Author: Monroy, Miguel
Date published: September 1, 2012
Captivating an audience is one of the most important aspects of any live performance, and bands go to great lengths to find ways to keep their shows fresh, engaging, and entertaining. That's where Robert Poels, the owner of On Que Lighting Designs and the inventor of the Crash 'n Flash system ($349.99), comes in.
The purpose of Crash 'n Flash is to allow drummers to control the activation of accent lights throughout a performance. The system consists of a cymbalstand-mountable switch and bracket, which is activated when the unit's nonmarring felt-tip wand is triggered by playing a crash. The included bracket fits cymbal stands that are 5/16" to 3/4" in diameter and comes standard with a satin-aluminum finish. Highly polished chrome-like aluminum, black, and gold finish upgrades are available for $50.
The initial Crash 'n Flash installation was a bit tedious, as I had to search for that sweet spot that would activate the switch yet not impede the motion of my cymbal. But after the initial install was complete, I didn't have to worry about finding that sweet spot again, as the unit is designed to be mounted permanently to the cymbal stand.
Each system can power 1,250 watts of lighting or as many as four 300-watt PAR 56 cans, through the included gang box with two plug outlets. It's important to remember that the lights will stay on for only as long as it takes for your cymbal to settle back to its original position. It's recommended by the manufacturer to use this system in conjunction with other lights, fog machines, and so on. We also highly recommend the optional AC foot switch ($34.99), which allows you to shut off the system with the press of a button, for segments of a performance where the accent lights are not desired.
The Crash 'n Flash system is very rugged and is rated for more than 1 0 million operations. The system functioned properly every time we used it, and it didn't interfere with the sound of the cymbal in any noticeable way. If you're looking to take the visual aspect of your performance to the next level. Crash 'n Flash would be a nice complement to any fixed lighting system.
Log on to moderndrummer.com to check out a video demonstration.