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Martin Audio

WPL PULLS IN THE CROWDS AT INTERBEE 2022

InterBEE 2022, Japan’s largest trade forum for broadcast media and entertainment, attracted many of the leading audio manufacturers and distributers.

Held at Makuhari Messe in Chiba over three days, it would be the first time in three years that Martin Audio Japan was able to show off its leading systems, following the COVID-19 pandemic. Many visitors gathered, filled with the confidence that business is now in recovery again.

Martin Audio Japan (MAJ) joined forces with prominent sound sales/distribution company, Audio Brains, and displayed hot products like TORUS and WPS, as well as wedge monitors and installation speakers—all of which attracted non-stop visitors to their stand.

“FOLLOWING THE DEMONSTRATION, WE RECEIVED MANY COMPLIMENTS FROM VISITORS WHO ATTENDED. I REALLY APPRECIATE EVERYONE WHO TOOK THE TROUBLE TO COME AND LISTEN”.

Yusuke Karato, CEO, Martin Audio Japan

In the adjacent event hall, a loudspeaker demo event called InterBEE Experience was held after a two-year absence. This is always popular as it allows visitors to listen to full-fledged SR speakers in a real world setting and features both domestic and leading international brands.

MAJ took the opportunity to introduce the Wavefront Precision WPL system in the large line array speaker category. WPL is a dual 12ft 3-way bi-amp system, famous for its scalable optimisation, which is Martin Audio’s specialty.

Eight WPL cabinets were rigged and run 1 single-box resolution from iKON amplifiers and three SXCF218 subwoofers were groundstacked to boost low frequency.

The WPL demo certainly attracted a good deal of attention as it was noticeable how many people gathered in the venue when it was MAJ’s turn in the rota.

Commented Yusuke Karato, CEO of MAJ, “Following the demonstration, we received many compliments from visitors who attended. I really appreciate everyone who took the trouble to come and listen.”

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Martin Audio

SPEAKING SPIRIT MINISTRIES INSTALLS WAVEFRONT PRECISION AT NEW CAMPUS

Speaking Spirit Ministries of Richmond, VA is a non-denominational Christian ministry, which in the space of nine years has expanded to three campuses, offering over 100,000 sq. ft of worship space.

Known as Glen Allen Campus, the Ministry’s latest facility opened recently, and again RTW Media were brought in by pastors, Fred and Inger Wyatt to provide a complete AVL technology infrastructure. Incorporating projection and control, the PA this time was based around a central hang of Martin Audio’s premium Wavefront Precision line array.

“We were fortunate to be able to start with a clean slate,” stated RTW operations manager, Zack Guida. “We knew what they had in their other facilities, so we wanted to match that end user experience, but with a little latitude to design the speaker we wanted. Our engineering team had the flexibility to design the ideal integrated system for the room.”

And he knew instinctively what that speaker would be, having previously experienced a WPS demo, courtesy of Martin Audio’s Northeast Regional Sales Manager, Martha Callaghan. “The demo consisted of a nine box hang with cardioid subs and it just sounded great. I was so impressed with how warm the boxes sounded. Everyone can produce a loud line array, but it was the warmth of the vocals here that really impressed.”

“The requirement here was to handle everything from the midweek bible studies and vocal presentation to high impact worship, with church bands.”

The client went with the recommendation of RTW who designed the system as a single mono central hang of five WPS elements, with an SX118 subwoofer set behind, and two further SX118 at stage level. The enclosures are finished in white to maintain the visual aesthetic of the new building.

Zack Guida explained the thinking. “The roof is an A-frame, so we have set the array as high as possible. The flexibility to have one sub in the air, to ensure even coverage, and then a further two to provide high impact from the stage where necessary is fantastic.

Further economies are achieved by being able to power the system from a single Martin Audio iKON iK42 4-channel process-controlled amplifier, configured in 2-box resolution.

Guida says as far as the client is concerned the system “checks all the boxes.” He explained, “The pastor was there with his audio lead when we tuned the system, and they were particularly impressed that a single array would provide the worship experience they were looking for.”

As for that tuning, they set up using SMAART and measurement mics and then did an EASE visualisation. “We let the software tell us what we needed, where—and the installation matched the model exactly.” Further tweaking was carried out in Martin Audio’s advanced DISPLAY optimisation and control software.

