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Delicate Productions Holds Training Session For MLA Compact


Delicate Productions Inc.’s San Francisco office recently conducted an in-depth three-day training session for the Martin Audio MLA Compact loudspeaker system.

Attended by 12 top-tier Delicate touring and regional engineers along with notable independent engineers and facility owners interested in MLA technology, the session had a practical mission according to General Manager George Edwards.

“We currently own an inventory of MLA and MLA Compact enclosures,” Edwards explained, “and we feel that any product with this level of depth and sophistication requires not only our staff to be properly trained but also allows exposure to what Delicate and Martin Audio have to offer in sound reinforcement.

“So we put all of the attendees as close to MLA as they could possibly get with the person who knows the most about the technology, ‘Ferrit’ Rowe.”

Rowe, Technical Training Manager for MLA, headed the informative training, which started with basic audio and array studies before moving on to MLA Compact and VU-Net control software, system design, rigging and setup. Extensive one-on-one listening and Q&A sessions supplemented the sessions.

Asked about the results of the training, Edwards concluded, “It was incredibly helpful. Not just for our engineers, but for our guests as well. As the largest Martin Audio house in Northern California, it’s obviously in our and the product’s best interest to further educate anyone who wants to know more about MLA and MLA Compact.”

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.

MHA Audio Installs MLA Compact In Lisner Auditorium

A fixture in Washington DC live entertainment since the Second World War, George Washington University’s Lisner Auditorium has hosted an eclectic mix of performers from Ingrid Bergman to Pink Floyd, along with leading world music artists, local opera and symphony companies and celebrated political dignitaries over the years.

The university recently decided to upgrade the venerable auditorium with special emphasis on the sound and lighting systems. MHA Audio, a successful local production company and integrator based in Hagerstown, MD, was tasked with installing the new audio system.

Discussing why he got involved with the project, MHA owner Mike Scarfe said, “We don’t normally do much installation work, but we have an outstanding relationship with Lisner and George Washington University based on doing live shows there for over 20 years, so this project made a lot of sense.

“It was also a perfect opportunity in terms of timing to bring Martin Audio’s new MLA Compact system into play and it all came together really well. The 1500-seat venue was the perfect size for the system. We put eight MLA Compacts per side with a center array of six DSX subs under the stage. The system was a natural choice because we’d had such a great experience with Martin Audio’s MLA touring system and this technology is definitely state-of-the-art.”

Discussing the University’s decision to modernize the sound and lighting systems, Executive Director of Lisner Auditorium and Partnership Development at GWU Maryann Lombardi explains, “We haven’t had a significant upgrade since the early forties and we needed to make the venue more competitive in terms of attracting high-profile talent.

“The environment for entertainment venues in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia has changed dramatically in the last 20 years with more venues offering increasingly sophisticated capabilities. Our job is to become more competitive within that market. We’ve held a very prominent place in the past, but we really wanted to branch into other genres and better support our world artists.”

“In addition to a new sound and lighting package,” continues Lombardi, “the facility upgrade included a complete physical upgrade in terms of a new interior, seats, painting, carpet, stage floor, hanging points in the ceiling for lighting and sound, and a new heating and cooling system.”

Since the upgrade, Lisner has presented a series of popular and well-attended world music concerts by artists such as the Brazilian singer-songwriter Gilberto Gil and Acoustic Africa, as well as the sold-out debate between Fox’s Bill O’Reilly and the Daily Show’s Jon Stewart.

Asked about her impressions of the sound system since the MLA Compact system was installed, Lombardi enthuses, “I’m thrilled. It really has made an enormous difference in the sound quality. We’ve also gotten very good reactions from legacy clients such as the Air Force Band, Gilberto Gil, the Heritage Awards and artists using the equipment for the first time.

“We are now vetting performers and looking through their contract riders as we venture into new genres and it’s really cool to say we now have this sophisticated sound system in place that they can put to good use.”

Eric Annis, Production Manager and Technical Director for Lisner, is also enthusiastic about the new MLA Compact, “We think it’s fantastic and so do all the users who have come in since the installation.

“We’ve had several televised events in a row and maintaining the sightlines within the auditorium is wonderful,” adds Annis. “The shows have run the gamut from loud electrical music to a single mic bluegrass band, and the MLA Compact system has proved to be equally articulate and clear.”

