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Case Study

DJ System Powers Up with Projection

ViewSonic® PJD7820HD Full HD 1080p DLP® Projector

Company

Toronto, Canada-based SmithsonMartin is the world’s leader in multi-touch control applications for music, recording, professional lighting and performance art. A software and hardware development company, SmithsonMartin focuses on creating products for the future of DJing. The company’s Emulator products have been used by Grammy Award winner Flo Rida, two-time Grammy nominee Morgan Page, Thomas Dolby, and many more inspiring artists. Innovative corporate powerhouses such as Disney, Google, LG, Sony, and Microsoft have hired Emulator artists to perform at their events.

Overview

Problem:

  • Build on the success of prior systems by developing the world’s most advanced DJ performance system: portable, easy-to-use, stunning
  • Compact design called for a powerful short-throw projector capable of delivering crisp, vivid images to fill the 45" screen from just 1M away

Solution: The ViewSonic PJD7820HD Full HD 1080p DLP projector delivered the ideal combination of powerful lens, high brightness and 15,000:1 contrast ratio

Result:

  • The Emulator ELITE is stunning artists and audiences with its futuristic design and unparallel performance
  • Images projected onto the custom- designed transparent PCAP touch screen are crisp, vivid and vibrant
  • The 6,000 hour* lamp life ensures customers years of continued use entertaining and amazing audiences

The ViewSonic [PJD7820HD] was the strongest projector we could find.

Alan Smithson, Smithson Martin CEO & Cofounder

Problem

In 2010, SmithsonMartin entered the music performance scene with its Emulator PRO software, which transforms touchscreen devices into powerful MIDI controllers and DJ systems. A revolutionary music industry technology, Emulator PRO eliminates the breakage- and wear-prone physical knobs and sliders on traditional sound boards, which are also adversely affected by contaminants like dust, smoke, fog, confetti, and liquids.

Since then, the company has focused on developing MIDI control hardware systems – all of which featured limited production runs and quickly sold out. Among these systems, the Emulator DVS was the first multi-touch MIDI control system to easily allow a crowd to view the DJ artist’s performance on a huge transparent touch screen.

With an impressive history of innovative excellence like this, coming up with the next greatest thing would be no small challenge. Delivering outstanding results would require the best technology in a compact, easy-to-use form. The projection component would have to offer just the right combination of brightness and vivid images in a superior short-throw format.

Solution

Using their extensive industry knowledge and connections, the SmithsonMartin team set out to develop the world’s most advanced DJ performance system. The culmination of six years and over $1M in research and development, the Emulator ELITE was released in the summer of 2014.

The innovative all-in-one design seamlessly integrates a compact Mac Mini, world-class soundcard, Full HD projector, custom-designed transparent touchscreen and cables into a single road case. Setup is as easy as opening the case, unfolding the sturdy, performance-ready stand, connecting the unit into the sound system via XLR, and plugging into the power source.

Among the numerous innovations featured in this revolutionary new performance tool (including a satellite-grade mirror), the development team selected the ViewSonic PJD7820HD Full HD 1080p DLP projector to display the controller’s images onto the custom-designed transparent PCAP touch screen.

“We tested over 200 projectors during the development of the Elite,” said Alan Smithson, CEO and cofounder of SmithsonMartin. “The final decision was the 3,000 lumen incredibly sharp full HD PJD7820HD projector from ViewSonic. We had less than 1 meter to work with to fully span the 43” piece of glass and the ViewSonic was the strongest projector we could find. The brightness and 15,000:1 contrast ratio really made the visuals pop off the glass, and we liked the impressive 6,000 hour lamp life.”

Result

According to Smithson, the Emulator ELITE is the Bugatti of DJ performance equipment. With a durable, lightweight all-in-one design, the ELITE is easy to transport and deploys in under a minute to reveal the most advanced multi-touch music DJ interface.

Perhaps most importantly, the ELITE delivers amped up audience engagement with a direct view to the DJ’s actions via the custom-designed transparent touchscreen. Performers are empowered with the ability to send messages to the audience, control light shows, and more.

"With Emulator ELITE, DJ performers can connect with their fans in a way never before imagined,” said Smithson. “From displays of the audience’s live tweets to sophisticated digital art visualizations, Emulator ELITE takes DJ performance to a futuristic and dynamic visual spectacle of creative live music expression."

Futuristic in both its appearance and capabilities, Emulator ELITE provides DJs, composers, MCs, and musicians with a customizable interface from which to show the audience more of their performances.

SmithsonMartin added that they are also thrilled to offer their customers a product with a 6,000 hour* lamp life for years of continued use entertaining and amazing audiences around the globe.