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Archive by Brainstorm Media

Martin Audio MLA Compact Keeps Sound Inside Urban Amphitheater

––RMB Audio Uses System To Stay Within Rigorous City Noise Limits––

The Red Hat Amphitheater is located in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina with the stage facing a large convention center covered with reflective surfaces located next to a parking deck. Just a few blocks to the rear of the stage are residential neighborhoods.

Home to a summer-long series of concerts, Red Hat is obviously a challenging environment for shows in terms of controlling noise levels. Cooper Cannady of RMB Audio in Raleigh has produced several shows there and knows those problems all too well: “The city contracted a large study at multiple sites around the venue and came up with an SPL limitation of maximum 95dB SPL for one minute at given test points. And that’s tough when you’re doing a show there. Someone like Dylan is manageable, but Smashing Pumpkins and a Snoop Dogg performance is a real challenge to the sound ordinance.

Fortunately, RMB used their Martin Audio MLA Compact system for a recent show featuring American Aquarium, Cravin Melon and the Chris Hendricks band. As Cooper explains, “We put our MLA Compact rig in there and made a presentation to the city how the system’s new software algorithms functioned. We wanted to bring the sound closer to the audience, avoid the reflections from the building and back it off at the stop points we had selected.

“So we kept working on the sound with the software and finally got it to where there’s no reflection coming off the building. Only people with the MLA Compact can get that kind of control. Everyone else is going to have sound washing over those surfaces and throw it everywhere.

“The wonderful part about MLA is that the coherence of the system actually makes it sound louder than the SPL meter says it is,” Cooper adds, “which is a real benefit for the audience and the promoters. The city told us we couldn’t have any flags at the 95dB test point and we were able to do that without any problems whatsoever.”

RMB Audio’s setup for the show consisted of 12 MLA Compact enclosures per side, with six DSX subs a side stacked on the wings of the stage. The side fills consisted of two Martin Audio W8Ts and two WS218 subs a side, with WS18X subs for drums, and four W8LMs for lip-fills across the front of the stage. LE1200s were used for on stage monitoring.

Engineer Wayne Sowder was also impressed: “Roger Dennis of RMB put me on the FOH Console for Cravin Melon, and it was my first chance to mix on the MLA Compact. It was unlike any system I’ve ever mixed on––incredible clarity yet very natural, warm sounding and powerful. The software was also a major plus in helping the system techs refine the system performance based on temperature and humidity in the venue as well as changing the start and stop points without re-hanging boxes. It’s a very powerful tool in the hands of skilled technicians.”

Summing up, Cooper adds, “The city thought the MLA Compact system sounded excellent and that the system was consistent throughout the audience area and had greatly reduced SPL beyond the audience space. I sent one of my staff with a representative from the city with an SPL meter across the street from the park and the sound was diving 10 to 15dB. And if they walked a little further out, the decrease in SPL continued. Once that happened, they actually got it.

“The MLA Compact has been a lifesaver for this venue. This is the answer for an urban area with residences in close proximity. We’ve been able to make everybody happy––the audience, the acts, the city and the neighborhood. MLA has been a real unifying experience. Not many people can deal with those kinds of restrictions and say they did OK, and we did smashingly well.”

For more about RMB Audio, please click to www.rmbaudio.com

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

On Stage Audio Expands, Builds North America’s Largest Martin Audio MLA Inventory

With three locations in Chicago, Las Vegas and Nashville and a hectic schedule of live production work, corporate shows, product launches, TV broadcasts and special events; On Stage Audio (OSA) continues its national growth in audio rentals, service and production.

As part of that growth, OSA recently purchased a number of additional Martin Audio MLA and MLA Compact enclosures, resulting in OSA having the largest MLA inventory in North America. With this and other recent sales, the total number of MLA cabinets deployed worldwide is well over 3,000 cabinets at this point.

Asked about the MLA acquisition, OSA Vice President Jim Risgin said, “We believe in the product, technology and, most importantly, the result that MLA delivers.”

In addition to successful deployments of MLA and MLA Compact at a growing number of corporate and special events, OSA recently equipped the pavilion stage at Ravinia Festival with the MLA system, the first new PA system at North America’s oldest music festival in a decade. Ravinia welcomes about 600,000 guests every summer to over 100 events, including the annual residency of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Since Ravinia’s 1904 inception, a residential neighborhood has grown around the concert venue resulting in Ravinia becoming increasingly sensitive to containing sound within its gates.

