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Masque Sound Welcomes Blockbuster Musical MAMMA MIA! to New Broadway Home with Custom Audio Equipment Package

When the blockbuster musical MAMMA MIA! recently moved six blocks south to its new Broadway home at the Broadhurst Theatre, Masque Sound, a leading theatrical sound reinforcement, installation and design company, welcomed the smash hit show to its new digs with a custom audio equipment package.

MAMMA MIA! tells the story of the dynamic relationship between a carefree mother and her daughter. The daughter, hoping to build a bond with the father she’s never known, decides to invite him to her upcoming wedding, only to discover that her father could be one of her mother’s three past suitors. A story full of laughs, love and lust, MAMMA MIA! features the hit songs of the Swedish pop group ABBA. MAMMA MIA! spent the past 12 years on Broadway at the Winter Garden Theatre, and for the show’s veteran Sound Designers Bobby Aitken and Andrew Bruce and Associate Sound Designer David Patridge, the move was not without its challenges.

The Broadhurst Theatre’s design itself was one of the biggest challenges that the team faced. Although many Broadway theaters share this situation, the box seating on the left and right near the proscenium extends out quite far into the sight line and therefore, slightly overshadows the speakers for some of the seats.

“In order to provide the best listening experience we could for every seat, we used a fairly substantial speaker package,” says Patridge. “We placed d&b audiotechnik E8 loudspeakers both near the proscenium and further back along the sides of the room to give the audience complete coverage. The d&b speakers compliment a main left and right line array of Meyer Sound MINA’s, and extends the coverage to the shadowed areas. It’s very smooth as you go from one side of the house to the other and something we really worked hard to achieve. It’s a smaller house, and in many ways it’s more pleasing. You don’t have as big of a room to fill with a speaker system. That was our biggest challenge, and Masque Sound was once again able to provide us with the gear we needed.”

The move to Broadhurst Theatre also provided an opportunity for the team to upgrade to a digital console and strengthen the front of house mix. “At the Winter Garden Theatre, we were using a Cadac console, one of the last analog consoles left doing Broadway musicals,” adds Patridge. “Although the Cadac has been a reliable workhorse for us, we felt it was time to retire the console and modernize the show, in that sense. Masque Sound provided us with a DiGiCo SD7 digital console for the Broadhurst production. The digital console allows us to eliminate the monitor desk, and with the SD7, we actually mix the monitors to an Aviom system directly through the console. We now have one console mixing both front of house and monitors. In addition, the SD7 takes up only about six seats as opposed to the Cadac, which took up 15 seats in the orchestra.”

As the full time vendor for MAMMA MIA!, Masque Sound also provided a wireless package of Sennheiser SK5212 transmitters and EM3532 receivers, coordinated by Eric Rivera and the Masque Sound wireless department. Since Broadhurst Theatre is sandwiched in between the show Matilda to the east, Phantom of the Opera to the west and a block of theaters just to the north, Masque Sound’s expert frequency coordination team worked hard to ensure there were no signal interference issues between the shows, as theatre walls are not enough to cut off the transmission.

“The spatial considerations in the venue dictate, to a large extent, what equipment you are able to use, and asking Masque Sound to discard the existing rental system and provide us with all new equipment was quite a tall order,” adds Patridge. “They were extremely generous and offered us new gear for the show without having to incur a ton of extra cost. It’s this type of service and support that gives Masque Sound the longevity it has experienced with MAMMA MIA!. The show continues to sound wonderful, and we are now excited to be in our new home.”

In addition to Masque Sound’s equipment, Patridge also credits his talented team with making the move such a success. Production Sound Engineer Kevin Kennedy and longtime original Broadway show Mixer Craig Cassidy were instrumental in ensuring that the move went smoothly. The show brought the same crew over from the Winter Garden, which, according to Patridge, was a godsend in terms of making sure that the move was glitch free.

Seen by over 54 million people around the world, MAMMA MIA! is celebrating 5,000 performances on Broadway and is the 10th longest running show in Broadway history. The original West End production of MAMMA MIA! is now in its fifteenth year and has celebrated more than 6,000 performances in London and the international tour has visited more than 74 foreign cities in 35 countries and been seen by more than 4.3 million people. The blockbuster feature film adaptation of MAMMA MIA! is the most successful movie musical of all time grossing $600 million worldwide. Seen in 38 productions in 14 different languages globally and with a worldwide gross of over $2 Billion, MAMMA MIA! is acclaimed by the Associated Press as “quite simply, a phenomenon.”

