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CTSI Chooses Martin Audio For W Washington D.C. Hotel Upgrade

The W is a popular luxury stopover in our nation’s capital located “next door to the White House” on 15th Street in the heart of W Washington D.C. The hotel was remodeled in 2009 and designed with contemporary interiors and color schemes that combined seamlessly with the original beaux-arts exterior, which was carefully preserved.

CTSI (Corbett Technology Solutions, Inc.), a leading area integrator based in Chantilly, VA, was originally brought in to work on the hotel’s Crestron lighting systems because they have a master programmer fully certified in the technology.

From that point, CTSI was asked to update the original audio systems put in by a competitor in the W’s celebrated P.O.V rooftop lounge, terrace and lobby. Over recent years the lounge has morphed into a nightclub and CTSI initially began the audio upgrade by modifying the DSP and replacing speakers that had been damaged by DJs.

It soon became apparent that a comprehensive audio system upgrade was required and CTSI specified a range of new equipment including Martin Audio OmniLine arrays and AQ Series speakers for the lounge, terrace and lobby.

Asked about the acoustic challenges for each space in the W Hotel, Mike Wilson, CTSI Director of Systems Engineering explained, “The P.O.V. lounge is on the roof or 11th floor of the building and consists of a nightclub and outdoor terrace area with an awning that faces out onto the Treasury building across the street. The hotel’s VIP suites are right underneath the lounge on the 10th floor and the increased SPL levels would either bounce down to the street or back to the side of the hotel off of the Treasury and disturb the guests on the lower floors.

“Because the sound systems were cranked as loud as they could be, the original wall-mounted speakers and subs throughout the room sent vibrations down through the original plaster walls, which was also a problem. Our clients wanted to maintain a ‘nightclub’ sound within the space without affecting the lower floors below so we chose a Martin Audio OmniLine array because it provides enhanced intelligibility, has a very small, non-intrusive form factor and can be hung from the ceiling without adding a lot of weight.”

“The lounge is a rectangle and the bar is located in the center of the long side of that rectangle,” continues Wilson. “With the help of Martin Audio’s software we designed a system with a left-right array on each side of the bar comprised of an AQ210 sub and an 8-module OmniLine array with optimum splay angles for each cabinet underneath. This gave us the full range we needed to cover the room while controlling the volume and vibrations and keeping sound off the floor and back wall. The AQ cabinets were chosen for their effective mid-bass sound and ultra-compact design.”

Another major challenge for CTSI was carrying the nightclub sound from the lounge outside onto the rooftop terrace while controlling it so guests in the VIP suites below weren’t disturbed. Their solution was mounting eight Martin Audio AQ10 two-way cabinets high up on the exterior brick wall to provide the necessary coverage without overspill problems down the sides of the building. As Wilson points out, “We were able to aim the AQs down using better mounting and alignment techniques while providing improved DSP control with the software. That plus the 10” woofer gave us lower end sound to better simulate the club-like sound from the lounge onto the terrace.”

The majestic W hotel lobby presented another distinct challenge with a 25-foot ceiling, hard plaster walls and ceiling and marble floors. CTSI needed to design a system with exceptional clarity and articulation far beyond the original recessed 70-volt speakers that created non-intelligible sounds at normal listening heights.

Again, Martin Audio OmniLine arrays were selected for their small form-factor design and lighter weight to overcome the drawbacks implicit in older plaster walls. According to Wilson, “Every Friday and Saturday night they put up velvet ropes for entrance to the lounge and feature a guitarist and singer so they wanted a better sound system that would allow guests to enjoy that.

“So the OmniLines were a good choice because of their coverage and range and the music in the lobby was acoustic so we didn’t have to worry about the low end as much. We wall-mounted two hangs of 4-module arrays about 15 feet off the ground and the software helped us figure out the different angles we needed for the room. We supplemented the low end by tweaking the DSP and making the full-range ceiling speakers more midrange to fill out the bass end.”

In addition to the full complement of Martin Audio speakers, the upgrade also included Biamp DSP systems and Lab Gruppen amplification. To make them even less visually intrusive all of the speakers were custom-painted by Custom Refinishing Solutions located in Baltimore, MD to specifically match paint sample numbers provided by the hotel; clean white for the terrace, black for the lounge and off-white for the lobby.