RTW Media has accomplished four impressive installations with Martin Audio systems in the past 12 months alone, specifying both their WPS and CDD series. Zack Guida is particularly delighted with this latest implementation. “The [listening] experience in the front row is exactly the same as in the back,” he exclaims. “It was very important to Pastor Fred for members in every seat of the audience to have the same worship experience. This was accomplished to precision with the WPS from Martin Audio.”

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Martin Audio

UAE’S LARGEST FITNESS CENTRE KEEPS UP THE PACE WITH 200 MARTIN AUDIO SPEAKERS

Slated as the largest indoor health and fitness club inDubai, offering world-class facilities over 75,000 sq. ft, the new Wellfit gym has been fitted out with a Martin Audio sound reinforcement solution.

Located in Jumeirah Village Circle (JVC), this latest mammoth facility, situated on level 2 of the Circle Mall, features no fewer than 200 of the British manufacturer’s loudspeakers, spanning several different ranges.

It is the second such state-of-the-art sports, health, and fitness centre in the UAE opened by operators Arada, following the successful community pilot in Sharjah last year.

The sound is broadcast through the main activity zones via Martin Audio’s popular CDD series. These coaxial differential dispersion loudspeakers were installed by local partners, PRO LAB, to a specification by Pulse Middle East, who were responsible for the design and build of the venue. They form part of a full audio, visual, lighting, and content management solution provided by the integrators.

“IT WAS THE COVERAGE PATTERN IN PARTICULAR THAT DREW US TO CDD.”

Rami Haber, Managing Director, PRO LAB

PRO LAB has a long history of supplying Martin Audio systems, and in particular the ultra-compact CDD, which offers both even coverage and performance. “It was the coverage pattern in particular that drew us to CDD,” said PRO LAB managing director, Rami Haber.

Since a differential dispersion horn has a trapezoidal dispersion pattern in both vertical and horizontal planes the specified area can be covered with sound more evenly than a system with a conventional, fixed-dispersion type horn.

Distributed throughout the vast space are six CDD10 and 50 x CDD8, with low frequencies handled by 14 x SX210 and four SX212 subwoofers.

In addition, PRO LAB and Pulse have specified Martin Audio Blackline, detailing 20 x Blackline X10, 32 x X8B, a pair of Blackline X12B, and 18 x X115B subwoofers. These are situated in the corners of the main studio.

In the ancillary retail and leisure areas, they have added a combination of 15 x ACS-55T 5.25in passive two-way ceiling speakers, 20 x ACP-55TB compact pendant ceiling speakers, and 19 x ACS 40TS 4in ultra-compact ceiling speakers—all part of Martin Audio’s ADORN series.

The loudspeakers also needed to show their versatility since they take feeds from a variety of sources including PIXILAB which controls all audio, visual, lighting (including architectural) and content, as well as computer-delivered background music, Audix mics, and other AV sources (HDMI TX and RX).

The sound reinforcement system has met the approval of all concerned. Concluded PRO LAB CEO Rami Haber, “After working with many premier speaker systems previously in other gyms the client was very happy with the coverage, performance, and quality provided by Martin Audio and Pulse.”

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Martin Audio

MICRO LINE ARRAYS CAN DELIVER MORE THAN JUST VOCAL CLARITY

There is a school of thought that micro line arrays are only good for vocal applications. This misconception comes from the type of projects where such a sound reinforcement system usually excels. However, these small format cabinets can also deliver much more musicality than people expect.

When consultants are recommending micro line arrays, it is usually due to a combination of two common factors. First, the application requires a sound system that will not take away from the aesthetics of a space. And second, the venue requires tight control over the audio to ensure intelligibility.

This combination means that houses of worship are often the most common application for micro line array systems like Martin Audio’s O-Line. And the reaction of users in that setting is overwhelmingly positive. “We are extremely satisfied with the performance of O-Line,” said Zachary Ward, Director of Communications, First Pentecostal Church in North Little Rock, Arkansas. “With such a unique room, including 42ft-high ceilings and several stained-glass windows reaching more than 28ft tall, O-Line provides even coverage and clarity while accomplishing our main goal, preserving the overall aesthetic of the room.”

“THEY WERE ECSTATIC ABOUT THE SYSTEM AND BLOWN AWAY WITH THE INTELLIGIBILITY AND MUSICALITY OF THE O-LINE SYSTEM.”

John Pierce, Director of Sales, Audio-Video Group

However, once the system is put into use, the full capabilities of O-Line become clear. “It’s a very transparent PA — it’s not lumpy in the bottom end,” noted Mozaix Director Paul Tucker, discussing St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Melbourne. “We had a consecration service featuring a fantastic viola player, and the sound of that instrument was beautiful — really stunning.”

