DJ Help – Gobos and Gobo Projectors 101

October 9, 2017 by Brian S. Redd

Now, lately I’ve had a few people ask me about Gobos and Gobo projectors. They have clients who want monograms or something on the wall. They don’t know where to start. What do you do? What are the Gobo projectors available to you out there? Well, there’s a lot to this, but I’m going to try to break this down to you in a reader’s digest version today. The first thing you have to do is select your Gobo projector and to do that, you have to figure out what exactly you want to do with your Gobo.

Here’s the first style we’re going to look at. This is for stationary Gobos. They don’t rotate. They don’t move in any way, but you can definitely shine a Gobo on a wall with something like the icon profile or the icon profile WW, which stands for warm white. This is pretty robust. It works great if all you want to do is shoot a stationary Gobo somewhere and it’s also IR remote compatible, so you can dim it, turn it off, strobe it, a couple other cool things too. This is definitely the most economical way to go, and if you want to do a Gobo in color, this is not the end all. You can do this very economically. All you have to do is take some gel paper and put it in front of the lens.

This is an old icon LED, but now there’s an icon IR that’s out, which is the same thing, pretty much, except that it has an IR remote control, which you can dim and strobe and do all kinds of stuff with. Now, without the remote control on this unit, you can rotate the Gobo, either clockwise or counterclockwise. You can also adjust the speed and you can dim it with knobs located right on the back of the projector.

The ultimate Gobo projector would be a moving head that accepts custom Gobos. Meaning you can swap the Gobos out. You’re not just stuck with whatever the moving head comes with. The focus spot one and focus spot two are brand new. They’re definitely for Gobo lovers. Very easy to swap out those Gobos and you can do some super cool stuff with them, such as rotation, Gobo indexing, color changing, and you can do crazy stuff like prisms. If you have multiple Gobos, you can choose between what Gobo you want to display with your DMX controller and you can move this Gobo wherever you want in the room as well.

If you’re real DMX savvy, you can program a custom light show with your customized Gobos. So the reason I had you look at Gobo projectors before we even looked at the Gobos themselves is because every projector has a unique sized Gobo that it accepts. Some have 22 millimeter Gobos. Some have, I don’t know, 28 millimeter Gobos. It just kind of depends. This is a Gobo. It stands for Go Between. Go between what? The light source and the image projected on the wall, floor or ceiling. When you look at your owner’s manual for your Gobo projector, you’re going to notice a Gobo size and a Gobo viewable size. This is going to be expressed in millimeters. So you may have a Gobo size of, I don’t know, 22 millimeter, but a viewable of 18 millimeter. You’re going to need to know these numbers before you order your custom Gobos.

Now, how do you order your custom Gobos? There are websites out there that you can Google and find people who sell custom Gobos or take orders for custom Gobos. NLFX Pro is one of those websites. It’s pretty easy there. You can choose a user name and a password. You’ve got full access to the site. You can order Gobos. One way you can do it is let’s say your client has a special monogram or a special design that they want to use as their Gobo. It’s maybe on their napkins or something. If you can get a .pdf of this and submit it to NLFX Pro, they can then have a custom Gobo ordered and made for you and shipped to you in, I don’t know, probably about 10 days.

There is another method. Let’s say your client doesn’t particularly have an image that care one way or another about. They just want an L or an R or whatever the case might be. All you’ve got to do is go on the website and select some stock Gobos. So you’ve got options. You can do it either way. I hope this video helps somebody. I know it was quick. I know there was a lot of information in a short video, but I did my best. Thanks for watching. Be sure to like the video, subscribe to the YouTube channel and share the video on Facebook. Practice and enjoy.


Brian S. Redd Brian S. Redd (46 Posts)

Although he can be seen Djing in places like Los Angeles, Las Vegas, or even the UK & Europe, DJ Brian Redd is proud to call Milwaukee home. Brian specializes in mobile events such as wedding receptions, corporate events, quinceañeras, parties and special occasions. He has also been a resident DJ at several major Milwaukee night clubs and also performs at Summerfest, the world’s largest music festival. From the beginning Brian has had a passion for music. His talent emerged at the young age of 13 when he was asked to DJ at a local skating rink. After realizing his calling he progressed on to weddings and mobile gigs and by age 18 he was DJing regularly at nightclubs. He understands people & what motivates them music wise, which helps keep them on the dance floor. Brian has been recognized for his work in various DJ publications both domestic and abroad. He has made a name for himself in the DJ community where he is known and respected as an industry consultant. This recognition has led to his contributions as a writer for Disc Jockey News. A true international DJ, Brian travels worldwide to not only perform but to educate and share industry ideas and concepts with DJs everywhere. His career has gone to the next level working with industry leading manufactures bringing new products and services to his peers helping them become better DJs.

Filed Under: Lighting for Mobile DJs, Mobile DJ Equipment