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Thread: Using What I Learned At SELEM for My First Laser Gig. Thoughts/Comments Appreciated.

  1. #1
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    Default Using What I Learned At SELEM for My First Laser Gig. Thoughts/Comments Appreciated.

    I have had my variance since 2015 and have used lasers as part of my DJ gigs ever since then, always on stage aiming out over the crowd so I don't get to see or enjoy the beams. This is the first time I was hired only to supply lasers and video for someone else's gig. For this event i was able to have lasers font, back and sides for immersive coverage. I have been lucky to be able to attend the last three SELEMs and learned tons of stuff from all the great people I met. If you haven't been yet I highly recommend going this year. So I wanted to share some pictures and videos and get everyone's thoughts, and what I could do different or better next time.

    The setup took quite some time because it was in a venue I had never been in before. Also, it was a 100' cable run from Front of House to the lasers on stage, and it was about 80' runs from FOH to the lasers aimed from sides. I used one FB3 (door prize I won at my 1st SELEM 2017 - thanks Adam!) for 2 FOH lasers, one FB3 for 2 side lasers and a QM.NET for the 100' run to the 2 stage lasers. Lots of walking back and forth, and up and down stairs. Now that I have the placement and best routing figured out, it will go much faster next time. I used heavy duty c-clamps that wrap around the truss/pipe supports for mounting all the lasers, and then added a braided steel safety cable since they would be hanging over people's heads. All cables were taped down with "no residue" stage tape.

    The pictures and videos are from during setup while the venue was closed before I got the safety zones dialed in. Unfortunately once the gig started I was too busy to get any pics/video with a crowd in the room.

    For control I used my 17" touch screen laptop running Beyond with a second monitor and mouse for a separate workspace page. Since the gig I have purchased an AKAI APC40 because I'm a gear nerd and because the laptop touchscreen is hard to use without pushing the laptop over - its not heavy enough. I like the idea of real buttons and knobs, but now that I have the APC40 and have tried it out, I'm not sure about using it since you have to look at the laptop screen and then the APC and push the right button - requires quick hand eye coordination. I'm considering just using my Dell All-in-one 27" touchscreen as the PC and controller. I'm curious what others are using touchscreen vs APC40? The main downside of using the all-in-one is the brightness. I have used it to dj and didn't like it because I like to be in the dark...not all lit up by a giant tv screen. However, it is heavy, won't tip over and its large size makes cues easy to see and press.

    Anyway, here's some pics and video.....

    Play in 1080p for best looks

    Stage looking at FOH




    360 walk around


    Some are from stage looking at FOH and some are from FOH looking at the Stage and video screen.
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    Eric in New Orleans

  2. #2
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    Looking good, man! One thing that's helped me during setup is having a tablet I can carry with me that can access my beyond machine via wifi. I setup the control station at FoH and have a wifi router there (no internet access) and use VNC to mirror my desktop onto my tablet. Then I can stand next to the projector and zone without having to run back n forth. Once I'm done, I kill the wifi.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by hitekvoop View Post
    Looking good, man! One thing that's helped me during setup is having a tablet I can carry with me that can access my beyond machine via wifi. I setup the control station at FoH and have a wifi router there (no internet access) and use VNC to mirror my desktop onto my tablet. Then I can stand next to the projector and zone without having to run back n forth. Once I'm done, I kill the wifi.
    Thanks for the compliments and the VNC idea. I will have to get that setup on an old tablet with one of my old wi-fi routers, and VNC shouldn't be too hard to figure out.

    I should have lots of time this week to work through it all since everything in New Orleans is shutting down due to the corona mess. I have gigs that were cancelled for this weekend and both my kids' schools (actually all public and private schools and colleges) are closed until April 13th. All around N.O. and the suburbs (where I live) events with over 250 people are banned until further notice.

    The local news said that corona infections are going to really take off now that we are 14+ days past Mardi Gras where we had thousands of people from all over the world standing side by side for hours and eating/drinking together. Even the tv news people are "social distancing" standing six feet apart on the tv set.

    I'm going to take advantage of the time at home setting up the tablet/vnc and trying to learn the abstract editor in Beyond.
    Eric in New Orleans

  4. #4
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    Nice pictures Eric! Hell yeah dude; I'm sure the folks enjoyed that show! Great work.

    Regarding a touch screen vs an APC-40, I think they both have their place. In my opinion the APC-40 is vital for the faders and knobs. I use the faders for all sorts of things - effect speed, brightness, scan speed, etc, but the knobs are really good for rotation and rotation rate. (Z rotation rate especially!) I agree that it's tricky to learn the layout of the button grid on the APC though; for that I often prefer to use the touch screen, at least at first. But once you get used to your workspace you'll find that you can jump over to the APC and mash buttons on the cue grid just as easily as you can on the touch-screen.

