5 Tips for a Smooth Setup

February 15, 2012 by CHAUVET DJ

by Allan Reiss, CHAUVET® DJ product manager

1. Manage your inventory
Before you start loading your vehicle, make sure you have everything you need. Create a list of all the necessary items needed for the gig, gather them together and lay everything out to assess your inventory. If possible, bring spare fixtures with you. There’s going to be a problem if your client paid for a custom gobo and your gobo projector decides to stop working the day of the event. Once the gig is over, refer to your checklist to ensure you are leaving with everything you came with.
2. Pack properly
It is your responsibility to ensure your fixtures arrive in one piece when traveling to and from a gig. Do whatever you have to do to ensure they don’t break during transport by investing in a quality travel bag or roadcase. Safely pack as many fixtures as you can into one bag or case to avoid shifting and bouncing around — this will also save time making trips back and forth to your vehicle.
3. Cables
Attach a power cable to each fixture prior to packing. Pre-attaching cables saves time during setup and ensures each fixture is ready for installation upon arrival. If you choose to use DMX, make sure your DMX cables are properly wrapped and organized to avoid having to unravel a bird’s nest of knotted wires.
4. Survey the space
Take time to visit the venue prior to the gig. Pinpoint the exact location of the event and decipher the best place to park and load/unload your gear. Also, pay attention to any obstacles you might encounter such as: covered walkways that won’t allow your trailer through, stairs, limited electrical outlets, etc.
5. DMX addressing
If you decide to use DMX control, pre-address your fixtures to save time during setup — especially if you are unfamiliar with the process. You don’t want to arrive at the venue and have to figure out the proper address for each fixture and hope they work correctly.

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