Summing up, Wilson says, “OmniLine was the right choice, mainly because of their small footprint and excellent coverage. The Hotel wanted the upgrade to be as clean and ‘invisible’ as possible. Ultimately, they were very happy with the audio levels, clarity, intelligibility, coverage and overall sound quality of the Martin Audio system we provided.

“As for the lounge itself, the speakers sound great and fit very well into the environment in terms of what they need. They bring in big name DJs and are happy because they now have a real nightclub-sounding environment with a stereo left/right point source as opposed to a 70 volt-distributed system around the room. According to reports from the hotel, even guests have commented positively on the upgrades.”

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

Corbett Technology Solutions, Inc. (CTSI) is a Chantilly, Virginia based corporation that provides communication technology solutions to commercial, government, healthcare and educational settings in the Northern Virginia, Washington DC and Maryland marketplace. Since 1969, Corbett Technology Solutions, Inc. designs, installs and implements customized turnkey communication solutions in audiovisual (AV), healthcare and education technologies, videoconferencing, networking, professional sound, security & fire, and voice systems. By combining innovative, high-performance technologies and dedicated professionals they are able to provide the highest quality in complete customer care. From boardrooms and hospitals to classrooms and command centers, CTSI solutions Engage, Inspire and Deliver. For more information on Corbett Technology Solutions, Inc., please call 703-631-3377 or visit www.ctsi-usa.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.

More Control System Partners Add Middle Atlantic RackLink Driver Modules

Fairfield, NJ––A growing number of leading brands such as Crestron, Vantage, Savant, AMX and Control4 are supporting Middle Atlantic’s RackLink power management modules within their control systems to provide additional capabilities for residential installations.

These and other partners such as RTI, Aurora, URC, Key Digital and Ihiji are choosing RackLink because the system’s open architecture facilitates integration into virtually any control system or management platform.

The RackLink suite of products provide real time feedback and historical data of power usage, voltage fluctuations and temperature that can be sent to the control system for data collection, user alerts and real time status of the of an AV system’s health. It also reduces the amount of on-site service calls by remotely controlling power to AV devices and rebooting devices that might lock up using a built-in auto ping feature.

Asked about the increased incorporation of RackLink, Middle Atlantic Applications Engineer Paul Mott said, “RackLink products have become widely accepted by our control system partners because they add a new level of energy management for residential installations while saving time, money and promoting environmental efficiency.”

For technical specifications and in-depth information about Middle Atlantic Products, 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

Historic Italian Venue Gets Martin Audio MLA Upgrade

Paul McCartney’s Out There tour recently landed in the Arena di Verona, the historic amphitheatre that has provided entertainment spectacles for the people of Verona for thousands of years.

Touring logistics meant that Paul McCartney’s regular PA system could not make the Verona date, so local supplier Amandla Productions stepped in to provide a Martin Audio MLA system, supported by All Access, the owners of Italy’s largest MLA rig.

Paul McCartney’s long-standing FOH engineer Paul ‘Pab’ Boothroyd was at the helm for the show, ably assisted by his touring system tech Chris Nicholls. Both were impressed by the system’s performance.

“I had heard a lot of good things about the new Martin Audio rig and was happy to use it for this show,” said Boothroyd. “Everybody was really happy with the show, the coverage was great and the detail and clarity in the system made it an enjoyable show to mix. It’s great to see Martin Audio right at the front of new design––the first systems I mixed on were Martin Audio Philishave rigs and that powerful musical sound got me going in my career.”

All Access system tech, Red, was able to demonstrate the unique control of the MLA to Chris Nicholls: “The way the system was able to cover a steeply raked venue with relatively few boxes was very impressive. It didn’t look as though they had enough curve on the array, and we gave them a really tight weight target to hit so they couldn’t add more boxes; yet the flatter array shape was great for the throw required. With a quick adjustment in the software they had the system covering great right up to the back seat without adjusting its angles and that’s something I’ve never heard a system do before.”

