Active Member
Hey, I'm a new user here...been looking around for a while, a few days atleast. Looks ike a neat sight, so I joined up! I run sound and lights at my youth gruop, for my band, stuff like that. The gear we use at my youth group (we meet in the church gym, full size basketball court size, with a nice's got a professional curtain kit...) is a Yamaha 2404 board, along with a 16 channel Mackie we are about to switch to. Speakers: Yamaha something or others...very old, most people use them as floor monitors but these are our FOH. We have a large assortment of ever changing speakers for montirs (this is used mainly for worship, some skits. Not plays) like some Community haninging spakers, like personal monitors. Then, one yamaha floor monitor, one Fender floor monitor, some huge Peavey things that are broken.... forl ights, we use an NSI system. Two NRD8000 dimmer packs, total of 6 channels actualy work...I'm trying to get the church to fix them. NSI 32 channel board, or 16 channel two preset. We have lots of lights but no channesl to put them on, so I'm limited in that. Only pars 64's, Leko's (500watt), and fresnels (500 watt) use two pars for the stage wash mounted on tormentors on the wallsp erpendicular to the stage ,four fresnels on the battens above the stage for a blue or red wash, dpeneding on what gel I put in them. Two leko's for a light on the banner, ,and we have some cans in the roof to use when we turn the flourescents off.

One quesiton: what's a grid? I keep hearing people talk about it and I don't know what one is. It sounds ike a lighting thing...the only lighting things I know of that you hang things on are like battens, tormentors, ladders, those things.

hm...the stage at my youth group has pipes hung, but, the roofing isl ike what they are hung from. Like the steel girders, well, those are what the pipes are hung from. (two battens, and whatIw oudl guess are battens, but with fabric on them coming down maybe 3 feet...and the curtain on the back wall, all that is hung from the girders in the ceiling, which are not covered by anything.) so, we don't have a grid??

Oh, and what exactly do you mean by fly system?? like forpeople? :) I don't know much about alot of the theatre stuff, but I know alot about lighting and sound! thanks for helping me!
A fly system controls virtually all suspended objects over the stage. If you look at a decently sized theater you'll see a bunch of ropes on wall going up to the "grid" and coming back down suspended electric lines, curtains, scrims, etc. They have ropes attached to pulleys and locks. This system is also known as a counterweight system. Pretty much all suspended objects over the stage and incredibly heavy and are not suitable for human strength. So, basically pulleys and rope won't cut it. A fly system counter balances the weight to make things more suitable for human strength. Just a bunch of simple machines basically.

Here is a shot of an motorized electric line at my facility (RHS)...

I found these shots in a local livejournal community, someone wanted people to vote for this shots. Don't ask why someone would posts these on jones soda. It's a lame idea. Anyway, this is of another school's fly system in my district. I actually was working on this system yesterday, I had to completely clear the arbors. This lighting crew in the production I'm working on took almost all the fixtures on the electrics. They took every strip light avalable. I have never cleared that much weight of a fly system in my life. I personally hate loading and unloading weight onto the arbors (lines) when up on the loading dock next to the grid. I always think I'm going to drop the lines onto railing on the stage, and someone won't be obeying the "clear the rail!" rule. Yikes, anyways...SCHS's system... kelly&offset=3 kelly&offset=7 kelly&offset=4 kelly&offset=6
ok...I sorta understand...the battens, the bars with the curtain thingies hanging down a little ways (non adjustable for height) and the rail the back curtain slides open and closed on (it's like a half and half curtin that meets in themiddle...not sure if that has some neato name or not...) are all hung from the girders/rafters or whatever (flat roofed gym) by steel, ike chains, you know?? They are not able to be lowered or raised.

The front curtain, which is the kind taht is raised, is raised by ropes that go up to the top of the curtain to a pulley, and there they go to the stage right side of the stage. All the ropes there are tied to one board, which has, I think, three ropes going from it to an electric motor, whichpulls the curtain up.

Is that a "fly" system?? Alot of this theatre stuff is giong over my head, and that sorta surpises me...I don't have much experience at other schools or anyting....thanks!!
the front curtain that goes up and down, that is a fly system. Larger theaters have fly systems of pipes, and you can put scenery on the pipes, so that the scenery can go up and down (the scenery can fly).

The curtains that will move across the stage is not a fly system (the curtains arn't flying). This is on a traveler (thats what I know it as, but it may have another name).

I hope this helps

By the way, welcome!
hm...makes me wish we had a fly system....I really want to learn more about tech stuff...I know enough to run everything at my youth group and then some, but, things ike a grid, and fly systems, I'm like "what??' and we have an NSI light system...I would love to learn about moving lights and DMX...I get some of it, but I would like to learn to use a DMX board, and I'd like to understand just a little better ow it works..I kinda get it. Just read some info on it. I think I'll read it again in a day or two and see if it makes more sense.

