Zac Brown Band Rings In New Year With Full-Blown MLA Arena System

Author:
Publish date:

Atlanta, GA––Capping off an eventful year for Martin Audio’s new MLA (Multicellular Loudspeaker Array), the Zac Brown Band and SES (Special Event Services), a special New Year’s Eve concert at Philips Arena put the breakthrough system to its ultimate test.

A test it passed with flying colors according to Martyn “Ferrit� Rowe, Martin Audio’s technical liaison for the MLA system. As Ferrit describes it, “SES got to deploy all of their latest acquisition of Martin Audio’s MLA system, including the first outing of the MLD downfill cabinet for the triumphant homecoming show.�

Featuring five opening acts (Nic Cowan, the Wood Brothers, Sonia Leigh, Casey Dreissen and Levi Lowrey), all of which are on Zac Brown’s Southern Ground record label, the sold out show drew 16,500 fans.

According to Rowe, “The MLA system provided 270 degree coverage using Left and Right arrays of 15 MLAs and one MLD

each, with two additional side arrays of eight MLAs with two MLDs each per side.

“The main broadside subwoofer array of 12 MLX in front of the stage was also augmented by two flown arrays of six MLX subs and additional W8LM cabinets as front fill cabinets.

“Mixing duties were handled by Eric Roderick who after spending 4 hours of sound checks and 4 hours of show behind his D-Show profile said, ‘It’s amazing, I don’t feel tired at all!’

“System tech duties were shared by Preston Soper and me,� adds Rowe, “and an additional monitor console (PM5D) was added to the normal D-Show Profile.�

Asked about the show, Jeff Cranfill, VP of SES said, “It went really well. The box performed great, and that was the first time I heard that many at one time.�

In terms of specific challenges for the ZBB New Year’s Eve event, Cranfill said, “Phillips Arena is a really tall building and that effects the low end. And what impressed me at this show--because it goes through a wide range of dynamics from straight up rock and roll to eclectic folksy material with acoustic instruments that can wreak havoc--was that the low end from the MLA system did not smother anything. It was very tight, constant and as a former bass player, I could hear all of the bass pitches rather than rumble and roar.

“With this type of music, vocals are still the primary issue. And no matter what they threw at the system in terms of different instruments, the vocals were still there, which was another major plus. Plus, being a powered box, we always had enough headroom.

In terms of coverage, I spent a lot of time walking around the arena and everywhere I went, it sounded exceptional. Eric Roderick, Zac Brown Band’s FOH engineer, has praised the system ever since we've had it. And I've heard Zac and other band members talking about the system and their comment to me is just, ‘Man, this PA's great!’�

For more about Martin Audio, go to www.martin-audio.com.

About MLAâ„¢ (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’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 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.

About LOUD Technologies Inc.
As the corporate parent for world-recognized brands Alvarez®, Ampeg®, Blackheart®, Crate®, EAW®, Mackie® and Martin Audio®, LOUD engineers, markets and distributes a wide range of professional audio and musical instrument products worldwide. Our product lines include sound reinforcement systems, analog and digital mixers, guitar and bass amplifiers, and acoustic and electric guitars. These products can be found in professional and project recording studios, video and broadcast suites, post-production facilities, sound reinforcement applications including houses of worship, stadiums, nightclubs, retail locations, and on major musical concert tours. The Company distributes its products primarily through retail dealers, mail order outlets and installed sound contractors. The Company has its primary operations in the United States with operations in the United Kingdom, Canada and China. For more information, please see our website: www.loudtechinc.com.