MARTIN AUDIO REFLECT ON WORLD WAR II
July 10 saw the culmination of a week of events marking the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II, when the Queen was joined by the prime minister and 12,000 others at Horseguards Parade for the World War II 60th Anniversary Festival of Commemoration and address to the nation.
With a speech by Her Majesty, the event was hosted by Simon Callow and featured readings, humour and music from World War II. The cast included a choir of 184, a 157-piece orchestra and a host of celebrities including TV host Bruce Forsyth, singer Petula Clark and actors Simon Callow, Jane Horrocks, Robert Hardy and Clare Sweeney. There was also a special appearance by Dame Vera Lynn, while in a symbolic gesture, veterans' groups handed over their standards to the younger generation.
Working for Unusual Services to a sound system design by Imagination's John Del Nero, Wigwam Hire provided four Martin Audio line array hangs (two for Main and two for Outer coverage) each comprising 12 x W8LC's, with four W8LM (Minis) taking care of the nearfield. All W8LC/W8LM columns were controlled using a combination of Martin Audio DX1 and XTA DP226 controllers, and while the 8-ohm 3-way W8LC's were driven in pairs, using nine Martin Audio MA2.8S power amplifiers per column, the 12-ohm 2-way W8LM loudspeakers were run in fours, using one MA2.8S per column.
Wigwam project manager Chris Hill was on hand throughout, supervising the set-up, and was delighted with the sound clarity and coverage across the make-shift arena.
The main sound mix was handled on a pair of 96-channel Digico D5's by Paul Stannering, with Kevin Pruce sub-mixing the orchestra and sending stereo mixes to the main desk where vocals and effects were processed and VT's and OB's flown in. Live feeds were taken from The Mall and also Buckingham Palace, with the FX hot-keyed at FOH using 360 Systems' Instant Replay and Short Cut machines. Stage sound was handled by Mark Ballard.
Said Stannering, 'I have used the Martin Audio line array a couple of times in the past and it's a really nice system. For this kind of full-range work it's very smooth and warm, and lends itself to the strings and brass of the tri-Service orchestra.'
Providing loudspeaker system technical support was Martin Audio's Jim Cousins, who optimised the hangs using the company's ViewPoint™ software, and checked the overall vertical and horizontal coverage using Martin Audio's DISPLAY ™ predictive software. 'I wanted to get clean, powerful, broadband coverage without having to resort to delays. DISPLAY™ confirmed that all would be well – even in the very dry conditions that prevailed on the day.
'Our other concern was the buildings on the side; had we not tilted the system down we would have risked slap-back.' To compensate, they set the system so that it narrowly skimmed the seats, using the mix position as the highest point the sound would project to.
As a result the entire 180° audience seating area was evenly covered by the four hangs.
The event was followed by a parade of 600 standard bearers along the Mall to Buckingham Palace, and then a fly past of vintage World War II aircraft, with a Battle of Britain Lancaster dropping a million poppies over the 500,000 people assembled in The Mall.
Other Wigwam crew involved in the production included system technicians Simon Hall, Sid Rogerson and Gary Kenyon, monitor tech Vince Sharpe, Tracy Campbell on radio with PJ and Tom Asby (comms) and Freddo (RF engineer). Aside from Jim Cousins, further technical support was provided by Roger Wood (Digico) and Stu Cheney of Plus 4 Audio (RF system).
Further information from:
Maureen Hayes, Martin Audio
Tel: +44 (0)1494 535312
Fax: +44 (0)1494 438669
Jerry Gilbert, JGP Public Relations
Tel: +44 (0)1707 258525
Fax: +44 (0)1707 267140