Martin Audio


A major mural unveiling took place in downtown Minneapolis recently—heralded by a weekend of celebratory events—when a new 100ft high artwork of Prince, featuring three shots of the Minneapolis musician, was revealed for the first time.

This $500,000 ‘Crown Our Prince’ project, as it is known, has been under development for seven years, with the mural undertaken by Florida street painter Hiero Veiga.

For the Purple block party to coincide with the reveal, local company Slamhammer Audio were brought into handle production, including the sound reinforcement. Having been a loyal customer of Martin Audio for the past two decades, they fielded a combination of eight Martin Audio W8LC Compacts, eight WS218X subs and a pair of W8LM Mini for front fills. For delays—set at the FOH position, and shooting back towards the rear of the crowd—they turned to a pair of Martin Audio CDD-LIVE and CSX-LIVE118B subs.

The reveal party was a free event, which brought several thousand people flocking to downtown Minneapolis’s Ramp A on a perfect evening. The timing was also appropriate as Prince would have turned 64 on June 7.

According to Slamhammer sales manager, Cam Dickison, from a production perspective the main challenge was the small footprint of the bandstand location, and the timing that they had to work within—since the street could not be closed during the day. “With the stage itself needing to be constructed in a very small area, we opted to build sound wing platforms and mounted the PA on those instead of rigging from the stage,” he said.

However, the night had been “full of love, joy, and even some tears” he confirmed, with special appearances from both of Prince’s sisters and performances from Prince cover band Dr. Mambo’s Combo as well as DJ Mickey Breeze. The event was hosted by Chantel Sings and Walter ‘Q-Bear’ Banks, and the whole event was live streamed.

In conclusion, Cam Dickison said, “We love working with the Prince Organisation and honouring his legacy while showing the world that Minneapolis is more than just a fly-over city.

“We have done multiple events with the Organisation and the Minneapolis Downtown Council over the years, including the ‘Prince Live on the Big Screen’ events. These are the two main forces that turned this Prince mural and block party dream into a reality.”

The technical crew also managed to pull off a challenging task, he said. While Dr Mambo’s Combo brought in their own sound engineer, Slamhammer’s Brian Scocchera was on monitors, Matt Fradley mixed FOH for the rest of the show and Mack Swanson was behind the lighting desk.

Martin Audio


Situated in Japan’s Miyazaki Prefecture, Saito City Hall recently upgraded its loudspeaker systems, opting for an all-Martin Audio solution, including the latest WPS optimised line array. The multipurpose Hall has a seating capacity of 1000 and is used for such events as ceremonies, lectures and cultural presentations.

Mr. Fukui of F Enterprise, the company that manages the Saito City Hall, commented, “My goal was to create an environment in which an identical sound can be experienced in every audience seat. The reason for choosing Martin Audio products is because we have used Martin Audio F215, X12 and LE100 point source systems for monitoring, which place the focus on the sound produced by the performer. Thanks to the resolution and clarity of the sound, making it easier for us to respond to the monitor requests at the site, I had no concerns.

“As Yoshikazu Mera, the famous counter-tenor singer, as well as the director of Saito City Hall also have a high appreciation of sound, we had no hesitation in choosing Martin Audio systems.”

They discussed their requirements with Martin Audio dealer, Mr. Miura of Music Reserve, based on the different usage of the Hall and the music genres to be played.

A single array of five WPS elements was selected for the main proscenium system and since the required coverage area differs depending on the performance, Martin Audio XD12 was chosen, two cabinets per side—one for far field, the other for near field. Adding LF extension, an SX118 subwoofer has been installed on either side of the stage, while four CDD5 are used for stage frontfills, in order to improve intelligibility while suppressing reflections at the rear seating. All this is powered by four multi-channel iKON iK42 dedicated control amplifiers.

“As a result, we are now able to deliver a stable Martin Audio signature sound anywhere in the venue,” concludes Mr. Fukui. “We have already used this system in various applications, including speech and music, and every time we have received praise.”

Martin Audio


A new 4,400-seat, three-storey church in the Ghanaian capital of Accra has been equipped with Martin Audio’s new state-of-the-art Wavefront Precision line array system.