Asked why MLA was chosen, Jim responds, “Sound is crucial in two ways to outdoor concert presenters who not only want to provide the best musical experience they can to their attendees but who also want to prevent that music from reaching unintended listeners. We are proud Ravinia chose us to help them present a premium customer experience and to help them be a good neighbor to the residents of its home community.”

Expanding on his feelings about MLA, Jim points out, “It’s the first technology in the last 30 plus years that is truly delivering sound in a new and exciting way as far as I’m concerned. Even with the obvious benefits the Multi Cellular drive brings such as SPL control, consistent audience coverage as well as out of area rejection, it still amazes me how good it sounds every time I turn on the system. Simply input the room calculations and MLA in turn delivers the expected coverage as well as giving the engineer a stellar sonic canvas to work with. Now I can allocate my time to my craft and art of mixing rather than spending the time mastering conventional systems to gain similar results. This translates into a better end product for our clients as well as savings in time and labor.

“In terms of its performance, MLA never runs out, it never stops. I think it’s the best sounding system with the most even coverage out of the box. Every seat gets the same high quality sound regardless of the location, which helps our clients reduce costs for acoustical treatments in some venues. At this point, the level of the MLA system control has become second nature. For me to work on something other than MLA has become an eye-opener rather than the other way around.”

Photo caption: Middle and Top Rows (L-R): Edwin Jones, Mario Educate, Dave Iannuccilli, Paul Educate, Karim Ben-Rhouma, Steve Varner, John Brandvold, Martyn “Ferrit” Rowe, Dale Stuart
Bottom Row (L-R): Deb Miller, Lindsay Dreyer, Merissa Iannuccilli, Shannon Wardle, Jim Flynn

For more about On Stage Audio, please click to www.osacorp.com

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

Martin Audio W8LC ‘By Appointment’ At Coronation Festival Gala

RG Jones’ busy summer season with leading Martin Audio PA systems continued in July with the Coronation Festival at Buckingham Palace. This followed the Glastonbury Festival and Henley Festival, which both placed further demands on Jones’ Martin Audio inventory.

So many events at the same time with very different environments was always going to be a challenge, but with careful planning and deployment, the Coronation Festival proved once again that RG Jones and Martin Audio were capable of uniting the audience experience.

The audio specialists had been sub-contracted by main technical production company, Hawthorns, who were in turn introduced to the project by event organizer, Media 10. The Royal Warrant Holders Association hosted both the Coronation Festival and exhibition in the Gardens of Buckingham Palace.

RG Jones, themselves Royal Warrant Holders, participated in the exhibition (along with more than 200 others) while simultaneously providing sound reinforcement for the Gala concerts. In fact the RG Jones stand exhibited an original Morris J-type––the same as the one used by the original founder Ronald Geoffrey Jones back in the 1920’s.

As with Glastonbury, RG Jones’ project manager Ben Milton relished the challenge of project managing a large-scale event, but unlike Glastonbury where Martin Audio’s W8L Longbow system was deployed, Milton said the system of choice this time would be the company’s W8LC and W8LM systems.

“We have used the W8LC system for so many classical concerts of this size in the past that we were confident it would sound fantastic and give us no sleepless nights. It just works so well.”

But the implementation of the system for the Raymond Gubbay promoted Gala concerts was far from straightforward, as Milton emphasized. “Aside from the stringent guidelines and provisos we had to follow, the PA wings were extremely wide—around 310 feet between left and right––which required an additional L/C/R center system flown over the stage.”

And with a wide range of artists celebrating 60 years of the performing arts—including Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Katie Melua, Russell Watson, Katherine Jenkins, Laura Wright, Only Boys Allowed, The Feeling—as well as the National Youth Orchestra and Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures––there was quite a line-up of talent for Milton and Simon Honywill at the FOH mixing desk.

“I love the challenge of having 250-plus inputs on the desk with multiple acts,” said the former, explaining that this included active splits from the stage, sent to the BBC broadcast OB trucks.

Out on each wing, in front of the Palace terrace, two hangs of 14 x Martin Audio W8LC elements were mounted on smart PA masts.

A further three center in-hangs formed the thrust canopy PA. This comprised six W8LM Mini line arrays (with two W8LMD Downfills at the base), flanked by two hangs of eight W8LC to produce an L/C/R image.

Under the thrust stage, there were four gauze-covered WLX subs with a further six ground stacked WLX under the two speaker masts (three per side). Finally, eight Martin Audio DD6 Differential Dispersion horns were positioned along the front lip as close fills.

