnchesque

Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2019
Location
Fresno, CA
You have to factor in how much actual L/R, Up/Down movement the unit in that position will see. Sometimes sufficient quantities of static fixtures that can cover the area are more cost effective.
Yes, this exactly. My upstage position was being used for backlight wash most of the time, so might as well have been static LED pars. And half of the show they were behind a drop, so was a huge waste of resources.

As for low sidelights... I mean sure, a movement effect where they start washing the floor then tilt up to sharply sidelight performers would look pretty neat.
But there are a few things to consider,
They can choke down with the zoom and pixel mapping, but I don't think you'll get sharp beams ala from a sharpy. And in the same vein, no shutter cuts like you get with the S4s.
This would likely be on a tree/boom in the wings right? So your pan range gets cut down to something very minimal before its cut by the drape. Also to be noted is that most(?) moving lights don't like to be hung sideways, they want a horizontal pipe to hang down vertical from. Maybe you have the trees/truss to do that, maybe not. Maybe you set them up on the floor and trust the actors to not kick them as they exit...
So, are they worth placing there for one specific effect? Maybe. Could they plug another gap in the design and provide more utility elsewhere? Maybe.
 

Dk85jones

Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2016
Location
Somerset, UK
Yes, this exactly. My upstage position was being used for backlight wash most of the time, so might as well have been static LED pars. And half of the show they were behind a drop, so was a huge waste of resources.

As for low sidelights... I mean sure, a movement effect where they start washing the floor then tilt up to sharply sidelight performers would look pretty neat.
But there are a few things to consider,
They can choke down with the zoom and pixel mapping, but I don't think you'll get sharp beams ala from a sharpy. And in the same vein, no shutter cuts like you get with the S4s.
This would likely be on a tree/boom in the wings right? So your pan range gets cut down to something very minimal before its cut by the drape. Also to be noted is that most(?) moving lights don't like to be hung sideways, they want a horizontal pipe to hang down vertical from. Maybe you have the trees/truss to do that, maybe not. Maybe you set them up on the floor and trust the actors to not kick them as they exit...
So, are they worth placing there for one specific effect? Maybe. Could they plug another gap in the design and provide more utility elsewhere? Maybe.

All good points - very dependant on the design and the situation. The pixel mapping does add another element to where to place them. I don't do much of it as I've never had the qty of lights - but maybe for a future show! Definately given me ideas. Thanks.