Just a short video showing one of the songs from Not So Silent Night. Between the kids jumping around and the lights going crazy it was a fun song!
In some parts you can see a little bit of the projector that we put upstage shooting towards the audience. This gave us some really cool motions kinda like a laser. It gets washed out at some points in the video but you’ll see it. Content was simply white motion graphics on a black background, really easy to make.
It’s that time of the year! 2013 is ending with a bang here at Calvary. Lots of big events leading up to Christmas!
One of these December events is Oceans Edge School of Worship’s Not So Silent Night. This is their annual Christmas concert and it’s the first big concert of the school year. It’s the students time to apply what they have learned so far and push themselves.
For us on staff it’s a chance to try and do some new and cool things on the tech side. We pretty much get free reign with all the toys we have at our disposal, ha ha. This year I got to try something I’ve been wanting to try for a long time, using a projector as a moving light.
We happened to have a spare projector that’s pretty bright, 17,000 lumens! We positioned this upstage and shot it forward over the stage and over most of the audience. With lots of haze in the air the results were some pretty awesome beams that were very laser like if we wanted that effect.
Since it was a projector (and not a gobo in a light) we could put out any content we wanted. Anything white on a black background looked like nice sharp beams cutting through the air. The results were really cool and couldn’t be done with a moving light or even a laser. It also allowed us to project words that were actually readable in the air which was really cool.
The projector provided some very high tech kinda looks. To contrast that we used a lot more conventionals than we normally do. We had a flown row and a ground based row of pars which we used as audience blinders. We also had 10 lekos with gobos spread throughout the room to put out some nice, warm, beams.
Between the usual intelligents we have, the projector, and all the additional conventional lights we had lots of options. I like to try and create variety to keep things from getting repetitive. Even if something is only used on one song I think it’s worth the effort.
We also had fun with other effects. Lots of haze (of course), plus low lying fog from a pair of Martin Glaciators, and confetti cannons. Our rigging system had a lot of cues, bringing lights up and down for different looks. Plus some different flown backdrop elements that the students created which flew in and out.
Another cool element was some “screens” made out of recycled pallet wood. This gave a stylized look to all of the projections. Not everything looked great on it with the texture but once we found the right content it was a cool look. We purposely left some gaps between the panels so that a light could be put behind the screens and shine through. this create beams through the cracks and gave us more options.
Once again we made Ableton Live our master control for all click, loop, ProPresenter lyrics, lighting, and projection. One machine ran Ableton, another ran the two side screens with ProPresenter, a third computer ran Qlab for the stage projection that faced the audience, lastly out ETC Ion controlled lights.
A combination of MIDI notes and MIDI show control was used for all of these commands. Some devices were hardwired and some were sent commands over our WiFi network using Apple’s built in MIDI over Ethernet. An iPad with Qlab’s remote app was our backup control for the projector on stage. Everything worked great!
This seems like a lot of extra work but in the end it’s actually less work. Start one machine and several follow in perfect harmony. It also let us hit cues that just aren’t practical when everything is human controlled. We had lots of hits on specific notes that were hit perfectly every time with this system.
We had two sold out nights in our theatre and it was a lot of work but a lot of fun. Now it’s time to get ready for our main Christmas outreach service in the BB&T center! Load in starts tomorrow, I’ll be sure and post some info on that as well!
Check out Oceans Edge’s Instagram for some more pictures. I’ll post some more pictures and videos as soon as I can.
Following our first trip to Club Revolution for our Eikon Downtown event we decided it was time to go back. This time we added some more lighting in the form of 8 Clay Paky Sharpys. We also had 3, 12,000 lumen, projectors as our backdrop again.
While I’ve been a fan of the Sharpys for a while now, they’re in shows all over the place, I hadn’t used them yet. They are awesome! Ha ha. Any time a light comes with a warning about setting things on fire from 12 meters away you know you have something special!
We rented 8 of the Sharpys and set them up in 2 groups of 4 lights stage left and right. This let us make some cool random looks as well as some nice symmetrical looks. With our Haze Base hazer pumping nice haze into the room we got some amazing beams and effects from the lights.
Projectors were fed with ProPresenter and a Matrox Triple Head 2 Go. While this did work fairly well we did have some playback issues with ProPresenter when trying to change speeds of clips. Even on a newer MacBook Pro with an SSD. Next time we may try something different like Qlab or Resolume Arena.
Technology aside it’s a really cool event. We saw over 800 people show up and over 50 people dedicate their lives to Christ. That kind of response is what it’s all about. Hopefully people had fun, learned, were challenged, and left one step closer to Jesus.
Next time out we’ll probably add on a little more to what we did this time. The Sharpys looked great, we may go with 8 on the ground again and add 8 in the air. 16 total would be pretty amazing!
If you have Instagram you can search #EikonDowntown and find a lot of cool shots and short videos from the night. You can also check out my personal Instagram account for more pictures and videos.
While playing with the Sharpys we aimed them at a mirror ball in the venue. We got some cool results!
