VIEWS: 6 PAGES: 8 POSTED ON: 5/7/2012
“Righty ho...” says Dave, after helping you with a few remaining questions about your audio choices...”Want another coffee?...” you accept – this time, Dave makes your coffee – he knows that you’re keen to spend some money – so he’s happy to spend the time. Besides, it gives you longer to try (unsuccessfully) to switch on some of the demo gear. “Onto lighting then...” says Dave, handing you your coffee (and a chocolate digestive this time – talk about pushing the boat out) “Basically as you’ll be a mobile DJ you’ll mainly be lookin’ at yer floor standing lighting – we’ve got several types and its all about –channels- some lighting controllers are 3 channel, so they’ll run three circuits of bulbs, other controllers are 4 channel...” “Here are some Pulsar 3 channel spot boxes, which clamp together for easy transit, with the a nice basic sound-to-light 2250 controller and leads safely stored in the middle. The controller just listens to the music that yer playing, makes channel 1 flash when there’s bass, makes channel 2 flash when there’s midrange, you know, middle frequencies playing, and it flashes channel 3 when theres some top-end, high notes playing. Yer just plug it it to the wall socket, and run a read from your speakers or amp into it, and leave it running all night – easy!” “’Course, if yer after something that’s still 3 channel, but with a bit more flexibility and control to it, then Pulsar also do the same neat an’ tidy package, but with an even better controller. – its this one ‘ere” “And over ‘ere” Continues Dave, “We’ve got the same compact idea, only its in 4 channel, this time”. Daves watching you and finally decides that you’re about to ask his favourite question. He waits...you wait, he waits, you ask...” If they’re 4 channel, how come they’ve got .....”, Daves verbal premature exclamation (!) cant hold back any longer “How come they’ve got more than 4 bulbs Sir?”, you nod. “They’ve got the capacity to drive more than one bulb per channel – upto about 750watts worth per channel – so about 7 x 100watt light bulbs per channel – if you wanted to.” “So, have you got any 5 channel lights then?” you ask, keen to put some distance between you and your last question...opps...time passes – you’re waiting for the piece of tumbleweed bush to roll past. Finally Dave lets you off the hook “You’d think, wouldn’t you. “ he smiles, “But there is this 10 channel controller over here – but you’d need to make your own lights boxes or screens up, as nearly all the lighting around is either 3 or 4 channel.” “Talkin’ of screens, how about this one for a centrepiece at the front of your show?” He gestures for you to turn around in the slightly confined space and points down, as he flicks a switch... You hear a “woooo!” escape your lips, but you feel its justified. “Theres no less than 60 x 15watt coloured pygmy bulbs in there” says Dave, “That’s over 900 watts of light, in the one box – at your command – runs off of a 4 channel controller, and comes with its own front cover so you don’t break the bulbs in transit. “That’s niiiiice” you ooze “although it gives me some ideas for making up my own light screens too, with different designs. Can I buy like a really good controller, you know, with the money that I’ve saved by doing the lights myself, and then add lights later?” “Sure can!” says Dave, “take a look over here” he continues, taking a couple of half steps over to some metal things, sitting on top of some wooden things. “Firstly then, we’ve got the Pulsar 2250 which we saw earlier, built into the 2 times 6 way spot boxes – here it is –in the nude- as it were...really easy it is...no controls, just plug it in to mains, plug it into speakers and stick the Bulgin in” “The what?” “The Bulgin...” “Whats a Bulgin?” “Ah, sorry” apologises Dave “sorry, bit of jargon there – the Bulgin is this special multi- way plug up in the top left corner of the controller, its got 8 pins” “Ah ok, is it fairly easy to wire up?” “Yeaaaaaah....” Dave drags it out a bit “but it can sometimes get a bit tight trying to fit all the wires in, but easy once you get the ‘ang of it”. “’Ang on a minute” says Dave, disappearing out of sight behind his desk momentarily “Aha! Heres one of our advice sheets – all about the wiring inside a Bulgin plug, both for 3 or 4 Channel usage. “Hmmmm, OK, got any controllers without Bulging things?” “One or two definitely” Says Dave, showing you to larger Pulsar controller. “This ones still Pulsar” he says, reading the same wording on the controller that you can read “but as well as the Bulgin connector, its got 3 ordinary 3 pin plug sockets on it, so you can just plug ordinary 3 pin plugs into it. The three switches allow you to keep the sockets switched on manually, instead of sound-to-light an’ then you can also use the Bulgin socket at the same time, if yer wanted to add more spot boxes or light screens onto it for bigger shows.” You’re nodding and smiling but Daves sixth sense (making up for his other 5 perhaps) kicks in and senses that you’re still not 100% happy about the Bulgin socket saga. “Tell yer what I’ll do” he says “I’ll show you me wiring up a Bulgin a bit later, and if its still seeming complicated then, I’ll do any Bulgin wiring that’s necessary to get you up and running with whatever you buy at the same time. “Deal” you say – pleased that he was nice enough to phrase things the way he did. “What next?” “Well now that we’ve got the Bulgin thing sorted out, theres this little controller which you might be interested in – it’s a simple sound-to-light, 3 channel controller, but it does allow you to fine-tune the response to each of yer three frequencies; Bass, middle and Treble – so if you’re playing some music that ‘asnt got a lot of treble to it, you can turn the treble control up a bit to compensate for that and still get yer three channels flashing away.” You’re impressed – not so much by the controller, but at the length of Daves last sentence...”Ohh those look good” you enthuse, stepping toward what looks a little like a traffic light which has fallen over. “Ah yeah, those are 3 channel spot banks” Dave informs you. “and theres a 4 channel version available too, to special order, takes about a week ; they’re really popular and metal cased too, so, I reckon we’ll be seeing those around for a good few years yet yer know.” (oh yes Dave, we know...). Also the flat metal stand bit, swivels up to protect the bulbs while you’re carting it around to and from gigs. Neat!”. “OK, well before I show you the rather tasty overhead lighting, take a little wander over here” – he’s right, it is a little wander – about 3 steps, however, as you look lustfully over toward the promised overhead lighting treats, you trip, almost falling. “What on Earth are those?” you ask as Dave tries to work out which direction your half empty coffee mug went when you tripped. “What? Those white round things?”, “Yeah those”. “Ah, those are Dry Ice Kettles – you know the sorta low lying fog effect that you see on Top of The Pops when Pans People are dancing around knee deep in the fog? Yeah? Well, they use 3 of the Maxi ones. You half fill ‘em up with water, let it boil, and when you’re ready for the low fog effect, you lower a lump of dry-ice into the boiling water, by pushing down the black handle on the top there, just like one of those fancy coffee pots - it reacts with the boiling water and hey presto! “. “hmmm sounds interesting” you say “It’ll work for mobile discos will it?” “Weeeeeeeeeeeellll – sort of” struggles Dave “The kettle will definitely work – no problems there at all, but the dry ice like evaporates really quickly once you get it delivered – even it you try an’ keep it in a coolbox – you could get a lump delivered at 5pm and it’d be gone by the time your 8pm gig started – never mind – take a look at this. It’s called a fuzz light for obvious reasons, an’ we do’em in Red, Blue, Yella, and Green – we’ve got one here look, set up next to one of the Police sirens that I showed you earlier. They look really good in 2’s or 4’s “Hmm, I’m not so sure about those...What about the overhead lighting?” “Aha, a man after my own heart” says Dave, a brief meeting of stern eyes makes him wish he’d re- phrased that a bit. “Take a looky here...” says Dave, holding your shoulders and giving you a little twist into the right direction. “Starting on the right then, you’ve got two strobes – they will work on their own, but we also do a great strobe controller which you can control several strobes from really conveniently from, down at ground level.” “Oh, is this the Strobe controller? - this thing with “Strobes” written across it? “Yeah, that’s the one” confirms Dave “really nice bit’o’kit – look you can even run it sound-to-light lighting on it too – saves carrying two controllers. “That’s pretty compact already” you say. “Ok then, what’s that item on the right, hanging on the smaller stand – it doesn’t seem to have a bulb even.” “Quite right, and well spotted – it’s a bubble machine” “A what?” “It’s a machine that blows bubbles?” “Oh, ok, hhhhmmmm what sort of lights would I need to point at that mirrorball on the left, if I went for one of those?” “Either, one, or two of these beauties” says Dave “oh, I see, just four lightbulbs to at the mirrorball?” “Nearly...theres only 1 lightbulb, and that’s the one right at the top of the unit. This whole round front bit slowly revolves around, moving a different coloured filter in front of the bulb as it goes. “ “Oh, OK, pretty good then” “Definitely, you wouldn’t have got this sort of thing 2 or 3 years ago, just the normal lop- sided motor colour changers that fitted on the side of a pinspot bulb. This ones much more stylish to look at. Also, just like the metal 3 way spot banks we saw a few feet over there, the metal bracket acts as a lens cover in transit too. “Oh, and while we’re looking at mirror balls, literally” Dave adds with a chuckle, “literally looking...he hee..., don’t forget that you’ll need a mirror ball rotator for ‘em – to make it go ‘round – we sell 10rpm, 5rpm, 2rpm, 1rpm and even a half rpm – we also stock a variable speed rotator from Le maitré – they’re quite well known. Basically, we recommend that the bigger the venue, the slower the rotation of the mirror ball.” “OK, I’ll bare that in mind” you say. “What are those things hanging on the overhead pole, inbetween the mirrorball and the strobe?” without looking around at the display (lets face it, even Dave could remember what was up there, there wasn’t a lot to choose from back in the early 70’s – we’ve got John Travolta and Night Fever to thank for the whole scene becoming “trendy”). “Those are Projectors” says Dave. “Oh right, yeah, I saw a DJ using projectors the other week to show, slides of the venue and its customers from the previous weeks”. “Ahh.” Daves looking a little perplexed – but recovers. “Ahh yes, those would have been Slide projectors that you saw. We do sell slide projectors , like these two over here. Firstly, on the left, we’ve got our own brand one, which takes single slides easily