A virtual press conference from Sound & Video Contractor

Archive by Brainstorm Media

CAD Audio Debuts 1600 Series UHF Wireless System


Anaheim, CA––CAD Audio is introducing the high performance StagePass™ 1600 Series UHF wireless system at 2014 Winter NAMM.

A versatile addition to the StagePass™ line, the new 1600 Series system provides 100-channel frequency agile UHF operation for maximum operating range along with CAD ScanLink™ technology to precisely scan, select and link to the optimum channel in any RF environment.

Other features include True Diversity operation to minimize multipath interference along with CADLock™ Automatic Tone Encoded Squelch that eliminates unauthorized transmissions in the signal path.

1600 systems are available as the WX1600 Handheld System; WX1610 Bodypack System featuring the Equitek E19 Broadcast and Production miniature condenser earworn mic, Cardioid Lav and Guitar Cable.

StagePass TX1600 handheld TX1610 body pack transmitters have soft touch multi-function On-Off/Mute/Low Battery/ScanLink status switches with multi-color LED indicators. High quality alkaline double AA batteries provide more than 15 hours of transmitter battery life.

The WX1600 receiver is housed in a durable metal chassis with ¼” and XLR outputs for additional flexibility. System specs include a Frequency Response of 40Hz–15KHz, and Dynamic Range >105dB.

For more information about CAD Audio, please stop by Booth #6632 Hall A Anaheim Convention Center, call 800.762.9266 or visit www.cadaudio.com.

Behan’s Pub Raises The Bar With Martin Audio

Bronx, NY––Located on Katonah Avenue that runs through the heart of Woodlawn’s Irish section, Behan’s Public House is a popular stopover in the neighborhood.

During the day, older patrons stop by for drinks and soccer watching before Behan’s turns into a nighttime dance club with DJs that appeals to a much younger crowd with music that can he heard a block away.

Following a fire this summer, the pub was totally renovated with a new bar, furnishings, millwork and a Martin Audio loudspeaker system installed by New York City’s Foundation Audio.

Asked why he chose Martin Audio, Foundation owner Justin Shafran said, “When considering the speaker system for Behan’s Pub, I wanted to use a product that would ensure the customer would be extremely happy in terms of performance and value.

“Because the venue functions as a local bar and nightclub,” Justin continued, “I had to spec a system with exceptional clarity for the bar that could also provide the SPLs and low end required for dance music. This project was the first time we used Martin Audio. The other speaker brands I had been using were OK, but always sounded a bit muffled. I had heard good things about Martin Audio so I figured I would give them a try.

“We installed eight Martin Audio AQ28’s and four AQ212 subs at strategic locations throughout Behan’s,” adds Shafran. “The sound is so clear and the system has the power we needed while the sound remains undistorted and clean even at the upper limits of the system when it’s used for the nightclub.

“Finally, I was very happy with the response of Martin Audio because this project was very fast track from the start. Knowing a company stands behind their product is very important for me and they really went the extra mile to ensure we would meet our deadline. I’m now specifying Martin Audio on several new projects.”

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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The Editing Company Leads With Innovation and Technology

Flourishing Houston Audio /Video Production & Post Facility
Uses Middle Atlantic Furniture To Optimize Its Workflow

Houston, TX––Fully recovered and thriving after a flood that devastated the facility two years ago, The Editing Company is now celebrating 34 years of successful growth with well over 30,000 successfully completed projects.

Always an innovator, The Editing Company was the first video production facility in Houston to offer the one-inch video format, digital Betacam, D2 video, and AVID non-linear editing capability. When the facility reopened in a new location after the flood, they upgraded all of their equipment with the latest digital technology and more production rooms to better accommodate their clients.

According to owner Nancy Clinton, The Editing Company now has “three state-of-the-art HD edit suites, each with Final Cut Pro, AVID and Premier software, fully interconnected on a high-speed XSAN storage network. We also have one 30 x 30 foot video production studio, a ProTools audio recording and editing studio, a soundproof room, and a sophisticated central Tape Room that accommodates 12 distinct video formats.”

