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NIN Dazzles With Lasers, LEDs and Stealth Screens

Great article about the current Nine Inch Nails tour – the lighting and effects wizardry…

Nine Inch Nails fans are accustomed to sonic and visual feasts whenever Reznor and company go out on tour. But this time around, NIN has pulled out all the stops, creating a groundbreaking, fully interactive visual display that is as much a part of the show as the band’s instruments.

There’s no staging, no pantomiming by band members: It’s all interactive, live and rendered on the fly.

With more than 40 tons of lighting and stage rigging, hundreds of LED lights, a daunting array of professional and custom-built machinery running both archaic and standard commercial VJ software, three different video systems and an array of sensors and cameras, the tour is nothing if not a lavish display of techno wizardry.

The most amazing part is the lazers to track people, and change the effects on screen :

With the song “Only,” for instance, the front, convex screen starts out as solid static.

On Reznor’s side of the display, a laser above him detects whenever he crosses a vertical plane paralleling the screen. On the floor, a piece of tape and two tiny LED lights let him know exactly where that plane is.

As Reznor intersects that plane with his hand or body, the laser tracks his X and Y coordinates. The “brain” box then tells the particles to spread out to a predetermined dispersal pattern. Reznor says: “Then it follows me around. If I leave the plane, it fills back in. If I push through, it comes back out.”

And – always a Mac fan, Trent couldn’t help having some fun relating to Windows / PCs :

But Reznor, who is an unabashed Mac fan, is also playful about having to partially rely on Windows boxes for some of the show’s visuals.

“We purposefully put one frame of the Blue Screen of Death in this collage of static that comes up at the end of ‘Great Destroyer,’ and right away people caught it,” he says.

The article finishes with this – regarding a film of the show – yay !

There are also talks between NIN and director James Cameron to film the show in 3-D (“to at least have proof when U2 rips us off next year that we did it first,” Reznor says)

Full article : NIN Dazzles With Lasers, LEDs and Stealth Screens

Also : Moment Factory – NIN 2008 Tour (pics + video)

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