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Archive of the Line Array Category

Linkin Park Rocks the Philippines’ SM Mall of Asia Arena With HARMAN’s JBL VTX Line Arrays and Crown VRACK Amplifier Systems

PASAY, Philippines — Touring in support of its new album Living Things, Linkin Park brought its high-powered alt-metal-rap-rock to the Philippines’ for only the second time in its career, performing at the SM Mall of Asia Arena on August 13. Audio for the 20,000-seat arena was supplied by Manila-based tour sound contractor SoundCheck (www.soundcheck.com.ph), with a massive sound system featuring 128 HARMAN JBL VTX Series line array loudspeakers and subwoofers powered by 30 Crown VRACK amplifier systems.

SoundCheck has supplied tour sound for top international and Philippines acts since 1992. The system deployed for Linkin Park included a total of 60 JBL VTX V25 line array elements and 60 VTX S28 subwoofers flown for the main and side PA. In addition, six JBL VERTEC® VT4888DP-PA powered midsize line array elements were used for the center cluster, and 16 VERTEC VT4880A fullsize arrayable subwoofers and 12 VRX932LA-1 Constant Curvature loudspeakers were ground-stacked with the subs in cardioid configuration.

Thirty Crown VRACK amplifier racks and three custom Crown racks powered the loudspeakers. VRACK is a complete, transportable amplifier solution that includes Crown I-Tech HD Series power amps, analog and digital connections and a universal power distribution system, housed in a wheeled rack with a suspension system that enables VRACKs to be suspended. Total amplification for the Linkin Park system added up to 78 Crown I-Tech 12000 HD amplifiers, nine I-Tech 9000 HD and 12 I-Tech 3500 HD amps. SoundCheck used JBL HiQnet Performance Manager™ software to set up and control the system.

Providing additional support to the SoundCheck team throughout load in and the show was HARMAN Professional Asia’s tour sound market manager, Vincent “Vinnie” Perreux. Although the SM Mall of Asia Arena is a very large 20,000-seat venue, once SoundCheck began the process of setting up the show, Perreux realized the amount of equipment requested on Linkin Park’s rider was actually going to be too much. “I think more audio professionals are starting to realize this now but the JBL VTX line arrays and subwoofers deliver far more output and coverage than other line arrays of their size, with more clarity, lower distortion and smoother tonal response,” Perreux noted.

In fact, when Perreux, SoundCheck and Linkin Park front of house mixer Ken “Pooch” Van Druten started the show, they left some of the top subwoofers completely off and kept the rest of the subwoofers between 7dB and 10dB down. “Even at the end of the show, when the band was going flat-out pedal to the metal and the audience was going nuts, we were still running the subs at -3.5dB,” said Perreux.

The Performance Manager software contributed greatly to SoundCheck’s ability to set up the sound system accurately before the first note was even played. Performance Manager enabled the crew to optimize the setup of the JBL VTX and VERTEC loudspeakers both in terms of determining the speakers’ physical deployment and in tuning the speakers using JBL’s V5 presets. Performance Manager also fully integrates with Crown’s VRACK. “We actually had to use a very light touch on the Crown amplifiers’ built-in OmniDrive HD DSP processing,” Perreux pointed out, “and Pooch only had to use four filters on his master EQ when mixing the show.”

“The sound was fantastic and Linkin Park, the band’s crew and the promoter were happy and really enjoyed the system,” Perreux concluded. “Mission accomplished!”

HARMAN (www.HARMAN.com) designs, manufactures, and markets a wide range of infotainment and audio solutions for the automotive, consumer, and professional markets. It is a recognized world leader across its customer segments with premium brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, and Mark Levinson® and leading-edge connectivity, safety and audio technologies. The company is admired by audiophiles across multiple generations and supports leading professional entertainers and the venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of about 14,000 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $4.3 billion for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2013.

Mumford & Sons Brings Babel to North America on L-ACOUSTICS

Mumford & Sons performing on Solotech's K1 system at Simpsonville, SC's Charter Amphitheatre on September 11 (photo: John Walsh)

Solotech deploys K1 System for summer and fall tour legs, while LD Systems does likewise for “Gentlemen of the Road” festival dates

MONTREAL / HOUSTON — Following the 2010 release of Sigh No More and relentless international touring, Mumford & Sons’ rise to fame has been nothing short of meteoric. Currently supporting its newest album, Babel, the band has once again been back on the road with “The Full English” tour, which marks its second sweep across North America this year.