A multiple ADDY (American Advertising Award) winner also honored with Millimeter magazine’s national Facility Design Award, The Editing Company boasts a repeat client list that includes national retailers (Conn’s) and food chains (Chili’s, McDonald’s), airlines (Southwest), healthcare and hospital systems, universities, energy and financial services companies.

Editor David van Es explains the technical transition that has kept the facility in the forefront of the market. “When the flood happened, we had to rebuild from scratch, starting with the latest digital equipment and going from there. Now we can do anything from ‘mom and pop’ jobs to more complex and demanding high-end corporate video and broadcast projects.

“The equipment makes us expandable. We can fulfill any need at pretty much any price point and give a high-end look to any client that comes in, whether it’s a documentary for International Fund for Africa or someone who wants to edit an iPhone video and output it to YouTube. We also do a lot of promotional videos, and are probably the only facility in Houston that does close captioning in HD. We can also work in about 60 foreign languages.”

As part of the renovation, The Editing Company also opted for Middle Atlantic Products when it came to furniture, racks and power conditioning. As Nancy Clinton explains, “We chose Middle Atlantic custom-designed Edit Center™ furniture for the edit suites that specifically conforms to the size and space required and we’re very happy with how they worked out for us. We also have custom coffee tables in front of the long sofas and client tables behind the sofas with holes cut out for phones and computer laptop drops. Working with Broadcast Technical Services of Houston, Middle Atlantic actually brought the furniture out with their truck to demo it, showed us samples of different wood tones and materials, and we chose exactly what we wanted. It was all manufactured wonderfully and delivered just as ordered.”

Asked if the furniture worked for editing, van Es adds, “Absolutely. As an editor, you want to have everything at your fingertips so having the side tables alongside saves me a lot of time and effort sliding back and forth. You also have that second level riser for the monitors, which gives us more table space to work with.”

Michael Hobart of Broadcast Technical Services summarizes Middle Atlantic’s impact on The Editing Company. “Besides the VRK racks and Edit Center™ consoles, they’re using power conditioning equipment such as the Middle Atlantic UPS 2200R uninterruptible power supply which has worked really well for them since we’ve had it in there. The ease of working with Middle Atlantic and the fact that they would custom-build anything, even parts that weren’t in their system, made everything go so much more smoothly. They never said they couldn’t do anything we needed.

“The infrastructure works like a dream,” Michael concludes. “As it turned out, we were up and running within days and hours after the major installation came in and actually meeting deadlines all along the way.”

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

Broadcast Technical Services, Inc. is a full sales and support facility that offers systems integration including design, engineering and installation. BTS also provides a full slate of broadcast production services. Contact VP Sales Michael Hobart at (832) 467-0002 for more information. www.btshouston.com

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Martin Audio MLA Compact Unites Redemption Church

Gilbert, AZ––When Redemption Church recently committed to an expansion and retrofit of their multipurpose worship and conference center, they wanted an audio, video and lighting system that would provide a truly meaningful experience for each one of their members.

The first challenge was the center itself, formed from an irregularly shaped room caused by a large extension designed to redefine the space without negatively impacting the original. Measuring about 180 feet wide by 60 feet deep, it was hardly ideal for reproducing sound, representing a very real challenge for any audio system.

Fortunately, church member Jim Jorgensen was an experienced audio engineer who had a close relationship with Redemption Lead Pastor Tim Maughan. Because Jorgensen had worked for leading audio providers and Martin Audio as a product support specialist, he was a logical choice as a consultant for this project.

When Maughan set out to find the ideal system for the new center, “Jim was the first person I called because he’d done the previous install in our chapel using Martin Audio W8LM line arrays. I didn’t want to do anything without knowing what he was thinking, because churches invariably have rooms with certain acoustic problems and typically there’s not a lot of work done to make them sound better.

“I wanted the new worship center to sound as good as it could be,” Tim continues. “Jim’s first recommendation was the new Martin Audio MLA Compact system which he thought would be ideal for us because of its coverage and control. So we began to talk about it to confirm what I needed from the system. It had to do both music reproduction really well and the spoken word with absolute clarity. Most of the church systems do one or the other, but rarely do both.

