Miami, FLâ€“â€“Held at Lummus Park on South Beach before the NASCAR race in Homestead, Florida, the free-for-the-fans concert starred the Zac Brown Band with special guest Nic Cowan.
SES (Special Event Services) handled sound and staging, continuing to make heavy use of their new Martin Audio MLA (Multicellular Loudspeaker Array) system to ensure the most consistent, even coverage possible given the outdoor conditions.
The crew which consisted of Eric Roderick (FOH/Production Manager), Preston Soper (System Tech), Frank Sadler (Pro Tools/Stage Tech) and Jake Bartol (Monitor Tech), rigged 12 MLA enclosures per side with 12 MLX sub bass enclosures in a center configuration and 4 Martin W8LMs for near fills.
Martin Audioâ€™s MLA system was formally introduced to U.S. audiences during a successful Zac Brown Band tour earlier in the year where it earned rave reviews from leading publications such as Live Sound International, Front Of House, Pro Sound News, Pro Audio Review and Professional Sound. FOH Engineer Eric Roderick thought â€œthe system sounded incredibleâ€? while System Tech Preston Soper called it â€œthe most sonically pleasing system Iâ€™ve ever heard.â€?
Asked how they determined the setup given the winds coming off the beach in South Beach, Soper said, â€œMartinâ€™s Display 2 optimization process gives you a linear response. so itâ€™s not a different EQ at different regions but the same EQ everywhere, allowing Eric to put his contour preferences or house-curve on it.
â€œDuring the course of the show Global EQ, a shelving filter in 0.5dB increments, was applied to compensate for changing atmospheric conditions. One atmospheric condition that one would expect in a location like a beach with rapidly changing wind gusts, didnâ€™t affect the coherency of the mix.
â€œIn South Beach we achieved the overall SPL target of 4.5db (+1.5dB at audience start, 0dB at mix and -3dB at audience rear) and an overall ripple variation of +/- 0.5dB throughout this region. The coverage area of the MLA was to 80 meters where the delay speakers took over for the next 80 meters.â€?
Continuing, Soper explains, â€œthe width of the coverage area was only 40 meters and one thing that always stands out about the MLA is the wider stereo image. Itâ€™s typical to hear the left side even when you are off axis to the right side of right.
The wider stereo image allowed Eric to spread his inputs in the mix without fear of people missing things from one side of the venue to the other or have them get lost in the mix.
â€œThe control of leakage on the stage and roof greatly reduced the effect of the acoustical crossover on the mix for everybody who came to see the show regardless of where they ended up on the beach that night. Everyone got a sonically pleasing show.â€?
John Saviano of Quest Marketing who has worked closely with SES owner Jim Brammer added, â€œThe Martin MLA rig is one superior speaker system. It does exactly what it promises: coverage, SPL, tonality, everything. It really is consistent, front to back, side-to-side, etc. Quite amazing.â€?
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