GERMANY: Vortex, the new electronic music festival, made its debut at Göppingen’s EWS Arena—pumping techno, trance and hardcore through the bodies of devotes, continuously over 12 hours, through Martin Audio’s flagship Wavefront Precision line array series. To quote the words of the organisers, “Vortexis not just a festival, it’s a transcendent experience, a sonic adventure that you won’t want to miss.“ Such was the challenge that the Martin Audio PA and its advance control software were set.

It was a far cry from EWS Arena’s normal sphere of activity, which is hosting the Bundesliga handball club FRISCH AUF! But since the venue is located in the centre of the town, surrounded by shops and flats, the requirements with regard to noise escape were predictably stringent. As a debut event, it was particularly important for the organisers not to provoke complaints from local residents in order to preserve the future of the event. With its legendary tight offsite control, the Martin Audio Wavefront Precision systems deployed absolutely met these high requirements.

Jürgen Schuster, from event technology specialist Skyeline Live, who provided the technical equipment for theVortexFestival, confirms: “There were no noise complaints and zero problems with the volume for the audience.”


Jürgen Schuster, Skyeline Live

Martin Audio’s advanced DISPLAY software had been essential in controlling the WPS and WPC line arrays deployed. “It was a real blessing,” he explains. “I was able to calculate the entire system cleanly and deploy it accordingly. This made it possible to predict in advance exactly how the system would behave in terms of sound levels.” He added that during the event, a colleague checked the volume on the street, enabling him to confirm: “Ambient noise from the street was louder than the sound coming from the festival, while inside the venue the sound was characterised by the evenness of distribution across the entire event area.”

To achieve this Jürgen Schuster deployed 24 Martin Audio WPC as the main system (12 boxes a side), with eight WPS as front- and sidefill. The all-important sub frequencies were pumped out through six towers of three SX218, designed in cardioid (two front facing and a single rear facing), with a further four SX218 provided for DJ monitoring. The rig was powered by 12 of Martin Audio‘s iK42 multi-channel, process-controlled power amplifiers in three-box resolution.

Schuster attributed the success of the event to two key Martin Audio technologies: the scalable resolution of the Wavefront Precision loudspeakers and the acoustic optimisation using the DISPLAY simulation software. “The combination of these two aspects made it possible to calculate the sound solution for the event so precisely that sound emissions were minimised [offsite] while still providing uncompromising sound for the 4,000 dance fans.”

But the real success of the event, he emphasises, was the reaction of the artists themselves. “They didn’t want to leave at all,” he affirms. “It’s normal for an act to come, deliver their set and then go … but at the Vortex Festival, the acts enjoyed it so much that they stayed for hours after their performance and simply enjoyed it.”

This says much for the quality of the sound system, which had been subjected to an enormous continuous load. “The Vortex Festival runs for 12 hours through the night—from 7pm until 7am—and the system has to work reliably.” Fortunately, due to his many years of experience with Martin Audio systems he was confident this requirement would be absolutely fulfilled.

In conclusion he praises the sonic coherence across the different series and how easily they can be combined. “WPC and WPS are different size formats but they fit together perfectly in all technical respects—phase response and so on. With many manufacturers this provides problems as the speakers don’t fit together in terms of sound. This is certainly not an issue with Martin Audio, as the different series work wonderfully together.”

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