Here’s my second video tutorial for Light Converse. This time I walk through configuring the fixtures in Light Converse to talk to a lighting console. Once you have this step done you’re ready to start programming cues in your lighting console!
Hey everyone, I just wanted to share a little more from The Show 2013. This year we had lots of lighting elements working together to help give us some variety. For those moments when we really wanted a big look we had plenty of fixtures to get the job done!
In this video is just a brief overview of the setup and a couple of clips from The Show. Over the next week or so I’ll post up some more pictures and videos from this awesome event.
Personally I thought that the recent Super Bowl had a great lighting show and was well done overall. While I think that Beyonce did a good job for a pop artist, I find myself watching the technical side of things more than anything else. What displays are they using? What lights are those? That was a great idea, that wasn’t, ha ha.
I know that they used Green Hippo media servers to power the two video displays built into the stage. I also know that they had two rows of 80 Clay Paky Sharpys (160 total!). This allowed very simple movement macros to look amazing!
Video content was very good and very creative. At one point thanks to clever camera angles and good content you really thought there were more real people on stage than there really was, pretty cool. Overall I thought it was entertaining and unlike a lot of other high profile lives events lately, I didn’t spot or hear any huge errors. That’s always nice.
A friend of mine sent me a link to an article interviewing the LD for the last three Super Bowls and other high profile events. I always like to know what other people’s thought process is and how they work. There’s almost always at least one little tip or trick you can learn from. Worth checking out!
Our school here at the church, CCA, is putting on its annual dance concert this week. We’ve been busy putting together some cool lighting, video, and audio elements to compliment the dancing on stage. At the same time we’re trying to get the tech kids a chance to get hands on with some of the really cool gear that’s in our theatre.
We leaned on side lighting a lot for this event. That helped keep things isolated from upstage to downstage and keep from washing out the cyc’s and scrims. This was especially important when we were projecting video content. Each row of side lighting consisted of conventional and LED lights so we could fill in with any color we want.
Here are some pictures from the concert. Overall things went very well and the kids did a great job!
We had a lot of fun at our New Years Eve Night of Worship this year! Lights, haze, projection, and even some pryo all came together to create a fun atmosphere and ring in the new year.
The projection system is still kinda new so we’re experimenting with mixing the lighting and projection together. I think we had some really cool looks where the two came together nicely. Here are some pictures from the event to show you some of the looks from the event.
I’ve been looking into MIDI controllers lately for controlling lights and video. I didn’t really want to purchase one though before I really was sure it would do what I want it to do and that it’s worth the money. I searched for some apps for my iPad that offers MIDI control and I found a really cool one called TouchOSC. It’s only $5 and so far does everything I want it to do.
I put together a short video showing how to set it up and control ProVideoPlayer as an example. My goal is to get it to control the Green Hippo media servers. Once I get that working I’ll post another video. Enjoy!
Hey guys, we just got done with a week of rehearsals and shows for Oceans Edge’s Not So Silent Night. Everything went great! In this show we tried out some new ideas that we haven’t done in a show yet. The biggest one being some pretty heavy automation thanks to Ableton Live and MIDI.
We ended up with Ableton Live sending out MIDI commands to our lighting console for lighting cues. To another machine running ProVideoPlayer for videos on our stage screen. Then to yet another machine with ProPresenter for lyrics which was a master for two other machines running ProPresenter in slave mode connected to our side screens. We didn’t have video cabling to those areas so we wirelessly connected to them.
In the end Ableton Live on one machine was triggering a grand total of five other machines running different programs and performing different tasks. All through MIDI and MIDI Show Control. Pretty cool stuff! This allowed us to have the precision of automated cues but unlike timecode we could easily change the order of cues, repeat cues, skip cues, change the tempo, all things that timecode is too rigid to do well and simply.
This involved some testing and extra work on the front end but resulted in a better show that was very easy to run. We only ended up with about 100 lighting cues, about 5-10 were manually triggered. If Ableton Live wasn’t triggering most of the lighting it would have been at least 175-200 cues. This is because we used Ableton Live to repeat cues (for easier programming) and trigger presets saved to our submasters that could then be triggered as individual lighting cues or looks.
Just like you can hit the bump buttons to make the submasters go Ableton Live can do the same thing through MIDI Show Control commands. So one song that would have been 50-100 cues was simply 23 presets triggered remotely in different arrangements. This even allowed us to divide up the programming between several people. I was able to focus on lighting looks and programming the lighting console while other people carefully placed cues into Ableton Live to trigger the lights.
Connectivity was pretty simple as well. In fact only the lighting console itself had a physical MIDI cable plugged into it. The rest of the machines received MIDI commands over the network using Apple’s Audio MIDI setup that’s built into the OS. We have used this a lot and it has proved to be very reliable provided that you have a good network connection and not a lot of network congestion. We created our our network just for these machines in order to make sure everything worked as fast as possible. Everything in the lighting booth was hard wired together and the two remote machines connected over the wireless N WifI network. This worked very well.
My buddy WIll Doggett and I put together this short video where he walks through the setup. Ignore the messy lighting booth, ha ha.