Martin Audio MLAs (Multi-cellular Loudspeaker Array) headed a large-scale sound reinforcement system that recently completed a successful tour of duty at Japan’s largest festival, Rock in Japan.
Promoted by music magazine publishers Rockin’ On and an annual event for 12 years, the three-day festival featured over 100 of Japan’s leading rock bands and artists and drew a crowd of around 60,000 daily to the venue at the Hitachi Seaside Park in Hitachinaka.
Rental company MSI Japan, which has provided front line sound reinforcement for the event every year, now had the luxury of fielding the MLA for the largest of the six stages (Grass Stage), specified by company president Shuzo Fujii.
The promoters were already aware of the MLA system, having experienced it on the second stage (Lake Stage) at last year’s festival, where the system enjoyed its Japanese debut. It was so successful, they were happy to endorse its promotion to main stage this year.
Dave Sugawara served as the system tech for the festival, a role held last year by Martin Audio technical training manager Martyn ‘Ferrit’ Rowe .
For MSI Japan, the primary challenge involved throwing sound over 250 meters without a delay tower, which was accomplished with19 MLA elements and one MLD per side. This was further boosted by the LF extension offered by two hangs of six MLX subs and an additional 11 on stage.
Osamu ‘Sam’ Yamashita from Audiobrains, Martin Audio’s Japanese distributor, states, “The beauty of MLA was that it maintained its consistency right across the 200 meter throw distance. But at 300 meters there is a parking lot—and the system was optimized so that the sound could hardly be heard at all from there.”