How to create a sound and light drone show?

The production of a sound and light drone show represents a technological and artistic feat, merging creativity, precision engineering and synchronization. Thus, these drone ballets light up the night sky, where hundreds or even thousands of drones equipped with LED lights create shapes, patterns and animated scenarios, all punctuated with an immersive soundtrack. In our case, On presents seven key steps to successfully carrying out such a project.

The meeting and technical study

This first phase is fundamental because it lays the foundations for the entire project and ensures that the client's expectations are perfectly understood and achievable within the technical and creative limits of the planned show. During this initial meeting, the main goal is to immerse yourself in the client's vision. This involves understand the emotion or message he is trying to convey to the audience.

This is also the time to highlight realistic constraints such as budget, site and security conditions, and hardware limitations. An essential component of the technical study is the assessment of the site where the show will take place, this may include the recognition of physical dimensions, of the environment (including potential obstacles like buildings or trees), usual weather conditions, and any other factors that may affect drone performance or show safety.

Additionally, logistical aspects are also addressed encompassing establishing take-off and landing zones, planning flight paths and implementing safety measures to protect the public and operators.

Finally, an analysis of additional technical needs is carried out, which may include sound equipment for music and commentary and other elements that contribute to the overall experience.

The storyboard

This step is essential to translate the client's vision and objectives into a concrete visual and narrative plan. This is a crucial transitional phase where abstract ideas begin to take shape. At the same time, the storyboard specifies the use of lights and special effects ; the colors and intensity of the lights on the drones, but also any special effects on the ground or integrated into the drones themselves, such as the triggering of traditional fireworks.

Finally, there soundtrack is an integral component of the show, and its choice is closely linked to the storyboard. For each segment of the show, a musical track is selected or composed to support the mood and visual movements. The music guides the rhythm of the animations and reinforces the cohesion between the visual and auditory elements of the show.

THE storyboard is regularly shared with the client to ensure that the artistic direction meets their expectations. 

Design of a griffin using 3D software

The production

This stage includes several key processes, involving the creation of visual, sound and technical elements necessary to provide a memorable experience to the audience. It is during this phase that ideas come to life thanks to the use of the latest technologies and the know-how of highly qualified teams. You must first import the storyboard and music into the software, which often offers a visual interface allowing you to “draw” the drones’ trajectories in 3D space. 

The creative team creates the visual elements of the show. This includes color selection, intensity of lights on drones, and design of patterns and shapes that the drones will form in the sky.

However, adjustments may be necessary to perfect the visual elements. This refinement phase is essential to ensure that the show achieves the desired level of excellence.

If you want to know more about the behind-the-scenes creation of a drone show, watch our Instagram story on this subject:

Audio-visual synchronization

After the production elements are finalized, the focus shifts to the precise alignment of each drone movement, lighting effect, and special effect with the show's soundtrack.

Once the musical structure is established, the drones' programming can be adjusted to align with the musical elements. Flight control software is used to precisely synchronize drone flight paths, formations, and color changes with the music. This step requires great precision to ensure that the drones' movements match the defined moments in the audio track.

Meanwhile, special effects and lighting are also programmed to activate at specific times. Whether highlighting a musical crescendo with an explosion of fireworks or changing the colors of the drones in sync with a key change in the music, every detail is meticulously planned to reinforce the audio-visual impact of aerial performance.


It is imperative to navigate through a regulatory framework with obtaining various authorizations varying between jurisdictions which generally aim to guarantee public safety and respect for the environment. So, the flight license ensures that drone operators are qualified and that the devices used are fit to fly safely.

In addition to flight permits, specific safety clearances may be required to ensure that the show poses no risk to the public, surrounding structures, and airspace. This may include risk assessment, emergency planning, and coordination with local emergency services to ensure response protocols are in place in the event of an incident.

Depending on the location and nature of the performance, other approvals may be required such as the use of public space, the installation of temporary structures such as stages or screens, and the use of music or other intellectual property.

The tests

This phase allows you to check the reliability of every aspect of the show, from drone performance to audio-visual synchronization, including security. Testing is conducted under conditions as close to those of the final show as possible to identify and correct any potential issues.

Above all, each drone is subject to a thorough technical verification to ensure its proper functioning. This includes controlling the battery, motors, sensors.

Of the general rehearsals with the full soundtrack and all the visual effects allow you to see the show in its entirety and make final adjustments.

The realization

This is the culmination of the entire creative process, where the artistic vision meets its audience. This phase involves not only the technical execution of the show but also the commitment to safety, quality, and eco-responsibility, thus ensuring an experience that is both emotional and environmentally friendly. 

The heart of putting on a drone show is reaching the audience. Through a masterful combination of music, light, and movement, the show aims to create unforgettable moments, arousing wonder, joy, and sometimes even reflection.

Example of visual during a show with 400 drones