Martin Audio


US: One of 21 missions originally built by the Spanish in California, Mission San Luis Rey church, known as the ‘King of Missions’, was founded in Oceanside in 1798. Today it stands as one of the finest examples of Spanish Colonial architecture, a national historic landmark that Franciscan Friars call home.

San Diego-based AV company Sound Image Integration, now part of Clair Global Integration, have been servicing the Mission’s audio, camera, and video distribution requirements for the past 20 years. Business Development Manager, Scott Coyle, explained that to keep the Serra Center worship space fully operable as it carries out vital community work, previously sympathetic budget decisions were undertaken.

That was until a decision was made to reorientate the interior, from its traditional long rectangular shape, through 90°, to bring the congregation—which can reach 1200—closer to the altar. Coyle recognised that “While it made more sense that way, the sound was compromised due to a succession of ceiling speakers.”

When administrators recognised that a more serious and permanent approach to their sound was required, it was the Martin Audio TORUS T820 constant curvature solution that Coyle proposed, bearing in mind that with the reconfiguration, the church now had extraordinary width but little depth.

“We knew the focus needed to be principally the spoken word,” he said. “However, at the same time they have large congregations attending their weekend masses when a full choir and band perform.”

Scott Coyle, Sound Image Integration

They looked at the space, and reviewed the types of speakers that would serve best for clarity, coverage and budget. “Having undertaken several projects with Martin Audio over the years in the house of worship space TORUS was our recommendation. Based on our long-standing relationship I knew we would have their trust,” he added.

An approach was made to Martin Audio Product Support Engineer, Will Harris, who duly set to work on a design. “When [the church] saw the visualisation and coverage map of how the speakers would react within the room, they were truly wowed,” said Coyle.

Harris himself recalled, “With such a beautiful and historic building I knew that the minimal visual footprint would be needed to get this done right and the TORUS T820 really fit the bill. We were able to get them well tucked away within the architecture of the building.”

Delivering high output from an 8” speaker within a compact footprint, it is the 100° horizontal and 20° vertical dispersion pattern that make it so ideal for the short throw requirement within this space. Left/Right flown pairs flank a central cluster of four T820 elements, while out wide on each wing wall-mounted Martin Audio CDD10’s provide optional outfill reinforcement, generally depending on whether the choir is in session. SX112 subwoofers warm up the sound and fit snugly into the existing cut-outs in the ceiling, while the entire rig is powered by a pair of matched iKON iK81 eight-channel amplifiers.

Finally, working in such historic buildings—this unique space enjoys classical and baroque architecture—as the integration experts at Sound Image often do, this installation was undertaken with great sensitivity. “Once our engineering team had purpose manufactured good rigging points, the system went up easily.”

When it came to fine-tuning the system, Coyle said they were fortunate in that the room was not as ‘live’ as is typical in what he terms as “an A-frame type of scenario.”

Will Harris undertook final commissioning. “When he fired the system up, he looked at his screen, smiled and said, ‘This is why I love these boxes!’” reminisced Coyle. “Testament not only to the box but to our installation craftsmanship.

“This was a perfect project for the TORUS 8. The constant curvature systems just work so well together delivering even and seamless coverage across the entire room, while handling the entire frequency spectrum with very little effort.”

Kerey Quaid, The Mission’s Music Director, agreed wholeheartedly. “The new speakers and amplification system are a great improvement for both music and spoken word in our worship space. We have both clarity and bass (for the first time), and equally good sound for the whole congregation. Great equipment!”

Martin Audio

Music Art and Goshen Swara select Martin Audio to provide a harmonious audio solution for OPUS Karaoke

INDONESIA: Satulapan Group recently opened OPUS Karaoke in North Jakarta’s PIK area, following the success of its Mantra Club. The new venue was equipped with a state-of-the-art audio system by professional audio installer Music Art and Goshen Swara Indonesia, focusing on Martin Audio speakers to enrich the karaoke experience.

OPUS Karaoke features 11 rooms, including a VVIP Penthouse, two VIP rooms, four medium rooms, and four small rooms, each designed to offer a distinctive singing experience. The project faced challenges such as varying room acoustics and integrating the system with the venue’s design, especially in the VVIP Penthouse, which was prone to sound reflections due to its glass surfaces. Here, Martin Audio’s speakers and subwoofers were deployed to ensure immersive sound quality.