The system deployed in Verona included 12 MLA per side for main hangs, six MLA per side for out hangs and two MLD in the orchestra pit for front fill. The out hangs were particularly challenging, as they had to be flown from the ancient stepped seating within a scaffolding structure. The manageable weight and size of the MLA cabinets made this difficult maneuver possible. “The MLA is less than 194 lbs,” reported Red, “and being based around horn loaded 12’s meant we could physically lift the cabinets and fit them in between the steps and the scaffold structure; anything heavier or taller simply would not have been possible in the space available.”

The Out There tour continued on to Vienna before returning for a run of shows in America. “We’re back to our normal touring PA after this show but I’ll look forward to mixing on MLA again––this rig is right up there with the best in the world,” said Boothroyd at the end of the spectacular two and a half hour set that featured a huge selection of songs from the McCartney, Wings and Beatles back catalogue.

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

RCS Rack System Saves Time And Money With Pre-Configured Options

Fairfield, NJ––The new Residential Configured Rack System (RCS) from Middle Atlantic Products ships fully assembled with pre-installed accessories to facilitate installations while offering substantial savings in time and money.

A smart, cost-effective option for residential installers, RCS Series racks ship with pre-installed shelves, fans, a locking reversible glass door, locking removable side and rear access panels, and locking swivel casters and leveling feet for greater integration flexibility.

Built on a professional rackmount foundation of fully welded-steel construction (UL Listed), RCS Series racks accept both professional rackmount and consumer shelf-mounted components.

Two integral 95 CFM active cooling fans ensure proper thermal management while locking removable sides and locking rear access panels provide faster, easier integration with greater security. RCS racks also include a front and rear adjustable rack rail along with a cable management grommet and pre-installed blank panels.

For technical specifications and in-depth information about Middle Atlantic Products, 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

Martin Audio’s Magical Summer

Starlight Express With MLA Compact at Bochum Stadionring

Martin Audio’s MLA (Multi-cellular Loudspeaker Array) system changed the sonic landscape around the globe this summer—providing an acoustic experience and uniting the audience at premier festivals, concerts and outdoor events, and permanent installations as never before.

For promoters and production teams, MLA enabled them to meet traditional challenges head on for the first time. The multi award-winning system’s ability to provide uniform coverage right across the soundfield was matched by its scientifically proven reduction of offsite spillage and noise pollution to well within local authority thresholds.

With MLA’s ability to sonically ‘map’ a site—optimizing audience areas and ‘hard avoiding’ objects that might create reverberation or slapback—it has rapidly become a go-to system for promoters and local authorities alike.

There was no finer example of the award-winning system’s powers than at AEG Lives’ Barclaycard British Summer Time Festival at Hyde Park, featuring the Rolling Stones and Bon Jovi.

Historically dogged by offsite noise pollution and neighborhood complaints Hyde Park had become a political hot potato. Thus new tenants AEG/Loud Sound acted accordingly.

Jim King, AEG Live Events director, explained, “We wanted to manage the whole process dynamically without having to turn [volume levels] down. We needed to set a system in place that would deal with the issues.” And with the Martin Audio MLA (of which King already had experience) Capital Sound provided the solution.

Thus just two weeks after The Killers had played to their largest audience ever through this system at Wembley Stadium, MLA headed across London to Hyde Park to demonstrate that the advance level of control would maintain an offsite level beneath the stipulated 75dB(A) threshold, raising the infield levels by as much as 6dB from previous years to around 100dB(A).

The low volume level had previously been the subject of audience complaints but the mandate set by Martin Audio and Capital Sound was to unite the audience in a single shared experience, with no compromise on sound levels.

It was the same story at the National Heritage-owned Kenwood House in Hampstead—another London landmark site traditionally blighted by neighborhood complaints until Cap Sound’s MLA came along.

But it has not only been at high profile music events that MLA has taken star billing. Believing system ownership would be a passport to securing greater local authority work, site service specialists WE Audio recently invested in an MLA Compact system and during the summer fielded it at events ranging from the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta to Bournemouth Air Show. With its ability to control offsite sound, WE Audio’s Wayne Barker is convinced that it will soon be adopted by local authorities.

Word about MLA and its groundbreaking claims have quickly migrated and its reputation has stretched far beyond British shores. The Japanese market, for one, has fallen in love with the system. MSI Japan fielded several systems that performed to no fewer than 177,000 people at Rock In Japan, while the mighty Hibino Sound has also purchased a system. Managing director, Ryoichi Hashimoto, confirmed that it would offer the same panacea. “We decided on the MLA investment because the promoters of summer outdoor festivals are increasingly demanding the absence of delay towers from festival sites and a need to solve offsite noise issues,” he said.

