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(Modulate This) Lighting Live Performance Online Streaming

Inexpensive Rechargeable Lighting Recommendation for Online Meetings and Dark Performance and Studio Environments

In this post I wanted to share a recommendation on an inexpensive rechargeable light I’ve been using. I’m NOT an Amazon affiliate or anything like that. Just wanted to offer a tip :^)

First up let me explain my use cases, then I’ll offer the recommendation.

Use Cases

Use Case 1 – Playing in Dark Environments

Back in January I played a set on all Elektron gear in a near dark environment for the Zodiak Free Arts Lab West concert series in Lafayette Colorado. This event was presented by @tiertwolive.

The lighting in the space was super cool with shimmering blue lights painting the walls. It kind of looked like you were in the bottom of a swimming pool at night. On top of all that, one of the other artists Redwing Blackbird brought lasers and a smoke machine! Here are a few picks of the venue, Victoria Lundy, Me, and Redwing Blackbird performing in the space.

So while I was performing I was almost completely blinded – haha. Check out this short video clip from the set and you’ll see what I mean.

Video courtesy of Michant Metrique. “Gonna Rise Up” is a song from the album Fear Cannot Save Us and is also on the Live at Mountain Skies album.

Rewind to sound check. I realized while being immersed in smoke, lasers, and dark blue light I could in fact make out the buttons and controls on the Digitone and Octatrack MKII thanks to their backlit buttons – yay!. Not so much with my trusty Analog Four MKI which has LED dots with screen painted labels – boo! The show producer was kind enough to point a blue light on my gear which helped as did playing the muscle memory I acquired by playing Analog Four MKI for a number of years.

I had a goose neck LED but I forgot to bring it. It only had one intensity so I think the light would have ruined the aesthetic.

Use Case 2 – Front Lighting for Zoom Meetings

I had already started to make plans to take the Rocky Mountain Synth Meet online in February as I was having some problems finding rooms. Of course all that work helped us when we HAD to transition to online.

I found myself as all of us in a whole lot of Zoom meetings from a location in my house where the lighting isn’t great. Therefore, Use Case 2 was to see if I could find a light that would do double-duty for front lighting for online meetings.

The Hunt for a Cheap Rechargeable LED Light

After some research and trial and error buying some lights on Amazon I found one I really like.

The BIGLIGHT Book Reading Light which costs all of $12.99.

3 LIGHTING MODES — With the touch switch on the book light head, you can switch for 3 lighting modes at 3000K(Warm White), 4300K(Warm White + Cool White), 8000K(Cool White).

STURDY & SECURE PADDED CLIP — With strong & robust rubber padded clamp, you can clip the reading light on almost anything like music stand, piano, orchestra pit, book, desk,bed headboard, etc.

SUPER BRIGHT & DIMMABLE — Each music stand light has 8pcs longlasting LEDs, 100 lumens, very bright. And the brightness can be dimmed from 100% to 5%, no flicker, no shadow, no dizzy light, good for eye protection.

RECHARGEABLE — The built-in rechargeable polymer lithium battery is 1500mA. Fully charged can use for as long as 12 hours.

EXTENDABLE LIGHTING HEAD — The piano light’s head can be folded or extended 180 degree, which can provide a wider lighting area.

In Use for Performing and Online Meetings

Some things that make this light a winner for me are:

  1. The clamp can opened quite wide so you can not only use this on a music stand but clamp to a desk or mic stand
  2. I haven’t done a timed test, but the battery life is great
  3. The warm light mode means you don’t have to use a gel (like with some other low cost solutions) to use it as a meeting front lite for Zoom meetings and such
  4. It’s bright enough that if you want to splash it off a wall for more diffused lite it works pretty well
  5. Being able to dim this down means you could use it for gigging without competing too much with the stage lighting vibe. Also you being able to adjust the intensity for an online meeting is essential.