The setup was completed in time for the venue’s grand opening in early March, with both Music Art and Goshen Swara Indonesia acknowledging the success of this collaborative effort. This installation demonstrates the adaptability and excellence of Martin Audio’s products, ensuring OPUS Karaoke delivers a premier audio experience for its patrons.

Martin Audio

HH Tessen Install Series TNi-W12-Pro chosen for Prague art school

Czech Republic: With approximately 1,500 students, the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague is the largest art school in the Czech Republic. The Academy is divided into three faculties which develop students in the fields of theatre, film and TV, and music and dance.

The high standards of artistic education offered by the institution are reflected by the frequent prestigious awards achieved at domestic and international festivals and events. The Academy’s technical provision is maintained to a high standard, in order to provide its students with the best possible learning environment.

Recently, the Theatre Faculty (DAMU) wished to invest in new loudspeakers to improve provision in a number of its learning spaces, and engaged Milan Úbl of established audio, lighting and AV specialists, DJ Servis to supply and install new systems for nine classrooms used for dance lessons and acting performances. DJ Servis recommended HH Audio loudspeakers as a quality, robust and competitively-priced solution.

HH Audio’s Czech distributor Music Trade supplied a total of 18 x HH Tessen Install Series TNi-W12-Pro high power, two-way, full-range units for the installation. With rotatable HH/Celestion designed waveguides, the loudspeakers can be used in either vertical or horizontal configurations depending on the requirements of the space. Flexible connection and mounting options make the TNi-W12-Pro a very versatile option for the widest range of applications where exceptional audio performance is required.

Martin Pivoňka of Music Trade comments: “The staff at DAMU are very happy with their new loudspeakers which have elevated the audio quality across the institution – so pleased in fact, that they are considering making a further investment in these compact, powerful and versatile HH Audio loudspeakers.”
Martin Audio


UK: Having supported Michael McIntyre tours for many years (as Capital Sound) with Martin Audio solutions, Solotech UK have again been entrusted with providing sound reinforcement on the stand-up comedian’s current Macnificent 2023-24 arena tour.

MLA had successful graced the last two tours, but this time Solotech switched up to the British manufacturer’s newer flagship large-format line array, WPL.

The Off The Kerb production team behind the tour remains the same, with Neil McDonald once again overseeing the tech. “It’s a pleasure to be working again with Neil and the team at Off the Kerb,” stated Solotech UK Senior Account Manager, Robin Conway. “We discussed the tour back in late 2022 and the only thing we’ve changed is the model of PA. The design is very similar, and Wavefront Precision is a newer and more lightweight cabinet than the MLA,” he adds by way of explanation. “I was 100% confident it could achieve the same success as MLA has on the previous tours.”

Conway, himself masterminded the system design that the new FOH sound team would be entrusted with, knowing it would need to be scalable. He knew it would be in safe hands with system tech Rylan Machin, who is vastly experienced in working with the Martin Audio platforms. “Once out on the road he and Tim [crew chief and monitor engineer Tim Paterson], Sam [PA tech Sam Brazier] and Jason [FOH engineer Jason Barton, mixing on a Yamaha QL5] have been fine tuning the deployment.

The PA is scalable, depending on venue size, but in all instances is driven in the optimum 1-box resolution from Martin Audio’s multi-channel iK42 DSP amplifiers.

Robin Conway, Solotech UK

“For instance,” continues Conway, “by the time the tour hits the big rooms including the O2 and Manchester Arena in 2024 we will be fielding the full inventory.” This comprises 22 WPL (per side) for the main hangs; 18 of the smaller WPC per side (for the outfills, with an additional six WPC at The O2); eight WPS delays at each of three positions and four SX218 subs per side. Filling other gaps in the coverage are four of the obligatory Martin Audio XD12 (outfill) and eight DD6 for nearfill along the front. Providing monitoring duties on stage are TORUS T1215 and T1230 constant curvature enclosures as sidefills, along with four wedge monitors.

It was a design that Robin Conway had thought long and hard about. “Providing full range power at the front end is something we’ve long practiced with on the comedy circuit. MLA was a killer at delivering a great vocal without exciting the room, and over previous tours for Off the Kerb, we realised that carrying delays for the entire tour wasn’t as important as it had been with the previous system … the complex optimisation really does work with spoken word.”

