Nitro Circus Ramps it Up with Martin VC-Dot 4

in International News

Nitro CircusLONDON - Martin Professional’s new VC-Dot LED string was used to line the 14-meter high (46 ft)  "Giganta" take off ramp on Nitro Circus Live’s recent European tour. LD Paul Collison specified the string of LED Dots as accent lighting on ramp edges to replace the fragile LED tubes used on previous tours. Neg Earth provided the lighting.

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LONDON -Martin Professional’s new VC-Dot LED string was used to line the 14-meter high (46 ft)  "Giganta" take off ramp on Nitro Circus Live’s recent European tour. Used for accent lighting on the edge of the ramp, the lightweight strings of individually controllable LED Dots provided a host of advantages for lighting designer Paul Collision.

In the past, Collison says, the "Giganta" ramp, which is used for freestyle BMX, skate and other things with wheels, has been edged with LED tubes, which were fragile and took time to set up.

“I had a long search to find the right product and ultimately the VC-Dot was the product I always came back to. It ticked all the right boxes and was visually different from the previous effect, but many say an improvement.”

The VC-Dots are available with 1, 4 or 9 LEDs per pixel and come in an RGB color mixing version or cool, medium, or warm white single color versions. The Nitro Circus Live ramp used the VC-Dot 4 RGB version.

Controllable via DMX or by Martin’s P3 System Controllers, the VC-Dots are an easy setup compared to similar products and involve no DMX pixelmapping, loose power supplies, excessive cabling or time-consuming addressing procedures.

“It was quick to set up and would take only 15 minutes for two people to run out. In the past, the ramp lighting had taken three hours to do with two people,” Paul says, who came on board after another designer had completed a long stint with the show.

“Usually the tour takes a leisurely pace with two set-up days before the first show day. On this tour, for the first time, the shows were set up, completed, and pulled down all in one day. The VC-Dot was also a very light weight package, meaning we could fly it in and out without spending huge amounts of money on transport.”

Collison used 100 meters of the VC-Dot and ran it from a P3-PC System Controller from a laptop at FOH. “We took no care to get the same strings in the same places each day, as the process of re-mapping the pixel map was so fast it hardly seemed worth it.”

He chose to use domed white caps to soften the LED source and increase the viewing angle. “I was slightly concerned we would lose too much output,” he says, “but in the end I needn't have worried. They looked fantastic and were often commented on.”

Other Martin gear used on the show was four MAC III Profiles for gobo projection. Lighting vendor was UK-based Neg Earth. “Their gear was not only exceptionally maintained, but came with the most professional crews I've ever had the pleasure of working with,” Collison says.

The live action sports performance show featured some of the world’s top action sports athletes performing stunts on dirt and motor bikes. The brain child of pro action sports athlete Travis Pastrana, the Nitro Circus Live European tour visited seven countries across Europe over November and December 2012.