Let's talk about lights

I been thinking about live performance and setup. Currently I’m looking into lighting solutions as I’m trying to add a certain ambiance to the performance. Are you folks using anything like that or recommend anything?

I found this Astera Pixel Tube thing that looks really interesting to play with. However, it is not particularly cheap or easy and requires an expensive remote device and an android app haha. Some obstacles, but might end up trying that unless if find something more appealing.

I also have these Phillips Hue like lamps that I thought about using. However, they are such a hassle to set up that renders them unusable to travel with.

I use a blue light rope and a small red lazer from american DJ. Not too expensive and devent mood lighting.

For bigger gigs I set up a projector n old laptop running a loop of jellyfish.


I keep reading this as: Let’s talk about tights :sweat_smile:

Sorry, I know that’s not contributing


Hsahahaha Tights aren’t bad to talk about either…

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I usually just email or converse with the lighting tech at the venue before hand. Easier, cheaper and better results than lugging stuff around yourself.

I’m trying to do that as well… Just wanted to know if anybody tried to create their own setup :slight_smile:

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Yes I do lights, a little test sample: http://dietervandoren.net/project/destruct/


Saw the video… That’s beautiful!!! I would love to reach a point where I can do such thing…
Any lights you recommend for me to start with?
I was considering something on the basic side like Astera or ApeLabs tubes

That is amazing work. Did you program all the lights before? Or is it live fiddling?

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And at the end of the video you can see the explanation. Probably programmed.

I would recommend a little array of RGBW led spots. They have a limited number of DMX channels: intensity, RGBW channels, strobe, and maybe some extra’s. Add a smoke machine or hazer.

How do you want to control them? Laptop software? DMX controller?

For small setups software is fine. Can even be done in Ableton. You’ll need a USB-DMX interface like the Enttec USBDMXPRO.


The patterns are generated in real time by Max scripts that I develop. For Max software see: https://cycling74.com/
My scripts have parameters to tweak live and can be stored in memory slots. I develop these as live performance instruments.

What you can see at the end of the video is that I have a virtual 3D representation of the light output. This is particularly useful for such large setups where one can’t have it set up for extended development periods (rent of the lamps is costly, not to speak of buying them). With the virtual real time rendering I can develop the project without having the hardware at hand. All of it is real time, not pre-programmed.

For creating such projects it helps that A) I am an AV artist with years of Max scripting under my belt and B) I run an AV rental and production company catering to events, concert venues, clubs, etc. So I have access to a lot of equipment and have good connections to suppliers when I need stuff that I don’t own myself, like the lamps used in this project.


Great use of your skills and access to gear :slight_smile:

I’ve got two Chauvet light bars that I bring to gigs. they’re basically wall-washers and cast a nice ambience up the back wall behind us.

I’m looking at getting a midi to dmx module so I can try using op-z to sequence the lights, but as of now they just sit on the floor and are typically purple. They can also be set to respond to audio and change colors with the beat.


That seems like a lot of fun… I think I will invest in some basic lights to start and play with those… I’m noticing many of the bars with DJ booths have no ambient lights so you’re almost left to play in a dark corner pretty much

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Same with every bar our band plays. It’s either a dark corner or bring your own lights. 2 chauvet bars (the 3-footers) add a perfect amount of ambiance

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How handy are those? Do you need any experience working them?

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Zero experience!

Turn them on and they work.

Push the ‘up’ button to switch colors.

Set the same number on both lights.

Boom. Done.

(You can, of course, complicate things and link them together via dmx cable and/or set them to strobe or fade or whatever)

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Niiiice Gonna look into it more. Thanks mate :grin:

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I’m bumping this thread!

Right now, I’m looking at two different LED bars:

The first one is cheeper and might be a better fit for a beginner like me, but I don’t know if I will be annoyed by the lack of a white channel, which the second one has.

Could someone give me some pointers? I’m also interested how well these lights go with filming. Will I have flickering issues?