Solotech UK had to balance achieving optimum sonic performance with a cost-effective solution that would make best use of their inventory. “Scaling the PA up and down allows us to do this. By supplying sufficient, but not too much PA, we’re able to be creative while keeping trucking space low. Nobody wants to be carrying around boxes that are not being used.”

Barton and Machin have worked well collaboratively, as shown in the results achieved. The latter, for instance, has been using Martin Audio’s proprietary DISPLAY control software to productive effect, depending on how the sound is contoured for each venue.

He explains: “While WPL is a really good system, enabling us to get really consistent coverage throughout the audience area, speech has to be intelligible everywhere … you have to keep it off the walls and avoid the reflections whereas with music you can cover it up more easily.”

He cites Cardiff’s Utilita Arena as an example.“There are big bits of glass at the back of the arena which reflects all the sound straight back to the FOH position—so we’ve been able to optimise that out of the prediction and reduce the level on the back wall.

“I’ve been using [the ‘Non-Audience’ feature] in all the places we don’t want it, like the glass at the back of the room, and focusing ‘Hard Avoid’ on the stage, because he is using a DPA headset mic so we’ve been able to reduce that feedback quite considerably.”

Robin Conway flags up a further benefit—for example when McIntyre is lying down next to the monitoring. “The onstage rejection of the PA is great, so the focus can be more on the quality of the vocal sound, rather than cutting it to pieces by looking for more gain before feedback.”

In conclusion he says the Solotech UK and Martin Audio packaging of the PA, amps and cable system and control has resulted in a rig that is “super quick to deploy … and Wavefront Precision and the iKONamp racks are a big part of this.” Now he is looking forward to the dates in 2024 when they can roll out the larger systems into the bigger-cap venues.

Finally, Martin Audio Global Marketing Manager, Jamie Gomez, also assessed that “having seen the set up at Cardiff, Wavefront Precision very much delivered on what it says on the tin. Controlled sound with richness and clarity of vocals ensured everyone in the audience heard the punchline.”

Martin Audio


HK: As Hong Kong’s biggest and longest running outdoor music and arts festival, Clockenflap was again held over three days recently at the Central Harbourfront, overlooking Kowloon. Operating over six stages, it featured an all-star line-up including Pulp, Joji, Yoasobi, Caroline Polachek, IDLES and many others.

MSI Japan were appointed as the production partner for the event’s largest Harbourflap stage, where they deployed a Martin Audio MLA array.

Responsible for the sound system design were MSI’s Bunshiro ‘Bun’ Hote, Yasuhiko ‘Yasu’ Watanabe and Yukio ‘Eddie’ Tanada, who explained that one of the biggest challenges faced at the event is noise control. It is not so much about controlling the noise out the front of the stage as limiting the audio coming out the back of the stage.For at the rear of the stage are several government buildings, residential properties and hotels.In past years there have been complaints from residents and so MSI needed to focus on rear rejection.

It immediately became apparent that in order to control the sound across the entire frequency waveband, their only choice was to deploy Martin Audio MLA, with its advanced DISPLAY control and optimisation software.

And by further adding a full cardioid subwoofer array, using 30 x MLX, they could achieve close to 30dB rejection at the rear of the stage.

The two hangs of 15 x Martin Audio MLA and a single MLD downfill box were addressed by DISPLAY, the software enabling MSI to control the coverage for the audience. At the same time, by utilising the ‘Hard Avoid’ feature at the rear they could eliminate audio from on the stage, and therefore also from the residents behind the stage. Limits were also placed at the edges of the audience areas to ensure maximum focus on the audio where it needed to be, without escaping across the water to the Kowloon side.

Clockenflap sound director, Sem Cigna, has been working on the event since 2016, and has seen several sound systems on the main stage over this time. Sem used MLA for the Gwen Stefani concert in Hong Kong in 2019 as well as the Rugby Sevens, and familiarised himself with MLA in a similar configuration to this show (although with slightly fewer subs).There were similar demands back then and after that show Sem commented, “I was able to experience just how MLA could reduce the audio outside the audience area without losing any impact for the audience itself.”They experienced the same thing at Clockenflap this year.

