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Production Hire Debuts Its New Martin Audio W8L Longbow Line Arrays At RockNess Music Festival

“The system definitely throws and there must have been 25,000 in front of it when Prodigy appeared on stage." - Mark Neal, Production Hire

By PSW Staff July 1, 2009

The scene at this year's RockNess Festival, where Production Hire deployed its new Martin Audio W8L Longbow line arrays

When Production Hire realized the amount of summer festival work and autumn dance events that were available if the company could provide adequate PA coverage, proprietor Mark Neal decided it was time to invest in a new line array system.

After evaluating a couple of leading systems, Neal purchased 24 Martin Audio W8L Longbow line array enclosures and gave them a first initiation at the RockNess Music Festival near Inverness this month, where Prodigy, Basement Jaxx, Dizzee Rascal and Flaming Lips were among the headliners.

He ran 12 W8L hangs a side, with W8LD Downfills on the front corners providing the necessary infill, while Martin Audio’s predictive 3D Display software helped insure the coverage was fully optimized.

“The system definitely throws and there must have been 25,000 in front of it when Prodigy appeared on stage,” Neal reports. “We always knew Longbow would handle live shows but we first tried it out at a dance music event —and it was sensational.”

“We really like that (the low-mids of Longbow) because it’s 1-inch instead of 1.4-inch,” he adds. “This leads to a very sparkly system which goes all the way up and down the frequency range, which a lot of line arrays don’t do.”

Neal also notes that because the system is horn-loaded the sound tends not to flap around in the wind. “Again, this is a problem with many other systems I have experienced,” he adds.

Last year, Neal had only been able to cover Stage 2 at RockNess for production company Loud Sound Events (using the seven-a-side W8LC rig), but this year he could handle both, adding Martin Audio W3s for infill support on the second stage.

“Aside from the additional festivals we can now do this summer, we have a series of autumn dance events lined up, and Longbow will be perfect for that,” he concludes.

Martin Audio Website

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