Clarkston, GA—June 2018… Whether you want to rent a small combo bass amp for a local club gig or a full set of instruments and stage amps for a major touring act, Atlanta Backline Company has it. True to its name, the company carries a huge variety of guitars, drum kits, keyboards, DJ gear, percussion instruments, instrument amplifiers, and speaker cabinets. They also provide show support, setting up the backline, swapping a cable, or handing off a guitar.
Providing this support requires reliable talkback communications that can be clearly heard. That’s where Mackie MP-240 professional in-ear monitors make a difference for the Atlanta Backline Company crew. “The Mackie MP-240 in-ears are fantastic,” enthuses Atlanta Backline Company Operations Manager Justin Richardson. “They’ve been a big help. All of our guys who have used them are happy with them. We just do the backline, so we mainly use them on the gigs as talkback for the musicians. We go up to ‘monitor world’ and ask Audio to give us a wireless belt pack and our own channel, so we have our own one-way channel of communications. During setup and soundcheck, the musicians can talk into their mics and say, ‘Hey I need some help with my pedalboard,’ or whatever the issue is, and we run right up and deal with it.”
The Atlanta Backline Company works on a wide variety of shows, including large concerts and festivals. With the considerable ambient sound at a big show, it’s essential that the talkback system be loud and clear, and Mackie’s MP-240 proved an excellent choice. The Mackie MP series includes the MP-120, with one dynamic driver per in-ear; the MP-220, with two dynamic drivers; and the top-of-the-line MP-240, which features a hybrid design with one dynamic driver and one balanced armature driver. The balanced armature is a unique type of driver that is ultra-compact and offers incredible efficiency, especially with mid to high frequencies. This hybrid design provides punchy, accurate bass, with beautiful mids and highs.
“The Mackie MP-240s sound great,” reports Richardson. “They’re powerful and very clear, and the low end is just phenomenal. We were blown away. They’ve really been helping us out. It was perfect: We got them on our four-year anniversary on April 1. We had a little get together, and the guys were excited when we pulled out the boxes. Even the molded hard cases that come with the MP Series are fantastic.”
The MP-240’s sound isolation offers multiple benefits for the Atlanta Backline crew. The most obvious, of course, is the ability to clearly hear service requests over a show’s ambient sound, but that’s not all. “We have our own little backline area set up at shows,” Richardson offers, “and people who aren’t essential to the show, like members of the band’s posse, will come up and try to talk to us when we need to stay alert. With the MP-240’s sound isolation, we don’t even realize that they’re there, so we can focus on the show.” Even away from the show, Richardson and the team love the isolation. “The best thing is to use them at the airport,” he laughs. “People don’t talk to you because you’re in your own little world.”
However, people do notice the Mackie MP-240s. “Even on cruises, people will say, ‘I like your in-ears, where did you get them?’” notes Richardson. “We are very pleased to tell them that we use in-ears from Mackie.”