“We wanted to let the choir master, minister and organist hear the quality over the area they wanted to cover, and they were all blown away,” agreed Roger McMullan, Rea Sound Project Manager, reflecting on an upgrade project at Belfast’s St Mark’s Church. “In fact, they can now hire it out so that bands can play through O-Line as a full range system without the need for additional subwoofers.”

Surprise at the level of musicality possible with a micro line array is a common theme. Most users are expecting the even coverage and improved intelligibility, but expect to sacrifice musical performance as a result. The response when venues find out that they don’t need to make musical compromises is always positive.

“They were ecstatic about the system and blown away with the intelligibility and musicality of the O-Line system,” reveals John Pierce, Director of Sales for Audio-Video Group, recalling a project at Washington DC’s historic Capitol Hill Baptist Church. “And even without subs, they were happy with the range those boxes provide—they go pretty low and sound good. I love the O-Line. I’ve done several systems in more traditional churches and they’re fantastic for speech and music as well.”

The result of these reactions has seen an increasing number of people starting to specify micro line arrays for a wide range of projects, from planetariums to conference venues. “The client mentioned in our first meeting that he wanted something that would visually flow with the interior and provide full coverage allowing small bands to play through the speakers for special events,” noted John Wojciechowski, HBS’ Engineering Services Manager AV when discussing a sophisticated conference space at Gentian Financial Inc. “That is when the O-Line came to mind – small and subtle footprint, amazing speech capability, consistent and discreet music coverage.”

As the full capabilities of micro line arrays are beginning to be seen in more applications, there is sure to be an increase in demand for these small, yet powerful systems. “O-Line has proven time and again over the years that it is a flexible system that can deliver outstanding results in a variety of spaces,” said Dom Harter, Managing Director at Martin Audio. “Adding in a subwoofer will often make the system even more musical, and with O-Line and compatible subs currently in stock, ready to ship, there is a real opportunity for people who are struggling to get hold of other solutions to give micro line arrays a try. I’m certain that they will be impressed with the results.”

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Martin Audio

TORUS PROVIDES MEDIUM-THROW SOLUTION FOR FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

When Martin Audio first released its CDD series, with all the benefits of coaxial differential dispersion technology, Kentucky-based JCA Media immediately jumped onboard. According to their project manager, Alex Peake, that’s when they became a convert to the British manufacturer’s signature sound.

With Houses of Worship as one of their core installation segments, he says, “We have since used CDD of all sizes, including the weatherised versions. With their asymmetric pattern, they sound awesome—smooth and warm.” JCA Media then discovered Martin Audio’s Blackline X8, and with it a perfect wedge monitor complement.

Then finally, along came TORUS, Martin Audio’s latest advanced constant curvature solution —and the series arrival caused the company to re-specify a HoW system that they had been asked to design for First United Methodist Church—situated an hour away from their base in the south-central Kentucky city of Somerset.

“The church first reached out in November 2019 after seeing our work on Facebook—but then COVID intervened,” reports Peake. “In fact I was quoting this installation six or eight months before TORUS came out and had a different brand specified.

“But with a throw distance of around 70ft the client was reluctant to have another delay system—they wanted the new system tucked in and tidy and didn’t want anything visible on the floor.” In demoing other single point source systems Alex Peake found he was losing volume at the back of the room. “But TORUS changed all that.”

He was already sufficiently conversant with constant curvature technology and the pedigree of Martin Audio to obviate the need for a demo—and so flew straight in and specified the system.

“I knew TORUS would be perfect for a medium throw application such as this and it was also minimally obtrusive.” The project manager’s design to create even coverage over the 300 congregants—in both service modes—was based around a three-box hang, driven in one-box resolution from an iKON iK81 process control amplifier to give ultimate shading flexibility.

A single T1230 at the base gives full 90° coverage, with the top two T1215s running at 60°. “This was to keep the sound off the ceiling and walls, and it enabled us to control the horizontal dispersion. The horizontal waveguide would tighten up the sound disappearing up into the vaulted all-wood ceiling and at the same time would eliminate the need for a front fill. So it all came into play perfectly and provided multiple solutions.”

However, it was the cardioid SXCF118 sub flown behind the hang that had been the real revelation, he said, and was specified because the church wanted a ‘blended’ service to complement its traditional mass. “The SXCF118 blew our minds,” said Peake. “That vaulted ceiling almost served like a natural horn, with the single 18” vibrating off the ceiling.”

