Glastonbury, UK (July 18, 2014)—Martin Audio’s Multi-Cellular Loudspeaker Array (MLA) made its Glastonbury debut this year, with the system deployed on the Pyramid Stage at the festival.
A total of 72 MLAs were used for the main hangs, eight MLA Compact for stereo infill at the pit barrier and four delay positions of 14 MLA each. The latest addition to the range, the MLA Mini, was also featured, providing stereo infill behind the FOH control structure and onstage coverage of artists’ guest viewing platforms. A massive broadside array of 38 MLX stretched across the entire width of the stage to provide sub-bass support to the entire system.
The company’s MLA technology enables control of how each array covers its designated audience area. Acoustic cells housed within each cabinet are independently controlled by their own amplifier and DSP channel, a total of six in each MLA. This control allowed RG Jones system engineer Mark Edwards to specify what SPL and frequency response was required across the audience, with the intelligent software automatically controlling the array to produce that result.
“We used our proprietary computer software to figure out how to drive each cell in each array to direct sound just at the audience, and then cut it off sharply just beyond the audience to dramatically reduce noise pollution,” said Martin Audio’s R&D director Jason Baird. “As a result, headliners including Arcade Fire and Metallica could play at 104-105 dBA—this is the first time such high levels have been achieved in the history of Glastonbury, as noise limits are really strict.”
More than 150,000 fans listened to headline acts Metallica, Arcade Fire, and Kasabian, as well as The 1975, Elbow, Rudimental, Nitin Sawhney, and Dolly Parton, mixed on the MLA system.
One of the biggest draws of the weekend was Metallica, engineered by Mick Hughes, who commented, “MLA is a new system to me, a new experience. I was surprised how easy it was to get the mix I wanted out of it. When I first used it I thought ‘whoa’ there’s some serious horsepower here. It just sounded really alive; I wouldn’t shy away from using it again.”