Leroy Bennett’s lighting design for the current Nine Inch Nails Tension 2013 tour utilises one of the largest installations of Ayrton MagicPanel™602 fixtures to date.

Following a successful summer festival tour promoting their new album Hesitation Marks across the Far East and Europe, the American industrial rock project, Nine Inch Nails, has reconfigured itself and is currently on tour, playing North American arenas in a newly conceived show under a dramatic new lighting / video rig that incorporates 126 Ayrton MagicPanel™602 fixtures.

Legendary rock production/lighting designer Leroy Bennett, whose long line of collaborations includes Prince, Tina Turner, Faith Hill, Paul McCartney, Lady Gaga, Rammstein, Madonna, Beyonce and Bruno Mars, has installed 14 ‘pods’ above the stage on variable speed winches.  Each pod contains nine MagicPanel units in a 3 x 3 configuration.

Ayrton MagicPanel™602 is a moving head LED beam projector equipped with thirty-six 15W Osram RGBW emitters in a 6 x 6 array.  Each emitter projects a tight, powerful 7.5° beam and can be controlled individually or used collectively to produce a coherent 15,000 lumen shaft of light.  Under individual control, the emitters can be pixel mapped or driven by video via Kling-Net. To supplement to the graphic possibilities this control provides, MagicPanel 602 can be continuously rotated on both pan and tilt axes, which adds a dynamic dimensional effect to beams individually projected by mapped emitters.  MagicPanel is controllable via DMX-512 (w/ RDM capability) or Art-Net.

The MagicPanel pods formed a major component of the NIN show, as both illuminators and as graphic elements. They are alternatively positioned in near proximity to and directly above the performers, then flown out to define large architectural spaces, then used as audience blinders and ultimately interfaced with the three semi-transparent video curtains.  Coordinated video content is then pixel mapped across the collective 4536 emitters of 126 MagicPanel units.

Bennett employs MagicPanel to create many effects throughout the course of the performance: “We tried to push the MagicPanel pods as far as time allowed us but still remain in keeping with the music,” he states. “I found the MagicPanel very interesting and diverse which is why I chose to use them, and they have proved to be as bright, versatile and reliable as I had hoped.”

The Tension 2013 tour kicked off in late September and the Ayrton MagicPanel has certainly proved itself in terms of performance, design potential and robustness. Bennett states the fixture is ‘great on all levels’. “The 360° pan and tilt, brightness, pixel mapping capabilities and durability are all key to the success of these units. You’ll be seeing a very large amount being used in the next few months!”

Upstaging, Inc., of Sycamore, Illinois, supplies the Nine Inch Nails touring system.  NIN will continue touring in North America until the end of November, then will embark on an Australian/New Zealand leg in March 2014, prior to an anticipated European tour next summer.

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