JBL Professional VTX Series Powers Two Days of Live Electronic Dance Music at CRSSD Festival

May 31, 2023

SAN DIEGO, Calif.—JBL Professional collaborated with Show Imaging and FNGRS CRSSD to power a weekend of high-energy musical performances with a distributed live sound reinforcement solution consisting of JBL VTX Series line array speakers and subwoofers.

Since its debut in 2015, CRSSD Festival has attracted tens of thousands of electronic and indie rock fans to Waterfront Park in San Diego for two days of live music across three stages. Hosted by FNGRS CRSSD, the 2023 edition boasted performances by chart-topping artists and underground DJs alike, including ODESZA, Polo & Pan, Channel Tres, Neil Frances, Bedouin, Kavinsky, Purple Disco Machine and more. Concert organizers once again turned to San Diego-based Show Imaging, Inc. to outfit The Palms Stage with an audio rig that delivered the impact and clarity required for a world class EDM festival without interfering with the concurrent sets happening on the other two stages.

In the past, Show Imaging president Steve Q. Evans was unsure about how the EDM market would take to the JBL VTX systems however, following a particularly successful implementation of Show Imaging’s JBL VTX rig at a New Year’s Eve event, the team confidently decided to deploy VTX speakers and subs to supercharge The Palms Stage at CRSSD Fest 2023.

“For me, when I started Show Imaging in 2014, JBL VRX Series was one of the first production products that we purchased,” said Evans. “It was a great catch-all box for what we were doing at the time. HARMAN and JBL trusted us, and we trusted them. This trust has remained and grown over the years. We bought A8s, and we were on the fence about investing in A12 speakers because they hadn’t had as much exposure in the EDM market yet. By summer of 2022, we were completely confident that the A12 speakers and B28 subwoofers were the next progression for our production inventory. By that time, we were growing bigger as a company and working on larger and higher profile jobs. CRSSD was a great opportunity for us to prove that VTX systems are phenomenal solutions for the EDM market.”    

To keep stage volume and unnecessary sound bleed to a minimum, the Palms Stage system deployed by Show Imaging consisted of a modest stage left-right hang of eight JBL VTX A12 line array speakers (four speakers per side) and two A12W front fills. Rather than focusing all the firepower in the stage hang, the team elected to distribute energy throughout the audience with a total of 56 VTX A8 compact line array speakers assembled as 14 four-box delays. Additionally, to ensure a powerful bass response in the space, the team deployed a total of 16 VTX B28 dual-subwoofers. This hybrid approach enabled the team to deliver the artists’ music to every audience member with utmost clarity and definition, without creating excess energy that could negatively impact the music happening on the festival’s other two stages.

“This project had very specific needs in terms of coverage and strict limits on allowable SPL levels,” said Darrell Henry, Chief Operating Officer, Show Imaging. “We met these requirements using a distributed system with 16 different hangs in a fairly small space. The boxes are well-behaved acoustically; we can get a full and rich audio experience for the audience where we need it without excess sound bleeding elsewhere. We received nothing but positive feedback about the sound system on the Palms Stage. There was a consistent theme that  VTX A series can stand side by side with any other high level competitor on the market.”

The Show Imaging team noted that the seamless compatibility of VTX A12 and A8 speakers contributed to the success of their distributed delay configuration. They also expressed confidence in the predictive capabilities offered by the VTX Series speakers, ensuring that the final system performed exactly as it was intended to.

“JBL VTX A-Series provides two significant benefits for us when designing and deploying the systems,” said Henry. “The first is the similarity in voicing and performance of the high frequencies between A12 and A8. This allows us to mix and match the boxes in our designs to meet weight limitations and venue-specific challenges. The second benefit is that the boxes are very predictable in their frequency response and coverage, virtually eliminating the need for onsite changes once we’ve calculated our designs.”

Billboard Live Elevates New Yokohama Location with  JBL Professional and Martin Professional

Billboard Live Elevates New Yokohama Location with JBL Professional and Martin Professional

May 15, 2023

YOKOHAMA, Japan—To provide Billboard Live’s latest venue in Yokohama with a world-class live setup suitable for a wide range of performances, HIBINO and SC Alliance collaborated with HARMAN Professional Solutions to select and implement a range of JBL Professional audio and Martin professional lighting solutions.

In addition to venues in Tokyo and Osaka, Billboard Live recently launched a third location in the up-and-coming Kitanaka area of Yokohama. The venue boasts a gigantic floorspace of approximately 1,000 square meters and a 300-seat capacity. Along with hosting internationally renowned performers and local artists, the venue also provides an unrivaled culinary experience thanks to a carefully curated menu by Japan’s finest chefs. To elevate the overall guest experience with state-of-the-art live sound as well as immersive and impactful lighting, the HIBINO and SC Alliance installation team deployed JBL VTX and VRX Series speakers and Martin ERA Series lights.

