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Archive by JC Costa

Cain Joins Middle Atlantic As Director of Sales Support

wally_cain

Fairfield, NJ––Middle Atlantic Products has appointed Wally Cain as Director of Sales Support. In this newly created position, Cain will oversee and manage the Customer Support, Technical Support, Inside Sales, Residential Support and Design Services departments.

Prior to joining Middle Atlantic, Cain spent nearly 10 years at Lastar’s Cables to Go (C2G), which became part of Legrand North America earlier this year. At C2G, Cain most recently served as Manager of Customer and Technical Support and Product Manager, Inside Sales Manager and Account Manager prior to that. His educational background includes a BS in Organizational Leadership from Wright State University.

Commenting on the new appointment, Dan Tarkoff, Middle Atlantic Vice President of Sales, said, “Wally brings a wealth of experience in Customer and Tech Support, Inside Sales and Product Management in the A/V industry. He’s had a highly positive influence as a key member of the management team at C2G.

“We are excited at the prospect of having Wally guide our Customer Support and Inside Sales teams to a new period of significant and sustained growth as we continue our promise of providing the highest level of support to our customers.”

For technical specifications and in-depth information about Middle Atlantic Products, please click to www.middleatlantic.com or call 1.800.266.7225.

Middle Atlantic Products has been part of the Legrand group since its acquisition in 2011.

Legrand is the global specialist in electrical and digital building infrastructures. Its comprehensive offering of solutions for use in commercial, industrial and residential markets makes it a benchmark for customers worldwide. Innovation for a steady flow of new products with high added value and acquisitions are prime vectors for growth. Legrand reported sales of close to $5.8 billion in 2012. Legrand has a strong presence in the North American market, with a portfolio of well-known product lines that include Cablofil, Electrorack, Middle Atlantic, NuVo, On-Q, Ortronics, Pass & Seymour, Vantage, Watt Stopper and Wiremold. The company is listed on NYSE Euronext and is a component stock of indexes including the CAC40, FTSE4Good, MSCI World, ASPI and DJSI (ISIN code FR0010307819). www.legrand.us

Technotrix Acquires Martin Audio MLA For Improved Coverage

Technotrix

Chicago, IL––Specialists in Audio, Lighting, Staging and Rigging, Technotrix Inc. recently became a valued member of the growing worldwide MLA Network with the purchase of an MLA System 24.

The System 24, which consists of 14 MLA and 2 MLD (downfill) enclosures and 8 MLX subwoofers, was acquired prior to the summer festival season on July 1st and immediately pressed into service for the Taste of Chicago food and music festival, Summer Set Music & Camping Festival, Riot Fest in Chicago and a concert with The Replacements headlining in Minnesota.

Asked about the impact of the new system, Technotrix Senior Account Executive Kevin Kiefer responds, “The MLA technology is really exceptional. The system coverage is much better than anything we’ve ever used. For The Replacements concert, the last show at Midway Stadium in Minneapolis, we used a larger System 36 and the most noticeable thing was the phase coherence and stereo imaging. We were between 400 and 500 feet away from the PA and it sounded like listening to the concert in your living room.

The Replacements

“Apart from all of the control that you have over the volume and level of sound throughout the listening area,” Kevin adds, “is the area beyond that. With MLA, you can be sitting on a hillside beyond the audience area and the experience is much better than any other system we’ve ever heard.

“I have to say that the MLA system has performed exceptionally well in these outdoor environments so far. It met with a universally positive response this summer, especially at some of these other festivals where we’ve been able to hear the other large format systems that are out there. It’s very apparent with MLA, especially over large distances, how the coverage remains consistent throughout the entire listening area from front to back. This is something we noticed right away when evaluating the rig. MLA doesn’t act like a typical loudspeaker system.

“What I tell everybody is that the cellular drive in the design of the MLA is the technology destined to replace current line arrays as we know them. The system looks and rigs like a line array, but much the same way line arrays replaced conventional PA systems for over 95% of the large shows these days, cellular drive will eventually replace line arrays. Once you do festivals with MLA, other systems just don’t sound right.