    My console has a 19" 4:3 aspect touch-screen on it, and I also have a second 27" 16:9 aspect monitor that I use with it. And of course I have the APC-40. I find myself moving between the APC and the touch screen as my mood changes.

    Adam

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    Thanks Adam. It looked really great and everyone loved it. The client had planned on having several more events, but that's not going to happen for a long while now.

    I have been thinking about control with APC vs. Touchscreen, etc. and going through several design ideas for my control console. Your comments got me thinking that BOTH the APC AND the Touchscreen are the way to go using Beyond. I already have an ELO 19" touchscreen that I'm not using and a regular Dell 19" monitor too. I'll run Beyond on a small form factor fanless PC with an SSD hard drive.

    My first idea was to mount everything in a keyboard flightcase like this with the touch operated stuff in the bottom and the regular monitor in the top above the keyboard/mouse combo...
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    Then I realized I needed room for another piece of touch operated gear that I am anxiously waiting to receive, RADIATOR...

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    I'll probably have to swap out the lid-stay straps with slightly longer ones to allow the monitors to angle backwards slightly for easier viewing. Or I could use wedge shaped spacers and longer screws on the bottom mounting screws of the monitors to angle them.

    As I begin to get this together I'll post some progress pics.
    Eric in New Orleans

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    I applaud your effort of trying to learn the APC. I keep saying I'm going to and never hook it up. I have a touchscreen laptop with a heavy lid so I do use that a lot for cues but, the faders would be a lot easier to use on the APC and I realize that. I tend to use Quickshow a lot more often than Beyond though.
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    For what it's worth, I like having the second monitor (the one with all the Beyond controls) on my right, with the APC 40. The touch-screen monitor is to my left, and all I have up on that monitor is the second cue-grid. (You have to detach the window from the Beyond interface and then drag it over to the touch-screen monitor.) The keyboard is also on the left, just below the touch-screen.

    When you are banging away on the cue buttons on the APC-40, the monitor right above it will show you which cues you are selecting. And you can also watch that monitor to see the "live controls" section respond as you move the knobs/sliders on the APC-40.

    This seems to be the most intuitive layout for me. Your mileage may vary.

    Adam

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bradfo69 View Post
    but, the faders would be a lot easier to use on the APC and I realize that.
    <br><br>

    That's why I want to use the APC. The touchscreen is nice but I like the tactile feel of buttons and sliders and getting the feedback of where I set the fader or the click that lets me know I actually pressed the button. I'll just have to get used to looking back and forth until I get better at it.&nbsp;<br><br>When I started out DJing in the 80s with turntables, you would use actual knobs and faders on the mixer, manipulate the vinyl by hand to cue &amp; scratch. Then, when I transitioned to laptop DJing I felt less engaged and didn't feel like I was actually doing DJ work. No sorting manually through record crates or dropping the needle on the record...just standing there staring at a monitor screen. Now I use a Numakr DJ controller with buttons, faders and jog wheels to control the software functions and it is much more satisfying than using just the laptop.&nbsp;<br><br><br><br>&nbsp;<br>
    <br>
    Eric in New Orleans

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    Great job and awesome pics.
    BEYOND-FB3/APC40Mamba Black(clone & currently on loan) 2X 5paghetti & 2 I-Show 2X KGB 1000mW 532 DT40K (pair)XFX 1300 RGB full color RGB 30K DIY 3.5WRGB work in progress et al..assorted ttl chi-jectors--LOTS of LUMIA DIY pjs-
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    Quote Originally Posted by buffo View Post
    For what it's worth, I like having the second monitor (the one with all the Beyond controls) on my right, with the APC 40. The touch-screen monitor is to my left, and all I have up on that monitor is the second cue-grid. (You have to detach the window from the Beyond interface and then drag it over to the touch-screen monitor.) The keyboard is also on the left, just below the touch-screen.

    When you are banging away on the cue buttons on the APC-40, the monitor right above it will show you which cues you are selecting. And you can also watch that monitor to see the "live controls" section respond as you move the knobs/sliders on the APC-40.

    This seems to be the most intuitive layout for me. Your mileage may vary.

    Adam

    Hey Adam,

    Yeah I was going through several different layouts in my head trying to decide if left or right side was best, and where the APC should be relative to everything else. I will definitely have the cue grid monitor right above the APC.
    Eric in New Orleans

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