Lasers in my opinion take usually one of two paths when I see them as an audience member. Either its awesome and hits at the right moment or its just “Flash n Trash” and looses its intention pretty quickly. My goal with lasers is to use them as effectively as possible without diminishing their value. I believe the key to these “Just right” moments is to let the laser be the center of attention for a specific point in the show. Lasers need a few things to be most effective: a black background, a dark environment, and lots of haze/fog which is why they are always more effective inside then outside. All three of these generally mean turning off as much lighting as possible along with the video element and picking the right moment for maximum audience effect. Another thing to be considered with laser I will call “Angle of Attack” which I will describe as the vertical angle from from the viewer. The closer a laser is to vertically flat the brighter it will appear to the viewer and the more angled away from the viewer the dimmer the laser will appear.
Lasers almost always come with a dedicated technician to ensure the safety of the audience. This means anytime you bring lasers you need to add at least 1 technician to the process. Lasers are budget busting expensive so many bands choose to bring them out only on the larger events which many laser companies are built to handle these logistics. Lightwave International is a laser manufacturer and rental house out of Pittsburg PA and they do many of the largest events in the U.S. They ship their lasers on pallets to events and then send out the technicians to build the show and ship it back and these costs are built into the rental.
Lasers generally use a proprietary protocol called ILDA to communicate with software that can be controlled by the lighting console and therefor included into the programming. Some lasers are increasingly being controlled by DMX512, the protocol used in lighting and this allows for greater specificity in programming and better control. ER Productions out of Las Vegas has an entire line of DMX controlled lasers along with a great product from X-Laser that allows any laser to be controlled via DMX and visualized in 3D as well.
Leave a ReplyWant to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!