“We’re trying to educate our clients as to all the stuff we can do with this system that no one else can do,” Kevin concludes, “and it takes time to have people understand these capabilities are even available to them because they’re so advanced.”

Technotrix team photo caption:
From the left: Brian Levy, Andy Kuhlmann, Rosie, Matt McQuaid, Kevin Kiefer, Michael Schroeder, Brent Bernhardt, Beau and Chris Bonifas

For more about Martin Audio, please click to www.martin-audio.com.

About Martin Audio®
Founded by audio engineer David Martin in 1971, Martin Audio pioneered the use of all-horn-loaded bass designs in world-class touring loudspeaker systems for groups such as Pink Floyd, ELP and Supertramp. Located outside of London, Martin Audio now embodies a sophisticated mix of acoustic design, research, mathematical modeling and software engineering for a wide range of products in the installation, cinema and touring sound markets.

Middle Atlantic Names Colindres As Western Regional Sales Manager

Fairfield, NJ––Middle Atlantic Products has appointed Marco Colindres as Regional Sales Manager for the Western Region. Colindres’ territory includes the Pacific Northwest, Northern California, Northern Nevada, and the Rocky Mountains (Wyoming, Montana, Colorado, Utah and New Mexico) for all market segments.

With extensive sales and marketing experience in the CE, Custom Install and Commercial markets and special expertise in the Power category, Colindres held several key positions at CORE Bands including Ecommerce Sales Manager, National Sales Training Manager and Special Products Marketing Manager prior to joining Middle Atlantic.

Colindres also served as National Sales Manager and Product Area Manager-Cable for Monster Products and headed up his own sales rep firm, Pride of Hawaii Sales Group in Honolulu. His educational background includes an MBA in Business Administration from San Francisco State and a BS in Business Administration Marketing from the University of San Francisco.

Commenting on Colindres’ appointment, Middle Atlantic Sales Director Whitt Adams said, “In addition to his extensive sales and marketing background and technical expertise in key market segments, Marco’s energy, passion and commitment to our customers is what really sets him apart. The fact that he’s become such a valuable asset for Middle Atlantic and our team in a such a short time comes as no surprise.”

For technical specifications and in-depth information about Middle Atlantic Products, please click to www.middleatlantic.com or call 1.800.266.7225.

Middle Atlantic Products has been part of the Legrand group since its acquisition in 2011.

Legrand is the global specialist in electrical and digital building infrastructures. Its comprehensive offering of solutions for use in commercial, industrial and residential markets makes it a benchmark for customers worldwide. Innovation for a steady flow of new products with high added value and acquisitions are prime vectors for growth. Legrand reported sales of close to $5.8 billion in 2012. Legrand has a strong presence in the North American market, with a portfolio of well-known product lines that include Cablofil, Electrorack, Middle Atlantic, NuVo, On-Q, Ortronics, Pass & Seymour, Vantage, Watt Stopper and Wiremold. The company is listed on NYSE Euronext and is a component stock of indexes including the CAC40, FTSE4Good, MSCI World, ASPI and DJSI (ISIN code FR0010307819). www.legrand.us

Foo Fighters Headline With Martin Audio MLA At Invictus Games

Invictus Games - Closing Ceremony 14th September 2014

Martin Audio’s award-winning MLA (Multi-cellular Loudspeaker Array) PA system enjoyed its busiest weekend of the year, with two huge simultaneous London events on either side of the capital.

While rental/production company Capital Sound was fielding no fewer than 170 enclosures at the perennial Proms in the Park (Hyde Park), over in the east at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, the Prince Harry inspired Jaguar Land Rover Invictus Games Closing Concert also featured MLA.

The five hour extravaganza combined a celebration of medallion presentations to the wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women who competed in the Games, backed by a full concert line up with Foo Fighters headlining and supporting acts Kaiser Chiefs, Ellie Goulding, Ryan Adams, Bryan Adams, The Vamps, Rizzle Kicks and James Blunt.

