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Martin Audio Longbow Keeps Glastonbury Buzzing

RG Jones Sound Engineering provided audio production on Glastonbury’s Pyramid Stage for the fourth year running.

The London based company supplied a Synco by Martin Audio PA, a custom designed Synco sub-bass array and Synco stage monitor systems. Additional crew and matching equipment came from Ampco Flashlight of Holland.

The PA consisted of a Martin Audio W8L Longbow rig, with a total of 64 cabinets flown in 16-deep dual inner and outer main PA hangs per side, with an additional 64 W8LCs flown in four delay positions, all timed using Smaart. Visiting sound crews were unanimous in their praise for the Longbow system, which kept the Pyramid Stage buzzing throughout the three days in which U2, Coldplay and Beyoncé headlined.

A cardioid broadside sub-bass array of 36 Synco triple-18� woofers, custom made for the Synco Network by Martin Audio, had been refined over the past three years,

in conjunction with noise monitoring specialists RPS Planning & Development, to help keep the sound contained to the Pyramid Stage area.

The sub bass was arranged in a combined cardioid and broadside sub array—electronically curved, with the top and bottom enclosure front facing and the middle pointing backwards. With a third of the subs facing backwards in a cardioid configuration this effectively reduced the broadside array’s output on the stage itself.

Project Manager Steve Carr from RG Jones handled FOH with Hugo Scholten, Mark Edwards was system engineer, and Martin Audio R&D Director Jason Baird supported the system design effort.

“We needed to ensure that the arrays were deployed correctly and optimally angled downward, to minimize spillage beyond the site perimeter,� said Baird.

“During the weekend it was just about keeping the system EQ’d and timed to ensure that it performed optimally with the changing weather conditions.�

To maintain coverage within the off-site sound limits, the top four W8L Longbow and W8LC boxes in each hang were controlled individually. “Thus we were able to turn them down independently of the rest of the array, which was crucial,� Baird said.

And by delaying the subs incrementally from the center outwards, the overall wavefront could also be tuned to fit the shape of the Pyramid Stage field.

At the front-of-house mix position, a pair of 48-channel Midas XL4 consoles handled the core mix duties along with an Avid Venue Profile, all supplied by RG Jones.

Mark Isbister headed up the stage crew with Alistair Viles, Matt Sussex and Tim Wann, and monitor engineers Steve Watson and Ben Milton.

Photo credit of Elbow from Festival: Mark Lethby

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About Martin Audio®
Founded by audio engineer David Martin in 1971, Martin Audio pioneered the use of all-horn-loaded bass designs in world-class touring loudspeaker systems for groups such as Pink Floyd, ELP and Supertramp. Located outside of London, Martin Audio now embodies a sophisticated mix of acoustic design, research, mathematical modeling and software engineering for a wide range of products in the installation, cinema and touring sound markets.