For the audio component, the team installed the JBL VTX A8 and B18 high-performance speakers. Equipped with proprietary JBL woofers, custom-designed high-frequency transducers and advanced waveguide technology, the VTX A8 is a compact-yet-powerful line array capable of high, distortion-free output and consistently wide horizontal coverage of up to 110 degrees. When used in conjunction with the VTX B18 subwoofer, which applies the same features and technology as the A8 for reinforced low end, the combined system produces improved linearity, wider dynamic range and an impactful sound that reaches far-away audiences without overwhelming those close to the stage.

In addition to the VTX speakers, the rig also includes JBL VRX928LA two-way line array loudspeakers for the center and balcony fills. Featuring a Constant Curvature Array design and a Dual Angle pole socket, the JBL VRX928LA offers precise aiming and reliable coverage so that every audience member can experience optimal live sound. Finally, JBL VTX M20 monitor speakers offer the onstage performers the same high-quality sound and technology as the audience-facing rig.

“We needed a system that could simultaneously deliver a broad range of genres including jazz, pop, rock and hip hop,” said Kosuke Takahashi, Touring Division at Tokyo Sanko. “We are impressed with how HARMAN Professional Solutions was able to deliver on that request. We have received great compliments from top artists who performed at our venue.”

Along with sound, lighting effects are also critical for any live performance venue that wants to provide guests with a memorable experience. With this point in mind, the installation team selected Martin ERA 600 Performance fixtures and MAC Aura XB wash lights as the venue’s main lighting system. The Martin ERA 600 sports a highly efficient 550W white LED engine that produces bright and sharp image projection up to 6,500K, while MAC Aura XB specializes in color blends thanks to its superior color mixing system and optimized lens design. The resulting lighting rig ensures saturated washes, vibrant effects, striking beams and more.

“We chose Martin lighting fixtures as it is a renowned brand with a comprehensive range of effects, versatile LED profile and limitless design possibilities,” said Keita O-Kado, Booking Manager, Planning and Production Group, Billboard Division at Hashin Contents Link Corporation.

“Billboard Live is a premium live entertainment venue, and we are honored to bring its performances to life with stellar sound and lighting via our suite of world-class products” said Amar Subash, VP & GM, HARMAN Professional Solutions of APAC. “We would like to thank Hibino, SC Alliance and Rewire for entrusting us and we look forward to future collaborations.”

A video about the JBL Professional loudspeaker and Martin lighting fixture integration can be viewed at

Suwannee Hulaween Festival Delivers Four Days of Music and Art Powered by Martin Fixtures

Suwannee Hulaween Festival Delivers Four Days of Music and Art Powered by Martin Fixtures

May 01, 2023

LIVE OAK, Florida—To provide powerful and immersive visual experiences at Suwannee Hulaween 2022, production designers Michael Smalley and Chris Ruppel partnered with Music Matters Productions to deploy an impressive rig featuring a range of Martin lighting fixtures.

Founded in 2013, Suwannee Hulaween is an annual music and camping festival hosted by The String Cheese Incident (SCI) at the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, Florida. Hulaween’s long running tradition is that SCI plays multiple sets on each night of the festival. The 2022 edition of Suwannee Hulaween was held on October 27 – 30 and featured performances by Sylvan Esso, Margo Price, Portugal. The Man, Black Pumas, Rainbow Kitten Surprise, Louis the Child, Fearless Flyers, STS9, the Disco Biscuits and many more.

To ensure a multisensory experience for festival goers and guest artists alike, festival producer Etix turned to SCI’s trusted lighting designers Michael Smalley and Chris Ruppel of PHNTM Labs to create a rig that would be suitable for the headliners and bright enough for the daytime sets, in addition to visually supporting SCI’s multiple performances. With the help of Atlanta-based production company Music Matters Productions, Smalley and Ruppel devised and deployed an impressive stage lighting rig featuring a large quantity of Martin fixtures, including the new MAC Ultra Performance.

“With a festival like Hulaween, we have guest lighting operators with headliners and up-and-coming artists alike,” said Smalley. “I’m a firm believer that if you give someone top-notch tools, it’s going to bring out the best in their work. The audience gets an enriched experience when the operators are inspired by the gear they’re using. The overall goal was to make the lights bright enough to see during the day. It’s easy to make stuff look cool at night, but many acts are playing during the day and we want something that would look equally good at day and at night.”

Built to support the biggest live events, the MAC Ultra Performance is a high output LED moving head profile fixture based on Martin’s all new 1150 W, 6000 K proprietary LED light engine, and pushes an incredible 46,500 lumens in projection. The fixture’s benchmark output across the entire zoom range helped Smalley and Ruppel achieve their goal of creating a lighting rig powerful enough to provide stunning visual experiences at the festival even during the daytime performances.

