Fogger for "Dancing In The Clouds"


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Jun 26, 2018
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#1
During a consult, a bride wanted to add a "Dancing in the clouds" effect to her wedding coming up in two weeks. I told her I can probably secure this effect, however I will need to verify a few things before I can commit to it in writing. Perhaps some of you may be able to direct me as far as the proper way to go about this, as I have not messed with fog machines in probably 10 years.

Her hall has pictures featuring this effect, however, the bride states they do not allow "Fog Machines". That being said, I believe this means they require either an ice or dry ice type machine and not something that uses Glycol which is found in the water based fluids. Does this sound correct to all of you?

I heard from another Dj in the area, however, that some of these halls want the fluid foggers and not the Icers as this is more of a concern around condensation and the liability surrounding it. I am about to call the hall for clarification on their end but did not want to sound like a moron on the phone.

Next, assuming I need a dry icer of some sort, this presents challenges of its' own. First of all, Dry Ice distributors in the area are open during the business day, so how much do I need, how much extra do I need to account for loss in transport and how should this be stored? I believe the rental company I contacted for the dry icer recommended getting 25lbs of pellets. The weddings on a Saturday - I probably need to secure the ice EOD friday before I go off to another gig. From what I understand, dry ice can not be stored in a freezer as it is below the temperature of most freezers and should not be in something air tight as it gives off CO2 presenting a hazard.

I am not too familiar with these, any help is appreciated.
 

ittigger

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Feb 1, 2011
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#2
For dancing in the cloud, I agree a dry ice machine is needed. Not sure about the condensation - as it just evaporates (as it warms up). Storage in a cooler. Use skin (and other needed) protection while handling dry ice. I have used one before - but I'm not sure how much you would need.
 
Last edited:

djtaso

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Apr 4, 2017
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#3
You need the Chauvet nimbus machine and I use around 30lbs of dry ice for the first dance (we dump in a few extra lbs of ice throughout the song to keep the smoke higher). It does leave a very little bit of condensation on the floor for about a minute or so, and mostly near the machine itself and not the entire dance floor, but since no dancing happens after the first dance it never is much of an issue. You can have a towel on standby if you wanna be considerate. If you are buying the ice a day before, expect about 5-10lbs to evaporate depending on how you store it. I carry it in a cooler to my events.
 

steve149

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Sep 26, 2011
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#4
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ittigger

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Feb 1, 2011
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#6
There is an alternative to dry ice. The Chauvet Cumulus (there are others) uses ultrasound to break up the water droplets (no juice needed) and doesn't require dry ice ... Chauvet DJ Cumulus Professional Low-lying Fog Machine

*edit* I do see it uses distilled water in conjunction with a water-based fluid .. mea culpa.

According to their info, it does need juice.

'Instead of dry ice, it uses an ultrasonic vibrator to turn distilled water into thin yet heavy mist. Combined with the lightweight fog produced by standard water-based fog fluid, the result is a dense fog that hovers close to the floor.'

'Uses a combination of water-based fog fluid and distilled water — no dry ice needed'
 
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steve149

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Sep 26, 2011
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#7
According to their info, it does need juice.

'Instead of dry ice, it uses an ultrasonic vibrator to turn distilled water into thin yet heavy mist. Combined with the lightweight fog produced by standard water-based fog fluid, the result is a dense fog that hovers close to the floor.'

'Uses a combination of water-based fog fluid and distilled water — no dry ice needed'
Yea .. went back and corrected it ... the first ad I saw only listed water.
 
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steve149

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Sep 26, 2011
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#9
Just make sure to plan for a dedicated circuit for it. Might trip the breaker if on the same circuit as your sound system (or one used by the caterer).
 
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djtaso

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#10
Since you’re not heating a liquid, The good thing is you can heat them up, and then when it’s time for the first dance, unplug it and have it roam around and dump the ice in. We unplug ours right when the intros start to avoid any power outages. We also have ours on wheels so we can move and adjust... especially if the ac is on and blowing it away from the couple.
 
