Recent threads have got me thinking a bit about performance aspects of what we do. I’d like to incorporate something visual into my rig that somehow helps an audience connect with the sound. “Sound reactive lighting” sent me down a rabbit hole of DJ gimmicks (the RGB lasers were maybe the highlight of that web surfing session) and left me with this desire to do something visual to express certain qualities of the audio I’m generating, but in a way that feels decidedly organic and low tech.
Is there a nice way to voltage control a simple dimmer for an Edison socket, containing an incandescent bulb? If you had to DIY it from scratch, what would you want to keep in mind?
I’ve actually been working on a similar idea. I saw a performance a few months ago where they just had a regular table lamp on stage, and the bulb was loose so it flickered with the music. It was so engaging, I asked how they did it and they said it was just a lamp from back stage…
I’ve been playing around with relays and LED lamps to try to mimic that behaviour, but the product @kisielk linked to looks much simpler than what I’ve been trying to do.
i just played a show with a fellow who used a light to control his synth. nice big soft incandescent bulb on a full size wall dimmer. he had a little photo-resistor next to it (inside a pingpong ball) which was connected to the “breath control” input on his yamaha cs01. every time he’d crank the dimmer up it would open the filter on the cs01. very simple, but oh so nice.
I tried doing a DIY thing years ago, and it was just a lot of hassle, a DMX interface is quite cheap, as are DMX dimmers (if a bit bulky), but then you have total control from all sorts of places as its such a standardized protocol. Which also means tapping into venue lights if that’s something you want to do as well.
Highly recommend checking out dmxis, a USB dmx converter box / software / plugin bundle. used one to write my band’s first light show and loved it, even with no previous dmx experience. Able to be performed live like a normal light console, sound reactive modes, oscillation, accepts written midi automation from a daw or controller, and probably lots of other stuff I haven’t even gotten into.