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  • Lighting question

    Hi, My band are looking at getting a backdrop for the show with the bands name on it. My question is the bands logo has a graphic EQ sort of symbol on it and was wondering if there was some way I could make a functioning EQ light effect built into the back drop. Sort of so it move with the music or had a pattern it followed but I dont know where to start any suggestions would be greatly sppreciated.
    Thanks
    Jay

  • #2
    Two thoughts jumped into my head.

    First is LED lighting tubes. A bunch of companies make them and they can either be controlled by audio or DMX. Of course, you would need a few to look like an EQ and that could get expensive.

    Video Projector. Another expensive idea, but you could project nearly anything you wanted. A laptop with a simple frequency analyzer projected on your backdrop might be cool.

    If I am thinking too big (and I always think big) there are a lot of cheap electronic VU meter kits that you could assemble.
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    • #3
      Michael is deffo right in that an LED solution is the probably a good way to do it! For instance, LEDs won't set the banner on fire lol! But you could go for the sort of standard LEDs that are stiched into Starcloths that DJs use on mobile deck stand. Those LEDs are linked to a basic sound to light controller so do move with the music.

      The tricky part will be sewing the individual LEDs in and then wiring them up...it would probably be best to have the banner double layered to protected the LEDs and wiring inside. The wiring inside would of course group up into a lead coming out the side of your banner which can then connect to a controller.
      :eek:

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      • #4
        I found a kit on eBay that has a 2"x6.5" display.
        http://cgi.ebay.com/Audio-Spectrum-A...QQcmdZViewItem

        I get the best results searching for "Spectrum Analyzer"
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        • #5
          And dig this one!
          http://cgi.ebay.com/Assembled-Audio-...3%3A1|294%3A50
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          • #6
            How good are you at building your own electronics? You can make a spectrum analyzer in a fairly straightforward manner (not lab grade of course). National Semiconductor sells an IC, the LM3915, which is a 3 dB per step LED driver. All you do is feed your audio into a bank of bandpass filters (each tuned to an appropriate frequency) and the output of each filter goes to its own 3915 which in turn drives a string of LEDs.

            If you split it up into say half-octave segments (maybe 16 bands total, spreading the highest and lowest to an octave+), that would need 16 op amps (4 quads like the LF347 or TL084) if you used a simple multiple-feedback filter and then 16 of the 3915s. You could multiplex a single 3915 but that complicates things a little and I'm thinking you could just make a simple single op-amp/3915 circuit and replicate it 16 times.

            Anyway, all of these ICs are circa 1970s so they're pretty cheap. All you'd have to do is connect the output of the 3915s to the LED strings. If you're handy with this sort of stuff I think you could get the basic circuitry up (less the LEDs) for $50, not including your time.

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            • #7
              What about one of these?

              Not sure of your budget but these would be exactly what you're looking for.

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              • #8
                That's pretty cool. Here's the first place that came up on a seller search:

                http://www.djdepot.com/chauvet-color...9adf4886eb34f3

                Not exactly cheap, it's about $100/tube, but maybe you could just use the controller and make your own tubes.

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                • #9
                  whoah thanks for all the suggestions guys. Im in the Uk though is the only problem ha ha.
                  The Logo only has 4 columns in it and it does neccessarily have to be an actualeq function just appear to be if that makes it simpler or easier to achieve I was even thinkin of something that ran a programmed pattern that looked like an eq but wasnt, does that make sense? Or maybe use the midi out of my td12 to make it respond to the beat I dont really know. Im not very hip to lights and things but please keep the suggestions coming I didnt actually think a proper eq backdrop would be possible.
                  Thanks a lot
                  Jay

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                  • #10
                    For raw materials, this stuff is pretty darn cool. There were pics of an e-drummer on the net who it all over his kit and it looked very Tron like.

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                    • #11
                      Agree with going the led route - minimal heat and current draw. Proper 'Starcloth' is very heavy.... you'll need 2 decent stands and possibly a bit of truss to hold it...... and its a bugger to carry. Every 3 or 4 weeks we have a clients 6 x 6 mtr Starcloth in for a service / bulb replacement and its a pain in the A. It gets folded for transport and that breaks the solder joints. The lamps are very very tiny push-in thingys.... they get trodden on, glass gets broken leaving the base in the holder and are a nightmare to get out..... need magnifying glass and tweezers for that job !! What about a banner ? We (my band) had a banner made .... (think it was bannersuk.com) ...... very neat..... heavy vinyl with eyelets / welded seams....... goes up on 1 lighting stand with a lightweight ally T-bar ......they can use your artwork and good prices too.
                      TD10ex, SPD-S, kd's, pd's, cy's, Koby, KitToys ( 9" splash & 10" mini china - yep you read that correctly... a very rare 10" mini china lol ), Iron Cobra, Mackie, Beyer. arizonaband.net

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                      • #12
                        I like the idea of miners hats (the ones with the lights up top) for every member of the band. Just change out the bulbs for bright colored LED lights and put on a great light show with all the bobbing and weaving each musician does. When it's time for a lead break, just have everyone look (focus) their gaze at the musician taking the break and WHALUH!! instant spotlight!! I've never used this method but have always thought it would get some laughs at least! HAHAHAHAHAHA! Sorry, couldn't help myself on this.

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                        • #13
                          I have found the ultimate solution for your banner!
                          http://www.thinkgeek.com/tshirts-app...eractive/8a5b/
                          sigpic

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Michael Render View Post
                            I have found the ultimate solution for your banner!
                            http://www.thinkgeek.com/tshirts-app...eractive/8a5b/
                            And it actually works! The EL stuff used to make the shirt is the same material I mentioned a couple of posts back. I've not worked with it yet, but it's reportedly pretty easy to use. Kind of hard to see the potential at the site I linked to, though.

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