And, thanks for the welcome, I'm liking what I'm learning here! :D
I know what you mean. My school has (well, we just got some cool stuff, so had) next to no equipment. Until half way through last year, our light set-up was 12 500 watt fresnels and a crappy American DJ board.

If you have a community theater in your area, you might look into getting an internship there. If you can find there website, you can most likely get an email address. I did this a few months ago, and I've been interning and learning a lot of that I would have never been able to learn at my school because they don't have the equipment. I also get to see how a real theater works.
we have (my youth) 15 or so 500 watt pars, 10 or so 1000 watt pars (but, because of how few channels I have, i don't use the 1k watt pars, because I need lots of light over thew hole stage...two 500 watts do better that way than 1k one) 2 (working) 500 watt fresnels and 2 that don't have bulbs, and four 500 watt Lekos. A 32 channel or 2x16, NSI system, ,with only 6 working dimmer channels (it's the dimmer packs, not the board) so, lots of lights to work with, no dimmer channels...

And, I'll look into an internship...a local church jsut got someintel. lights, and I've been trying to go over there with some friends to learn their system, but I've either been out of town or busy every time they've gone out there....they would have gone tonight (and I was free!) but there was a wedding (which I'd forgotten about...) go figure. Maybe now they'll get all their wedding crap off my stage!!
"The Grid" as it were in your case it would seem is also a statement about your lighting pipes. Sometimes they are placed in a grid normally 4' on center boxes of piping thus also "The Grid."

Given this other title for what is refered to as the hanging positons, just about any set of pipes to hang fixtures from than become a grid as it were in simply talking about a means of mounting the lights.

Thus your grid is a grid, just different in definition but the same name for it even if parallel pipes dead hung and not attached to each other in forming a grid of piping.
oh, so we do sorta have a grid...ok! I understand ya'!

We have two battens, and one fire sprinkler pip[e that's higher up (a foot or so below the 20 foot celing...we have a hand crank Genie Lift....I know, maybe unsafe but usually only one person around to use it, so we "spiderman" it up the thing....I hear everyone here talking about safety and rigging and stuff...:D ) that we use for lighting on the's a nice little trying to make the gym useful for everything, it's really almost usefull for nothing...:D but, it has a nice curtain system, pretty good accoustics, and reasonable lighting. It works ok for sound!

Just wait until by way of mentioning the fire sprinkler pipe as a batten you develop a slight leak or some gorilla finally punches thru the sprinkler pipe in clamping down the clamp to it's pipe and you will have ever so many more problems than a lack of a grid.

My advice, don't use the sprinkler system as a part of the grid, leave it alone and especially by the way of hanging fixtures on to it don't use it thus as part of the system ground. In the case of an arc, this could prevent the system from activating. Another little safety thing as it were. If you need a pipe, hang one but don't use the safey equipment for one.
hm...never thought about hanging another pipe....the tech dude that I learned alot from hung ights up there once (only two lights, that's all we've ever puton it) so I just assumed it was cool. And, we only use it for those two lights...but, I thik I'll ask about hanging aother pipe there! thanks for the suggestion!
You should probably locate a professional rigger to help you hang the pipe because the roof girders can only take so much weight. I don't think it would in your case, but that's because you don't have very many lights up there now. However, someday you could have lots of lights and you don't want to have it come down then!

Besides, you could probably learn a lot from the rigger as well!!
JahJahwarrior, it looks like you have come to the right place for info! Your thirst for knowledge is refreshing-check out some books on theatre as well. The Backstage Handbook is full of info that you seek-names of stuff,lighting, hardware, math, architecture... You can probably get it from Amazon. Also any generic stagecraft textbook. Borders carries some, as does Barnes and Noble. What size of town/city do you live in? Is there a cultural district you can check out? If you are rural, I know it can be harder, but info is out there. So, welcome, and ask away!
By the way Ship, nice avatar!

Im from Gainesville, Florida...big college town (UF) of cours,e I'm not in the college, I'm like in 10th grade,b ut one day I might go there...

I've read a book on lighting once...I read alot of articles on the internet the heck do I contact a rigger though??? :)
Not my avatar though I kind of like it’s shading, thank you Rock Angle - I guess the winner of give Ship a Avatar contest.

Contacting a rigger in Florida... One might call a local scene shop or inquire with your theatrical supply house. Otherwise ask around to other places such as other schools and colleges as to who they use. If nothing else, the TD or other staff at the local college or pro theater should be sufficient for the most part dependant upon the hang. Could require an engineer, but at least the rigger you consult will than be able to tell you first.
ok, Dimmer pckas are giong to be fixed!! works perfectly, we aren't using the gym for two weeks, beccause of VBS. We are in another bulding, o we are sending them off today to be fixed, should be done before we move back!

Users who are viewing this thread