London, UK (October 8, 2015)––Capital Sound recently handled audio for five sites at The South West Four Festival (SW4), an annual dance music events on Clapham Common’s south side. A Martin Audio MLA loudspeaker array system was used to cover the crowd of 30,000 on the site, which is surrounded by residential buildings.
With MLA tech Joseph Pearce employing the standard MLA site preset, the extreme width of Main Stage (which hosted headliners Faithless, Eric Prydz on the Saturday and Skrillex and Basement Jaxx on the Sunday), and lack of depth negated the need for delay towers but required a tailored approach to avoid sound spillage out wide.
Thus production flew 13 MLA plus an MLD Downfill as the main hang down each side, but instead of flying side hangs at the customary 45° angle for outfill, two drops of eight MLA Compact elements were set on the same plane as the main system but 24m apart. Explaining the decision, Capital’s senior project manager, Martin Connolly said, “A conventional side hang would have radiated too much energy offsite into noise sensitive areas on both sides.” A broadside cardioid array, of 20 MLX subs boosted the low frequency, and a further 12 W8LM Mini Line Arrays were deployed for front fills.
The main 75m x 55m (10,000 capacity) Stage 2 tent (known as Fatboy Slim’s Smile High Club on the Saturday, and decorated with his signature smiley face) saw a further eight MLA and MLD Downfill per side with six MLX subs set on each side in a Left/Right cardioid design, with four Martin Audio W2 as front fill and LE1500 floor monitors on stage. “With this design, we were able to produce a lot more bass ‘thump’,” assesses Connolly. “We were flying from a mast and were able to stack all the subs on the base of the mast.”
Meanwhile on the 60m x 45m Stage 3 (dubbed Dream Don’t Sleep Arena), Capital deployed 12 MLA Compact and six MLX per side, the subs again in cardioid L/R configuration. Stage 4 was fitted out with six MLA Compact elements, ground stacked along with four WS218X on each side, in an end fire design with three W8LM in fills per side. Finally, a Martin Audio W8LC Compact Line Array provided the Stage 5 sound.