Finally, wedge monitors are in the shape of four Blackline X8.

However, there was still a place for CDD in the installation. Downstairs is a smaller, separate area for a more contemporary service and, as with upstairs, an ancient sound system was ripped out to be replaced with a CDD6 L/C/R set up, underpinned by an SX112 sub tucked away on a semi-portable stage.

All of which has delighted the Church’s Technical Director, Aaron Denney. “The Martin Audio array and amps are amazing,” he enthused. “They provide targeted coverage in every row of the pews. They have more than met project goals and greatly exceeded our expectations. One staff member referred to it as a ‘300 times improvement’ for a space that has many complicated issues when it comes to live sound.

“All in all, a job well done.”

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Martin Audio

MARTIN AUDIO’S HAT-TRICK OF SUCCESSES AT MEXICAN INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATIONS

September 15 marks the commemoration of the Grito de Independencia (or Mexican Independence Day)¬—the most important ceremony in the country.This year it was able to resume again in front of an audience at the Zócalo in the centre of Mexico City after two years of being held remotely due to the COVID pandemic. According to official calculations more than 160,000 people celebrated the national holiday out on the streets again.

The vastly experienced Norteño group, Los Tigres del Norte—famed throughout the Latam countries—headlined the event with a show that lasted more than three hours.

The production work was carried out by the company KW, and for the third consecutive year Martin Audio systems were used as the main PA for the Ceremony. They provided audio coverage for a site measuring 46,800 sq.m.

For the presidential protocol, four clusters of MLA were designated, one pair with 11 MLA plus an MLD Downfill, and a further pair of outhangs with eight cabinets and an MLD (providing 120°H x 20°V dispersion).The main hangs covered a distance of 150 metres and the lateral clusters 130 metres.

On monitors and sidefills were Martin Audio’s Blackline F10+ and WPM series—servicing both the Mexican Army Chorus and the speech delivered by the President of the Republic, Mr. Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador. For the Chorus’s monitoring the four Blackline F10+ were fed from iK42 amps and for the presidential monitoring, four WPM per side, in stereo format, were set in the presidential box.

THIS SYSTEM DELIVERS THE RESULT THAT ANY ENGINEER IS LOOKING FOR IN TERMS OF AUDIO QUALITY, POWER OUTPUT, CONTROL AND DESIGN.

Gabriel Martínez, FOH Engineer
An independent system was set up for Los Tigres del Norte comprising 32 WPL for PA (16 per side), with 32 further WPL for outfills (16 per side) and 24 SXH218 subwoofers, plus 24 MLX set in a gradient. Eight WPM (in four stacks of two) were detailed as front fills. The main system covered the first 135 metres, while four delay towers comprising eight MLA each were set at 90 metres to cover the back of the Zócalo and surrounding streets. Two further delay towers were placed 200 metres from the PA, with 12 WPC elements.

Speaking of the gradient arrangement, Proactive LATAM audio design engineer, Carlos Aldama, said, “In this way and with the help of the iK42’s internal DSP processing and the internal DSP of the MLX, it was possible to make a configuration where the stage area and all the low frequency energy was removed from the side of the attendees.”

The band’s FOH sound engineer, Grammy Award-winning Gabriel Martínez, admitted that having been a fan of MLA he was also pleasantly surprised by the acoustic performance of WPL. “Martin Audio is always a guarantee,” he stated. “I was impressed by the sound pressure we had at almost 100 metres and the audio design for the show in general. I had already worked with WPL previously in Orizaba and Morelia but the difference in adjustment and alignment here gave an additional image as if it were another system.

“This system delivers the result that any engineer is looking for in terms of audio quality, power output, control and design.”

The two systems could not be used simultaneously, since the main stages were adjacent to each other. For the ceremonial presentation, the PA was placed at the National Palace and for the concert, it was placed in front of the Metropolitan Cathedral, with the sound directed towards the Government building.

“For Proactive LATAM, representing Martin Audio, it was important to be chosen again, and recognised for our commitment of support,” stated company founder and CEO Berenice Gutiérrez. “In addition, we were honoured to be trusted, not only by the production manager of Los Tigres del Norte, Luis Antonio V, but also by the managing director of KW to create an audio design that would allow them to be comfortable. We should also give a special mention to KW for their overall production coordination, which was a huge challenge.”

Oscar Tovar, Proactive LATAM technical sales engineer for the region, added: “For the third time, all the equipment used was from Martin Audio, and once again great results were achieved. Returning to the traditional format again this year we were able to integrate two areas, to serve both the Government protocol and the concert.

