Martin LC Panels for Matchbox Twenty

Posted on Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

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Matchbox Twenty ‘Exile On Mainstream’ Australian Tour 2008 is currently underway with Lighting Designer/Programmer and Video Designer Benoit Richard of Millennium Lighting Design, Inc. not only employing lighting choreography that would create an unforgettable lighting experience for the crowd, but uses quality products that possessed a strong temperament for the duration of the tour and translate the band’s vision.

“I always use pre-visualization software as a starting point for all of my designs,” said Ben. “I also like to have a large amount of control when it comes to the visual package (console, media servers and video surfaces). Having a hand in all aspects of the production definitely helps give the show a seamless look”.

Keeping dynamism in mind, Ben chose a rig outfitted with a large quantity of Martin products including 22 MAC 2000 Washes, 12 Atomic 3000 strobes with Atomic Colors, 25 Stagebar 54 LED luminaires 12 MAC2000 profile and 14 x MAC700 profile. It is safe to say, however that Richard’s choice of 36 LC Series 2140 and 4 LC Series 1140 LED panels may be what set this tour apart from the rest.

The LC Series is a semi-transparent, modular system of LED panels, perfect for displaying video and images. Designed for stage shows, TV studios and other commercial applications, the LC closely integrates light, video and set design, offering entirely new possibilities for staging.

“Out of all the transparent video products on the market, I thought the Martin LC had the perfect look for the band,” said Ben. “It’s definitely the ‘cleanest’ and the most transparent that I found.”

“I thought it was really bright,” said Ben when describing his first impression of the LC Series. “And the 40mm pixel pitch gives it a certain texture that works very well with the type of content we are using for each song.”

This was important as Ben was intent on bringing a beautifully complex video design concept to life. To employ products that would create the exact effect he envisioned could have been a challenge. However, the choice of using the LC panels resolved any possible issues in that respect.

“To create some 3D video looks at certain points within the show, the LC panels worked really well in front of the [hi-res LED screen],” said Ben. “The fact that the LC is 60% transparent made it possible for us to spread the two LED surfaces apart and increase the field of view for the audience.”

Other challenges important to those working in production is travel, set-up and breakdown time, both of which the LC panels handle famously. The crew hasn’t had one issue while traveling with the LC Panels which are built to cater to a sometimes extremely harsh touring industry.

LC panels can be stacked or hung several units high and as wide as necessary. With standard Prolyte CCS6 conical truss connectors, linking the lightweight units together is simple and strong. With no external power supplies or drivers, each unit comes with everything it needs built in, which reduces logistical costs and set-up time. They are certain to become a production team’s favorite as they also are designed for travel and can be serviced without the use of tools.

Martin are in a strong position to provide the end to end solution for scenic/creative LED displays and content delivery by evolving the product line of displays hand in hand with the Maxedia products.

Mark Hogue, Production Manager for Matchbox Twenty stated, “The Martin light curtain is one of the most dazzling video effects on the market today, a true combination of video and lighting. In the hands of a skilled visual designer it is one tool that could bring a very cost effective dramatic look to any show.”

“The band is extremely happy and proud to showcase the LC panels in addition to all of the other fun things we present to concert-goers on this tour,” said Ben.

Ben acknowledges the end result production as being one that will remain in the minds of concert-goers for a lifetime, but also notes that such a memorable experience is not brought to fruition by his hands alone.

“Coming up with visual design concepts is not as hard as finding the right team to execute 4 or 5 load-outs each week,” he says. “If I didn’t have these dedicated professionals by my side, this show would never be as cool as it is.”

Lighting for the Australian tour was supplied by Chameleon Touring Systems.