In every corner of the globe, Martin equipment is there, providing reliable, cutting-edge units for designers in every sector of the industry. From Cairo to London to Los Angeles, Martin gear is up and running in state-of-the-art venues, on the hottest concert tours, and illuminating the world's most beautiful structures.
Martin burst onto the lighting scene in the late 1980s as a producer of nightclub luminaires and fog machines. Led by founder Peter Johanson, Martin gear became a permanent part of clubs worldwide. Through research and development, Martin introduced some of the most innovative gear found in that sector of the industry.
By 1993, business was booming, and revenues at Martin exceeded $15 million dollars. Noting a niche in the loudspeaker industry, Johanson decided that the firm should diversify, and the Mach line of speakers was introduced. Two years later, Martin was listed on the Copenhagen Stock Exchange, while product development continued. In 1997, Martin introduced two new units — the MAC 500 and MAC 600. Designers took notice, tried them out, and proclaimed them a hit, making them the firm's most successful products to date.
Johanson left the company in 1998, handing the reins over to Kristian Kolding. Soon after, perceiving the need for an outdoor automated wash fixture, Martin introduced the widely applauded Exterior 600. More successful product launches followed, including the MiniMAC in 1999 and Martin's most ambitious automated luminaire, the MAC 2000, released late last year.
At the start of the 21st century, Martin has grown from its roots as a solely owned lighting manufacturer to a $100-million-dollar publicly owned firm that supports a staff of over 700 employees. Martin has international subsidiaries in the US, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Singapore, Denmark and Argentina, as well as a worldwide network of over 85 distributors. Sales have tripled since 1994, and Martin's market share has increased dramatically over the past decade.
Martin's research-and-development department has led the industry in the creation of dependable, user-friendly products. The company's product development engineers — 40 of them in all — have been an integral part of Martin's drive to the top of the automated luminaire industry. Working closely with the research-and-development staff are the 400 employees in Martin's manufacturing facilities in Denmark and the UK, who build its award-winning products.
Once Martin equipment is out in the field, a network of customer support staff is there to back up users on a 24/7 basis. The Martin Global Network guarantees worldwide availability of products, while Martin's website provides important links and equipment information for customers in several languages.
Through a combination of innovative products and dedicated customer support, Martin has established itself in the automated luminaire market. As Martin product lines continue to expand, look for new ideas from this acknowledged industry leader.
Theatre is where legends are born and in this world Martin equipment is building a legend of its own. From critically acclaimed theatrical productions to permanent installations, Martin lights the way.
Few choreographers have achieved the mythic status of Bob Fosse. Although he passed away in 1986, his work is celebrated in the musical Fosse, a streamlined tribute that depends on movement and lighting rather than elaborate sets or dialogue. Andrew Bridge's lighting design features several MAC 500s. “The Martin MAC 500s have a few toys that helped us, including a prism and indexing gobos,” Bridge explains. In Fosse, Martin equipment is also used to project patterns on the rear of a starkly-designed stage, adding depth and color to the space.
Bridge also designed the theatrical version of Saturday Night Fever, now touring the US. Disco music, in all its leisure-suited, high-heeled, polyester-laden glory, is celebrated in the production. When the designer needed equipment that could reproduce the nightclub look of the era, he once again found his solution with Martin. From the Martin Club line, Bridge used Destroyers, Punishers, RoboZaps and StarFlashes to transform the stage into the 2001 Odyssey disco. “You can't have a disco scene without some movement, so I used the Destroyers, which are very good units, to rotate gobos and create a background,” Bridge reports. The disco lighting also relies on Martin RoboColor IIs, as well as RoboColor Pro 400s, which are placed on three large lighting towers and add punch to the dance numbers. To round out the rig, the designer added Martin MAC 500s and 600s.
The Full Monty takes viewers to another club — this time a seedy strip joint in Buffalo, NY. The hit Broadway musical, based on the movie of the same name, takes patrons on a journey through several different locales, including a union hall, a dance studio, a men's room, and an abandoned factory — as well as the local strip club. Once again, Martin equipment provided lighting designer Howell Binkley with the looks he required. “The Martin MACs were brilliant for area lighting, with templates and for sculpting the scenic surround,” Binkley notes.
Martin gear is also part of prestigious installations around the world. When the technical staff at Royal Festival Hall in London decided to add moving lights to its permanent inventory, they went with Martin gear. From the Festival Hall itself to the complex's smaller theaters to the façade of the building, Martin equipment works day and night. “From our point of view, choosing the MACs has been one of the best investments that we've ever made,” comments Nigel March, the head of production. “A lot of our LDs are frightened by moving lights because they haven't had the opportunity to use them. But we're giving them the opportunity and we're finding more and more people are using them and falling in love with them.”
