Forums Music VJing do you NEED fog/smoke for a decent lazer show?

This topic contains 29 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by Avatar Deez April 9, 2013 at 12:39 pm.

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  • #1055548
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    I’m not very experienced with lighting at the moment but i was thinking about buying some small lazers to sit on my mini stack. But for the lazers to look decent, is fog necessary? I was thinking in an outside location, how could you effectively do fog for the beams to be visible without it blowing away? But without the beams aren’t lazers a bit lame? or am i just over thinking this? Let me know what ya think guys 🙂

    #1271063
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    General Lighting
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    yes, fog and smoke makes it better. But the fog machines are cheap and safe anyway, and far less risk and hassle than lasers.

    Lasers are pretty, but I would very strongly advise you against shining any form of strong laser or lighting effect into outside locations without actually getting the event licensed.

    Round here there are loads of aerodromes, large and small, and unwanted light in the skies is a danger to aviation. OK you are unlikely to bring a 747 full of people down al-quaeda style, but there are lots of local people who fly small light aircraft as a hobby and you may be putting these chaps in danger.

    Also read up about lasers and what class 1/2/3a/3b means. Even some of the cheap ones sold to anybody from electronics catalogue these days are very strong and you can put someones eye out with them or set something alight if you are not careful. That is the sort of fuckup that will not just get you arrested but you crew possibly sued in civil court by the victim and their relatives, who could have once even been your best friends.

    #1271079
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    @General Lighting 538221 wrote:

    yes, fog and smoke makes it better. But the fog machines are cheap and safe anyway, and far less risk and hassle than lasers.

    Lasers are pretty, but I would very strongly advise you against shining any form of strong laser or lighting effect into outside locations without actually getting the event licensed.

    Round here there are loads of aerodromes, large and small, and unwanted light in the skies is a danger to aviation. OK you are unlikely to bring a 747 full of people down al-quaeda style, but there are lots of local people who fly small light aircraft as a hobby and you may be putting these chaps in danger.

    Also read up about lasers and what class 1/2/3a/3b means. Even some of the cheap ones sold to anybody from electronics catalogue these days are very strong and you can put someones eye out with them or set something alight if you are not careful. That is the sort of fuckup that will not just get you arrested but you crew possibly sued in civil court by the victim and their relatives, who could have once even been your best friends.

    Okay thanks for the info GL. I’ll have a look at what the different classes of lazers mean.

    So what would be a good choice of lighting for an small outdoor event?

    #1271074
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    Chrispydelic
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    The small lasers that you are talking about aren’t really going to be much use outside. You’ll get the projections where the beams meet an object but unless it’s foggy you won’t really get beams at all.

    #1271080
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    @chrispydelic 538228 wrote:

    The small lasers that you are talking about aren’t really going to be much use outside. You’ll get the projections where the beams meet an object but unless it’s foggy you won’t really get beams at all.

    Hm i thought as much. In that case i’m a bit stumped for what i should get. Ideas anyone?

    #1271091
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    Deez
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    @Seasonz 538233 wrote:

    Hm i thought as much. In that case i’m a bit stumped for what i should get. Ideas anyone?

    discoball!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    #1271081
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    @DeezNuts 538235 wrote:

    discoball!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    that was obviously my number 1 choice!!! haha

    #1271075
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    Chrispydelic
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    Probably just some scans or some optikentics. Strobes are good too.

    #1271072
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    cheeseweasel
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    There are loads of cheap options for cool lighting around nowadays, as lots rely on LEDs and are manufactured cheaply in the far east.

    You probably want to be looking at LEDs anyway as conventional lighting fixtures (i.e. those containing a bulb) draw a lot of power. My mate up north sells all sorts of weird and wonderful cheap LED lighting that would be fine for your event. Check them out Effects Lighting

    #1271071
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    Dan Ooops
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    Try whybuynew as well – they do some decent LED based kit. If you are going to go down the laser route, then minimum 500mW for any decent outdoor show (esp if going for any colour other then red).

    Good luck – and remember some pics/vids once you have got them going

    #1271082
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    Nice one guys cheers:)

    #1271076
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    Chrispydelic
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    You can actually do some interesting stuff with lower powered lasers if they are being DMX controlled and you make clever use of scrims (sort of fine mesh drapes which are relatively invisible). But it makes things complicated. On the other hand it does look awesome, almost like holography.

    #1271083
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    @chrispydelic 538259 wrote:

    You can actually do some interesting stuff with lower powered lasers if they are being DMX controlled and you make clever use of scrims (sort of fine mesh drapes which are relatively invisible). But it makes things complicated. On the other hand it does look awesome, almost like holography.

    Sounds pretty cool actually. I might look into this at a later date. For now i think i’m going for a scanner or maybe this which looks pretty much perfect for my needs

    #1271064
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    General Lighting
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    @chrispydelic 538228 wrote:

    The small lasers that you are talking about aren’t really going to be much use outside. You’ll get the projections where the beams meet an object but unless it’s foggy you won’t really get beams at all.

