More smoke please. That’s the usual concensus when bands play the shed circuit. Outside shows all summer long leave you at the mercy of the elements. That’s why smoke placement and the type of atmosphere necessary for each type of show is important. And expensive. But without it, many of my effects would not work too well.
I like my lasers. They cost the tour 13k per week to rent. I would barely notice them without some kind of haze in the room. But they look better when they are cutting through some thick smoke. I love my Viper gobos. Would never see em if I didn’t have some sort of atmosphere.
I am not a big fan of burying the stage in F-100 smoke. Those wonderful High End Systems dmx fogger that hurls big plumes of fog for about 20; spurts. Unless you are lighting Nine Inch Nails of course. But I do use 4 of these each nite. They sit right in front of my 4 laser platforms. My laser guy Scottie has a mini hand-sized fader console he uses to kick them on. We invest in Reel EFX fans to seriously push this fog 50’ in the air instantly. Seconds before an important laser cue, he will launch a fog attack that shoots the clouds out directly in front of his beams. But the smoke is pointed towards the audience and up at an angle. Therefore it rarely hits the artist center stage.
I start each day by just placing 2-4 DF-50 Hazers on the corners of the stage. I generally start them at the start of the show, then turn them off at the end. I let em run, just to set a base layer at all times. Now I have been told these hazers are designed to just run for 10 minute spurts, then take a break and run again. I have written a loop that does exactly that. Runs the thing for 10 minutes then cuts the AC for 1 minute while it cools down or rinses it’s tubes. But on this show they have been running 5 hours per night non stop and the techs say they have had no issues.
Then I have been using these other smokers called Radiance base hazers. They are my faves and I have grown to embrace them as some of my favorite tools in the biz. These bad boys can emit smoke or a thin mist of haze. They run from my console with a fan and give me pretty instant gratification within seconds. The fan speed is on a separate channel. These models have fans built into them.
I realize I am lucky here. I can afford the smoke system and have an artist that understands the need for it. He's the one footing the bill for everything the audience sees. Next month I will be back in theaters with 2 DF-50's and a whole different world of atmosphere.
I would like to have a dmx able fan, to direct the smoke. One that pans and tilts the high speed industrial strong caged fan.