Sem has worked alongside the event’s production manager, Peter Gorton, since 2019—and it is the latter who is ultimately responsible for managing the noise thresholds, which all six stages have to conform to.

He explained, “When the venue moved from Kowloon to Central [Hong Kong] several years ago, one of the biggest requests from the Government was to manage the noise for the residents.They subsequently endured several years of trial and error, testing different options, from hiring cranes to fly and evaluate different line arrays on site, to craning in large sandbags to sit behind the subwoofers in order to block sound from the rear of the stage.

Over the years various solutions were evolved without using sandbags, and this year they selected Martin Audio’s award-winning MLA to eliminate the noise at the back of the stage area entirely.

Noise levels are monitored at four points around the city, three in Central and one across the water in Kowloon.Residents may have adapted to having the Clockenflap Festival in the city; however Peter and the team never take this for granted, particularly as Clockenflap continues to expand. “In 2024 there will be a festival in Singapore, in addition to the original one in Hong Kong,” he explains.“We also have plans for other shows and festivals in HK.”

Having worked with MSI over the years they were delighted with the deployment and performance of MLA, which delivered the punch and impact they were hoping for, especially for bands like Yoasobi, the Japanese J-Pop band who were playing for the first time in Hong Kong.They sold out the Friday night and blew away the excited audience with their energy.

The final word came from Fujita Kengi, Yoasobi’s FOH engineer, who has mixed on MLA many times. He described the resolution of MLA as being a “standout feature” making it easier for him to focus on the mix, and thereby create maximum impact for the audience.

Martin Audio


UK: In a repeat of their successful deployment at OVO Arena Wembley for the 25th MOBO Awards, SWG Events this time headed north with their flagship Martin Audio WPL Line Array to the Utilita Arena, Sheffield for this year’s event

They had to overcome the challenges of providing balanced sound reinforcement for the live audience inside the 12,500-cap arena, while preserving the integrity of the set and striking a balance between the presenters’ mics and the live showcases, in a fast-paced show.

These live performances ranged from UK rap to Afrobeats, Dancehall to Pop/R&B and Garage, with back-to-back performances from Soul II Soul, Ghetts, Sugababes, Cristale, Byron Messia, King Promise and Camidoh, plus a Garage set from DJ Spoony. The event was hosted by Babtunde Aleshe,IndiyahPolack andZezeMills.

It required SWG Events to increase the WPL box count from 16 to 18 elements for each of the main L/R hangs, compared with last time; but more significantly, was the increased number of outhangs, comprising 12-a-side WPC—all driven in 2-box resolution from iKON iK42s.

Explaining the rationale SWG Events’ Head of Audio, Simon Purse stated, “It was a fairly standard arena set up, and [Sheffield] is a very pleasant-sounding space as far as arenas go. But the additional outhangs enabled us to better cover the raked seating in the nearfield. That was a massive benefit as the tonal response from WPC and WPL is really similar, so when you walk around the rig it just really works well.

“There’s the additional benefit of being able to use the same amp racks in the same configuration, in terms of the LK connectors, breakouts and big multicores that Martin Audio can provide. All of that worked brilliantly at the stage end.”


Simon Purse, SWG

As with the previous MOBO Awards, which took place in November 2022, they chose an 18-box SXH218 sub array in end fire configuration, with three rows of six subwoofers delayed to a central point. That works well in these arenas because you can achieve the broadside array coverage without intruding on the set design—it can sometimes be quite challenging with such a visually oriented set.”

To avoid interference with the LED screen the PA was trimmed at little higher than normal. Below, there was just a single stage but with a catwalk thrust on stage left, while on stage right there was a smaller thrust for the guest presenters.

SWG Events turned their attention to the stage, providing a number of Martin Audio’s top-of-the-range dedicated XE500 monitors for foldback and adding stage sidefills on each flank in the shape of TORUS T1215 stacked on a pair of SXC118 cardioid subwoofers on each side.

Purse formed an effective tag team with colleague, freelance engineer Matt Pope, who handled system tech and alternated FOH duties. “Matt focused on the musical performance elements while I handled presenter mics and guests,” he explained.