but needs you to change the slide manually, or we’ve also got this lovely Kodak automatic projector with a slide carousel, which changes the slide whenever you press a button on its wired remote control, or every so many seconds automatically, which is adjustable by the DJ. “Now you see Those projectors back up there on the overhead rig are proper disco projectors, rather than just slide projectors – they’re brighter, and whilst they don’t easily accept photo slides, the best one up their has got literally hundreds of accessories for it, allowing you to do almost anything that you, or yer audience could possibly imagine.” Daves impressed you again, that’s 58 words all strung together... “So, erm, which ones the –best one- up there? You mentioned theres a best one?” “Oh yes” smiles Dave “This one definitely – it’s the Optikinetics Solar 250, in this lovely silver colour – most definitely the long-term future of professional disco lighting – you mark my words. We’ll still be selling these in ooohhh the year 2000, easy!” (He was sort of right, the Solar 250 is still being sold, but now in white, and mainly for retail environment – alas Dave isn’t right in saying that it’ll be him still selling them though...) ”Even better is this – we’ve got our own brand version of the Optikinetics here - now notice straight away, there are two small round power sockets on the side of the projector. Those are for plugging bolt-on accessories into – and wow! Are there a lot of accessories to bolt onto it. “Oh really? Like what?” “Well, instantly, you can choose a picture, or effects wheel from a range of over 50 to choose from – like these” “Or you can plug in an cassette rotator, which automatically changes which effect cassette is displayed, every so many minutes. Heres one, you load it with 4 cassettes and just leave it running – you don’t have to climb up on a chair and start swapping cassettes mid-way through the night – this is really the way forward with disco lighting. Already, overhead light shows are pretty much gauged by ‘ow many projectors you got. – they even do whole cases of effects which go together to make some great patterns on your walls, dancefloors etc. Like this Dynagraph set over on the left. – ten wheels, two different rotators – ‘undreds of pattern combinations.” “OK, so whichever pattern cassette or picture wheel I choose to put in at the beginning of the night, or the end of the night, or in the auto-changer thingy, just projects straight out forwards onto a wall or floor, or ceiling then, yes? Daves been nodding enthusiastically for the last 10 seconds and he doesn’t seem to be able to stop now either...”Yes! But, you can make the same pattern move around the room and appear in different places at the same time if you want to.” “Ah that’s sounds like a better idea. How do I do that?” “Well we’ve got a selection of these clever devices to choose from – The 2 way, 4 way, and 6 way prism revolvers are motorised and turn really slowly, putting 2, 4, 6 identical images of whatever you’re projecting, all around the room. “That’s Neat” “That’s not all – theres also a Laser Tracer kits, which turns any normal projection wheel, or cassette into 3 small, bright, well defined dots of dancing light – a bit like a laser beam.” “...and even...and this is one of my favourites” whispers Dave conspiratorially “The Catherine Wheel – its really high speed and its got a clutch which engages and dis-engages while the units spinning to make a Catherine Wheel image – excellent add-on for any disco. “Cor!” you smile “That’s gooood, What will they think of next?” “The Splodoscope” announces Dave... “The What-a-soap?” “No, Splodascope” corrects Dave. “It’s one of those rare products where liquids and ‘lectricity, really do mix quite well. The Splodascope fits to the Solar 250 projector, and has coloured liquids in a little reservoir, which are then electrically pumped into the see-thru tank which is in the path of the projection. All the colours pulse around with the beat of the music. – They do a top-up kit too, with more colour liquids and a syringe for injecting the ingredients into the scope”. Dave flicks a switch and the dangling Optikinetics Solar 250 projector, kicks into life, with instantly produced blobs of colour dancing around on the opposite wall. Only the sound of the phone ringing, and Dave tripping over the Dry Ice kettles to get to it, breaks the hypnotic state that you and Dave reach. As Dave talks on the phone, you scribble down some more notes and do a bit of tapping away on the Texas Instruments LED pocket calculator – its red numbers glowing back at you from its black display. You sense that you’re nearly at the stage where you want to talk discounts and final sums to Dave – Dave senses it too, even though he’s still talking on the phone – he gestures you enthusiastically toward the kettle again. A couple of minutes later, and Dave, still on the phone is gesturing at you again – pointing you (and your calculator) toward a small pile of paper which has been fanned out neatly on top of a speaker, you pick one up and read. An hour or so later, after plenty of hands- on, face-to-face discussion, demonstrating and discount negotiating, you drive away from the Disco centre, with a promise of a call in 28 days or sooner when Daves offered to show you how all the gear fits together. Your wallet lighter, and your new car sticker proudly displayed in your Cortina’s back window. See you in five years or so...about 1980 ish...?
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