Grammy-award-winning, nu metal band, KoЯn, embarks on a tour of mainland Europe in March, starting in Zurich and culminating in Slovakia in April, with a set that features Ayrton MagicPanel™-R fixtures as the focal point of the lighting design. The 17-date tour follows on from North American and UK legs which were supplied by Morpheus Lights in the US and Neg Earth in the UK respectively, with Black Box of Germany assisting for the forthcoming Europe leg. KoЯn’s lighting designer, Thomas ‘Church’ Christmann, supplemented the North American tours with 20 Ayrton NandoBeam™-S9 and 6 Ayrton MagicBlade™-R fixtures for KoЯn’s sets in the Return of the Dreads & Nocturnal Underground tours.

Church designed his lighting to work in combination with a large, rectangular back video wall, by deploying 56 MagicPanel™-R fixtures, complete with mirror kits, in five 4×3 arrays across five step risers which back the band and frame the drum kit: “Everything in the design is straight and the MagicPanel-R fixtures fit perfectly into it,” he says. “The straight beam of the panels and their position within the design make a perfect overall picture.”

To meet the quick turnarounds that touring with a variety of other bands demands, Church was able to incorporate the MagicPanel-R units into a versatile floor package that was simple to set up, manoeuvre on stage and transport. ‘It is the fastest way to deploy them and the safest way to transport them on dollies,” he says.

Church reveals the reasoning behind his choice of Ayrton’s MagicPanel-R: “I needed a flat beam fixture to complement the straight lines of the design and was impressed by the output of the Ayrton MagicPanel-R. I made the design for the first tour and the band really liked the result of the show and the design, so we held on to it. I’ve used them on all KoЯn tours in 2016 now and am continuing to do so. I’ve become a big fan of the Ayrton fixture family.”

The decision has borne out and Church notes how easy the fixtures are to justify, based on ease of use and tour-worthiness, “I’ve used them on three different tours, each time trucking and travelling on the risers. In all that time, I’ve only had to replace one fixture.” As for the set up, he states, “It was pretty simple to set up the MagicPanels, and the programming on pixel mapping works solidly. I really like the idea with the mirror kit in the back and they’ve piqued a lot of interest with the other guys on tour. All my system techs like working with the MagicPanel-R. It is easy to set up and connect, and the manufacture is legit!”

Church controls the panels from a Chamsys MagicQ 100 Pro 2014 lighting desk, run in extended mode via Art-Net. Using a combination of the desk’s internal pixel mapping options and the MagicPanels’ own macro patterns, Church explains, “I’m using all the options I can imagine – from a big white light wall to tiny dots moving around. I can create frames or movement effects, and the endless pan/tilt motion is a great effect.”

He continues, “The panels fit perfectly to the sound of the band, which involves many peaks and dips. Originally, my intention was to use the panels for their unique qualities of endless rotation, brightness and beamshape, but I discovered the quality and effects achievable from a washlight with square pixel mapping ability finally sealed my decision. The MagicPanel-R supports all the atmospheres and moods I need to create a picture of lights to complement the sound.”

Church is full of praise for the MagicPanel-R fixtures, and concludes, “I’m already planning my next design with Ayrton fixtures, I’d use them every time.”

Photos © Sébastien Paquet

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