While Delicate Productions’ full MLA was out at the BottleRock Napa Valley Festival in California, 3G Productions equipped the Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) dance festivals in New York, Chicago and Las Vegas—including a Martin Audio MLA. 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, MLA provided the power and coverage they needed inside the venue while controlling noise spillage to surrounding residential areas.

In addition to successful deployments of Martin Audio MLA and MLA Compact systems at a growing number of corporate and special events, On Stage Audio (OSA) of Chicago, Las Vegas and Nashville recently equipped the pavilion stage at Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, IL with MLA, the first new PA system at North America’s oldest music festival in a decade.

SES (Special Event Services) of Winston Salem and Nashville recently supported the popular Avett Brothers on the first U.S. leg of their world tour with an MLA System 36. RMB Audio relied on an MLA Compact system to unite the audience with exceptional sound and coverage while preventing noise spillage at the Red Hat Amphitheater located within the city limits of Raleigh, North Carolina.

Nor have the worlds of classical music or top quality musical theater missed out. RG Jones continue to delight orchestras (as well as audiences) at the Raymond Gubbay Classical Spectaculars with MLA while the German production of Starlight Express celebrated its 25th anniversary at Bochum’s Stadionring by commissioning a permanently installed MLA Compact sound system to handle “the fastest musical in the universe”—with the full approval of Sir. Andrew Lloyd Webber!

But Martin Audio is far from a one-trick pony. The globally renowned Glastonbury Festival saw Martin Audio on duty at the main Pyramid Stage for the fifth consecutive time—but this time it was with the far-throw characteristics of the Martin Audio W8L Longbow line array system, which had proven itself outdoors at stadiums on the Take That tour the previous summer.

With visiting artists and sound engineers so complimentary about the W8L Longbow system last time Glastonbury was held, sound company RG Jones were comfortable that it would again meet all compliances and propagation tests set forth by the acoustics consultants and organizer Michael Eavis, and satisfy the vast crowds at the same time.

Summing up, Martin Audio MD Anthony Taylor, said, “It has been an amazing summer for the company. We are proud of the way in which our partners around the world are overcoming acoustic challenges by optimizing our premium systems for the benefit of concert-goers and neighbors alike.”

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

Martin Audio Demos MLA Compact In New York and D.C.

Lisner Auditorium

Martin Audio will be holding exclusive demonstrations of its award-winning MLA Compact loudspeaker system in New York City and Washington D.C.

The New York demonstration is on October 21st and 22nd in the Grand Ballroom, Manhattan Center Studios, and the Washington D.C. demo is October 24th in the Lisner Auditorium at The George Washington University.

Both demonstrations will provide the unique opportunity for attendees to learn more about MLA Compact’s groundbreaking cellular drive technology and experience the system in person.

There will be a variety of two-hour time slots available for the demos, each including a technical presentation by Martin Audio’s Research and Development Director Jason Baird and a live demonstration of the system. Refreshments will also be provided.

These demonstrations will offer leading audio engineers, theatrical sound designers and event production management the chance to hear the dynamic sound capability, exceptional coverage across the audience and clarity of speech that MLA has become known for worldwide.

Please visit www.martin-audio.com where you can click the link to register for either event.

Troast Joins Middle Atlantic Product Development Team

Tim Troast

Fairfield, NJ––Middle Atlantic has named Tim Troast as Director of Physical Infrastructure Products, an integral part of the company’s Product Development Team.

In this newly created position, Troast will oversee the development of Middle Atlantic rack and enclosure products and related options. He will drive innovation for a range of new installation products and services that help save time and labor costs for integrators in all market segments.

Troast will also work closely with product managers for power and thermal products to further strengthen the company’s integrated approach to ensuring system reliability. The benefits of integrated mounting systems are one of the key factors that have made Middle Atlantic a leading provider for infrastructure products.

Troast brings extensive experience in product marketing and development to Middle Atlantic. For the past 13 years, he has worked at Pitney Bowes, most recently as Director––Core Product Marketing, where he excelled at solving complex system problems. Tim has an MBA in Marketing & Management from Seton Hall University and a BS degree in Chemistry from the University of Miami.

