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Press Release


12TH MAY 2008

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As the first non-baseball event for the brand new Nationals Stadium and the initial step of a high profile journey across the Eastern U.S., the Papal Mass in Washington D.C. presented a unique set of challenges for one of the area's leading production companies, MHA Audio.

Asked about producing audio at the beautiful and elegantly proportioned stadium with its own state of the art system, owner Mike Scarfe explains, 'We couldn't use the existing audio system because, as with all stadiums, the sound comes from above and behind the audience; and since the stage for the Papal Mass was at one end and it would have been impossible to time-align it to the stage. We provided sound for the entire stadium and 47,000 people from 60-foot towers on either side of the stage. Basically, we had a 550 foot throw from the speaker tower to the farthest seat.'

Working with Jim Cousins at Martin Audio in the UK and using DISPLAY software, MHA were able to come up with optimum angles for the line array. They fielded 16 x W8L Longbow enclosures on each side firing forward, and 12 x W8LC's a side, firing sideways. A further six W8LC's fired to the rear of stage left, and the production also used six Martin Audio WSX subs and two Martin Audio WT3s.

It wasn't just about clear spoken word reproduction, because a 700-member choir and an orchestra of 50 appeared on stage behind the speaker tower.

The programme started at 5.00am once the gates were opened and there was a variety of entertainment including notable opera singers Placido Domingo and Denyce Graves preceding the start of the mass at 10am. The choir, cantors and orchestral accompaniment continued throughout the mass until noon.

The MHA crew consisted of FOH: Zane Marshall, assisted by Peter Maher; Monitors/Orchestral Stage: David Colella Assisted by Tom Buckley and Monitors/Entertainment Stage: Gavin Pearce, assisted by Bruce Coffman.

Asked about the audio results for this historic event, Mike Scarfe concludes, 'The client, Showcall, is an event production company, specialising in large format, high threat events - and they were very happy with the sound. We received positive comments all around, and everybody was impressed, including the representative from Vatican Radio. He'd already had positive experiences using Martin Audio in Europe and was happy to see it again.'

Further information from:

Maureen Hayes, Martin Audio Jerry Gilbert, JGP Public Relations
Tel: +44 (0)1494 535312 Tel: +44 (0)1707 258525
Fax: +44 (0)1494 438669 Fx: +44 (0)1707 267140

PUBLISHED: 12TH MAY 2008. Views: 0
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