It’s the Little Things

I’ve been gigging for many, many years now and it’s always the little things that can screw up your live set. Not being able to see is one of them. Throw this handy light in your gig bag and you’ll have one less thing to worry about. Plus you’ll look less ghostly on online meetings – bam!

Categories
(Modulate This) Lighting Video Tutorials

Video Demo: SlimPar 56 LED Light and Obey 3 Light Controller

On June 13th, I posted a review of the Slimpar56 and Obey 3 controllers. I had a few people ask me to follow up with a video showing the light in action. I added the video to the original post but wanted to do a separate post with the video for those that read Modulate This with a feed reader.

Watch embedded video.

Mark Mosher
www.MarkMosherMusic.com
www.ModulateThis.com

Categories
(Modulate This) Lighting

Review of the Chauvet Slimpar56 LED Light and Obey3 Light Controller

2010-MarkMosher-Signals-Rig_01_lights

In a recent post I documented my new live rig with a drawing and a time-lapse video sans lights and light controller. I’m happy to report I just received and have been testing the brand new LED SlimPAR™ 56 and Obey™ 3 compact DMX controller so I thought I’d share some notes.

I used this system to light this Teaser Video (the horizontal scan effect is from a video effect not the light):

Update: After finishing this pots I shot a follow up video demo.

My Lighting Needs
My initial objective with this light setup was to come up with a very portable system that would provide ambient fill lighting to augment but not overpower the light coming from my Percussa AudioCubes, Tenori-On and Launchad. If possible I also wanted a way to do easily add chase and strobing which led me to the brand new SlimPar and Obey3. I also wanted to get a one light system that would integrated into a larger setup should I decided to scale my setup. While I'm happy to use house light reinforcement, I definitely want to be self-contained if need be. This also allows me to do smaller performances where there is no light reinforcement. 

Backpack Ready
First off both the SlimPar and Obey are very small and backpack ready. I took a picture of the light with the controller below it with a Novation NIO 2|4 and Launchpad on either side to offer some perspective and scale.

slimpar_obey_size

LED SlimPAR™ 56

This light is simply fabulous. Small, thin (only 2 inches thick!), light-weight, and runs cool. it has a y-yoke so you can mount on a light stand or set on the floor. The yoke is tall enough that you can plug the power and DMX cables into it and rotate to any angle. Here the specs:

  • Beam angle: 21°
  • Field angle: 32°
  • Lux: 1,290 @ 1m
  • Light Source: 108 (36 red, 36 green, 36 blue) LEDs
  • Weight: 2.7lbs (1.2kg)
  • Size: 9.5in x 8.8in x 2.2in / 241mm x 224mm x 56mm

The light offers basic functions without a controller including static RGB and automated sound activated programs with timing coming from a built-in mic. Instead of old-school dip switches, settings are programmed via buttons with feedback from an LED making setup a snap. With 108 red, green and blue LEDs, it is plenty bright and the colors are great. You can also use the SlimPar56 with 3 and 7 channel DMX controllers.

Obey™ 3 Compact DMX Controller

 

While I am using MIDI to control the LED lights on the Percussa AudioCubes, I decided for fill lighting I’d start of small with some basic control and went with the Obey 3. What attracted me to the Obey 3 was that it was loaded with presets so I didn’t have to worry about color mixing or setting up chases.  Here are the specs:

  • Compact DMX-512 controller for LED fixtures (3-channel mode only)
  • Works with all 3-channel LED fixtures
         Channel 1: red
         Channel 2: green
         Channel 3: blue
  • Playback options include automated, sound-activated or manual RGB
  • Playback modes:
         Preset: 9 built-in colors
         Chase: triggers automated programs
         Macro: scrolls through the color spectrum
  • Variable fade times for all playback modes
  • Variable strobing on the fly (2Hz – 33Hz)
  • Fader for master dimmer
  • Adjustable blackout allows fixtures to fade out
  • Adjustable audio sensitivity