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I’m trying to up my live show’s lighting game. Since it’s me, I’m heading towards the compact, DIY and cheap. Here’s what I’m trying out:

TheĀ Chauvet 4BAR – you can get these guys for like $320 USD off eBay, which seems like a great deal since it comes with the tripod, foot pedal and carrying case. Unlike the cheaper Mini 4BAR, this one’s DMX-controllable, so I should be able to sync a couple of these trees to the laptop that drives my live show and plan my lighting out nicely ahead of time.

Enttec USB Pro – to get DMX sent to the lights I need an adapter for the laptop and after a lot of research this seems to be the good one. The cheap guy in me wanted to get the Open DMX Usb which is less than half the price, but most software specifically mentioned the Enttec USB Pro and I didn’t want to risk buying something that wouldn’t do the job.

DMaX – I’m waiting until the lights and adapter arrive but it looks like the DMaX devices for Ableton Live with Max For Live (along with the dmxusbpro external) should let me control the lights from Ableton all easily (I hope this works).

Sound Activated EL Wire – I ordered some sound activated EL Wire to test out. It’s not DMX controllable so it won’t be in sync digitally, but it’s only like $15 and I’m gonna try putting some on the guitar amps and drums and see if we can get it blinking in response to our playing which should be on the beat assuming we’re playing OK. I’m not sure how well it’ll handle the noise level at a show but we’ll see. Worst case scenario I can just leave them on all the time and it should look neat.

I’ll try to post about it once I figure out if any of it works. If you know anything about lighting or visualization stuff I’d mega-love to hear from you.

Posted on - July 3, 2011 [at] 8:11 pm by Brad
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5 Comments on this post

schoolhouse on Live show lighting
July 4, 2011 at 2:41 pm

I’m a huge fan of “making me nervous”. I’d love to do some work with you, or to donate my services to your next album. Sincerely.

ReznorIsTalent on Live show lighting
July 6, 2011 at 3:06 pm

Do you think you will ever start touring or start playing live concerts more around the US?

Brad on Live show lighting
July 6, 2011 at 8:40 pm

We’ll see after this next album is released.

If there’s enough demand and I think that I won’t lose all the money that I have doing it and also not have a very good time, I will likely do it.

tom on Live show lighting
December 1, 2012 at 1:18 pm

how did this lighting setup work? I am looking to do almost exactly the same (specifically DMax & dmxusbpro from Ableton into the Enntec)

Brad on Live show lighting
December 3, 2012 at 10:53 am

I got it working but it was a bit of a pain. I wound up using Ableton to trigger FreeStyler DMX which then talked to the lights.

Then I got sick of having computers on stage and decided to simplify, so I’m not using them right now.

Comments are closed on this post.