Part of the International Central Gospel Church (ICGC)—with a global outreach overseen by founder, Rev. Dr. Mensa Otabil—sound consultancy and installation were undertaken by London-based Ghanaian production engineer and integrator, Eben Awuah of Amson Audio.

Awuah has been working with professional sound systems since the age of 13, having been associated with the Dominion Centre, Wood Green, and specified many world leading brands along the way. He first became aware of Martin Audio four or five years ago while working as production engineer for another company. “But the time came when I wanted to set up my own AV operation to serve the whole of West Africa, including Nigeria and the Ivory Coast. I needed to go back there with a recognised system and Martin Audio was one of the premier brands I was looking at.”

The big turning point came when he attended a Martin Audio open day three years ago—just as the plan for Christ Temple East was being outlined—and heard the scalable Wavefront Precision Compact optimised array for the first time. “It coincided with just having finished an installation in Nigeria [with another leading system]. Although that sounded great, what I heard from WPC gave me the headroom I needed for this project.”

This was very much foremost in his mind when he was brought in as a consultant by the ICGC for their new project, described as a ‘Pentecostal Charismatic church’. “We earmarked four major systems and I was asked to give the pros and cons of each and explain which would be the better choice for the church.” Eben Awuah was then asked to undertake the complete installation.

Knowing the system would need to reinforce a vast programme of music—from gospel voice choirs to full orchestras rock ‘n’ roll bands and spoken word from celebrants, he recommended a WPC solution. “We are the only church in Ghana, with an opera group, a classical band, a harmonised choir and rock ‘n’ roll band,” he laughs. “WPC not only gave us more warmth than the other systems, but we needed a stronger lower end that we just couldn’t find elsewhere. It gave us that little bit of extra headroom with all the drivers hitting the right frequencies within the box, whereas I really struggled [with the other main system under consideration.] As for speech reproduction, the clarity from WPC is second to none.”

Ensuring maximum control, consistency and coverage, the entire system is run in 1-box resolution.

The system comprises two hangs of 10 WPC elements and two hangs of eight. These are used in combination with hangs of six SXCF118 (1 x 18) cardioid subwoofers flown behind each hang. There is further ground stacked sub reinforcement of 12 SXH218 (2 x 18), set across the wide stage in blocks of 2-4-4-2. The line arrays are powered by 10 iKON iK81’s and the subs by five iK42.

Cardioid characteristics for the subwoofers are essential in this venue due to the large number of microphones used on stage, especially with orchestral performances.

12 CDD8 are deployed as stage lip fills and finally 12 XE300s serve as floor monitors, powered by four iKON iK42 amplifiers.

The vast number of support function rooms and ancillary areas in the vast building also have their sound delivered by more than 140 Martin Audio C6.8T ceiling speakers.

“Although acoustic treatment is still taking place to deaden the vast room the system already sounds amazing,” according to Awuah.

System design assistance came from Martin Audio Product Support Engineer, Robin Dibble. According to Eben Awuah, the sound is first class. “We just loaded the system files from Display 2.3 via VU-NET and with the minimum of tweaking it was ready to go. This system just works, even though there is still more work to do on the room.”

The installation has certainly met with the approval of ICGC Founder / Overseer and Pastor, Dr. Otabil, who predicted that “this must be the best sound system in the whole of West Africa!”

It was also commended by the British High Commissioner for Ghana, Her Excellency Harriet Thompson, who visited the facility and spoke favourably both about the quality of the sound system and the British and Ghana trade relationship.

Martin Audio


Following a successful installation at La Grande Boucherie in Midtown Manhattan last year, Bond Applied Technology LLC has again installed Martin Audio’s popular CDD speaker series in another top New York restaurant.

This time the action moved to the trendy TriBeCa district of Lower Manhattan, and a new boutique Mexican restaurant called Casa Carmen, which has been equipped with 10 ultra-compact CDD6 enclosures and four cleverly concealed SX110 subwoofers.

Collaborating once again with interior designer Julien Legeard (of Legeard Studio)—as at La Grande Boucherie—Bond director, Christopher Mayes-Wright, once again adopted the coaxial differential dispersion technology of Martin Audio’s tried and trusted CDD.

“My experience with CDD speakers has been nothing but amazing every time,” exclaimed Mayes-Wright. “I’ve been able to compare them in situ with other similar speakers and the clarity and accuracy of imaging and voicing is noticeably miles better.

