In Martin Professional’s early days, it was all smoke and mirrors. Literally. Entrepreneur Peter Johansen founded the company in 1987 in Aarhus, Denmark with the main factory located in the city of Frederikshavn, about 115 miles north of Aarhus. It all started with smoke machines, based on experiments using dry ice in a coffee machine. The Martin name was acquired through cooperation with a French smoke machine company. It soon added lighting products for discotheques but quickly diversified into lighting for the professional markets, particularly lights with moving mirrors such as the PAL 1200 and fixtures with moving heads.
Aarhus is a strong university and engineering city, giving Martin access to the “brightest” experts in the field of optics, bolstering the company’s mastery of the science of controlling light beams and designing components. In the late 1990s, it launched two of its cornerstone products, the MAC 500 and MAC 600, which dramatically amped up its presence and revenue.
Like most others, Martin was sucked into the turbulent waters the world economic crisis of 2008. Many of its customers in the lighting rental industry, if they survived at all, stopped buying new products and tried to get by with the gear they had on hand. Martin’s revenues nosedived, but the sense of urgency inspired it to cut costs, restructure its different geographical regions, outsource some of its component manufacturing, close its Chinese factory and above all, invest heavily in LED technology and innovation. When the crisis abated in 2011, Martin emerged a much stronger, leaner and faster company. Further, its reputation, exhaustive catalog of products and valuable patents made it very attractive to other companies. In March 2013, it was acquired by the legendary infotainment and audio giant Harman International Industries, home of AKG, BSS, Crown, dbx, JBL, Soundcraft/Studer and more.
In recent years, it has been nearly impossible to avoid seeing Martin products in action. They’ve helped light concerts for every sort of act, including Korn, Paul McCartney, Pixies, Lady Gaga, Dierks Bentley, One Direction, The Killers, The Rolling Stones, Taylor Swift, Pitbull, Elton John, Norah Jones, Mötley Crüe, Maroon 5 and many more—in fact, it might take less space to list acts that haven’t used Martin products.
The industry standard MAC 600 is a powerful wash light with a CMY color mixing system, 440° of pan and 306° of tilt and a fast and smooth movement.
- 575 W discharge lamp
- CMY color mixing system
- 4 position color wheel plus open
- 18°, 25° (standard) and 65° lens options
- Mechanical dimming
- Frost and indexable beamshaper
- Strobe effect up to 8 Hz, random strobe
- Pan and tilt range of 440°/306°
- Quiet operation
- Modular design for easy maintenance and servicing