How to do Tron Dance shows?
- Category: LED Costumes
- Published: 13 August 2014
- Written by Michal Pokluda
- Hits: 2058
After we ruined the first few shows (two) we finally procured complete check list of tasks a technician must follow before every show. I know it sounds boring, but ever since we started using it, we haven’t messed up any more shows.
The checklist consists of two parts.
The first one is what not to forget to take with you when you’re leaving the company building. It was incredible how many things we were able to forget for the first few shows.
Second part is the list of task we perform before the actual performance. It’s very short, easy to follow and - it works! How do I know that? Because last year we haven’t ruined any of our shows. 100% successful.
You can download the complete check list we follow when performing LED dance here:
Why should I use a **** checklist?
Maybe it's not all that interesting, but I must talk about one issue here. We technicians love our freedom. We actually love it so much, sometimes we forget there is a certain responsibility in our work. To be honest, I never liked checklists. It’s like someone ordering you what to do – turning you into a machine, which blindly follows commands.
As technicians we are responsible for the success of 7 or more guys/girls standing on the stage.
However, because of several ruined laser and LED dance shows in the past, where we’ve lost our company’s money (which is really our own money) I realized the freedom might be quite expensive. I don’t like to follow the checklists – but they work and they help. Our primary mission as technicians is to perform successful show without mistakes or errors. And that’s what we call professionalism – to deliver the same perfect result every time. And to achieve this goal, I think, losing a little freedom is worth it...
What to take when leaving the company?
I know most of the points are probably clear, but let's have a look at some of them:
Working, tested LED suits
The LED strips are quite a sensitive technology. Especially when they are worn by dancers, who don’treally protect them (theyalwaysmove too much). That’s why we test and fix the suits before every show.
Laptop with correct LSS workspace
Our second Tron Dance fail happened because we’ve used incorrect workspace in LED Strip Studio software. I know, it’s a quite stupid mistake. But it happened, so we check it every time.
Ethernet cable, 100m
Yes, it’s very complicated to connect LSS:TDE Main Controller if you don’t have Ethernet cable. And yes, it happened to us, that’s why it’s on the list. Better to have a longer one, so you can install the Main Controller as close to stage as possible.
LSS: Tron Dance Edition Main controller and PowerCON cable
Yes, we had to return to our company building for this one as well, once :) … There is one big problem with PowerCONs – you can’t buy them in standard electronics shops. That’s why we have it on the list.
Jack 3.5mm to 2x cinch (+directbox)
The sound engineers always complain about the laptop output. And the fact is, the quality of the output is not so perfect. But if we use directbox, they at least see 3-pin Canon or big-jack connectors, so they don’t complain (that much).
If you are really worried about the quality of the sound, use an external USB sound card. I personally don’t like them – yes, it’s because one of my colleagues once disconnected this sound card just before the show (“I need mouse …”). The more connectors to disconnect, the more may be accidentaly disconnected…
Sound engineers will always be happy if you bring your own Direct Box. They’ll also always complain about the brand/producer of the device, but any is much better than none.
LSS:TDE battery charger
Battery charger and batteries
We always take two sets of batteries to our shows. Normally, there isn't much time between the rehearsal and the show itself, so we usually don’t have enough of time to charge the batteries. I hope I don’t have to mention that the dancers must go on stage with fully charged batteries. ALWAYS.
LED Suit Receiver backpacks
Oh yeah, this is my favorite point. Guess what happens when you forget them? Lot of zip ties, extreme amount of time lost, and angry dancers… all these complications because of a stupid backpack.
LED Suit Receiver backpack – a missing piece
In the following posts I’ll talk about the requirements for the show and show checklist – what to (not) do before the show starts.