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Laser Production, The Unsung Heroes of EDM

Visuals, one of the most important aspects in the live EDM scene, and often the least thought about. Visuals almost seem like an afterthought today to show goers, you don’t know you need them until you’re staring through a dark room watching a silhouette flail their arms about. Likewise, you don’t realize the way they add to your experience until you’re 15 minutes into an amazingly produced high end set. Today we are going to focus on talking about Laser Production, the skill and the work that goes into the set up of a great show.

You may be surprised to hear how similar mixing the lasers/visuals you see is to what the DJ is mixing on stage. Instead of mixing bpm with songs, noises and vocals, these laser technicians are mixing bpm with color, intensity, movement patterns, and laser sequences. Just like DJ’s redlining the sound system, Laser technicians need to worry about overheating their lasers, and the levels of their fog machines. Of course there are ways to pre-produce (like a pre-recorded DJ set) everything to line up things like the two examples linked above, but very frequently there’s a Laser Technician on the laser decks trying to stay sync’d with the DJ and light man. Doing the equivalent of free styling, which can make for some unique and amazing visuals.A skilled tech who knows what he’s doing and the music of the genre he’s playing for can even get the lights and lasers and songs lined up to make for awesome experiences. Just like in music, where nobody wants to hear the same sound or style of music continuously. These laser technicians need to constantly mix up patterns and colors to fit not only the song but the mood. There are many styles and ways to perform this art; for example, just as minimalist music uses silence, these techs must also use darkness to highlight there craft. No one wants to be strobed for an hour and no one wants to be dark room. This doesn’t even begin to touch on things like stage craft, getting the angles of each laser set up, or making sure everything gets installed to each unique venue correctly. While being a “Laser DJ” you are still in charge of getting your whole rig set up and making sure that everything is safe. Lasers are not only fire hazards when done wrong, but the crowds eyes need to be taken into account. Most stage lasers are capable of damaging the crowds eyes, so all that laser art has to be done within safe parameters of visual space and also stage space.
Now there are tons of production companies and Laser specialists all over the world but for today’s article I’m going to stick with my friends over at Laser Assassins and Full Color Lasers, who have blown me away as a fan, have let me shadow them during multiple performances. They have actually let me run the lasers for a little bit to get a taste of how hard it truly is to put on a solid visual performance. These masters of sensory domination have been expanding tremendously since blowing up the Florida scene from Miami, Ft. Myers, Clearwater, Tampa, Orlando, even all the way to Atlanta, Georgia. They’ve performed everywhere; beaches, clubs, and festivals, like the upcoming Imagine Music Festival. Of course being masters of their trade they have no problem leaving their home turf of the Southeast corner of the USA, with places like Louisiana, The Carolina’s, New York, California, Las Vegas, Texas, Minnesota and the Caribbean on their portfolio, it may be no time at all until you see them augmenting your local scene. Either way, getting to know the trade and guys over there at Laser Assassins gave me a whole new appreciation for the visuals I’ve been seeing, make sure you give out the love to your visual experts at your next show!Make sure to watch the below video in max quality

Laser Assassins will be taking over the Ritz on Friday to melt your minds for Pound Them With Lazers! Ladies are in & drink FREE until midnight! Sign up on the guest list below to lock in your complimentary entry.

Posted by Sunset Events on Tuesday, August 1, 2017

 

Adam Hennagir
the authorAdam Hennagir