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Jun 26, 2018
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#13
I did that once, photographer said to turn them off as it made the clouds look unnatural or something... never did it again. The wash effect from the heads lights em up enough.
Good to know - I was thinking about trying accent it with Pinspots, Pars or Chauvet Wash FX's.
 
Jun 26, 2018
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#14
So, in summary so far I rented a UltraTec Dry Icer after getting confirmation from the hall dry ice is all that can be used. The cost from the lighting supplier in Cleveland was $75 for the weekend. The unit itself appears to be very, very similar to a Chauvet Nimbus, although in the manual I did not see any mention of a dual heating element to cut down prep time.

Since the cloud effect will be used for the first dance, I need to make sure the effect is ready. I pulled the manual already and it states that the water may need up to an hour to heat up. I was slightly confused about the process to lower the dry ice into the water "carefully", so I extended my rental to do a dry run with this before the wedding (I have not used a dry ice machine before - only glycol). I pick the unit up tonight. I also plan on stopping at the local Harbor Freight to get some extra towels and moving blankets to put around the unit to deal with any potential condensation.

I will be working this particular wedding by myself, so I am a little nervous about running this effect without an assistant since it seems as though it may be somewhat involved. Unfortunately, I have noone extra available to work.

Again, I believe this will be virtually the same as a Nimbus, possibly with the exception of a second heater. What is your process to make sure all is in place for "Dancing In The Clouds"? When do you turn on the water, when do you physically add the ice pellets etc. in relation tot he first dance?
 

rickryan.com

DJ Extraordinaire
Dec 9, 2009
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#15
So, in summary so far I rented a UltraTec Dry Icer after getting confirmation from the hall dry ice is all that can be used. The cost from the lighting supplier in Cleveland was $75 for the weekend. The unit itself appears to be very, very similar to a Chauvet Nimbus, although in the manual I did not see any mention of a dual heating element to cut down prep time.

Since the cloud effect will be used for the first dance, I need to make sure the effect is ready. I pulled the manual already and it states that the water may need up to an hour to heat up. I was slightly confused about the process to lower the dry ice into the water "carefully", so I extended my rental to do a dry run with this before the wedding (I have not used a dry ice machine before - only glycol). I pick the unit up tonight. I also plan on stopping at the local Harbor Freight to get some extra towels and moving blankets to put around the unit to deal with any potential condensation.

I will be working this particular wedding by myself, so I am a little nervous about running this effect without an assistant since it seems as though it may be somewhat involved. Unfortunately, I have noone extra available to work.

Again, I believe this will be virtually the same as a Nimbus, possibly with the exception of a second heater. What is your process to make sure all is in place for "Dancing In The Clouds"? When do you turn on the water, when do you physically add the ice pellets etc. in relation tot he first dance?
I don't have any answers for you but rather a suggestion. On your test run, I'd hook it up thru a Kill-a-watt and check how many amps it's pulling. My guess, you're going to need to run it on a different circuit.
 

djtaso

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Apr 4, 2017
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#16
So, in summary so far I rented a UltraTec Dry Icer after getting confirmation from the hall dry ice is all that can be used. The cost from the lighting supplier in Cleveland was $75 for the weekend. The unit itself appears to be very, very similar to a Chauvet Nimbus, although in the manual I did not see any mention of a dual heating element to cut down prep time.

Since the cloud effect will be used for the first dance, I need to make sure the effect is ready. I pulled the manual already and it states that the water may need up to an hour to heat up. I was slightly confused about the process to lower the dry ice into the water "carefully", so I extended my rental to do a dry run with this before the wedding (I have not used a dry ice machine before - only glycol). I pick the unit up tonight. I also plan on stopping at the local Harbor Freight to get some extra towels and moving blankets to put around the unit to deal with any potential condensation.

I will be working this particular wedding by myself, so I am a little nervous about running this effect without an assistant since it seems as though it may be somewhat involved. Unfortunately, I have noone extra available to work.