“This was my first time using the Ultra Performance fixtures,” said Smalley. “I was impressed when I saw a demonstration of them, but I never really trust a light until I get to run it myself in real world conditions. We used MAC Ultra Performances where I would usually put a spot fixture. The MAC Ultra Performance is super bright and punchy, even when running rainbow effects and other things that generally decrease your output. With lights that bright, you don’t even need haze to get the full experience, even during the daytime sets. To be able to see the Ultra beams during the day was completely amazing. Ten out of ten, will do again.”

To complement the MAC Ultra Performance’s unmatched brightness, the lighting team rounded out the rig with MAC Axiom Hybrid and MAC Viper Profile fixtures providing beautiful washes and creative eye candy. The MAC Axiom Hybrid is a true all-in-one fixture, combining beam and spot into one compact unit that also offers diffused wash functionality. This versatility helped Smalley deliver unique looks that disrupt a traditional wash approach with more defined beam and visible coverage patterns. Smalley also praised the Viper Profile’s vibrant color mixing and linear CTO design, helping to deliver a superior palette of colors including authentic tungsten, true reds, rich ambers, primary green and deep blues.

“We used the MAC Axiom Hybrid fixtures in a more supportive role,” said Smalley. “Like what a wash would do, without the washiness. I like to see a tighter beam come down. The Axioms can get nice and right beams. The Viper Profiles were our downstage wash fixture, one for each band member. I’m relying on LED stuff less and less. I don’t like LED lights that look like LED lights. Switching over to the Viper gave me that lamp feel I like. I get the full spectrum. I have whole looks that are very warm, with amber and tungsten feels, and then I have hyper cool looks, like midnight blue. All of the lights in the rig need that kind of flexibility. That’s why I like lamp-based fixtures like the Viper. It’s a real lamp with CTO in front of it, instead of using LED color corrections and doing advanced math just to get a warm color.”

Smalley and Ruppel both expressed a longtime confidence in using Martin fixtures for their productions. They noted reliability and consistency in Martin fixtures’ performance, programmability and ease of maintenance, in addition to Martin’s commitment to quality customer support.


“When I get to use a new Martin fixture for the first time, I can plug it into the console right out of the box and it works,” said Ruppel. “Maintenance on Martin fixtures is phenomenal. They actually really thought about how to pull a module out, repair it and put it back. Other manufacturers don’t even think about that kind of stuff. Martin’s technical support is always great. I have two reps I can call at any time and they always make sure we have what we need as lighting professionals. We even asked them to add a control channel for an upcoming show and they got it to us in time.”

“Ruppel and I have been heavy Martin loyalists for a long time,” added Smalley. “Martin puts mindfulness into how a programmer and designer is going to utilize these lights. The way they set up their DMX channels is intuitive. The less time we have to spend learning the ins and outs of a new fixture, the faster we can get to work on the artistic side and make magic. On a personal level, Martin was busting out hit after hit when I was coming up. For me, there’s a deep aspirational quality about getting to use Martin gear. I’m always rooting for them to make something new for me to get super excited about—and that’s the MAC Ultra Performance right now.”

Smalley also related his enthusiastic appreciation of the role played by Music Matters Productions in ensuring a successful festival experience for everyone involved. Music Matter Productions supplied and deployed the audio, video and lighting rigs at Suwannee Hulaween 2022.

“The Hulaween rig was provided by Music Matters Productions out of Atlanta,” said Smalley. “They did all the lighting, video, rigging, audio, and they have fantastic in-house operators. We made the drawings, handed it over and they smashed it. People really enjoyed the lighting rig. We’re always trying to do something unique. People appreciated that there was an overall aesthetic that tied the festival together. The overall look and feel of the theme came across really well.”

André Rieu and the Johann Strauss Orchestra Dazzle Audiences in Maastricht with Martin Lighting Solutions

André Rieu and the Johann Strauss Orchestra Dazzle Audiences in Maastricht with Martin Lighting Solutions

April 21, 2023

MAASTRICHT, Netherlands—To ensure immersive concert lighting and adequate key lighting for television cameras at the André Rieu Summer Concert Special, Rieu’s touring lighting designer Fabian Huijts collaborated with Light-H-Art –design team Henk-Jan Van Beek, Jaco Alblas and Sebastian Van Der Laan to deploy a massive lighting rig that prominently featured MAC Ultra Performance fixtures.

André Rieu is a world-famous violinist who has garnered acclaim and awards for making the classical music repertoire accessible to audiences of all ages and nationalities. Since founding the Johann Strauss Orchestra in 1987, Rieu’s tours have earned among Billboard’s Top 25 highest-grossing tours in the world numerous times. In 2022, André Rieu played a series of hometown concerts in Maastricht’s Vrijthof, a majestic town square dating back to the Roman Empire. In addition to attracting thousands of fans from hundreds of countries around the globe, the concerts were filmed for live television broadcast.

To help him bring timeless classical masterpieces to life with elegance and intimacy, Rieu turned to his touring lighting designer Fabian Huijts and special event design team Light-H-Art to create an immersive visual design that looks stunning both in person and on camera. Huijts and Light-H-Art deployed a large number of Martin lighting fixtures, with a key role played by MAC Ultra Performance.

