Maxxyz Takes Control at Sting DVD Shoot

14 October 2003

USA - After completing the recording of his new album in Paris in April, one of music's biggest names, Sting, and various band members relocated to Los Angeles where they filmed a performance DVD of the new material. Recorded at the historic Mayan Theatre in downtown LA from 13-15 May, lighting programmer Rob Smith called on the new Martin Maxxyz lighting console for the show.

For the Sting shoot, Maxxyz was used to operate a Stan Crocker-designed lighting rig that included both automated and conventional fixtures. In addition to an Emmy nominated lighting design for another Sting video shot in Tuscany, Stan has completed lighting designs for a myriad of other live music television projects including recent television specials for Willie Nelson, Mick Jagger, Tony Bennett and DVDs for KORN, Tori Amos and Rod Stewart. He recently completed tour designs for Beck and for Jane's Addiction and the Lollapalooza tour. "The Maxxyz is the first lighting console built with input from professionals who are going to use it - lighting programmers," Rob Smith says. "The result is that it works the way users want it to work."

Smith, who has a background in touring shows working with the likes of Melissa Etheridge, Nine Inch Nails, Metallica, Beck and many others, has been a Maxxyz Beta-test programmer since September of 2002, working with Maxxyz software at the Martin LA office. Rob also programs for theatre and corporate shows and has been freelance since 1996. "The Maxxyz was amazingly stable," Smith commented.

Because the Maxxyz's features make it suitable for TV production, it was the fitting console for the Sting event Rob stated. "Take faders, for example: you can place channels on a fader bank, organize them by position, by purpose or both. Then you can have an array of conventional groups displayed in a graphical fashion and the faders remember where they are as you change from bank to bank. It lets you manage what can otherwise be a confusing situation as lights are moved, changed and reassigned constantly during a 12-hour shooting day . . . Flying faders and their ability to remember their values is a big advantage over conventional consoles."

High definition colour touch screens, digital LCD buttons and digital fader belts are only a few of the features that make Maxxyz a very intuitive controller. Rob admits that initially he didn't think he'd like the fader belts. "I was a bit skeptical at the start but the fader belts allow you to move much faster. You don't have to move your hands around much. I could leave the color picker open all the time for example and mix to whatever color I wanted. The palette was easily accessible. I also like the LCD buttons and the way they are laid out."

(Lee Baldock)


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