Montreal, Canada-based Solotech has been providing L-ACOUSTICS concert sound systems and support for “The Full English” as well as the band’s May/June “Summer Stampede” leg. Systems and support for August/September’s “Gentlemen of the Road” (GOTR) two-day stopover shows have been provided by fellow Rental Network company LD Systems of Houston, Texas. more

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HARMAN Professional Enhances Architectural Media Systems With Release Of HiQnet™ Audio Architect™ Version 1.1

NORTHRIDGE, California – HARMAN Professional today announced the introduction of its HiQnet Audio Architect version 1.1 professional audio configuration and control platform, an upgrade that brings new functionality and features, including control of Audinate Dante™-enabled devices, enhanced functionality for BSS Audio and Crown products, better on-screen control interfaces and other improvements.

Audio Architect is the software element of HARMAN’s Architectural Media Systems, and is a single control platform for all devices in a HiQnet sound system, from microphone to speaker. HARMAN Architectural Media Systems combines the processing power of BSS Audio and Crown Audio’s category leading amplifier technology with the configuration and control capabilities of HiQnet Audio Architect. This solution provides audio professionals with the most complete, versatile platform available for small to large-scale AV system design, with the single point accountability of one-stop comprehensive support and logistics. Architectural Media Systems provides networked audio connectivity via the designer’s choice of AVB, HARMAN’s proprietary BLU Link bus, Cirrus CobraNet or Audinate Dante.

To facilitate system setup, Audio Architect 1.1 utilizes graphical, diagrammatic representations of the installed or live sound venue, and the components and loudspeakers in the system. Devices “understand” both their physical and logical placement – in racks, arrays and rooms – and the software “learns” how they are to be used in the real world, while offering extensive setup and configuration capabilities, now further enhanced with version 1.1.

Audio Architect 1.1 now supports the Audinate Dante-enabled BSS Audio Soundweb London BLU-806 signal processor and BLU-326 I/O expander devices. Version 1.1 also enables signal naming and signal following in the software’s BSS Soundweb London Route Audio Mode, giving users the ability to trace signals quickly and easily through the open architecture of a BSS Soundweb London device and between Soundweb London devices over the network.

“The release of Audio Architect 1.1 reflects HARMAN Professional’s continued commitment to offering universal networking solutions with multiple transport options – HARMAN’s own BLU link bus, Audinate Dante and CobraNet® are all configurable in Audio Architect today. In a future version, AVB support will also be added, rounding out Audio Architect’s readiness for any networking application,,” said Adam Holladay, Market Manager, HARMAN System Development and Integration Group.

Further incorporating London Architect functionality, Audio Architect version 1.1 offers Soundweb London devices both 96kHz support and adds a FIR Filter Processing Object. In addition, Soundweb London Parameter presets and Device presets and can be dragged directly into controls in the Custom Panel Designer.

Version 1.1 now provides support for the Crown DCi 8|600N model of the DriveCore Install Network Series networkable amplifiers, which have BLU link connectivity and point-to-point audio networking compatibility with the Soundweb London family. Version 1.1 also supports the Crown USBX accessory that enables Crown XTi, CDi and DSi Series amplifiers with a USB port to be operated via an Apple iPad or iPhone.

Audio Architect 1.1’s Full Screen Mode has been improved, enabling it to more effectively run as a control application. Full Screen Mode is designed for the day-to-day operator and makes essential control panels and options readily available for each user, application and project.

HARMAN Architectural Media Systems is engineered to provide the best user experience for the designer right through to the operator. The systems are built upon a foundation of over 40 years of combined networking expertise, and provide category-leading scalability via distributed DSP architecture and the most transport-agnostic, flexible approach to audio network design.

Version 1.1 provides a number of additional enhancements and capabilities; more details are available at http://archimedia.harman.com.

HARMAN (www.HARMAN.com) designs, manufactures, and markets a wide range of infotainment and audio solutions for the automotive, consumer, and professional markets. It is a recognized world leader across its customer segments with premium brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, and Mark Levinson® and leading-edge connectivity, safety and audio technologies. The company is admired by audiophiles across multiple generations and supports leading professional entertainers and the venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of about 14,000 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $4.3 billion for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2013.