Invictus Games - Closing Ceremony 14th September 2014

A crowd of over 25,000 people heard Prince Harry deliver a heartfelt speech that roused the spirits of the crowd, culminating in a Mexican wave, before introducing the Foo Fighters for their triumphant return to London.

The event was promoted by AEG Live, with Capital working for site managers, Loudsound, with whom they have enjoyed a long relationship (most recently at British Summer Time in Hyde Park).

But unlike Hyde Park where sound leakage is at its most sensitive, there was optimism MLA would be able to produce an even bigger sound. “This was a totally new situation and the promoters were keen to see what we could get out of it, sound wise,” commented Paul Timmins, Capital Sound Account manager. “[Loudsound site production manager] Dan Craig really understands audio and was confident he could achieve proper rock and roll levels.”

Invictus Games - Closing Ceremony 14th September 2014

With the closest residence still within 850 ft. of the stage and with Vanguardia measuring propagation at four separate offsite locations, the production team was still able to hit the FOH SPL’s demanded by the Foo Fighters, playing at well over 100dB(A) as the level ramped up incrementally through the day; at the same time the sound comfortably tapered off below the offsite restriction of 75dB(A) at the nearest measurement point — and recorded values as low as the mid 60’s.

The main front facing PA comprised two hangs of 14 MLA per side and two MLD Downfills, while for sidefills, because of the site topography, Capital was able to field 12 MLA Compacts on one flank and 16 on the other—an asymmetric solution that worked particularly well. This enabled the shorter hang to fire into the VIP grandstand without straying beyond into the large block of apartment buildings behind.

Two Martin Audio W8LCs were deployed for center front fills and there were two masts of delays, set 245 ft. back from the stage (midway from the site perimeter), each containing eight Martin Audio W8L Longbow enclosures. Meanwhile, 12 Martin Audio LE1200 low profile wedge monitors were provided as floor monitors onstage.

The real customization came in the 32-enclosure MLX sub array. In order to meet the Foo Fighters tour spec they deployed Philip Reynolds, who has worked extensively with Martin Audio US partner Delicate Productions and is familiar with MLA.
Along with Martin Audio R&D director, Jason Baird, and Capital Sound technical manager, Ian Colville, Reynolds adapted the sub array into a Left/Center/Right design, which included cardioid elements to contain coverage, while bringing even more low-end transient attack to the central section.

Having been involved with the Foo Fighters since their Wasting Light album back in 2011, Reynolds confirmed: “That sub design was exactly as I wanted and for the band it delivered the high impact in the mix” — a mix that was delivered by veteran sound engineer Craig Overbay, piloting a DiGiCo SD10.

But the planning of the event was to throw a final curve at the Capital Sound team as Paul Timmins explained. “Although we had designed the audio for the closing concert, since we had the infrastructure already in place, at short notice we were asked to also handle the Invictus Games Opening Ceremony. We had to come up with a system we could change in a day, and throughout the opening ceremony there was an element of rapid reconfiguration as we had to make it work for every dignitary on stage.”

Marty Beath, a seasoned MLA tech, was part of the crew, and this is where his MLA experience, and knowledge of the audience geometry in the MLA software, was brought to bear. “The area that became the audience zone at the Closing Concert was set out like a military tattoo,” he explained. “We needed a new solution for MLA which covered the competitors’ section—set 20ft in front of the stage—so we optimized the system in the software to use the bottom part of the main PA to cover the front.

(left to right): Jason Baird, Marty Beath; Philip Reynolds

(left to right): Jason Baird, Marty Beath; Philip Reynolds

“When Prince Harry was at a lectern in the PA zone I loaded a new snapshot in MLA which enabled us to get another 8dB of gain before feedback; so by using MLA’s software to set a hard avoid I could direct the sound over the lectern, which was fantastic.”

