Queens of the Stone Age are touring Australia with gear supplied by Phaseshift. It’s a colourful rig designed by the incredible Emmanuelle ‘Gigi’ Pedron.

Debuting on the tour is Phaseshift’s Macula system, the ground-breaking application for when a remote-controlled followspot system is required.

“I was interested in the Macula system because you can use it with any fixture,” commented Lawrie Videky, Managing Director of Phaseshift. “We’re seeing more remote followspots on many riders coming through but most other systems only work with fixtures of their own brand which encouraged me to look further into a system like Macula.

“We currently have our camera mounted to an Ayrton Perseo which turned out to be a great fixture to use with the system but I look forward to the release of their motion camera which isn’t that far away.”

Show Technology’s Branden Butler visited Phaseshift to train the crew and the feedback was that, compared to other systems, Macula seemed less complicated to set up and get working.
“It’s a different way of setting it up compared to the systems some of our technicians are used to,” remarked Lawrie. “Macula has put a lot of thought into it. The infrared system that they have is very good especially when it goes to full blackout onstage and you’re trying to pick up your performer.”

David ‘Goldie’ Goldsztein is Phaseshift’s man-on-the-road and he has been impressed with Macula’s performance on tour.

“It’s user-friendly, quick and easy to set up,” he said. “Creating a primary fixture and then adding slaves to follow to make one system control multiple fixtures, I found surprisingly simple to set up and quite impressive. Updating your fixture positions at each show after the first is another feature Macula has made simple to do.

“It appears to be based on a broadcast camera type tripod which allows each operator to make it more comfortable to be behind for a long period. It’s nicely balanced and very smooth to move. If the subject that you’re trying to keep up with is all over the stage, the camera stays surprisingly clear when moved around quickly.”

Goldie says that at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl, he had a seasoned, well-known followspot operator use the Macula who was extremely impressed with it, finding it very simple to use. He adds that all the operators he’s had on the tour so far have found it great to use.

He’s looking forward to when Macula releases their motion camera in the coming weeks adding that, if calculating positions for your fixtures to follow the camera is as straightforward to set up as the current system, then Macula will be an incredible system.

Whilst Goldie feels there is more to learn about Macula as he continues to use it, he reports that he hasn’t had to make a phone call to work out something that he may have forgotten in training!

“Touring with gear that you haven’t used before and have only been shown as a new item can put you under pressure and make you feel nervous, but Macula worked the first time,” he said. “The few things that stumped me on the initial set-up didn’t take long to find navigating through the menu.”

Lighting designer Gigi only has one spot fixture to pick up the lead singer and she has control of everything, obviously bar the pan and tilt, which Goldie says is another thing that’s easy to set up on the actual system itself.

“They’re not on comms because they just have to stick with him from the start of the show to the end of the show,” he explained. “And when Gigi decides to bring up the intensity on the fixture or to do her thing with the actual fixture, they’re constantly on him. So she’s not calling cues throughout the show.”

Consequently, when Gigi decides to highlight him on a dark stage, he’s already in shot. Macula also has an infrared system so you can pick up your subject in the dark. Any issues are communicated through her FOH tech and dimmer tech.

Goldie concludes by saying that he hasn’t had any issues with the Macula system on tour.

“I haven’t found it to be complicated or daunting. It’s working well every time for me. At the moment, I really can’t say a bad word about it.”

Photo credit: Benjamin Dowd

Flown Rig:  

26x Ayrton Perseo

20x Claypaky B-eye k10

12x Pixpads

16x Arri S60C

1x Ayrton Perseo with camera for Macula

Floor Rig:

28x Claypaky Sharpy Plus

40x Arri Sky Panel


1xgrandMA3 Full-size

1x grandMA2 Lite

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