“Some folks think this is irrelevant in an installation environment where there are so many factors affecting acoustic performance—asymmetrical rooms, a mixture of often highly reflective materials such as tiles and glass. But I believe that in these circumstances it’s even more important to have a perfectly tight and controlled sound coming from your loudspeakers, to avoid what I call the ‘shopping mall effect’, which you find in lots of spaces where the sound comes from above.


Christopher Mayes-Wright, Bond Applied Technology LLC

“What tends to happen is that the sound energy just floats around untamed in a vast layer above the heads of the customer, and sounds like never ending clatter. The clarity of CDDs is one giant leap towards avoiding that scenario.”

The restaurant itself represents the first US opening by a family of restaurateurs from Mexico City. The name ‘Carmen’ is a homage to the family matriarch and celebrated Mexican cook, Carmen ‘Titita’ Ramirez Degollado, and it is being run by her grandsons, Santiago and Sebastian Ramirez Degollado. Following the pandemic, TriBeCa is currently going through a resurgence.

The sound system is very efficient, but still very powerful. “ I’m a big fan of running a powerful system at below 35% of its potential,” continues Mayes-Wright. “This keeps distortion to an absolute minimum and also extends the life of the equipment.”

The brief had been clear—the system needed to sound good and fill the room, but at the same time allow regular conversation to take place. “The room acoustics help with this,” notes the installer. “There’s a layer of absorption on the ceiling and the natural wood and stucco surfaces help with diffusion of high frequencies.

“They also wanted to hide the speakers wherever possible; I always like this approach, so we were on the same wavelength from the start.” Sound feed is playback from a multi-zone Sonos system.

As to speaker concealment this not only benefitted the design aesthetic but was in keeping with the installer’s general ethos. I’m all about hiding speakers. They are designed to be heard, so why slap them on the wall where they mess with a designer’s lines, if you can move them somewhere out of sight and still achieve the same effect?” he rationalises.

This in particular applied to the SX110s which are enclosed in the cabinetry by the bar and inside the walls in the dining area—in all cases, isolated with ¾” rubber sheeting to prevent acoustic transmission. “We worked with the designer to choose appropriate vents and trim pieces, and this proved extremely successful,” stated the Bond director.

Correct speaker mounting of the full-range CDDs—in this instance on the ceiling, 16ft off the floor, using custom Unistrut frames—was also critical to achieving even dispersion. Clever preparation enabled them to be positioned perfectly between the beams.

“With speakers so high, pointing downwards, you often lose clarity and run into standing waves between the floor and ceiling. The CDDs’ tight phase response between drivers—they’re phase aligned due to the driver design—helped enormously with this.”

Despite the presence of a third-party processor, the CDDs were able to be run pretty much straight out of the box. “I didn’t do much more than enter the manufacturer-recommended EQ settings for the CDD6s, cross over the subs and do some overall tweaks after a walk-through the space with diners present.”

And Christopher Mayes-Wright’s final verdict? “The clients are super happy,” he confirms. “I went to dinner with friends at Casa Carmen shortly after it opened and experienced the sound on a busy night. The fact that everyone said how clear and controlled the sound was really made my day!”

Martin Audio


Advanced Audio and Lighting recently completed a technical redesign of the Third Reformed Church in the city of Pella, Iowa, opting for a Martin Audio line array solution.

The integrators were re-engaged, having successfully carried out an earlier sound and lighting installation for the client. Explaining the necessity for the upgrade at the Pella facility, the company’s president (and senior design engineer) Graeme Brown, said, “As so often happens, the existing system was a case of fine products having been installed, but completely misapplied within the environment, so that coverage was extremely inconsistent.”

He noted that the building’s unusual geometric had provided challenges in this regard. “The space is quite unique—a modified fan-shaped building with lots of ceiling angles and a massive custom centre truss that required outfills and delayed loudspeakers to evenly cover all seating.”

The new PA would not only need to address these issues but also have the capability of reinforcing a variety of events and source inputs. “While the Church’s main focus is contemporary music, it does have a choir and mixed quartets on a regular basis for the early service.

