Martin Audio partners, Sussex Events, recently fielded their TORUS 8 constant curvature hybrid PA for the launch of this year’s Turner Prize.

The event took place at the Towner Eastbourne, as part of the art gallery’s centenary celebrations (‘Towner 100’) and Turner Prize’s four shortlisted artists were introduced. This was followed by a party, with local DJs pumping music out until well into the night.

This may not have chimed with local residents, in the retirement seaside town—nor with the organisers of the world’s leading prize for contemporary art – had it not been for the tight focus of the TORUS 8, paired with the cardioid properties of the SXC118 subwoofers, and the expertise of Sussex Events, led by partners Bob Watson and Adam Briggs explained.

Set up in 2012, the production company supported Martin Audio solutions virtually from the get-go, working through successive generations of products. “When the original TORUS came out, we already had some boxes that filled that gap, but what we did need was something compact and powerful for our corporate work and also our more upmarket events,” said Watson. “So when TORUS 8 appeared I think we ordered it on the day it was announced.” He shared this enthusiasm with the fact that the proprietary DISPLAY 3 visualisation software now operates on the MacOS platform, making set-up easier and more efficient.

“TORUS 8 is a versatile box that has been out constantly at corporate events as well as a couple of bandstands since we acquired it in April,” he continued. “They are replacing boxes that were throwing a lot of sound but largely to areas where we actually didn’t need it.”

Their standard corporate set-up is for a pair of TORUS 8 (100° x 20° dispersion per side) atop a single SXC118. “Stacking two gives us 40° x 100° throw, which is bang on the money, as it provides coverage across the dancefloor and the front of the audience. At the same time we can keep the sound away from balconies, avoiding slapback, and literally focus it on the audience.” Such was the case in Eastbourne, where a pair of Blackline X8 were added for outfill duties to maintain consistency of coverage in the wide space.

Adam Briggs agrees: “It has the clarity for the speech and coverage and still has the punch for the DJs and entertainment later in the evening, after the ceremony. The DJs were able to achieve good level and it was rocking in there.”

He states that the launch party itself took place in the Congress Theatre which is connected to the Towner Gallery—both part of Eastbourne’s Devonshire Quarter (with the Winter Gardens). “The initial speeches, via lectern mics, and launch of the Prize [in front of 300 guests] took place in the Congress Bar. Everyone then went into the Gallery to look at the art, allowing us to turn things round for the DJ back in the Congress Theatre for the party, for which a further 500 people had bought tickets.”

This is where things could have gone wrong. For Sussex Events were advised that part of the venue was not well air-conditioned, and thus the windows needed to be opened … leading to fear of sound spillage and consequent noise complaints. But the Sussex Event techs conducted offsite listening tests and were satisfied that the rear rejection of the subs, coupled with the tight vertical control of the mid-tops had minimised sound escape. “It was virtually inaudible,” they said. “It was inside that the music was really pumping, and we had no complaints whatsoever.”

For the Turner Prize 2023, Sussex Events were working through technical production company, Missing Link, with whom they regularly partner, while the main production company for the event was Identity.

With the announcement of the winner on December 5, Sussex Events will again join forces with Missing Link—and this time the two companies will be pooling their respective Martin Audio PA inventories.

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