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Ben Folds Gets An Earful With Martin Audio Monitors

Pianist, singer, composer Ben Folds recently made a concert appearance at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton as part of a tour supporting his new solo album, Way To Normal.

According to Fold’s website, the disc is a return to the “exuberant, raucous and sometimes profane” music from the platinum-selling Ben Folds Five. We’re also told that the eclectic mix of material includes everything from “crowd pleasers like ‘Hiroshima’ and ‘Bitch Went Nuts’ to the frenetically fuzzed out ‘Dr. Yang,’ cheerful snark-fests (‘The Frown Songs,’ “Brainwascht’), and thoughtful, moving ballads (‘Cologne,’ ‘Kylie from Connecticut’) that Folds wrote at the end of 2007.â€?

ASR ProEvents of Orlando provided sound for the heavily promoted concert event that featured Folds backed by long-time bassist Jared Reynolds and drummer Sam Smith playing to an enthusiastic crowd of students and local fans.

Asked about sound system priorities for the show, System Tech Sergio Leenen of ASR pointed out that monitors were critical given the dynamic variety of sounds on the songs from the latest album, and the close-miked percussion/keyboard rig set up on stage right and the percussion rig on stage left.

“We originally brought out 12 Martin Audio LE1200s as the regular wedges,â€? he explained. “When we heard the band the night before at the Hard Rock in Orlando, we decided to add the LE2100s to give the drummer and bass player the additional power and punch they needed. The bass player plays these incredibly overdriven notes and I wanted to give the LE1200s a real chance to shine.”

In addition to the Martin Audio wedges, the system included Yamaha PM5D mixers for FOH and Monitor, Dolby Lake processing and Crown Macro-Tech amps. Front of House engineer for the band was Leo Overtoom and Monitor Engineer was Mike Komm.

Asked about reaction to the Martin Audio wedges, Sergio responded, “When the monitor engineer heard the LE2100, it’s like a whole new world opened for him. He was really impressed. Due to his experience and his impressive skills, it made his positive feedback for the wedges music to our ears!

“At the end of the day, the band was extremely happy with the gear and the engineers were satisfied, which is always what we strive for. We normally use the LE1200s, but this show gave us a chance to take out the LE2100s and prove their worth.�

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