“I’ve used Ultra Performance frequently and I like it a lot,” said Van Beek. “It’s the ultimate light for me, because there’s so much output. The last time we did a performance at this location, we had to hang a key lighting truss in front of the beautiful frieze representing the ancient Greek pantheon on the roof structure. We needed to figure out a solution. We needed a fixture that could be mounted on the big towers 100 meters from the stage. Because the fixture needed to provide a lot of light from big distances, we used the Ultra Performance. There was no other fixture that could have done that job. It was the only light that could have given us that much output over that much distance.”

Huijts concurred with Van Beek on being highly impressed with the MAC Ultra Performance’s high output levels, and credited the fixtures with performing a previously impossible task.

“The last time André performed here, there was a big truss obscuring the view of the nice decorations on the elegantly carved roof structure,” said Huijts. “The Light-H-Art team suggested that we can do just as good of a job with the MAC Ultras from the far towers. We couldn’t do that before, but the MAC Ultra makes that possible. Even from the farthest tower—which is 100 meters away—there’s still key light coming from a MAC Ultra. We were able to get rid of the truss that blocks the nice face of the roof structure. Thanks to the MAC Ultra, it was finally possible to do that. It’s nice that you can do the gobo effect, zoom wide, use animation and give it color, and you still have plenty of brightness left. It’s so powerful you can do almost anything you want with it, and is really smooth to focus with precision. MAC Ultra was really the perfect solution. When you say MAC Ultra, everybody on a project lights up. They agree it’s an amazing fixture.”

In addition to the MAC Ultra Performance fixtures mounted on the far sides of the plaza, the lighting team also deployed an array of MAC Encore Performance and Ultra Performance spot fixtures onstage to provide balanced key lighting for the orchestra and choir.

“Key lighting was a combination of MAC Encore and MAC Ultras,” said Huijts. “We used 44 Encores for key lighting the orchestra. We also had a very large choir of 150 people. We did the choir key lighting with six MAC Ultras, and because of its power, brightness and ultra wide zoom—it was perfect.”

Van Beek noted the importance of maintaining consistency across the lighting rig when utilizing large numbers of fixtures on camera to match color and temperature.

“It can be difficult to get a good white balance when you use a lot of different fixtures in a rig,” said Van Beek. “That’s the most challenging thing as a lighting designer for television. It’s important that we have one specific front light that balances the white, and for me that’s the Encore Performance. With Martin fixtures, we can easily match the different fixture types together. If you try to do that with other brands, it’s more difficult.”

Huijts emphasized the role that André Rieu’s audiences play at his concerts, which the artist and team strive to encourage participation and community between the crowd and the orchestra. Martin fixtures’ advanced features and versatility helped the team deliver immersive audience lighting, from blinders to textured effects.

“The audience part is so important to André,” said Huijts. “During the whole show, there’s lighting on the audience, so they feel they’re one group together with the orchestra. It’s a nice energy and supports the applause. We used MAC Quantum Wash for key and back lighting of the audience in the plaza. To extend the dimensions of the stage and interact with the audience a bit, we used Atomic Dots on the roof of the stage for nice starlight twinkles and blinding effects. It gives the concert a touch of magic. They look awesome in every camera shot. I used them at low brightness.

Huijts spoke to the reliability and ease-of-maintenance that comes with using Martin fixtures, despite the rugged conditions and treatment they are subjected to on long international tours.

“I like Martin fixtures the most, because they are really reliable and you can service them easily,” said Huijts “The reliability is the most attractive part to me. We’ve toured with many of the same Martin fixtures with André for many years now. The amount of problems is really low—we rarely have to reset or change a broken fixture. Even considering the fixtures are shipped all around the world and touched by a lot of stage hands, they still work. I will always use Martin.”

Padova Congress Merges Culture, Innovation and Technology With Help from AMX Professional Solutions

Padova Congress Merges Culture, Innovation and Technology With Help from AMX Professional Solutions

April 13, 2023

PADUA, Italy—To provide the newly designed Padova Congress building with an innovative and future-proofed AV over IP system, Intermark Sistemi selected and deployed a range of advanced AMX networked solutions.

Opened in 2022, the Padova Congress is a massive conference and exhibition space in the heart of the historic city of Padua. The venue serves as an international crossroads for culture, business and innovation, reflecting Padua’s legacy as the home to some of Europe’s greatest minds like Galileo Galilei and Giotto.

At the heart of the new AV system are the large LED walls placed on the main stages, designed by Stefano De Troia. The Congress’s largest hall—the 1,565-seat Sala Giotto—sports the largest screen in the venue as well as one of Europe’s most advanced multimedia stations for presentations, screenings and events. With such technology housed within a building designed by esteemed Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, the venue itself reflects art and technology working in harmony to incite collaboration and progress.