Acoustic Light Supports Legendary Mille Miglia Classic Car Race with HARMAN’s JBL VERTEC® Line Arrays

BRESCIA, Italy – Each year, over a long weekend, a classic-car open-road endurance race takes place in Italy between Brescia and Rome. As it has since 2010, Santa Maria degli Angelia (PG)-based rental company Acoustic Light provided a HARMAN’s JBL VERTEC® line array system for the arrival at Castel Sant’Angelo in Rome and the initial departure from Brescia (and eventual return to the city).

Only 375 vehicles are accepted for participation in the event, and these are selected exclusively from the models that took part in at least one of the historic Mille Miglia races, which were held between 1927 and 1957—with crews coming from all over the world to compete. Like the older Targa Florio and later the Carrera Panamericana, the Mille Miglia helped make Gran Turismo (Grand Touring) sports cars like Alfa Romeo, BMW, Ferrari, Maserati and Porsche world famous brands.

Starting off from Brescia on the Thursday night, and arriving in Rome the day after, participants then drive the route in reverse, arriving back in Brescia late on Saturday night. The following day was then dedicated to the prize ceremony and celebrations. With up to five million enthusiasts lining the route, the whole 4-day re-enactment needs to be coordinated by high-quality sound reinforcement, which shows the same powers of endurance as the drivers themselves.

Acoustic Light, with the support of HARMAN Professional distributor, Leading Technologies, played an active role as they have been doing since 2010. At each destination a sound engineer, two audio technicians and a PA manager were stationed. In Brescia, Acoustic Light provided 24 JBL VERTEC VT4888DP powered midsized line array elements; eight JBL VT4880A fullsize arrayable subwoofers; 12 JBL VRX932LAP powered Constant Curvature loudspeakers—as well as a Soundcraft Vi1 digital mixing console and AKG D700 radio microphone systems.

The setup in Rome included 12 JBL VT4887A compact line array elements; four JBL SRX728 subwoofers; 12 VRX932LAP loudspeakers; a Soundcraft Vi1; and two AKG D700 radio mic systems.

These sound reinforcement systems were used at the destinations for the presentations of the car and the team (driver and co-driver) and interviews up on the ramp. During the event itself there were various VIP interviews. The whole event was televised by RAI, the Italian state broadcaster.

Stephan Luthi, Acoustic Light’s technical chief responsible for this event, was delighted with the standard of production, particularly the fidelity and reliability of the audio systems. “We have the relationship with Leading Technologies to thank for this, and the support they provided with HARMAN components.”

And Giacomo Laria, Key Account and Live Division Manager of Leading Technologies, added his endorsement of the event. “Apart from the rain during assembly in Brescia and Rome, there were no problems whatsoever. Fortunately we had prior warning of the weather and arrived in both locations one day early!”

Meanwhile, Leading Technologies’ newly-formed Live Division will comprise a network of rental companies, under the name THP (Totally HARMAN Pro)—designed to expand their presence in this market. “It is particularly important at this time to be able to reinforce the relationship that exists between distributors and customers,” said Giacomo.

HARMAN (www.HARMAN.com) designs, manufactures, and markets a wide range of audio, lighting and infotainment solutions for the automotive, consumer, and professional markets. It is a recognized world leader across its customer segments with premium brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, and Mark Levinson®, and leading-edge connectivity, safety and audio technologies. The company is admired by audiophiles across multiple generations and supports leading professional entertainers and the venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with Harman audio and infotainment systems. Harman has a workforce of about 14,300 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $4.4 billion for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2012.

HARMAN’s JBL VTX Network Continues to Build Momentum in France

PARIS, France – The arrival of system and sound engineer Laurent Delenclos at French HARMAN Professional distributor SCV Audio eight months ago has not only boosted the company’s technical support, but provided added reassurance to the growing network of JBL VTX users.

Although Delenclos is supporting all the represented HARMAN Professional brands, his primary focus has been on spreading the word about VTX, JBL’s groundbreaking new system, via demos and at the SCV Audio facility outside Paris.

Following the VTX system’s French debut in September 2012 at the summer festival, Foire en Scène in Chalons en Champagne, three companies—Pan Pot, Echo Animation and Audio Scène—have made substantial investments in the platform, and Delenclos believes this is just the beginning.

