Beyond Brightness, 10 features of the Martin MAC Ultra that set it apart
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Beyond Brightness, 10 features of the Martin MAC Ultra that set it apart

The Martin MAC Ultra is the flagship moving head from Martin and boasts benchmark output across its zoom range, a next generation framing system, higher definition optics and astoundingly low noise levels – perfect for the biggest live events or intimate theatres.

Featuring a custom 1150W LED engine developed by Martin themselves, the MAC Ultra not only provides an impressive 46,500 lumens output but with 6000K colour temperature for better daylight balance, it delivers richer, more vivid colours and more natural skin-tones.  

But MAC Ultra is not just about brightness, far from it. Having been Martin’s most advanced engineering project in a decade, the MAC Ultra is a true engineering marvel and has a multitude of features that set it apart from other fixtures in the category.

In this blog, we’re going to be taking a look at 10 features that you may not know that cement the MAC Ultra as Martin’s flagship moving head.

1. Next-Generation Framing System

The MAC Ultra’s framing system is an entirely new design offering more flexibility, easier programming, and precise positioning thanks to even focus across its 4 framing blades. Existing systems can only set the specified tilt range when the blades are fully inserted and in view however Martin’s Extended Framing System offers full shutter tilting from outside the beam resulting in limitless, full curtain functionality and greater light throw onto the stage.

With near-silent, super-fast, and incredibly accurate framing movements, the MAC Ultra can hone-in on small or large objects across the stage without engaging any pan/tilt motors for silent repositioning of light in theatre applications.

2. Speed of Movement

The MAC Ultra features the typical smooth and accurate pan/tilt movement synonymous with Martin and their MAC series however, with the upcoming V2 firmware, Martin have found way to optimise and improve it even more and make MAC Ultra an even more powerful tool for object tracking and as a follow spot! With careful motor optimisations, the MAC Ultra can now be repositioned faster and smoother in comparison to the already excellent V1.6 firmware – making object tracking, scene repositioning and visual effects a breeze.

3. Animotion System

Martin’s patented AnimotionTM FX system allows for even more creativity using MAC Ultra. It works by controlling the intensity of light elements within the LED engine independently to create unique, moving 3D patterns. In comparison to the gobo and animation wheel, Animotion is silent in operation and it can be used in combination with physical wheels, framing as well as the Iris for unlimited creativity.

Commonly used for rich, moving water textures or fast oscillating fire effects, Animotion is a powerful feature unique t Martin thanks to its ingenious and proprietary LED light engine.

4. Animation Wheel

A unique feature to the MAC Ultra is the addition of a dedicated animation wheel that is separate to the gobos and installed into the fixture to provide rich motion effects alongside the gobo projections. This wheel is especially effective when used alongside the Animotion LED engine power and gobos to create luscious water or fire textures on stage – all from one unique fixture.

5. P3 Enabled

Part of Martin’s powerful P3 system, the MAC Ultra is right at home embedded in a powerful pixel-mapping environment with 10 individual elements controllable in the P3 software. With control of colour as well as intensity via P3, the MAC Ultra is a standout fixture in the pixel-mappable family and can be used to punch through a dense back wall and far into the audience. With P3 control alongside fast pan/tilt movement, gobos, and animation wheels available from your controller, MAC Ultra is a powerful addition to the P3-enabled family.

6. Manual Follow Spot Mode

As part of Martin’s pursuit for impeccable industrial design, the MAC Ultra features not only carry handles for transporting and loading in and out of flight cases, but also incorporates handles onto the moving head itself for operators to use in traditional follow spot duties. Within the menus on the fixture, the follow spot mode can be activated to disable the built-in motors and allows the whole light to be positioned by hand to track cast members or presenters across the stage.  

Whilst in follow spot mode, all lighting features are still controllable via DMX including colour, intensity, framing and more, but the motors will not respond to commands until follow spot is deactivated.  

The sub menu on the fixture also allows for convenient ‘locking’ of the current position which allows an operator to move the light into a position and lock the motors to fix it into position.

7. Tungsten Dimming Emulation

A popular feature with theatre lighting designers is Tungsten Dimming Emulation and Martin have brought their stellar emulation from other fixtures to the MAC Ultra. By changing the temperature of the light and implementing that characteristic warm shift through the dimming curve, the MAC Ultra can give off that typical warming glow that lighting designers crave in theatre.

8. Colour Calibration

The new Extended Gamut Mode available in V2.0 firmware allows for even more colour consistency across multiple Martin fixtures as well a greater balance between mixed colours and saturated deep colours in comparison to Calibrated and RAW colour modes. 

Extended Gamut allows for that extra bit of flexibility for theatre Light Designers when achieving their ideal look or matching the MAC Aura in a show alongside many other fixtures. 

9. Quiet Operation and Subtle Looks

Despite being such a large fixture with an enormous light output, the MAC Ultra has near-silent operation which makes it the perfect choice for placing close to audience members in tight seating arrangements without distracting from the performance with excessive noise. Combined with the MAC Ultra’s incredible framing system, the MAC Ultra can easily track objects and form advanced shapes whilst remaining in a position to eradicate any form of extra motor noise.

Another aspect to consider is its visual subtly; all of the MAC Ultra’s I/O and controls are on the same side leaving the front of the fixture plain, black, and easy to blend-in to a dark stage or theatre without distracting audience members.

10. Martin Longevity 

Martin’s decision to develop their own LED was driven by both performance as well as reliability. With an LED life of over 50,000 hours and performance that delivers 90% of its initial output after 20,000 hours of full output. With a sophisticated cooling system and efficiently driving the LED engine at no more than 70 percent, Martin has extended the life of the fixture for years of consistent, Martin-approved quality. And if that wasn't enough, there is also a 5-year limited warranty for the LED engine / 2 years for other parts for peace of mind.

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