With collaboration and innovation as the top priorities, the Padova Congress facility required a state-of-the-art, networked AV system to transmit media and streams over IP throughout the venue’s event halls, multipurpose spaces, press room and restaurant area. To meet these requirements, Intermark Sistemi selected and installed several AMX solutions throughout the venue for fast and reliable AV processing.

“The AMX integrated control and audio/video distribution system runs entirely on a dedicated fiber network with Cisco switches,” said Roberto Tramarin, Senior Sales Director, Mosaico Group. “In summary, the result is a state-of-the-art system architecture, open to any future implementation.”

For networked processing, AMX N2400 Series encoders and decoders provide both video and audio data management with near-zero latency throughout the facility. With both copper and fiber-optic connections available for high signal quality at any distance, the NMX-ENC-N2412A encoder and NMX-DEC-N2422A decoder support up to 4K60 resolution––ideal for spaces with large-scale, high-definition video. Additionally, both solutions offer KVM functions via USB for remote PC control, achieving an ideal balance between simple controls and advanced functionality.

Running in between the encoders and decoders is the AMX NMX-WP-N2410 Windowing Processor, which allows for simultaneous streaming of up to four high-definition sources onto a single image source. With real-time, user-friendly controls available for background options, window dimensions, zoom functionality and more, the NMX-WP-N2410 drastically increases the functionality and flexibility of the Padova Congress’ various video spaces while minimizing bandwidth and installation needs.

Finally, AMX Netlinx NX-2200 Integrated Controllers provide responsive programming and control options throughout the space. Equipped with backwards and cross-compatibility as well as advanced security features including Dual NIC, the NX-2200 provides versatile control and automation options throughout the Padova Congress spaces and offers support for future system expansions and modifications.

“The aspect I most appreciate about this project is that it can respond to virtually any request from customers in the conference sector, combining ease of use, functionality, quality, flexibility and scalability,” said Stefano De Troia, Founder, De.Re.Com. “There is not much to invent in this field, but I believe that having an entire congress center with AV-over-IP signal routing is unique in Italy”.

ACI Informatica Merges Old and New Technology with Help from AMX AV Solutions

ACI Informatica Merges Old and New Technology with Help from AMX AV Solutions

April 10, 2023

ROME—To provide ACI Informatica with a versatile and future-proofed auditorium suitable for a variety of events, integrators NADA 2008 and Intermark Sistemi developed an AV-over-IP distribution network powered by AMX solutions.

A branch of the Automobile Club of Italy, ACI Informatica specializes in IT-based management and implementation for large-scale, vehicle-related public administrative projects. With an on-site 16,000 square-foot server farm capable of high-bandwidth data management and processing, the company has helmed country-wide projects including the Public Vehicle Register and vehicle tax collection systems.

As part of their mission to apply the latest technology to their work and services, ACI Informatica wished to transform their auditorium into a modern event space powered by the latest AV technology. With this goal in mind, NADA 2008 and Intermark Sistemi selected and installed AMX controllers, encoders and decoders that perfectly balanced innovation and accessibility for the contemporary workplace.

Along with revitalizing the auditorium, ACI Informatica also hoped to integrate elements from the old setup that were still useable, such as the sound system and microphones, and therefore wanted a management system with the compatibility for both old and new technology. The AMX Netlinx NX-2200 integrated controller proved to be the natural choice thanks to its backward compatibility and support of both analog and digital formats. Along with its high performance and flexibility, the NX-2200 NX also guarantees secure in-network communication and monitoring thanks to its NX Master Security firmware, Dual NIC ports and IPv6 support. For increased ease-of-use, AMX Modero G5 Series touch panels offer presenters or moderators with responsive and intuitive AV controls.

Finally, eight AMX NMX-ENC-N2412A encoders and four NMX-DEC-N2424A decoders provide the auditorium with high-bandwidth, low-latency AV-over-IP distribution. With 4K60 4:4:4 and HDR support, the N2400 Series ensures video and audio distribution throughout the space at maximum quality, while features such as Active Directory integration and 802.1X support provide reliable network security.

In addition to the AMX solutions, the space now sports a 138-inch LED video wall, motorized PTZ cameras and a multi-channel recording and streaming system. As a result of these installations, the ACI Informatica auditorium is now an optimal venue for both in-person collaboration and remote communication, with ample potential for future system upgrades or network expansion.

The Snow Queen Comes to Life on Ice with Help From Martin Professional

The Snow Queen Comes to Life on Ice with Help From Martin Professional

April 06, 2023

TAMPERE, Finland—To provide the Finnish production of Hans Christian Anderson’s The Snow Queen with immersive lighting that elevated the show’s video elements, renowned lighting designer Mikki Kunttu deployed a range of Martin MAC Series solutions.