    And the ones which are really need to be used carefully (in russia a installation went tits up and put about 50+ patients into the eye hospital) and even the less powerful ones are not the kind of things pilots want shining at them. it would be just one more thing the feds could give you a lot of grief about.

    LED’s are far safer, use less leccy, are very robust and can be just as pretty.

    #1271077
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    Chrispydelic
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    Sorry for the interlude but why can’t I like certain posts? Was going to like GL’s post above but no like option! I get this on certain posts from time to time.

    #1271084
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    Any thoughts on this? Equinox Duo – Twin Matrix Effect Moonflower LED. I think this is what i need for a smallish outside event. Just makes everything a little more interesting other than just a bland stack with no lights or anything

    #1271065
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    General Lighting
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    refresh the page, sometimes the like button doesn’t appear immediately.

    Another advantage of LEDs and DMX is that making your own DIY kit/controllers is feasible and safe as you are not working with 230V mains and/or incandescent glow lamps that also get very hot and can burn stuff.

    #1271078
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    Chrispydelic
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    @Seasonz 538264 wrote:

    Any thoughts on this? Equinox Duo – Twin Matrix Effect Moonflower LED. I think this is what i need for a smallish outside event. Just makes everything a little more interesting other than just a bland stack with no lights or anything

    You still may or may not see the beams in an outside environment. Optikinetics type projections may be the answer as you can project these onto any suitable surface ie the rig or trees etc. Avoid any lighting where the effect is a beaming effect. Look at what looks good when projected onto something. Colour-wheels and gobos are great for this.

    Another favourite that we used to use is the rainbowstrobe. We used to use par cans, seperately controlled and with a red, blue and green gel over the lamps (there are now standalone LED versions of this improvised light). By changing the rate that you cycle between the red, green and blue you get some incredible strobe effects, like multicolour traces from peoples arms moving etc.

    For good use of lighting outside you need to be a bit creative. Look at uplighting things such as trees, speaker stacks or columns on walls etc, even simple things like this can be really effective especially if you are controlling them separately on a DMX.

    #1271073
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    cheeseweasel
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    @Seasonz 538264 wrote:

    Any thoughts on this? Equinox Duo – Twin Matrix Effect Moonflower LED. I think this is what i need for a smallish outside event. Just makes everything a little more interesting other than just a bland stack with no lights or anything

    For £50 you can’t really go wrong. Don’t expect an amazing lightshow out of it, but it will throw some colourful shapes over the crowd. LED par cans are always a safe bet too and are cheap – on most of them you can set them to be a fixed colour or change colour in time with the music. You’ll probably want something like that near the DJ so he can see the decks.

    #1271066
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    Also you are way better off using LEDs and natural phenomena then letting off a high power smoke machine in an outdoor location unless you actually do have a TENS for the event.

    Some folk especially those of the older generation who wander the countryside at random hours walking equally elderly dogs (and East Anglia is full of ’em) might not even to deliberately be nosey or interfering or judgemental but genuinely think “there is a barn full of young people and smoke pouring out of it. Perhaps they have caught the haystack alight by accident. They seem so engrossed in their disco they do not realise what has happened and I had better call 999 for the Fire Brigade”. This is called “false alarm with good intent” by Fire and Rescue but if you don’t have permission to be there will result in the cops turning up as well. If its a licensed (TENS) event you are likely to just get “words of advice” and be left to carry on once the local community have been reassured you are not actually on fire.

    The curious thing about EA is about half the non participating locals would think you are scum and will call 999 anyway as soon as they see or hear anything (be careful also as light can travel further then sound) but the other half is more likely to walk up to the decks, marvel at the pretty lights and ask if you have any Yes or Hawkwind or Focus (ask your parents or grandparents who these are if you don’t know :laugh_at: )

    #1271085
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    @General Lighting 538378 wrote:

    Also you are way better off using LEDs and natural phenomena then letting off a high power smoke machine in an outdoor location unless you actually do have a TENS for the event.

    Some folk especially those of the older generation who wander the streets at random hours walking equally elderly dogs (and East Anglia is full of ’em) might not even to deliberately be nosey or interfering or judgemental but genuinely think “there is a barn full of young people and smoke pouring out of it. Perhaps they have caught the haystack alight by accident. They seem so engrossed in their disco they do not realise what has happened and I had better call 999 for the Fire Brigade”. This is called “false alarm with good intent” by Fire and Rescue but if you don’t have permission to be there will result in the cops turning up as well. If its a licensed (TENS) event you are likely to just get “words of advice” and be left to carry on once the local community have been reassured you are not actually on fire.

    The curious thing about EA is about half the non participating locals would think you are scum and will call 999 anyway as soon as they see or hear anything (be careful also as light can travel further then sound) but the other half is more likely to walk up to the decks, marvel at the pretty lights and ask if you have any Yes or Hawkwind or Focus (ask your parents or grandparents who these are if you don’t know :laugh_at: )

    Haha, so true about the people of East Anglia! Funny bunch they are really. Unfortunately the event i may or may not be organising in a few weeks is quite likely to be interrupted by dog walkers at some obscene time:/
    Guess i’ll have to chance it really. I’ll try to be reasonable with em’!