All processing was carried out in an XTA Audiocore environment, with system technician Mark Edwards EQing and time aligning the system remotely via a wireless tablet.

Said Ben Milton, “The in-hangs had to do all the work and we had to deal with timing issues between the wide hangs and the inner hangs. The LC’s worked fantastically well and provided full 330 ft. coverage without delays for 20,000 people.

“In fact when you sat in the middle of the auditorium it was just like a cinematic setting carefully time aligned to get the stereo image, and wherever you went it delivered and it was still high fidelity sound.” The audio complemented the width of the stage, he said, adding that both Tim Davies [BBC Television sound supervisor] and the orchestra had expressed their delight with the sound.

“The whole event was special because you simply forgot where you were. The Palace provided an amazing backdrop.”

Supporting system designer Ben Milton, were FOH engineer Simon Honywill and system tech, Mark Edwards, James Breward (system/comms) and on stage, Mark Isbister (patchmaster), Alison Dale (RF and orchestral miking), Damon Dyer (monitors) and Ian Threlfall (stage).

Photo credit: Theo Cohen Photography

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

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.

Stanco Productions Covers Fair St. Louis With Martin Audio

Fair St. Louis, “America’s Biggest Birthday Party,” was celebrated under the city’s iconic Arch for the last time before a two-year renovation, with Stanco Productions providing audio, video and lighting for the fourth year in a row.

To ensure superior audio coverage throughout the fairgrounds for this year’s featured acts Trace Adkins, Brett Michaels and Counting Crows, Stanco chose a Martin Audio rig consisting of 16 W8LC per side with 12 W8LM and 4 W8LMD downfill cabinets a side for outfill. Crown amplification and AVID Venue Profile consoles were also used for FOH and Monitors.

Stanco’s crew for this year’s festivities included Sam Wehrmeyer, Technical Director with FOH and Monitor engineers Justin Slazas and Brennan Houser.

Asked about challenges in providing audio for the Fair, Wehrmeyer responded, “The only real issue was getting enough PA hung from the roof and staying with weight limits. The W8LC is the perfect solution for this. Its light weight and high output allows us to hang more boxes for better coverage than other line array systems.

“Once again the client told us they continue to be impressed with the sound of the rig,” Sam concluded. “They told us Martin Audio is the best sound they’ve heard.”

For more about Stanco Productions, please click to www.stancoproductions.com.

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

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.

Martin Audio MLA Delivers Power And Control For 3G Productions At EDC Festivals

Las Vegas, NV––3G Productions, Inc. recently provided audio for the Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) festivals in New York, Chicago and Las Vegas. Their PA systems included a Martin Audio Multi-cellular Loudspeaker Array (MLA) to provide the power and coverage they needed inside the venue while controlling noise spillage to surrounding residential areas.

In business for nine years, 3G has quickly become a leading force in the rapidly growing world of Electronic Dance Music events, providing audio for numerous large festivals every year. The three-day Electric Daisy Carnival 2013 was the culmination of Insomniac’s EDC festivals with eight of the world’s Top 10 DJs, and more than 200 acts performing on seven stages for over 350,000 attendees at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

The combination of several stages producing hours of high SPL dance music in urban locales adds up to unique challenges for 3G. As Marketing Director Keith Conrad points out, “EDC events are really unique because they’re all in large open-air areas that aren’t necessarily traditional venues for concerts such as stadiums or amphitheatres. They’re in parking lots or racetracks, so the ability to control the sound is extremely important. A big reason why we looked at the Martin Audio MLA system was to control SPLs in areas surrounding the venue.

We also need a lot of bass, so the amount of subs we have on any one show is unheard of,” Keith continues. “Plus you’re doing multiple stages within one area at the same time, which is all about the configuration of the stage in terms of the coverage and direction of the loudspeakers.”

3G senior system engineer and designer Julio Valdez, a specialist in EDM events, provides more specifics: “I get site plans before the event for the areas that have to be covered so I can design systems suitable for what the client (Insomniac, who produces EDC and major dance events worldwide) needs, which is mostly to provide a whole lot of power and have the system sound good.

“Then we go to the location and make sure all of the techs have everything they need to complete the build and address the changing needs of DJs, artists and other performers. Sometimes we have to submit designs to DJ management for approval.

