Martin Audio MLA PA used at The War On Drugs’ Alexandra Palace gig

Martin Audio’s MLA system was put to the test recently at the "notoriously difficult" Alexandra Palace, when The War on Drugs played to a 10,000 sell-out crowd. The Adam Granduciel-fronted band were promoting their fourth album A Deeper Understanding.

The system was supplied by Capital Sound and the company flew nine MLA and an MLD downfill enclosure, left and right, and two delay hangs of nine MLA Compact per side.

Additionally, two ground stacks of three MLA Compact were added per side for infill, with a further six Martin Audio DD12 for front fill.

Subwoofers comprised six stacks of three Martin Audio WS218X, with the bottom enclosure in each stack reversed for a cardioid response.

“I have mixed at Ally Pally before,” said FOH engineer Bob Strakele. “So when I heard that we would be doing a show there, I immediately asked our production manager [David Scheid] to get in touch with Capital Sound about getting an MLA system.

“Having toured with the system before, I knew that we would be able to keep any unwanted energy from bouncing around in the roof. The drapes installed certainly helped to an extent, but I feel like the ‘hard avoid’ setting in the roof was what kept the room under control.”

Strakele is referring to the ‘hard avoid’ function in Martin Audio’s dedicated Display 2.3 software which enables designated areas to be ‘avoided’ and spill to be reduced to a minimum.

Added Capital Sound’s operations and development director, Paul Timmins: “We have worked with Bob on a number of shows over the past ten years, including Billy Talent, Erasure and James. So he contacted me and said he wanted us to do the PA for a band he’d not worked with before, primarily because of the Ally Pally show; then he looped me in with the production manager. What started off as being just Ally Pally then turned into two additional shows at Manchester Apollo as part of a European tour.”