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Martin Audio MLA Mini Pioneers New Ultra-Compact Format


Due to its ultra-compact footprint, light weight and radical design, Martin Audio’s new MLA Mini will be able to share the award-winning and revolutionary MLA technology across a far wider range of smaller-scale portable and installed sound applications requiring the ultimate in fidelity, consistency and control.

Scalable and versatile, MLA Mini’s ultra-compact size understates its output capabilities. A 12-box array can deliver live music in venues of 750-1000 people.

The MSX mini-sub power plant complements the main system and houses the amplification, networking and DSP necessary to power and control itself and four MLA Mini enclosures.

The system can be flown, ground-stacked or pole mounted. In its simplest configuration, four MLA Minis can be pole-mounted above the MSX with precisely adjustable tilt angle, and function as a plug-and-play system, with the user recalling onboard presets instead of using computer control. At the other end of the scale, up to 16 MLA Minis can be flown in an array and powered by four ground-stacked MSX’s.

With each individual cell under software control, ‘hard-avoid’ areas can also be programmed in to reduce sound spill and noise pollution, and vertical coverage can be fine-tuned electronically in-situ without the need to re-rig the array.

Arrays and MSX’s can be remotely controlled from a laptop or wireless tablet running VU-NET™ control software thus eliminating the time and frustration of trial and error tuning.

Each MLA Mini enclosure houses 2 x 6.5”/2” voice coil LF drivers and a vertical column of 3 x 1.4” aluminium dome HF drivers on a 100° horizontal dispersion horn. The 15” reflex loaded MSX can be integrated into flown arrays or ground-stacked separately.

MSX also contains nine channels of Class D amplification to provide cellular drive while the onboard DSP interacts with proprietary DISPLAY2.1™ intelligent software for accurate array optimization.

Applications include small-to-medium scale theater and live music venues; corporate AV events; fixed installations in concert halls, ballrooms and HOW and side-fill for MLA Compact systems.

Asked about MLA Mini, Director of U.S. Operations Rob Hofkamp said, “We are excited to have this latest addition to the cellular drive family of products. With the Mini’s versatile ultra-compact format, integrators will find it very useful in venues up to 1000 seats and a wide variety of installed sound applications.”

Martin Audio Managing Director Anthony Taylor added, “In addition to the physical advantages, MLA’s revolutionary technology now becomes accessible to most budgets for the first time. In theory, every installed venue or touring show can now achieve the controlled delivery and speed of set up that cellular technology allows, no matter how big or small the space is.”

The new system is expected to start shipping end of May 2013.

For more about MLA Mini and other Martin Audio installation products, 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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