“Finally, I lay out the stages so they don’t have too much of an impact in terms of nearby homes. We have people walking around with dB meters before the show determining what’s acceptable at certain distances from the stage and referencing those SPLs at Front of House.”

The typical Martin Audio setup for EDC consists of a main hang of16 MLA and two MLD downfill cabinets per side with a massive complement of 32 MLX subs ground-stacked across the front of the stage. 12 MLA Compacts per side are used for outfill, and 8 MLA Compacts plus 4 ground-stacked MLX subs per side are used for delays. AVID Venue Profile mixing consoles and Lake loudspeaker processing are also part of the setup.

Given that the New York and Chicago EDCs are held at the Citi Field parking lot and the Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois, respectively, which are smaller and closer to residential areas, were there very different requirements for those two shows than Las Vegas?

“No,” counters Julio. “It really all comes down to getting as much power out to the audience as we can with as little sound out to the neighborhood as possible, which is a constant struggle. And, with that in mind, it’s definitely been helpful to have the kind of control that Martin Audio’s MLA is capable of giving us.

“Power is impressive coming out of the MLA, it’s definitely mind-boggling when you see the size of the rig that’s out there and the output you get from the system. In terms of sound quality, it’s very consistent and, as intended, one can really tailor the sound to what they want and MLA will do it.”

Considering that each stage at EDC features hour-long sets by up to eight DJs a night, do the artists have widely differing requirements in terms of the PA?

“Just like bands, the DJs carry engineers who are responsible for their sound,” says Julio. “And each one has different tastes and opinions about loudspeakers, but we’ve been able to satisfy them with MLA. It’s worked very well. A lot of guys who hadn’t heard MLA were definitely impressed.”

Fortunately for 3G, Las Vegas doesn’t present as many problems with noise complaints because the Speedway is quite a ways out of town, with only Nellis Air Force base nearby that makes its own kind of noise created by F16 jets flying in and out on a regular basis.

The Vegas site also has a large open area in the speedway oval and even though there are so many stages Keith tells us, ‘In terms of the DJs and what they’re playing, you can go from one stage to another in Vegas and you can lose the sound. All of the stages are facing in different directions with as much spread as possible between them, plus there’s a carnival in the middle of the festival with rides and attractions.

“Insomniac is committed to having a true carnival and festival experience and they want it to be the biggest, best and the loudest. They always push the envelope in terms of how much they can give their fans, but we are often walking a fine line with the surrounding communities. As such, we have to control sound to the best of our ability.

“The sound control was a big part of MLA’s initial appeal for us. And we really like where MLA is going in terms of control, ease of setup and quality of the boxes. We’ve had a great experience with MLA so far and there’s a very real application in other areas we are growing as well, such as corporate and TV broadcasting.

Concluding, Keith explains: “The audio quality overall has been stellar and we have yet to even run the system full throttle. More importantly, our customers and the bands/DJs have been really happy with it.”

For more about 3G Productions, please click to www.3glp.com

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

Capital Sound’s Martin Audio MLA Conquers Hyde Park

–Bon Jovi & Rolling Stones Get 10-day Festival Off To Flying Start–

A revolutionary sound system and reoriented stage provided the perfect recipe for the AEG-Barclaycard British Summer Time festival at London’s Hyde Park, as Bon Jovi and the Rolling Stones kicked off the ten-day season attracting crowds of 65,000.

Historically, Hyde Park concerts have been dogged by offsite noise pollution leading to neighborhood complaints and the need to reduce sound levels on site — meaning that the audience couldn’t hear the performances. So new tenants AEG/Loud Sound adopted Martin Audio’s award winning Multi-Cellular Loudspeaker Array (MLA) system to help solve the problem.

Knowing that its advance level of control would be the only scientifically proven system capable of maintaining an offsite level beneath the stipulated 75dB(A) threshold, there was the equal confidence of being able to raise the levels up by as much as 6dB from previous years to around 100dB(A) within the audience area, ensuring that the entire audience was united in the experience.

These figures were verified by Ian Colville, technical manager of Capital Sound, who designed and supplied the complete audio infrastructure. He had nothing but praise for the MLA system that allows a site to be mapped and areas optimized for audience, non-audience and entirely “hard avoid.”

As a result, neighborhood complaints were reduced to an absolute minimum.

Loud Sound had already received categorical proof of MLA’s capabilities at the 2011-2013 back-to-back Underage, Field Day and Apple Cart Festivals in Hackney’s Victoria Park, serviced by Capital Sound. Immersed in a densely populated neighborhood (as with Hyde Park), complaints about noise escapement suddenly ceased according to the event management.

