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Week 2 - What is needed for a show




Hey everyone,

New Week, New Part ;)


A full show of a Deejay or  a Band needs a lot of Know-How, Technics and ofc a lot of effort to get everything working.

I'll just make seperate chapters for each part (of a show)


1. Preparation:

1.1 Concept

What is the theme of your show going to be? 

What do you want your show to say about you? 

Take some time to reflect on this, and what you want your visual presentation onstage to communicate to your audience.


1.2 Design

Are you a handyman?

Is there anything that you could build as a weekend project that would look great, or be fun to play in onstage?

Could you create a unique table for your gear, some sort of crazy spaceship enclosure?

Gather some inspiration by watching big budget productions, and brainstorm to see if there’s anything you’d be able to emulate from those performances that you could build for your show.


I usually start by writing down my ideas and draw them on a piece of paper.

Always stay in contact with the event manager and tell them your ideas.

After they say yes, start to make a 3D Demo. i usually use Capture 2018 & Vectorworks for that.

It gives me the opportunity to make also a Demo of the Lightshow and if they agree i can plot it and everyone who's helping knows where to put what.


2. Food for the Eyes & Ears

2.1 Visuals

Almost every great show includes visuals these days.

You can use your own visuals, or collaborate with others for the visual aspect of the performance.
Have the visuals correspond with the theme of your set, and make them an important part of the show.

Visuals can be very simple, and needn’t be expensive to be effective.


There are 4 Kinds of Visuals possible:

- Collaborate with a VJ (my first option everytime so i can focus on the light)

- Use software for video DJing (if we got smaller shows and the dj has music videos, this is the right thing)

- Rent a hardware video mixer (if you work in teams one can help u doing that. especially for live video feed this is a cool thing)

- Find someone who can create custom visuals (not rly my stuff, but i also got always a small vj desk with me in case we don't have a VJ there)


2.2 Light

Most Artists don’t think about the impact of lighting onstage, but it’s a good idea to give this area some thought.

The color, and type of lights will have a big impact on your stage presence. Also u should watch if it matches the visuals.

My Lightshow depends on the music the artists play. If i get onto a Rockshow i won't use lasers, on a EDM Show i don't use "par cans" (google them)


Perfect way to get an idea about what u can do:

- Call the club to see if you can speak to the in-house technician before the show, and ask them to demo their lighting for you.

- Rent extra Lights at a Local Rental to improve the lightshow and define it like you want.

- Go to Light conventions (like NAMM, ProLight & Sound etc) to get ideas about new technics.


2.3 Audio

I usually keep my variation very small. I only did small shows as Audio Technician.

Never had to get the right size for the audio.. so this part is not gonna get answerd yet :(


3. The Show

3.1 Week before the show (this depends on the show size)

Usually one Week before the show is gonna run, i call all the rentals and check if my rented gear is still there and i can pick it up anytime.

If not i'd change the rental and see if theres another one where i could rent that, in case that the thing isn't there any more

Also i'm doing some preparation on my lightshow, adress everything, try to make some small effects with 3D rendering already.


3.2 Day of Load-out / buildup (this depends on the show size)

When we build up, i usually check all the lamps of the gear and see if there are some damages.

If you run a light and it stops working 10 metres in the air, you will thank yourself for not checking it.

After you build up everything and adressed it and start to make some positions (in my case) and programm the rest of the show


3.3 Showtime!

Well. talk back with the artists again if there was something changed (if you use timecode shows).

If nothing changed, do the show and have fun :)


3.4 Load-in

Clean the stuff maybe and bring it back.





it was a bit a longer part but here you see what i need to look at everytime i'm planning / designing a show.





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Reading that remember me the smell of the gelatins on the PAR56 and 64 before the LEDs... 😃

Hard but fascinating job !! 

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