Oldham, UK (August 28, 2017)—When most people think of summer, they think going out in the sunshine, but at the Saddleworth Cricket Club in Oldham, 3,000 recently turned out for Cotton Clouds, a brand-new music festival presenting the likes of Nick Heyward (Haircut 100), The Coral and the Sugarhill Gang. Regional audio provider VME covered the crowd with its Martin Audio MLA Compact rig.
Chris Pearce, FOH engineer for Cotton Clouds, as well as Blossoms and Inspiral Carpets, noted, “When planning for this event to take place, I was worried about the residual noise being a problem off-site, due to the area being very residential. The fact that the off-site level was set at 65 dB as a result added to my concerns.”
VME used the MLA Compact’s beam steering ability to prevent upsetting the locals. Flown left and right of the stage were eight MLA Compact, with a further four mounted on the MLX subwoofers, providing front fill. In fact, 11 MLX subwoofers were deployed in an asymmetrical broadside array—nine wide with two reversed to provide cancellation on stage.
“Given the venue and the limitations of the off-site limit, it was essential we got as much height on the MLA Compact as possible,” said Mark Cleator, VME Head of Sound. “However, on-site, we were restricted due to the advertising on the PA wings.” Using the MLA Compact and the Display software, VME were reportedly able to reach 95 dB at FOH and hit the rear of the audience area, while keeping to off-site limits using the hard avoid functions.
Rick Lees, director of Cotton Clouds Festival, was aware of the challenge and the result: “Off-site levels were recorded below 65dB which is incredible considering the volume and clarity on site. We’ll certainly be using Martin Audio in the coming years, as we were absolutely blown away.”