“The client was requesting very hi-fidelity, with extended sub-bass, rather than necessarily high SPL.” His solution was to designate a main PA comprising the scalable resolution of the Wavefront Precision WPS compact line array, which features 2 x 8” LF drivers, 4 x 4” midrange drivers and 4 x 1” exit HF compression horns. Wavefront Precision was recently accoladed with the Queen’s Award for Innovation.

To this he added centre flown SXC118 cardioid low frequency enclosures, as well as a further SXH218 subwoofers on the floor for added sub-bass.Additional fills were provided by Martin Audio’s CDD series.

“The Wavefront system and SXC118, in conjunction with the DISPLAY 2 software and iKON DSP amplifiers, driving the system in 1-box resolution, provided optimum efficiency. “It gave us the best control over which areas of the sanctuary needed coverage and which needed avoided. Once properly configured—during the design phase—commissioning becomes greatly simplified; since the system handles the loudspeaker management on its own, the integrator can focus on aligning and tuning the room … and not ‘fixing’ the sound system.”

To achieve this optimisation had required a good deal of clever programming in the Martin Audio software, in particular using the ‘Hard Avoid’ function, stated the installer. “There was initially some acoustic treatment in the space, more absorption was added during this phase.

“With that and the multiple ceiling angles adding diffusion, the space is very well behaved, and the system performs extremely well in those conditions. It has much more gain before feedback, when compared with the previous system.”

The new Martin Audio system also meets all the requirements for weight loading and general aesthetics. “The original system was the typical ‘flying junkyard’, so popular at the time. It consisted entirely of front-loaded, point source powered enclosures, whereas the new system is based on line array technology and cardioid low frequency control.

“Between the Martin Audio factory rigging hardware and the custom Polar Focus beam mounts, this was an extremely clean installation. Everything is high and tight. The clients were thrilled even before it was powered up.”

The result is that the 800-cap congregation in the main sanctuary now receives the exact same signal wherever they are seated, and when the doors open out to engage a further 100-seat overflow, whenever capacity is reached, these worshippers too will be immersed in an identical audio experience.

Advanced Audio’s designer believes the clients are now able to achieve their goals of communication on a much higher level, while no longer battling sound system shortcomings. This is supported by a church spokesman.

“The Martin WPS system that Graeme and his team installed has met and exceeded our expectations, since our room design is not your typical space for modern live sound. The WPS arrays perform very well in our space and have taken our musical mixes to a much higher level while also improving speech intelligibility.

“The steerability and thoughtful design of this PA allowed us to create intentional ‘PA Silent’ areas on the sides of our room. This allows us to better serve our congregation with prayer and communion ministries during our worship services.

“From the tightness of the low end to the clarity and smoothness of the high end, we are extremely pleased with this system design and performance.”

Martin Audio


When the Perdido Bay United Methodist Church in Florida was building a sanctuary out of the ground, optimum coverage and intelligibility from the newly installed sound system became top priorities.

The church’s highly experienced audio-visual engineer, Kenny Stewart, managed the project, and after consulting with Brian Smith, VP at Pro Sound & Video, based in nearby Pensacola, his search led him to Martin Audio. He explained, “While narrowing down my list of equipment needs, Pro Sound installed a Martin WPM array at First Baptist Church Pascagoula and my brother Kris Stewart (also at Pro Sound) mentioned how well that system performed.

“I was onboard after hearing that feedback. I needed the whole system flown, adjustable patterns, a reliable manufacturer‘s input and assistance, and an overall clear musical system.”

After considering other premium brands, his decision came down in favour of Martin Audio’s recently introduced TORUS constant curvature array, purpose designed to fill the gap between a full-size line array and a point source solution. Kenny Stewart and brother Kris then set about the installation process.


Kenny Stewart, audio-visual engineer, Perdido Bay United Methodist Church

The new space is a standard rectangular room with left seating, centre aisle, and right seating, with approximately 75ft from the stage to rear seats and 35ft wide seating sections. Setting out the criteria, he said, “Going into this new sanctuary, I wanted quality equipment in all aspects of the AV system. I specifically needed the ability to have a speaker system that delivered precise coverage, while limited floor space meant I needed to fly the subs.”

He designed Left/Right array hangs each consisting of a pair of SXCF118 subwoofers, three TORUS T1215 with a single TORUS T1230 at the base.