This gave Loud Sound, the site managers for AEG, the evidence that MLA would be a perfect tool for the Hyde Park concerts.

But given the sensitivities of noise thresholds in the Royal Parks, a site simulation was first set up at Hatfield House in Herts for the promoters and acoustics consultants Vanguardia Ltd., who routinely carry out measurement and analysis at outdoor events such as this.

Ian Colville and Martin Audio R&D Director Jason Baird confirmed that this location was chosen because of its similarities in shape and size to the Hyde Park site, and evaluation took place against other systems.

The Martin Audio system is unique in its ability to place the sound only where it is required, unlike conventional systems, which have largely depended on trial and error. As a result the sound coverage pattern can be programmed into Martin Audio’s breakthrough MLA software to guarantee sound containment.

Vanguardia recorded near- and far-field measurements and asked Martin Audio to load in two different presets. which set coverage at 330 ft. and 165 ft. The measured SPL data over the site was then fed into their own environmental model before giving the system the thumbs-up. Vanguardia’s experience with MLA also caused them to believe that a better offsite sound could be achieved than with a conventional system.

The other key factor in the sound threshold increase was the reorientation of the Hyde Park stage by around 30° from north facing to northwest (directing it away from Park Lane). “The result is that fans positioned out at the perimeter have been able to enjoy an identical sound experience to those at the front of the stage,” said Capital Sound general manager, Paul Timmins. “But walk five yards outside the soundfield and it will vanish.”

With its rapid loudness drop-off, the MLA system was created for environments such as Hyde Park. According to one sound engineer who had earlier worked with the system. The ability to ‘taper off’ the sound at the perimeter “is as if an invisible ring has been drawn around the site.” It was this that will have impressed those monitoring the offsite sound at typical nearby locations such as the Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane.

As Ian Colville assessed, “The ability to gain an extra 6dB of volume onsite, while keeping within the off-site maximum level of 75dB(A), provides a significant advantage. MLA is such a different system, with all of its acoustic cells individually controlled to produce phase-coherent summation in the audience areas.”

So how was the Hyde Park system conceived? Sculpted into the oak shrubbery of the concept stage’s proscenium––the inspiration of set designers MDM working with Star Rigging––were left and right hangs of 16 x MLA elements (with a single MLD Downfill box at the base). Outfills were provided by 12 MLA (and a single MLD each side) with eight pairs of the small footprint Martin Audio W8LM Mini Line Arrays for front fills.

The subwoofer cardioid broadside array—made up of 32 MLX subs—is now a tried and trusted ‘electronic arc’ concept, with one back facing enclosure for every two forward-facing ones providing cancellation at the rear. “The beauty of this design,” says Colville, “is that you can adjust the horizontal dispersion and rear rejection electronically without needing to physically move anything.”

In addition there were ten delay masts. The front two arcs of four MLA masts each contained seven elements and a single MLD. For the larger shows, two further delay towers at the back were enabled, made up of eight MLA Compacts. Critical distances were 165 ft. (from FOH to stage), while the delays were set at 295 ft. (from the stage), 525 ft. and 688 ft. (for the MLA Compacts).

In summary, Ian Colville said, “At Hyde Park we proved how MLA technology allows us to significantly increase on-site volume while containing the sound within a strictly defined area. It’s a great result for everyone involved in the project.”

Martin Audio managing director, Anthony Taylor, added: “This is a significant jewel in the crown of worldwide events; we are thrilled that Martin Audio and our MLA technology has been chosen to tackle Hyde Park’s challenging sound issues. This is a win-win for everyone involved: artists, sound engineers and the paying public get the sound performance they deserve, while local residents are less impacted.”

In addition to system designers, Ian Colville and Martin Audio R&D Director, Jason Baird, Capital Sound’s support team included Al Woods (crew chief), Toby Donovan (system engineer and MLA technician) and eight other crew. Account manager was Martin Connolly and project assistant was Michele Conroy. Andy Davies and Chris Pyne, from Martin Audio’s Tech Support team, also supported the event.

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

BC Electronic Sales Awarded Middle Atlantic Commercial AV Rep of the Year

Middle Atlantic Products awarded BC Electronic Sales as Commercial AV Rep of the Year at a sales meeting held prior to InfoComm 2013.

BC Electronic Sales represents Middle Atlantic for the Commercial AV market in Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska and Southern Illinois.