“There were a lot of different intricacies, and the infrastructure behind the show was complex compared with a standard headline arena show. We had our stage system, which was split to FOH and monitors, and another split to an OB truck, which is handling the live broadcast mix. Finally, there were further split heads to a TV truck that was dealing with the presenter microphones and presenter IEM units as well as a separate broadcast mix for presentation later in the week.”

And then there was the speed of turn-around to contend with and imponderables encountered when one merges a live show with an awards presentation. “But the PA element helps tremendously. If it goes in easily—which this did—we can focus on the job in hand.”

Other challenges included striving for good gain before feedback, and trying to adequately project a quietly spoken vocal.

To meet these obstacles requires a highly skilled crew. And these included Will Fisher(monitors); Ian Williams (Playback/Comms); Phil Hughes (RF Tech); Fraser Wilks, Sam Jones, Laura Evans (Stage Patch & general Audio engineering); Mark Bott (SWG Operations Manager) and Henry Roper (SWG Production assistant. All worked under overall production manager Rob Smalldon (of Marvellous Incorporated Ltd), as last year.

Having Martin Audio’s flagship WPL as their front-line PA has enabled SWG Events to push ever further into the world of arena shows. However, Simon Purse knows that fastidious prep now becomes ever more important.

For the MOBOs, having received the CAD files from the venue the SWG Head of Audio was able to plan ahead, arriving on site with all presets stored and ready to go. “For due diligence I then always take additional measurements. You never know exactly what you will find so I was able to fine tune it and utilise the array snapshot feature to update my array optimisations.

Summing up, Simon Purse said, “I was extremely happy with the sound. We got the vocal presence right out of the PA, at an event where intelligibility was the name of the game.”

Rob Smalldon agreed. “The team worked tirelessly to make sure we had a great sounding show especially with a few curve balls thrown in during the weeks leading up to the event,” he said.

“The support pre-event was magnificent, ensuring all the acts got what they needed audio wise, and the system sounded great in the arena. A show like this only works when the experts in their particular field bring their A game and work together with the rest of the production teams to deliver. It felt very calm on site, and everyone did a magnificent job.”

Martin Audio


US: A sensitive installation of Martin Audio’s ADORN ACP-55T pendant speakers has been undertaken at the North Carolina Museum of Art (NCMA) West Building Gallery in Raleigh, NC, by RMB Audio.

Knowing that the installation required multiple architectural and art curator approvals, the integrators knew instinctively that the stylish pendants would provide the most aesthetically discreet, yet consummately effective means of sound distribution.

According to RMB Audio owner, Cooper Cannady, 16 of the shallow pendant speakers were selected for their 150° conical coverage (117 Hz to 20 KHz ± 3dB, -10db @73 Hz) and off-white finish which matched the ceiling. These were approved by the architectural committee after careful review.

The speakers are paired to cover the wall-to-wall open space. Three areas of the gallery were zoned for audio isolation to control the social gathering adjacent to the art exhibitions. The ACP-55T pendants were hung at 15ft height across three selected zones in the gallery to mitigate sound leakage into other areas.


Cooper Cannady, RMB Audio

“Well-articulated speech is the most critical parameter for the sound system application,” notes Cannady, “and Martin Audio ACP-55T pendants deliver high sound pressure level for speech and background music for daily operation.”

The Martin Audio partners had reviewed there options carefully. But according to Cooper Cannady the choice was obvious. “I knew the project needed a 150° cabinet spaced symmetrically across the gallery,” he said. “Ceiling units could not be considered in these circumstances.”

The installation coincides with the 12th anniversary of NCMA’s Thomas Phifer–designed West Building—home of the ‘People’s Collection.’ It is the first sound system to be permanently installed in the gallery. Previously, mobile carts would be delivered to the space, and without the ceiling elevation, clarity was lost.

The building’s 2010 completion marked not only an award-winning architectural achievement in museum design but also a breakout project for New York City-based Thomas Phifer and Partners.

The continuous ceiling sky light design brings natural light to the exhibits. The continual skylight introduced the challenge to examine how sound can be introduced into the space that is intelligible coverage for the gallery and blending into the ceiling vaulted lighting.

Martin Audio’s compact two-way ADORN ACP-55T were specifically designed for background and foreground applications requiring premium performance and cost competitiveness in spaces with open ceiling architecture such as this.

