The Sweetlife Music and Food Festival combined the best of both worlds for an enthusiastic overflow crowd at the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland, half way between Washington and Baltimore.
Presented by the local Sweetgreen restaurant group, Sweetlife showcased a range of healthy and organic foods on site along with performances by global EDM phenomenon Avicii, Hip Hop artist Kid Cudi, The Shins, Explosions in the Sky, Fitz and the Tantrums, A$AP Rocky, Fun, Delta Spirit, Zola Jesus and a host of others during the all-day event.
Originally built as the home for the National Symphony Orchestra, Merriweather Post Pavilion was designed by iconoclastic architect Frank Gehry and located within 40 preserved acres known as Symphony Woods. For over 40 years, the storied natural amphitheatre has featured the best in rock, country, rhythm and blues, pop, jazz, hip hop, alternative, electronica and classical music.
MHA Audio of Hagerstown, MD provided sound for the Sweetlife Festival under the direction of owner Mike Scarfe. To ensure consistent coverage, control and the sound quality people have come to expect at the Pavilion, MHA used Martin Audio’s breakthrough Multi-cellular Loudspeaker Array powered and self-processed system.
The main setup consisted of 11 MLA and one MLD downfill enclosure per side, along with six flown MLX subs per side and six WSX subs per side in the pit. Martin Audio W8LCs were used for outfill with W8LMs for front fill. Martin Audio LE700 wedges were used for on stage monitoring. An Avid Venue Profile console was used for FOH and Yamaha PM5D-RH for Monitors.
Commenting on the event, Scarfe stated, “Utilizing the MLA’s cellular control, the system provided exceptional coverage and imaging with no change in sound quality and only a 5dB difference in level from the front row to over 260 feet on the lawn. The control allows minimal unwanted reflections and rear spill, making the system noticeably quiet on stage. The venue production team are thrilled with the new MLA system, and also commented on how quiet the sound was both on and behind the stage.”
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About MLA™ (Multi-cellular Loudspeaker Array)
The result of many years of intensive R&D, MLA’s methodology replaces trial-and-error array design with intelligent numerical optimization of the array’s output based on a highly accurate acoustic model. The multi-cellular format has six individual cells in each enclosure, each with its own DSP and amplification.
With up to 24 enclosures, each MLA array has up to 144 cells — too great a number to optimize manually, or by ear. Instead, Martin Audio’s proprietary Display2™ system design software automatically calculates FIR DSP filters for each cell and a redundant-ring audio network (U-NET™) downloads the settings into each array enclosure. Martin Audio’s VU-NET™ software provides real-time control and monitoring of the system.
MLA delivers a frequency response and SPL consistency never before achievable; a very high system output (140dB peak, per cabinet @1m); Automatic optimization of the array, both physically (splay angles) and electronically (DSP); Computer control and monitoring of the entire system, and total control of sound system balance for engineers and sound technicians.
MLA is fully integrated, with Class D amplification, DSP and U-NET digital audio
network built into each enclosure. MLA complete systems are ready-to-use, with MLA, MLD and MLX enclosures, flying hardware, software, cabling and training all supplied. Everything needed is included. All ancillary items — from tablet PC and Merlin™ controller to network interconnects and mains distro — are also included in the complete system package. This ensures full compatibility worldwide, down to cabling and accessories.
Additional features include 90° x 7.5° dispersion; a compact size (1136mm wide x 372mm high x 675mm deep), one-box-fits-all (festivals to theaters) application range and a global voltage, power factor corrected power supply.
MLA’s compact size and very high output allows it to be shipped using smaller trucks, offering considerable savings and reduced carbon footprint. The system also includes the MLX powered, flyable subwoofer capable of an unprecedented measured peak output of 150dB @ 1m; MLD downfill cabinet, and Merlin 4-in/10-out system controller and network hub. Audio input is via analog, AES3 or U-NET.
By adopting these principles and system components MLA is optimized for every member of the audience — from a 2,000 capacity theater, to a 20,000-seat arena, to a 100,000-person festival site. It will deliver the engineer’s exact mix to every seat (up to over 150 meters) with precision, exceptional power and clarity.
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.