“All three companies that have bought into VTX technology are delighted with their purchases and the benefits that this system brings,” Delenclos confirmed.

As an existing JBL VERTEC® user, Audio Scène (based in north-central France) was the first to commit, consolidating its rental fleet with 12 VTX V25, six G28 subs and four Crown VRack 2 complete touring amplifier racks.

Also based in the north, Echo Animation boosted its inventory with 12 V25, six S28 and four VRack 2 systems, while across in the French Alps, Pan Pot purchased 18 VTX V25, twelve G28 subs and six VRack 4 in a complete overhaul of its existing rental fleet. Since all companies specialize in the event and concert market, this provides JBL with a growing network of partners.

“Without this new generation of speakers, the breakthrough would have been much more difficult to achieve,” Delenclos said. “I joined SCV with the idea of overturning old preconceptions about JBL. In France, the mere fact of having a good PA system is not enough—users also want to work with competent partners, with complete support of the distributor—and I remain available for that. The system is very easy to troubleshoot.”

Technical training is of paramount importance, he insists. “It is the first implementation of the system, and I support this personally—carrying out duties such as hosting seminars and demos, as well as checking JBL Line Array Calculator (LAC) simulations for installations and supporting dialogue between the users — in other words acting as a link between them and JBL.

Delenclos says the addition of Crown VRacks has also been particularly welcome. “This standardization of amplification and DSP is a real plus for the VTX system,” he said. “The Crown I-Tech HD amps are powerful and reliable and they are fitted with an exemplary DSP resource. In addition, JBL HiQnet Performance Manager™ software is an extremely flexible tool that facilitates the implementation of VTX and VRack systems.”

A number of high profile one-off events have already benefited from the power of VTX. These include Les Nuits de Frejus, Festival d’Hyères, Les Arènes de Frejus, Festival Amnésique and Jazzaramatuelle (all with Pan Pot), Jazz in Marciac (Antoine Crespin /SCV Audio) and of course Foire en Scène 2012 et 2013 (SCV Audio).

Delenclos says is more than happy with the penetration of the French rental market to date, but added, “We will not be resting on our laurels and I will be continuing to work hard to promote VTX.”

For more information on SCV Audio, please visit www.scv.fr

HARMAN (www.HARMAN.com) designs, manufactures, and markets a wide range of infotainment and audio solutions for the automotive, consumer, and professional markets. It is a recognized world leader across its customer segments with premium brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, and Mark Levinson® and leading-edge connectivity, safety and audio technologies. The company is admired by audiophiles across multiple generations and supports leading professional entertainers and the venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of about 14,000 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $4.3 billion for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2013.

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.

Iconyx and a Tale of Three Stations

Poland [September 2013]...Thanks in large part to funding as one of the EU’s latest members, Poland is investing heavily in its public transport, and Renkus-Heinz digitally steerable systems are a key part of the audio solution in three of the country’s major train stations.

The EU’s expansion in 2004 brought Poland into the European Union, and the ensuing grants from Brussels have been wisely invested into major public projects to refresh the country’s infrastructure. The result is a new look for 21st century Poland. Western Europe-standard motorways now link Poland’s major cities, and the country’s rail system is quickly being brought up to modern high-speed standards.

Three main train stations, each a key part of the country’s updated rail infrastructure, are Warsaw East, Wroclaw and Katowice. Once aging architectural icons, all are now technological marvels, incorporating full international health and safety standards. Regional and international trains link to the Europe-wide high-speed network, and many ‘hub’ stations have now been redeveloped to include shopping malls. A major part of this is the installation of PA/VA systems which accompany video screens displaying train arrival and departure details.

System integrators M.Ostrowski sp.j. has been contracted to provide audio solutions for Warsaw East, Wroclaw, and Katowice stations. In each, while the architecture and loudspeaker locations details differ, the overall concept has been the same. Renkus-Heinz Iconyx digital beam steering arrays, networked over CobraNet via a redundant fiber optical network and controlled by RHAON, complement digital signage in the most acoustically difficult areas of huge booking halls, shopping malls and platform spaces.

Warsaw (East) is a hub station, with many lines interconnecting locally, regionally, and internationally. One of the city’s main rail interchanges, its huge, glass-walled airport style building never boasted user friendly acoustics, but M.Ostrowski’s solution changed all that. STRABAG company was the General Contractor and SYGNITY company was the subcontractor.

