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UK’s first MLA Compact installation in popular party venue

It was supplied and fitted by Martin Audio dealer, Old Barn Audio

Martin Audio has announced the first UK installation of its MLA Compact Multicellular Loudspeaker Array as part of a £350k refurbishment of popular live music/party venue, Brixton Jamm.

Supplied and fitted by Martin Audio dealer, Old Barn Audio, the Kent-based specialist has complemented the concert system in the upgraded back room with a similarly high SPL DJ and playback system in the adjacent bar, using Martin Audio’s new CDD Coaxial Differential Dispersion technology.

Ian Gough, who co-owns Brixton Jamm with Jonathan Allen, said the whole turn-around, which gave the venue an expanded 650 capacity, took place inside three weeks.

“The idea was to reorganise how we present ourselves. We were aware of the presence of MLA at high profile events like Glastonbury and British Summertime in Hyde Park, and realised that it was appearing increasingly on riders. By offering MLA it would put the venue on the small band circuit with promoters and agents,” he said.

OBA director, Phil Clark said: “We loaned them one of our demo MLA Compact systems for evaluation, and they loved it as did the artists coming through.”

The system he and partner Neil Kavanagh designed is based around a conventional stage proscenium system, three MLA Compact elements a side, with a pair of arrayed Martin Audio CSX218 direct radiating subs under the stage apron.

On stage musicians have the option of four classic Martin Audio low profile wedge monitors and an LE1500, while a Martin Audio S18 is used for drum fills. And when the stage reverts to club mode, the XD15 cabinets are pressed into service for DJ monitoring purposes, frequently supplemented by the S18.

In view of the low ceiling, OBA designed bespoke flying frames so that the array could be trimmed as high as possible, and then used Martin Audio’s proprietary Display software and VU-NET to tune the system. “Display plots the room and predicts the splay angles and this is then transferred to VU-NET for control,” Clark said. OBA analysed and time aligned the room using Smaart software to further ensure optimisation.

In the main bar room, dominated by an imposing brick style frontage, they have distributed six CDD12 (1×12”) full-range speakers and two single 18” WS18X floor-mounted subs, on which are pole-mounted two XD12, facing back to the DJ console for monitoring purposes.

Signal processing remains in the Martin Audio domain since presets are stored in an Engineer 818 (8-in/8-out) DSP for both daytime BGM (accessed via a wall panel at the bar) and the main DJ.

Situated on Brixton Rd, the Brixton Jamm was once a travellers’ inn in the 18th century and was known as Ye Old White Horse from the 19th century, until owners Ian Gough and Jonathan Allen purchased it, turning it into a multi-purpose music venue.