Martin Audio wavefront precision speakers on stage at red wing festival

Celebrating live: the people bringing live back with Martin Audio

Martin Audio, and its family of sound engineers, installation teams and venue managers, have played a pivotal role in reviving live music over the past six months. 

Large gig or small, indoors or out, Martin Audio offers powerful solutions to deliver its signature sound, including the much lauded Wavefront Precision series, recently recognised with a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation.

The company is embarking on a campaign that celebrates its expertise, using the hashtag #MartinAudioFamily.

Martin Audio helped the inaugural Electric Woodlands dance festival  (pictured below) get off the ground this summer, bringing joyful clubbers together at Bygrave Farm, Baldock, for an 11 hour drum & bass experience held across three stages in a hidden woodland setting. 

Capital Sound supplied the PA, fitting out the largest two stages with premium Martin Audio systems.

Because the site was so remote, there were no sound restrictions, allowing attendees to enjoy an optimum performance.  

Clubbers dance at the electric woodlands festival

Chase & Status and Rage headlined the Big Top tent, performing through 14 MLA Compact Loudspeaker Arrays, left and right, with 12 MLX subwoofers broadside and six Martin Audio XD12 for front fill. 

A Martin Audio rig was also present on The Clearing Stage. Entertaining fans of garage and grime were eight WPS per side, driven by iKON iK42 amplifiers. Subwoofers comprised 12 SX218, while four XD12 provided front fill. 

Capital senior project manager, Martin Connolly described the WPS array as “the best weapon in the Martin Audio armoury.”  The show was so well received, it’s now looking to become an annual event.

Over in Virginia, USA, the 38th Annual Norfolk Waterfront Jazz Festival was headlined by David Sanborn and Boney James. Once again, Martin Audio’s Wavefront Precision line array proved its worth. 

Annual Norfolk Waterfront Jazz Festival

Forced inside by inclement weather, partner Soundworks of Virginia set the system up in the Norfolk Scope (pictured above), transforming what is normally a sports arena with notorious acoustics into a 7,500 seated concert venue.

For the event, 12 WPL speakers per side were joined by a quartet of SXH218 subwoofers.  A CDD-LIVE 15 on each side handed out-fill coverage, to cover as many customers as possible. Running the show in 2-box resolution were iKON iK42 amps.  

Inside the Norfolk Scope venue

Soundworks president Grant Howard says the system was a hit with visiting sound engineers: “After a couple of songs, and getting a handle on the room, they all had a great show.”

Nearby, bluegrass and string band music fans were entertained at the annual Red Wing Roots Music Festival (pictured below). Attracting around 4,500 music lovers, the five-stage festival has become a second home to Martin Audio, with rental partners Southard Audio also deploying the company’s Wavefront Precision line array system.

Southard’s Jason Misterka said: “While it is relatively easy to amplify a typical pop or rock band with a few vocal mics and a lot of DI boxes, it is much more difficult to amplify a band with all acoustic instruments and 12 or more open mics, and to bring that up to show volume for a large audience.”

The set-up used Martin Audio’s Hard Avoid feature to limit sound from the main array bleeding onto the stage, decreasing the artist’s monitor level and helping the mics sound cleaner.

Acoustic reinforcement at red wing festivalOn the Red Wing Shenandoah Mountain Stage, Southard Audio employed 2 x 8 WPL speaker modules on a Stageline SL320 stage, with six SXH218 subs in cardioid configuration. Four CDD-LIVE 15 provided front fills and out fills while a single CDD-LIVE 12 provided VIP fills. The whole shebang was driven by a couple of Martin Audio iK42 racks.

Similarly, the Blue Ridge Timberwright Stage featured 2 x 11 of Martin Audio’s smaller WPS modules mounted to Applied LA12-25 towers, with six SHX218 subs in cardioid configuration and a pair of further WPS for front fills.

The smaller Roots Stage featured a pair of CDD-LIVE 15 with four SXC118 cardioid subs, while The Hill Stage featured a further pair of CDD-LIVE 15 with a pair of CSX118 providing LF. 

“At a festival, you often don’t get much time to soundcheck, if at all,” explained Misterka. “So the PA needs to be pretty neutral and should ideally come out of the gate sounding like your headphone mix.”

UK event and production company dBS Solutions doesn’t need convincing about Martin Audio’s prowess. It recently acquired a WPS system to provide coverage for 2,000-plus capacity concert halls. Managing director Chris Bogg saw the potential offered by Martin Audio’s Display control software, opting to use its Hard Avoid feature on the Queen Symphonic UK tour, which consisted of a 35-piece symphony orchestra, rock band and four West End musical vocalists. “Traditional classical musicians don’t like a loud stage, and in terms of levels we were able to use Hard Avoid to remove much of that,” he said.

“I have never heard a system sounding so consistent across three or four levels or so tonally balanced, when compared with other systems we’ve used,” he enthused. “We will definitely be increasing that inventory.”