|The Stadionring, which houses a permanent production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Starlight Express, recently upgraded to a Martin Audio MLA Compact system.|
Bochum, Germany (February 10, 2014)—The Stadionring, a venue specially built in 1988 to house a permanent production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s rollerskating train musical, Starlight Express, recently celebrated its 25th anniversary. To mark the occasion, the venue received a new Martin Audio Multi-cellular Loudspeaker Array (MLA) Compact system.
Sound supervisor Riccardo van Krugten and system engineer/installation manager, Georg Hentschel of live sound company LiveAudio created the system. “We wanted a stereo set-up for the orchestra, and a separate system for vocals, positioned above the main performance area,” van Krugten said. “This required a PA solution that would reproduce music and vocals equally well. We ran various simulations with the existing speakers and looked at the problems. Then we ran the same simulations with a two conventional line array rigs at different positions to identify whether a line source solution could be used in this situation, before inviting nine manufacturers for two shoot out sessions.”
van Krugten prepared a file in ProLogic containing samples from the show, as well as music that everyone would recognize. “In two shoot out sessions, we heard nine different (mono) arrays rigged side by side. The MLA Compact never left any doubt it would handle reliably whatever kind of audio we threw at it.”
As a result, 27 MLA Compacts have been divided into three flown L/C/R arrays of nine elements each, along with three DSX subs ground stacked left and right of the stage. This is designed to cover the entire auditorium, including the balcony, and the middle sub on each side is reversed to produce a cardioid pattern. The subs are set just outside the left and right array, stacked on the middle track level a few meters above the ground, and are sunk into the proscenium wall, via a specially-designed setup. A pair of Martin Audio W8VDQ hybrid boxes provide outfill coverage extension of the center array, while the production rigged a so-called ‘crossfire’ system, so that those sitting at the sides of the auditorium would also receive a stereo orchestra image.
Riccardo van Krugten was pleased with the switch between the old and new sound systems. “All in all, I believe we have respected Martin Levan’s clever original sound design by replacing existing components with more advanced technology.”