MARTIN AUDIO MLA PACKS BIG PUNCH IN SHANGHAI
Jazz artists from around the world converged on the two day Shanghai International Jazz Festival recently, including Incognito from the UK, Japan's Jabberloop, Theo Croker's Afrosonic global collaboration and Italy's Roberta Gambarini.
Additionally, American trumpeter Roy Hargrove's RH Factor made their debut in China while Chinese artists Tia Yuan, Karen Mok, and Khalil Fong gave riveting performances. Over 8,000 music fans enjoyed a weekend of music and some fantastic weather in the world's largest city.
Martin Audio distributors, Budee, serviced the main Green Note stage - the largest and most popular of the six stages - and the company's Lee Feng, one of China's leading tour sound engineers, built the PA system around Martin Audio MLA Multi-cellular loudspeaker arrays.
Remarkably, the audio mains were about as compact as it gets: at only 790kg - including flyware - per side, it consisted of seven Martin Audio MLA elements and one MLD Downfill in each hanging array, and four MLX subs per side on the ground. Audio fidelity was consistent from three metres at centre stage all the way back to 65 metres at FOH.
'The MLA System Budee supplied was the ideal choice for this outdoor festival,' remarked Martin Audio's Application Support (Touring), Andy Davies. 'MLA gave us perfect consistency over the whole 65 metre-deep audience area. We threw everything we could at it, from single instrument acoustic to full-on modern funk and the performance was flawless throughout.'
He continued, 'For me being able to do this with only 800kg of PA per side really shows how advanced the MLA is. All the visiting engineers commented on the exceptional clarity and consistency of the system but most importantly visiting artists were blown away by the quality of the sound - that's when you know you are really onto a good thing!'
Budee's Lee Feng notes, 'Mixing a show on the MLA is a great experience. Everyone has noticed how detailed and rich the sound is everywhere but also how controlled the on-stage sound is from this PA. I haven't used anything else on the market that can do what this system can.'
And the final word comes from Spencer Graves, FOH engineer for Roy Hargrove's RH Factor: 'MLA is definitely a system that can be used for all types of venues - and is especially great for outdoor sound.
'I could not believe that the arrays were only eight speakers per side. The clarity was phenomenal and the separation between the arrays and the subs really made a difference out there. The threshold to pump up the subs' volume was really a great help as far as creating a superb sound environment.
'Initially I was worried about how such a small array would sound when I went to FOH, but the audio was nice, bright and clear for all to hear - and as loud as we wanted to go.'