Our Guide to the Macula Remote Follow-Spot System
Share email twitter linkedin facebook

Our Guide to the Macula Remote Follow-Spot System

They may be a new name in the remote follow spot market, but Macula Systems come with some considerable experience having already deployed on events such as Eurovision. The brain-child of Danish production company, Lite Com, what is now known as Macula was initially a system built for their in-house use only. After successful use on numerous shows and immediate interest from LDs and venues, the system has been further developed and refined and is now a brand in its own right. Macula is a brand-agnostic system in terms of the moving heads it can control, with an incredible combination of software and hardware delivering class-leading user-experience.  With Chichester Festival Theatre having recently invested in a pair of systems, let’s take a look at ten features and functions that make Macula different. 

1. Brand Agnostic - flexibility to use fixtures from any brand

Crucially, the Macula system works with any brand of moving head light. The system streams sACN or Artnet out so can talk to any lighting unit that can take a sACN or Artnet signal. Macula can utilise 32 x sACN universe in/out or 4 x Artnet universe in/out. Of course the benefit is flexibility on fixture choice now and in the future by a venue or an LD on any particular production. 

2. Premium Oil Filled Head - for smooth, controlled movement

Macula hardware features a super-premium Oil Filled head so the pan and tilt movement feels organic. You can adjust the resistance with the twist of the dial, allowing the operator to “feel” the follow-spot for what users describe as very realistic operation. 

3. 15 User Programable Keys - fast access to custom Presets

Macula offers the user 15 Customisable keys for often used operations. As just one example, if you have a specific size of spot needed then this can be added to a key and have a custom label attached. These keys can also have fade times added to them so if you wanted to change colour and size over 3 seconds then just add a 3 second fade to the pre-set.

With Macula if you have a difficult area to reach or someone always starts at the top of the stairs for a scene you can record that position in to pre-sets and have it assigned to one of the 15 customisable buttons. If you wanted the fixture to move there slowly as not to distract from the action with lights moving, you can also add a fade time to that action.

4. Two Motorised Faders - assignable to Dimmer, Iris, Focus, Zoom, CTC

Macula has 2 motorised faders, one on each handle. These faders can be changed to what parameters they control with a tap of the Touch Screen. Dimmer, Iris, Focus, Zoom & CTC.

5. Infra Red Camera - allowing easy blackout pickups

Macula has a high-quality NDI camera that with the press of a button can blackout the fixture output and then switch the camera to IR mode so a black out pick up should be a breeze. The camera can be powered locally or Via PoE injector. The Camera also features a 20x Optical zoom controlled from within Macula.

6. Network Operation - Operator does not need line-of-sight to the stage 

If you don’t have room for a follow spot position then Macula could be the answer. As long as you have a room up to 90m away (Or longer over Fiber Optic cable) Macula can control a unit in the rig from a dressing room or empty office space. And with fixture banks Macula could also take control or fixture in a different venue on the site. Take a Conference centre if you had a Macula in a central location you could easily spot in one space and then after lunch swap to a fixture in a different space with the operator in one room.

7. Built-in Computer Power  - for low latency and a huge number of controllable fixtures

Macula's built-in CPU handles a huge amount of processing. The whole system operates with extremely low latency, vital for the realistic control. Thanks to the large fixture count, you can control fixtures across multi sACN or ArtNet universes and take control of them all for a dramatic follow spot moment. With a push of a button you can then hand back the back lights to the lighting desk to control using the sACN/ArtNet Merge function either within the lighting console or Macula itself.

8. Share Control - shared control between Macula and lighting console

With the sACN/ArtNet merging you can decide what the lighting console uses. If you want the LD to control the colour of the spot and maybe even beam size and a gobo then hand control over to the lighting desk with the Spot operators just having control of intensity and the position of the unit. This is all done in Macula by checking what you want the unit to control or not and even share.

9. Dimmer Top Set - set a maximum intensity from the lighting console

If you are using a unit that is incredibly bright you might want to limit the out put of the spot. If you share the control with a lighting console this can be as easy as making the dimmer a shared channel and the lighting desk will have the intensity at 80% so Macula will only ever dim the unit to 80% even if the fader is at 100%. The iris can also have a mix channel too.

10. Auto Iris function - automatically resizes on up/downstage movements

Once the Iris size is set if an actor moves upstage the iris will need to be made smaller to keep the size of light looking the same. This can be done Manually by the Macula Operator or using the clever Macula Auto Iris Algorithm. With Auto Iris, once the size is set, as the spot is tipped further up stage, Macula calculates the size of the beam and automatically adjusts the iris size to suit.

These are just some specific in-use features of the Macula system which we hope go some way to show the flexibility of the system. For further information and a demo please contact Macula‚Äôs UK distributor Sound Technology Ltd on 01462 480000, info@soundtech.co.uk or visit www.soundtech.co.uk/professional-lighting/macula 

Subscribe to our mailing list