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Live Sound

Capital Provides 300+ Loudspeakers for Roger Waters Show

A massive PA system was brought to bear for the Pink Floyd leader’s concert at London’s BST Festival.

London, UK (July 17, 2018)—Roger Waters has put on massive rock spectacles for much of his career, performing the music of Pink Floyd with over-the-top theatrics, both visual and aural. So when he played London’s Hyde Park on July 6, kicking off the 10-day AEG Live’s Barclaycard Presents British Summer Time (BST) festival, it was fair to wonder if someone in the production mistook loudspeakers for the proverbial bricks in the wall—because there were 318 different Martin Audio enclosures put to work that night, making it the largest single deployment of MLA at a festival ever, eclipsing Rock in Rio and Glastonbury in the process.

Capital Sound has tackled the festival in the past, and once again provided 206 boxes of MLA series cabinets for the main Great Oak Stage, but for Waters’ show, the sound reinforcement company was asked to provide an additional 12 hangs of MLA/MLA Compact on towers throughout the concourse.

The auxiliary towers added a further 112 MLA/MLA Compact cabinets to the existing system, making for a jaw-dropping total of 318 enclosures. Making the most of the extra firepower, the towers provided 12-point surround sound effects at positions set by Loud Sound’s Dan Craig and then fine-tuned by Roger Waters’ sound team in order to provide the crowd with an immersive experience.

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For the remainder of BST, the Great Oak Stage was equipped with two hangs of 16 MLAs and a single MLD Downfill per side, with 13 MLAs and an MLD Downfill for the sidehangs. The sub array consisted of 32 MLXs in a broadside cardioid design (21 front facing, 11 rear facing). With a dozen MLA Compact boxes serving as front fills, all MLA components were operating on the same network.

Out in the field, there were nine main delay towers, seven comprising seven MLA and a single MLD Downfill, while at delay positions 10 and 11, eight MLA Compacts were deployed. Four of the positions were supported by a dozen MLX subs.

Leading Capital’s 24-strong crew were Martin Connolly, account manager, Great Oak Stage, with Capital operations and development director, Paul Timmins, taking responsibility for the other stages. Al Woods served as main stage crew chief. For Martin Audio, Jason Baird provided system alignment and propagation tests, while Chris Pyne lent additional MLA support.

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Speaking after Waters’ opening show was completed, Capital operations and development director Paul Timmins said, “This is up there in my top-five shows of all time. We’ve never built a surround sound system on that scale, and we were not only firing low-level effects but high-level sources around the site, which needed to be contained. But with everyone working to a common goal, we were able to meet all sound level challenges, and the reviews of the sound system in the serious media the following day were 100 percent positive.”

Martin Connolly, account manager, Great Oak Stage, agreed. “Roger Waters’ production team—including sound engineer Jon Lemon, system tech Dean Mizzi and Josh Lloyd, who did the set-up with our system tech Toby Donovan, achieved everything they wanted. All have sent us emails thanking us, and we are delighted with the result.”

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To wit, FOH engineer Jon Lemon said, “The Capital team did a great job and worked so well with Dean and Josh, as well as Toby and the team. We pulled it off!”

Martin Audio •


Capital Sound •