Stage Designs

4 Beacons

Ken Powers from ExcelChurch in Leominster, MA brings us this great portable stage setup.

From Ken: We are a portable church that sets up in a local high school every Sunday morning. Not being able to stay set up we rely on lightweight lights that we can easily carry in and quickly set up. The pictures show our weekly setup routine. We bring out some large DIY plastic pillars that we light up with four Chauvet SlimPAR 38s. We also use a set of three DIY stage platforms.

The pictures also show how we utilize the school’s projector. The school’s projector is capable of projecting 1920×1080; however, because of the position of the projector and the screen, we wound up formatting all of our media to fit in a frame of 1920×650. We simply lower the screen about half way or so and then cut off the bottom portion with a black rectangle using a mask in ProPresenter. We have a secondary mask that we use for setup that uses a red rectangle instead of a black rectangle. The pictures show this setup process. The red rectangle is useful because the controls for the screen are located around a corner where we can only see the back wall of the stage, we simply lower the screen until there’s only red.

We run three cables from the tech booth in the back of the auditorium to the stage. Two ethernet cables — one for our digital audio snake and one for a Kenton LNDR midi snake which we use for electronic drums and a midi foot controller which controls the lights and a few other things. The third cable is actually three 50′ DMX cables daisy-chained together. Everything is powered by one computer — a 2012 MacBook Pro Retina with base specs. We use LightKey for the lights (connected with a DMXking ultraDMX RDM Pro), Reaper for recording / audio / drum sounds (Superior Drummer 2), and ProPresenter for projection and stage display. We also have an Akai APC Mini in the booth for additional MIDI control of LightKey, Reaper, and ProPresenter off stage.

Also worth noting about the computer setup — the school has a play going on right now and has hogged all of the desk space. What you see is all the space I have to set up.

Slatted Bricks Screened Dove

5 responses to “4 Beacons”

  1. Michael Ferris says:

    Awesome design! What type of plastic did you use and where did you get it?

    • Ken Powers says:

      We used Coroplast. The top and bottom of each pillar is made of wood and there is a mirror in the top end cap to reflect light back down. As for where we got the coroplast, I’m afraid I don’t know. I’d just shop around for a good supplier.

      • Bryan says:

        Hey Ken,

        What color and thickness of coroplast did you use for this? I just spent forever building our order and ended up buying the wrong kind! Thanks for your help.


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