“Once I realized what it could do—and I trust Jim––I went to the team I work with and told them the investment in MLA Compact was worth it because we had to replace the sound equipment in every church building we’ve ever been a part of at least two or three times, so it’s more than worth bumping up the budget to get the system that we needed and would last for a long time.”

After a yearlong fundraising effort, Redemption purchased the MLA Compact system from On Stage Audio, a certified MLA installation partner. The actual audio setup consists of 12 MLA Compact enclosures hung in left, center, right hangs of four boxes each with two MLX subwoofers mounted under the platform stage at the outer corners. The system is completed by Martin Audio Merlin Controllers for loudspeaker and network management and also includes a Yamaha M7CL 48 channel mixer and a custom Whirlwind 64 channel splitter. Technical Director Tim Smith and rigger Mike “Milk” Arnold did the in-house installation.

The multi-purpose center holds up to 1000 members at each of the three services held on Sunday. Designed by debartolo architects ltd. for optimum sound, the space has walls with 4” of acoustic material covered by 1” slats of Cedar for the first eight feet. According to Jorgensen, “the room sounds drastically different above 10 feet in the air. The control and phase coherence of the MLA Compact system and predictability of the software enables them to make it sound great where the people are and decrease the energy where people aren’t.”

Much of the wall space is devoted to video with two 16-foot sections on the sides and a 28 ft. wide and 16 ft. tall screen behind the stage. The rest of the white walls are used for colored LED projections, all of which determined that the speakers had to be hung out of sight high up in the ceiling from flying frames attached to an angle iron hanging from trussing. Martin Audio Display™ prediction software was used to determine the optimum curvature of the arrays.

“The system location actually grew out of a ‘wrestling match’ with video because everyone wanted the same space,” says Maughan, “so the challenge was finding the right location for the speakers. We’ve been fans of Martin Audio with the W8LMs and the F2s we use for a mobile outdoor system because they deliver exactly what we expect. This was a test of asking the MLA Compact system to do something for us, so putting it up in the ceiling and changing the points where it hits the audience and dialing that in worked perfectly. The sound is exactly where we need it to be, which wouldn’t happen with another cabinet.

“I have huge expectations for audio,” Tim emphasizes. “Not just to reinforce sound, but to really make it musical. In most churches that I’ve been, none of the audio they’re running does that. It’s just sound reinforcement and often sounds really harsh without much quality. The MLA system has outperformed my expectations, which is rare.

“We have bands with electric instruments, amplifiers, and live drums that run the gamut from bluegrass to rock music. I was concerned that the subs would overpower everything with that ‘wall of speaker’ type of bass sound, but we put just two MLX under the stage platform and they’re the best sounding subs I’ve ever heard in my life.”

Maughan feels audio, video and lighting is a very subjective area in any church, especially Redemption, which is moving towards a more contemporary style of worship. Pleasing every member of the congregation, from the youngest to the oldest can be a delicate balance.

As it happens, the congregation has not only accepted the upgrade, it’s united them as well: “Sound is always very challenging,” Tim concludes. “If it’s too loud or too harsh, we get a lot of comments. We have hundreds of older people in the congregation, and this is the first time we’ve done a technical upgrade where we haven’t heard one complaint about the audio. It has worked for everyone across the board and helped them experience the service in a much more meaningful and profound way.”

For more about Redemption Church, please click to www.gilbert.redemptionaz.com

For more about debartolo architects, please click to www.debartoloarchitects.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.

Middle Atlantic Names Brubaker Regional Sales Manager

Fairfield, NJ––Middle Atlantic Products has appointed Blake Brubaker as Regional Sales Manager for Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota and North Dakota.

In his new position, Brubaker will manage sales for the A/V, security, data and residential market segments while ensuring that Middle Atlantic factory sales reps are properly trained and equipped with the right tools to effectively represent the company. He will also provide support with sales calls, trade shows and direct customer contact.

