DJ Tino, owner of Extreme Events in West Palm Beach, recently ventured down to Chauvet headquarters for a tour of the facility. His favorite part of the tour was seeing all 226 fixtures create a hypnotizing light show in the showroom. If you have Instagram, check out some of his gig photos by following ExtremeEvents_DJTino. Thanks for stopping by!
Chauvet’s stand at Prolight+Sound stood out and attracted numerous guests with an assortment of fixtures representing all four brands. All types of CHAUVET® DJ gear, from moving heads to dry-ice machines, were showcased, as well as fixtures designed for the production and touring market from CHAUVET® Professional. The stand was built using the TRUSST® line of trussing backed by Chauvet, and also featured ILUMINARC® luminaires for architainment and architectural applications. Tune in for a virtual tour.
Joe Banko, aka Dr. Byrd, owns Stone Age Lighting & Sound in Arizona and is one of the newest members to the CHAUVET® DJ VIP Rewards program. He spent 12 years on the road as a lighting designer and roadie, then went on to work in the IT industry. After a few decades, Banko grew tired of the IT sub culture and went back to the entertainment industry. He specializes in parties, proms, weddings, corporate events and any other type of event where people want to have a great time. Read on and get to know a little more about your fellow DJ.
1. How and when did you get started as a DJ?
I spent 12 years on the road as a lighting designer and roadie. Traveling the country in a Winnebago or 12-seat plane can be fun, but it can also physically burn you out. You do learn to cook and that ended up getting me married. I got sidetracked for a couple of decades in the IT industry, ended up getting tired of the IT sub-culture, and went back to entertainment a couple of years ago. I have much more fun throwing photons and sound waves around in creative ways.
2. Is this a full-time job or something you do on the side?
Both — it depends how busy I want to be. I use about four software packages and have written an iPad application to run all of them from a single device. I also run and program my DMX/MIDI sequences from the same application using my iPhone to send live video to my video switching software. This allows me to interact with the audience and run the show at the same time — people love to be involved. For side jobs, I’m also a data analyst, database developer and software developer.
3. What fixtures are included in your setup?
My setup includes: Scorpion™ RGY and Scorpion™ GBC 2.0 lasers, LED Mushroom™ and 6SPOT™ effect lights, a MotionFacade™ LED drape and a Bubble King™ bubble machine. I’m looking to add a bigger truss system, a Nimbus™ dry-ice machine, Intimidator™ Spot moving heads, more uplighting and Xpress™ 512 Plus.
4. What is your favorite fixture and why?
My Scorpion™ lasers. I have loved laser technology since I was a teenager and you can program the heck out of these using DMX.
5. Best advice you can give someone just getting started in the DJ industry?
Watch: what’s hot in video, what gets people dancing and what the competition is doing. Listen: what’s hot in music, how to hook tunes together and what your clients want.
Corey Young, owner of Yo DJ Entertainment in Wisconsin, uses an eye-catching setup complete with 18 CHAUVET® DJ fixtures to set himself apart from the competition. His current setup includes: eight SlimPAR™ 56 wash lights, two Intimidator™ Spot LED 250 moving heads, two COLORrail™ linear wash lights, one MotionDrape™ LED, two BOB™ LED simulated flame effect lights and two MiN™ lasers.
“Most local DJs use simple setups created from T-Bar stands and par-style wash lights — my setup is completely different,” Young said. “Guests walk in and instantly know the DJ means business. Parents constantly lift their kids up to touch the “fire” created by BOB™ LED, while Intimidator™ Spot LED 250 projects a water effect on the dance floor. Once the event starts, music bumps and the lights go into full effect — most guests have never experienced a local wedding with this much high energy.”
PureSonic Productions, a lighting and sound production company in Missouri, used 26 Chauvet fixtures to light a performance by up-and-coming country artist, Eric Ziegler. The performance, which took place at the Bonne Terre City Auditorium, featured 12 SlimPAR™ Pro VW wash lights, 8 Q-Wash™ 260-LED moving head wash lights and 6 Intimidator™ Beam LED 350 moving head beams. Read on as Seth Durbin provides details of the setup.
“We just got the Q-Wash™ 260-LED moving heads in, and they are probably my favorite fixture right now. They are super bright, quick, and can be used for just about any application. We wanted a high-power fixture capable of RGB color mixing, and these fit the bill perfectly. To get away from our standard Par 64 fixtures, we chose the SlimPar™ Pro VW wash lights. These lights allowed us to go from consuming four circuits of power to only using one circuit — we didn’t lose any coverage and actually gained flexibility. Intimidator™ Beam 350 fixtures are used for their great beam effects. With a built-in 3-facet prism and frost function, these movers are also very versatile and fun to play with. All of these fixtures performed as good as expected, if not better.”
Jason Hadjoglou, owner of Ages Events — the preferred entertainment company of the NY Jets, recently sold all his American DJ® Mega Bar fixtures and revamped his setup with wireless Freedom™ Strip Mini Quad-5 wash lights. Read on to understand why he made the switch and how he feels about his new uplighting system.