“It was a big challenge but fortunately everything went as planned, since this is the most important event in the country, commanded by the Mexican President. It was great that more than 160,000 people were able to assemble at the Zócalo and receive the same high-quality experience, and that we had the time and sufficient tools to ensure that it happened.”

And Carlos Aldama concluded, “The incredible result we delivered with Martin Audio, was down to the precision with which the DISPLAY 3 software functions, since the results obtained were practically identical to the prediction. The intelligibility of the equipment was amazing.”

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Martin Audio

SOUNDWORKS’ ALL-WAVEFRONT PRECISION DEPLOYMENT DELIVERS BEST YET FOR FOLK FESTIVA

Martin Audio partner Soundworks of Virginia equipped the five main stages of the long-running Richmond Folk Festival, an annual celebration of American culture and roots music, with the manufacturer’s state-of-the-art optimizable Wavefront Precision line array speakers.

Promoted by Venture Richmond, a non-profit organization, this three-day free festival, with which Soundworks have been involved for more than a decade, is held annually in the city’s downtown Riverfront Plaza area—spanning an area of almost 20 acres. An offshoot of the National Folk Festival, it is one of the largest events in Virginia, drawing around 200,000 visitors from across the country and featuring more than 30 global artists.

Some 130 Martin Audio components were specified across the site, and Soundworks’ founder and CEO, Steve Payne, notes that this exhausted all 124 available channels of their 31 iKON iK42 amplifiers, which were detailed to drive the various PA rigs in 2-box resolution.

For the main Altria amphitheatre stage they turned to Martin Audio’s largest format WP, fielding 12 WPL enclosures per side, over three SXH218 per side. Four WPS were deployed for frontfills, with an additional CDD-LIVE 15 on top of an SXP218 on each stage flank for sidefills.

The smaller Dominion Energy Dance Pavilion (under an 80ft x 160ft tent) saw eight WPC flown per side over two SXH218 subs bridged per side, with CDD-LIVE 15 over an SXP218 on each wing providing sidefills. In addition, 10 Martin Audio XE500s were provided as stage monitors.

The CoStar Group Stage was rigged in an 80ft x 120ft tent with six WPS flown per side over two SXC118 subs. The CarMax Stage was similarly configured but with the addition of four XP12s as outfills and delays. Finally, the smallest of the tents (50ft x 100ft) housed the Virginia Folk Life Stage where four WPC were stacked on top of an SXH218 subwoofer on each side.

HAVING RUN WAVEFRONT PRECISION SYSTEMS FOR OVER TWO YEARS WE HAVE BECOME ACCUSTOMED TO ACHIEVING A HIGH LEVEL OF PERFORMANCE WITH 100% CONSISTENCY. IT IS A VERY GRATIFYING SITUATION.

Steve Payne, Soundworks

Working alongside production manager Colleen Arnerich, from the National Council for the Traditional Arts, and Venture Richmond Festival Manager Stephen Lecky, Steve Payne outlined Soundworks’ approach to a sound design masterminded by the company’s president and senior sound engineer, Grant Howard, and System Tech Bryan Hargrave. They specified the PA systems to meet or exceed the parameters laid out by sound designer, Steve Fisher.

“We were given free rein to deploy the systems as they best saw fit,” remarked Payne. ”In our experience the difference between 1- and 2-box resolution is discernible when listening critically, but not dramatic. Having to run the systems in 2-box resolution due to the available amp channels was only a minor concession.

“Having run Wavefront Precision systems for over two years we have become accustomed to achieving a high level of performance with 100% consistency. It is a very gratifying situation.”

He added that the systems had received positive reviews from every sound engineer on site for their flat response and ability to accurately reproduce the myriad of musical styles and instruments encountered at such a diverse festival.

“While the site is sufficiently sprawling that interference between stages was not an issue, the Hard Avoid feature [in Martin Audio’s DISPLAY software] was used on the four tented stages to keep the sound off the tent roof which dramatically reduced reflections and had a major positive impact on the quality of the sound on those stages. The engineers at all these stages commented positively on the quality of the sound in an environment which often presents sonic challenges and can leave something to be desired in terms of clarity and articulation.”

“It sounded awesome everywhere on site,” chimed in Colleen Arnerich. “The upgrade on the Folklife Stage from CDD-LIVE last year to WPS this year made a huge difference.”