When the house lighting system at the Opéra Garnier in Paris was updated, the staff turned to Martin for answers. Martin MAC 600s and 500s and two Martin Case Controllers were first on the list. “We chose MACs for their silent operation,” explains chief of lighting services Gerard Prevot.
The Opéra Garnier also needed a unit that could work in place of truss spots, due to space constraints in the facility. Martin had the solution with the TrackPod. “The TrackPod system allows us to use moving lights as proximity followspots above the stage,” comments Prevot. The TrackPods have also given the Opéra added creative flexibility. “With this system, the operator can be more creative, he can change colors and gobos,” he adds. It's just another example of Martin equipment providing creative solutions to real-life problems.
In concerts, Martin covers the globe. Mel C., the hottest of the Spice Girls, uses Martin MAC 500s and MiniMACs to add sparkle to her current European club tour. On the same side of the Atlantic, lighting designer Jesper Luth is an avid fan of the Martin Professional line, and has used them for the Moody Blues. This legendary band is once again out on tour with Martin MACs, bringing its show to appreciative audiences worldwide.
In the US, Martin Professional gear is equally visible. Lighting designer Philip Ealy has taken MAC 500s and MAC 600s along with him for the Offspring's current Conspiracy of One tour. While the Offspring is starting out, rock sensation Creed just completed a wildly successful tour that supported its breakthrough album Human Clay. For Creed, lighting designer James Peopping used 28 Martin MAC 500s, which were set at an extremely high trim height of 40'. When the Backstreet Boys' Millennium tour hit Europe, Martin was there with a huge rig that included MAC 600s, 500s, 300s, 250s, RoboScan Pro 918s, Jem smoke machines and a Case Pro II desk. Backstreet Boys lighting director Jorge Valdez says, “Night after night, we ran the lights hard and they kept performing. We had no complaints.”
Scheduled to travel the world is Carman's Heart of a Champion tour, a massive arena show slated for 69 dates, and featuring Martin MAC 250s, 500s, 300s and 600s. “The MAC 300 is the backbone of the rig, and it's one amazing wash fixture,” lighting designer Seth Jackson comments. “It's fast, has great color, and is really bright — and, with three stadiums on the schedule, I'm pushing them for all they're worth.” Like the Creed tour, the current Carman outing also boasts an extremely high trim height for part of the rig. “I knew that I could place the MAC 600 at the highest point of the grid, some 40' above the stage, and wash the stage in rich color that could hold its own against the rest of the rig, which is much closer to the stage,” he explains. “The MAC 600 is a powerhouse and the MAC 500 is a great hard-edge fixture that's very flexible with lots of effects and color options,” he notes.
Jackson took Martin gear to Europe last spring for Melissa Etheridge's tour, and came back to the MAC 500s and 600s for her latest gig, which will be touring the US, Europe, and Australia this summer. “Last spring, I really put the MACs through their paces,” Jackson notes. “Over the course of three hours, I can honestly say that there is not a function on those lights that I didn't use!”
For Jackson, Martin is the place to turn for reliable, roadworthy gear. “Without the security of knowing that the MACs would be there for us every day, we never would have been able to take on the schedule that we had,” Jackson comments. “The MACs' reliability is amazing,” he notes. “All the Martin gear is rock-solid on the road.”
Lighting designer Jim Greenawalt, who just completed the winter leg of Sammy Hagar's Ten 13 Cabo Wabo Birthday Bash tour, is also a Martin devotee. “I used Martin equipment on Sam's Mas Tequila tour and I really like some of the looks and the features that the lights have,” Greenawalt admits. “The MAC 500s and 600s are used as either a downstage wash or as a scenic wash. From a visual standpoint, the Martin gear really works well with the other equipment.” Like Jackson, Greenawalt has found the Martin Professional line of fixtures to be reliable night after night.
More and more, entertainment companies are getting involved in architecture as well. Martin has played a leading role in this crossover. Bridges, restaurants, and airports are just some of the locales where you can find Martin equipment, adding texture to the visual palette of our lives.
In the heart of Paris is the legendary Chez Maxim. This gourmet restaurant, steeped in culinary tradition, combines old-world sophistication with the best of the 21st century. The restaurant, which was bought by legendary fashion designer Pierre Cardin in 1981, has been taken to new aesthetic heights with the addition of Martin MiniMACs. While patrons dine on fine French cuisine, MiniMACs transform the walls with delicate color washes. No one could ever call Chez Maxim ordinary, but the addition of the Martin gear has turned this famed eatery into a visual feast.