Again, I believe this will be virtually the same as a Nimbus, possibly with the exception of a second heater. What is your process to make sure all is in place for "Dancing In The Clouds"? When do you turn on the water, when do you physically add the ice pellets etc. in relation tot he first dance?
Here's some advice...
- as soon as you get to the event, have the machine filled with water and getting heated up. IT WILL NEED ITS OWN CIRCUIT!!! Keep it heated up until it's just about go time.
- It DOES NOT need to be plugged in when you dump ice in it... the water will stay warm. I unplug it and have it ready to go the moment I start the intros.
- PLEASE bring an assistant for this.
- We start lowering the ice into the water the moment the bride and groom hit the dancefloor... the nimbus has two levels of intensity... we start with the lower level just do see how the smoke is spreading and if the ac is affecting the direction it blows in. If the air is pushing the smoke away from the center of the dancefloor we adjust position... the nimbus has an optional cart with wheels that we have. Once the first dance actually starts we go full blast and fill the dancefloor.
- This is why an assistant is necessary... while 10-15lbs of smoke may be enough to last you the entire first dance... it isn't gonna look the most effective, as after the initial burst the ice will remain as a thin layer of smoke above the floor. So for us, Every 20-30 seconds or so, we take another pitcher full of dry ice and dump it into the machine, which releases another blast of thick smoke thats a couple of feet high. We use about 25lbs of smoke altogether for the first dance, but it creates a very impressive look that looks even better in photos like the one below:
1540401909236.png

Here's the same venue, with a photo taken at a time when we didn't know about the benefit of dumping more ice into the machine throughout the first dance. It would have a more flat, more transparent layer of smoke.
1540402403879.png
 
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Jun 26, 2018
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#17
Here's some advice...
- as soon as you get to the event, have the machine filled with water and getting heated up. IT WILL NEED ITS OWN CIRCUIT!!! Keep it heated up until it's just about go time.
- It DOES NOT need to be plugged in when you dump ice in it... the water will stay warm. I unplug it and have it ready to go the moment I start the intros.
- PLEASE bring an assistant for this.
- We start lowering the ice into the water the moment the bride and groom hit the dancefloor... the nimbus has two levels of intensity... we start with the lower level just do see how the smoke is spreading and if the ac is affecting the direction it blows in. If the air is pushing the smoke away from the center of the dancefloor we adjust position... the nimbus has an optional cart with wheels that we have. Once the first dance actually starts we go full blast and fill the dancefloor.
- This is why an assistant is necessary... while 10-15lbs of smoke may be enough to last you the entire first dance... it isn't gonna look the most effective, as after the initial burst the ice will remain as a thin layer of smoke above the floor. So for us, Every 20-30 seconds or so, we take another pitcher full of dry ice and dump it into the machine, which releases another blast of thick smoke thats a couple of feet high. We use about 25lbs of smoke altogether for the first dance, but it creates a very impressive look that looks even better in photos like the one below:
Here's the same venue, with a photo taken at a time when we didn't know about the benefit of dumping more ice into the machine throughout the first dance. It would.
Solid advice - thanks! I plan to plug in the thing as soon as I get there and leave it running. I just wanted to make sure this wouldn't cause any problems. Very good to know I can run it unplugged.

This also answered my question that you start adding ice once the dance starts rather than before. I have no idea if this particular rental comes with a cart (I'm guessing not) but I may have a dolly that can safely shuttle it.

As much as I would like to bring an assistant along, I am not sure that will be an option - this venue is an hour away in the middle of nowhere and everyone else is scheduled out on a job or has taken off (being Halloween weekend). I've even reached out to other Dj companies I partner with and they are strapped for labor. For now, I'll need to plan for the worst. Computer/music will probably have to be on a timer and I will wear a headset wireless mic. Honestly, I did not know this was so much of a manual process - being used to the glycol machines I can remote trigger them, set it and forget it.

I am still confused as to how the ice "dumps" into the machine - the instructions referenced some basket that can't be plunged down to fast without risking explosion. Is there a compartment I am feeding, a basket that gets lowered or am I simply dumping ice pellets into boiling water? Perhaps this question will be answered once I have the unit in front of me.
 