TORUS perfectly met the requirement for adjustable pattern control. Designed for applications that typically require a throw between 15-30m, T1215 offers a narrow vertical pattern of 15° with a flexible horizontal pattern that can be manually adjusted between 90°, 60° or 75° while the T1230 offers similar attributes, but with a vertical pattern of 30°.

As for the subs, Stewart said, “Having not heard these subs in the air I worried about having enough output. But I am shocked at how clean and loud the low end is from just four flown SXCF118,” he exclaimed.

The system is powered by three Martin Audio iKON iK42 4-channel amplifiers, with all speaker processing taking place within the amps.

This new PA rig delivers more than sufficient SPL to cater for the two Sunday services—one a traditional service with choir, grand piano and soloist, the other more contemporary, with a full worship band and vocalists.

In summary, Kenny Stewart said, “The TORUS line really delivers and surpasses all of our needs.There’s no treatment on the walls and I don’t foresee us needing any. Martin Audio’s TORUS, coupled with the SXCF118, is powerful and exactly the speaker solution for my needs.”

Martin Audio


The giant, and constantly evolving production of Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of The War of The Worlds—which has been touring arenas for 16 years— has been revitalised, with a new cast, additional music and an immersive experience for audiences.

A regular feature over the past 12 years has been sound designer and consultant, Simon Honywill, in the FOH mixing position, and a Martin Audio PA delivering the extraordinary complexity of sound, while RG Jones Sound Engineering have again provided the inventory of sound equipment. Honywill is now on his sixth tour of duty, and in keeping with the production, he has kept the sound suitably refreshed as technology has evolved. His adoption of Martin Audio’s award-winning MLA back in 2012, with its multi-cellular control, took arena sound to another level, ensuring that audiences in the front stalls were subject to exactly the same sonic experience—the full explosion of music, spoken word and special effects—as their more distant neighbours at the rear of the upper circle.

This time around, for a production dubbed ‘The Life Begins Again’ tour, Honywill says despite his extensive experience of the production and the venues it visits, the challenges remain the same. “It never gets any easier,” he admits. “The schedule is pretty gruelling, but as time has gone on, we are now very confident about using Martin Audio’s DISPLAY2 shells from previous shows to speed up the process of system optimisation and array deployment.”

Fired by the success of the 2018 tour, when he proclaimed that he would never do this tour with any PA other than MLA, he remained true to his word.

“Ten years and more down the line with this system, I am still entirely convinced that it is way ahead of the competition,” he says. “Yes, there are systems that might rig more easily and might have the advantage in other areas, but we are here to deliver the iconic sound of this immense production to every seat in the house, nothing more, nothing less. There is no other system I would even consider to achieve this.

“MLA’s unique, innate technology delivers gob-smacking evenness, incredible detail, a sense of real power without ever sounding overly loud, no listener fatigue and the amazing ability to create Hard Avoid areas.For Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of the War of the Worlds, the one thing that everybody waits expectantly to hear is the opening nine bars of epic string orchestration, loud and proud.MLA allows me unprecedented amounts of acoustic gain from the 36 strings—and the wave of excitement that races through the audience when they play those opening chords is palpable.”

And so he adopted the system design that had worked so well last time, with up to 20 MLA per side as main left/right hangs, a maximum 16 MLA Compact on each wing as side hangs, and once again, flown left/right infills of eight MLA Mini to assist with vocal clarity near the stage. Explaining this last deployment, he says, “The main hangs are well upstage of the downstage edge, so to give us more control over the headset vocal mics we use on the singers, the MLA Mini are deployed as flown stereo infills with a high-pass filter put in at around 250Hz.Additional coverage close to the stage is achieved with four pairs of MLA Mini front fills, spaced across the stage and hidden behind acoustically transparent panels in the stage dressing.”

The main difference with the rig this time around is the sub bass arrangement. “System engineers Steve Carr and Rylan Machin and I looked at alternatives to previous tours, where a compromised broadside array was placed under the stage about 4m upstage from the downstage edge. There is a great deal of stage machinery for lifts and hologram screens under the stage, along with walking routes for artists and techs—and so space is limited.

“The original idea was to fly the MLX subs, but weight was an issue in many venues.We had to find a way to get maximum even coverage whilst taking up the least amount of real estate and maintaining the integrity of the array. Rylan came up with the idea of using a combination of broadside and end-fire arrangements, which has worked out better than we could have hoped.”

