Posted in practice on February 15, 2017 1:36 pm EST

Achieving an Exceptional Sonic Experience

An interview with Martin Audio's Lee Stein on church sound design, client needs, integration, and future and current product developments impacting worship space design.

Calvary Church in Charlotte, N.C., uses a Martin Audio MLA system.











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TAGS: architecture, audio, avl design, cost efficiency, product development,


By Carol Badaracco Padgett

Martin Audio offers an array of innovative loudspeakers for applications from background music in a restaurant to the largest rock, pop and EDM festivals in the world—and for churches with equal intensity. In all cases, the company’s primary goal is to use groundbreaking technology to provide even, consistent coverage to every audience member.

Lee Stein, Vice President of Sales, North America, Martin Audio Ltd., Glendale, CA

Church Designer magazine caught up with Lee Stein, Martin Audio’s vice president of sales for North America, based at the company’s U.S. offices in Glendale, Calif. Read on to learn about the company’s approach as it applies to your church projects and the support you need to help ensure their sonic significance in the communities they serve.

What Martin Audio products are among your company’s top considerations for church project specification?

Stein: Our line of CDD loudspeakers use our Coaxial Differential Dispersion technology, which provides all the benefits of coaxial speaker technology while successfully addressing the issues these speakers typically exhibit, namely a beaming of high frequencies.

The MLA loudspeaker arrays utilize our Multi Cellular technology to give the user unprecedented and unmatched control over the coverage provided by the line array. The user can determine where the sound does and doesn’t go—specifically addressing a room for [its] given application.

Tell our readers more about the CDD series of loudspeakers—specs of the most interest to worship space designers—and why they're a good fit.

Stein: Our CDD Technology delivers more consistent audience coverage than systems with fixed dispersion X° x Y° horns—projecting more output to the rear of the audience to distribute sound evenly front-to-back, while having wide horizontal coverage close-up. This increased coverage area can reduce the speaker count in larger installations by up to 25%, significantly reducing total installation cost. Our CDD products are aesthetically pleasing [as well]; they deliver class-leading performance and are priced competitively.

The line consists of six coaxial two-way speakers with the number referring to the size of the low frequency driver; CDD5, CDD6, CDD8, CDD10, CDD12, and CDD15. With the exception of the CDD5 and CDD6, which are plastic, all enclosures are made from UPM Formi—a composite material that combines stiffness with excellent internal damping properties. Additionally, this material allowed us to design a visually appealing curved enclosure which also has the practical advantage of allowing the speakers to be mounted closer to a wall or ceiling. Speaker baffles from the CDD8 upward are all machined from birch ply, and all materials feature an internal rib structure to reduce weight and increase rigidity. Horizontal coverage is from 100°-120° and reduces to 60°-90° with distance depending on the model. Vertical coverage is 60° in all cases and the driver is user-rotatable to allow for different mounting options. A full complement of CDD mounting accessories is available.

CDD also features four subwoofers: a single 12-inch (CSX112), dual 12-inch (CSX212), single 18-inch (CSX118), and dual 18-inch (CSX218). All are direct-radiator subwoofers and provide the excellent low frequency performance [that] Martin Audio is known for. All of these subs can be ground-stacked or flown.

In addition, all CDD models are available in black or white, and custom RAL colors can be accommodated for an additional fee.

Are there any other Martin Audio products specifiers should know about that you're targeting as being especially effective for house-of-worship live sound and installation needs?

Stein: MLA, MLA Compact and MLA Mini loudspeaker arrays have been deployed successfully in many churches. Besides providing superior sound quality, MLA technology provides unmatched control of the audio in a given space, allowing one to address the acoustics of a venue—potentially saving money by lessening the amount of acoustic treatment needed.

[Designers] can determine “hard avoid” areas, such as on stage or reflective surfaces, and vertical coverage can be fine-tuned electronically. Presets can be set up to allow for different coverage patterns for different applications, such as if the balcony is not in use. MLA employs a precise science that guarantees great control, consistency and unparalleled acoustic sound quality.  continued >>