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Martin’s VDO Atomic Dot makes instant mark at Edinburgh Hogmanay show

Martin’s VDO Atomic Dot makes instant mark at Edinburgh Hogmanay show
Martin’s VDO Atomic Dot makes instant mark at Edinburgh Hogmanay show

UK – Martin’s new VDO Atomic Dot hybrid lighting and video fixture made an immediate impact at Edinburgh’s high-profile Hogmanay Show as the Scottish capital welcomed in the new year. Joining the Edinburgh Street Party, and working at the Waverley Stage, which saw appearances by Keir Gibson, The Ninth Wave, Marc Almond and Porkpie, lighting designer Sam Jones specified 30 of the versatile fixtures as part of a Martin package.

With its vantage point at the end of the Waverley Bridge overlooking Edinburgh Castle, the designer’s biggest challenge was the bitter cold Scottish weather, which was mitigated by two heaters which accompanied him at FOH. “As is common in the industry, the timescales were very tight, along with all the commotion that comes with a street party,” he said.

Since the Waverley stage was fairly small, with little space to rig fixtures, he approached the design with minimal rigging and focused on placing more on the floor. He used a Doughty H Frame system on the deck. “Also, from a logistical perspective, keeping in mind that it would be long hours in the cold, I wanted to design something that could be packed down quickly at the end; effective but simple at the same time.”

The Martin inventory not only fitted the bill but also met the rider requirements of the principal artists such as Marc Almond in an LX plan consisting of spot, wash, beam and blinders, rock & roll style.

Sam had specifically been looking for a mole/blinder effect to add to the mix when he discovered the Atomic Dot. “The nature of the bill and the artists that were playing that night lent itself to them,” he said. “I used them all together, in pairs, some attached to the H frames and some with the mic stand attachments.

Reviewing the performance of Martin’s latest fixture he was unequivocal, “It’s one of the most versatile products on the market in terms of strobe,” he said. “Having the Aura ring effect is a really nice addition as well as having the possibility for mapping P3 integration.

“I used them in basic 19 channel mode and this gave me control over both the warm strobe and the Aura colour. On that occasion I used macros and did not map or go too in depth with the segment control. I have since used them on other gigs and have delved more deeply into pixel mapping the segments.

“The mic stand attachment is very exciting too, it works well, it’s solid and offers a lot of possibilities.”

His inventory included eight MAC Vipers split between the overhead truss and floor-standing H frames, and eight MAC Quantum Wash split in the same way. It was sourced from local rental company, Showtec, an early adopter of the Atomic Dot with 45 WRM units in their inventory. As Sam Jones explains. “They were excited by the product after seeing them like myself, and felt they would have a lot of potential in the future.”

He adds: “I have worked fairly extensively with Martin products over the years favouring them over others. When I was working in nightclubs, the MAC 250 Entour and Kryptons were all the rage. More recently the Viper Profile and Viper Performance have proven to be great all round Spot fixtures. The colour is unrivalled, and a big part of my shows; the MAC Aura has become my favourite fixture of all, and the Quantum Wash is a natural progression on from that. With the beam twister effect adding to the already great Aura effect you can create some truly creative looks.”

But he has now added the VDO Atomic Dot to that list of favourites. “These are really exciting fixtures,” he says. “They have massive potential in terms of versatility. Playing with them has been inspiring and I’ve had a lot of new ideas come to mind as a result.”

Essentially, the VDO Atomic Dot combines a small blinder, compact strobe, video-pixel and video-controlled Aura backlight into a single fixture, empowering designers with huge creative potential. The fixture’s compact design also gives designers the ability to place VDO Atomic Dots just about anywhere and deploy them in larger quantities. Integrated support for P3, DMX, Art-Net and sACN eliminates the need for additional interface boxes and onboard P3 eases pixel mapping, and use of the product as a video controlled blinder or strobe.

Asked to summarise the impact of the new VDO Atomic Dot, and whether it had enabled him to achieve his goals, Sam Jones’ instant reply was, “They achieved all that and more!” Expanding on the theme, he said: “They were much brighter than expected in a real world setting. The 11° Beam angle works really well as an effect in itself. The dimming curve and the colour temp is very convincing in a tungsten halogen source. In fact I had to remind myself that it was an LED source not a 2-cell mole at times during the show.

“I am looking forward to working with them again in the future and seeing what more I can get out of such a great and versatile unit.”

26th February 2020

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