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Martin Audio Loudspeakers Go The Distance At Sierra Nevada World Music Festival

Sacramento Production Services provides clear audio front to back with W8LCs

By PSW Staff July 13, 2009

The scene at the recent Sierra Nevada World Music Festival, with Martin Audio line arrays flanking the stage.

Sacramento Production Services (SACPS) provided sound reinforcement for the recent three-day Sierra Nevada World Music Festival, which featured a host of top roots music talent from around the globe, including King Sunny Ade, Sly & Robbie, Femi Kuti (Nigerian superstar Fela Kuti’s oldest son), Junior Reid, The Heptones, The Abyssinians and many more.

The main challenge for the SACPS crew––Keith Wackford (System Tech & Monitors), Dwaine Wise (Front of House) and Rich Stansby (Monitors & Stage Tech)––was accommodating both the large number of bands as well as the considerable size of most of those bands.

“Most of the bands were between 8 and 12 pieces, with only 10 to 15 minutes between sets and no sound checks,” explains Wackford. “And because the expectations for audio quality are high, in addition to the fact that we’ve been doing this show successfully for 14 years, you have to have your ‘A-game’ on and be well prepared.”

Designed with the help of Martin Audio Display software for maximum reach and coverage, the main sound reinforcement system consisted of 24 Martin Audio W8LC line array enclosures and 12 Martin W8LS subwoofers.

Onstage, 12 Martin LE1500 monitors and eight Martin LE12j monitors, along with four W8Cs and S218 subs for side fills and two W8Cs for drum fills handled the monitoring. A Soundcraft MH4 console was used for FOH and a Yamaha LS7 for Monitor console. FOH processing included Drawmer compressors and noise gates, and TC Electronic and Yamaha multi-effects processors.

Monitor processing consisted of Xilica DP4080A processors and XTA GQ600 graphic equalizers. Shure R-Series wireless microphone systems and a Cable Factory 52-channel, 3-way transformer audio splitter completed the system.

With crowds for the main stage averaging around 3,500 and the distance to the back of the venue about 275 feet, Wackford reports that “the mix was set a bit further out than we would have like, but the sound was crystal clear from front to back.”

Asked about the choice of Martin Audio, SACPS President Steve Palmer states, “Because it sounds great right out of the box.”

“People love Martin Audio loudspeakers,” Wackford adds. “They sound so warm and it’s easy to build a nice, decent-sounding mix. You don’t have to work very hard or do a lot of processing.

“It’s a very British sound,” he continues. “Martin Audio has a very unique low-mid sound to it. Many of the artists who were on stage with LE1500s absolutely fell in love with the monitors. Our clients are always happy with the PA, which explains why we’ve been doing this for as many years as we have.”

Martin Audio Website

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