An ocean away, in Venezuela, 37,000 vehicles pass daily over the General Rafael Urdaneta Bridge, the longest such structure in Latin America. When it came time to renovate the structure, Venezuelan authorities knew they could achieve their goals with Martin equipment. Using a total of 96 Martin Exterior 600 fixtures, the six main columns of the bridge come alive with intense color and light. The Exterior 600s, working with Martin ProScenium controllers and a custom designed software package, not only beautify the bridge, but also enhance the natural beauty of Lake Maracaibo, over which it is built.
In the United States, the city of Chicago also is home to over 100 Martin Exterior 600s. When the city decided it was time to spruce up the look of 11 bridges downtown, lighting designer Tracey Dear turned to Martin for the answer. “I think they have the best exterior fixture on the market,” Dear says. The project, which covers over 1.2 miles, also uses 22 Martin ProScenium Case Controllers to link each bridge.
Although Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is one of the busiest in the US, the facility was lacking in exterior aesthetics. Once again, Martin Lighting was there to offer solutions.
To create a more visually appealing exterior look, a total of 30 freestanding glass columns were added to the winding roads that traverse airport property. The columns, which range in height, are internally illuminated and can display a myriad of colors. Half of those columns, bordering Sepulveda Boulevard, are equipped with 32 Martin Exterior 600s that have been modified to meet the needs of this challenging project, which used nearly 500 Exterior 600s in all. The Sepulveda Boulevard columns are the tallest in the project, reaching 110' into the sky above.
Martin Exterior 600s aren't the only Martin gear working at the airport. The ProScenium console is an integral part of the project, while programming was done on a custom Martin Case console. The engineers at Martin Professional also created custom 3/8" steel mounting brackets for the Exterior 600s, which weigh almost 100lb each.
As one drives through LAX, the visual dynamics in this very ordinary setting are now transformed. The commonplace has become appealing, thanks to Martin equipment.
From its inception, Martin equipment dominated the competition, and the same rings true today. The Martin brand, which has delighted clubgoers around the world, is found in the hottest venues, from New York to London and beyond.
Along the banks of the Nile, for example, Martin equipment is defining the state of the art. Amidst the intense desert heat, in a city that amazes the world with its pyramids, here is the location of Egypt's first themed venue, Coco Jungle.
An amalgam of restaurant and nightclub, Coco Jungle has become one of the hottest nightspots in Cairo, and is home to a bevy of Martin equipment. The mood and the atmosphere are controlled by Martin, and patrons are warned as they enter to be prepared for an assault on their senses.
In the nightclub portion of the venue, MAC 300 wash lights and MAC 250 spots work in conjunction with more traditional Martin club gear — the Martin Voyager and a Jem TechnoFog. In Coco Jungle, these elements merge together, creating an unforgettable combination of movement and intense, saturated color.
In the restaurant portion of the venue, which is located on a boat resting on the surface of the Nile, there is on-deck dining and a glass dance floor which covers a pool of water. If one looks beneath the floor, there are RoboColor II and RoboColor IIX units housed in glass casings in the water, turning it a rainbow of colors. Outside, Martin Architectural has the answer with the popular Exterior 600 series, which illuminate the façade of the boat itself.
A world away, in Florida, Martin gear is part of two of the hottest clubs in the States. Both Level, in South Beach, and Club Space, in downtown Miami, use Martin gear to create must-see venues.
Inspired by the mega-clubs of the world, Club Space was created out of four warehouses, giving the hotspot a raw, industrial feel. Although only two warehouses are currently being used — the others are available for further expansion — the club is currently home to a wide array of Martin gear. Venturing inside Club Space, patrons will find RoboScan Pro 918s, MAC 250s and MAC 300s. “We've been impressed with the speed of the 918, and the strobe on the MAC 300 is nice,” comments owner/club designer Louis Jules Puig. Club Space also uses two Jem Stage Hazers to add to the party atmosphere, and a Martin LightJockey controller rounds out the lighting package. “The LightJockey is easy to operate and program — we're very comfortable with it,” Puig adds.
In contrast, Level appears to be a small, cozy club; however, when the side doors of the theater open, patrons find four dance floors, upper-level balconies, numerous bars and a tiered VIP level covering 40,000 sq. ft. The main dance floor features numerous MAC 250s and MAC 300s that wash the dance floor with color and gobos. The seating area is illuminated by three MAC 500s, while the lounge is home to three RoboScan Pro 918s. Finally, four Pro 400s for fiber optics are used to illuminate the club's 30' glass-enclosed bubble waterfall. Some things don't change — Martin is the equipment of choice for clubs around the world, and continues to lead the way in this sector in the 21st century.
