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Largest MLA Compact Rig Ever Fills 17,000-Seat Bercy Arena

––Franck Sono First In France To Use Martin Audio MLA Compact System 36––

The largest MLA Compact rig to date recently made its French debut at the Paris Bercy when a capacity crowd of 17,000 attended a six-hour marathon concert, La Nuit de l’Outremer (The Overseas Night).

This technical deployment could hardly have provided a more exacting challenge for production company Franck Sono, the first French customer for the new MLA Compact Multi-cellular Loudspeaker Array System 36.

This French Caribbean festival featured a succession of highly popular artists in the local community, including Admiral T, Kreyol La, Akiyo, Daly, Esy Kennenga, Desiré François, Stony, Princess Lover, Jean-Marie Ragald, Tanya St Val, Jean-Marc Ferdinand, Daddy Yod, Tiwony and many others.

Since Franck Sono wanted to achieve coverage over the vast space without setting up delay points, they rigged 24 MLA Compact elements per side as the main array, with 24 DSX subs designed in a broadside progressive array across the front. An additional eight W8LC and eight W8LM enclosures were used for outfills while 12 of Martin Audio’s LE1500S floor monitors provided artists with their reference sound on stage.

Said Martin Audio’s Nigel Meddemmen, who provided on-site support, “Since the objective was to provide coverage without delays, we simply doubled the size of the rig. It was the first time in the world that we have flown 24-box MLA Compact hangs and it sounded superb—the coverage was excellent. Everyone was really impressed that so much sound was coming from these tiny enclosures.”

Meddemmen’s views were supported by Bruno Dabard, technical director of Audia, the pro audio division of French Martin Audio distributor, Algam.
“Just by using the optimization process we were able to achieve very smooth coverage of the system across the 295 ft. throw distance, and up to the back rows, 59 ft. high, where the presence of the sound was just as obvious. This included the left and right top of the bleachers where the delay systems are generally set up.

“In fact this was probably the smallest cabinet format ever used for a concert in the Bercy arena.”

Dabard added that the DSX broadside array also demonstrated both clarity and high impact. And with a succession of rap, hip hop and reggae artists pounding relentlessly through the system in quick succession over the six hour period, Franck Sono director, Franck Lichtlé, was left in little doubt about the wisdom of his investment.

“We are grateful to the teams at Martin Audio and Algam for their support in helping us to meet the high level requirements within really challenging set-up constraints.” He also credited the personnel at Miel production company, for their confidence in MLA Compact, promising further big projects to come using the system.

For more about Martin Audio, please click to www.martin-audio.com.

About MLA™ (Multi-cellular Loudspeaker Array)
The result of many years of intensive R&D, MLA’s methodology replaces trial-and-error array design with intelligent numerical optimization of the array’s output based on a highly accurate acoustic model. The multi-cellular format has six individual cells in each enclosure, each with its own DSP and amplification.

With up to 24 enclosures, each MLA array has up to 144 cells — too great a number to optimize manually, or by ear. Instead, Martin Audio’s proprietary Display2™ system design software automatically calculates FIR DSP filters for each cell and a redundant-ring audio network (U-NET™) downloads the settings into each array enclosure. Martin Audio’s VU-NET™ software provides real-time control and monitoring of the system.

MLA delivers a frequency response and SPL consistency never before achievable; a very high system output (140dB peak, per cabinet @1m); Automatic optimization of the array, both physically (splay angles) and electronically (DSP); Computer control and monitoring of the entire system, and total control of sound system balance for engineers and sound technicians.

MLA is fully integrated, with Class D amplification, DSP and U-NET digital audio
network built into each enclosure. MLA complete systems are ready-to-use, with MLA, MLD and MLX enclosures, flying hardware, software, cabling and training all supplied. Everything needed is included. All ancillary items — from tablet PC and Merlin™ controller to network interconnects and mains distro — are also included in the complete system package. This ensures full compatibility worldwide, down to cabling and accessories.

Additional features include 90° x 7.5° dispersion; a compact size (1136mm wide x 372mm high x 675mm deep), one-box-fits-all (festivals to theaters) application range and a global voltage, power factor corrected power supply.

MLA’s compact size and very high output allows it to be shipped using smaller trucks, offering considerable savings and reduced carbon footprint. The system also includes the MLX powered, flyable subwoofer capable of an unprecedented measured peak output of 150dB @ 1m; MLD downfill cabinet, and Merlin 4-in/10-out system controller and network hub. Audio input is via analog, AES3 or U-NET.

By adopting these principles and system components MLA is optimized for every member of the audience — from a 2,000 capacity theater, to a 20,000-seat arena, to a 100,000-person festival site. It will deliver the engineer’s exact mix to every seat (up to over 150 meters) with precision, exceptional power and clarity.

About Martin Audio®
Founded by audio engineer David Martin in 1971, Martin Audio pioneered the use of all-horn-loaded bass designs in world-class touring loudspeaker systems for groups such as Pink Floyd, ELP and Supertramp. Located outside of London, Martin Audio now embodies a sophisticated mix of acoustic design, research, mathematical modeling and software engineering for a wide range of products in the installation, cinema and touring sound markets.

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