The entire production seemed more than satisfied with the levels and quality achieved. Phil Reynolds was enthusiastic: “I enjoy how far MLA has come. I was happy with the deployment, everything matched Foo Fighter specs, the PA did exactly as planned, and it’s been exciting hearing the band today playing through a full MLA for the first time.”

Dan Craig added, “Once again MLA displayed all we know and love about the system and delivered effective, even coverage. It’s my third major park event of the summer and yet again MLA has demonstrated its flexibility to create a system design network.

“Since I have been using the system it has solved three very different problems and I am happy to be working with Ian [Colville] and the Capital team to provide the solutions which MLA enables us to implement.”

Invictus Games - Closing Ceremony 14th September 2014

And describing the concert as “a fitting end to an inspirational four days of Games,” Jim King, Director of Events, AEG Live said: “AEG are very proud to have played our part in producing the Invictus Games Closing Concert.”

Or as the Foo Fighters put it, “What a perfect way to finally return to the UK for the first time in years…it’s been waaaay too long! Thanks for having us; it is truly an honor to come play for these incredible men and women….”

For more about Martin Audio, please click to www.martin-audio.com.

Photos from the Invictus Games Closing Concert. Group pic (left to right): Jason Baird, Marty Beath; Philip Reynolds. Photo credit: Jessica Gilbert

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Middle Atlantic Sets New Standard for Compact Surge Protection

MAP Compact Surge
Fairfield, NJ––The new Series Protection™ and 2-Stage Compact Surge Devices from Middle Atlantic Products establish new industry standards for reduced size, rapid response time and comprehensive surge protection.

Offering the fastest responding technology in the most compact stand-alone surge protection device in the industry, the new Series Protection system is engineered with non-sacrificial and non-degrading protection to ensure system reliability by effectively absorbing surges without contaminating the system ground. It safeguards against both under and over voltage events with automatic recovery that does not require a hard reset after a surge event, minimizing system downtime.

The new MOV protected 2-Stage unit is the industry’s most compact stand-alone surge protection device that deflects surge events from line to neutral without contaminating the system ground. It safeguards against both over and under voltage events and its two-stage technology provides enhanced surge protection. Quality fire-protected components eliminate the risk of fire associated with surge events.

Both of these devices can power and protect displays, extenders, digital signage players and more, while their ultra compact size makes them ideal for installation behind flat panel displays, in furniture, within ceiling and wall boxes or in a traditional rack already filled with components.

For technical specifications and in-depth information about Middle Atlantic Products, please click to www.middleatlantic.com or call 1.800.266.7225.

Middle Atlantic Products has been part of the Legrand group since its acquisition in 2011.

Legrand is the global specialist in electrical and digital building infrastructures. Its comprehensive offering of solutions for use in commercial, industrial and residential markets makes it a benchmark for customers worldwide. Innovation for a steady flow of new products with high added value and acquisitions are prime vectors for growth. Legrand reported sales of close to $5.8 billion in 2012. Legrand has a strong presence in the North American market, with a portfolio of well-known product lines that include Cablofil, Electrorack, Middle Atlantic, NuVo, On-Q, Ortronics, Pass & Seymour, Vantage, Watt Stopper and Wiremold. The company is listed on NYSE Euronext and is a component stock of indexes including the CAC40, FTSE4Good, MSCI World, ASPI and DJSI (ISIN code FR0010307819). www.legrand.us

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3G Productions Supports Juan Gabriel With Martin Audio MLA

Photo: Robert Hacman

Photo: Robert Hacman

When Mexican singer/songwriter Juan Gabriel had to interrupt his U.S. “Volver 2014” tour for two weeks due to illness, his engineering staff prevailed upon 3G Productions to switch over to a Martin Audio MLA system for the remaining arena dates.

As 3G’s System Engineer Manny Perez describes the changeover, “The other system was working just fine, but Juan’s FOH Engineer Rodrigo Lopez had attended an MLA demo in Mexico and was really interested to see how it would perform.”