An epic story about a girl named Gerda saving her friend Kai from the influence of the titular character, The Snow Queen is one of Anderson’s most well-known and acclaimed fairy tales. The story was first published in 1844 and—like many of Anderson’s classic stories—has inspired countless adaptations including operas, musicals, ballets and even Disney’s 2013 film Frozen. In late 2022, Tampere-talo and Kantelinen Company reimagined the story as ballet on ice that utilized modern LED and video programming to immerse the audience into the world of The Snow Queen like never before.

Performed at the 13,455-seat Nokia Arena, the production required a lighting rig that complemented the video effects, avoided excessive glare and reflections caused by the ice and ensured a visually engaging experience from any seat in the venue—all while only having the day before the premiere for programming and a run-through. To meet these requirements, Kunttu utilized both the industry-standard Martin MAC Quantum Wash and the new MAC Ultra Performance fixture.

“This particular production rests more heavily on the shoulders of video and projection.” explained Kunttu. “Naturally, the lighting needs to complement the video and interfere as little as possible. We needed to find ways of lighting the performers in a way that seamlessly melted into the very vivid colors, tones and video used in each scene. However, there were also these beautiful moments where there was only lighting and no video, and so we needed fixtures that could be bright and impactful when the time came. And of course, the whole stage is white and reflective because of the ice. That setting is somewhat challenging for lighting because you can more clearly see even the smallest differences between the lights in terms of color shades, so having consistent fixtures was also crucial.”

The latest entry in the Martin MAC Ultra Series, the MAC Ultra Performance combines advanced engineering, expressive LED-powered visuals and optimal ease-of-use for the ideal user experience. Featuring a massive 1150-watt output across a 1:7 zoom range, a next-generation framing system and a variety of on-board gobo and color wheel effects, the MAC Ultra Performance excels across a wide range of venue sizes and productions. For The Snow Queen, Kunttu deployed almost 100 MAC Ultra Performance fixtures in the central lighting rig, utilizing its extensive effects and precise color blending to fill the ice rink with saturated washes that seamlessly filled in the spaces between the video effects.

“I really love the power of having the MAC Ultra Performance in the central rig,” said Mikku. “If you’re looking for visual impact or something that accents the music and performers, then it’s all right there. Oftentimes, all I had to do was press a button and I got the impact I needed. And with the LED sources, the color mixing is more constant than it used to be with bulbs. In the old days, you could have 24 spots and 22 different blues with the same settings. But now lights like the MAC Ultra Performance are much more consistent, and can also mimic classic Tungsten looks and different color temperatures and things like that.”

Supporting the MAC Ultra Performance is the Martin legacy MAC Quantum Wash with additional color mixing, coverage and mid-air effects. Although discontinued, the Quantum Wash is still used for countless productions and events thanks to its reliably high 750-watt output, expressive Colorganics system, on-board aura effects and rotating front lens. Kunttu found the fixtures proved especially useful when there were large amounts of skaters on the ice and maximum coverage was needed to make everyone visible and touch all parts of the ice with color.

Overall, the production proved a rousing success in part thanks to the innovative lighting and visual design. Kunttu noted how the MAC Ultra Performance exceeded his expectations, especially given the limited rehearsal and programming timeframe, and he looks forward to getting to know the fixture even better on future projects.

“This was my first time using the MAC Ultra Performance, and I was very happy with it,” said Kunttu. “It’s very bright and high quality, and I can’t think of any problems that we would've had with them. In terms of design I was very happy with how the physical sets and the lighting and the video all worked together. If the production design is fully successful, then it should feel like they are one, harmonious statement. I think we achieved that here.”

Paolo Nutini Stuns Arena Audiences Across Europe and the UK with Martin Professional Lighting Solutions

Paolo Nutini Stuns Arena Audiences Across Europe and the UK with Martin Professional Lighting Solutions

April 05, 2023

United Kingdom—To create an immersive multimedia visual design for Paolo Nutini’s 2022 UK and European tour, lighting designer Liam Tully deployed an impressive lighting rig consisting of Martin MAC Ultra Wash and Ultra Performance fixtures.

With numerous awards and a handful of number-one albums in the UK charts including 2009’s Sunny Side Up and 2014’s Caustic Love, Paolo Nutini is one of the most popular and successful musicians from Scotland. In 2022, Nutini released his fourth full-length record titled Last Night in the Bittersweet, bolstered by hit singles “Through the Echoes” and “Lose It.” The second half of 2022 witnessed Nutini embarking on a UK and European arena tour in support of Last Night in the Bittersweet, which ran from August until December with performances in England, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Romania, Switzerland and more.

To ensure an immersive visual experience for his fans and concert-goers, Nutini turned to trusted lighting designer Liam Tully to create a touring rig that not only delivered high-quality key lighting and punchy stage washes, but blended seamlessly with the tour’s ambitious projection design. Tully designed and deployed a state-of-the-art lighting rig highlighted by the presence of 48 Martin MAC Ultra Performance and 18 MAC Ultra Wash fixtures.