Bruce Gasper, FOH engineer on the Dominion Energy Dance Pavilion stage, also observed that WPC delivered a sound that was “very clean … flat and smooth across the frequency range, with even coverage throughout the venue.”

Meanwhile, Soundworks’ Grant Howardbelieves that “in the 10-plus years of doing the Richmond Folk Festival, hands down this was the best one yet.”

Summarising the success of the event, Steve Payne said, “While we have been proud of the job, we have done every year, we also feel that we have always managed to improve year on year. This year I believe marked a high water point in our efforts—there were virtually no compromises made in our efforts to provide the best sound possible at every stage on the festival site. This was 100% the result of our major push over the past two years to grow our inventory of Wavefront Precision speakers and iKON amplifiers.”

Finally, Stephen Lecky spoke of Soundworks’ enduring presence at the event. “I was fortunate enough to intern with them back in the late 90’s as a high school student, and was able to see first-hand what amazing work and care they provide to their clients. It was a no brainer for me to recommend them professionally when I took on this position.”

Photos: Courtesy of Dave Parrish Photography. Used with permission.

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Martin Audio

MARTIN AUDIO MAINTAINS ITS LONG RELATIONSHIP WITH MIGHTY SZIGET FESTIVAL

The long-standing relationship between Capital Sound (part of the Solotech UK Group) and the major week-long Hungarian Sziget Festival, resumed this year after the two-year hiatus.

This six-day event on the Danube—situated on the remote Hajógyári Island (Óbudai-sziget), north of Budapest—draws between 500,000-600,000 visitors, and always pulls a major list of global superstars across its stages. This year was no exception, with Dua Lipa, Arctic Monkeys, Stromae, Kings of Leon, Lewis Capaldi, Tame Impala, Nina Kravitz and Sam Fender among the many familiar faces.

As befits one of Europe’s largest musical and cultural festivals, the technical infrastructure was first class. This included Martin Audio’s multi award-winning MLA loudspeaker array, which has been a regular and reassuring sight for audiences and visiting sound crews alike on main stage since 2015.

According to Robin Conway, Solotech Senior Technical Advisor, the main stage sound design continues to evolve as the production team strives for increased perfection, once again working alongside Hungarian audio crew chief and system designer, Marci Mezei, and local Martin Audio partners, BG Event.

They were fortunate to be able to benefit once again from the huge experience of Mezei, who has been involved with Sziget since 2001, initially starting on the smallest Pesti Est stage, before working up to main stage since 2004. And he ensured the partnership with Solotech once again produced a slick outcome.

BG Event provided auxiliary support for an inventory which included nearly 200 enclosures deployed on main stage alone, along with rigging, cabling, racks, chain hoists and motor control. BG also provided additional Merlin network management systems (and distro) to support their MLA family boxes.

The main PA comprised 17 MLA per side, with a single MLD Downfill at the base of each hang. Sidefills were an equally symmetrical 15 MLA (plus single MLD Downfill) on each flank—all underpinned by 42 MLX subwoofers (in 14 x 3-high cardioid stacks). Frontfills consisted of six MLA Compact (set on alternative sub stacks) and infill wing coverage was provided by 12 MLA Compact, set in 4 x 3 high stacks.

FOH delays comprised four further MLA Compact (left and right) while four additional delay positions were set further down the field, each populated by hangs of either eight or nine MLA (with an MLD Downfill in all cases), and a pair of MLX to handle the low frequencies. This provided an aggregated cabinet count of 182 units servicing main stage.

In addition, Solotech provided all system drive and control, complete stage systems, console and RF.

Ironically, while Solotech has now perfected the onsite design over the years—and getting inventory on and off the island is a well-drilled procedure—the challenges they faced were mostly logistical in a post-Brexit, post-Covid world, as Robin Conway explained.

“It was always going to be a challenge working in Europe post Brexit and the pandemic, with inflated costs of shipping, carnet etc,” he said. “However the production team were confident in our ability to deliver the festival audio and to deal with any additions. We have a great relationship and hope it will continue beyond 2022.”

MLA again found favour with many of the visiting sound engineers. According to Marci Mezei, many commented directly to him about the quality of the PA and the enjoyable experience it gave them—including Sigrid’s FOH sound man Jan Halsvik and Dua Lipa’s Will Nicholson, while techs from Tame Impala and Stromae voiced similar approval.

Of course Sziget is only one of three major Hungarian festivals serviced by Solotech and BG Event, with Volt and Balaton Festivals, managed by the same production team, taking place earlier in the summer. “The relationship works well and we’re able to limit our shipping to a single Artic trailer from the UK for these shows,” states Conway. “The system rolls from Volt to Balaton and then returns home before re-prep for Sziget later in the summer.”