About Masque Sound
Founded in 1936 by a trio of Broadway stagehands, Masque Sound evolved into one of NYC’s most successful theatrical sound reinforcement, installation and design companies specializing in theatrical, house of worship, sporting, corporate, TV broadcast and live concert events. Celebrating more than 75 years in the industry, the company is lead by Geoff Shearing, the firm’s 3rd generation owner, and Vice President and General Manager Stephanie Hansen. The company also operates Florida-based Professional Wireless Systems, a leader in the development and implementation of wireless technology. Credits range from major Broadway shows and tours including “Phantom of the Opera,” “Mamma Mia!,” “Lion King,” “Jersey Boys,” “Memphis,” “The Book of Mormon,” “Newsies,” “Once” and “Kinky Boots” to yearly Super Bowl broadcasts and installations of varying sizes, including New York’s New Victory Theater and historic St. Bartholomew’s Church. Masque Sound’s 70,000 sq. ft. corporate headquarters and main assembly facility is located at 21 East Union Ave., East Rutherford, NJ, 20 minutes from midtown Manhattan. For more information, call (201) 939-8666 or visit www.MasqueSound.com.

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Related Topics: Large Venue, Line Array, Microphones |

Sonic Ritual: HARMAN Professional and Premier Production & Sound Services Cast a Spell at Voodoo Experience 2013

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana — The third time’s the charm, as Baton Rouge, Louisiana sound company Premier Production & Sound Services, LLC (PSS) found out when it supplied the sound reinforcement system for the Voodoo Experience festival for the third year in a row. The 3-day festival featured a dazzling array of more than 80 artists and more than 100,000 people at New Orleans’ City Park were treated to an epic sonic and musical experience, courtesy of HARMAN’s JBL Professional VTX and VERTEC® line arrays, Soundcraft digital consoles and Crown amplifiers.

PSS equipped the festival’s Flambeau Stage with eight JBL VTX V25 fullsize line array elements per side and four stacks of three S28 subwoofers arranged in cardioid configuration. PSS also deployed 12 VERTEC VT4886 subcompact line array elements atop the subwoofers for front fill. A total of 28 Crown IT 12000 HD amplifiers powered the system.

Stage sound was furnished by 16 JBL SRX712M floor wedges, plus 12 VT4886 loudspeakers and six VT4883 subcompact subwoofers. All the loudspeakers on stage were powered by nine Crown IT 4×3500 HD amplifiers.

In addition, PSS supplied two Soundcraft Vi6 digital live sound consoles for front of house and monitor mixing. Brian Gordon, PSS Head Audio Engineer and Co-Owner and his staff used the JBL VTX-LZ-K Laser Accessory Kit to precisely align all the loudspeakers in the system.

“This was our third year of working on the Voodoo Experience festival and our second with the JBL VTX Series line arrays,” said Russ Bryant, PSS Director of Operations and Co-Owner. “The sound was absolutely awesome. At a large-scale outdoor rock festival like this, the demands on a loudspeaker system are tremendous in terms of the sheer SPL and coverage required—and the V25 line arrays are phenomenal in their ability to deliver clear sound even at high volume, with pristine, effortless headroom especially in the upper midrange and high frequencies.”

The Crown IT 4×3500 HD amplifiers also made life easier for PSS. “Having four channels in one amp allowed us to significantly cut down on the amount of cabling we needed and save a lot of time and labor,” he pointed out. “We are very happy with the flexibility they offer and the fact that they can be optimized for use with VTX and VERTEC loudspeakers using their V5 DSP presets.”

Anyone who has mixed sound at festivals with dozens of bands can attest that smooth transitions between acts are crucial. “We wound up using the Soundcraft Vi6 consoles for 31 front of house and monitor changeovers,” said Bryant. “I can tell you that the Vi6 was much easier to use than other consoles that were at the festival,” noting that in addition to its superior sound quality, the Vi6 is laid out very much like an analog console, which made it easy for visiting engineers to step right up and start mixing. Another big advantage: “The Vi6 still passes signal while you’re loading show files into it where some other consoles will not, which is a major benefit during the hectic time constraints of a big festival.”

Bryant concluded, “There were four total stages at Voodoo Experience 2013 and we had many people coming over from the other stages telling us that our stage sounded the best.”