The world's top lighting designers told us what they wanted, and now it's here — the Martin MAC 2000 Profile, the first in the MAC 2000 series. This virtually silent unit features pan movement of 540° and a tilt range of 267°. The newly designed CMY color mixing system employs six coated dichroic flags that provide a full spectrum of rich, saturated colors. The MAC 2000 Profile has two dual rotational and indexable pattern wheels, and a combined color and effect wheel that houses a variable frost, three-facet prism, and beam shaper.
For a compact automated yoke fixture, designers need look no further than the MiniMAC Maestro. The unit is perfect for projection of patterns, images, logos, texts, and messages. This DMX-controlled, 150W CDM lamp-based unit features an optical system that includes remote focus. The four interchangeable gobo slots can be rotated and indexed in any position, giving the designer unlimited flexibility.
For architectural design solutions, the new Exterior 300 is a compact, powerful short-throw CMY color changer that is rated for outdoor use. The Exterior 300's asymmetrical wide-throw flood beam makes it perfect for applications where projection distance is limited. This unit has a built-in light sensor, is DMX-controllable and features manual beam shaping. For a compact, powerful short-throw architectural fixture, Martin introduces the new Exterior 200. This 150W unit features a built-in sensor, memory presets, beam shaping and CMY color mixing.
Martin's new club fixture, the Wizard, is a DMX controllable unit that houses two independent color/gobo wheels, offering seven colors and six gobo patterns. More than 80 light beams change color and pattern while chasing at the same time.
Also new to the club market is the Raptor, a compact yet powerful unit that features more than 70 slicing light beams that change color and direction to the intensity of the music. The Raptor's 250W halogen lamp adds punch to the dance floor, and a built-in high-speed cooling fan keeps it going until closing time without overheating.
From nightclubs to architectural environments, Martin has the new CX-4 Color Changer. This automated, DMX profile unit offers 77 color possibilities, an effects wheel with four gobo patterns and a shutter for strobe effects.
The new Atomic 3000 DMX strobe blasts patrons with 3000 watts of energy. This DMX controllable unit includes a variable flash rate and preprogrammed special effects in an attractive, durable housing. Users of the Atomic 3000 DMX don't have to worry about cool-down time, thanks to the special integrated heat controller that keeps the unit cool.
For instant atmosphere in large clubs, major stage productions and industrial applications, Jem has the answer with the new ZR33 Hi-Mass smoke machine. The ZR33 requires only 1,500W to produce 100 cubic meters of dense fog per minute. This 19lb unit takes just seven minutes to heat up and includes an onboard universal timer remote with level control.
For a long, dry burst of dense white smoke that won't break the budget, Jem has the solution: the new Sharky Fogger. This versatile atmosphere generator is compact and outperforms other foggers in its class, guaranteeing that DJs get the maximum effect from their lighting. The Sharky includes a handheld remote control, and is suited for small- to medium-sized venues.
For the industry's top rental companies, Mach has launched a new Touring Series. The T-series consists of the SlingShot models designed for long-throw applications and the T models for medium-throw applications. Both lines maintain the same horizontal dispersion, while the T-models have a larger vertical dispersion, making them ideal for down-fill applications in combination with SlingShot. All models, from the compact 12" to the large SlingShot, utilize the same 2" driver, thus ensuring excellent performance when combined in delay or front/side-fill applications. Cabinets are made from 13-ply, 18mm Baltic Birch, and are coated with the Mach SafeCoat polyurethane surface. All models are switchable between active and passive mode and come with an integrated flying system and top-hat adaptors. Mach also offers a full range of installation speakers.
For updating Martin software and adjusting settings on selected Martin fixtures via remote serial link, there's the new MP2 software uploader. This software uploader/maintenance device works in conjunction with the Martin software uploader program v4.0 and features a DMX troubleshooting tool.
For the matrix control of fixtures, Martin has the solution with the Martin Case Matrix Controller. Programming for hours on end is a thing of the past with the Matrix Controller — now it takes only a few seconds to make a snake chase, circles, lines, or rectangles. The Matrix Controller frees up channels on your light board for other fixtures, increasing your creative flexibility.
In every sector of the industry, Martin has designers around the world covered with reliable, versatile equipment that gets the job done night after night without breaking the budget.