“The planning phase was fairly simple—I sat down with Paolo and we went through what he was after,” said Tully. “The show is super video driven with eight projectors around the stage. Paolo wanted to balance this with a very traditional lighting rig. He didn’t want to see the face of LEDs, which is why we went with the MAC Ultra Wash. I also needed a big profile that could cut through the project when needed. I really liked the MAC Ultra Performance for that role, especially their colors and dimmer curves. The punch was there when I needed the big gobo look, but they also look great when limited to as low as three percent.”

In order to ensure consistent quality of light and color across the entire rig, Tully’s lighting design utilized both of Martin’s new MAC Ultra family of next-generation lighting fixtures. MAC Ultra Wash’s powerful feature set—including uniform color mixing, variable CTO, spectral correction filters and motorized frost—helped Tully support Nutini’s performances with beautiful unified wash looks without the audience being able to see individual LED pixels. Meanwhile, the MAC Ultra Performance’s benchmark output and high resolution dimming gave Tully the power to cut through the projections while also yielding the sensitivity to blend seamlessly with the projectors—even at extremely low output levels.

“The way we approached this design was different than any other show I’ve done before,” said Tully. “As I said, we put the projection at the forefront of this design, and the lighting was to compliment the projection—not to take away from it. We spent a lot of time balancing the lighting to the projection. When I changed the intensity even between three and four percent, I could see the change. You don’t get that kind of control with other fixtures. I have also found you get a consistent quality of light within the Martin family of fixtures—and it’s easy to color-match across all aspects of the design.”

UBS Arena Amplifies Fan Experiences with JBL

UBS Arena Amplifies Fan Experiences with JBL

April 04, 2023

Opened in 2021, UBS Arena is a multi-purpose indoor arena located in Long Island, New York. Home to the NHL’s New York Islanders, UBS Arena has a capacity of 19,000 and hosts basketball games, concerts, corporate events and professional wrestling broadcasts in addition to Islanders’ home games. To provide world-class audio experiences for fans and attendees of a wide range of events, the newly constructed facility required a state-of-the-art arena audio solution.

The solution—designed by consultant group Wrightson, Johnson, Haddon & Williams, Inc. and installed by integrators Diversified—consists of over 950 JBL loudspeakers, including eight main bowl arrays of JBL VTX A12 speakers and S28 subwoofers, and a variety of PD Series, AWC Series, VRX Series, Series loudspeakers in balcony, concourse, back-of-house and delay positions. The entire system is powered by Crown I-Tech Series and DCi Series amplifiers, with network control and signal processing provided by BSS Soundweb London devices.

Twisted Tea Grey Cup Halftime Show Delivers Stunning Visuals and Immersive Lighting Powered by Martin

Twisted Tea Grey Cup Halftime Show Delivers Stunning Visuals and Immersive Lighting Powered by Martin

March 17, 2023

REGINA, Canada—To provide the Twisted Tea Grey Cup Halftime Show with a hybrid lighting and creative video display that translated both on television and in person, Electric Aura Projects collaborated with Christie Lites and Solotech to deploy a unique rig featuring a wide range of Martin lighting solutions.

Established in 1909 and named for former General Governor of Canada Albert Grey, the Grey Cup is the championship game that concludes each Canadian Football League season. With regular viewing audiences of four million, the Grey Cup is Canada’s largest annual televised sports event. The 109th Grey Cup final took place on November 20, 2022 at Mosaic Stadium in the Saskatchewan city of Regina. The highly anticipated Twisted Tea Halftime Show featured performances by Tyler Hubbard, Jordan Davis and Josh Ross.

To ensure a successful halftime production, Patrick Roberge Productions (PRP) once again turned to Electric Aura Projects to supply a lighting design that simultaneously entertained the live audience in the stadium and millions of viewers at home. Electric Aura Projects’ Robert Sondergaard and Jason McKinnon designed a unique stage show using a plethora of Martin lighting fixtures supplied by Christie Lites and Solotech, including the MAC Aura PXL.

“The Grey Cup is one of the most watched TV programs in Canada every year,” said Robert Sondergaard, Production Designer / Co-owner, Electric Aura Projects. “We needed to put on a show for the television audience, but it also had to look good for the 40,000 fans in the stadium. On this show we had Martin fixtures integrated with LED video screens as part of the visual backdrop. Because the fixtures are part of the camera shot, the actual look of the fixtures was important. The MAC Aura PXL fixtures were perfect as dynamic set pieces because it has a large lens and looks interesting.”

To create an immersive visual environment that integrates lighting and video, Sondergaard and his team deployed a large number of Martin solutions. The MAC Aura XB fixtures delivered beautiful backlit washes, while MAC Axiom Hybrids were deployed above the video structure to provide beam effects. The team used MAC Viper Performance fixtures to illuminate the stadium’s roofing structure. To extend the video elements wider than the screens behind the stage, Sondergaard’s design included rows of VDO Sceptron linear video fixtures.