Gabriel, an internationally acclaimed Latin American musician who’s sold over 100 million albums, resumed the second leg of his sold-out tour at Miami’s American Airlines Arena, which presented some challenges of its own.

According to Perez, “As soon as I walked into the arena, their staff expressed concerns that they’d been having trouble covering the top rows of the nosebleed section for the last few shows and had to provide refunds. We assured them that we had it covered and the show would sound great everywhere. Then we put the MLA system up and tuned it really quickly even though it was a big rig designed to provide 270-degree coverage. Rodrigo, the band’s music consultant and I all walked the room from top to bottom and front to back, and there were absolutely no problems in terms of coverage and balanced sound.”

Photo: Robert Hacman

Photo: Robert Hacman

The 270-degree system for American Airlines Arena consisted of a main hang with 32 MLA and 4 MLD; side hangs with 36 MLA Compacts; a third hang with 24 MLA Compacts; 10 ground-stacked MLX subs, and 4 DD12s on the front of the stage for front-fill to the first six rows.

Describing the system in greater detail Manny points out, “The ratio of MLX to the rest of the system seems a bit light, but Rodrigo didn’t want a bass-heavy mix for the show because of all the acoustic instruments and high end frequencies. Also, we were using the new two-way DD12 powered speakers from Martin Audio for the first time and they’re really good. I would usually have to do a lot of cleaning up with EQ because they’re positioned so close to the subs, but they didn’t need a thing. The DD12s throw further than we needed them to and were more than perfect for what they had to do.”

The rest of the system consists of SSL and Avid Profile consoles for FOH and monitors, LM44 Lake processing, Smaart 7 software, Shure UFH-RD wireless and DPA microphones.

Asked about mixing on MLA, Rodrigo Lopez responds, “For me, it’s definitely the best speaker out there with more control of the sound and how it projects to the audience. The system provides the same amount of sound pressure and coverage from the front seat to the back with correct phasing throughout the arena.

“It’s been perfect for the tour,” Lopez continues. “The audience hears exactly what I’m getting out of the console. It’s challenging with Juan Gabriel because he’s playing with a lot of Mariachi and there are a lot of acoustic instruments that don’t have as much power. But with MLA, the audience can hear all of those instruments clearly, as if the musicians are playing right in front of them.”

Photo: Robert Hacman

Photo: Robert Hacman

Summing up, Perez adds, “I like the MLA’s clarity and imaging which is amazing when you pan the percussion and keyboards left to right. The speakers sound 30 feet wide where the sound moves across the space. The high end and high mids for vocals and snares are so clear; you can really hear the sizzle of the snare bottoms and high hats.

“A lot of people keep telling me how MLA is a really smooth, natural-sounding system that’s very satisfying to the ear. The staff and production crew, Juan’s musicians and his music consultant are stoked. Everybody really likes it which has been a real plus for the tour.”

Photo credit: Robert Hacman www.roberthacman.com

For more about Martin Audio, please click to www.martin-audio.com.

About Martin Audio®
Founded by audio engineer David Martin in 1971, Martin Audio pioneered the use of all-horn-loaded bass designs in world-class touring loudspeaker systems for groups such as Pink Floyd, ELP and Supertramp. Located outside of London, Martin Audio now embodies a sophisticated mix of acoustic design, research, mathematical modeling and software engineering for a wide range of products in the installation, cinema and touring sound markets.

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Zac Brown Band Headlines Wrigley Field With Martin Audio MLA

ZBB Wrigley#2
Chicago, IL––SES (Special Event Services) set up what President Jim Brammer terms as “the largest outdoor MLA system deployed in North America thus far” for a sold-out Zac Brown concert at Wrigley Field of 40,000.

The event also marked Zac Brown Band’s first as a solo headliner in a major league ballpark, having shared staging earlier this summer with Billy Joel at Boston’s Fenway Park. Both shows were part of the band’s successful “Great American Road Trip” tour that runs until the middle of October.

