Fireworks To Music - A Guide

by Andrew Bishop

How to put Fireworks To Music in 5 Easy Steps

Fireworks are spectacular in their own right but adding music makes bonfire night or New Years Eve fireworks even more stimulating. Here are five easy ways to make your firework display the best. Remember the people attend a Firework display to see and listen to the fireworks, the music is a backing track not the main event.

  1. Keep The Firework Show Short and Sweet

The best firework shows last less than 15 minutes. The attention span of an audience is hard to keep unless your budget is astronomical. A good pyrotechnician is looking to keep the show running and fills the sky with varying effects. The soundtrack matches and provides punctuation, harmony and a backing track to the theme of the firework show. Remember is “Fireworks to Music” not “Music To Fireworks”.

Make sure you have your music duration slightly longer than the duration of your firework display. Its easy to fade the music out but if the fireworks last longer than the music you will lose impact and the admiration of your crowd.

  1. Don’t worry too much about matching the burst with the beat

During fast fireworks show segments, don’t worry about trying to time the bang with the beat as it can be costly and hard to achieve as firing times change with humidity, distance from the display and fuse lengths. If your show is fired electronically, you can lay down an audio track and get results, thankfully the brain compromises minor variances.

Magically by playing a fast-moving track, bursts appear on the beat more times than you can imagine. For the slower more colourful pyrotechnic segments a free-flowing audio track develops tranquillity in the firework display. Small gaps in the show always fill with music as the audience attention shifts to the audio and this builds excitement and give an audience a sense of expectation.

When laying down the audio blend and fade the music to achieve a great firework finale and leave no gaps as your audience will think the show is over. Visit YouTube to study many shows to get inspiration for the soundtrack to your display.

  1. The Best Speakers for Fireworks to Music

With any Firework display to music control is critical. Weather is not always kind and sound systems take time to set up. Avoid active or self-powered speakers at all costs as water ingression will cause failure during the show. Always use a passive system with your amplifier and music source protected from the weather.

Use BishopSound Gamma polycarbonate speakers as they are fully water resistant and easy to set up and store after the event.

Clarity is much more important than thumping bass as a firework audience wants to hear the thump as shells leave tubes or multiple cakes fire. You are complementing a firework show which must be heard not doing a rave!

With Electronically fired shows your laptop will feed the audio track via a mixer to the amplifier and you only need run signal cables to the speakers. No need for lengthy mains cables around the firework site. The less cabling the better.

Audience Size:

Up to 300 people = 4 x Gamma 8”, Tripod Stands + Amplifier BP2k

300 to 500 people = 4 x Gamma 10”, Tripod Stands + Amplifier BP2k

500 to 1,000 people = 8 x Gamma 8”, Tripod Stands + Amplifier BP44k

1,000 to 2,000 people = 4 x Delta Triple 12” on a 1.5m pallet stack or a stage + Amplifiers (call for details)

2,000+ – please call Andrew on 01765 698 233

Line array in the UK is often used but is very directional and takes up to 48 hours to set up correctly. Most fireworks shows use multiple independent point source speakers so that the entire audience can hear the firework backing track.

  1. Safety First

Walking around with a megaphone at a firework display is not recommended as the sound is very directional and of very poor quality.

You need to have a small mixer and microphone and the ability to communicate clearly and universally with the audience through multiple well-placed speakers to ensure:

  1. Safety Distances are observed by everyone.
  2. Sponsors and thanks can be communicated.
  3. Show Time countdown messages can be communicated.
  4. Should your show not allow sparklers in the crowd the audience needs reminding.
  5. Crowds can be managed.
  6. At the end of the show people leave sensibly.

Multiple small speakers give a more concise, direct and penetrating message. Avoid using subwoofers as low frequencies can muddy the PA and distract from the show. Clarity is king!

  1. Tell A Story

Firework shows are all about telling a story so start with impact to get peoples attention, take them on a journey and leave them with a definitive full stop at the end of the firework show.

Get it right and leave the audience with tears of joy. When fireworks to music is done properly and delivered on a professional PA system all the audiences’ emotions are triggered. All the senses combine in the open air, Smell, Power, Sight, Feeling, Hearing an experience which TV and Cinema cannot deliver.

Wedding Fireworks, Corporate Events, Public Firework shows or family fireworks when you add music all the emotions come into play, and you will create unforgettable moments.

NOTE: Many will be aware that I spent 15 years designing and importing fireworks with Bright Star, Menshun, Epic and many other brands up until purchasing Carlsbro in 2000. If you read this and need more help with matching Fireworks to Music please call.