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.

Marshank Sales Wins Martin Audio Rep Of The Year Award

Rob Hofkamp, Martin Audio; Gary Marshank and Paul Hugo, Marshank Sales

Marshank Sales won Martin Audio’s Sales Representative of the Year award at the recent Winter NAMM Show.

Based in Tarzana, California, Marshank Sales has an enviable record of over 90 years in the industry and represents a number of leading brands in retail, live audio, contracting and recording. Headed up by Gary Marshank and Paul Hugo, the award-winning company is well into its third generation as a family business.

Commenting on the award, Martin Audio Director of U.S. Operations Rob Hofkamp stated, “Marshank Sales continues to perform at the highest levels, delivering outstanding results in terms of sales and building key relationships for the brand. Gary, Paul and the rest of the exceptional team provide full support for all of our products and, thanks to their efforts, we are enjoying unprecedented success for our latest offerings, the MLA and MLA-Compact.”

Paul Hugo commented, “We are really proud to represent Martin Audio. The technological advances they have made with the introduction of MLA and MLA-Compact are really attracting a lot of attention from our customers in the sound reinforcement and contracting segments. And the great support we and our customers get from Rob Hofkamp make them a pleasure to do business with.”

Photo caption (left to right): Rob Hofkamp of Martin Audio, Gary Marshank and Paul Hugo of Marshank Sales

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 Appoints Jacobson As New EMEA Export Manager

Martin Audio has appointed Dominic Jacobson to the new role of EMEA Export Account Manager in order to streamline the company’s continuing expansion into global markets.

Jacobson will be applying his extensive experience and skills acquired in the film, broadcast TV and music production industries to the live sound and contracting markets, where he will be responsible for the EMEA territories.

“I’m relishing the challenge of promoting a brand that is so highly regarded in each of its core market sectors,” he said. “I am particularly looking forward to growing the business in certain parts of the world such as Africa, where there is scope for furthering Martin Audio’s market share.”

The new export manager will report to Director of Sales, Simon Bull, who confirms, “Dominic’s appointment will provide much-needed assistance through a range of EMEA territories and enable us to apply greater focus to some burgeoning countries.

“He is already well established with audio professionals in many of the territories that he will be visiting and has a strong technical aptitude that makes him well suited to this role.”

Having also assumed a pan-EMEA role as sales manager with Euphonix/Avid, and worked as a music producer and DJ for 17 years, including residencies at Ministry of Sound and Fabric where he had first hand experience with premium Martin Audio systems, Jacobson brings an enviable pedigree to the company.

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.

CAD Audio Expands Sales Network With New Rep Firms

Solon, OH––CAD Audio is expanding its growing sales network with the addition of three highly regarded Rep firms; Quest Marketing, dB Marketing, and AMP Sales.

Headed by principal John Saviano and based in Miami, Florida, Quest Marketing will represent CAD Musical Instrument sales in Southeast Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida. They will also represent Astatic Commercial sales for Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, North and South Carolina.

dB Marketing is located in St. Louis, Missouri and headed up by Dave Batson. They will represent CAD Audio MI sales for Michigan, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Iowa.

Phoenix-based AMP Sales will represent CAD Audio MI sales for Southern California and Southern Nevada as well as Astatic Commercial for Arizona, Southern California, Southern Nevada, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico. Fred Allard is the principal for AMP Sales.

Commenting on the new appointments, Jeff Beck, CAD Audio National Sales Manager stated: “We are very excited to announce these additions to our US Sales force. They are three of the best rep firms in the country and bring decades of industry experience to the CAD Audio team. We look forward to a strong 2013 and are excited about the possibilities these relationships could yield.”

For more information about CAD Audio, please call 800.762.9266 or visit www.cadaudio.com.

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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.

Martin Audio Installed In New Chicago Mega Sports Bar/Nightclub


Encompass Technologies just completed a major sound and video installation for the sizeable new restaurant/sports bar/nightclub, John Barleycorn River North in downtown Chicago.

The fast-growing integrator had worked on a host of other venues for owners Sam Sanchez and Michael Gonzalez. As Tim Pickett, principal for Encompass, explains, “There are four John Barleycorns and we’ve been involved with all of them, two from the ground up and two complete rehabs. Sam and Michael also own two Moe’s Cantina clubs that we worked on.

