The Pixies Tour the World with HARMAN’s Martin Professional Lighting

BOSTON, Massachusetts — Legendary alternative rock band The Pixies have made quite the comeback after their revival 10 years ago, and are now on a worldwide tour with a full lighting rig from HARMAN’s Martin Professional.

Full service lighting, sound and rigging rental company based in New York, See Factor, worked with Myles Mangino, Lighting Designer for The Pixies, to create a rig featuring 15 MAC Viper Profiles, 12 MAC Auras, four RUSH MH3s and three Jem K1 Hazers.

The Pixies, who recently stopped at the renowned Coachella Music Festival after their reunion tour began nearly 10 years ago, needed a versatile lighting solution designed for different venues, stages and festivals.

“The real challenge was to have a show that could be as closely as possible duplicated in markets across the world,” stated Mangino. “Having a kit that was small enough to fit in a container, and also using fixtures that could be sourced in different markets was paramount.”

The upstage truss has 8-foot tail down bars for the MAC Vipers that went over the back screen. “The second we saw the Viper fixture we were impressed with its capabilities,” said Alban Sardzinski, See Factor. “It’s a compact light with a large zoom and high output which really helps Myles due to the fact that he can position it super close while still be effective. The first time we tried it at New York’s Bowery Ballroom and we only had a few feet behind his screen but it worked perfectly!”

“The Viper is currently my favorite fixture,” said Mangino. “The optics are wonderful and the speed of the zoom is unmatched. For a show like the Pixies, I run everything live, off temp faders. There are no cues or chases running so the responsiveness is critical for me. The Martin fixtures pan, tilt and the wheels seem to respond to manual movements with faders better than anything else I’ve tried.”

At first, Mangino was skeptical of the RUSH MH3s, but after just one show they were part of the rig. “I love the colors! They all match and we more or less use them as the bands key light by reflecting them off the mirrored domes above the stage.”

“The Auras, in my opinion, are the most essential element,” mentioned Sardzinski. “I knew Mangino had used them prior to the Pixies and they would fit in perfectly with the rest of the rig. I love the look of the beam and the colors they create. They are perfect for the backlight effect we were going for.”

“When the tour first launched we weren’t using Martin hazers,” Sardzinksi continued, “but they were so loud and obnoxious that we swapped them out for the K1s and we couldn’t be happier.”

“We’re proud to work with Mangino and with Martin,” said Sardzinski. “We’ve always found Martin to have very durable fixtures and whenever we have them out there we know we’ll have a perfect show, every time!”

Photo Credit: Robert Fuller

For more information on See Factor, please visit:

As a world leader in the creation of dynamic lighting solutions for the entertainment, architectural, and commercial sectors, Martin lighting and video systems are renowned the world over. Martin also offers a range of advanced lighting controllers and media servers, as well as a complete line of smoke machines as a complement to intelligent lighting. Martin operates the industry’s most complete and capable distributor network with local partners in nearly 100 countries. Founded in 1987 and based in Aarhus, Denmark, Martin is the lighting division of global infotainment and audio company HARMAN International Industries. For more information please visit:

HARMAN ( designs, manufactures, and markets a wide range of infotainment and audio solutions for the automotive, consumer, and professional markets. It is a recognized world leader across its customer segments with premium brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, and Mark Levinson® and leading-edge connectivity, safety and audio technologies. The Company is admired by audiophiles across multiple generations and supports leading professional entertainers and the venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of 15,200 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $5.1 billion for the last twelve months ended March 31, 2014.
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