There was only one new arena on the circuit—and this was the relatively new Bonus Arena in Hull, where the system was set up without a pre-existing room profile in D2. “It’s basically a very large theatre in classic shoebox style, but the team excelled in getting the system ready in time for accurate tuning and timing, despite restricted space to fly the system in” he says.

By the team, he means Carr, Machin and Nathan Kennedy. “The standard of professionalism from the crew has been absolutely world-class—they have been exemplary.Nathan’s daily job of finding and rigging suitable points for the surround effects speakers (up to eight WPS per side) has been extremely difficult in some arenas, but we’ve ended up with as good a result as we could every time.”

Other members of the audio team include the legendary Becky Pell on monitors. “She has the hardest job on the gig for sure,” believes Simon Honywill. “I could imagine nobody better to deal with such a demanding gig. Becky’s innate calmness and dedication to her job has ensured that the eight Black Smoke band members, five guest artists, 36-piece orchestra and Mr Wayne himself have all heard everything they need to hear, exactly when they needed to hear it.”

He also credits RF specialist Ricky Spiers. “COVID has been busy getting at us all, and Rick has had to deal with radio mics and in-ears for the artists daily, some of whom are understandably COVID-paranoid.”

RG Jones has been supplying The War of the Worlds since 2009, and this outing also saw the return of Production Director Steve Nolan, Production Manager Andy Proudfoot and many other regular faces that have been involved from the start.

As for the man in the mixing seat, Simon Honywill says, humbly and simply, “My job is about creating great sound,” adding poignantly…” Yes, I could use another PA system from another rental company, but I stake my reputation on it never sounding as awesome as this show does with Martin Audio MLA from RG’s.This system enables you to achieve things that no other system offers, and the team from RG’s know exactly how to get the best from it.

Photo credit: Andrew Benge.

Martin Audio


Described as “a retreat from the modern world” the German-themed Albert’s Schloss emporium was influenced by the operators’ across Alpine Europe.

Named after Prince Albert, the second unit in Birmingham (following the opening in Manchester) is set on a giant new-build footprint—part of the city’s Paradise Forum development—which required an equally expansive sound system.

Integrator Richard Anderson of Pro Technical (UK) Ltd, who had worked with directors of the operating company, Mission Mars, in the days when they ran the hugely successful Revolution bars, recommended Martin Audio’s new TORUS constant curvature array, combined with a CDD solution. This is already proving so successful that it has been adopted as the template for future openings.

“These venues are solid entertainment venues,” said Anderson. “Therefore they wanted a powerful array for the stage but also something that would fit within the budget. Martin Audio is a reputable brand and we have used CDD many times over the past ten years.”

TORUS had been suggested as the perfect nearfield solution for the stage in the giant beer hall, which has a vibrant programme of live bands—from cabaret to full-on rock—seven nights a week, as well as DJs and background music during its all-day trading hours.

Thus Richard Anderson mixed pairs of TORUS T1230 (30° vertical dispersion) and T1215 (15° vertical dispersion) constant curvature arrays in stacks either side of the stage, with Martin Audio’s proprietary DISPLAY software optimisation and manual horizontal dispersion adjustability, providing tailored medium throw coverage across the width in front of the stage.

Both TORUS models also feature a 12” driver, but the low end is reinforced by four SX118 (single 18” subs) set under the stage, with the 550-strong clientele further back down the hall immersed in a sound field created by 24 powerful coaxial differential dispersion CDD10’s.

Upstairs is Ludwig’s Tavern, named after former Bavarian king Ludwig II. This more exclusive area, where customers can play shuffleboard, takes a feed off the main system downstairs but also has its own independent DJ plug-in point. This is served by six CDD6 and a powerful fully displayed Martin Audio SX210 which sits loud and proud. “The client has never worried about having the speakers fully visible,” says the installer.

The entire system was powered by a combination of Martin Audio iKON iK42 and VIA5004 amplifiers, and was commissioned by Martin Audio’s Nigel Meddemmen, who also provided design support.

“The client is ecstatic and we’re now looking forward to adopting a similar model in Liverpool,” concludes Richard Anderson. This was backed up by Mission Mars Group Property Director, Godfrey Russell. “The Martin Audio system has provided Alberts Schloss with a great sound; we are really happy with the result,” he stated.