Prior to joining Middle Atlantic, Brubaker spent 19 years at the Da-Lite Screen Company, working his way up to VP of Sales with overall responsibility for the customer service, residential sales and A/V consultant liaison departments.

Over the years, Blake has also been closely involved with InfoComm, serving as Exhibitor Committee Chairman and as part of the Professional Education Training Committee. He was also technical consultant for the InfoComm Standards Committee specializing in projection screens.

Asked about his new position, Blake responded, “I am very excited about being part of the Middle Atlantic family. Having spent much of my career with a U.S.-based manufacturer in the audiovisual industry, this is a perfect fit and really feels like home to me. They are a great group of people who work hard and have fun doing it. You couldn’t ask for more.”

Middle Atlantic Midwest Sales Director Robert Newhuis added, “We are truly fortunate to have someone with Blake’s experience and success in sales management, knowledge of the industry, and extensive technical background. He represents a major asset and valuable addition to our team in terms of building our customer base and sales for the future.”

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

Preston Soper Wins Audio System Tech Of The Year Award

Jim Brammer & Preston Soper


Preston Soper was recently honored as Audio System Tech of the Year at the Parnelli Awards in Las Vegas, NV.

Soper, who works with Special Event Services (SES) as lead system tech for the Zac Brown Band, has worked in audio since the early 90s as a driver, live and recording engineer and installation technician with a variety of leading production companies, studios, installers and live venues. In addition to Zac Brown, Preston has toured with the Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyer Ministries, Delirious, Govt Mule, Supertramp, Lynyrd Skynyrd and other leading artists.

Asked how he felt about winning the prestigious Parnelli Award, Preston responded, “Recognition by ones peers is a compliment that is rivaled only by acknowledgment from one’s clients. I deeply appreciate and feel honored to be one of the Parnelli award winners. Throughout my life in audio, I’ve been lucky to work with people who are so inspired, talented, and skilled, that I try to take something from them and carry those lessons forward in my own work. Without those who took the time to share their insights, I wouldn’t have been in a position to be nominated or win this award.”

Preston also had kind words for his colleagues at SES and the Martin Audio MLA system used for Zac Brown: “I would also like to express my gratitude for the guidance of Jim Brammer, Jason Farah, and the SES team during my tenure there that has allowed me to grow as an engineer while designing and deploying audio systems for a broad range of clients. Special Event Services’ commitment to MLA as an early network partner and their continued investment in this leading edge technology has helped us provide well-deployed systems, scalable to the different venue types and events with consistent results at every stop on the ZBB tour.”

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

Michael Prager Named Director of U.S. Sales For ADAM Audio


Hicksville, NY––ADAM Audio USA is pleased to announce that it has named Michael Prager as Director of U.S. Sales. In this new capacity, Michael will be responsible for all sales activity including direct accounts and sales representatives, as well as overseeing the marketing for ADAM’s Professional line.

A respected industry expert, Prager has been professionally involved with music and recording technology for over fifteen years, most recently for seven years as Recording Buyer at Guitar Center.

Prior to Guitar Center, Michael worked with leading brands such as Cakewalk, Steinberg, Disney Interactive, Spectrasonics, Q Up Arts and Sony Classical, as well as the Columbia College of Hollywood, CA and Keyboard Magazine. He has also authored several popular books and CDs on recording software and hardware for Cengage Learning.

Commenting on Prager’s appointment, ADAM Audio USA President Roger Fortier said, “We are proud to have Michael Prager on board as the head of our U.S. sales team. He comes to us with extensive and varied experience in the market that will enable us to grow to new levels in the future. Michael’s insights, energy and exceptional focus have been evident from his first day, and we look forward to building the brand with him for many years to come.”

For more information about ADAM Audio USA, please call 516.681.0690, or click to www.adam-audio.com

About ADAM Audio
ADAM Audio is a leading manufacturer of loudspeakers for Professional Audio and the HIFI market. Founded in 1999 in Berlin, Germany, the company‘s loudspeakers have set the highest standards around the world for accurate monitoring and natural sound reproduction. ADAM’s widely varied product lines include everything from professional studio monitors (SX, AX, and F series), to Multimedia and Home Theater/Installation loudspeakers (ARTist and GTC range), to high-end home entertainment models (Classic and Tensor series). The trademark all ADAM models have in common is the proprietary X-ART tweeter. Handmade in Berlin, Germany, it performs with a nearly flat frequency response extending up to 50 kHz.