“For John Barleycorn River North, they definitely raised the bar several notches with a substantial budget of $285,000,” adds Pickett. “Unlike the club in Schaumburg where there was a focus on live sound, John Barleycorn North functions as a sports bar and restaurant during the day and becomes a nightclub with a DJ upstairs that can hold up to 1500 people on Friday and Saturday nights.

“The audio system had to be very versatile so they can turn it up late at night for that nightclub sound and feel while providing more controlled sound levels for the sports bar patrons so that everybody can hear it the same way.

“Martin Audio was the obvious choice,” Pickett continues, “because the owners had the speakers in their other clubs and were very happy with the sound and performance. We used 32 AQ28 cabinets throughout the club along with six AQ212’s, four AQ215’s, three F12’s and Martin Audio MA 4.8Q and 6.8Q amplifiers. Two Symetrix Jupiter 8 systems provided turnkey audio processing.
I also want to acknowledge Jack Alexander who tweaked and EQ’d the site to help make it sound even better.”

John Barleycorn North replaces a two-story antique store that was completely gutted and outfitted with new furnishings, audio and a 72-screen video system including five video walls. According to Pickett, “part of the décor includes a glass roof that’s about 50 feet long and 20 feet wide and because they’re located in downtown Chicago, you can look up and see nothing but skyscrapers all around you. It’s a very impressive venue.”

Designed to provide the ultimate in sports viewing, the video system includes 12 Cima 46” LCD and 24 Tovis 46” LCD Ultra Narrow Video Wall Panels, 35 Samsung 60” Plasma Panels, two Samsung 46” LED Panels and a Sharp 80” LED Panel. The complex video switching system for both floors includes one Knox Chameleon 16X64 HD Matrix upstairs and one Knox Chameleon 16X32 HD Matrix downstairs with a Knox Touchscreen control system that functions via iPad.

The whole project took about fourteen months from start to finish and the club has been up and running for about three weeks. Asked about the installation, owner Sam Sanchez commented, “I’ve always been really impressed with Martin Audio. We’ve been using the brand since 2008 at our locations. What’s great is, that at any level, the sound is clear and intelligible. It works if you’re watching the game, or partying the night away. Encompass has done a great job installing the systems and making them just right. I really love that I can call them 24 hours a day any day for tech support.”

Concludes Pickett, “I’ve been very happy with Martin Audio over the years. They have really helped us by providing the right products for our clients’ needs along with excellent customer service. They are a great partner and make a really good product.”

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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CAD MH510 Headphones Offer Studio Performance And Consumer Style

Solon, OH––The new Sessions™ MH510 professional headphones from CAD Audio have been designed for performers in recording and live audio environments as well as audio enthusiasts who want to experience their favorite recordings exactly as the artist intended.

Growing from a decade long collaboration of CAD’s experience and expertise in the design of professional audio equipment, the MH510 headphones produce a wide frequency response (10Hz – 24kHz) with extended lows, smooth mids and articulate, life-like highs for accurate and natural reproduction.

The MH510’s high SPL capability delivers ample volume while the design provides exceptional isolation ensuring a private listening experience that virtually eliminates bleed through into the playback environment.

In addition to professional specifications and performance, the Session MH510 phones are available in a distinct and modern cosmetic design with four colors––Black, White/Red, Back Chrome and Black/Orange to choose from.

The MH510s feature exceptional power handling capability along with high quality construction to stand up to the most demanding use without sacrificing extended listening comfort. Each headphone is supplied with two cables (coiled and straight) and two sets of earpads to satisfy changing user demands.

Commenting on the new line, CAD Executive Director of Business Development Glenn Roop said, “Given CAD Audio’s acclaimed studio heritage, developing the MH510 headphones was a match made in heaven. The Sessions project was a natural for our design team. We engineered for the highest level of performance with no compromises, and then added some flair and style into the mix.”

MSRP for the MH510 headphone is $159.00

For more information about CAD Audio, please stop by and see us at Winter NAMM 2013 Booth #6632 in Hall A at the Anaheim Convention Center, call 800.762.9266 or visit www.cadaudio.com

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Martin Audio OmniLine® Conquers High Reverberation In Award-Winning Installation At Sydney Railway Terminus


A Martin Audio OmniLine® system has been specified and installed at Central Railway Station in Sydney, the largest in Australia, to conquer a speech intelligibility problem that has persisted for years.