The massive Martin Audio MLA system consisted of 170 enclosures: A Main Hang of 22 MLA over 2 MLD per side; 24 MLA Compact per side for Outfill; 8 flown MLX subs per side and 24 MLX in 12 stacks of two across the entire downstage area; 4 MLA Compact in a straight array per side for Off Left/Right front fill; 6 W8LMD across the downstage edge for Lip Fill, and 24 MLA for delays.

Asked about the event, Brammer responds, “The challenge with Wrigley and most ballparks is getting sound up under the overhangs in the upper deck. We were able to solve that with a delay system that consisted of four SES audio carts, each with six MLA, arrayed at home plate, first and third base near the seats.”

ZBB Wrigley #3
In terms of audio quality, “the show was off-the-charts good,” Jim adds. “Everyone was extremely pleased and we had visiting major league ballparks to look at the MLA setup and see if they might be able to use it, and they were very happy with the way it sounded.

Tour Veteran Warren Cracknell from the SES Nashville office summed it up with one word, ”Outstanding!”

When asked what he thought, FOH Engineer/Production Manager Eric Roderick said, “It was Bad to the Bone!”
ZBB Wrigley #5

For more about Martin Audio, please click to www.martin-audio.com.

About Martin Audio®
Founded by audio engineer David Martin in 1971, Martin Audio pioneered the use of all-horn-loaded bass designs in world-class touring loudspeaker systems for groups such as Pink Floyd, ELP and Supertramp. Located outside of London, Martin Audio now embodies a sophisticated mix of acoustic design, research, mathematical modeling and software engineering for a wide range of products in the installation, cinema and touring sound markets.

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Apple Invites Larry Fishman To Speak At Special Employee Presentation

LF_Speaking at Apple web
Cupertino, CA––With products such as iPhone, iTunes, MacBook, iMac and more, Apple Inc. is well known for beautiful design and seamless product integration. But where does Apple turn when looking for inspiration to help keep their ideas fresh?

Larry Fishman founder and President of Fishman, designer and manufacturer of pickups, amplification and other products for acoustic and electric musicians, was recently invited to speak to Apple designers, engineers and product managers.

Fishman delivered a presentation entitled “Inspiring Tools for Musicians: A Confluence of Engineering and Art” to a standing-room only audience. Not surprisingly, almost all in attendance raised their hand when asked by Mr. Fishman, “How many of you are engineers?” When asked the second question, “How many of you are musicians?” an equal number responded.

Fishman continues, “At that point I knew I was among friends. My own background with a Mechanical Engineering degree and years as a performing bassist has allowed me to seamlessly move between creative endeavors. Sometimes I’m playing my bass; sometimes I’m ‘playing’ my computer CAD system; at all times I’m creating.”

Mr. Fishman took the audience through his concept of creativity and how the engineering arts relate to and co-exist with the “fine” arts in terms of individuals and companies. He went on to explain how the Fishman culture of inspiration, rejecting institutional bias and “untying knots” has helped build an award winning, profitable and acknowledged leader in the MI industry over the last 33 years.

In addition to the lecture, music was used to reinforce key points and illustrate the end results of Mr. Fishman’s process. Performances featuring musicians Greg Koch, Roscoe Beck and Ritchie Fliegler were woven throughout the program.

Specific products were included such as Fishman’s first pickup design for upright bass along with his early relationship with guitar makers, which ultimately led to the development of the industry-standard Matrix pickup. Fishman spoke of his experience creating Parker Guitars with Ken Parker, and many of the challenges he faced with a radical new design that challenged the sensibilities of the conservative guitar market. Aura Acoustic Imaging Technology, Loudbox acoustic amplifiers and Fluence Multi-Voice electric guitar pickups were also used as examples to illustrate the Fishman creative technology process. Of particular interest to the Apple audience was the TriplePlay Wireless MIDI Guitar Controller and how it integrates with iOS and OS X software.

Fishman concludes, “At this point, Apple’s mark on product technology and design are indisputable. That they would invite me to speak to them as a peer is quite an honor. Being given the opportunity to share my views on product development to a receptive audience at Apple was an amazingly inspiring and humbling experience.