This was a common theme of the three contracts, in which measurable acoustical intelligibility was the most important aspect of the audio installations in large, hard surfaced halls. Passengers, finally, would be able to hear announcements in complete clarity, thanks to Iconyx technology’s exceptional STI delivery.

The fully networked design includes a very impressive text-to-voice simulation for regular train announcements, with each station also having manual override in case of train delays. The main hall, a glorious sunlit space where digital signage is flanked by four IC16-R arrays, delivers the essential visual and audio information.

The smaller area for local trains is covered by three Renkus-Heinz IC8 units, while 13 SG61-2Rs and three SG612S-2Rs cover the restaurant area. System distribution is handled by a Yamaha DME64 with CobraNet card, an HP ProCurve and a DME8oC Yamaha CobraNet to analogue output converter. Commissioning was the work of Jim Mobley from Renkus-Heinz and M. Ostrowski’s Michał Popławski.

The second station is Wrocław Główny (main train station), a 15,000 sq m project that restored this 150 year old monument in grand style. In this stunning building upper-level multiple train platforms reside under a classic curved roof. The refurbishment won the 2012 RICS [Royal Institute of Charted Surveyors] Regeneration Award. The new €78m passenger concourse and shopping mall on the lower level has a series of 10 Iconyx IC8-R loudspeakers, plus a pair of IC16-Rs that (almost invisibly) flank giant digital video displays in stereo pairs. In this typically reverberant space, the announcements’ calmness verges on the uncanny. Here, the general contractor was Budimex, the installations supplier, TKTelekom and the audio installations subcontractor M.Ostrowski in cooperation with Tommex Zebrowscy Sp. J.

Along with ceiling speakers suspended above the platforms the rest of the list is largely as at Warsaw – a DME64 processor with CobraNet and analogue input/output cards, while the Yamaha processor is fed from APS APROSYS input modules. Again an electronic text-to-speech simulator serves the audio information for passengers.

The third installation is the train station in Katowice in Silesia, Poland, which features 10 IC16/8-Rs, with Dynacord P64 distribution and a Yamaha DME8oC CobraNet-to-analogue converter. An HP ProCurve serves part of the system’s redundant Ethernet network distribution. The general contractor for this project was STRABAG, the installations supplier TKTelekom and the commissioning was done by M.Ostrowski.

Łukasz Toboła comments: “The Iconyx loudspeakers have enabled us to provide good speech intelligibility, even in a hall that is quite complicated acoustically. The train company and station managers are very satisfied with the quality of sound, and with the excellent speech intelligibility. And that combination, I think, is the main feature that puts us on a higher level than other popular loudspeakers.”

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Headquartered in Foothill Ranch, California, Renkus-Heinz, Inc. is the worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of audio operations networks, digitally steerable arrays, powered and non-powered loudspeakers, system specific electronics and fully integrated Reference Point Array systems.

Innovative Christie Line Array Surround Speakers Expand Christie Vive Audio Immersive Sound Solution

Christie®, the world’s dominant brand in the digital cinema projection market, takes cinema audio to the next level of realism with the introduction of the Christie LA3C line array ceiling surround and Christie LA3S line array surround speakers. Another industry first for Christie, the new surround speakers expand the company’s innovative Christie Vive Audio™ cinema sound solution that was announced on July 17. Featuring the pioneering combination of ribbon driver technology and a unique parabolic line array design in a single compact cabinet, the additional speakers deliver exceptionally even coverage throughout the auditorium. As part of the Christie Vive Audio system, they help unleash the potential of the leading immersive audio technologies such as Dolby® Atmos™ and Auro 3D audio formats.

Christie Vive Audio LA3C Speaker

“Immersive audio is the next frontier in digital cinema, allowing the placement of sound anywhere in the theater – even on the ceiling – to perfectly complement the visual elements of the movie in a powerful and dynamic, lifelike way that is unrivaled for its realism,” noted Craig Sholder, vice president, Entertainment Solutions, Christie. “Christie Vive Audio has set the new standard in immersive cinema sound by combining all the benefits of ribbon driver technology in a line array configuration with Class D amplification and putting it all into a cinema environment, while also meeting the performance demands of the DCI specification. With this announcement, we’re expanding our product line with surround speakers that produce unprecedented uniformity of sound throughout the entire audience listening area, without compromising on quality.”