Solotech personnel supporting Marci Mezei and his team included Mark Cleator (FOH and system) and Kevan Snuggs (monitors and stage). Meanwhile, Marci Mezei commended his own crew, consisting of BG Event’s Gabor Bacskay Mazsi, who looked after system and FOH duties, and Robert Szentesi and Aleksandar Aleksandrovic who were at the stage end.

In addition to main stage, other stages equipped with Martin Audio systems provided by BG Event, included the Samsung Colosseum and TicketSwap Party Arena`.

On the former, this included 12 MLA Compact in two hangs of six, MLA Mini, 16 WSX subs and 10 MLA Compact at the delay position. For DJ monitoring they supplied four XE500 and a pair of Blackline S18+. Artists appearing included Ben Klock, Denis Sulta & Mella Dee, Eelke Kleij, Paula Temple, Honey Dijon, John Talabot, Joris Voorn, Kölsch, La Fleur, Matador, Seth Troxle, Sasha, Zioner and Joone.

For the Party Arena, where Steve Aoki was among a cast of headline DJs, they provided 18 W8L Longbow, in two hangs of nine enclosures, six W8LM, 30 SX218 subwoofers, 12 CDD-Live12 and eight WPS with iKon amps. Delay 1 featured a further 10 W8L Longbow and the second delay point was populated by 12 W8LC. Four XE500 featured among the DJ monitors.

Stated BG Event’s Szentiványi Balázs, “The Party Arena was once again a success this year and we received so much positive feedback. The old Longbow system was ideal for the electronic music genre, and the cabinets’ large format, and the additional speakers deployed, really did their job.”

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Martin Audio

World of Wonder

One of the latest exhibitions to burst onto South Korea’s burgeoning immersive art scene features soundscapes relayed by Martin Audio’s Adorn range. Caroline Moss gets lost in the experience

Most aptly for a country at the cutting edge of technology and creativity, art exhibitions, special events and commercial presentations in South Korea are increasingly drawing on immersive technology to envelop audiences in the experience. In July, the latest creation from SILO Lab. – Ambience – opened at E-Ham Campus, a new multi-room gallery in Yangpyeong-gun on the banks of the Namhangang River.

The gallery, a collection of buildings scattered throughout a landscaped garden, was established by a businessman who acquired the site a number of years ago to create a public space that would benefit the community. Joining forces with a collective of artists who collaborate as SILO Lab., the Ambience immersive exhibition featuring seven installations was commissioned to run across the galleries for a year, from July 2022.

SILO Lab.’s aim is to cross the boundaries between technology and art. “In an attempt to create experiences that have never existed at the intersection of technology and art, we constantly carry out research and express them through art,” a spokesman from the collective comments. “Our work brings interesting experiences by realising our imaginations with technology. SILO Lab.’s work has a strong theme of nature that allows digital media – which used to be distant and difficult – to become emotionally approachable and to communicate with the audience by encouraging active participation.”

Sound follows the light in Pitch Black

It follows, then, that in order to create immersive experiences that don’t appear to rely on technology to evoke an emotional response, a non-negotiable condition was that the speakers were concealed as much as possible in each of the seven installations.

SILO Lab. had decided they wanted to use Martin Audio speakers for this project having already worked with Korean distributor Samasound to install the brand at a new showroom for Kia Motors in Seoul. “They were impressed with Martin Audio

at that installation, feeling that, compared to other speakers, the Martin Audio models were small, powerful and suitable for spaces like this gallery, where they need to perform without being obtrusive,” says Wonjoo Lee, senior manager business planning, Samasound.

The exhibitions – all in separate galleries apart from two which share the same space – consist of Starglow, strands of LED strips that twinkle in the darkness, representing stars pouring their light into the infinite universe. Here, four Martin Audio Adorn A40 ultra compact speakers have been installed in the ceiling to create an aural effect of stars falling in space. These are powered by an Inter-M L800 amplifier with PreSonus HP4 four-channel headphone amplifier with monitor control.

Three Adorn A55 compact speakers and an SX110B slimline subwoofer, powered by an LEA Professional Connect 354 four-channel amplifier, have been installed in the Glowing Clouds gallery which features a huge LED wall segueing from sunsets to clear skies and aurora light displays, with artificial smoke creating a cloud effect. Here, the soundscape is focused as closely to the top of the audience’s heads as possible.