The Country Trains Concourse, measuring 360 ft x 196 ft x 32 ft with a challenging RT60 time of 5.5 seconds in the mid-band, has long defied attempts to get intelligible announcements heard by commuters. Over the years, many brands have successively tried and failed to tame the inherent reverberation caused by a combination of terrazzo floors, sandstone and plate glass walls and a high arched steel roof.

Last year Glenn Leembruggen, principal of Acoustic Directions, became the latest specialist to do battle with the acoustically hostile environment.

Since acoustic treatment of the inside of the roof was ruled out as being financially untenable, two members of the Acoustic Directions team, David Connor and David Gilfillan, decided to trial several software-driven systems and different steerable line array solutions.

They ultimately concluded that a Martin Audio OmniLine system, with DSP processing, would produce the best quality and best speech clarity. They duly specified 120 steered elements supplied by TAG, Martin Audio’s Australian distributors.

Modular and scalable, this particular OmniLine installation used a special version of the Martin Audio Display software (operating under an FIR filtering scheme that addressed every element in the array with its own processed channel). The intelligent software enabled the array to be configured to deliver sound precisely over the venue’s vertical profile without spillage. Furthermore, elimination of high-frequency side-lobes gives OmniLine an advantage over conventional DSP steered columns making it suitable for high quality speech and music reproduction even in reverberant spaces such as railway station concourses.

Acoustic Directions were thus able to simultaneously optimize the direct field over the listening area, keep the sound off reflective rear walls, and minimise reverberant sound power. The result is remarkably high intelligibility throughout the concourse, even at rush hour, when as many as 3,000 passengers are adding to the cacophony of noise resonating around this vast cavern.

With the amps situated as much as 650 ft away from the speakers, a 100 Volt system was required, and Acoustic Directions worked with Harbuch Electronics to develop a 100V loudspeaker transformer that was ultra-flat and with only 10 degrees of phase shift at 20kHz. The FIR filters that beam control the array are implemented in Nion processors with the loudspeakers being driven by 8-channel 2.4kW amplifiers (to provide 120 amp channels).

Acoustic Directions optimized the frequency responses over the listening area using time-windowed impulse responses.

The installation also picked up a coveted Rutledge AV Industry Award (an AVIA) with the judges commending Acoustic Directions’ meticulous implementation of the modelling, installation and commissioning of the system.

As a result, for the first time not only can amplified speech be easily understood in any part of the concourse, but music and pre-recorded messages sound natural and clear—and roaming hand-held wireless microphones can function without fear of feedback.

In fact, such is the confidence inspired by this new solution, that special events, promotions and even live music events are being hosted at Sydney’s Central Railway Station, using the house system!

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.

About OmniLine®
OmniLine is a versatile, micro-line array designed for installation in a wide variety of architectural environments. Its modular approach and scalability extend its use from foreground applications to sound reinforcement in large acoustic spaces. Intelligent software enables an array to be configured to deliver sound precisely over any vertical angle to fit the venue profile without spilling onto surfaces where sound is not required. Additionally, elimination of high-frequency side-lobes gives OmniLine the advantage over currently available DSP steered columns, making it suitable for high quality music reproduction as well as speech in large, reverberant spaces. Each array is constructed by connecting multiple modules. Up to 32 modules can be connected where both high output and vertical focusing down to low/mid frequencies are required. Smaller number of modules (down to 4) can be used for shorter-throw applications, where vertical focusing of the low/mid frequencies is less important. This scalability means that OmniLine can be used in a variety of applications. Visually, an OmniLine array is slim and unobtrusive, with soft lines that minimize its visual presence in an architectural environment.

RMB Audio Finds New Solutions With MLA Compact At NC State Fair

Raleigh, NC––RMB Audio has provided audio for the J.S. Dorton Arena at the North Carolina State Fair for 21 years, and even though they’ve used Martin Audio throughout that time, this year marked their first deployment of the MLA Compact system.

