United Kingdom (May 4, 2012)—RG Jones Sound Engineering recently became the first SR provider to use Martin Audio’s new MLA Compact in concert when it recently supported closing dates of Chris Rea’s European/UK tour.
Simon Honywill—largely responsible for driving RG Jones’ investment in the MLA platform—instigated the PA switch, assisted by system engineer Mark Edwards in time for the last two tour dates—at the Pavilions in his home town of Plymouth, and HMV Apollo Hammersmith, where the system had been formally launched a few months ago.
While the system performed as expected in Plymouth, Honywill and Edwards, along with Martin Audio’s R&D Director, Jason Baird, repurposed the system for the larger Hammersmith show. “The drum sound was massive,” Honywill said, “very dynamic and very exciting. When you wind the system up, it just gets louder, but nothing changes in the character of the sound, which is beautiful.”
While the optimization at Hammersmith was nothing unusual, with the balcony being notched out in the software to remove unwanted reflections, Honywill explained: “Mark and Jason worked on the EQ curve and played with the sub alignment so that the system was everything I had hoped it would be.”
“In Plymouth, we used a broadside array of 12 DSX subs in four cardioid cells under the stage apron, but this isn’t possible in Hammersmith, so we went for a left/right cardioid stack of six subs a side and tweaked the crossover between the subs and the MLA Compact to get a really rich, smooth low end with real punch.”
The set up included a ground stack of four Martin Audio W8LM Mini Arrays under two main PA hangs of 12 MLA Compact enclosures. “In the past, the ground stacks have looked a little imposing with the subs and W8LC, but the ability of the system to generate seamless coverage from wherever you tell it to start and finish allowed us to get the energy we wanted into both downstairs and upstairs––the groundstacks are just to keep the sonic image down on stage for those at the front,” said Honywill.
Rea’s tour inventory is traditionally geared to fit one truck. “Every night it is stacked to the roof with all the equipment,” Honywill explains “But the appeal of a self-powered system, without separate processing and amplification, was pretty exciting. Although RG Jones has bought the big system, which was a no-brainer considering the profile of the company’s expanding client base, the MLA Compact has to be a serious proposition.”
Meanwhile, RG Jones’ full-sized MLA will make its debut on the Sainsbury's UK 2012 School Games Closing Ceremony at London Olympic Park’s Basketball Arena on May 9.