In the realm of stage lighting, technological advancements continue to push the boundaries of creative expression for lighting designers. Among the most prominent breakthroughs is the Martin MAC Aura PXL, a lighting fixture that boasts impressive features to elevate stage designs to new heights with its ability to adapt to suit any environment. The MAC Aura PXL is the first wash light in the market to feature individual pixel control for main beam pixels and Aura backlight pixels.
We recently caught up with Wouter Verlinden, Martin Product Manager of Creative LED, Lighting & Control to get his insight on the development of MAC Aura PXL and to share more on its enhanced brightness, large front-lens, expanded beam pixel count, and unique Aura pixel-backlight effect.
Wouter, what really sets MAC Aura PXL apart from competing lighting fixtures?
There are many features that make MAC Aura PXL a standout but its brightness, 10,500 lumens, is remarkable for its compact size. It actually offers TWICE the lumen output of its smaller siblings, the Martin MAC Aura XIP and MAC Aura XB. This increased intensity makes it an especially ideal choice for venues and productions where vibrant illumination is a top priority. We also ensured that it could equally deliver beautiful washes and narrow beams. It also stands out in its category because it surprisingly doesn’t compromise in the areas of increased output, compact size, and noise reduction.
“Because we have access to each individual pixel, we’re able to program a wide range of shapes and video effects and integrate them with LED screens… You can’t really do that with other fixtures. This opens up so many possibilities, and I don’t think many people are utilizing these fixtures to their full ability yet.”
– Radosław Zacheja, StageSource on MAC Aura PXL for The Voice of Poland.
How does the larger front-lens design contribute to stage lighting aesthetics?
MAC Aura PXL features a large 250mm front-lens that serves as an impressive face for visual design. This design element captivates both lighting designers and audiences, making it a versatile fixture choice for a range of stage setups. The lens becomes an essential focal point, enhancing the overall aesthetics of the production and enables great graphic possibilities. We created MAC Aura PXL to be aesthetically pleasing and despite its pixel-mapping abilities, its ‘bubbles’ can also appear as a softly lit lens and not distinct lenses.
Watch How MAC Aura PXL Unleashes Creative Potential
Can you tell us more about MAC Aura PXL’s pixel-backlight effect and what LDs seem to like about it most?
When engineering this fixture, we really took our time to get the pixel-backlight effect just right. It is a revolutionary feature that transforms the large front-lens into a mesmerizing piece of eye candy. Comprising 141 small LEDs, this effect offers endless possibilities for creative expression. Lighting designers can use it for video mapping, detailed visuals, and dynamic lighting displays, enabling them to craft captivating scenes and evoke immersive experiences. The MAC Aura PXL is also equipped with more than 150 built-in FX macros with control of foreground color, background color, speed, and direction.
How does MAC Aura PXL’s beam pixel count contribute to design creativity?
With 19 individual beam pixels, MAC Aura PXL can create some really unique looks. By comparison, the impressive Martin MAC Aura XIP has only 7 beam pixels, so you can easily imagine how this significant increase allows lighting designers to craft more intricate and creative looks on stage. The fixture becomes a versatile tool, capable of creating eye-catching visual effects, pixel-mapping, and twinkle effects.
“I wanted a rig that could light the band, but also was versatile to provide some eye candy when needed… The MAC Aura PXL met these requirements and delivered brilliant whites and an unbeatable color range. (MAC Aura PXL) is one of my favorite fixtures to work with. I love the pure output and the wide range of colors, especially the pastels.”
– Lighting Designer Sam Tozer, Nothing But Thieves Tour
Let’s talk about MAC Aura PXL’s video mapping capabilities to empower visual storytelling.
MAC Aura PXL’s 141 small LEDs, responsible for the pixel-backlight effect, are strategically placed to facilitate video mapping. With Martin P3 visual control, you’re able to individually control and video map both the beam and aura pixels. With P3, you’re also able to mix control, allowing crossfading between video looks and DMX looks, driving complex effects via P3, and thereby freeing up DMX channels by using basic DMX mode. These features empower lighting designers to project dynamic content onto the fixture’s front-lens, integrating it seamlessly into the stage’s visual narrative. As a result, the MAC Aura PXL becomes a powerful storytelling tool, creating captivating backdrops and immersive environments.
How does MAC Aura PXL cater to the demands of modern stage productions?
From large concert stages to intimate theater settings, MAC Aura PXL’s combined brightness, versatile beam, and Aura pixel-backlight effect align perfectly with the creative needs of the modern stage. Lighting designers are working to deliver breathtaking visual experiences and with MAC Aura PXL they’ve got an essential workhorse that checks many boxes on their list. They also can count on the reliability of Martin color calibration which makes it an ideal fixture for key lighting as well.
“The sheer quantity of individual LED diode sources inside the lens and backlight really appealed to me because it gave me a higher resolution of pixel mapping… The fact that I could still use a main engine wash light and not have to pixel map the main engine source, and that I can light a stage with a wash and still do a pixel map on the lens of it, was really appealing to me.”
– Lighting Designer Ben Coker, Porter Robinson’s Nurture Live Tour.
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