Dorton Arena is the venue for evening performance concerts held during the State Fair with performers such as Michael W. Smith, Brian McKnight, local hero and American Idol Winner Scotty McCreery and other artists over 11 nights.

A historic 7,610-seat arena built in 1952 that features an unusual parabolic shape with an elliptical outer wall; Dorton was listed in the national register of historic places in 1974. Though unique in its design, the venerable hall presents significant audio challenges according to RMB Audio owner, Cooper Cannady.

“It’s a beautiful space, but the arena is very difficult for sound engineers,” Cannady explains. “It’s not a symmetrical room by any means and there’s a lot of concrete, glass and open space; it’s kind of like providing sound coverage over a Pringle surface. Plus it’s tough on the audience because in the elevated seating left and right of the stage, your seat faces the middle of the room so you have to turn from 30º to 60º to face the stage.”

Over the years, Cannady and RMB Audio have solved problems with carefully tuned Martin Audio loudspeaker systems. This year they decided to deploy the new MLA Compact and benefit from its software-driven approach to overcome any issues encountered with the arena.

The system consisted of 12 MLA Compact enclosures and six DSX218 ground-stacked subs per side, along with twelve W8LM boxes per side for outfill “which can generate 117 db alone without having it sound unpleasant,” adds Cannady.

Given the demand for MLA Compact, Cannady and his crew at RMB had to get an early start familiarizing themselves with the system: “Starting in May we’d been working up schedules to have the MLA Compact rig in that would match the timeline for the fair and also have the integrated training for MLA Compact. Somehow, we got all those things worked out. The third day of our training class, normally how you fly it, position it, design the room––all of that occurred on the day we would normally install the system.

“The training went well and we had Ferrit Rowe (Martin Audio MLA technical support specialist) who held over for the first performance night, which featured the local North Carolina University a Capella groups. And a Capella singing has taken on a whole new platform with soloists, background voice instruments, rhythm percussion voices and all things that fall into the category.

“The wonderful part was having Roger Dennis who’s been A1 audio for the Fair with us for 21 years, and that was the most I’ve seen him smile since I’ve known him. All of which had to do with the articulation from the MLA Compact loudspeakers that was so well defined with so little room reactivity.

“Because of the MLA Compact’s controllability via the software, we did a lot of design to avoid the room aberrations. At the back of room you have the PA, which has to clear a certain height to have no visual interruption for the seating, so we take a slice at that point and 180 feet in front of that is glass and two big 18 ft. load-in doors that are huge reflectors. In our programming, we designed it so the sound would stop 10 feet in front of the doors.

“We really enjoyed working with MLA Compact,” Cannady continues. “I liked the sophistication of it, especially the audience to speaker cabinet theory the designers Jason (Baird) and Ambrose (Thompson) had formulated this whole cabinet concept based on the close proximity between driver components and mathematically quantifying the box to box interference and/or enhancement that is corrected through algorithms that formulate sound direction to the start and stop positions. The speaker optimization software function has nothing to do with what the room’s reverb time or acoustic benefits and deficiencies. The software algorithms do all of the work to direct sound at the specified SPL that can be louder in the back than at the front if needed.”

“It all comes down to having good input dimensional data of the space to generate the design and then just input where the system will be located. Input where you want sound to start and stop and specifically where you do not want sound, specifically on stage, which is something I really love about it. You run the room design through the step-by-step operation of the system, allow the software to do its optimization, take a look at that and right out of the box you can mix off the console without doing a lot of outboard major EQ for the room.

“And they’ve done a fabulous job with the components in the speakers. When I first saw the specs, I had a lot of questions. But when I heard the rig I thought it sounded like any other Martin Audio rig that’s been fine-tuned, EQ’d and properly positioned. On first listen it sounded like a system where we’d spent three hours doing SMAART.”

Asked about reactions to the MLA Compact, Cooper concludes, “The touring engineers coming through were really impressed and in some cases, this was the first time they’d mixed with MLA Compact. The ones who didn’t have any preconceptions about the system and listened well before affecting their artistic EQ changes to the audio path did not make any changes after they heard it. Many of them wanted to hear MLA Compact in a much better sounding room. They were pleased enough to say, ‘I really want to hear this again.’”

Photos provided by Tobias Cannady
For more about Martin Audio, please click to www.martin-audio.com.

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