Stated Martin Audio’s director of marketing, James King, “Adding these pendant speakers to our popular ADORN range has proved to be a winner. In retail spaces and venues with open ceiling architecture specifiers are coming to realise that not only do they meet the aesthetic requirement, but sonically they also provide consistent all-round coverage with absolute clarity, due to their wide-dispersion pattern.”

Summing up the installation, Cooper Cannady also confirms their discreet profile. “If you didn’t know where to look for [the speakers] you simply wouldn’t see them.

“The ADORN pendant design blends into the gallery ceiling; it does not distract the museum attendees and most significantly, spoken word is highly intelligible in the large space.”


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Martin Audio


Martin Audio took full advantage of their new stand location at the Fira de Barcelona, ensuing they would drive heavy traffic to their booth at the recent ISE 2024.

By taking up a position front and centre of Hall 7 they were able to place major focus, not only on themselves, but brands across the Focusrite Group—thereby helping to demonstrate synergies and opportunities. Equally, in Martin Audio’s celebrated demo room, the integration of recent Focusrite acquisition, TiMax immersive sound, was showcased as well as localisation with stage tracking, helping to enhance the specific Martin Audio presentations.

According to Marketing Director, James King, “This was a deliberate strategy and one that really paid off. We have a wealth of expertise and product solutions for the pro audio industry within the Group now, and the with the recent addition of TiMax it made perfect sense to help shine a light on them too, while also helping to augment Martin Audio’s own showcase.

“The stand’s location helped enormously to bring fresh interest while our audio demonstrations gave a tour de force review of key product lines from our strongest ever line-up.

While it was too late in the day to fully integrate TiMax to the wider Focusrite Group stand in time for ISE 2024, all the promotional activity and cooperation undoubtedly helped drive increased interest to TiMax, who had a stand towards the back of Hall 7.

James King also noted that the week had been a near record one for Martin Audio’s website traffic. “It showed conclusively how favourably offline and online activity can intersect.”

Meanwhile, he promises that the Group will return to ISE 2025 with “an even bigger and better stand in the same location … and this time it will be with full TiMax integration.”

Martin Audio


UK: Marquee AV recently helped boost the atmosphere at new London West End Italian restaurant, Daroco Soho, by installing a premium Martin Audio CDD sound reinforcement system.

Introduced to the project by design and construction consultant, Cotton Thompson Cole, Marquee’s project director Stacey Tough, says the preference for Martin Audio had been a joint decision between him and the clients themselves, who had specifically requested the brand. “The fact that they knew, and liked Martin Audio helped the process considerably,” he said. “As they already knew they were getting a first-class product we didn’t have to arrange a demo.”

The brief was to provide a system that would deliver quality sound with even coverage throughout, within the two-storey architecturally led environment. This includes the ‘Wacky Wombat’ cocktail bar in the basement with a DJ booth, providing a club-like atmosphere.


Julien Ross, Daroco

Marquee AV have provided separate DJ input facilities on both floors, which operate on separate zones, accessed by a number of background music players. Programmable wall controllers on each floor allow for local volume control and independent source selection.

The sound system comprises six CDD8B and four SX210 subs in the basement (Wacky Wombat) and eight CDD6B, underpinned by four discreetly concealed SX210 subwoofers on the ground floor and a single CDD5B in reception. With sound needing to remain consistent through stairwells, corridors and toilets nine Martin Audio ADORN A55T were detailed to function as infills in these ancillary areas.

Explaining the logic behind this selection, the project director explained that the ceiling height had been the reason for selecting wall mounted CDD6’s for the ground floor, with anti-vibration mounts on both floors. “The subs are recessed into furniture and seating on both floors, while the ADORN speakers serve the corridors. In the basement bar the CDD8s are ceiling mounted, and a further four of the SX210s are incorporated into the seating, to support the DJ Set up .

In summary Stacey Tough can reflect on a thoroughly satisfying experience as the restaurant concept enjoyed a successful transition from its original base in Paris. In fact it had been the task of Cotton Thompson Cole to provided design support to the Client’s French architect, Olivier Delannoy from the REINH agency to bring the vision to life, coordinating the building works and ensuring the project remained on track through to completion.

As for the sound system, concludes Stacey Tough, “it behaved as exactly as we and the client wanted and it was a pleasure to work in such a beautifully designed interior.”

