Total Production

Henley Rewinds to the 80s with MLA

September 2015

Capital Sound has once again provided Martin Audio’s award-winning MLA Multi-cellular Loudspeaker Array solution for the Rewind Festival, which featured a lineup of stars from the 80s.


The festival, held at Temple Island Meadows, Remenham Farm, has always been noise sensitive, and until 2013 elicited complaints from the local gentry.


The watershed year was 2013, when acoustics consultants Vanguardia was brought in by the promoter, Impresario Festivals’ David Heartfield, and suggested a guaranteed means of curing the problem was to deploy Martin Audio’s award winning MLA system.


Capital Sound senior project manager, Martin Connolly, recalled that the event’s production manager Keith Morris was already aware of MLA’s supreme control characteristics, and the result was that for the first time production was able to run the system in excess of 100 dB(A) at the sound desk, dropping to well below the 65 dB(A) offsite threshold.


Morris confirmed: “The biggest issue with our license is the proximity of Remenham Village, as the nearest property is less than 500 metres to the right of the main stage, and the local authority requires us to keep the level below 65 dB(A) on a 15 minute average at that property.”


Connolly said that 100 dB(A) provides more than enough headroom for a roster of chart toppers from yesteryear — including OMD, Billy Ocean and Kim Wilde on the Saturday, Human League, Selecter, Banarama and Soul II Soul on the Sunday.


“In the days when we used a conventional line array — which included the Martin Audio Longbow — we were only ever able to run at 96 dB(A) to achieve the offsite levels. But since MLA has been adopted as the system of choice we have mixed shows at over 100 dB(A) and comfortably been well within the limit offsite — at the same time delivering stunning fidelity and transparency from the system.” 


Once again the main PA hang this year comprised 15 MLAs and one MLD Downfill per side with three delay points consisting of five MLAs and one MLD. All 19 MLX subwoofers were deployed using the proven cardioid broadside array principle.


Since the site is asymmetric, no side hang was required stage left (only a small ground stack of W8LM Mini Line Arrays for nearfield coverage); however stage right was treated with a conventional side hang of nine W8LM Mini Line Array — set 45° to the main hang — to provide outfield coverage on this flank, and thus ensuring even and consistent coverage for all spectators, wherever they were situated.


Morris was more than pleased with this year’s event, adding: “On Sunday’s show we were able to maintain a level between 98 and 100 dB(A) at the mix position while still keeping below the 65 dB(A) threshold at the perimeter. I don’t believe this would have been possible without MLA's ability to focus the audio field so well.”


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