For more information on Premier Production & Sound Services, please visit www.psssound.com

HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of audio and infotainment solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets – supported by 15 leading brands, including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon® and Mark Levinson®. 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 14,600 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $4.5 billion for the last twelve months ended September 30, 2013.

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.

Iconyx Makes it Clear at St. Rose of Lima

Simi Valley, CA — December 2013… When St. Rose of Lima was founded in 1921, the Arroyo Simi was a rural valley, sparsely populated with hardy farming families. Like much of Southern California, the area grew quickly, as did the church’s small congregation. Today, St. Rose of Lima’s bustling campus in Simi Valley is home to a 600-seat sanctuary, as well as elementary and middle schools, a meeting hall, offices and other community facilities.

The sanctuary recently underwent a major renovation, and the result is a spacious, ornate but tasteful and unassuming space, with high peaked ceilings, stained glass windows, and hardwood pews. But the new sanctuary’s angular architecture and an abundance of smooth, reflective surfaces has created new challenges.

“The new space looks great, but it’s a far more reflective and reverberant environment now,” says Ken Buckowski of Burbank, CA-based Studio Spectrum. “The old sound system would have been problematic, both functionally and aesthetically.”

Studio Spectrum recommended a pair of Iconyx digitally steered line array systems to replace the existing system. A single IC32-R-II column is mounted on either side of the proscenium, with multiple sound beams steering sound away from walls and windows, and toward the congregants in the pews.

“They were very concerned with the aesthetics of the space, and didn’t want to see a room full of speakers anymore,” says Buckowski. “The Iconyx has such a slim, low profile design, they pretty much blend in with the architecture. Most of the people didn’t even notice them.”

The renovation also included opening additional seating to the left and right of the existing pews. “The side wings have much lower ceilings, and our original thought was to put additional speakers in there to fill that zone,” says Buckowski. “But the Iconyx enabled us to steer sound directly into that space, so we didn’t need anything else.”

Buckowski concludes, “Iconyx was the perfect solution for this space. Coverage and intelligibility are consistent to every seat in the house, and it blends perfectly with the sanctuary’s architecture. We went from having a room full of speakers to just two. They love the way it looks and the way it sounds.”

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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.

 

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.

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.

Premiere Southern California Live Music Venue Steps it Up with VARIA

Long Beach, CA – December 2013…The Gaslamp is one of Southern California’s best-known night spots, with a rich history of great entertainment and an impressively eclectic roster. On any given night, the club’s stage plays host to artists ranging from hard rock and metal to punk, acoustic, and even contemporary classical performances, as well as comedy, DJs, tribute acts, karaoke, and even televised sporting events.

The Gaslamp offers up a full kitchen, with private booths and tables as well as a bar and dance floor, making it a great place for dinner, drinks, and a night out. But as owner Mike Newfeld explains, the club’s acoustics have long been a struggle.

“It’s a very boomy room,” says Newfeld. “It’s got high ceilings, concrete floors, and just not very good sound dispersion — a lot of pockets that are dead space or too loud. The challenge has been to find a system that would deliver consistent coverage and sound good, no matter where you are in the room.”

Engineer Tony Purvis agrees. “It was really, really hard to get a good mix throughout the whole club — to achieve that ‘comfortable loud,’ where everyone can enjoy themselves, enjoy the music and the performance but still be able to hold a conversation.”

The Gaslamp recently upgraded their sound system, installing the new VARIA modular point source line array system from Renkus-Heinz. As Purvis observes, the VARIA system has completely changed the equation for the club.

“The experience that I’ve had with the new VARIA system has been just amazing,” Purvis remarks. “The design of the system has enabled complete coverage. This system makes my life easier.”

“We couldn’t be happier with the new VARIA system,” adds Newfeld. “Our customer base noticed immediately. It’s loud, clear, and clean, without blowing people away. Thanks to the new VARIA system, we are now known as the premiere live music venue in Southern California.”

 

 

 

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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.

L-ACOUSTICS Delivers “Philly Sound” for Theatre of Living Arts

Clair Brothers Audio Systems installs ARCS II rig at intimate Live Nation venue

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania – December 2013 — Although the Theatre of Living Arts (TLA) was best known in previous decades as a host for art house films and campy touring Broadway shows like Little Shop of Horrors and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, the TLA has steadily evolved into Philadelphia’s premiere small concert venue for edgy, up-and-coming artists. Owned and operated by concert promoter Live Nation, the intimate 1000-capacity club recently bumped up its production values with the addition of a new ARCS II loudspeaker system from L-ACOUSTICS. more

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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