Martin Audio OmniLine Meets Challenges Of Essex University Lecture Theater


A Martin Audio OmniLine system was recently installed in the Ivor Crewe Lecture Hall (ICLH) at Essex University. Supplied by LMC Audio and installed by Scan Audio, the micro-line array system was identified as the ideal solution for the application from the word go.

The decision was endorsed by Tessa Rogowski, Head of Customer Services––Information Systems at Essex University. “I first saw the product at ISE and spoke with technical staff from Martin Audio about the specific problems we have with the 1,000 seat lecture theater, namely hard surfaces and the fact that the only place to hang speakers was behind the microphones, causing problems with feedback.”

Tessa continues, “There was no question in my mind that this needed to be solved once and for all. Martin Audio were the first people who actually appeared to understand my problems, and had the technology to ensure that the installation would be carried out correctly, the first time.”

The resulting OmniLine sale of 64 elements was handled by LMC Audio London, where Technical Sales Supervisor, Sam Simon-Norris, oversaw the project.

Following an initial visit from Martin Audio’s Peter Child to discuss OmniLine, it quickly became obvious to him that this was the perfect system to install at the ICLH. “With fantastic sound and sleek styling, I could see that it would complement the contemporary nature of the building brilliantly,” Simon-Norris stated.

The OmniLine system will primarily be used for voice amplification in the theater, which is used for high profile graduation ceremonies, conferences and lectures. However, a further challenge is that the theater can also split into two self-contained 500-seat spaces when the positioning of the speakers would automatically change, since they are hung on the walls that would move during the transformation.

Nigel Meddemmen, Martin Audio sales support, addressed the challenge by carrying out venue predictions as an accurate 2D slice using the OmniLine software. The calculations enabled him to position the arrays to ensure best possible response and generate the required rigging, inter-module angles and equalization. These peculiar challenges, he noted, “Actually made OmniLine an excellent choice.”

Other challenges included the use of a variety of microphones in front of the PA system, including tricky omnidirectional lavalier mics, which tend to be favored by university lecturers—plus the insistence on wall-mounting the arrays since the roof structure had not been rated for a flown system.

The biggest problem, however, was the fact that the rear walls of the hall move, splitting the auditorium via a central removable divide when it needs to open up. A total of four OmniLine arrays were specified to cover each of the two sides, yet maintain pattern control across exactly the same area when the room is functioning as a single large space. However, the front wall in each of the two halves is hinged, and when moved backwards, it would swing the outside arrays inward to leave gaps in the coverage at the sides while producing a troublesome coverage overlap in the center between the two ‘inner’ arrays.

The solution was to fix the vertical coverage of the arrays while leaving a degree of play in the horizontal alignment, which would normally be tightened off once commissioned to prevent any movement. An ‘angle stop’ system was therefore designed to slot behind the standard OmniLine wall mount brackets, to make it easy to accurately reposition the arrays when the room configuration changes.

Summarizes Sam Simon-Norris, “Nigel’s solution for overcoming the two-zone problem was as ingenious as it was practical, utilizing an additional bracket to allow the arrays to be swung from one position to another, giving optimum coverage in both modes. This really was a breakthrough for the project, and left us with no doubts that this system would be the perfect choice for the ICLH.”

For the installation itself, Simon-Norris chose long-standing LMC Audio client Scan Audio to carry out the work. The company’s MD, William (Dee) Couchman comments, “We have worked with LMC since the early 1990’s and have always been well supported with great product selection, support and demonstration equipment when needed. We had previously worked successfully together on projects for other educational institutions, and while the University of Essex was new to us, the project looked particularly interesting and we were keen to try out the new compact OmniLine system.”

The installation itself was carried out over four days, including one day to decommission the existing large custom column speakers and a small line array.

