HIVE PARTNERSHIP MAKES MLA MINI INVESTMENT COUNT
The Hive Partnership and its AV rental division, London Speaker Hire (LSH), have become the first investors in Martin Audio's new MLA Mini ultra compact multi-cellular loudspeaker array.
Having purchased four MLA Mini enclosures (plus MSX mini sub power plant) to cover each side of the stage, LSH immediately debuted the system at Le Book, a 2-day creative trade show at London's County Hall, where two bands performed in the Rotunda in front of around 500 members of the creative industry worldwide.
Set up five years ago, but now part of the expanding Hive Partnership, according to director Grant Turner, LSH has a reputation for backing the latest kit for its burgeoning rental inventory. 'Six months ago we decided to set up a special projects division dedicated to providing clients with that extra level of personal attention. Through the relationships we had built up, we gained a better understanding of our client's 'wish lists' - and Martin Audio kept popping up as a brand of choice.'
The company first became aware of MLA Mini on the Martin Audio website before engaging with it at this year's PLASA Show. 'We had wanted this type of modular system for some time and researched the market to narrow down the options. But MLA Mini is pretty much in its own class.'
A demo of the MLA Mini at High Wycombe was all that was needed. 'Since our business is dependent on relationships with the manufacturers we wanted to get a feel for the people behind the product - it was imperative for us that we had that direct contact, and Nigel Meddemmen [Martin Audio Technical Support] actually attended Le Book to assist us with the rig - which was an amazing service.'
At the event itself, Turner says the acid test was when the sound engineer from Arthur Beatrice – Universal Music's up-and-coming indie band - who had previously been specifying other front line systems on the rider, immediately requested a quote for MLA Mini.
LSH had provided sound for eight rooms but it was the main Rotunda, where the gigs took place that provided the biggest challenge for MLA Mini. 'Not only was it a circular domed room where everything had to be ground stacked, but the layout was very limiting due to floor-to-ceiling projections taking place as well as a conference during the day.
Told they were unable to fly a system at just 24 hours' notice LSH were able to quickly reconfigure their layout designs as the MLA Mini facilitated a nice ground stacking system, without compromise.
More positive feedback was soon to follow. Two days later Athlete bassist, Carey Willetts presented his solo 'Boxes' project and management were quick to compliment the sound system, while The Video Geeks, who were supporting the gig, were so impressed with MLA Mini that they immediately asked to hire the system. 'They loved the MLA Mini paired with the large modular video panel screen we supplied, and commented in particular on the amount of low end,' Grant Turner reports. 'The system was only running at about 20%, which tells you a lot about its potential.'
In conclusion, he says the big advantage of MLA Mini is the number of different set-up options. 'Where you would traditionally need to use a flown line array in certain smaller venues, nearly all current systems are so large that they are impractical. With the MLA Mini we are spoilt for choice. The compact footprint means we can have a two-man set up on certain events whereas we would have needed double that. This in itself is an immediate cost saving towards ROI.
'All of our team will now be trained on the MLA technology as we have a very strict policy of cross training all staff so that everyone has knowledge of all our products.'
Expect to see it at a number of high profile events and festivals that the Hive Partnership will be covering next year - notably one of the stages at Glastonbury.