“Also, the fact that many of the attendees stayed and chatted well after the presentation was over definitely made my day. We could really relate to each other, as in ‘if you’re a computer company why are you making a phone?’ It’s not that much different from our expansion into digital processing, electric guitar pickups and amps. Ultimately, we all agreed the object is to bring value, something truly unique to people.”

For more information about Fishman, please click to www.fishman.com.

Martin Audio MLA Mini Lifts Spirits At IDC Church

IDC Church #2 web

Chicago, IL––Encompass AV recently installed a Martin Audio MLA Mini loudspeaker system at the Inspirational Deliverance Center Church of God in Christ as part of a major technical upgrade for its 500-seat worship center.

Tim Pickett, President of Encompass AV, explains that his company was chosen because “the church liked the fact that we could deliver a turnkey system with sound, lighting and a video network, the whole package.

“And they insisted on really good sound,” Tim adds. “The church has a very energetic Gospel choir and two Leslie cabinets hooked up to the Hammond organ that really push the audio system to the limits. Plus the worship center has highly reflective surfaces so they needed a system with exceptional output control.

“We specified several systems for them and they chose the Martin Audio MLA Mini because of the system’s state of the art technology and phenomenal sound quality. Also, the coverage had a nice tight pattern to it, and that was a huge selling point for MLA. In fact, we set up a demo and they liked it so much, they bought the demo units!”

IDC Church #1 web

The installed audio system includes two four-block MLA Mini arrays driven by MSX mini sub power plants. Two Martin Audio AQ8s provide additional fill with four C6.8T ceiling speakers installed in the low ceiling above the choir as monitors. Two Behringer S16 digital snakes supplement a Behringer X32 digital console with programmable MIDAS preamps.

There are three video displays in the sanctuary, two 80” Sharp LEDs left and right and a 70” Sharp LED facing the choir, with two Sony 1080P PTZ HD cameras driving the video network system. Lighting is provided by 60 Elation LED PAR-style lighting systems with six Elation LED architectural floods.

IDC MLA Mini

Asked about the MLA Mini’s performance, Tim enthuses, “I love it. The sound quality is amazing. Everybody that’s heard it comments on how crystal clear it is and the Church is ecstatic about the system.”

Rob Hofkamp, Martin Audio Director of North American Operations adds, “The MLA Compact has already made significant inroads in Church installations and the MLA Mini should also enjoy considerable success in the House of Worship market given its compact size, control and exceptional performance.”

For more about Martin Audio, please click to www.martin-audio.com.

About Martin Audio®
Founded by audio engineer David Martin in 1971, Martin Audio pioneered the use of all-horn-loaded bass designs in world-class touring loudspeaker systems for groups such as Pink Floyd, ELP and Supertramp. Located outside of London, Martin Audio now embodies a sophisticated mix of acoustic design, research, mathematical modeling and software engineering for a wide range of products in the installation, cinema and touring sound markets.

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Steely Dan’s Pursuit of Perfection with MLA

STEELY DAN

Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Walter Becker and Donald Fagen took Steely Dan’s “Jamalot Ever After” tour across the U.S. and Canada this summer, with OSA International, Inc. providing Martin Audio’s Multi-cellular Loudspeaker Array (MLA) sound system.

Steely Dan has a reputation among audiophiles and throughout Pro Audio for their fastidious attention to sound production, so much so that many FOH engineers and system techs use a Steely Dan track to tune a system. When it comes to live sound, their expectations for the PA are no less demanding.

Returning to mix Steely Dan is Mark Dowdle, whose extensive credits include Elton John, Gloria Estefan, Fleetwood Mac, Tina Turner and Jackson Browne, to name just a few. Last year’s tour included a stop at Ravinia Festival in Chicago, where Dowdle mixed on two 7-box MLA arrays, the first year of a new OSA installation and the first new PA in a decade at North America’s oldest music festival.

