Written by guest blogger Larz Hanson, Detour DJ & Audio (and former Facebook Fan of the Month!)
For years, I’ve used fog machines to give my lights something to play in. I started with small, cheap models and worked my way up to high power mega-blasters. They worked okay, but I noticed they often bothered people in the audience. Not so much the fog itself, but the noisy “whoosh” as the fog machines belched out a thick cloud. Early on, I’d fight with the machines trying to find a good combination of settings on the timers to balance the thick initial blast with decent hang time. Later, I’d add an old fan in front of the fog machine to disperse the fog more evenly. Essentially, I moved from fog machines to an elaborate, noisy, finicky hazer.
I recently tried something new: A CHAUVET® Hurricane™ Haze 2 haze machine. A hazer differs from a fog machine in that, instead of high temperature and a high-pressure pump to blast out a large volume of fog, hazers use lower temperature and very low, continuous exit speeds for the fog, then team the fog exhaust with a fan that disperses it. The result is an even mist (or “haze”) that works much better than uneven clouds of thick fog to show off the best in modern lights.
Older hazers used a greasy, oil-based fluid, and I knew I didn’t want that. But many newer hazers, including this one and larger CHAUVET® Arena™ Hazer 3 use water-based fluid that doesn’t leave a residue on your expensive equipment. Although the Hurricane™ Haze 2 is the smaller of the two hazers, I’m absolutely blown away by the atmosphere it creates. Even outdoors!
Doing the math, based on the specs I read before I bought the hazer, I was expecting to use about a half gallon of fluid per show. But in reality, those specs must be based on full output, and full output on this thing would look like a NASCAR victory burnout! I’ve done about 20 hours of light-show programming in my garage and a six-hour outdoor show recently, all using the hazer on a setting of two (of four settings, four being the highest) for the fog and the fan on high. So far, I’ve only used a half-gallon! Although it comes with a nice wired remote and DMX capability, I just use the manual mode without the remote for simplicity. I can easily say my fog machines are for sale now…I’ll never use anything but a hazer from now on!