The Christie LA3C line array ceiling surround speaker and Christie LA3S line array surround speakers are premium solutions that also meet Christie’s goal of providing exhibitors with the highest quality cinema system at an attainable price point. Recognized for their exceptional timbre-matching, enhanced voice intelligibility and low distortion, the speakers’ unique parabolic, line array design increases the optimal listening area up to four times that of the standard point source systems. The extremely low mass of the ribbon drivers allows them to respond very quickly to audio signals and eliminates the effects of high frequency breakup and power compression, resulting in the reproduction of the source material with exceptional clarity and accuracy.

“The Christie LA3C and Christie LA3S surround speakers feature dramatically higher RMS to peak max SPL ratio than traditional, compression driver systems. This means that powerful, sudden bursts of sounds, such as explosions, pop through quickly and flawlessly, without the lag that can detract from the purity of the experience,” said Jim Hall, senior product manager, Entertainment Solutions, Christie.

“There is nothing like them in the cinema environment today for immersive auditoriums,” said Patrick Artiaga, director, Business Development, Entertainment Solutions, Christie. “The speakers’ unique parabolic line array design ensures a wide, even dispersion of the sound throughout the entire auditorium, so ‘every seat is a good seat.’ As part of the Christie Vive Audio system, they can be easily integrated into any existing or new theater auditorium for a premium immersive listening experience that makes exhibitors stand out from their competition.”

Christie Vive Audio LA3S Speaker


The complete Christie Vive Audio solution includes ceiling surrounds, wall surrounds, screen channel speakers, subwoofers, and Class D amplifiers. The system is ideal for traditional and premium large-format auditoriums, as well as postproduction studios and screening rooms.

For more information on Christie’s new audio initiative, visit www.viveaudio.com.

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

SES Supports The Avett Brothers With Martin Audio MLA

SES (Special Event Services) of Winston Salem and Nashville recently supported the popular Avett Brothers on the first leg of their world tour with a Martin Audio MLA System 36 loudspeaker system.

Describing how SES became involved with the tour, Michael Brammer, SES Director of Touring Operations stated, “We did a trial show at the beginning of the tour, and due to the success of the MLA and the overwhelming positive fan response, the band decided to take us on the road. The band went from a bus and trailer to three trucks virtually overnight, in part because they fell in love with the Martin Audio MLA system.”

The Avett Brothers are led by Scott and Seth Avett on vocals and a variety of stringed and percussion instruments, along with Bob Crawford (double bass), Joe Kwon (cello) and Mike Marsh (drums). With several chart albums including I and Love and You (2009), The Carpenter (2012) and the upcoming Magpie and the Dandelion, they combine an eclectic mix of bluegrass, country, punk, pop, folk, rock and roll, honky-tonk and ragtime into solid original songs that have gotten Bob Dylan’s attention, among others.

With stops in Canada and Europe before wrapping up in the US this Fall, the Avetts headlined “The Carpenter” tour with acts such as The Old Crow Medicine Show and Grace Potter and the Nocturnals opening for them in a mix of amphitheatres, arenas and theaters including two sold out nights at Red Rocks.

In order to cover the crowds that averaged from 10 to 12,000 with a bump to 18,000 at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, SES deployed a loudspeaker system consisting of 11 MLA enclosures and one MLD downfill cabinet per side along with six MLX ground-stacked subs per side. They also used an Avid Profile for FOH and a DiGiCo SD-9 for Monitors. When The Avett Brothers return for the final US leg, they will play larger arenas, so SES plans to add MLA Compact speakers for outfill to increase the coverage area.

Asked how MLA performed during the tour, Michael responded, “Their FOH Engineer Justin Glanville really likes the dynamic range and stereo imaging of the MLA system as The Avett Brothers are a very complex band. They play a variety of instruments and exchange them from song to song, so there’s a constant circle around the stage. The show ranges from very energetic moments down to just two guys singing into one microphone acoustically. It’s a very dynamic show and MLA really responds well to it.

“The coverage has been uniformly excellent in all kinds of venues, and MLA doesn’t take long to set up. In fact, Andrew Steelman, our Systems Tech was able to fly it in the morning and have Justin behind the console by lunchtime. The MLA system really has given us everything we’ve needed and more from a loudspeaker rig.”

For more about SES, please click to www.specialeventservices.com

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

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