HUNGARY: After working with leading Hungarian artiste, Magdolna ‘Magdi’ Rúzsa for more than a decade, Martin Audio’s Hungarian partner, BG Event, is accustomed to rising to unique challenges.

When it comes to the creative element, they strive to scale new heights with every collaboration. Two recent shows at the 12,500-cap László Papp Budapest Sports Arena proved no exception.

Rúzsa requested a 50-metre-long catwalk thrust, linking to a 6m x 6m ‘B’ stage. While her standard five-piece rock band would occupy main stage, there was a very different set up awaiting on the small ‘in-the-round’ secondary stage, where a 10-piece orchestra would perform. To achieve the end result required some clever positioning and time alignment of nearly 200 Martin Audio speakers deployed by the service provider.

Knowing he needed to adopt a radically different approach BG Event project manager Gábor ‘Mazsi’ Bácskay consulted with regular freelance system designer, Marci Mezei, to discuss a system that would require two unique EQ profiles in his mixer, muting and automatically changing time alignment depending on which location was being used. Also, he knew that such a long extension would obviate the need for further delay points in a venue measuring 120 meters distance from the stage to the back row seating.

The main stage PA comprised two hangs of MLA, each 15 elements deep plus an MLD downfill, with two hangs of 12 deep MLA used for outhangs. A flown hang of eight MLX subwoofers was deployed on the left wing, supported by additional groundstacks of MLX, six per side, in an end-fire configuration. “To balance the low frequencies we backed the ground-stacked MLX off by -6dB, which worked much better,” said Mazsi.

But it was on the ‘B’ stage that the magic took place for an acoustic mini orchestra comprising strings, horns, double bass, acoustic guitar, piano and percussion. Three hangs of 14 MLA Compact were flown at the end of the B stage thrust, used as delay positions to support the Main Stage, and then taking over as the primary system when the B stage was in use.

The main stage MLA and subs were automatically muted when the action moved to the B stage, while the side hangs remained unmuted and realigned to the B stage PA. Four more hangs of 14 MLA Compact were distributed along the walkway, two aside. “The MLA Compacts took over from the first row, and by using Hard Avoid [in Martin Audio’s DISPLAY software] we never experienced any feedback problems with the PA whatsoever,” explained Mazsi.

BG Event finessed the PA set-up to achieve evenly distributed coverage throughout the venue by adding 10 Martin Audio CDD-LIVE 8 for nearfills on the second stage, while six MLA Compact carried out similar duties on main stage.

The musicians all took their reference sound from Martin Audio monitors, the foldback comprising a combination of Martin Audio XE300s and discreet DD6’s.

Explaining the monitor set-up Mazsi said, “Having been with the band for 15 years, monitor engineer Ferenc Nagy still adopts an old school approach. He likes to work with wedges—especially [Martin Audio’s] XE series—and while the standard band remains on IEMs, he preferred to provide the orchestra with wedges.”

However, with 60 meters separating monitor world from the B stage he was unable to get clear sight of the band; he therefore received assistance from Miklós Ábrahám, who used a second monitor surface on the same network.

In summary Gábor Bácskay reflected, “When the singer originally came up with this idea, we had to figure out a way to do it. It was a complex situation, but she was more than happy with the result.”

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