Couchman confirmed, “The main challenges included fitting the four line arrays of 16 OmniLine modules to the two large moveable projection walls. The tops of the arrays were only a few inches beneath the stage ceiling area so we used specialized hoist equipment to precisely move these into position above the supporting brackets while avoiding damage to the projection surface.

“The setting provided by the design software required only minor adjustment to produce a clear intelligible sound for this mainly speech-based reinforcement system,” he continued. “Music reproduction was surprisingly full range from such a compact line array, which blended very well with the interior of the hall.”

Nigel Meddemmen also confirmed that OmniLine had proven to be an excellent choice for this application. In addition to solving the University’s sound problems he notes that OmniLine is also visually unobtrusive, the curved lines and neutral grey color helping the system to blend, and not detract from the focus of the venue, in this case the university lecturers.

All of which is a source of great satisfaction for Tessa Rogowski. “It is exactly what I was hoping for,” she said. “Clear vocal reproduction even at the back of the hall in the seats positioned immediately in front of a significantly noisy HVAC outlet. And there is no feedback.

“From those with experience of the previously appalling sound, when they entered the room this time and we turned on the volume, they universally walked round the hall with silly grins on their faces. Sad though this is, we don’t get compliments, we have just stopped getting complaints—and trust me this makes it more than worthwhile.

“As for the installation process. I was most impressed. We could only give the installation team the smallest time frame to undertake the work—as the hall is booked at least six months in advance—and despite this all the work was completed on time.”

But the final word comes from Sam Simon-Norris. “This is just the sort of application for which OmniLine was designed and feedback from the university staff suggests that it has met and exceeded the initial brief on all counts.”

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.

DBS Productions Relies On Martin Audio For Miami Carnival

Machel Montano, King of Soca


Drummer Boy Sound Productions recently used different configurations of its Martin Audio W8LM system for a series of concerts by Machel Montano, the world’s leading exponent of Soca, at the Miami Carnival celebration.

According to Drummer Boy Sound CEO Harold Cummings, promoter David Fredericks of Islands United approached his company to handle full production––backline, sound, staging and lighting––for the first time. “David decided to give us a try and when we came in with the smaller Martin Audio W8LMs,” Harold recalls, “he didn’t think the boxes were big enough. They’d used a production company with larger format loudspeakers last time out, and he was totally blown away when he heard the W8LMs. Not just the coverage and volume, but the sound quality and control as well.”

The Miami Festival event consisted of three concerts in totally different venues, necessitating specific setups for each. Day one was a special “Girl Power” concert targeted for women at the Miami Airport Convention Center. A smaller site with ceilings only 14 ft. high, the theater presented several challenges. “Because the ceilings were so low, we couldn’t fly the full rig,” says Harold, “but we still needed to cover a 3,000 person space and throw 200 feet, so we flew five W8LMs and four WS218X subs per side and it was more than enough sound for the room. Even with the short ceilings and below average room acoustics, the speakers sounded great.

“The second night was called ‘Fantastic Fog Friday’ based on Machel’s hit single ‘Fog’ at the Broward County Convention Center, which has 26’ foot ceilings so there was more space to play with. We used a bunch of hazers and CO2 jets to create some deep low lying fog and haze, with seven boxes a side, 10 subs and our client was extremely happy that we could get a much bigger sound without losing any clarity and coherence.”

“Rave,” held in the East parking lot of Miami’s Sunlife Stadium, was the biggest show and crown jewel of the weeklong Carnival. As Harold describes it, “The Carnival actually lasted a whole week with parties going on all over town and this concert is where everything really came together. It drew over 10,000 people, had several opening acts like the Caribbean fusion band Karma, and the headliner Montano played a two-hour set of his hit songs.

“Because it what the largest space of the three nights, we used eight W8LMs and one W8LMD (downfill) per side, two W8LMDs on the stage deck for front fill, 16 WS218X subs, Martin Audio H3+s and WMX subs for side fills, 12 LE1200 and one LE1500 stage monitors plus MA 3.0 and 9.6K amplifiers—the full Martin Audio complement!