Commenting on Troast’s appointment, Middle Atlantic Director of Product Management and Business Development Mark Tracy said, “I look forward to Tim’s unique contribution in terms of ideas, experience, and leadership as we develop innovative new products and services. With his expertise, Middle Atlantic will continue as the right choice to help our integrator customers deliver exceptional systems and user experiences.”

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.com

CAD Audio Names Habel Sales Manager For Installed Products

Bob Habel

Solon, OH––CAD Audio has announced the appointment of Bob Habel as Sales Manager for Astatic Commercial installed products.

In this capacity, Habel will be responsible for managing all commercial accounts and Astatic rep firms while providing technical support for installed products.

A 30-year industry commercial A/V veteran, Habel has held sales management positions at several major Ohio rep firms including Cambridge Marketing, Online Marketing and with systems integrator, Zenith Systems AV Solutions. He is also CTS-certified and has worked as a project manager, effectively spanning both sides of the marketplace.

Commenting on Habel’s appointment, CAD Audio Executive VP of Sales & Marketing Tony O’Keefe said, “Bob has a very successful track record as a sales management executive and integrator in commercial A/V. His wide-ranging experience and technical expertise make him highly qualified to drive the commercial side of our business.”

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

Uniting the Audience: The Martin Audio Experience

Martin Audio Installation/MLA Ad

For many years Martin Audio has flourished under the memorable tagline, ‘The Martin Experience’. But actually defining what that is, and what it means to the industry, has been less clear. After reviewing at length Martin Audio’s increased profile in the industry today—and its ambition for the future—the company is about to unveil precisely what that ‘experience’ is all about.

James King, Marketing Director, explains. “After a lot of soul searching to define what lies at the heart of the brand, what quickly emerged was the importance of the audience experience. It’s what the company has been doing for over 40 years, from enabling ‘supergroups’ of the ‘70s to be able to play to larger audiences and be heard properly for the first time, through to MLA and its superlative consistency of coverage.

“The audience is central to the industry’s success, so creating exciting sound that envelops all of them and delivering truly memorable shared moments ensures better quality tours and more sell-out venues, be they bars and clubs, houses of worship, theaters or auditoriums. That’s the essence of the Martin Audio experience, and we summarize it as uniting the audience.”

Jason Baird, R&D Director adds, “The goal of delivering the Martin Audio experience to each audience member, led us to develop our patented Multi-cellular technology. First implemented in MLA, this has become renowned for its out-of-the-box coverage consistency, while still preserving all of the dynamics and projection of our signature horn-loaded approach. The future promises the development of this philosophy and technology into more and more of our market segments.”

Simon Bull, Director of Sales, went on to say, “Our customers have been asking for Martin Audio to communicate its values and create greater awareness and consideration for our touring and installation solutions. Uniting the audience does just that.”

To help illustrate and communicate the thinking, a series of print ads and brand video are being deployed, alongside a refreshed website www.martin-audio.com, featuring new case study materials.

Anthony Taylor, Managing Director, had the final word, “We’ve been looking at ways of communicating, really for the first time, exactly what makes Martin Audio tick, and to build on our recent growth and technology success in the marketplace. With ‘uniting the audience’ underpinning our philosophy and all that we do, I’m confident that our customers, FOH engineers, rental companies, production managers, system integrators and installers will also be able to take a fresh look at Martin Audio and understand how our experience provides them with better solutions for their different needs.”

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.

Starlight Express Celebrates 25th Anniversary With Martin Audio MLA Compact

When the updated production of Starlight Express opened at Bochum, Germany’s Stadionring—celebrating 25 years since its premiere performance at the specially constructed ‘Starlight Express Theater’ in 1988—it featured Martin Audio’s award-winning Multi-cellular Loudspeaker Array (MLA) platform for the first time.

Advertising itself as “the fastest musical in the universe” it fell to sound supervisor Riccardo van Krugten and system engineer/installation manager, Georg Hentschel to supercharge the next generation production while remaining faithful to Martin Levan’s original sound design.

Hentschel was already familiar with Martin Audio’s pioneering system, since his company (LiveAudio) has owned an MLA rig since May 2011. He later attended the world launch of the second-generation MLA Compact in London, and it is the smaller system that his company has now installed for this production.

