LIGHTING FOR SINGER/SONGWRITER.

Kandinskyesque

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It looks like I've got my first gig in years coming up in July at an exhibition/opening at my neighbour's, sculpture park/studio. Chances are it will probably become a regular event with also a few gigs at the local community owned hotel off the back of it.
I'll be playing/singing on my own (covers and originals) for around 3x1hr sets in a stable block out into a courtyard.

I'm all right for my sound set up, guitars and voice through my Roland synth, TC Voicelive 3, some other effects out to a QSC Touchmix and a pair of Bose L1 M2s. I use IEMs and add a ambient mic to mitigate the isolation. I'll need to start brushing up on using the gear again.

The big gap in my knowledge is lighting, I know zero about it and YT etc is just confusing me.

Does anyone know of any 101s on lighting a solo act without me having to post questions on that forum where the gobshtes and keyboard bullies lurk?

Any advice would be appreciated including what lights to buy within a reasonable budget.

Thanks in advance.
 

1955

Doctor of Teleocity
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https://www.zzounds.com/item--CHVSLIMPAR64RGBA

CF2E748D-2409-45CE-BAFF-C17F2E839B45.jpeg

For my solo shows I used to use one or two of these Cauvet Par LEDs. I mounted them on foldable, telescopic, heavy duty boom mic stands. The collapsible aspect was important for me because I wanted to be able to fit my mic stand, speaker stands, floor mat, and light stands in one bag. I got one of those hockey bags with wheels on the bottom at the thrift store. I think the speaker stands were Sampson, and they were slimmer and lighter, but still supported my v1 SRM450 50 lb main speakers.

I had to fiddle with the maximum height of the lights when mounted, and not make the angle of the boom too much so that they wouldn’t tip over or overburden the gaskets in the clutch and start falling mid-set. I also would use electrical or duct tape to wrap it in a couple places before the show, just to make sure. If I needed the lights higher, I’d place one of my backup gear bags for some weight at the base of the tripod.

Of course you can bypass all that stuff and just go with light stands, but the tripod legs of those can take up considerable stage real estate if you are working a tight venue.

I found that for many of my low pressure type gigs, one did fine in a room during the day or that had decent indoor lighting. Just a couple feet above my head and off to one side, slightly in front of me. I would set the sensor trigger on the light so that the colors would change every so often. I worked for many years with those hot old style lights in bars and such that would just kill you, so the newer LED lights are really a lot more convenient.

Two lights are better on a larger stage, or outdoors at night, etc., and look better.

These are not fancy, and they will not look anywhere near as good as theatre lighting, obviously, but that’s what I used for the bulk of my shows for several years and they helped pay my bills.

You can make a lot of things work with a little ingenuity, a trip to the hardware store, and necessity. Good luck with your gig. The only thing to do is to try and then if it isn’t right, you just adapt for the next gig. But always bring more than you will ever need, even if it doubles your prep/setup/load in/out time, because you won’t be caught with your pants down. Then as you get some feel for the venue, you’ll know what you need and what you don’t.

People used to scoff at what they perceived as overkill regarding what I had onstage and in my vehicle for a gig, but they weren’t anywhere to be found when something broke, or changed at the last second. No one comes to save you at a solo gig, so OCD in your preps becomes your friend and destiny bawhahaha.
 
Last edited:

Kandinskyesque

Tele-Holic
Joined
Dec 6, 2021
Posts
869
Location
Scotland
https://www.zzounds.com/item--CHVSLIMPAR64RGBA

View attachment 980286
For my solo shows I used to use one or two of these Cauvet Par LEDs. I mounted them on foldable, telescopic, heavy duty boom mic stands. The collapsible aspect was important for me because I wanted to be able to fit my mic stand, speaker stands, floor mat, and light stands in one bag. I got one of those hockey bags with wheels on the bottom at the thrift store. I think the speaker stands were Sampson, and they were slimmer and lighter, but still supported my v1 SRM450 50 lb main speakers.

I had to fiddle with the maximum height of the lights when mounted, and not make the angle of the boom too much so that they wouldn’t tip over or overburden the gaskets in the clutch and start falling mid-set. I also would use electrical or duct tape to wrap it in a couple places before the show, just to make sure. If I needed the lights higher, I’d place one of my backup gear bags for some weight at the base of the tripod.

Of course you can bypass all that stuff and just go with light stands, but the tripod legs of those can take up considerable stage real estate if you are working a tight venue.

I found that for many of my low pressure type gigs, one did fine in a room during the day or that had decent indoor lighting. Just a couple feet above my head and off to one side, slightly in front of me. I would set the sensor trigger on the light so that the colors would change every so often. I worked for many years with those hot old style lights in bars and such that would just kill you, so the newer LED lights are really a lot more convenient.

Two lights are better on a larger stage, or outdoors at night, etc., and look better.

These are not fancy, and they will not look anywhere near as good as theatre lighting, obviously, but that’s what I used for the bulk of my shows for several years and they helped pay my bills.

You can make a lot of things work with a little ingenuity, a trip to the hardware store, and necessity. Good luck with your gig. The only thing to do is to try and then if it isn’t right, you just adapt for the next gig. But always bring more than you will ever need, even if it doubles your prep/setup/load in/out time, because you won’t be caught with your pants down. Then as you get some feel for the venue, you’ll know what you need and what you don’t.

People used to scoff at what they perceived as overkill regarding what I had onstage and in my vehicle for a gig, but they weren’t anywhere to be found when something broke, or changed at the last second. No one comes to save you at a solo gig, so OCD in your preps becomes your friend and destiny bawhahaha.
Thanks, that's really helpful.
I've just seen a lighting bracket on Reverb that fits the top of the Bose L1. I'm going to check with my neighbour who does a lot of metalwork in his sculpture to see if he can come up with something similar or better.
I've also a got a decent Roland speaker stand that comes with my BA 330 speaker which I'll also take as a backup.
I'll be seated for most of these gigs so that would give me the height.

I agree with the overkill scenario, there's plenty room in my pickup, so I'd rather take too much for most gigs than not enough for one gig.
 




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