Commenting on the award, Middle Atlantic Midwest Regional Sales Manager Adam Gold said, “Rick and his team have done an amazing job representing MAP in the two plus years they have been covering their territory of Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, and Missouri. Their product knowledge, technical prowess, and complete dedication to customer service and satisfaction is evident by the results they achieve. Congratulations to the entire BC Electronics team.”

Photo caption (left to right): Michael Sipe and Rick Hanson (BC Electronic Sales) Robert Newhuis (Middle Atlantic) Dustin Vavak and Brandon Krepal (BC Electronic Sales).

For more information about BC Electronic Sales, please click to http://www.bcelectronics.com.

For technical specifications and in-depth information about Middle Atlantic Products, please click to www.middleatlantic.com or call 1.800.266.7225.

Middle Atlantic Products has been part of the Legrand group since its acquisition in 2011.

Legrand is the global specialist in electrical and digital building infrastructures. Its comprehensive offering of solutions for use in commercial, industrial and residential markets makes it a benchmark for customers worldwide. Innovation for a steady flow of new products with high added value and acquisitions are prime vectors for growth. Legrand reported sales of close to $5.8 billion in 2012. Legrand has a strong presence in the North American market, with a portfolio of well-known product lines that include Cablofil, Electrorack, Middle Atlantic, NuVo, On-Q, Ortronics, Pass & Seymour, Vantage, Watt Stopper and Wiremold. The company is listed on NYSE Euronext and is a component stock of indexes including the CAC40, FTSE4Good, MSCI World, ASPI and DJSI (ISIN code FR0010307819). www.legrand.us

Delicate And MLA Take Control Of Audio At BottleRock Festival

Far from your typical summer rock gathering, the BottleRock Napa Valley festival combined the best in music with exceptional food, wine, beer and comedy to provide a whole new multi-sensory experience for sophisticated concertgoers.

Fittingly, the festival was held in one of the country’s greatest wine regions at the Napa Valley Expo fairgrounds in the heart of downtown Napa, California, just blocks away from restaurants, wine tasting rooms, art galleries and hotels.

The eclectic musical lineup of over 80 bands was easily on par with the finest regional wines in terms of taste and variety, including Kings of Leon, The Black Keys, Zac Brown Band, Train, The Black Crowes, Jane’s Addiction, Alabama Shakes, Jackson Browne, Charlie Musselwhite, Primus, Richard Thompson, Mavis Staples, Blues Traveler, Brandi Carlile, The Flaming Lips, Violent Femmes, The Wallflowers, X, Dwight Yoakam and too many more to name here.

Delicate Productions of Camarillo and San Francisco was in charge of audio, lighting and LED for what was the inaugural run of the festival. Simply controlling audio in a fairground located in the heart of Napa with houses just across the street was enough of a challenge for any production company, not to mention supporting the festival’s five stages for four full days of music.

The need to provide exceptional coverage while eliminating noise spillage in such a tightly defined area was a critically important factor for BottleRock, which explains why the MLA (Multi-cellular Loudspeaker Array) system was chosen for the main stages along with a full complement of Martin Audio for the other stages.

Delicate’s design team for the system was comprised of lead audio engineer Brian Basilsky working with company President Jason Alt and General Manager George Edwards. The main (Sliverado/Willpower) stage consisted of a L/R hang with16 MLA and 4 MLD Downfill cabinets per side, a left-left side hang of 6 MLA Compact (no right-right side hang because of nearby houses); 12 W8LM for front fill; 24 ground-stacked MLX subs, and 16 MLA Compact enclosures for delays. The Monitor/Stage system included L/R hangs of 4 W8C; 4 W8CS compact subs; and two WS218X subs for side fills, along with four WS18X drum subs.

Rounding out the full complement of Martin Audio at the festival was a MLA Compact system with DSX subs at the second stage; W8LC systems for the third and comedy stages and a smaller trapezoid WT3 system for the local stage.

Commenting on why they chose MLA for this situation, Jason Alt says, “There’s no system out there that could duplicate what we achieved in terms of audio control with MLA. The way we were able use to steer the subwoofers and the system, our ability to determine an accurate end point and really have audio die off before the end of the property line was so important. The only audio that people heard at a distance was because of the immersion layer in the atmosphere. It had nothing to do with audio really spilling that far.”

Considering all of the challenge at the BottleRock event, what was the biggest specific problem Delicate had to face?