Overseeing the sound in Bochum since early 2010, Riccardo van Krugten was eager that the production remained faithful to a single system to cope with the fast roller skating action. “We wanted a stereo set-up for the orchestra, and a separate system for vocals, positioned above the main performance area,” he said. “This required a PA solution that would reproduce music and vocals equally well.” Another issue was the need to reduce spill and crosstalk from the PA speakers into the 25 fast moving Microport headsets.

Since the new production promised “to take audio engineering to the highest level”, van Krugten knew that today’s audience expectation is far greater than it was two decades ago. He was also mindful of past complaints concerning vocal intelligibility and clarity in parts of the auditorium. “And so we searched for a system that would provide even coverage for all seats in the house, maintaining frequency response and sound levels.”

That search began after Andreas Karsten had produced a 3D EASE model of the Starlight Express Theater. Said Riccardo, “We ran various simulations with the existing speakers and looked at the problems. Then we ran the same simulations with a two conventional line array rigs at different positions to identify whether a line source solution could be used in this situation, before inviting nine manufacturers for two shoot out sessions.”

Atlantic Audio, Martin Audio’s German distributor, organized the hardware and crew for this shoot out, which took place in front of the full production team, including Phil Edwards, the musical supervisor from England.

To thoroughly evaluate the competing systems, Riccardo prepared a file in ProLogic containing samples from the show (and other vocal recordings of different tonalities), as well as music that everyone would recognize. “For the second half of the session we had the Starlight rhythm section and three cast members perform live from different positions on stage,” he said. “In two shoot out sessions, we heard nine different (mono) arrays rigged side by side. The MLA Compact never left any doubt it would handle reliably whatever kind of audio we threw at it.”

As a result, 27 MLA Compacts have been divided into three flown L/C/R arrays of nine elements each, along with three DSX subs ground stacked left and right of the stage. This is designed to cover the entire auditorium including the balcony and the middle sub on each side is reversed to produce a cardioid pattern. The subs are set unconventionally just outside the left and right array —stacked on the middle track level a few meters above the ground—and are sunk into the proscenium wall, via a specially-designed setup.

A pair of Martin Audio W8VDQ hybrid boxes provide outfill coverage extension of the center array, while production rigged a so-called ‘crossfire’ system, so that those sitting at the sides of the auditorium would also receive a stereo orchestra image.

Georg Hentschel explained, “Starlight has a large cast equipped with omnidirectional lavalier mics who constantly move around the set on three levels behind the speakers and also in front of the PA, often directly facing the arrays. During one particular scene, six highly amplified singers are elevated directly behind the center array, which mainly handles vocals. The amazing reduction in backspill of the MLA Compact masters these challenges in a very impressive way. The other aspect, of course, is MLA’s outstanding tonal quality.“

Hentschel set ‘Hard Avoid’ for the areas behind the arrays where there is a lot of singer traffic as well as to the areas underneath the speaker systems. Further back down the auditorium, the problems become even more complex, with two tracks running right through the audience, who are seated on different levels. Finally, there is a balcony and several rows of seating at both side walls that need to be covered.

“I challenged the system with various optimizations to achieve the best solution, and it has really delivered; we were able to solve many problems with MLA’s advanced technology, and it was absolutely the right system for the job,” he said.

And Riccardo van Krugten also commends the seamless swap-over between old and new sound systems. “The transition was smoother than expected. We knew it would be a whole new world for the performers. Part of the new concept was to reposition and reuse some of the old PA speakers for monitoring purposes, and that idea played out really well. All in all, I believe we have respected Martin Levan’s clever original sound design by replacing existing components with more advanced technology.”

Head of sound in Bochum is Jürgen Janßen, who mixed all the shows during the process of changing over the sound system, while Riccardo created the matrix layout and Georg took care of the necessary programming and alignment. Throughout the process Atlantic Audio coordinated between Martin Audio and the production team.

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

Photo credit: Jens Hauer

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Stay up to date on the latest technology news. Select press representatives post company news several times a day. Check back often to get the latest news on product releases, mergers and acquisitions, and product applications. To be included in this virtual press conference, please contact The Wire.

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