Alford Media of Dallas, TX supplied an extensive Martin Audio MLA system to provide coverage for HubSpot's INBOUND 2015 conference at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.
Marketing sales and software giant HubSpot recently held its INBOUND 2015 Conference at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center with an extensive Martin Audio MLA system provided by Alford Media of Dallas, TX.
Presentations for the 4-day event actually took place in two of the exhibit halls, a large space measuring approximately 400 ft. deep by 400 ft. wide and 100 ft. tall. Complicating the space was a massive glass wall in the middle of the room coming down to about 40 ft. above ground.
The basic problem in this room prior to treatment was, according to Steve Ellis, Alford's FOH/System Engineer, "the space lacked intelligibility because the low frequencies had such a long decay time of just under 11 seconds at 100Hz. When someone said something through the PA, it could still be heard 10 seconds later, which just added up to a ‘wash of sound.'"
The stage was a round thrust design at one end of the room connected by its upstage section, extending into the audience on three sides. Given the implicit challenges presented by the size of the room, less than ideal acoustics and a partial glass wall coming down into the space, Alford chose to rig the MLA system in a half-round configuration around the stage with five hangs of 9 MLA and one 1 MLD each trimmed about 50 ft. to the top of the array.
Steve goes on to explain, "the center cluster consisted of 3 hangs of 9 MLA/1 MLD with the center hang directed straight into the house and the L&R 45 degrees off axis. Complementing the center cluster was an additional pair of hangs off stage HL&R, pointed to the sides of the room.
"The seating around the stage was in a half round configuration so we added a pair of 8 MLA Compacts HL&R trimmed at about 45 ft. with 10 DSX subs per side in broadside arrays. In addition, we had 5 MLA Mini ground-stacked on each side of the stage with one MSX sub each for front fill. Two sets of 3 pole-mounted MLA Mini were used off stage L&R with another MLX beyond the subs to help fill out the sound as well. We used 4 Merlin processors for the networking of all the boxes.
"We had intentions of deploying 12 Martin Audio DD6 speakers for front fill and foldback onstage, but the client didn't want them visible. So we utilized the mounting options for the DD6 and attached all of them to the legs of the stage and were able to control the pattern using the rotatable horns in the boxes. This way, we got the coverage we wanted while keeping a clean looking stage for the client."
To achieve adequate coverage on the other side of the large glass wall, 64 MLA Compact enclosures were hung for delays configured as two rows of 4 hangs, each with 8 Compacts.
"The MLA system helped solve the problem by rejecting the sound above and below the PA, which made the stage and surrounding area super quiet," Steve explains. "It wasn't blasting a bunch of noise in the ceiling that would keep coming back down and contributing to the long decay times. MLA does a really good job of putting the sound where it needs to go and not spilling it into other places. We had no problems handling the presenters, performers, panels and onstage interviews.
"We saw that the decay time improved by at least 5 seconds if not more. The show was very intelligible and we received a great many compliments."
Steven Pollema, FOH Engineer from CG Creative Studios in Amsterdam, added, "I never worked with MLA before, but the results were impressive. The amount of spilled energy to the back was a lot less than I imagined and helped us a lot in getting the gain-before- feedback we needed for this particular show. The reverb time for this venue was, after acoustical treatment, still an impressive 6 to 7 seconds. With MLA we could focus on the audience in such a way that no other product can. The results were obvious; a great sounding system, good imaging and the least amount of room reverberation possible without more acoustical draping.
"That and the ability to tweak the dispersion without moving the physical rig is just great. It saves a huge deal of money too when the riggers have already left the building! MLA really convinced me of the fact that intelligent DSP control in multi-cellular arrays isn't some kind of audio voodoo, it really works. I'm definitely spec'ing MLA more often for shows like this."
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About Martin Audio®
Founded by audio engineer David Martin in 1971, Martin Audio pioneered the use of all-horn-loaded bass designs in world-class touring loudspeaker systems for groups such as Pink Floyd, ELP and Supertramp. Located outside of London, Martin Audio now embodies a sophisticated mix of acoustic design, research, mathematical modeling and software engineering for a wide range of products in the installation, cinema and touring sound markets.