    #1271067
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    @Seasonz 538387 wrote:

    Haha, so true about the people of East Anglia! Funny bunch they are really. Unfortunately the event i may or may not be organising in a few weeks is quite likely to be interrupted by dog walkers at some obscene time:/
    Guess i’ll have to chance it really. I’ll try to be reasonable with em’!

    I guess you heard about the event in Blundeston getting locked off and the rig seized? that said someone only a few years younger than me was in the Ipswich star talking about legally hosting an “electronica” event in an disused building in Ipswich, which seems to have been received fairly favourably (although its a ticket only licensed event and with more esoteric genres).

    I have heard rumours of some local crews who actually use farmland owned by their friends and family which means they theoretically could call it a private party (but would have to be very careful who it is advertised to and still would be liable for noise pollutions. But then again if you have permission you can get a TENS for £25….

    #1271086
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    @General Lighting 539093 wrote:

    I guess you heard about the event in Blundeston getting locked off and the rig seized? that said someone only a few years younger than me was in the Ipswich star talking about legally hosting an “electronica” event in an disused building in Ipswich, which seems to have been received fairly favourably (although its a ticket only licensed event and with more esoteric genres).

    I have heard rumours of some local crews who actually use farmland owned by their friends and family which means they theoretically could call it a private party (but would have to be very careful who it is advertised to and still would be liable for noise pollutions. But then again if you have permission you can get a TENS for £25….

    Yeah i heard about that Blundeston event. Do you know what crew it was? I havn’t heard about that legal “electronica” event though. Sounds quite interesting, i may have to investigate that me thinks, love partys in barns or disused buildings :weee:

    And yep you’re right. I went to an event on a farm the other week where the rig owners actually lived! It was quite weird to think that, but it turned out really well (it was their first big party) and there were great vibes, no trouble at all. But if i had a load of land and intended on hosting events at the place where i lived i would be really concerned about who attended. Because although it’s not too often you get violence or trouble at an event, it does happen and to have that going on on MY land near MY house would be pretty stressful!! But i have to say if i did have a decent amount of land i’d still have to have partys, i wouldn’t be able to resist!

    #1271068
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    General Lighting
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    @Seasonz 539105 wrote:

    Yeah i heard about that Blundeston event. Do you know what crew it was?
    I havn’t heard about that legal “electronica” event though. Sounds quite interesting, i may have to investigate that me thinks, love partys in barns or disused buildings :weee: [/quote]

    I don’t know what the crew doing the illegal event was but the legal one is discussed here

    Ipswich: Could the old Odeon or County Hall buildings be brought back to life for one night only? Engineer reveals plan to stage major music event in derelict structure – News – Ipswich Star

    he seems to have not been refused point blank (probably because he’s older and not known to cops for anything I expect) but its not clear at what stage the license application is at. That said I know some councillors here who would be supportive as its going to be less trouble than town on a normal weekend.

    Quote:
    And yep you’re right. I went to an event on a farm the other week where the rig owners actually lived! It was quite weird to think that, but it turned out really well (it was their first big party) and there were great vibes, no trouble at all. But if i had a load of land and intended on hosting events at the place where i lived i would be really concerned about who attended. Because although it’s not too often you get violence or trouble at an event, it does happen and to have that going on on MY land near MY house would be pretty stressful!! But i have to say if i did have a decent amount of land i’d still have to have partys, i wouldn’t be able to resist!

    I can understand your concern especially with peopel carrying knifes and other weapons round here, but it is not that costly to hire security staff even SIA trained ones, you want the ones what know about nightlife but aren’t the obvious townie club bouncers. Though if you have a good friendly crowd of mixed genders and age groups (not just 16-25 year olds) then events usually do go trouble free.

    #1271087
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    @General Lighting 539110 wrote:

    I don’t know what the crew doing the illegal event was but the legal one is discussed here

    Ipswich: Could the old Odeon or County Hall buildings be brought back to life for one night only? Engineer reveals plan to stage major music event in derelict structure – News – Ipswich Star

    he seems to have not been refused point blank (probably because he’s older and not known to cops for anything I expect) but its not clear at what stage the license application is at. That said I know some councillors here who would be supportive as its going to be less trouble than town on a normal weekend.

    Great thanks! I’ll be interested to see how that pans out actually. Would be pretty cool to get a kind of big legal EDM event (hopefully a bit like shindig nation’s events in london) in the local area. Definitely going to consider buying tickets if ends up sounding any good!

    I can understand your concern especially with peopel carrying knifes and other weapons round here, but it is not that costly to hire security staff even SIA trained ones, you want the ones what know about nightlife but aren’t the obvious townie club bouncers. Though if you have a good friendly crowd of mixed genders and age groups (not just 16-25 year olds) then events usually do go trouble free.

    Yeh you’re right. Do you reckon security would be opposed to drug use though at an event like that? Obviously in the townie clubs they’re obligated to look out for drug use i spose but i wonder how they would react in this kind of situation.

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