Martin Audio


Bristol-based experiential and party planning specialists, PYTCH, recently supplied local event organisers, Alfresco Disco with a full Martin Audio rig for a classic warehouse-based dance party.

Comprising two stages, the sound needed to be carefully EQ’d to cope with the all-nighter’s early proceedings—when it was little more than an empty, echoey warehouse—to ramping up the volume once the venue was packed with around 2,150 revellers.

But then, according to Chelsea Hopkins at PYTCH, care had to be taken to avoid sound escape in a densely packed residential area. “Although the bass was powerful the sound was directional and well contained— resulting in minimal disruption for local residents,” she confirmed. This was assisted by a cardioid pattern sub array which reduced any troublesome low frequencies.

Simon Gore, PYTCH

She added that PYTCH has been staging parties for Alfresco for the past five years. “We have remained the preferred provider due to our ability to set up in unusual spaces.” For this event guests could spill out the back of the warehouse into the yard and smaller warehouse, where PYTCH has an LED wall set up as part of their studio.

To satisfy the audio requirements of such a large gathering, delivered from a succession of DJs, PYTCH equipped the main stage with 12 flown Martin Audio W8LM Mini Line Array elements, underpinned with 10 WS218X subwoofers. These were all ground stacked, one array of three either side of the stage directly under the line array and four under the stage in an endfire array to fill in the low end for the middle of the room.

A pair of W8LMD provided additional downfill coverage and a further pair of Blackline XP118 powered subwoofers added further low frequency support. Two further W8LM cabs were ground-stacked on the lip of the stage to provide centre fill.

This design was conceived by the service company’s in-house tech team, led by a member of their wider network, George Chandler.

The smaller second stage was located in ‘The Virtual Venue’, by day a broadcast, virtual production and recording studio, which ran vinyl records alongside CDs. Here they fielded a pair of W8C Compact tops and second stack raised to listening height as well as WS218 subs.

Reflecting on the event, PYTCH sound tech Simon Gore, who mixed the main stage, remarked on the even coverage throughout the space, saying “I was really impressed at the even coverage. The Martin Audio rig responded brilliantly, delivering perfect tone with masses of headroom.” And Chelsea Hopkins added that thanks to the precautions they had taken the event was a complete success. “The sound system was fantastic and we’re not aware of any noise complaints during the event—which is fantastic.

“In fact the feedback we had from organisers and attendees was that it sounded incredible.”

Martin Audio


Martin Audio’s Portuguese partner LVT Audio recently supported a landmark 40th anniversary performance by the country’s most famous rock band, Xutos & Pontapés and the Portuguese Philharmonic Orchestra with a Martin Audio MLA Compact rig. This is one of a series of premium line arrays from the British manufacturer in their armoury.

The band itself was founded in Lisbon by the late Zé Pedro, Zé Leonel, Kalú and Tim, and the Porto-based rental company were determined to cut no corners at Porto’s 8,500-capacity Super Bock Arena.

With audio direction by LVT principal, and technical director, Miguel Lindo and support from Martin Audio’s North American technical specialist Joe Lima, LVT provided Xutos’ FOH engineer, Carlos Vales (Cajó) and system tech, Antonio (Touché) Costa with a powerful system. This comprised hangs of 18 elements of MLA Compact per side, with a further 12 MLA Mini and three MSX subs on each flank performing outfill duties.

LF reinforcement for the main system was in the shape of 16x DSX subwoofers, set in cardioid broadside configuration, while front fills consisted of four further MLA Compact.

Commenting on his experience with the PA rig, Xutos’ FOH engineer, Carlos Vales stated, “Ever since the modular system era, Martin Audio has been a perfect match for Rock & Roll—both on monitors and PA. And MLA is no exception! With excellent definition and consistent dispersion throughout the audience area, it is an excellent PA in every situation.”

Adding his own experiences with Martin Audio’s front-line PA’s, Miguel Lindo stated, “We’ve done more than 40 concerts since October 2020 covering all genres of music—and always with impressive results.

“We will continue to delve deeper into the properties of these systems on a day-to-day basis—particularly its deployment in arenas—in order to get the best out of this highly-captivating and advanced technology.”

Photo Credit: Nelson Valente