Small system for a wedding band w/ QLC+

This is a place for sharing with the community the results you achieved with QLC+, as a sort of use case collection.
You can share photos, videos, personal hardware/software projects, interesting HOWTO that might help other users to achieve great results.
Post Reply
gretschboy88
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2017 3:13 pm
Real Name: Duncan McLennan

Small system for a wedding band w/ QLC+

Post by gretschboy88 » Sat Feb 18, 2017 3:56 pm

Hello QLC+ users. I wanted to stop in and give a brief description of a basic lighting system I built for my wedding band, which features QLC+. I'm a drummer, and a pretty competent audio guy, but had almost zero experience with lighting systems when I started this project. I found a huge amount of information by searching and reading the forums, watched many of Massimo's video tutorials, and spent an awful lot of time experimenting myself. I figured sharing my results was the least I could do to say thank you to everyone here for building such an unbelievable community. I hope that someone may find this post useful at some point!

First off, I was on a pretty tight budget for this project, so I repurposed an old laptop, and installed Linux Mint. This was a bit of an adventure as I had never used Linux before. However it's working great! The laptop is a base model 2008 HP. It was unusably slow with Windows, but works just fine with Linux. I would highly recommend using QLC+ on Linux based on my experience.

I built my own DMX interface for about $20 using an RS485 adapter from Amazon, and an old ethernet cable and XLR adapter I had in my workshop. I found instructions here which worked great for me.

As my band does not have a technician that travels with us, I wanted to be able to control the system from a foot pedal. I picked up a Behringer FCB-1010, and found a free USB/MIDI interface on Craigslist. This is the first time QLC+ showed how easy and intuitive it is. I was able to populate the custom control tab with buttons, and easily link them to each button within each layer of the FCB-1010. I have ten banks - we use one per song, then change - and the function of each button is constant between banks. The pattern goes:

1. slow movement
2. medium movement
3. fast movement
4. strobe
5. non-repeating chase: blackout, 3 second pause, fade into white (for ending songs)
6. simple static
7. moderate static
8. bright/lots of lights static
9. momentary
10. one-shot sequence (like a chain of lights cascading from left to right, for example)

This allows my bass player to do some pretty intricate stuff considering he's controlling the lights entirely with his feet while he plays. The entire control system fits in a small bag, and cost about $120, since I had the old laptop, and got the USB/MIDI for free.

The actual light rig is an ADJ duratruss with 8 incandescent PARs and 4 tri-LED washes. It's pre-hung and cabled, and the three truss sections fit into plywood cases that I built. I just join power/DMX cables at the truss joints, and crank the whole thing up on stands.

This is a small and relatively uncomplicated system compared to what some of you guys are doing, but I wanted to share, and thank you all for the support. The whole system cost about $1,500 (including the hazer, which I built from scratch) so it's a pretty stellar value for us. We certainly have the coolest light rig in town for the venue and audience sizes (less than 250) we're dealing with, which is a big selling point for folks to hire us over other bands.

I've been using this rig since July 2016, and it hasn't failed me yet. Works like a charm every night. Here's a crappy video of us playing at a wedding last October! If I can be of help to anyone at all, please let me know. I'd love the chance to pay it forward if I can.


RockStar
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Apr 02, 2017 5:25 pm
Real Name: Chris

Re: Small system for a wedding band w/ QLC+

Post by RockStar » Wed Apr 05, 2017 9:25 pm

I'm doing almost the same thing.
Just getting started with my scenes really.
Finally have a use for the old FCB.
We'll be starting with 8 pars, 4 floor floods, 4 dotz, and 4 Chauvet Intimidators.
Gonna try to use the Matrix for most of the chasing.
I already have the expression pedal controlling the rate which is pretty slick.
The drummer has a DMX fogger so I think I'll use the other expression for that.
Cuz how cool is to hammer the gas pedal for fog?
The Intimidators are way cooler with QLC+ than a joystick.

Post Reply