A Martin Audio MLA (Multi-cellular Loudspeaker Array) system was deployed for the first time to deliver enhanced intelligibility and coverage to the live audience at the 19th Britain’s “National TV Awards,” held recently at the O2 Arena in London.
The event, initiated in 1995, featured Dermot O’Leary host this year and celebrates the most popular TV shows of the past year.
Stewart Chaney’s London-based Plus 4 Audio handled the audio in the venue, specifying MLA for the main system. The company decided to try a different approach with the array design after talking through the system capabilities with Martin Audio Application Support specialist Andy Davies.
“Key to the design was finding a system that could deliver consistent audience coverage while dramatically reducing the on-stage sound,” explains Davies. “With most of the acceptance speeches given from an open lectern position, gain before feedback was critical to the live sound mix.”
MLA helped attain this goal, and combined with it’s optimization software, also assisted system tech Mark Edwards in reducing reflections from the glass-fronted VIP sections.
The Plus 4 team fielded 22 MLA enclosures and two MLD Downfill cabinets for the main system, with in fill and out fill duties handled with existing cabinet stock.
Using a self-powered cabinet meant the unobtrusive MLA distro racks could be concealed in the roof of the O2, significantly cutting down cable and mains distribution requirements.
“The MLA really proved itself to us on the very first challenging show we had used it on,” states Plus 4 Audio senior engineer Mark Ballard. “We pride ourselves on achieving excellent sound quality in difficult situations and this year’s NTA show was a great result for us.”