Why did you choose to add Freedom™ Strip Mini Quad-5 fixtures to your setup?
I was already impressed with the original Freedom™ series. When I heard about the launch of the new Freedom™ Strip Mini Quad-5 — with its higher output and quad-color (RGBA) LEDs — I knew I needed to revamp my uplighting system with these fixtures ASAP. The new Freedom™ Quad-5 series really steps up to the plate with 4-in-1 LEDs that provide a rich blend of infinite color combinations, and I have already seen over 18 hours of battery life using a single color. Also, the immediate availability of the Freedom™ Charge S and Freedom™ Charge P made my decision even easier.
In regards to being a mobile entertainer, what have you found to be the benefits of having fixtures with battery power and wireless DMX?
This past year, I ran into a situation where I needed additional uplighting for two jobs that were taking place at the same time so I ended up renting Freedom™ Strip Mini and Freedom™ Par wash lights from I DJ Now in Babylon, NY. Every weekend after that, I found myself renting the Freedom™ series to save myself the cost of an extra roadie/technician. I also saved myself at least an hour and a half in setup time — because I didn’t have to run power wires and signal —and an hour cleaning up. I realized the these fixtures saved me a lot of time and money, not to mention the stress factor and cost of taping. The overall look is also cleaner and more versatile — I was sold. I sold all my American DJ® Mega Bar fixtures and waited for the new Freedom™ Quad-5 series to hit the shelf.
How do you control the fixtures?
With the Freedom™ Strip Mini Quad-5 wash lights, I now have the ability to send as many units as possible to a job and give my tech the IR remote for simple point-and-shoot control. This is ideal for events where we are just doing uplighting and a huge setup with extensive programming isn’t necessary. During full shows, we use ShowXpress™ to seamlessly integrate all of our Chauvet fixtures. As a business owner and lighting designer, choosing the right controller for the right job makes my life easier and allows for a more cost effective business operation. Having the ability to be “free” with my lighting gives me the ability to quickly move fixtures on short notice and increase functionality. For example, if I have to light the ceremony area at the last minute, I can grab all the fixtures within minutes and relocate them to the main reception area — this was never even a possibility or thought with wired units.
Instead of showing potential clients photos of uplighting setups, have you ever brought these fixtures along to give a live demonstration?
This is funny by itself. I purchased a few Freedom™ Par wash lights and keep them in my office for two reasons: to create the client’s color scheme right before their eyes and to hand them the fixture and show there are no wires, tape or mess. This is important because most clients don’t want messy wires in the background of their photos. I’m sure photographers are more focused on capturing the moment instead of analyzing little things that might end up in the background, so I am sure they do their fair share of editing due to wired fixtures. It’s like the old saying goes, “until you have had better, you would never know.”
The CHAUVET® DJ team traveled to California for Guitar Center’s Managers Showcase held at the Long Beach Convention Center. Raglan Jones, product coordinator for Chauvet, created a clean setup using18 pieces of TRUSST® and accessories affixed with nearly 35 fixtures. To accentuate each light, he built six TRUSST® totems and a TRUSST® structure resembling a goal post. Throughout the event, the team promoted the latest gear and highlighted the CHAUVET® DJ VIP Rewards program. The EZ™ series, Freedom™ Par Quad-5 (white), SlimPAR™ 56 (white) and Geyser™ RGB proved to be the most in-demand fixtures and captivated attendees.
Our Central Territory Manager for CHAUVET® DJ, Jelani Williams, traveled to Minnesota to take part in Metro Sound & Lighting’s Chauvet Expo 2013. The expo featured lighting demonstrations using the latest CHAUVET® DJ gear and TRUSST® kits — the Intimidator™ Spot series proved to be a crowd favorite. During the event, Williams touted the CHAUVET® DJ VIP Rewards program and delivered a ShowXpress™ seminar that taught attendees how to do the following: set up a fixture, build a show in editor, use the generator and how to trigger shows in Live. Overall, it was a very successful event!
Gene Jone, aka DVDJ G-Funk of Dance Trax Productions, was looking for something to make him stand out —in a good way. He reworked his already eye-catching setup and incorporated a MotionDrape™ LED. Check out this video where he uses MotionDrape™ LED, two Intimidator™ Spot LED 350 moving heads and two SlimPACK™ 56 wash light kits during one of his gigs.
“This simple setup has a huge WOW factor and people absolutely enjoy MotionDrape™ LED,” Jone said. “The venue manager had rave reviews and the client already booked me for next year’s event.”
Albert and Berenice Chauvet will be honored for JM Family’s 21st annual African-American Achievers award in the Business & Entrepreneurism category. They join others in a rich history of celebrating those who “unselfishly invest their time and talents toward building a stronger South Florida community.” In preparation for the awards ceremony, held April 18, 2013, the Chauvets participated in a video interview conducted by members of JM Family team which took place in the showroom at Chauvet headquarters.
Below are some behind-the-scenes photos of the video interview shoot.