Capital Sound of London supplied Martin Audio MLA loudspeakers for the large audience in attendance at the recent Shakedown Festival at Stanmer Park in Brighton, England.
Having been approached once again by Ronin Events to supply audio for the Shakedown Festival at Stanmer Park, Brighton, Capital Sound’s Charles Ellery swung into action to provide a Martin Audio system for the event.
“Initially, I was looking at using a mid size Martin Audio LC system,” says Ellery. “But I had seen the site plans and I realized we were looking at a different part of Stanmer Park for the main stage arena, and an increase from an 8,000 to potentially a 15,000 audience capacity in this arena, so I changed the spec to a large format cabinet with the Martin W8-L.”
However, Capital Sound general manager Paul Timmins suggested to the company’s brand new purchase, Martin Audio MLA, for the event.
“A few calls to Martin Audio confirmed we would have the system at the warehouse in time, so I adjusted the spec, selecting 12 MLA per side for the hangs with nine Martin Audio WS218X subs per side in a cardioid array,” explains Ellery. “Ian Colville, our technical manager and someone closely associated with our move to learning about and eventually buying the system, started working with the client to make sure we had the ideal situation for flying the PA on site.
“This involved an increase in the height of the PA towers from nine to 12 metres in height to accommodate the 12 per side hangs of MLA and get the best result for the crowd.”
Crew on the job was also changed to make sure one of Capital’s freelance system techs, Marty Beath, a recent graduate of the MLA course that took place at the company’s base in London, was on board to manage the system on site.
Beath performed system tech duties, with Joseph Pearce utilizing both Soundcraft Vi6 and Yamaha PM-5D for house consoles. Islyana van Oostende worked monitors at the controls of another PM-5D, sending mixes to d&b audiotechnik M2 wedges, Meyer Sound 600HP and UPQ side fills, plus a pair of Martin Audio 218 subs and three LMs stacked per side for the DJ monitors for Dizzee Rascal, who headlined.
Stage crew were Craig Bruce, working the patch and RF world, assisted by Nathan Hayward, Marina Martinez and Harry McCann.
“Fantastic control was achieved with the MLA system performing exactly ‘as it says on the tin’,” says Ellery. “Noise levels were set at 98dB Leq A over 15 minutes at FOH in the noise management plan by Brighton & Hove City Council due to the multiple sensitive sites to the sides, rear and in the direct firing line of the PA.
“Following discussions with the Environmental Health officer from the Council on the day, this was lifted to 101 dB, and then again later on after 7 pm to 103 dB, as it became clear the MLA was performing exactly as it should, with maximum energy where we wanted it in the crowd and no superfluous energy being directed to anywhere else on the site, or to any of the sensitive residential sites all around us,” he adds.
Peaks of 106 dB were measured at front of house (54 meters from the stage) during Katy B’s set. The noise0sensitive offsite area of Stanmer village, 700 metres away and in the direct firing line of the PA, only received a high average measurement of 61 dB (Leq A) over 15 minutes.
“This was a superb result from the new Martin Audio MLA technology,” Ellery concludes. “It proved itself on a very difficult site, which required a system that delivers power where you need it and none where you don’t.”