Praising the work carried out, Julien Ross, co-founder of Daroco, added, “We are delighted with the success of the recent audio installation at Daroco Soho. Working with Stacey and the Marquee AV team was a seamless experience, and their dedication to excellence truly shone through. The result of the installation exceeded our expectations, enhancing the overall audio experience at our venue.”

Photography by Géraldine Martens and Julie Spicy

Martin Audio


As a key member of the project team at FACE, Martin Audio’s Belgian distributor, Steven Kemland played a major role in developing the sound systems at the Plopsa theme parks in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Poland—starting with Plopsa Indoor Hasselt, which opened in December 2005. Since then Martin Audio SR solutions have been a fairly constant feature of the various zonal installations and upgrades.

But just over a year ago a separate integration company, called Concept10 was set up by Kemland and partner Stijn Vermeiren, and while FACE remains an important supplier the operation enables them to provide not just audio, but a full turnkey audio visual, content and network integration.

Successive generations of Martin Audio speakers, from C115 to CDD and now TORUS constant curvature and FlexPoint have been specified for Plopsa, the most recent being the complex inside the area known as the Kiosk Village Square. This is dominated by an island stage where every morning and evening a show takes place (featuring Plopsa characters) while during the weekend different music groups take to the bandstand.

Previously Kemland had worked with Martin Audio to get products weatherised, and it was this first custom solution for CDD that had informed the development of the CDD-WR series for outdoor use.

Weatherproofing was again one of a number of requirements set out by the client for the refit of the Kiosk Stage and Square, inside the main entrance at Plopsaland de Panne. Kemland takes up the story.

Pieter Dewaegeneere, Plopsa Investment Team

“The Kiosk stage was built 12 years ago, when we installed three [Martin Audio] XD15 a side with WS218X subs. But 12 years is a long time—the stage was getting used more and more and instead of the anticipated maximum of 1000 people, during the weekend there would now be as many as 3000 people watching a show.”

Hence coverage became an issue. Not only would a line array be prohibitively expensive, he rationalised, but also the wrong solution since the audience is wrapped 160° around the stage which is open on all sides. “So we realised what we had to do was install TORUS to provide an even dispersion of 30 metres wide but 160° around the stage.

“We also wanted to have good dispersion across the complete square, which measures 50m x 80m. However, it also needed to be quieter at the back because there were fountains and things for children. So the sound needed to remain clear but drop by 10dB—and that’s working really great with TORUS, as at the end of the square, once you are beyond the 30-metre area, you have a nice sloping off of the sound. In that respect, TORUS is working perfectly.”

To accomplish this, a hanging cluster of four TORUS T1230 a side, augmented by a pair of FlexPoint FP8 on pillars, set 2m high on either side, provide downfill coverage, while a pair of S218X on either side provide low frequency extension.

“It’s the first time that we have integrated TORUS into a project, and it is providing a perfect solution,” says Steven Kemland. “The FP8s are also working great, and that is such a nice box,” adds the installer.

But the icing on the cake is once again the special WR version that was a joint venture between Martin Audio and Concept10. “Martin Audio delivered the boxes with a weatherised grille, and we took it from there, making special plates top and bottom, as well as a backplate—so now it’s completely waterproof. This type of custom work is something we are able to do now that we are independent, which we couldn’t have done previously.”

In January there will be a complete upgrade and harmonisation of the network (which is presently split between Dante and other platforms). CDD5 and CDD6’s will replace older Martin Audio C115s around the entrance, while various other zones in the Kiosk, including retail, will be upgraded. “We will have our own switches and network on separate fibre,” promises Kemland.

Rather than operate as an independent zone, the Kiosk is now tied into the voice evac, receiving emergency announcements that will duck the BGM. The network upgrade will allow any sound source to be routed to any zone on the suite. “For example, we can send DJ or live music to the complete park if we wish.”

Pieter Dewaegeneere from the Plopsa Investment Team confirms that all requirements have been met and the flexibility of the new network and sound upgrade will see the park safely into the future. “Plopsa has been working with the people behind the new Concept10, and their Martin Audio products for many years,” he confirmed. “For the Kiosk we were looking for a compact installation with a very wide distribution. The TORUS cluster provides a perfect answer to our needs here. With this investment we now have a real ‘live’ feeling on our entrance plaza … 365 days a year.”