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First Look: Martin MAC Aura PXL

This week we were able to re-open our demo facility for the first time since the start of the pandemic - its first use was for (socially distanced) one to one demos of the new Martin MAC Aura PXL. The MAC Aura PXL is an industry first - a workhorse LED wash light capable of multiple source pixel-mapping. In this blog we're going to take a look at some of the highlights of this amazing fixture.

The Martin MAC Aura PXL adds to the industry standard line of Martin wash lights with multi-lens and Aura backlight technology. Bigger and brighter than the MAC Aura, the PXL features significantly higher intensity and a tighter beam as well as a smaller face and less busy lens look compared to the MAC Quantum Wash. The MAC Aura PXLs bigger “bubbles” provide a more appealing look and beautiful wide wash fields.

It is also the first wash light in the market to feature individual pixel control for main beam pixels and Aura backlight with full control via DMX, Art-Net and sACN, as well as with Martin´s very own creative P3 video protocol.

How does it compare to existing Auras? And the Quantum Wash?

The size of the Aura PXL puts it directly in between the MAC Aura XB and the MAC Quantum Wash. However, the PXL's output is much closer to the Quantum. The PXL's new attractive facia and a hugely increased output of the Aura backlight allows the PXL to create stunning facia and wash effects on a much larger scale.

The Aura back light on the MAC Aura XB is great and does exactly as designed by creating an “eye candy” effect, which looks great on TV or close intimate settings.  However due to the face size and the brightness of the aura backlight  it would look somewhat lacklustre in a larger venue or stage. This usually means that the Aura back light is somewhat redundant, and the fixture is used as a fast and punchy wash light…this it does very well. 

The MAC Aura PXL's backlight however is much brighter - with 141 LEDs and a much larger lends. This is where I see the PXL really coming into play as far as “eye candy” for larger productions. Having been fortunate enough to have a week testing and demoing the PXL the general feedback was the Aura was bright enough to be a subtle wash of its own! So, combine that with the 19 Primary LEDs you can create a perfectly flat wash field while also making the fixture face a feature.

Built in FX engine

The unit we managed to get our hands on for the week was still a prototype and a couple of features were still missing - the quick enabled tungsten emulation and effects macros were both in the profile but could not be activated. We can assure you these will be in the final product. The built in FX engine will allow you to create on-the-fly video effects without the need to input P3. Although there will be some limitations in comparison to using P3, the idea that you can rock up, address and go will not just be a fantasy. Martin understand that you will not always have a source for video or even want to use the full scale setup. We are still awaiting confirmation of all of the effects that will be available, but I am certain there will be the staple, water & fire effects as well as an abundance of other great options.

"Ludicrous Mode"

One controversial feature of the Mac Aura PXL is the 512-channel mode, aptly named “Ludicrous mode”. Initially I was hesitant to discuss this topic while demonstrating the product and casually dropped it in as a reprieve from the in-depth tech talk, expecting to get a laugh. The initial reaction was always going to be wow! But honestly, I was really surprised to find that using a whole universe for one fixture is something that LD’s expect to see in the future due to the rich feature sets that are now available. So, although there was still a giggle at the idea of programming 512 channels it is a welcomed feature adding even more versatility and creative freedom.