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djtaso

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#18
Solid advice - thanks! I plan to plug in the thing as soon as I get there and leave it running. I just wanted to make sure this wouldn't cause any problems. Very good to know I can run it unplugged.

This also answered my question that you start adding ice once the dance starts rather than before. I have no idea if this particular rental comes with a cart (I'm guessing not) but I may have a dolly that can safely shuttle it.

As much as I would like to bring an assistant along, I am not sure that will be an option - this venue is an hour away in the middle of nowhere and everyone else is scheduled out on a job or has taken off (being Halloween weekend). I've even reached out to other Dj companies I partner with and they are strapped for labor. For now, I'll need to plan for the worst. Computer/music will probably have to be on a timer and I will wear a headset wireless mic. Honestly, I did not know this was so much of a manual process - being used to the glycol machines I can remote trigger them, set it and forget it.

I am still confused as to how the ice "dumps" into the machine - the instructions referenced some basket that can't be plunged down to fast without risking explosion. Is there a compartment I am feeding, a basket that gets lowered or am I simply dumping ice pellets into boiling water? Perhaps this question will be answered once I have the unit in front of me.
When I say dumping... I mean dropping a decent amount of ice pellets into the basket (about 2-5lbs), which at that point is already lowered into the water. The nimbus has a level that lowers the basket into the water, one halfway into the water, and one fully submerged. I've never heard of this "explosion" concept, so I can't comment on that, and never had such an experience. It is very much a manual operation because of outside elements that can affect the result. The primary one being air/wind. If you are doing it from the dj booth area and blowing towards the couple... but the air in the room is pushing it back towards the dj booth, it will never make it to the couple. You have to then move to the opposite side of the dancefloor so that the smoke actually reaches the couple and fills the floor to create the proper effect. Also you have to make sure no one is getting in front of it such as a photographer or videographer or random guest otherwise it wont penetrate through them.
 

rickryan.com

DJ Extraordinaire
Dec 9, 2009
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www.RickRyan.com
#19
When I say dumping... I mean dropping a decent amount of ice pellets into the basket (about 2-5lbs), which at that point is already lowered into the water. The nimbus has a level that lowers the basket into the water, one halfway into the water, and one fully submerged. I've never heard of this "explosion" concept, so I can't comment on that, and never had such an experience. It is very much a manual operation because of outside elements that can affect the result. The primary one being air/wind. If you are doing it from the dj booth area and blowing towards the couple... but the air in the room is pushing it back towards the dj booth, it will never make it to the couple. You have to then move to the opposite side of the dancefloor so that the smoke actually reaches the couple and fills the floor to create the proper effect. Also you have to make sure no one is getting in front of it such as a photographer or videographer or random guest otherwise it wont penetrate through them.
If you were going to design a perm install for the cloud effect, would you shoot fog from the 4 corners of the dance floor? When I build, I've been thinking to run 1.5" pvc, poured into the floor concrete and have them come up at each corner of the dance floor. It normally could be capped but, just before 1st dance, have an assistant go around and put 90 degree elbows in each outlet. Does the nimbus have a blower motor to push the effect and, if so, do you think it would have enough pressure to support a quad outlet like this?
 

djtaso

DJ Extraordinaire
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#20
If you were going to design a perm install for the cloud effect, would you shoot fog from the 4 corners of the dance floor? When I build, I've been thinking to run 1.5" pvc, poured into the floor concrete and have them come up at each corner of the dance floor. It normally could be capped but, just before 1st dance, have an assistant go around and put 90 degree elbows in each outlet. Does the nimbus have a blower motor to push the effect and, if so, do you think it would have enough pressure to support a quad outlet like this?
It doesn’t have a blower motor.... it would work I suppose but I can’t see it coming out in nice big clouds of smoke that are 2 ft off the ground. I’d see it coming out and filling a dance floor but just creating a low layer of smoke and nothing more.
 
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