“In terms of other gear, the FOH console was an Allen & Heath iLive T112 digital with a iDR64 rack, monitor console was a Yamaha M7CL-48 digital, processing was Ashly Protea, and the mics were all Shure. Our crew included me as FOH and System Tech, Gerald Thomas (monitors) and Matt Psarsky (stage and backline tech).”

Asked about the client and band engineer’s reaction to the system, Harold concludes, “Ryan Lynton, Montano’s production manager and FOH engineer had never used Martin Audio before and he loved it. He wasn’t sure it was going to be enough for that large a crowd, but when I fired up the W8LMs, he gave me a big smile and said ‘Wow, I didn’t know it was going to be so loud and sound this great outdoors. He said that he’d be adding it to the rider for every show going forward.

“The client Island United was more than happy and said it was the best sound and production he’d ever had doing the Rave and added that we were already hired for next year!”

For more about Drummer Boy Sound Productions, click to www.drummerboysound.com

For more about Martin Audio, 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.

The World’s First Commercial Outing for Martin Audio MLA Mini


In October, Martin Audio’s MLA Mini stepped out onto the world stage in its first commercial outing, and took on one of the most challenging venues around. The event was the annual conference of the UK retail giant, SPAR, and the venue was Westpoint, otherwise known to those in the sound community as a ‘soulless shed’, just off the M5 in Exeter.

While Westpoint offers acres of space for trucks, and therefore easy load in, the venue itself, originally designed for the trading of Devon’s finest livestock, is known for having a reverberation time of at least 7 seconds. With MLA and MLA Compact having taken on and tamed some of the most challenging spaces in the globe, MLA Mini had an enviable reputation to uphold.

The pressure was further compounded because this event is a major cornerstone in the calendar of Plymouth based Pyramid AV, under the directorship of Nic Black. The production team at Pyramid have been producing events for SPAR for some years now, and there is a deep-rooted measure of trust between client and supplier of the sort that doesn’t need a new piece of technology coming along and screwing things up.

Armed with 24 brand new MLA Mini, six MSX subs and three flying frames, the challenge fell to front of house engineer, Simon Honywill and Applications Engineer for Martin Audio, Andy Davies.

The system was deployed in three hangs, with two main purposes––one was full range, intelligible coverage of speech and music for the seated conference area at one end of the hall, and the other was coverage of the entire hall for general announcements throughout an exhibition––measuring approximately 260 x 160 feet. Simon and Andy opted for an 8 deep, left/right configuration for the conference, which was flown upstage of a thrust where all presentations would take place, and a central third hang of 8, approximately 100 ft. out into the hall. The third hang was optimized to cover approximately 165 ft. to the far end of the hall, and the left/right was loaded with two optimizations, one to cover just the seated conference and the second to work with the central hang to cover the entire hall.

Did it work? Simon was enthusiastic in his praise. “I would go so far as to say that Westpoint has never sounded so good. It was actually gorgeous to behold. This little system has something that I have never heard in a small format line array before, real depth and control across the entire spectrum, and a genuine ability to throw some distance. It is warm, smooth and extremely well behaved, requiring little or no EQ on all the head mics, except for a bit of LF roll-off. There was loads of gain before feedback, and I was actually enjoying the very simple task of mixing a little playback, speech and VT––everything sat just right.”

Indeed, MLA Mini exhibited all the qualities of the ideal system for any organization involved in the corporate world. Apart from sounding really beautiful, it flies, goes on a stand, is light, small, looks really tidy and you can guarantee great coverage and masses of gain before feedback. As Simon added, “Problem voices will be a thing of the past as you can open up mics like never before, even with some of the top end conventional small format systems. I would recommend it to anybody who takes their corporate work seriously.”

Having the final word was Nic Black, who had everything to lose from this outing: “Having the Mini MLA system at Westpoint this year reaffirmed that it is possible to have beautiful sound in a challenging space. It was a great opportunity to have demonstrated the simple fact that well engineered audio can enhance the experience of the listener. We have had much positive and complimentary feedback regarding the sound and it was without doubt the best we have had.”

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

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