Martin MAC Ultra Performance fixtures played a key role in the Halftime Show as manual follow spots. The MAC Ultra Performance’s benchmark output and next generation framing system helped the Electric Aura team deliver warm and bright front light for the primetime broadcast. Finally, Sondergaard deployed an array of MAC Aura PXL multisource wash fixtures to give the Halftime Show’s visual design a fresh and unique element. The MAC Aura PXL is the first wash light in the market to give lighting designers individual pixel control over main beam pixels and backlit pixels, with a variety of control standards including DMX, Art-Net, sACN and Martin´s very own creative P3 video protocol.

“I’m always looking for an opportunity to use a new fixture on the Grey Cup,” said Sondergaard. “We want to do something that people haven’t seen before. The MAC Aura PXL was exactly the fixture we needed to bridge what was happening on the video and recreate it to some effect with the fixtures themselves. All the individual pixels inside the face of the fixture gave us a dynamic creative element as a palette to work on.”

The reliable operation of the Martin fixtures supplied by Christie Lites and Solotech helped Electric Aura Projects helped Sondergaard and the Electric Aura Projects team deliver a world-class entertainment experience even in the midst of harsh winter conditions. Sondergaard also praised the tried-and-true roles played by Christie Lites and Solotech in ensuring another successful Grey Cup Halftime Show.

“Christie Lites and Solotech have been our partners on the Grey Cup for twelve years,” said Sondergaard. ”The attention to detail they put into their pre-show preparations always results in a simple and flawless deployment process. The quality of Martin fixtures is fantastic, and we know they’re going to work no matter what. That reliability is the reason I like to stick with Martin fixtures. On events like the Grey Cup, we’re putting them through harsh winter conditions, and they stand up great. We didn’t have issues with any of the fixtures. It didn’t matter how cold it got or how windy—everything worked perfectly for the show.”

Robert Sondergaard – Production Designer
Jason McKinnon – Lighting Director
Brent Clark – Lighting Programmer
Jason Bolger – Electric Aura Project Manager
Jaime DeVloo – Lighting Crew Chief
Michael Dickinson – Lighting Crew Chief
Richard Hagan – Solotech Project Manager
Mike Overend – Video Crew Chief
Adam Fontana – Server Op.
Christopher Lelièvre – Sceptron Tech
Tyler Carnrike – Video Tech

Legendary Rock Band Scorpions Embark on Rock Believer World Tour 2022 with Martin

Legendary Rock Band Scorpions Embark on Rock Believer World Tour 2022 with Martin

March 15, 2023

North America—Renowned lighting designer Manfred Nikitser recently collaborated with Christie Lites and Martin to deliver stunning visuals and immersive lighting displays on Scorpions’ Rock Believer World Tour 2022, utilizing the new Martin MAC Ultra Performance fixtures.

 Known for colossal hit songs like “Rock You Like A Hurricane” and “Still Loving You,” Scorpions are a German rock band that helped pioneer the first wave of heavy metal. In 2022, Scorpions released Rock Believer, their first full-length album of new music in seven years. To celebrate and support the new release, Scorpions embarked on a world tour that included months of dates across Europe and North America. Manfred Nikitser—Scorpions’ lighting designer since 2016—was given free reign to completely revamp the legendary band’s stage design. For the North American leg of the tour, Nikitser created an immersive and visually stunning lighting design utilizing new Martin MAC Ultra Series fixtures, provided by Christie Lites.

“This was the first opportunity I had to do a major redesign since I first joined the Scorpions team,” said Nikitser. “We changed from a traditional horizontal truss design to a more aggressive and straightforward look, with eight perpendicular trusses. It’s basically a one-fixture show, so I needed a fixture that could serve multiple purposes. The MAC Ultra Performance was impressive, as it provided both narrow beam spots and washed out looks. It has a great zoom feature, and with gobo projection the Ultra is brighter than anything I’ve ever seen before.”

Instead of relying on traditional concert lighting setups with multiple fixture-types serving different functions, Nikitser elected to build the majority of the show around a single workhouse. For the North American leg of the tour, 87 Martin MAC Ultra Performance fixtures performed the bulk of the lighting workload. Featuring uniform color mixing; a next-generation framing system; two layers of rotating gobos; a full-function animation wheel and iris, frost and prism effects, the new MAC Ultra Performance provided Nikitser with the flexibility and functionality he needed in a single ultra-bright solution. In addition to the overhead rig, Nikitser also utilized the MAC Ultra Performance fixtures to provide the band with front and back light using a remote follow-spot system.

“We will definitely go with the same design on the next tour,” said Nikitser. “Everyone involved was really happy with the lighting overall, and the Christie Lites crew did an amazing job. It’s actually hard to find a review or post about the tour that doesn’t praise the visual and lighting designs. The MAC Ultra Performance was number one on my wish list, and after this tour it has earned its spot as the first choice on my rider.”