“The fact that the fairgrounds property line is literally 100 feet across the street from houses,” Jason responds. “And those residents were very concerned at the beginning that having a big rock concert going on that close would cause all kinds of problems in terms of the noise and even their paintings falling off their walls. But by the end of it, because of what we did with steering the system and especially the subs, there were no problems.

“Even though the stage was only 200 feet from the end of the property line,” Jason explains, “we were able to get the subs down to -35dB fifty feet from stage right––the low end dropped off that dramatically. If you stood across the street it was hardly even noticeable. But if you walked to the side of the stage feeding into the fairground, there was full-on 90º bass coverage. It all came down to really impressive calculations from Brian and Ferrit (MLA specialist Martyn “Ferrit” Rowe) that produced those results. We had interaction and worked with all of the people on that street throughout the festival and not one of them complained. Most sat on their porch and enjoyed the show.”

Looking back at the festival and the need to fulfill the needs of 80 acts within necessarily tight time frames, Jason acknowledges MLA’s many other advantages: “Besides the control, MLA helped us work much more effectively with all of the different acts at BottleRock. The system gives you such a blank canvas for what each artist wants the system to sound like; we were able to accommodate all of their sonic wish lists quickly and effectively. Deploying MLA and getting it up happened in a timely fashion so that every artist had enough time to set up and the headliners were all able to tune the system, take a good listen to it, and adjust it to their specific needs.

“Coverage-wise, we didn’t do a typical right-right hang because of the neighborhood’s proximity, but we did cover 30,000 people very well with a decent amount of boxes. I don’t think we could have achieved the same sonic goals with another system, especially with the county’s noise ordinances. One of the headliners, Zac Brown, carries MLA as their touring rig and their system tech didn’t make a single change to the way we deployed it. They didn’t even have to EQ it that much.

“We actually got very positive feedback from all of the artists and engineers,” Jason adds, “including those smaller bands who were opening up the main stage. Even though they were only playing to a few thousand attendees because it was early in the day, the crowd wasn’t getting blown away because the engineers didn’t have to mix too aggressively. MLA really did its job of working with every artist on every level.”

Asked to sum up about the overall performance of Martin Audio at BottleRock, Jason concludes, “As the largest Martin Audio house in the country, we’re fully committed to all of their products, especially for an event like this. Every place we deployed it, every version of every Martin Audio box we have was used, whether it was speakers on a stick, WT2s, WT3s or W8LMs, we pretty much used everything everywhere to fill in every need the festival had.

“The MLA Compact rig on the second stage was especially impressive. We debated back and forth on the distance coverage for that area, but the Compact outperformed even what we thought it would do and covered an area 300 ft. out. And once again, we could control it to keep the sound inside the property line, so it all worked out really well with MLA and Martin Audio, which was not surprising for us.”

For more about Delicate Productions, please click to www.delicate.com

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

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.

Modular Power Raceway Offers More Options with Addition of New Modules

Fairfield, NJ––Middle Atlantic Products is expanding its popular MPR Series Modular Power Raceway System to include additional unique options to meet the evolving power distribution requirements of AV systems. The industry’s only off-the-shelf NRTL-listed plug and play solution for creating a custom power strip, the MPR Series now offers three new options: a 30 Amp controlled raceway module and two options for Neutrik® powerCON connectors.

Two Neutrik powerCON modules are available to accommodate the manufacturer’s 20 Amp and 30 Amp connectors. The 20 Amp rated receptacle module can be incorporated into the MPR system raceway via standard MPR connectivity options, while the 30 Amp version is hardwired within the raceway.

The new 30 Amp controlled module brings the benefits of the MPR Series’ 30 Amp controlled standalone unit into the MPR raceway. This hardwired-only option incorporates a 30 Amp isolated ground twist lock receptacle. It includes a local toggle switch that allows the integrator to control the outlet status (Always On, Always Off or Dry Contact Control) and features LEDs to confirm the module’s status.

The MPR System was recently enhanced with a deeper raceway design offering increased circuit capacity and improved mounting for greater installation flexibility. These enhancements and continued new offerings show the company’s commitment to offering integrators a custom, NRTL-Listed solution to fit their changing needs.

For more information about the Modular Power Raceway and Middle Atlantic Products, please click to www.middleatlantic.com or call 1.800.266.7225.

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Middle Atlantic Products has been part of the Legrand group since its acquisition in 2011.