Mark Dowdle

Mark Dowdle

Late last year, Steely Dan’s road manager, tour sound icon Robert ‘Nitebob’ Czaykowski, introduced Walter Becker to MLA at a demonstration at New York’s Manhattan Center, where they were able to walk around and hear the evenness of its response and coverage. Steely Dan often plays theaters, where the mix position is usually at the back, beneath a balcony. “I go out there every day and listen to it; that’s part of my gig,” Czaykowski said. “What really knocks me out about MLA is that you can really control it so it’s not splattering off a back wall or cluttering up in the lower balcony.”

Present also at the NYC demo was Jim Risgin, Vice President for OSA–owners of the largest inventory of MLA in North America. With offices in Chicago, Las Vegas and now also Nashville, OSA have built an impressive reputation and client list providing complete technical services to some of the largest corporate, sporting events and concert tours in the U.S. The NYC demo was followed by extensive research from Mark Dowdle to confirm that the system would deliver the desired performance, and as a result Steely Dan added MLA to their tour.

MARTIN AUDIO

Across the demanding 56-stop tour, MLA showed its versatility, control and overall sound performance credentials. Dowdle points out that the MLA provides extremely even front-to-back SPL as well as evenness of frequency response throughout the listening area. “The coverage is very smooth, especially its shading,” he said. “You can walk up on the PA in the front and it sounds just like it does in the back of the room.”

Dowdle also mentions an improvement to the stereo field. “Everything is more defined, so that automatically translates into the stereo field being more discernable,” he said. “MLA gives me dynamic range, clarity and definition so that I’m able to position and layer sounds in the stereo field which you can really hear where they all are.” He adds that the MLA’s sound is extremely coherent and is very responsive from a mixing standpoint. “You make a small fader move and it’s immediately noticeable.”

Furthermore, Dowdle is surprised by the constant comments from the audience. “I’ve been mixing for a long time and usually nobody ever says anything. This particular tour I’ve had more response from the audience than any tour I’ve ever done in my entire career, and it’s always been very positive and it’s always been very poignant. That’s in large part because of MLA allowing me to get it exactly how I want everywhere in the room.”

OSA crew chief and MLA system engineer Martyn ‘Ferrit’ Rowe is well known from his tenure at Martin Audio as an MLA product specialist before leaving to work for OSA as Director of Engineering. The Steely Dan tour travels in two trucks, carrying consoles and backline (including a Steinway grand) in one, and lights and PA in the second. “We’re carrying 26 MLA and 2 MLD down-fills, as well as 18 MLA Compacts, plus 8 MLX subs and 6 W8LMD used as front-fills,” Rowe explains.

The tour played Oklahoma City’s Chesapeake Energy Arena and New Orleans’ UNO Lakefront Arena using the 14-box MLA main arrays and 9-box MLA Compact side arrays that they carry. “The LA Forum was the only venue on our 56-show itinerary where we had to add PA,” said Mitchell Keller, Steely Dan’s production manager for the fourth year running. “It’s quite impressive that on a two truck tour we can carry enough PA to do arenas.”

The rest of the itinerary ranged from sheds and theaters to casinos. “The smallest venue was Humphrey’s in San Diego, putting in two subwoofers and ground stacking six MLA per side,” Rowe explains. “We recently did four shows in a row with single point hangs using ten MLA enclosures.”

As well as MLA’s flexibility and scalability, Rowe is keen to point out the simplicity of its operation. “It’s like fly by wire; you tell it what you want and the software produces a custom preset for your system and the room,” he said. “This isn’t auto EQ, you still have control over all the decisions that are being made, but the computer is doing the heavy lifting for you.”

So, coming full circle, what did Fagen and Becker make of the sound quality? According to Dowdle, “Both have come out into the audience on a number of occasions and have always been positive with their feedback and what was going on.

“More often than not Donald will come out and listen and frequently comments, ‘It sounds great,’ which is probably the highest compliment that I could ever receive in my career.”

For more about Martin Audio, please click to www.martin-audio.com.

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