Seven more A55s powered by an LEA Connect 168 provide the soundscape for Pitch Black, which reproduces the sense of floating in a deep, dark space as the sound moves according to the direction of the light. In Horizon, a solitary lighthouse beam sweeps across the room, accompanied by dramatic music with added sound effects including a boat horn, thunder and waves. This is relayed by six Martin Audio A40s and an SX110B sub powered by LEA Connect 168 and 354 amps. 

Ripple features a backdrop of the sun seting behind a pool of water

Ripple features a backdrop of the sun setting behind a still pool of dark water into which a single drop falls intermittently. Lasers discreetly illuminate the ripples created, which are reflected back onto the walls. The accompanying soundscape – a bell tolling clearly above soft music – appears courtesy of two Martin Audio A40s, with a single Genelec 8330 Smart Active Monitor to amplify the bell and a SX110B sub powered by an LEA Connect 354 amp, while a PreSonus AR8c eight-channel audio mixer can adjust the volume according to audience presence.  

Strands of LED strips represent stars in the Starglow gallery

Finally, eight A40s can be found in the Starglow and Sparkling Ripple exhibits which take place in the same gallery, powered by an LEA Connect 168 and a Connect 354. Large water tanks and lights create the effect of ripples reflected in moonlight, while kinetic lighting is set in motion by the accompanying music. There is also a large AV room which displays a video about SILO Lab.’s history; here, Samasound has installed a pair of Genelec 8330 SAM monitors.

With a catalogue of high-end audio brands as well as a new LED department, Samasound is firmly behind the current wave of immersive art, evidenced at this year’s KOBA show where its demo room featured an immersive 7.1.4 demo with an original media art display on an LED videowall. An exciting development, then, for one of Korea’s long-established distributors and the products, tools and expertise it provides.

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Martin Audio

PILTON PARTY FOLLOWS IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF GLASTONBURY FOR MARTIN AUDIO WPL

With a frequent presence at the Glastonbury Festival site at Worthy Farm, where they service a number of stages, SWG Events also provide technical support for Pilton Party.

Although lesser known, it occupies the same site as the popular John Peel Stage—and features equally prominent headliners.

This year it was the turn of Elbow, supported by Easy Life to take the stage at Pilton Party 2022, where the same PA system that graced the Pyramid stage this year—Martin Audio’s WPL Wavefront Precision line array—was in position again, and Pyramid production manager Emma Reynolds-Taylor repeated her role.

Both bands had turned in stunning performances on Pyramid stage this year, and Pilton Party saw a reprise. Besides that, SWG Events provided sound reinforcement for Easy Life when they played the BBC Music Introducing stage at Glastonbury in 2019.

The confidence the company now has in specifying WPL is borne out by SWG head of audio, Simon Purse’s comment: “We have now done so many shows this summer with WPL that sound engineers have built confidence playing through it, and have got used to the workflow.”

On either side of the stage SWG flew 12 WPL elements, which they ran in 2-box resolution from their iKON iK42 amplifiers. Providing front fills were eight of their W8LM Mini line arrays, while 12 of their powerful Martin Audio SXH218 (2×18”) subs were designed in a monoblock across the front. And for good measure they also provided eight of their new Martin Audio XE500 stage monitors for reference sound.

Appraising the performance of the SXH218 Simon Purse said, “The sub response was brilliant … you could really feel it from the kick drum, and we achieved 100dBa at FOH, with no complaints.”

So powerful was the main system that no delays were required to boost sound at the back. “The field itself extended to 110m and WPL comfortably threw to the 90 metres necessary for the audience coverage area,” he confirmed.

Elbow FOH engineer, Danny Evans, also registered a positive experience aboard the Martin Audio PA. “There was plenty of headroom, with impressive clarity, and the coverage was good with consistent level and even tonality around the whole audience area. This allowed me to focus on, and enjoy mixing Elbow’s show.”

Emma Reynolds-Taylor added her own endorsement. “When we were going over the specs with our supplier, SWG, to sign off on all the tech, I was happy to see they proposed this audio system, as we’re always really pleased with the results on Pyramid. We have a vast variety of acts, of all stages of their career, at Pilton Party, and the for all acts throughout the day was exceptional.”

Summarising his own experience of the event, Simon Purse said, “This was our last green field site of the year, and it was great to go out on a high.”

FOH on systems and support bands was freelancer Dan Wooles, while the stage team was headed by Joe Bailey (monitor engineer) and responsible for patch was Fraser Wilks—both from SWG.