Legrand is the global specialist in electrical and digital building infrastructures. Its comprehensive offering of solutions for use in commercial, industrial and residential markets makes it a benchmark for customers worldwide. Innovation for a steady flow of new products with high added value and acquisitions are prime vectors for growth. Legrand reported sales of close to $5.8 billion in 2012. Legrand has a strong presence in the North American market, with a portfolio of well-known product lines that include Cablofil, Electrorack, Middle Atlantic, NuVo, On-Q, Ortronics, Pass & Seymour, Vantage, Watt Stopper and Wiremold. The company is listed on NYSE Euronext and is a component stock of indexes including the CAC40, FTSE4Good, MSCI World, ASPI and DJSI (ISIN code FR0010307819). www.legrand.us

RG Jones And Martin Audio Maintain Winning Formula For Glastonbury

After a one-year break, it was business as usual back at the Worthy Farm site for this year’s Glastonbury Festival. RG Jones once again turned to the tried and true Martin Audio W8 Longbow system, which again dominated the Pyramid Stage.

With visiting artists and sound engineers so complimentary about the sound system two years ago, specialist sound company RG Jones had no hesitation in fielding a similar PA rig, knowing that this would meet all compliances and propagation tests set by the acoustics consultants and organizer Michael Eavis while satisfying the vast crowds of around 150,000 who converge on the site for the four day extravaganza.

The Longbow hangs are now a familiar sight, book-ending either side of the iconic Pyramid, having fulfilled similar duties for the previous four festivals.

Once again dual inner and outer PA hangs comprised of 14 W8L Longbow elements per side, with two W8LD Downfills at the base provided the full range dynamic––making 64 boxes in total. However, this year RG Jones changed the subwoofer design from the Martin Audio WS318X (3 x 18in) subs fielded in 2011 back to 54 of the WS218X (2 x 18in) enclosures used previously––still maintaining an electronically curved, cardioid broadside array configuration.

With the subs delayed incrementally from the center outwards, the overall wavefront was tuned to fill the Pyramid Stage area, and ensure that spillage beyond the site perimeter was minimized.

According to RG Jones’ project manager Ben Milton, a Glastonbury stalwart who was taking on the role of project manager for the first time, “We have tried various configurations of the bass array and this solution––with two enclosures front facing and one reversed––works particularly well; the rejection from the stage is great and it enables us to bend, shape and steer the sound.”

In addition, two clusters of four W8LC Compact Line Arrays, situated at each end of the crash barrier, provided nearfield infills, and four delay masts each comprising a further 16 x W8LC’s were positioned 330 ft. back from the downstage center, split into an arc.

“This solution worked great,” said Milton. “The organizers wanted to leave nothing to chance when it came to maintaining levels and this was virtually a carbon copy of the 2011 system. We had plenty of opportunity to walk the field and conduct measurements to ensure the accuracy of the system,” he said.

One advantage was the additional zoning that could be applied for tighter control. “All the tops were on individual circuits so we could turn them down very discreetly if necessary and sculpt the system. When the sun goes down the air temperature changes and we back off the top boxes; and as it cools we can bring them back up again.”

This is the domain of seasoned PA system technician Mark Edwards, who has extensive experience with all Martin Audio’s premier systems. He was an essential member of RG Jones’ specialist team, which included Steve Carr and Damian Dyer at FOH (with the experienced Simon Honywill occupying more of a ‘floating’ role this year). Down at the stage logistical duties were shared by Ben Milton (who also mixed monitors for some acts) and Mark Isbister. Supporting the system throughout was Martin Audio’s R&D director, Jason Baird.

Summing up, Glastonbury veteran, Simon Honywill, could not have been more positive, “This year’s Festival was the most professional, slick, and calm, enjoyable experience I can remember at an event of this stature.

“The Rolling Stones sounded absolutely incredible, with all the requisite punch and fidelity you could have wished for. Coverage was superb––the Stones FOH team was extremely happy, and the punters were testament to that. As a neutral platform for all the acts, it would be very difficult to criticize the sound, and I was proud to be associated with such a brilliantly well delivered system.”

Ben Milton added, “We now have bands and their technicians fully confident in the system and happy to use our racks, stacks and control. It makes for a great British synergy: a British production company using a British PA system at the greatest of British festivals.”

The only thing Glastonbury lacked, reflected Honywill, was [sound engineer] Steve Watson, who sadly died the weekend before. “He is sadly missed, and the industry won’t be the same without him,” he said in tribute.

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

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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Related Topics: Audio Playback, Line Array, Loudspeakers |

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